So I contemplated going to Yellowstone before returning home since I was 3 days away but, in the end, I decided against it. It would add another 10 days on the road that I do not think I can handle (3 to get there, 3 at the park and 3 to get back to where I was at). Today I road 245 miles and I am dead tired.
Yellowstone will surely go on my piles of regrets, but I may have to approach it another way (fly there and rent a car).
I am staying tonight at Burlington, CO, which is 13 miles from Kansas. I am doing mostly highways now (I-70). Had pretty strong cross winds, event the semis where swerving from the wind – fun!
P.S. How fast can the wind blow? Fast enough to knock the bike on its side and slide it a couple of feet on the ground.
Well, I visited Arches today and it was beautiful, but honestly, that whole area of Utah, inside and outside the park looks the same.
Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that camping is not for me. I gave it a try but I do not like the discomfort. I cannot put up another day of camping. The long bike rides do not help my tired body either. I have a constant pain on my left shoulder blade that starts after the first hour of riding and accompanies me for the rest of the day.
So, tonight I am spending the night at a Days Inn in Gunnison, CO – that’s right I started my trip back to home base.
There is one one more decision to make. I will let you know tomorrow.
P.S. I rode for 9 hours today and covered 300 miles.
What am I doing? Why am I doing it?
I realize that every day I go west, is a day further from home – a day further from the mousey. Could it be that I am homesick when I don’t really have a home. I am not talking about the box we live in, I’m talking a home. A place you belong and beloved. So in a way, yes I am probably homesick, but this trip has nothing to do with it.
Last night the temperature dropped to 42 degrees and I had a rough night – I could not stay warm enough to catch a good nap. This morning I made it to Black Canyon and it was beautiful. I was there before 7AM and I had the park all to myself. I don’t know how high in altitude the park is, but I got winded pretty easily just walking 50 yards.
Made it it to Moab by 1 PM. I rode a total of 217 miles but it felt like more (lack of sleep). The ride here was very desolate but very scenic. I rode though canyon valleys and up mountains that had very twisty roads. I probably have already covered 2,000 miles but I have lost track and it’s really not that important.
Moab is a zoo with traffic and tourist. Camping cost me $44 – ouch! Arches tomorrow.
If I had to describe Colorado, so far, I would describe it as”ruggedly beautiful”.
I can see that how we live out our lives is mostly up to us. Some of us like the city – the rush and the chaos. Some of us like the country – the serenity and harmony. There’s no right or wrong, there just is.
There is no sense in regretting, there just is.
There is no sense in worrying, there just is.
There is no sense in dreaming, there just is.
Is is the present, the now.
Is is what it is.
Is is who you are.
Is is where you are at.
Is is where you are meant to be.
Today, some of the views made the last six days worth it. I woke up cold in the desert and immediately warmed up the minute the sun came out. That did not last long though. My ride took me through valleys and up a mountain that still had snow residue and I had to pull over to add layers to thicken torso. There were signs all a over to watch out for falling rocks and avalanches, and the scenery justified it. Once on the other side of the mountains, I stopped for lunch at Gunnison, Colorado, a nice, quaint, little hip town full of young people. I did no see anyone over 40, except me of course.
I stayed at place called Pleasant Valley Camping and while not the best placed I have stayed so far, my tent is 4 feet from the Cimarron River/ Creek and I hope the sound of running water will ease my sleep.
I cannot upload pictures because there is no cell service and wi-if is weak, but trust me, it’s very pleasant. I asked the guy running the show about bears, and he said that they get some once in a while, but they are more afraid of us then we should be of them. He also said that once in a while, they get a mountain lions wondering through but so far they have nor been a problem. I am sleeping with “Walter” tonight – you didn’t think I was going to roll out of here this naked did you?
Tomorrow I will visit Black Canyon and head to Arches National Park. We will see what it is like with Memorial Day traffic, I might just hang back in Colorado one more night.
OMG, it’s going to be 42 degrees tomorrow morning, and right now at 4:30 it’s 78. I guess I will break out the thermos tonight, but for how long? The temperature seems to jump wildly out here.
If this is about discovery, than here are a few so far:
- I’ve discovered that I am brave enough to go on this trip and to go camping by myself.
- I’ve discovered that camping sucks: heat, cold, gnats, ticks, ants, noisy kids, etc.
- I’ve discovered that I can be patient but that I need to practice a lot more (not really a discovery – I already knew that)
- I’ve discovered that there are a lot of farms in America and that those circular patterns you see from a plane, looks like a sea of green or gold from the road.
- I’ve discovered that sleeping in the heat sucks and that Willis Carrier should be made a saint.
- I’ve discovered that my hand writing really sucks even when I try to write neat.
- I’ve discovered that it cost more than I thought.
- I’ve discovered that riding a motorcycle for 5 to 6 hours a day is doable for me but painful.
- I’ve discovered that I have no clue what I am going to do about my life situation but I I’ve also not thought about it. That’s what riding a motorcycle will do.
- I’ve discovered that correcting errors on an iPad with a broken screen can be a challenge (the cursor control can be crazy).
- I’ve discovered that a gnat in your tent is annoying.
- I’ve discovered that keeping your feet clean in a dust bowl is impossible.
- I’ve discovered that shit happens and there’s not much you can do when you are on the road.
- I’ve discovered that the small clicking noise coming from the trees in my camp go silent when you let out a loud sneeze.
- I’ve discovered that SunTrust can’t be trusted.
- I’ve discovered that I still dream of ALC or something related to work.
- I’ve discovered that I need to remember to floss when I’m on the road.
- I’ve discovered that finding a place to eat when you take the back roads can be a challenge.
- I’ve discovered that fog can be a challenge, just like the rain.
- I’ve discovered that after seeing so many cute cows roaming free in the fields and then seeing them and smelling them corralled waiting for their end, makes me wonder why I have not gone meatless.
- I’ve discovered that older people strike up a conversation and younger people typically do not.
- I’ve discovered that I need to take more pictures.
- I’ve discovered how unnerving strong cross winds can be when your are on a motorcycle.
- I’ve discovered that 80 mph is normal for country roads.
- And I’ve discovered that through all the pain and annoyance, you can start to enjoy the journey and sense of discovery.