Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 10 - The road less traveled

Today was another great day!  I am having the time of my life! The theme of the day was diversity.  The scenery and weather were completely different at the beginning of the ride to the end of the ride. Plus today we took the road less traveled (see poem by Robert Frost).  We were on back roads all day and with the exception of about 10 miles of construction, the roads were virtually car free and peaceful.  I absolutely loved the route and if I lived here I would ride these roads all the time.  One great thing I realized while riding today is that I have been able to stay completely in the moment enjoying each new sight or sound and even smells as I ride.  I have not gotten caught up about worrying about the next day.  I have just been able to enjoy each mile.

Our ride started out cloudy and cold.  It was only 60, but it felt much cooler.  The sky was grey - this is the first day it was not one shade of blue or another.  I was cold and had on multiple layers that took a long time to shed.  I did not have much power this morning, but my legs felt fine.  I think my problem was that we had a real slight constant incline to start, and then we hit the 10 miles of construction.  I struggled to keep my average speed at 10 mph which is WAY slower than I needed to be.  I was hoping to make it to lunch before having to sag, but at this rate I knew I would end up in the van much earlier. Arriving at the first sag stop, I was 30 min behind the others.  I talked to Dave and we decided I would go ahead and ride to the next stop and sag to lunch.  And then, I took off and turned the corner and saw a real bad climb!  It probably wasn't a mile, but I just did not have the power to get up it and struggled to get to the top.  After a good downhill, there was another hill, not as steep, but just as long, and I just can't make it to the top, so I hop off and start walking.  The good thing is that this is not bothering me, it just is not my day to climb.  About that time, Dave drives up and sees that I am walking and tells me he will go ahead and find a place to stop so I can just sag to the 2nd stop.  And, I am completely okay with this.  As we drive I notice that the grey clouds are burning off and the hills are lush and green.  This section was completely rollers, which I typically love, but they just were not happening today.  Some just seemed very steep.

Once we get to the 2nd sag, I get on my bike and ride.  This section is mostly downhill and very easy.  My legs seem to loosen up some and I am able to ride with more power.  The terrain has changed from lush to scrub.  The yellowstone river peaked from behind some trees occasionally, but mainly it looked more like Mineral Wells Texas with mountains in the background. Soon, I was coming up on the lunch truck and Wyoming.  I got in at the same time as Jim and Bob, so Jenae took our pics with the Wyoming sign.  Since there wasn't a Montana sign when we crossed into Montana, we also took a picture of it.

I was aprehensive about leaving lunch as the plan was to skip the mountain pass after lunch.  But as it were, I had sagged once already, and I did not want to sag again.  So I hopped on my bike and took off.  This part of Wyoming is desolate.  It was barren and brown.  Pretty in its old west kinda way.  I could see John Wayne riding a horse in this area really easy.  Now, I will want to go back to see where Rooster Cogburn and Cowboys were filmed.  I also want to see where Dances with Wolves was filmed.  Anyway, think western cowboy movie.  As I moved toward the hidden mountain pass, I was really enjoying myself.  I was pedalling much better and felt great, althought I never felt bad at any point in the day.  I was just enjoying the moment.  The pass finally came into sight and it was a gentle 4-6% climb for maybe two miles.  No big deal!  The rest was all downhill!

We had a great dinner tonight.  Vikki, Susan, Jenae and I all ate steak at Hansel and Gretel's in Powell, WY.  After our crappy dinners the last two night, this dinner was welcomed.  I really enjoyed their company as we shared a lot of laughter!

Tomorrow we head to the mama-jamma of the climbs.  I will be sitting out for the big climb as it is 18 mile climb with 8-14% grades.  As I am here for Every Fantastic Moment, I am going to enjoy taking pictures and taking some miles off as a rest day.  Hopefully, I will be able to ride in and get at least 50 miles tomorrow.

So, the internet connection will not us load pictures tonight, so I will hopefully try again tomorrow...

Thanks again for reading and commenting!  I just can't express enough how much it means to me to share my adventure with yall.  This has been the most amazing experience and I am having a blast!  Whoo Hoo!

Stopped for 7ish minutes at a construction site - had two of these today.  Riding on packed dirt roads is not fun, but better than Texas clay pot chip seal!

First day with grey sky

Jim and Bob at the second sag stop

Blue Skies

Entering Wyoming

Wyoming landscape - Hang em High or Lonesome  Dove filmed out here?


Susan said...

Sounds like you are having a blast! So happy you can stay in the moment. What a gift that is.

BrotherChris said...

I remember linkin logs in the lightshade but I accept no responsibility for flinging them up there. Green roofs? I dunno nuttin bout no green roofs.

Pal and I read your Day 8 entry, then started with the first entry and read forward halfway. He loved it. I, on the other hand, hate your guts.

At least that's what I told Mom when she gave me your blog address and told me how much fun you were having, and I realized you were seeing my America before me. Thrilled4U. Love your descriptions of the countryside and the barn pix. BTW, never argue with cops.

Nancy said...

Oh! How I long for that peaceful quiet. I so glad that you are able to appreciate all of God's pictures, not just the grandeous. The more simple the vista causes us to look more closely. Only then will we see. I'm so glad that you are "in the moment" Wishing, worring, thinking about the morrow only causes us to miss what is in front of us today. Keep those legs and wheels turning!

Adjective for today.....inquisitive. What will today bring? Can't wait to see.

Adrienne said...

Its Adrienne from the morning ladies at the Courthouse! I am loving your blog and living through you! I told my husband we are doing this some day! Keep it up and like Karen said, we pray that you see a lot of God along the way!!