Some of us felt our strongest, others explored the depths of their pain caves, and still others of us hit the edge of our sanity levels today. We climbed to 9,000+ ft, and pedaled up a 15 mile hill, against a headwind then descended 25 miles also against a headwind to our destination in Huntsville. With a total of 82 miles in the saddle, we all agreed today was our hardest to date. But the Wasatch Cache Mountains presented us with views every bit as beautiful as the day was difficult.
Hitting false summit after false summit gave me plenty of time to reflect on the milestones of this trip.
- One of us did our first century ride (100 miles in a day)
- We lost an iPod to a port-a-potty (then retrieved and tried to revive it)
- We found two weeks time to spend out of the office
- We met amazing people doing inspiring things to protect our wilderness
- 2 of us (Mike and Jerry) turned 60 (today!)
- 2 of us got engaged (Bree and Brent)
- We traveled to 3 states and covered more than 1,000 miles by bicycle
- We met amazing friends who will be with us for life
As we sat down to our last dinner together Harry, Hybrid.Pedal’s bike mechanic and over all cycling industry pro, gave us all goofy reminders of the trip AND we celebrated Jerry and Mike’s 60th Birthdays over 3 cakes (Chocolate, Carrot & German Chocolate). And we were joined by Barry from SUWA, and John and Adam from the Conservation Alliance. A special night indeed.
It is with mixed emotions that I’ll greet tomorrow, our last day of the ride. Thinking of not snuggling into a palace of a Kelty tent, on a cushy Therm-a-Rest with an inflatable pillow then getting up at the crack of dawn to sort out our identical jumbo Big Agnes duffle bags, kitting up in a hurry then rushing off to hit the road before the heat hits is odd. The end of this epic adventure, not seeing and riding with each other day after day, not having the support structure and family we have become, or continuously stumbling upon sights, gems & people we never anticipated leaves me a little at a loss. BUT the idea of fresh sheets, no shamy butter, clean clothes and a chance to get reaquainted with my running shoes is also very welcome.
So for now, I'll look to tomorrow with a big ol' grin, waiting to see what treasures the day holds for our group.