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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

When the cure is worse than the disease...

A couple days after our Camp Bird Road exploit, Leon wants us to ride our bikes over to Log Hill and race each other to the top. Oh how he loves to beat me up on that ascent.

 My legs were still wobbly as a couple Twizzlers left out in the sun from Camp Bird's bike ride. But ole Leon, he has a way of wearing you down.  
"I don't know, man...I'm still sore. OKAY! I'll go, but only it's not a race." 

Wanting some pre-race protein—other than my usual heaping tablespoon of peanut butter—I fried a couple over-easy eggs for breakfast. I probably should have opted for carbs given my fatigue; something fast-acting like toast and jam. This is where things begin to go awry...

You see I've been on antibiotics since having a final wisdom tooth extracted a couple weeks ago. I was sentenced to two-per-day horse-pills...that I can barely swallow...so as to not feed infection with bits of food that might get trapped in the clotting socket. So I take the pills...reluctantly...because I hate antibiotics and you can probably guess the reason.

In order to counteract the impending antibiotic massacre of intestinal "flora," I self-prescribed SUPER-DUPER, 50 BILLION THINGAMAJIGs probiotics to take along with the horse-pills, you know, to promote "regularity." TMI, I know...  

Thus, there's been a Nuclear War going on in my lower tract. The probiotic good-guy flora were holding their own...till I dropped those greasy, over-easy egg bombs on them. Friendly fire happens; guess I shoulda stuck with peanut butter...  

Still, I pulled on my padded bike pants and a long sleeve jersey (it's now cold here in the mornings) hoping to tough it out. With morning temps near 40, Leon and I pretty much froze our asses off going to Ridgway. To make worse matters worse, it felt like there was a war going on in my tummy. The eggs weren't sitting well. 

I stopped at Mountain Market in Ridgway and bought a roll of Tums, but to no avail. I began to wonder if I had picked up some mutant Day Care superbug at Walmart the day before. I imagine a sickly toddler, drooling snot all over my shopping cart. Naw. I take great care and pride in throughly Handiwiping the Hell out of Walmart carts, STERILIZING every nook and cranny, especially the freaking child seat where a Leaky diaper can be lethal. Whose brain-fart idea was it to put a dirty-diapered germ magnet kid in shopping cart seats? Think about that next time you put your "fresh" produce in the child seat.  I digress...

Not feeling better, I told Leon I wasn't up for a "race" up Log Hill. He suggested making the Highway 62 to County Road 24 loop. Aside from the pavement-grind up Dallas Divide amid road-raging-whackos driving Hell bent for leather, it's a rather pleasant and scenic loop. I agreed to give it a go.

Not a mile out of Ridgway Leon stopped to talk to a bearded hobo type sitting at the side of the road. He had a sign that read "Need Food" on one side and "Telluride" on the other. A broken-down bicycle with a bedroll tied to the seat leaned against the guardrail. 

Turns out he had pedaled and "hitched" his way here from Las Vegas, and was now trying to get a lift to Telluride. Apparently he'd been there before because he asked if the "Free Box" was still around (a place where well-heeled locals donate clothes, appliances, skis...you name it...to less fortunate worker-bees). I said I thought it was, at least when I worked there a few years back. Not feeling chatty, I sped off while kindly Leon stayed to get a piece of his "story." 

In spite of a "clear skies!!!" forecast, dark clouds formed over the San Juans. Ominous sheets of rain and lightning peppered upper basins and peaks, followed by long. booming rolls of thunder. I waited for Leon at the CR 24 intersection. Seeing I was still wearing a frown-face, he offered me a York Peppermint Patti, which seemed to help. Must have been the peppermint...

Forecasting around here is at best a pseudo-science. Fortunately, CR 24 turned away from the storm. We skirted the edge, catching only a few drops of rain that smack-stung bare skin. 

After the grind up Dallas Divide to CR 24....

The dose of peppermint seemed to work wonders, so we decided to stretch our normal 40 mile ride by a couple extra miles on the Uncompaghre River Trail. Back in Ridgway we stopped at Mountain Market for a pastry-break...not the smartest indulgence for your's truly. Apple fritter grease-bombs left us both lethargic. I was sorely tempted to call for "roadside assistance."

I rallied to defeated that demon and pushed hard on the homestretch; ten uphill miles...plus our ridiculously steep driveway...in 59 minutes, two minutes short of my personal best. You see, stopwatches never really do "stop."

With a tummy still distressed at 5 o'clock, I begged out of the Season's End Employee Party hosted by Bruce and Tamera (Bobbie's employers). They always have such a delicious menu! Sadly, I couldn't bear the thought of further aggravating my delicate condition and settled for a bowl of cold cereal and Peppermint Patties.

The next day, Monday, was Bobbie's first day off after a 3-day shift. Of course she wants to go hiking. Feeling better, I agreed to go along. We decided on the Woods Lake Trail near Telluride. We hadn't hiked in that area since scaling 14'ers Mount Wilson, Wilson Peak and El Diente (The Tooth) some 30 years ago. Stay tuned for a little fear and loathing reminisce.

Time to go swim laps, while Bobbie rides her bike to Ridgway and back. What a life.
Peace out,
mark and bobbie


  1. Antibiotics can really do a number on the gut. At least you didn't get struck by lightning that day. Looks like you dodged quite a storm!

  2. And you and Leon are what age???? AMAZING!!! That you can handle the altitude and all that well!!! I would love to try it myself but six stents may preclude my attempts!!!
    Take care and rest when you can!!

    1. Me, 69 come next month. Leon's just a kid at 63ish :)
      Heart disease runs up and down my family tree. I probably have stints in my future...if I don't kill myself first. My cardiologist gave me the "green light," so I hope he knows something I don't. Guess we'll see.

    2. Oops! 69 was a typo...I'm only 68 Whew!

  3. Im tongue tied on this one, but the pictures were sweet :)

  4. Good medicine...."York Peppermint Patties" What a life indeed! -Scamp

  5. I'm a little late in reading this one... but I seem to remember that Leon has been the cause of GI distress previously. Perhaps you should say no to his next race invitation!


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