Spotty cellular service And a long 62 mile stretch of cobblestone i’m forced to keep moving unless i want swarms of biting flies landing on me as if I were a corpse.
No shade, the land is beyond beautiful but hard to place attention on the scenery when your skin is being cooked by the sun.
4 hours on the road and no break.
the only shade i could find was behind a family dollars on the ground against the wall.
Every minute that passed, higher the sun rose in the sky drawing the shade line back from the building; I’m now hugging the building with the only shade i could find to stay cool.
Another bike traveler appeared and approached me she has been on the road for 30 days traveling across country. She motivated me to get off my butt and keep moving.
At a distance the mountains look so close a distant shadow, yet so very far away.
Will i finally have a tree to hang my hammock from
Barely moving along highway US 50, headwinds of 10mph at the very least preventing me from gaining any speed. Im Struggling again with the pain in my right leg i keep moving reminding my self i only have 1000 miles to go. Than i can finally rest.
I glance over to my right and notice mounds in the dry soil, tiny ground squirells poke their heads out after every mound i pass. how can they hear me, im on a bike. I knew i was getting closer to wild territory
I finally Made it to the beginning of the mountains, i dont know where all my energy went i felt depleted.
I had thoughts of giving up, then i entered the rockys where all the scenery was breath taking. i took my time through the mountains shooting photos of everything i seen it appeared more beautiful every time i reglanced at it again.
Climbing the hills felt almost the same on decent, I was barely moving. I thought something may be wrong with my bike is the brakes rubbing, i hand spun the front and rear wheel it moved fine, maybe my air pressure is low, i checked it at 90psi. I came to a quick conclusion maybe its me. as I pedal I felt what those who are out of shape experience everyday.
60 miles of mountain climbing my energy was officaly zapped; its still daylight outside and i decided to hammock camp in the mountains and get an early go in the morning.
I need to face the fear and set aside all the comfort ive had of motels for the past few weeks.
So i hung my Mosquito net army green hammock from two trees and put my rain and wind fly over a paracord ridge line the best i could make.
Right over where a load of dried up bear scat was and im taking its territory
Fear set in as it got darker i imagined a black bear yellowish white fangs with saliva dripping from its fangs, its furry coat rubbing under my backside crawling underneath my hammock seeking his next meal.
Will i wake up to a bear in the morning or perhaps racoons rumbling through my belonging.will i be coherent in the morning will i step on a rattlesnake all these thoughts raced through my mind
I finally went to sleep……
During the night i had vivid dreams i couldnt make if it was real or just a dream.
of the bear coming up and shoving his nose to my hammock so close i felt his nose on my arm. I remember vividly, loudly yelling go away bear ! As i fell back into a deep sleep.
5:00 am waking up on your birthday to the rocky mountains scenery is a beautiful bone chilling experience; shivering from the early morning temperature drop in the mountains 89 to 42 degrees; something I didn’t prepare for.
I had to start a fire immediately to regain my body heat, so i gathered dried sticks for the tender and bigger logs to keep it fueled.
Fortunately, where I set up camp there was dried wood, grass and brush scattered about.
The mountains will test the willpower of any soul, there is an illusion in the mountains where youd think youre riding on flat terrain, every hill that appears downhill is actually an increase in elevation uphill and if you look behind the truth will make itself known.
The strength you thought youll need going into the mountains is not the strength the mountains will test.
your willpower, endurance and inner strength is challenged as you climb higher in elevation.
at 8000 elevation i noticed i was not nearly as efficent i was at 6000 ft. i thought it was my brakes rubbing or tires flat but the caveat is the lack of oxygen your brain muscles and lungs need to preform at its best.
10000 elevation, my breathing became impaired i felt feint and my legs could barely move.
i stopped at a motorcycle den that had lodging welcoming cyclist i was just about to give up till i seen a sign read dont let low oxygen levels ruin your trip I didnt want to wake up to this same hill so i purchased oxygen tanks. after using the oxygen tanks climbing these hills still felt impossible.
If anyone wants to feel what its like to be out of shape an increase in elevation will do the trick.
I pedaled and peadled but was getting no where.
Every few pedals my legs began to burn the lactic acid build up was present.
I hopped off my bike and rested for a few minutes the resting even felt exhausting.
I had to keep moving, i took a few more puffs from the oxygen tank and made it to 10300 elevation i tried to keep pedaling but i couldn’t make it more than 50 feet in front without my body telling me no more.
I tried walking, i felt faint.
I looked down at my gps, 10,500 elevation; were almost there. i lost my emotional grip and tears flooded my eyes; I only want to make it up the hill im not a quitter and i will not give up! i yelled.
As eager i was to get to the mountains i was just as eager to get to the flats.
I began to walk my bike up the remainder elevation to 11300 elevation almost breathless breathing twice as hard to feed my muscles, hunched over my handle bars I felt defeated and accomplished that I didn’t give up and purchase lodging when i had the chance.
When i made it to the top i was rewarded with 10 miles of downhill. once i entered the backside of the mountains it felt like a diffrent world streams of water, birds flying and so much green grass
Oxygen is essential to all living things each breath we take that goes unnoticed is our primary lifeforce. Be aware of each breath and appreciate the life that were breathing in each second.
Day 16: just when i thought it was over; more hills!
Its time to redeem myself to the mountains, they have given me another chance to develop my inner strengh at an elevation my body can now handle.
I set short term goals as I climbed the steep hills knowing what to expexct; i needed to breathe at a ryhtem to match my legs cadence.
if my breathing is out of sync with my pedaling the burn begins, its critcal that i take in plenty oxygen and find the rythem as i work my way up the mountain
Every four reflection post buried in the ground 50 feet apart i would stop for thirty seconds to allow my legs to rest, than ill keep this up till i make it to the top.
After all the climbing I finally made it to the top and every up has its downs, 6 miles of down hill at 40 mph was a reward that allowed me to make it to the bottom 5600 elevation into Montrose, Colorado before sunset.
Only 96 more miles to UTAH.