Dont Look Up!
Day 17: The toughest part of climbing hills is purely psychological, not knowing where the top of the hill is and assuming around every blind corner there’s another hill to tackle.
I thought missouri and kansas hills were tough; I actually had it pretty good. The mountains of Colorado the elevation and hills alter your psychological state taking you from strong to weak then strong Again the mountains will make and break you.
There is gears on my bike I have never used since ive owned my bike and im paying to much attention to my elevation as if i were counting the miles just to know how far in the climb ive made it i claim it to be absurd.
I climbed the uncompahgre mountains slowly but I climbed the mountain. I had to walk in some areas as well, the difficulty of the climb plus elevations is something my legs are not used to a massive one long stretch of incline.
Im hearing cars and trucks engines spatter and sputter struggling to make it up these hills now imagine what the human body is doing.
After making it to the top I had 25 miles of down Hill. Another challenge; fun but scary. I was on edge and high alert going down hill in sandy gravel holding my brakes till they turned red.
I searched for a place to rest for the night a rv park that welcomes tent campers not much variety to hang my hammick from. Every body in this small town naturita is extremely friendly maybe a bit to friendly for me.
a guy offered me a place to stay in his rv i smelled alcohol echoing from His breath every word he spoke he brought me inside and i noticed alcohol bottles every where i kindly refused his offer not knowing what would happen during the night as im sleeping.
I spoke to another guy who was impressed with ths distance im aiming for and the the most miles hes ever biked was 444 miles. These numbers sit well with me giving me comfort once i see them or hear them.
There is this older man Named eric he is a treasure hunter. He boondocks in a white military tent with wood stove protruding out of the tent he has a giant rock with gold flakes holding his tent door open to get a breeze. Eric is the most interesting guy I conversated with in this town.
he has expensive scuba diving and gold mining equipment and all sorts of innteresting gadgets just lying around outside; hes 65 and dreams to reopen a old gold mine that cost approximately one million dollars he plans to extract thebgold from the rocks on the outside of the mine and reinvest it into the mine.
The population in naturita colorado town is 4 to 500 they are very friendly people The locals tell me i have 1 more hill to go; thats what every town is telling me getting my hopes up.
the scenery is very beautiful coming from the locals and the spring water is pure unlike the colorado water which animals deficate in once you drink the water youll be introduced with a stomach illness and the effects are excessive diahreea and vomiting which expunges all of your nutrients out till your demise.
To day i tried as hard i could to make it to utah, 93 miles is nothing when your in the flat terrain but climbing and being repelled by head winds will take all your zest away.
George which has been serving oulaws for over 40 years owns a Gas station on the outskirts of colorado hes from New York and goes by the name pie he thought what i was doing was crazy but had to let it be known its best to LIVE out your Dreams while your young and still can.
If zig zagging up a hill was possible a few hills ago i would have done it. I now have the roads to my self for miles. This is much faster and easier than Fighting it head so im taking full advadtage of my zig zag.
To truly drink water and appreciate it one must take a swig and swish it around in the mouth appreciating its moisture it gives and the wetness while slowly micro swallowing the liquid as if it were your last.
After 4 miles of zig zagging up the mountain side i knew i could tackle any mountain with this stratgey. its so much easier taking all the resistance off your legs and your bike.
The 5th mile nature said that its to easy for me im going to make it harder; the roads narrowed and the end of pavement. gravel was introduced. Zig zagging on the mountain side on gravel and nothing but air and trees off to the side its pretty sketchy but i managed to pull it off.
Nature said okay you’re trying to make my job hard allow me to make it even harder for you. I was introduced to stones big as the average sized shoe theres no way i can pedal up this mountain let alone zigzag.
Im sure The mountains laughed as im pushing my bike 2 miles up hill barey getting foot traction on these stones as my wheels sink into the rocks.
I made it to another road after 2 miles the next road was gravel which was ridable. i worked my way up the hill; now its time for down.
I followed X2 road for as long as I could on red dirt and sandy rocky terrain. the sign may have been flipped by the wind; not knowing i was rerouted untill im half way into the trail im going down hill holding my brakes my hands are getting numb the rear wheel is sliding and not getting tracton from the sand my disk brakes are definitely turning red from the amout of friction im putting on this bike.
X2 trail was designed for extreme off road trucks or mountain biking. if a trucks brakes failed they will be soaring over the edge.
Rocks and stones were every where if you take your hands off the brake youll immediatly reach 50 mph.
My adrenaline was maxed out once I reached the bottom and the bike and I toppled over into the street and to make things worse once reaching the bottom i had a flat and had to change it in 104 degrees.
