Sunday, August 06, 2006

Wednesday May 31 – Day 12

Last night in Cuba we made a bunch of calls and tried to figure out what to do about Tim’s bike. Turns out the part won’t be to Cuba until tomorrow AM. So, what we figured out is that I’ll ride to Abiquiu on the official route through the mountains, and Tim will take a rest day here, then catch up later. I get three days; he gets two.

So, right now I’m camped by myself up at about 9000 feet. All I did today was one big climb – 2800 feet over 20 miles. It’s really gorgeous up here – all big timber, with some spots where they cut some of all of the timber a few years back. The cuts make excellent spots to camp, though, so I don’t have too much of a beef. They ended up just as big mountain meadows with wildflowers and such – not as ugly as you think of when you think of clearcuts.

But this is a unique day in a whole bunch of ways. First, it’s my anniversary (or our anniversary, as the case may be). It’s a shame I can’t spend the day with Sarah – all I can do is just say thanks here to her for letting me spend my anniversary in a smelly sleeping bag. Here's to you, baby.

I keep thinking I should be worried about camping up here by myself, but I really actually feel at peace with the whole thing. The main thing that it’s nice to have someone around for is the riding – somebody to help you out if you fall and hurt yourself – not the camping. (It’s nice to have somebody to talk to at night, but that’s different. You don’t get worried when that doesn’t happen, just a little lonely.) Also, the big mountains remind me of home – big trees, like up in the Porkies, and familiar bird sounds, bugs, and so on. Plus, I took textbook bear precautions – camp in one spot, cook in a second, and stash the food and smelly stuff in a third – all in a nice downwind triangle.

Just reflecting here, there’s a chance I might not see Tim again for awhile. The repair he has to do is an awfully tricky one without the cassette tool, and it looked like he may have stripped the nipple on the spoke he was replacing, which would mean more waiting.

One thing is for sure – it’s going to get cold tonight. I stopped early and set up camp so I wouldn’t have to cook or set up in the dark.

Day 12 stats:

20 miles
2800 feet up
5 hours


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