Day 28: Kerrville to Leakey, TX

A little perspective is always a good thing. I've gotten a lot of it over the past couple of days. Today I rode into a 15-20 mph south wind for much of the afternoon. Normally, I might have considered having a little fit at some point, especially with all the climbing and being sick. But after yesterday, it just seemed like a summer breeze. And hills. Oh, man. I got spoiled riding across the lush flatlands of the southeast for two and a half weeks. The climbs today were tough. The big one right after Vanderpool (15 miles from Leakey) really took a lot of energy. It was steep. It took me half an hour. I went down the other side at 40 mph. It's been a while since I've had to focus and push through something that was that physically difficult. And then there was another. I think it took about the same amount of time but somehow seemed less difficult.

View from the top

This morning seems like it was days ago. I left Kerrville on an empty stomach and with almost no food in my bags. Mistake nĂºmero uno. But you know how I get in a rush to get on the road. Right when I was starting to get really hungry, a man in one of those drive across America RVs suddenly pulled off on the opposite shoulder and waived me over. I didn't know what to think until I realized he was the support vehicle for two riders heading east. Right on!! John, Dave, and Matt are from England and are riding cross-country raising money for three different charities. John chatted with me for a while until Dave and Matt caught up with the rig. It was so great to get to talk with them for a bit. They gave me some cliff bars and two spoonfuls of New Zealand honey for my cold. So sweet of them, no pun intended. Ok, maybe intended a little. I am always excited to meet other riders but I was really excited to meet these guys since they are from another country. But I'm always exited to meet people from other countries. I am also very jealous of their support vehicle, as Ida has been feeling like somewhat of a tank lately. We exchanged blogs (can't wait to read theirs) and the usual "what's up ahead?" stories and then it was time to mosey on, no matter how much I wanted to crawl up into the rv bunk and sleep for the rest of the day...or three. It was great to meet y'all!

The weather today was absolutely beautiful. The cold front did ye old cyclist a solid and cooled things down into the mid 70s. I can't imagine climbing those hills in 90 degree weather. I already felt the urge to vomit, but that might've been from the Mexican coke and snickers ice cream bar I indulged in right before I started climbing. Such a delicious mistake number two!

So refreshing, so bad for you

I finally arrived in Leakey, totally exhausted of course, and sat down on a bench to rest. Then I saw a sign for beer and got myself a nice tall can of Busch and some DayQuil, a match made in heaven. While I was savoring this tasty beverage, another rider rolled up...another solo female rider. Whoa! Tessa lives in Seattle and is riding east. She suggested teaming up on dinner and I, of course, couldn't refuse. Her stove still works. How I miss mine so. So I got some veggies and we headed over to the church and set up camp, where she cooked up some delicious bean soup. There's some left over- we're gonna throw some eggs in it in the morning. Yum.

Hey, it's a steep climb!

It's been really neat to share our experiences as solo female riders. A lot of people ask is if we are afraid. I get that question just about every day. And my answer is always the same: not a bit. People have been great and, yeah, one crazy person could ruin it all, but I can't dwell on that. Meeting people has been one of the unexpected great things about this trip. And I think being alone has caused me to really reach out for that experience when I normally wouldn't because normally I would tell you I don't like people. But now I know that's not really true. I love love love being in the wilderness by myself but I also love, crave, even, meaningful interactions. Kind of a recent development I guess, over the past few years. Anyway, the people on this trip have been great.

Battery warns it is time to wrap things up. Love to you all!!

Until tomorrow I will repeat this part of an irish blessing over and over until it is certain to come true:
May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back


P.S. I have some sweet photos from today but the network is slow so look for them later!!

1 comment: