Thursday, July 19, 2012

Day 19. Bad news. Good news.

Last day. Brush Mountain Lodge to Steamboat Springs.

The pass after Brush Mountain was barely recognizable to me; dry and smooth riding, compared with a long slug though the snow last year. I took my time going up and then down. Kim and Anders needed to get to Steamboat Springs early for some bike repair, but I wanted this ride to last forever; I wasn't ready for it to be over. We found a nice balance of progress and pleasure that included a relaxed chocolate milk break at Clark's convenience store and an efficient pace line to get through the busier portions of paved road.

Amazingly, astoundingly, awesomely, two friends (Scott and Paul) from our Africa trip drove out to Steamboat to join us for the evening. A different continent and a different context, yet, the bond between us has not weakened at all. The shared memories are too many to list, but we tried anyway. It was fun to go hear which experiences stood out after the distance of time. More interesting was to consider how the experience has impacted us after it's had a year to settle in. How it has affected our priorities and perspectives. What we do differently now. I think the biggest thing for me is that I'm in less of a hurry. It has good and bad consequences (I'm now perpetually late, but I now take more time with people).

The reunion was bittersweet because it also marked my final day of the trip and my farewell to Anders and Kim. The riding and the time with friends has made the last three weeks incredibly fun. And revisiting the route in a different physical and mental state has been cathartic. It is disappointing to return home early when we have passed the halfway point and have developed a good rhythm. It is such a different feeling than I had last year.

So, the bad news is that I just want to keep going. The good news is that I just want to keep going.


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