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...
I'm thinking your view is a bit to the right of Ridgeway State Park, like maybe more toward Dallas Divide or Last Dollar. God I love that area. Looks like you picked a great day for a ride. Just spectacular.ReplyDelete
To be so lucky as to go while doing something we love would be the greatest gift of all.ReplyDelete
The freedom you longed for became real.... it doesn't get any better than that. -scampReplyDelete
Wonderful scenery there, and the freedom is amazing, like you said every day is a gift so we unwrap it and enjoy the benefits.ReplyDelete
We've been full timing in our RV for six months now and read on RVillage about folks waiting for the perfect rig, the perfect amount of savings, etc. before they can launch and be FREE. My advice is always the same: go small, go cheap, and go NOW! Tomorrow is not guaranteed to any of us.ReplyDelete
Thank you Jim, for the kick in the butt. Ours is an older rig, but really nice, with low miles and LOTS of improvements. But yet, I'm sitting here literally weeks away from us going full-time. And what am I doing? Looking on RV Trader almost daily for something bigger and better that would certainly tap into a significant portion of our cash on hand and create debt for the balance, when we presently have no debt. Why?Delete
"He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." Albert EinsteinReplyDelete
Great post, great photos, great ride. Thanks for taking us along and sharing your gift of freedom!ReplyDelete
I have a few more weeks until I am no longer chained to my job. That job has made me see that a conventional life doesn't make much sense. Working in the ICU has taught me that life changes in an instant and we had better get on with life before it is snatched away.ReplyDelete
I like those dark chocolate cherry bars too!ReplyDelete