Day 25: Sometimes you just want one freaking tree…

After I posted last night and was getting ready for bed one of my camping neighbors came over and invited me to their fire for a beer and conversation. That sounded good to me so I joined him (Warren) and his wife Karma. They were a lovely couple in their 60’s and we chatted about everything from family, the wars, kids, and adventures. It was a great talk and in the end Karma gave me their contact info and offered to help if they could.

As I hit the road in the morning I could tell I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. I had plotted my ride to Columbia, Missouri and today involved a 109 mile ride. Doable but not pleasant. I see great value in focusing on goals, the vision of me jumping into the Pacific has helped me get through rough patches numerous times, but to focus on an arbitrary daily number instead of the journey as a whole is counter productive. At my 25-mile rest point I found a great little produce stand, bought some fresh orgasmic strawberries, a couple apples, a mango, and got my head right. The owner even gave me a free piece of cantaloupe while I was resting.

I was able to do some trail riding today while still in Illinois. The first half of the trail was uncovered, no trees, and under the hit sun. I’m already going through a bottle of sunscreen a day and may need to alter my travel plans. I had planned on doing mostly early morning and evening riding when I get to the desert but I may implement that soon. Corn and beans don’t provide much shade from the 100 degree heat that is blasting the Midwest.

The second half of the trail was quite different. It plunged through the forest along a gravel trail and was an extraordinary ride. I don’t k ow if it was the change I temperature, the mellow music that I’ve been listening to (thanks Leah!), or what but entering the woods was extremely euphoric. I took off my helmet, slowed my ride down, and enjoyed it. It felt very similar to the early buildup of the first roll after taking ecstasy. It was marvelous. As soon as I found a place I sat down in the shade and busted out a mango and relaxed.

As tends to happen on my rides the best day is also the worst. I had a fantastic day today riding but the heat really started to get to me. I got a hotel, which I hate doing, to play it safe. I was feeling some symptoms of heat exhaustion and the nearest campground was about 30 miles away. I think I’m going to have to more closely monitor my breaks and take more indoors at regular intervals in buildings. It’s better to buy a few gatorades a day and hang out in air conditioning than deal with this heat and face a near collapse… It’s also cheaper too.

The more I think about it the more I wish I would have had a handful of business cards printed. People ask me for my email or website pretty regularly and it would be nice to have something to hand out. Maybe I can find a place to print something up in Columbia or Kansas City. Oh well, time to get some rest, I need to take greater advantage of the morning cool temperatures.

1 thought on “Day 25: Sometimes you just want one freaking tree…

  1. Peter. We still have some.of.your at the office. Perhaps I can mail them to an address you know you’ll be at. .let me know!

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