Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tour Divide Day 12.

226km. Bondurant(ish) to Atlantic City.
Total time: 13 hours.

Sleeping underneath the buzz and the light of a flickering neon Miller Lite sign was strangely comforting. I woke up to the sound of cars going by. The thermometer beside the entrance door confirmed my suspicion that it was, in fact, below zero.

I tried to coach myself that I was lucky not to be wet, lucky to be with people. Strong-Tori would have laughed at the situation, but I don't have the Strong-Tori back. Yet. Getting up was not easy. Big day ahead. Tired body. Tired mind.

Even as this adventure has become more bearable, I still find myself thinking about stopping. These thoughts have evolved from thoughts of giving up to thoughts of quitting. I consider this a massive improvement. In my opinion, there is a chasm between the compulsion to give up and the desire to quit.

Giving up has an underlying element of hopelessness; being pushed away by the overwhelming belief that it is impossible to go on. Probably one of the saddest feelings one can be overcome with.

Quitting, on the other hand, is about being pulled by the desire to be in another situation. I am stubborn enough to handle a desire to quit. I think of it this way:
1. I am not a quitter
2. If I did quit, I know that it would eat away at me to the point at which I would be compelled to try again.
3. One lifetime is not enough for me to do this again.

Conquering the desire to quit requires some mind games. Knowing that I am not even half way through this journey is daunting; thinking about what is ahead is too much for my brain to handle. So, I break it down into smaller pieces. Day by day is too large sometimes. Mostly, I look ahead town to town, meal to meal. When that is too much, I just look ahead to what my eye can see. And, when that is too much, I look three inches in front of my tire and watch the ground blur and listen to myself pant.

Today was quite nice, in the end. Sunshine and a tailwind. And a lot of progress! It almost felt like cheating, it was so nice. it was good to help me recharge before we head into the next section of big challenges.

I'm still with John, Dan and Luke. Though we may not ride together during the day, it is nice to have familiar faces when I set out in the morning, when I have lunch, when I have dinner. I don't even know their last names. It doesn't matter, I guess. And sometimes at lunch or at the end of the day, someone is missing for a while but then they eventually show up. We have no way to contact each other, so it always crosses my mind that it might be our last contact.

Tonight I'm staying in Atlantic City, a little mining town in the middle of...not much. There's a saloon and some old houses. Met a guy named Franck. He is doing the trip northbound and it seems as though he is making good time.

We met a local lady named Bev at dinner and she invited us to stay in her trailer tonight. Done! It will be good to get a proper rest, as it is another 140 MILES to the next services. Hopefully I can clear that tomorrow.

The picture is of a mining building in South Pass City, just a few miles from where I'm staying tonight.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the way you think. And write! Another TD day well done! -Cathy

June 22, 2011 at 1:06:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous Fred E, said...

There is the beauty of doing it. And then there is the beauty of having done it. And, you ARE it!

June 22, 2011 at 1:59:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Franderen said...

Push through Tori! its all in your head! (hehe)
All the hugs you need from DK

June 22, 2011 at 4:50:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the last word in lonesome is me" (eddy arnold)...... this too, will pass.......... live in the moment - no regrets! bstcttyslyaba

June 22, 2011 at 6:54:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the great work. There are a number of us cheering your every pedal stroke. Oddly I am sure a number of us are jealous of your current suffering.

Hang in there, one pedal stroke at a time.

(Bici and Midweek guy)

June 22, 2011 at 8:25:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Kate Aardal said...

A couple of big days Tori! Great work! Before you know it, it'll be all done, and you'll be missing sleeping "in the dirt" again! And we'll be missing your blog, jealousy is right! Us "crazy" people are suffering in the office, trying to live our dreams through blogs like yours, that's crazy....one lifetime might not be enough to this again, but one lifetime is neither long enough to keep pondering about our dreams and what to do with them...love that you have the courage to just jump on it! Nice work... keep on moving!

June 22, 2011 at 9:50:00 AM MDT  
Blogger kmaher said...

Guess it's easy to say hang in there & push through when we're not the ones waking up under a Miller Lite sign outside a closed gas station in sub zero temps. But by simply doing this tour you've already won.

Whether you make the half-way point or go all the way, you've accomplished what so very few people have even started. All while not in the best of health too... remarkable.

Glad you've found a few riders to share the road with for a while - must be helpful to encourage each other to move ahead. It sounds as though you've developed some great techniques to do that for yourself when necessary.

Well, all that said -- hang in there and push through!!! We're all rooting for you and hoping you dig deep and discover what you need when you need it along the road.


June 22, 2011 at 1:04:00 PM MDT  

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