Best Birthday Ever

There hasn’t been much going on around here lately. This winter kicked my ass, I was unable to ride and despite filling my days and nights with other activities, I got grumpy not doing what I love to do. The recovery from surgery has been slow, not an unknown going in, but still seems like forever since I was pedaling. As the days have gotten more and more gorgeous and with dry dirt escaping from the masses of snow we had, the need has gotten stronger and harder to ignore. I needed to ride!

Despite the aches and pains from PT, gardening, and some very short rides, I planned a Birthday trip. Just Rach and I, no dogs, just bikes, bags and a short trip to get away and sleep under the stars. I really wasn’t sure I could pull this off, but you don’t live by staying home.

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Riding away from the van, on dirt with the bike loaded and my best friend next to me, I couldn’t put that smile away. Even if all we could ride was a couple miles, I knew this was going to be awesome. Instead we managed to cruise up dirt roads with the wind at our backs, the sun shining and songs on our lips. We climbed up easy grades on a good road for about 7 miles, turing off the main road onto some steeper, rougher secondary roads.

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Just then out of the wind came the voice of none other than DaveMOE! Who was following our tracks, found some gloves we dropped and chased us down. We chatted a bit and rode on for a mile or so, till Moe went off searching for old routes and we began looking for a campsite. We forked onto even more vague two tracks, some cow trails, more lost old roads and eventually found our nook for the night. Nestled up in an amazing set of granite formations, hidden from view, sheltered from the wind, all while supplying views of snow covered mountains, wild rocks, and so many rolling hills.

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We ate, napped, hiked, drank whiskey, ate more, made a fire and soaked up the wonder and quiet of this tiny little place in the this big world. There is something to this, to being out here, detached just enough, surrounded by raw natural beauty and the powerful forces that go along with it. It is humbling, it is refreshing, it puts things in perspective so quickly and evenly. Being out here makes me appreciate these wild places even more, makes me realize how there are special places like this all over the world. How important and empowering it is to have this peace and quiet.

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The night was quiet and cool, and we slept well. We woke up with a campfire, a sweet sunrise, coffee, and bacon. After breakfast we went for a long hike around the rocks, down into the main drainage and out across two smaller valleys. Despite having to pick hungry ticks off of ourselves, it was such a lovely walk. Warm sunshine, old forgotten roads and twisty leg scraping game trails, no agenda, no time constraints, just “let’s see what’s over there?” kind of roaming.

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After exhausting ourselves hiking drainage after drainage back to camp, we napped for a bit before breaking down camp and packing up the bikes. We said our thanks to this little spot for hosting us and reversed our route back to the van. The wind was in our faces, but the hills were in our favor and the miles slipped behind us as we giggled and smiled. Soon we were loading the bikes into the van and the trip was done. We were gone just 30 hours or so, but I feel like a new man. I feel refreshed, connected, inspired, and in love with this amazing earth and what we are able to do without causing any harm.

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Get out there and soak up the wonder, it is always worth it!

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