June 24, 1999 - Day 19

Fruita to Grand Junction, Colorado
15.6 miles, 12.5 mph average, 1126 total miles, 22.1 mph top speed
2 roadkill

Today was a short day. I had put in a lot of hard work getting across the desert and could use a little break. The biggest reason, though, was that the computer was waiting for me at the FedEx depot in Grand Junction. I thought I'd pick up the computer, check into a motel early, and then get to work updating the web site. And relax a little.

Over the Edge Sports
"Over the Edge Sports" in Fruita
On the right is Rondo Buecheler, co-owner of Over the Edge, a really nice bike shop in Fruita, a really nice little town. He is working on Joel Mauney's bike. Joel is out from the Denver area to do a little off-road riding in the Moab, Utah area. Joel gave me his card. He's an admissions field staff manager with Up With People out of Broomfield (CO) and said he'd check out our web site and see if my trip route coincided with any of their national concerts. He said they do pretty much what I'm doing; showing the positive side of people in the face of a lot of negative. I'm familiar with Up With People; they always seemed just a little TOO positive to my liking, but I do like the concept.

Grand Junction
Grand Junction, Colorado
I took this picture mostly for my sister and brother-in-law, Peggy and Don, who now live in Philadelphia. Don used to pastor an Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Grand Junction. It was Don who was instrumental in fine-tuning my love of the West (see the Dedication page)
You'll see the Grand Mesa in the background of this picture, looking small. It's not. The Colorado National Monument is just west of Grand Junction, but it doesn't photograph well from I70, so I have no picture of it.

Grand Junction got its name because it was the junction of the Grand and Gunnison Rivers. The Grand River has since been named the Colorado River. Of course, a better name for this town would simply be (all together now, history students) Confluence.
I wasn't really downtown so I didn't see the actual confluence. I was busy picking up the computer and finding that a motel room was going to be really hard to get because of CountryJam USA, a five-day country music extravaganza held in a big field west of town. I finally got in on a cancellation and paid $80 for a room that should have cost maybe $45 at a Super 8 Motel. And I don't like country music.
But boy, was I surrounded with it. All the Muzak in town was country. Every restaurant played it. Lots of big-tire pickup trucks and cowboy hats. I don't think there were very many real cowboys.
I just retreated to my motel room and computed.

Last thing. This is in the "And you think I'M doing a difficult thing" category. The guys at the Over the Edge said that just two days before a family of five came through town heading west. They are biking from Vermont to Alaska, and (get ready) they are all on one bike. Mom, Dad, 11-year-old daughter, 7-year-old son are on a quad-seated bike and they are pulling all their gear plus the 3-year-old son in a trailer. This boggles my mind. Just handling the personal dynamics alone would be a full-time job. The shop guys said the kids were fantastic. They are home-schooled, well-disciplined, mature beyond their years, and... getting an unbelievable education on this trip. More power to them.
Read more about them on their web site: www.rompfamily.com

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