I finally Made it to utah.
My body couldnt take any more, i was pedalling off raw willpower to make it to the next town
The locals from naturita said id have one more Hill after the first one which is not as bad and there will be pure mountain spring water at the top.
Im pedaling and pushing as hard as i could zig zagging across two lanes my head down not looking up. My Mouth is dry and only a few more drops of water till im finished my eyes are dry from the harsh winds which repelled all my efforts to get to the top.
Half way through the mountain i seen numbers on the road 10 feet apart in distance 4 4 4.
I stopped and looked at the time it read 4:44 according to numerology this is a sign from the universe telling me all is well.
A car carefully passed me waiving and hooting there horn with warm smiles rooting me to keep going.
im in sheer pain and agony from these tortuous steep mountains, another 1/3 mile i seen a turn in spot i needed to rest my legs as i began to sit on a rock i heard flowing water i looked to my left; natural mountain water pouring in abundance.
I smiled intensely this must be the spot they were talking about. Even though this was fresh i used my water purfying bottle to remove any contaiments that may be lurking in the water and filled two other bottles to ensure id have plenty to make it to the next town.
I took off my shirt soaked it in the cold mountain Water and put it back on this lowerd my body temperature. there were large stones a few feet from the water i sat on the middle rock and rested for a few minutes eating a few granola bars and thinking to myself ive been fighting these mountains for 5 hours without rest this break is needed.
I felt rejuvenated after resting in this spot and drinking the water but i knew I had to keep moving up this hill before it gets dark.
After finally making it to the top there was not much of a down hill to enjoy i worked 5 more miles beaten and battered; the 100 miles i had planned to day will have to be saved for tomorrow.
After a few miles i found a log cabin lodge that had only 1 room available; i accepted it greeted by a mountain shaman and a friendly guy named steve they told me i couldn’t have found a better place to have slept the next town Moab UTAH everything is exorbitantly expensive.
Day 19: what a beautiful way to wake up in mt peal lodge, a beautiful view of the mountains and nothing but quiet peace.
after experencing a night where i had to remain on edge the perfect place to ground my energy was at this lodge and animal sanctuary.
In the morning steve and i had a great conversation he was also inspired by the commitment towards my goal im pursuing, he slowly puffed his cigarette with a deep philosopical expression and said hes going to pursue the dreams he has been putting off for a while his passion is scuba diving.
hed like to travel to belieze again and experience diving into some of the clearest water again in his lifetime and begin making online how to instructional videos of his other skills. We exchanged contact info for our future adventure and said our farewells.
Departing the lodge and hitting route 191 I coasted for 20 miles down hill at 27mph covering diatance in no time.
Entering Moab Utah
I took my time though utah to see some of the scenery rather than speeding through it. i dont want to regret not enjoying the views and just remembering the pain.
In moab i came across some really interesting people, along the way I stopped into a bike shop to get new front wheel bearings and have my cassette and chain thourghly cleaned. Poison spider bike shop even recommended one of the purest water sources i can drink directly from, matrimony springs water is the purest water i have ever tasted I felt revitalized.
Once i got moving again at 2:00pm The temperature reached 104 degress and I needed to cover some distance and there was one more Hill i needed to tackle before i can enter the semi flats.
after experencig the mountains of colorado i knew this hill would be a peice of cake.
After my climb, I called it a night in green river utah after 88 miles. I have plans in the morning to make up the distance i lost in the mountains these last few days 663 more miles to california!
Day 20:my gps attempted to route me into vacant desert land, there would be no one for 96 miles miles the terrain is sandy and the roads dont have signs, i decided to use my better judgement and make up my own route
I looked over my maps Not knowing wether or not its permissible, i noticed Interstate 70 was nearby I trekked across shrvivlled up plants and cacti filled land.
I made it to my next obstacle; a spiked steel fence. im not riding on this sand for 96 miles my wheels are not designed for this! I looked for a flaw in the fencing and the strongest part to support my weight to to climb over.
I carefully raised my heavy bike over the spiked fence and lowered it to the ground; now its my turn; trying not to rip my cycling gear i put one foot on the wire near the pole assuming thats where its most stable and mindfully raised my other leg over i was now on the opposite side of the fence close to the highway its time to cross the busy interstate so i can head west.
I managed to ride 111 miles on the interstate without being stopped by any highway troopers. i read somewhere not knowing if it is legitimate; that if no other roads are available bicycles are permitted to use interstates so that i did.
