…from where we left off…
Wednesday morning i was the kid-taker-to-towner.
i was filling my cup of water up at Kathy’s by 8:03am.
i asked Neil if he were planning on flying again soon…that i was interested in knowing what the Sheridan Creek Loop Road looked like…how much of it was still under oodles of snow????
he screen-touched the airport weather app. asked “can you go now? can you drive?” and we were up in the sky 15 minutes later.
i received absolutely accurate data on the condition of Union Pass – and i won’t be riding it for mother’s day.
and then we flew up the Dunoir looking for bears. we saw elk and pronghorn and bazillion waterfowl.
i breathed deeply and gratefully for the moments to do nothing but be. there was absolutely nothing i could do in that circumstance but sit back and relax. and know loudly and clearly that these are the days…that we are doing it right.
once we returned to town i headed to Shank’s to transition to a bike ride. the weather was a perfect spring happy-day (rare-but wonderful). i took some time to rearrange some things on the bike, cut off some velcro, tinker…then i rode out to the telescope (which i often refer to as the binoculars – i can never remember what is actually out there). it was so. much. fun. it felt effortless and i was giddy. climbing up the hills was smooth and steady and i was having a great time. my tent arrived that afternoon. i set it up with the new sleeping pad and sleeping bag. i will be warm and dry. yee haw! the mosquitoes will not penetrate my barriers. whoo hoo! i am becoming lightweight.
i ate some Combos with cheddar cheese at the turn-around cause i’m trying to discover what gas-station food i am willing to settle for. the Combos took me right back to the 4th grade and Mrs. Eberz’ school store. i don’t think Combos are going to make the cut. although i would choose them over those disgusting Andy Capp Hot Fries. Gross-a-roo! Any suggestions are welcomed!
Thursday the wee peeps were scheduled for all day. i stayed home in the morning and repacked the bike. drove in to town and departed bout 9:30am. i headed up and over Togwotee Pass. my first plan was over ambitious for such a late start. so i called an audible and altered it. i rode only to Turpin Meadows then turned back around. It seemed formidable and we had Johan coming for dinner…i did not want to miss that!
about 6 miles from the summit on the way back to Dubois…who arrives?…doot-doot-da-doot!!!! Shank! with nothing more than a hello, what up?, how’s it going?
the first time i rode my bike over Togwoteee Pass was in June 2013. I met a couple of TDR riders that day. and jorge met me on the top of the pass. with a jar of peanut butter. some crackers. a bottle of water or two and a block of cheese. we chatted with one of the racers together. he asked probing nonsense, and i feigned amusement. the kid said he thought i oughtta do it someday day ( he was 19…or maybe 21, i think). i told him i had two infants at home. he said again “so what? you definitely oughtta do it then”.
i made it back to town in time for burgers with Johan at the Moose Willow. 90 miles i think. on pavement. in cool weather. and it took a while. but i was smiling the entire time!
today i rode to Shank’s in the rain. and stopped to unload the things i thought were getting soaked (they were actually fine – #revelatedesign). i got warm and stayed for a hang and a Jep. and then geared back up for the ride home. DW took the bags that i took off the bike. i was two bags lighter for the return trip home.
and it still took me a long time. and it poured, and cleared, and poured, and cleared. and the mud was soft and slow but not terribly sloppy so it was easy to keep myself in a good mood and just keep spinnin’.
32 mile recovery day. plus inversion time and stretching…not to mention the mental acuity training that Jeopardy! provides.
i have never been fast at anything in my life (except those multiplication tests we took in elementary school). i will not be crushing this adventure with my speed. but i feel pretty confident in my ability to just keep cheerfully plugging along.
today was the same awful spring weather we had a week ago, but the game has changed. Hardscrabble is bouncing up and down and shifting from side to side.
ready…not ready…bring it…not yet….got this…oh shit…goes on-and-on-and-on