I rolled out on the interstate by 7:45, being in a rush to get out and get some kilometers done before the heat set in. Before long I got onto state route 96, a road I was going to follow for several days. The riding was easy and pleasant once I got off the interstate and I was making good progress. I stopped at a town called Olney Springs where I got to enjoy some shade and a snack in the park. I also got to drench my jersey in the sprinklers that were still on, which was so refreshing.
After setting off from Olney Springs, the heat started to set in and I debated whether to find a place to relax until afternoon or press on. After drenching myself in sunscreen, I slowly set off into the endless openness of eastern Colorado. There was not much at all out here. The soil was arid and there wasn't much farming going on out here either. The winds had picked up after noon and blew at a constant speed towards my 4 o'clock. I ran into a swiss father-son team that were headed west. They stopped on top of a small hill to get their first view of the Rockies in the distant. After hearing that, I figured I better savor this moment as well, since it will probably be my last view of them on this trip.
After what seemed like an endless stretch into nothing, I arrived - dead tired - at a small place called Haswell where I tried to decide if I should stay. A westbounder I met earlier today had told me how you can see towns in the midwest because of the tall silos and that they appear so much closer than they are, which I really got to experience coming into Haswell. The place was just a silo, a small ungroomed park and an antiques store. I sat down outside the store and got myself a bottle of coke from a vending machine and ate a big portion of granola. I didn't want to stay in this town but I was starting to get tired and thought it might be in the best interest of the trip. The long break was spent trying to decide what to do in either case the next couple of days, and after arriving at the conclusion that pressing on slow and steady, high on caffeine would put me in a better spot, so I headed into the 35 km stretch towards Eads.
The looming black clouds behind me stirred up the winds even more and as I headed into a 25 km straight stretch, I had to fight one b**ch of a crosswind that nudged me back and forth like a ragdoll, all the way to Eads. After a total of 8 hours of riding, I arrived in Eads where I checked in at a motel, got a nice shower and got to bed early.