“The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have any power over the present. Health and hope grew strong in them, and they were content with each good day as it came, taking pleasure in every meal, and in every word and song.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Yes, Lord of the Rings is probably my favorite book. Here I am upon the end of a year-long journey. I have been reluctant each day to experience the trail, because I know that the time is too near, too precious, and this will end.
And yet it won’t, will it? The trails are in me, every experience has shaped me, and I am intimate with them now.
For several weeks I have longed for as deeply-moving a concept as this trail adventure. Something to change me in ways I need over the next year. Finally, inspiration struck- while delving into a period of meditation. Now, I feel less despair at the end, because it is also a new beginning.
This morning I was fraught with indecision- the nemesis of my adult life. I had originally planned to see the red rocks of Moab today. But the idea of two trips to Utah in one week, the financial burdens required of the second, and the illness of my husband the night before, all collaborated to keep me in the Grand Valley today. Also, the hope for a ride with someone I esteem as well.
I couldn’t sleep, as I watched the clouds blush in the sunrise outside of my window. I crept downstairs and prepared the morning for my family, then snuck out of the house, into the Jeep, and up to the trail. Music and Mt. Dew my companions.
I headed home for a quick change and to pack up my bike. I met Dave and Kurt and we drove out to Kokopelli, where we joined with Noah and Sparky. It was going to be a hard ride and I regretted my frozen summit experience last night, and the 4 hours of sleep I had been permitted.
But there’s a reason why we call it “playing bikes”. We rode Rustler’s, Mary’s, and Horsethief. Better trail companions are hard to find! Noah and Sparky were willing to demonstrate and coach, and all were patient with my preference to walk an obstacle or two (or 6). My bike is in bad way right now and I didn’t trust it.
This turned out to be an astute choice, as the front tire went flat immediately after my heart-pounding, flying descent down Mary’s. We met more friends in the parking lot, and had a nice visit until I was too cold to hold still another moment.
The sun had been out most of the time, with only a few flights of snow that blew through. The lighting was amazing, but my photo opportunities were secondary to embracing the opportunity to ride with this crew.