SHOUT OUT TO THE HEROES WHO HAVE HELPED ME HELP PEOPLE
Yesterday, on the 70th day of riding, which seemed peculiarly analogous to the last level of a video game, the front wheel of our bikes met Pacific waves. The final ride was full of treacherous terrain, precarious paths, and dastardly directions. I think the B.C. might actually stand for Bowser’s Castle. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
I biked across the continent.
I had the honor of writing the daily route blog for Aug 11, to Chester, MT.
Click the post title to access it (OR HERE).
Since then I’ve been up and over the continental divide, via The Road to the Sun through Glacier National Park. Breathtaking? Jawdropping? Life-changing? A phenomenological experience? A moment of transcendent beauty? ‘
More. It was like a hellion spirit tearing through your favorite painting with the force of a meteor, rising up through the dust-clouds with a sinister grin screaming, “So you thought you knew beauty? Have fun sleeping when you know you could be here.”
I’m prone to dramatics and exaggerations. Which is fun but can be a shame when you really want to communicate the weight of Glacier National Park. Saying it’s the most beautiful place you’ve been doesn’t do it justice. Next time you think about spending a couple hundo on some new toy, forget it and get yourself the quickest ticket to Glacier.
On a moderately related note: I’ve been waiting to see mountains again for tens of days and thousands of miles. I’ve learned that I need either mountains or an electrifying populace to keep my sane; probably both. Consequently, I’ve sincerely missed the northwest part of this country like never before. Crossing the Rockies felt like coming home, a feeling validated by an immediate sense of familiarity in the land, wildlife, and culture of the NW Montana. Plus there have been huckleberries everywhere.
Next summer: Horses across the continent…bareback.
In a little more than a month, in what amounts to half the projected mileage of this journey, 300 minutes a day on a bike has become so much a custom that I now fear life without my aluminum pony as a bird fears life without wings.
In other words, I’m not sure which are tearing quicker: the sinews of muscle in my now obsidian legs, or the threads weaving my dream that life can exist indefinitely on a bike.
In other news (which is actually news I alluded to above, but which merits its own mentioning), I’ve ridden 1,900 miles in a little over a month. I’m halfway across this continent, smack-dab in the thriving box-store oasis of Grand Rapids, MN.
The other day our cue sheet (list of directions for the ride) sent us directly through an old washed-out path currently in conversion to a casino parkly lot, onto an abandoned trail, a bridge that looked like it could have been from the set of a 19th century mining scene (think Zorro (2?)), and finally down an old logging road the pavement of which had been swept away in a flood years ago. This picture only begins to describe the rugged frontier confronting our expedition.
Extreme Bike Hiking! (Taken with Instagram)
Winding roads of western Wisconsin (Taken with Instagram)
Wisconsin is currently dominating the leader-board of the most under-rated/surprisingly beautiful state of the trip.