Friday, June 17, 2011

Tour Divide Day 7.

142km (incl. detour). Basin to Wise River.
14 hours, including 3 stopped.

After heading to bed last night, four other riders rolled into the bed and breakfast where I was staying. Richard (South Carolina), and a group of three, John, Luke (St. Louis), and Dan (California) who I'd seen in Lincoln the night before. It was strangely comforting to know that, even with the ground that I've lost, there were still others out in the area. I hope that I can see these guys again.

My front shifter seized up yesterday, which would normally be a problem worth mentioning except that I seem to have more pressing issues on this trip. And, besides, it wasn't entirely a horrible event considering that I have been mostly using the granny ring on this trip. Nonetheless, it was good to get into Butte today to have it fixed at the Outdoorsman, a GDMBR-friendly bicycle shop.

Rob, the owner of the shop, was very sweet and gave me a pep talk. He also gave me a water bottle with some goodies in it and free service on my bike. The hospitality was overwhelming.

I also had some errands to run while 'in the big city', including a visit to the pharmacy. A girl at the checkout asked me where I was cycling to and I said that I was headed to the Mexican border. She responded with a comment like 'oh, I could never do that'. And I thought, 'yes you can, it's all in your head'. But then I realized that I can hardly make such a remark credibly anymore, given all of the doubts that I have been dealing with myself over the last week.

Still, I really believe that it is all in your head. In my head. So, how do I get my mental strength back? I feel like things are getting better today. But it is hard to know for sure from the darkness how far it will be until I am out of this hole. Will it even happen on this trip?

I covered a lot of vertical today. On the first climb out of Butte, it snowed. Just the kind that you can watch slowly drop to the ground and then disappear. But it was still snow. Later, I crested Fleecer Ridge, climbing up to 2375m. Just on the last stretch of the ascent, dan, John and Luke caught me. It was nice to see some people and to share the absurdity of the stretch of hiking that was about to come, as the trail started downward at a grade and quality that rendered it unridable for all but the most brave.

I arrived in Wise River a good 15 minutes before the rest and stood in the bar (the only one in town) and waited tp order dinner. A man with a white beard and no socks walked over to my and asked if I would mind putting some drops in his eyes. Come again? Yes, drops in his eyes. I felt more uncomfortable saying no than doing it.

Walking into the bar was like walking into a movie about small town america. Antlers on the wall. Bear skin on the ceiling. Overweight men with moustaches sitting at the bar.

The juke box started and played so loud enough to drown out any possibility of conversation. We looked at each other around the table and smiled. The song was something about the call of the wild and it inspired a few of the burly guys at the bar to howl like wolves. Ok, finally a laugh-out-loud moment on this trip!

We finished the night with a Double Haul; a super can of high potency Montana beer with some fly-fishing lingo on the side that I couldn't understand.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network


Anonymous Anonymous said...

JP's sister Cathy again...I was so pleasantly surprised to see that you acknowledged my (and others') comments! I think you should make sure you're taking care of yourself first, but it sounds like in your case, connecting with others is one of the ways you take care of yourself. Keep up the good work. May you be blessed with many more wonderful pancake breakfasts, good beers and kindnesses along the way!

June 18, 2011 at 12:52:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Tori. JP's other sister Gail here. If you were riding with the 4 Amigos now, Tom would tell you in his quiet way, "You can do it!" You *can* do it! It is all mental, like you say. In my own riding experiences I can't find anything to compare with the mental and physical struggles you're going through right now. So, if your goal is to finish the ride, then just take your time and, as Cathy says, take care of yourself. I had written to JP one day that you were kicking their butts. You're not that far behind them again, relatively speaking.

June 18, 2011 at 1:54:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous Fred E. said...

Hello, Tori...JP's Dad here...I got up this morning to your Day 7... It was a Blessing. I saw you at the Reservoir yesterday and that made me smile. Taking the time to be kind to yourself makes us the beneficiaries. You have the inner strength. God Bless you as you ride on to our Southern Border.

June 18, 2011 at 7:48:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Tori--JP's aunt Sue here. You've got the gift, girl, and we're so glad you're part of the ride. Blog on--

June 18, 2011 at 10:44:00 AM MDT  
Blogger kcab20 said...

Hi - Tori - I am friends of JP and Elizabeth (actually admirer and friend) and have been following your ride and your blog...

I think this post is a couple of days old (today is the end of day 9) - but for what it is worth - I just wanted to tell you that I am SUPER IN AWE of you especially today. I was watching the tracker last night - and I honestly thought that you were taking a short-cut to get to Lima because you had had enough...

Then right before I went to bed - it looked like you were going back to the "trail" - then I saw this morning that you had had to backtrack (I don't know how many miles) - but that you were back on course and pressing on...

I was like YES, TORI - way to go!!! I am so amazed at all of you guys (generic terminology) - I hope that you get a warm meal and warm place to stay tonight and a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th wind (whatever you are in need of right now) - to keep pushing on...


June 18, 2011 at 8:41:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Linda said...

Hey Tori!
I've finally gotten a chance to check your blog. Wow, it's better than TV and better than a novel you can't put down! I can't wait for your next post! I really hope you're finally getting over your chest infection and finding your mental strength again. I think we should have plastered your new bike with stickers too--I think it would help :-) If anyone can do it, it's you! You make the rest of us DGs so proud!! Big hug! Linda

June 18, 2011 at 9:12:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tori,

I love reading your adventures. I think you already know that many people that you know and people that you don't know are all supporting you in our spirits. I saw a movie about the race you are doing now so I have a sense of how difficult it is, well, not really. Go Tori....


June 18, 2011 at 10:15:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Franderen said...

Hey Tori!

I just did a 24 hour mountainbike here in Denmark - we had rain, mud and hails - so i can relate somewhat to the social isolation... just remember that were all there in spirit ;-)

and remember to get onionrings when theyre on the menu ;-)


June 19, 2011 at 2:20:00 PM MDT  

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