Life after the tour.

wp-1466727043445.jpegThirty-four days isn’t much time. But Noah and I changed so much over the past month, that coming back to civilization has been a bit of a shock. We no longer need to scrounge around for water, food, showers, wifi, electrical outlets or bathrooms. Everything we need (and much more) is available to us 24/7. We have pillows again, real mattresses, a kitchen to cook in, fluffy bath towels…it is insane how much stuff I took for granted before this trip.

And what have I been doing with unlimited wifi? Mainly keeping up with the  TransAm race, to be honest. I cheered so hard when Lael Wilcox sealed the win. Seeing a woman win a endurance race like this is unbelievably cool.

It is also weird that suddenly riding my bike is just a part of my day instead of the main activity of each day. Riding at the higher altitude (9,500 ft) means fantastic views and cool descents but my lungs are constantly telling me that they hate me for bringing them here. I haven’t felt this out of shape in a long time, which is rather ironic because technically I am in the best shape of my life.

The condo we are staying in has a really great view of Bear Mountain and so today all seven of us decided to climb the 3,000+ ft to the summit. I have hiked in the Adirondacks before but I have never attempted to scale a mountain like this. It was pretty intense-and then we got to the boulders. Instead of bothering to find the trail, we clambered staight up the rocks.

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Little marmot friend

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Flowers at 12,000 ft

I am deeply afraid of heights and the possibility of falling makes me shudder in fear, so climbing up the mountainside in this manner was terrifying. Every time I felt a rock shift or made the mistake of looking down, I could feel the panic setting in.

“God, help me!”

And He did, one boulder at a time. I made it the end of the rocky section and rejoined my brothers with a spring in my step.

“That is the scariest thing I have ever done in my whole life!” I exclaimed.

“Well then, you need to do more scary things.” One of my brothers responded. He may be on to something. Before I started winter biking I avoided scary situations like the plague. But riding in snowstorms taught me that some “scary” situations are not scary at all. They are just fun mixed with adrenaline. Winter biking started a snowball effect in my life, slowly I gained the courage to do things that I never thought possible. But I still have some fears to overcome, maybe I need to keep climbing up mountains until heights no longer disturb me.

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We found snow! 

And then we made it to the summit and it was beautiful! (I just had to keep reminding myself that I was safe and there was no danger of falling…)  We saw a pika and a ptarmigan and lots of mountain goat droppings, but no actual goats.

I twisted my ankle on the way down, so the rest of the hike was rather painful. It is a mild sprain though, so I should be good to go biking this evening.

Speaking of biking, I have figured out what I am doing after hanging out in Colorado with my brother and the rest of the family. Originally, I was thinking of biking back home and/or doing some organized rides out here, but now there is only one thing that I really want to do.

I ordered the next two maps of the TransAmerican Trail which will take me up to Yellowstone park. I had no other option: I have the gear, the time and the resources to keep riding  the trail…the temptation to continue touring was more than I could resist. In a week or so I will be on the road again and I am very excited indeed!

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43 thoughts on “Life after the tour.

  1. What great news! Best of luck to you. Fair warning, Yellowstone is another planet.
    BTW, a friend of mine likes this quote: Fear is just excitement without breathing. When you feel afraid, remember to breathe!

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  2. Very cool! I’m excited to hear all about the TransAmerican Trail!

    I too was keeping up with the TransAm and cheering sooo hard for Lael. I had Trackleaders up all morning on Wednesday and was watching the live feed of the finish when she rolled in. I’ve been following her and Nick for a couple years now and I love what they do. She’s incredible!

    I’m kind of scared of heights too. But I want to get into rock climbing, so I’m going to have to get over that.

    I have this mantra… Do at least one thing every day that scares you. 🙂 Because pushing your limits is the only way to grow.

    Good luck with your future biking adventure! I can’t wait to read about it.

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    • Lael and Nick are awesome! I am so excited to see what adventures they will come up with next.

      Yeah, rock climbing has always terrified me, scrambling up that mountain today was far beyond my comfort zone, but I felt so triumphant when I had made it. I love your mantra, pushing ourselves past our preconceived limits not only helps us grow it usually ends up being fun as well! Thanks, Helena!

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      • We’ll technically I am only halfway, but since planning and getting the gear together is such a big part of touring it certainly seems like an easy jaunt…although now I will be climbing mountains, something I have never done before!

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    • They are indeed gifts from God! This trip has taught me just how important it is to turn all my worries and cares over to Him, He always works it out for the best. Love you too, Patrice!!

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    • Noah is going back home, I am losing my biking buddy. : (
      I have done a lot of solo cycling so the solo part doesn’t really bother me, but I am gonna miss him! The cool thing about riding such a well known trail is that there are always other cyclists around, I am also getting a spot tracker so that my family will be able to keep tabs on me. It will also allow me to make emergency calls even when I have no cell phone service.

      I have been talking with the solo female tourers we have met up with and they have advised me that other than making sure I sleep in a safe place, there is really nothing to fear about being solo.

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  3. FANTASTIC! I am confident you will be fine — solo traveling as a woman is really freeing and empowering! I had zero problems on my solo road trip to CA and back this fall. Acquaintances and strangers alike were sincerely kind, helpful, and hospitable. So glad to hear you are continuing onto Yellowstone…UGH. Enjoy: So Much.

    Love it, Brianna. 🙂

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  4. Bri! I’m so proud of you for finishing your first leg and committing to doing the TransAm! I’ve been devouring Mike’s posts over on http://coast2coastbikeride.com/ He’s going the same direction as you and is in Kansas right now, so I don’t know if you’ll encounter him, but he’s met a lot of other cool cyclists this summer! Happy cycling!

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    • Capejohn told me about his blog before he started but I must admit I forgot all about it! Now I will remember to keep up with it, thank you Mer! I love that he blogs each day… I wish I was so disciplined.

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