Tour Divide Day 20.
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 are...like 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