Thirty-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.
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.
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!