While our hostel dreams are stalled, or, to put it more kindly to ourselves, on hold, we’ve looked for ways to support the touring cyclist community that comes through Pueblo.
Now that we have a home with some space for guests (our rented house barely had a space to put up a cot), Angie and I have joined warmshowers.org. Due to our own travel schedules, we had to turn down our first potential guests, but in early June we were able to open our door to our first cyclists!
We were contacted by Hiatt Zhao, who is riding from Pennsylvania to San Francisco, detouring in Wetmore to the Western Express route. He was asking if he could spend the night with us. We responded to let him know we were available. He followed up by telling us he’d joined up with another rider in Kansas and asked if he could stay with us also. We explained our set-up: one queen bed, and space for someone on the floor, though we would be happy to put up one of our cots for our guests if wanted. Hiatt said he’d be fine on the floor, although when they arrived mid-afternoon his riding companion Joe said he’d rather be on the floor!
The two men were planning on stopping at Great Divide bike shop to take care of some maintenance, so Hiatt called to let us know they were in town, and I advised them on lunch options nearby. They picked Shamrock Brewery and seemed pleased with their experience there.
Angie and I were scheduled to attend a meeting of the Southern Colorado Trail Builders that evening. Hiatt and Joe had some errands to run, and we advised them of the safest way to obtain their goals. They were also able to find a satisfying dinner in the same area of town, at a place we haven’t tried yet, GG’s BBQ.
The two gents also asked if we minded if they stayed for a second night. Hiatt was expecting to have a friend come down from Denver to meet up and ride with him for a few days, and Joe was still trying to map out what route he wanted to take next, since his intention had been to circle back to Ohio all along. We told them we were happy to host them for a second night.
The following morning, we told Hiatt and Joe that we’d been discussing grilling dinner on our outdoor gas grill that evening if they’d like to join us. They looked at each other and Hiatt told us that they wanted to take us out to dinner that evening to thank us for allowing them to stay the second night. We accepted with thanks! During the day, the two men went exploring in Pueblo, while Angie and I went about our daily work lives, meeting up with them later in the day to head down to the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk, where there are several restaurants. Hiatt had already told us that his friend from Denver wouldn’t be joining us since she was unwell. We took the two men to Brues Alehouse, since we like it quite a lot (though we still wish they had more poultry options on their menu). There, the two gents were introduced to one of Pueblo’s specialties, the slopper. They both seemed to enjoy it. While we ate we talked about touring of course, but also headed from Joe about some of his life experiences in the military and as a long-haul trucker.
After another good night’s sleep, Hiatt and Joe got themselves loaded up and set off to have breakfast at Squawk Coffee, which is owned by dear friends of ours. After that, the two men spoilt up to continue their journeys. We’ve been following Hiatt’s via his blog bike.hiattzhao.com, but I wonder if we will hear how Joe fared taking a southern route home in the heat of summer.