Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day 38 Tears and Triumphs

The Elk at the Dubois KOA


Iron in these spectacular geologic formations gives them their red color.

Lunch In Crowheart (PB & J and Cold Drinks)

Two Wyoming Plates and The First Motorcycle Plate

Crowheart Butte

Artsy Color Accent Setting on my Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS

Uphill and downhill views on one of our climbs
Gregory didn't want his picture taken.

Date: Aug. 26, 2009

From: Dubois, WY

To: Lander, WY

Route: Hwy. 287

Passes: Togwotee (9,658’)

Miles: 80 miles

Top Speed on this trip: 47.7 mph

Weather: Hot and sunny, 85 degrees

License Plates Collected: 5 Montana plates and 2 Wyoming plates (1 motorcycle)

We knew today would be brutal because we estimated we’d have to ride at least 75 miles with no services between Dubois and Lander, Wyoming and we had ridden 60 miles yesterday which was our longest day yet. Our planned 40 miles per day has kind of gone out the window. Sometimes it just can’t be helped but we swear we will never do this long of a day again.

For me it ended in two bouts of tears (one about 15 miles from our destination and another when we saw the “Welcome to Lander” sign and Mike said, “We made it.”) I just lost it because I’d been in so much pain the last 20 miles or so that I didn’t think I’d make it. My saddle sores are back and I had a pulled groin muscle on the same side. I donned two pairs of shorts and literally had to ride on my left bum with my right leg flopping out to the side in a very ergonomically incorrect riding position. I’m sure it did wonders for my back but I couldn’t bear the pressure.

Gregory saw Mommy at her worst today and I’m not proud to say that I shouted at my husband in front of my 8-year old. I knew there would be days like this from previous touring experience I just didn’t know how and when it would come about. 15 miles outside Lander and what turned out to be only a few miles from Fort Washakie (our cold drink stop) I locked up my left leg for a stretch right in the middle of a pedal stroke which is a definite no-no and caused Mike to get upset and insist on a little more communication. I hopped off the bike and began my rant, “How do you think it makes me feel when I can hear in your tone that you can’t believe we have to shift down again for such an inconsequential uphill grade. Weren’t you just giving Gregory a lecture on his tone? How do you think that makes me feel? I’m pushing as hard as I can. We are all tired. I’ve been trying not to complain but I’m in a lot of pain here!” After I’d walked up and down the highway shouting I finally plopped down on the shoulder and had a good cry. I knew Mike was in a lot of pain too. His neck was bothering him again and he’d put on his knee brace. He apologized and agreed that this was totally the pits to have to ride this far especially after doing a 60-mile day yesterday. But, when he said, “We just have to suck it up and get there.” I absolutely lost it and screamed, “Shut up! I don’t want to hear suck it up!” I couldn’t believe it came out of my mouth. These words just aren’t used in our family and I felt ashamed to have said it. Something inside me just snapped and I needed to release some pent up tension.

Mike apologized and we went on in silence to Fort Washakie (Wind River Reservation) where I downed a PowerAde Zero and ate a corn dog with mustard and deep fried cheese sticks (not typically on my diet). I felt a little better but was not looking forward to the last 15 miles. It was sheer mind over matter that got us to Lander and the fact that I knew Mike was going to treat us to dinner at “Cowfish” the brewpub in town. (One of his former coworkers from Mt. Sports in Chico is the chef there.)

As I sobbed my way down Main Street Mike jokingly said, “I can’t very well take you to the pub crying now can I?” He was very concerned for me and asked if we should stop but I insisted we just get there. I did feel more human once I’d had food and gotten off that torturous saddle. We visited with Geoff and I was ecstatic when Mike said we’d push the bike next door to the motel. When we found they were booked I almost cried again (for the third time today) but found they’d managed to book us the last room at the motel just up the hill next door. A gentleman had turned down the room and we slid (via phone) just before he came back to reclaim it. Again, we felt we were seeing our good karma in action. We had a Jacuzzi, hot shower and a comfy bed to sleep in and we were happy to call it a day.

Gregory was a trooper the whole day and if it weren’t for his extra effort I don’t know if we would have made it. He was holding up far better than Mom! We had another record-breaking day, 80 miles.

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