The Purgatoire River starts west of Trinidad and drains into the Arkansas River near Las Animas. This is some of the more desolate and empty country in Colorado.
That's Hickok, Kansas on the horizon. Hickok is on the route of the old Santa Fe Trail.
I always ride through Johnson City, even though the highway has for years gone around.
At the Colorado state line the highway shifts from being north of the tracks to running south of the tracks. This is the view looking into Colorado.
It may be Mountain Time, but we're still not within view of any mountains.
Springfield, Colorado for the night.
The town was full of sculptures such as these.
I had the (hot) tamales at the Main Street Cafe.
Pritchett, Colorado was once an important rail stop. Few people live here now.
Kim, Colorado has an impressive array of school buildings; from grade school through high school. It's not likely that they need anything close to this much today.
Just outside Kim, Colorado 109 heads north from US-160.
This is high mesa country.
The Purgatoire River
Eventually, Highway 109 reaches La Junta, Colorado. I stopped for breakfast.
Two eggs, over easy; don't forget the Tabasco.
La Junta is still a significant railway center.
Returning on U.S. Highway 50; this is Syracuse, Kansas.
That's Highway 50 running along at the edge of the Arkansas river valley. This is the route of the Santa Fe Trail. The old trail is still visible if you know what to look for.
Wilroads, Kansas and empty grain cars waiting for the harvest.
So far as I could tell, there really is no town of Wilroads (at least, not now).
Mullinville, Kansas for dinner.
I dodged rain most of the way back from Mullinville, and didn't hit anything too bad. However, I did spot one tornado near Garden Plain. It was south of the road, moving north and east, and I was riding east. It didn't seem that there was much chance that our paths would connect, but that cloud was incredible...