Once again the rains showed some mercy, stopping before morning. As we climbed out of our sleeping bags we could hear the food truck responsible for providing the riders with breakfast had arrived in the campground and was busy setting up.
The fairly heavy rains the night before had made quite a mess on just about everything. Barely a blade a grass existed in this campground which meant the rain had splashed mud/sand everywhere.
Before packing everything away for the ride back to where we began this whole adventure, it was time to grab some breakfast. Yesterday we had met a couple from New York doing their first bikepacking trip. It was nice to sit chat with Ken and Julie during dinner and breakfast. At breakfast, Ken and Julie revealed they would not be riding the remainder of the trail today and will be taking a shortcut back. By estimations looking at the map, the shortcut would be 5-7 miles of paved highway shoulder vs. 25 miles of hills, mud, sand, ruts and everything else that can be found on the trail to make biking difficult.
With my friend still experiencing quite a bit of pain in both knees, I asked if she wanted to forego the planned route as well and take the shortcut back? She was very adamant about completing the whole thing. With breakfast done and everything packed away for the return trip, I checked with her one last time and let her know it’s OK if she wants to take the shortcut. Her response was; Nope we’re doing the whole thing.
We kept a slow steady pace stopping occasionally for her to give the knees a break. The rain came down on us a couple of times and just about when I was ready to pull my rain jacket out, it would let up or stop completely.
A few hours after setting off this morning we arrived back to the car and was greeted with cheers, just about everybody knew my friend was dealing with some very sore knees.
Had a very good time on this trip. Could have done without the rain though. Came to the realization this weekend that I’m completely and utterly addicted to bikepacking the great wilderness. Came to another realization, these adventures are much more enjoyable when shared with a friend.
As for my friend she does have a name but likes to remain private. I’m very proud of her determination to complete the trip and not let the pain take away from the adventure. She did say that she had a good time and simply wished the knees were not hurting. Had to call her an amazing woman because as much as I like to bikepack, given the same circumstance, don’t think I would have been nearly as agreeable. I likely would have taken the shortcut.
Thanks for reading. See you at the next adventure.