Sunday, June 1, 2008

Day 35 Gunnison

Yesterday when I reached Montrose US 50 turned east toward the Rockies and the head/crosswind that was my nemesis all day changed into a friend and pushed me the last mile to my motel. I looked forward to seeing this friend for a long push up the mountain in the morning.

I was at breakfast by 7:00 and when I rolled out to start my first climb my expected tailwind was gone. It was a down canyon headwind that greeted me. A headwind while climbing a pass is not my favorite way to start the morning. The sun had just cleared the mountains and the road looked quiet so it wasn't too difficult to recite Hugh and I'd often quoted mantra: "It is what it is" Up I rolled only to realize that the road had a lot of truck traffic after all. "It is what it is"

During the uphill headwind climb, with big trucks passing close by, I started to fantasize that it was all about me and I was a character in a show like Jim Carey was in the movie Truman. These challenges were to make it more interesting for the audience. Before long these rambling thoughts had incorporated part of a short story that I had started and not finished a few years ago.

On day 32's comments both Bill and Tatyana referenced " A woman awoke from an unexpected sleep...". A few years ago Tatyana held an after swimming writing workshop for a group of us. We'd get together at Starbucks and she would use different aids to get us writing. The "A woman awoke..." was the first sentence of a lead paragraph that she gave us as a story starting point. Good times - thanks again Tatyana.

Anyway, It must have been those comments that reminded me of another story started during those writing exercises. Some how I merged my frustration of the days climbing challenges into a Truman/Matrix prequel story. Now all I have to do is find the uncompleted original story about the "all mind" and combine it with the biking and I'll have a completed short story.

Rarely so do I have so many thoughts while riding. Normally while riding it seems like my mind is thought free and I'm in the moment enjoying the exercise and my surroundings. I hardly noticed that 2 hours plus had gone by and I was at the top of the first summit.

It was easy to be more aware of my surroundings upon reaching Cerro summit. Sunshine though still cool, green grassland, aspen and some snow higher up across the valley. Somehow I had not noticed but now the headwind had shifted to a slight tailwind. A quick descent and I was at the Cimarron store and gas station. An ice-cream sandwich and a warm sunny rocker outside this country store was a pleasant rest stop.

The road soon started to follow a cottonwood lined stream up to blue mesa summit. A narrow curvy canyon road with with no shoulder; the trucks could be heard but not seen until they turned the corner. I stopped to rest and refuel with the slim Jim. A few bites and I just could not finish it. It tasted like what I'd imagine a spicy
stick of lard to taste like. Thank goodness I had a Payday.

Soon Blue Mesa resevor was visible, the road leveled, and the now strong tailwind blew me to Gunnison at 24 mph. I arrived at Mark and Cora's around 3. A couple of days rest with family before Hugh arrives will be much appreciated.



mary said...

Hi Peter..
Such a great entry today! To imagine the things you think about out there in the boonies!! So happy that you are at a rest stop..I am sure it is much deserving! Dahh..slim Jims have always tasted like a stick of lard!! Keep riding...I would miss reading the blog each day!
Mary T

Tonya said...

Great writing today..Have a good couple days of rest you deserve it!..Hope Hugh's doing well..Can't wait 'til you guys get back together and hear his story..See ya..Keep on bikin'..xoxo..Tonya

Bill Reeder said...

Pete, Great story.. now for teh technical question of the day... How many flats have you had...?

Enjoy the rest day. and about 5PM look up and wave, I will be waving back... on my way to Austin

Tom and I had a nice breakfast ride Saturday, tried to send you some pictures the Rhodies are in ful bloom, very nice...


Paavo said...

Hey Dad, say hi to Cora, mark, bo heidi and all the rest... miss you and am jealous of your adventure. be safe, have fun...keep smiling.
love ya lots
p t and F

Jesse and Clark said...

Pete your writing skills are incredible. Clark reads to me while we're getting ready for work every morning and your words stick with me all day. I am out there with you! Seeing the world through your eyes has made my life so much better and hearing your words each day now makes it feel like we're not so far apart after all. Only 2250 miles until we see you!!!

Jesse and I can't wait to read your completed short story. I wonder if having more time to your own thoughts brings out the creativity where as in the normal walk of life, we are bombarded with so much stimulation that we don't make time for our creative side?

Those writing sessions were great weren't they. You are a wonderful writer and have a wonderful mind (when you are not wrong thinking about most things). I miss our discussions greatly.

Jesse and I have decided that after this rest period you need to pick up the daily average a bit. You are cutting it pretty close to when you need to leave to go home. I am also worrying that that shirt we bought in Paris will finally be yours. After awhile, those sandwiches will get old and you will eat less and lose a bunch of weight. Did you know that the number one most consumed fish in the world is Herring. I wouldn't have guessed and I am thinking you might have something to do with this fact.

Anyway, We love starting our day with you, worrying about you all day and then getting up and doing it all over again the next day. We can't wait to see you so peddle fast. Love ya...

Anonymous said...

The "All Mind" -- the All Mind is on an information-gathering mission on these things humans call "bikes" across somethign they call a "country." Thanks for remembering those fun writing classe. I'm glad you're having some fun riding in the sun and get a couple days of siests. xo Tatyana