Sunday, March 15, 2009
Top of the World
At the very top of today's 4,000' climb we found The Top of the World cafe. A portly guy sat in a chair. An almost-as-round woman chattered with us as we guzzled icy gatorade for me and diet coke for Connie. They had a huge racing motorcycle (I got a picture of it too...maybe I'll post it on facebook) and an old dining car from a railroad. Hmm. Oh and some cafe benches and some other stuff, mostly junk. Oh and a fat old car with this license plate. He hardly moved except to say that he'd crashed the motorcycle when he'd lived in Chicago.
Having climbed to the top, we then enjoyed a spectacular downhill ten mile romp. Joy of all joys!!!! Connie is very fast on the downhills and so she waits at the bottoms. I can plug along on the uphills and wait at the top for her. We're well matched.
Today's ride was a tad dicey. Narrow uphills, a tunnel, sustained climbing, roaring downhills. But we're all here safely. Some hitched a ride with the sag van, but I felt strong and enjoyed almost every bit of the day.
When I was little we had a Viewmaster. One of the discs we had was of the Grand Canyon, I think, or at least it was some place that had towering rock formations and pine trees, all very three-dimensional. Today's views were like that, piles of red rock punctuated by dots of dark green. Blips and long views all the way down to the bottom of the valleys that we'd just climbed out of. Glorious. Glorious.
So all is good. We're high up now, way off the floor of the desert. We're in copper mining country. Huge gashes, sadly, have been carved out of the mountainsides. The copper economy, no surprise, has fallen off, so now the gashes are here with a ghost town. Not like it once was.
We pedal on, raising eyebrows as we go.
Today Connie got a flat tire. I've changed flats before but not on-the-fly, as it were. We changed her tube, she inflated it, it did not hold the pressure, so we changed it again. Tra la. Then we got to the end of the day and she found a significant slit in her tire so we changed into her new tire. I now feel much more confident about all of that. And more confident about using my own legs and body to propel me across this county. What a magnificent thing this is. How lucky, how enormously fortunate I am.