Evidently the weather gods lost their fascination with winter in Lovely Ouray and moved the bullseye east. They'll have more fun with Tornadoes than snow, anyway. Finally, I can get outdoors where I B-long-2-B. Zoom Zoom.
As soon as old Sol peeked over Mount Sun Block (SPF 100) I was out the door, in the saddle, and headed for Ridgway. I ran up through the gears, picking up speed, dodging potholes, and listening to the sweet hum of 3 inch knobby fat tires on hard-packed dirt. What's it been since my daily rides over in the Klondike, two weeks? Damn winter.
I put the pedal to the metal, made Ridgway's town limits in 34 minutes... just two shy of a personal best on a day when a ferocious tailwind blew me an "assist." A couple shots of Gatorade in Ridgway's Town Park and I was off to the Pleasant Valley Overlook, way atop Log Hill. It's a good place to have lunch, gaze upon the mighty San Juans, and contemplate the joy of one's endorphin addiction.
After a couple of Nature Valley Dark Chocolate Cherry bars, I walked over to moss-rock cliffs and took in the view. Pleasant Valley's broad, flat expanse of hayfields made a nice greenbelt around little Ridgway. Above and beyond, mountains closed in on "The Crevice," swallowing up Lovely Ouray like an afternoon treat.
I thought about all those years sitting behind a career desk, working in the field, building spec homes, how it never felt right so much as, well, necessary. Every time I'd see an RV I'd wonder where they were going... if they were finally "free" or if they had to be back to work in two fucking weeks like the rest of us.
That I lived to enjoy the freedom I so longed for, well, it sometimes amazes me. Today I felt grateful, appreciative, fortunate... humbled. With winter fading fast and a wildflower season on the rise, I put smile to face and foot to pedal and set off on the long trek home... wallowing in my "free time" like a pig in a puddle. Some will envy, others will think I'm wasting time. A few will run and hide; they wouldn't know what to do with such a colossal "gift." To them I can only serve as a reminder, that each day the "gift" shrinks.
Today, or tomorrow or eventually, I will die trying to summit some stupid mountain or on a grand bike ride like the one I took today. Grieve not. It is fitting, the right way for someone like me to go :).
Peace out from Lovely Ouray. Spend your "time" wisely...