July 07, 2010 – 36 miles
We packed slowly this morning. Ovando, today’s destination is only 36 (confirmed) miles away.
We sat outside the historic hotel and enjoyed the sunshine. I cleaned and lubed my bike and worked on writing my journal for days past. As I was sitting there, looking over the grassy lawn, a warm feeling filled my body. I became very mindful of the present – where I was, and everything around me. A thought came into my head: “I am here. This is now.” I felt content with myself, proud that the last five weeks had so far culminated with this moment. It was a feeling that I presume only accompanies significant accomplishments. I soaked it in until the local library opened.
Mathieu & I went to the library to fulfill out journey’s digital requirements. He typed a few journal entries while I uploaded trail photos. Around 13:30, I started the day’s ride – ahead of Mathieu as he wanted to keep his blog audience up to date.
The day consisted only of one climb – up Huckleberry Pass. On paper, it was far easier than yesterday’s final climb but, alas, I could not get into the Zone.
We stopped for a meal at the top, which we cut short due to hungry mosquitoes.
As we descended we overlooked a flat valley which must have been an ancient lake.
On the valley floor, we met at talked to Timmy – a geography (or history?) teacher. Every summer he goes on epic adventures to share with and inspire his students.
We rejoined pavement a few miles before Ovando. It didn’t feel right being so close to town and not being dead tired so I sprinted up the small hills on the road.
In Ovando, we went to eat a dinner at Trixies (the only restaurant open in town). After finishing a chicken-fried steak we went to the town museum to pitch our tents. Instead, we were offered a soft lawn to sleep on by one of the fire department’s volunteers.
This was the view of his backyard:
During the night, I was awoken by a full bladder – it’s one of the problems with bedding so early and soon after eating. After reluctantly getting out of my cozy tent, I was treated to the most amazing night sky. The last time I’d seen this many stars was a few years back when canoe camping in Quetico Provincial Park, Ontario.