Tuesday was by far the most trying of the trip. Four weeks and one day in I thought for a bit that I had reached my limit. Although the scenery was beautiful I had trouble taking it all in, which in retrospect is a shame. The day began with exhaustion from the day before and a slow leak in my front tire. The leak in the tire my not have been so bad if it were not for the 20mph headwind we were biking in to, the small shoulder for most of the ride, and the RVs and motorcycles who seemed to be enjoying playing a game called how close can we get to the defenseless cyclist without hitting him. To top it off I thought my phone had seen its final day as it would ring and vibrate but the screen would not turn on. I thought my blogging and picture taking was finished, and all I wanted to do was call someone to talk about it, but instead I had to keep cycling in to the headwind, uphill, with less than pleasant company driving beside me.
20 miles in and toward the end of journey along the reservoir we stopped at the village of Sapinero for a break. All three of us seemed to be done for the day so we took a bit of an extended break. During our two hour stay at the only grocery / bar in town we had a bite to eat and the owner was kind enough to let me send out emails to family to let them know that I may not be in contact for a few days because of phone issues. Although the wind was still pretty harsh we made our way forward, climbing out of the valley and down through the Black Canyon.
Once we reached the end of the canyon it was then time to climb Cerro Summit to just above 8,000 feet before our final decent in to Montrose. It is a good thing no one was around me because I let out a few solid screams at the top of my lungs. It was the only option I had other than simply sitting down and quitting, but the tight shoulder and empty fields would not let me do even that.
The final decent was another steep one, but once we arrived in Montrose I finally felt a sense of relief. I will not say it was the worst day of my life, but it was the most uncomfortable I have ever been both mentally and physically for a sustained period of time. Calling family or friends was out the window because my phone was not working and sleep or resting was not an option since we were racing against the clock . . . the sun.
However, the day was not all that bad. Once we got settled in our camp site at an RV park my phone started working again and more importantly I found out that my niece Elizabeth was flying in to town to see her grandparents from her mom’s side. I texted with Elizabeth’s grandma for a bit a she informed me that they could stop by when they got her from the airport. At 11:30pm they pulled up and Elizabeth started screaming. We were both very surprised! She had no idea I was there and I had no idea that she did not know. Although it was only 10 minutes of hugging and catching up it made the day’s ride from hell all worth while.
Until tomorrow . . .