So it turns out that Vermont isn't exactly on the way to Colorado. Still, the extra few hours of driving were definitely worth it. Vermont was lovely. We spent two days exploring the trails around Stowe and eating Ben & Jerry's. Montana even got a chance to wear his banana suit and get rowdy at the Single Speed USA ride. I was a little sad that I sold my single speed, but I don't really think I'm up for a 25-mile ride on steep, rooty Vermont trails with beer at the aid stations instead of water.
The next morning we headed out to Burlington, up to the Canadian border, down through the Adirondacks, and across the Midwest. I'd never been further north than Lake Erie, so I hardly knew those mountains existed. New England was lovely and cool, with rivers and mountains on par with New Zealand scenery.
But in a few hours the mountains were over, and the Midwest reared its ugly, flat head. We drove through the night to Ohio and stopped for a couple hours at another friend's house. When we hit the road again we managed to get outside of St. Louis before crawling back into our sleeping bags for the night in an empty parking lot.
In the morning we found out that the air conditioning in the truck wasn't doing too well. That is, it wasn't working at all. We were in for 12 hours of flat, dusty hell. Halfway through blazing Kansas we had to stop and soak ourselves with an emergency water pump at a rest stop.
Finally a storm rolled over the plains as we crossed the Colorado border. The air cooled off and the wind funneled into the cab, sluffing off the Kansas dust and drying the sweat beading on our foreheads. We turned a corner as the front ranges spike up in front of the setting sun.
Sam's haven of pro mountain biking was only half an hour away in Boulder. Thank God. I really needed a shower.