Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tour Divide Day 20.

140km. Country Road 14 to Chama.
Total time: 15.5 hours.

It is 11:06am. I've been on the road for five hours and I've gone less than 30km.


- You can *walk* faster than that, Tori.

I started out this morning thinking that, if I had two good days and I used all of the daylight today and all of the daylight tomorrow, I might catch my three amigos in Cuba.

This morning, I had a 4000ft climb for breakfast. Correction, it had me for breakfast. There is no way I will catch those guys now. I'm back on the bad end of the emotional yo-yo that has defined this journey for me.

I've been trying to find ways to make these last days enjoyable, or at least bearable. As anyone who has ridden with me much knows, I don't like taking breaks. But I'm taking plenty of them now. Sanity breaks; a moment in the shade to take in the surroundings and try, *try*, to enjoy this.

When we were crossing Africa, my friend mike had his bike get lost, he broke four ribs, and then he contracted malaria. He was still smiling. Why can't *I* do that? What am I doing wrong? Why am I finding this so hard?

I've been writing down my thoughts as a gift to myself; a souvenir to remember the experience and to have a lasting appreciation of it on a deep level. Maybe this is a bad idea. Maybe it is causing me to dwell on the hard parts. I want so much to write about how beautiful the landscapes that orange mountain over there (in picture). Why cant I focus on stuff like that. My doubts and insecurities are having a party in this ocean of self pity.

I am my own wet blanket.

I feel as though I am fighting two battles. One with the America's Great Divide and another with my own.

I visualize my ipod, wrapped in the translucent blue plastic bag and tucked in my center back pocket. I want it. I want it. I waaaaaaant it.

- No, Tori. Don't shut this out. Face your thoughts. *Own* them.

One of the tricks that I use when things get hard is to remind myself that things are temporary. Just keep going and things will change.

(Mental jukebox chimes in)
...Pick your head up...
...Things will change...
...Things will go your way...
...If you ho-ooo-ld on for one more day...

Wilson Philips? Really? I didn't know that you were in there. Weird.

I keep plugging along, slowly. I'm thinking about how I will end up in Antelope Wells. Some day. All alone. Still with no plan on how I am going to get out of there. Maybe the border guard will take a picture for me.

As I near the top of the second pass of the day, I hear my name. I look back.


Wow. Amazing. Hope on two wheels. I'm not sure how that happened. He tells me about how he had thoughts of packing it in last night. I feel sad that someone I like is feeling that way. I also feel comforted that I'm not the only one feeling that way.

We descend in to Platoro and get a burger and a root beer float. Luke and Dan roll in soon after. My posse is back together.

23 miles later, we arrive in Horca. Horca is a critical stock up point before we head into about 160km of tough, remote riding before El Rito. The sky is thick with forest fire smoke. It is not yet dusk, but the sun is so pale that it feels like it.

I have a lot of things to get for this next stretch. It is 6:30pm. The main store in Horca closes at 6:00pm.


There is a note on the door explaining that the forest route that I am to take is closed due to fires. Reroute on the highway. The next town will have services, but it is 45kms away. Over two passes.

I peel out and start the evening journey. At least the heat has subsided, but I'm running out of daylight.

I roll into Chama well after dark and find a $38 motel and a cheeseburger. And a beer (two, actually). And I lick my wounds. No *actual* licking involved.

I'm in New Mexico now! I hear people speaking spanish and it makes me feel close to the end. I can *almost* see the light.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network


Anonymous Fred E. said...

Hi, Tori - I think your Platoro photo with John speaks the TD Story. Your written tale does too, but it's hard to remember in the midst of superhuman effort that we (you in this case) are doing something no one else has ever done or will ever do that same way. You tell the truth of what happens out there in ways that only you can. And, we are the Beneficiaries, writ large. You are making life happen, and for that, I and many others thank you.

June 30, 2011 at 6:27:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how my dad Fred has become one of your biggest fans! Hmmm, the Great Divide as a metaphor for one's life. That's compelling. You are bridging it, but you might not realize it yet.

June 30, 2011 at 6:40:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish that all of us could be there for you when you finish. But, we will all be cheering for you from our homes, so don't feel alone, just post on your blog so we can all celebrate!
Even though I have never met you, your writing is so eloquent & makes me feel like I am somehow part of your amazing journey. Thank you for sharing with us!

June 30, 2011 at 9:10:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Linda Green said...

Hey Tori, congrats on making it to Mexico!! Just sitting here with Gerry, Steve and Michele about to start Furious 3 and chatting about you and listening to Johnny Cash. "I've been everywhere man...". Good beat! I recommend calling that one up when you're fading! If I start to feel like I'm suffering during the next 3 days I'm going to call up your blog posts to help me put it into perspective! Your mental toughness is super impressive!! I have no doubt it will get you through the final stretch! I hope that final week or so brings you more highs than lows. Love from all of us!

June 30, 2011 at 10:23:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous JP's Dad said...

Gosh, Tori - I'm watching your SPOT and you're still moving and only 7.5 miles behind JP, Tom, Ray and maybe No-SPOT Martin. I don't know how you do it (well, yes I do) and more power to you!!! Keep this up and we'll see you in AW!

June 30, 2011 at 10:43:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous JP's Dad said...

WOW, Tori - HOORAY FOR OUR SIDE! You are one Amazing Lady!! And good for all those SPOTS back and forth and ending right On Track. At home in New Mexico. Rest Easy.

June 30, 2011 at 11:46:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! Dad says you caught up with JPE and his crew late last night - amazing effort! Just a couple of days ago you were a day and a half behind them! It looks like they have already pushed off this morning, but maybe you will catch up with them again in Pie Town or before. If you can arrive in AW not too far behind them you should have a welcoming committee in AW, including your new fan Fred E./JP's Dad. Wish I could be there too!

July 1, 2011 at 7:22:00 AM MDT  
Blogger oldultrarunner said...

Tori, I've been following your progress and reading your blog daily and nothing you're doing surprises me as we all saw how tough you were on TdA. It will get better Tori, it will get better. You're in New Mexico now and no more states to go through. I was glad that they rerouted you guys due to the forest fires as I'd been reading about the situation there and worried about that. But you're one tough lady Tori, and you're going to do this. At various points in our lives we all have to come to terms with a struggle deep down and it only serves to make us tougher and more resilient. Great job lady..great job!


July 1, 2011 at 9:55:00 AM MDT  

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