October 1st, 2017
Last night was another round of waking periodically because of numbness in an arm from sleeping on my side in one spot for too long. Each wake cycle is a different aspect. One time I can hear somebody in another tent near me rolling around on yet another noisy sleeping pad. “Who would buy those damn things?”
Another time I hear somebody that very likely ordered the bean burrito at the bar yesterday. “Glad to not be sharing a tent with that guy”. Then another time my work/Physical Therapy brain kicks in to self-diagnose my predicament. I know which nerves are being pinched by which part of my arm and fingers are going numb. Trying to figure out body mechanics and anatomy… “If place my arm and body in a slightly different position like this, it might keep my arm from going numb?”
In the very early morning hours, even though the generator didn’t wake me this morning because I had been lying awake in my warm sleeping bag for a few minutes, I’m still cursing its obnoxious existence. Tried to catch maybe another hour of sleep and be ready for breakfast when its actually daylight, but just couldn’t make it happen. Wishing I had brought earplugs.
Once I was up and could see what I was doing, all my gear was packed away for the ride back to the start. With that all good to go I pulled out my little bag of morning hygiene stuff; toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc, and wouldn’t know it… Earplugs too. Dang, how did those get in this bag?
The fellows that made our delicious pizza dinner last night made breakfast burritos for us this morning. After breakfast, I stood around the fire to take away the morning chill. Other than talking with some of the people I met the last couple days, there wasn’t much more to do but get on the bike and start pedaling.
Today’s weather is nearly identical to yesterday but an earlier start this morning, the first few miles are a bit chillier. Good time to put on the cold weather riding gloves that were a Christmas gift from someone who locked into the last ride I blogged about, whining about how miserably cold my hands were. Felt oh so good this morning to have warm hands.
The 23-mile route back is less challenging than last year’s second-day run and much less challenging than yesterday. Right out of camp I’m pretty much alone again and after a few miles of seeing no one, I’m starting to wonder if didn’t miss a turn somewhere. With the air warming up and my body too, its time to shed some layers and take a look at the map. Stopping at an intersection I notice one of the flags used to indicate a turn for our route. Well, at least I’m not lost… Yet.
Much to my delight, the legs are feeling good today. Although the tendonitis in my left elbow, that I’ve been dealing with for a couple months, is letting me know it’s not happy. Holding onto the bars is not a problem but when I decide to make a position change that’s when it screams OH HELL NO!
The miles are clicking away fairly easy but still getting passed by others with the same frequency as yesterday. The battery in my cycle computer gave up within the first mile yesterday and therefore I have no clue as to how many miles I’ve ridden etc. At one point I pass a trio that has stopped for a quick snack. About a mile later I decide that stopping to eat something is a good idea. Plus it’s also warm enough to shed the jacket too.
Stopped alongside the road I’m stuffing a piece of pecan pie left over from last night’s dinner into my mouth when a group rides by. One guy yells out: “Hey, victory pie!” What did he mean by that I wonder?
Well, I found out when I looked at the map and determined my location. Heck, I have only a couple miles remaining.
Back on the bike, I catch up to Dave and Ann from Grosse Pointe doing their first Bikepacking trip. Rode with them for a little bit, almost to the end. Kind of like being alone with my own thoughts, observing nature and seeing the sights on two wheels, but it’s nice to ride and chat with other riders too. Glad to have had the opportunity do to both on this ride.
Back at the parking area several riders have already unloaded their gear and strapped down their bikes for a trip home. In just a fraction of the time it took to get the bike loaded, it’s stripped down and ready to go home too. However, I have this empty feeling there should be more. I’m not ready to be done.
Now the question is: Can I squeeze in another ride before winter hits like I did last year?