I climbed hills and fought head winds keeping me at a steady speed of 8 mph; every hill i climbed and every breath i took my body craved water, my throat and tounge felt dry.
i tried to conserve as much water as possible only sipping a little at a time and once my mouth got dry i let it get a little dryer before my next sip.
i knew I needed to get more water im running out fast the heat hills and effort combined i need to have more water .
Every mile my mouth got drier, my attention became locked on to bottles on the side of the road filled with yellowish brownish liquid. i have never paid any attention to roadside debri let alone feel so desperate to want to drink form one of those bottles knowing whats in it.
the dezerey heat and knowing water is running low survival becomes real; really fast.
water is something most take for granted “prefering soda beverages, beer, and any other sugary substance that contains little water and nutrional value,” once we experience a shortage or drought water is the only thing the body craves.
I asked the universe to point me to a water supply my bottle only had about 5 more sips and i have 60 more miles to go before the next srrvice station; i can only let my mouth get excessively dry a few more times before i gulp my entire water supply.
A sign appeared,4 miles next rest stop my energy was so low as i pedaled to these 4 miles to the next rest stop.
My intent once i arrive is to ask all the truck drivers if they have any water bottles. Knowing Once i arrrive this place will not have any water in the restrooms.
I finally arrived after struggling up a hill, there was a mexican lady standing next to the outhouse bathrooms she is the very first person i seen and the very first that i asked if she had any extra water bottles in her vehicle i have 66 more miles to go to the next gas station and i only have gesturing her with my hands, this much left.
she said she didnt have any so i went into the restroom to relive my self, after coming out a bottle of water was sitting next to my bike.
I knew who it was and maybe her english wasnt very good and i didnt read her body language well, i waived at her as she pulled off; i knew this would not be enough water for these conditions im in.
I approached another lady, she was. Making jewerly from the inside of her truck indian from apperance two long braids and tribal jewerly and pottery surrounding my every step. Shes selling her craft at the rest stop off. Interstate 70. I complimented her art, I then noticed a cooler right next to her truck beside her rear wheel i asked if she had water she seemed like she didnt want me to know the answer to that question.
i immideatly said ill purchase jewerly and however many water bottles of water you have in that cooler her eyes shimmered, i knew money would do the trick, i can care less about this money as thirsty as i am.
All of the bottles of ice cold water filled my water supply back up. i gulped and gulped as much as i could still with the intent i need to save for the trip.
I ate a quick snack and rested under a tree of shade for 20 minutes a random guy and his girlfriend who was deaf speaking sign handed me a small bottle of gatorade without me asking or approaching them before i got back on the road.
Im now moving along interstate 70, forty minutes later after climbing a brutal hill two guys in a white van stopped at the bottom of the hill pulled off to the shoulder holding bottles of water in there hands waiving it in the air trying to get my attention i stopped as they didnt appear hostile they handed me more water.
I definitely did not decline, water is gold and and greatly appreciated.
Gulping away these two gentlemen spoke to me telling me they are the drivers for a non profit cycling team called bike the us for ms raisng awareness and are passing through utah.
I felt after this encounter that everyone im meeting along this trip is no where near coincidence. We exchanged information and i pedaled off.
After reaching 88 miles it was getting late my muscles were in pain and i could barely pedal anymore, ive been fighting the force of wind and hills all day today and moving only at 8 miles per hour.
i only have 32 more miles to go to make it to salina utah, my gps said it would take 3 hours for arrival thats likely moving at 8mph uphill and headwinds i wont be in before sundown.
time was 7:10 i pulled into a rest stop, which clearlt said no camping I was considering doing just the opposite.
a guy on a motorcycle walked up to me and we talked for a 30 minutes i told him the reason why im doing this trip and vented my frustration as to why i couldnt finish these miles before sunset.
After talking, something suddenly happend my energy came back to me briefly, i changed my mind and said im going to keep going its only 32 more miles and ive pedaled in The dark before; i have to go!
there is no street lights even with my two bike lights on full beam seeing debri on the side of the road and potholes is difficult.
I yelled loudly as i pedaled and requested energy to get me to the next town, i have a mission and this is not how i want it to end!
the universe knew exactly who i was speaking to directly. I yelled again get me to the next town and up the remaing hills, aid and send me your energy mine is offically burned out i need it now!
I felt chills run through my body my eyes suddenly teared from a feeling of love and prescence i was being guided, my bike was being pushed into town 32 miles of only what was supposed to be 7 miles of downhill.
My bike was moving 35 miles per hour and im rarely pedaling its dark, I couldn’t tell if it was uphill or not due to the lack of light.
I finally made it to salina at 9:45 I Checked into a motel for 44 dollars thats tax included and 15 minutes to spare at a subway across the street before closing at 10:00.