Rolling out of camp this morning we get a good view of the mountain range we’re going up and over today.
We’re over 7000 feet of elevation. It’s chilly up here and the altitude has us feeling a little lethargic. Yesterday we did a whopping 18 miles. We feel it in our lungs too, the panting and burn from not quite enough oxygen in the air.
We’ve covered 4 slow miles when we come up on a restaurant that has a fire burning in the fireplace. We decide we need a second breakfast. When we can both have a full breakfast and coffee for less than $10, we’re short on reasons NOT to stop. But afterward, with bellies full of beans, eggs and tortillas, we’re not feeling any less lethargic.
I grew up in a small town at the end of a dirt road on top of a hill. The bus stop for the school bus was about 1/2 mile down the road. My sisters and I used to ride our bikes down to the bus stop, but no one liked to ride the bikes back home, up the hill. So sometimes we’d just walk home and leave the bikes in the field next to the bus stop. Dad would put them in the back of his pick-up truck on his way home from work. Then we’d get the lecture about how we shouldn’t ride the bikes down the hill if we’re not going to ride them back. There was no concern of theft. The biggest risk would have been if Farmer John came to mow the field, the bikes might get run over by the tractor. So I guess it was a matter of principle. Probably something about enjoying all the fun without doing any of the work. Those were the good ‘ol days, to be young and LAZY! To give us a little bit of credit, these were single speed bikes for kids, not exactly made for hills. If anyone had told me then that I would one day be riding my bike to South America, crossing the Continental Divide more times than I can recall, I probably wouldn’t have believed them.
So thanks Mom & Dad, for living up on the hill, and for the lecture. At least I had some practice climbing hills early on. And I promise not to leave my bike in a field at the bottom of a hill.