June 20, 1999
|It was just past 8am when I met Patrick at
the house where he was staying in a guestroom. Exactly 24 hours ago I got up and now I
have yet to sleep. The total extra weight Im carrying is about 200 pounds. As we
began riding on 16 East, I stopped to put my jacket on. I told Patrick to go ahead and
Id catch up. The ride out of Jasper was downhill with tailwinds. Since I wasnt
feeling very well, I let gravity and tailwinds do most of the work. As I rode I kept
burping up the taste of beer and I had a slight headache. Taking my time, I stopped to
photograph big horn sheep on the mountainside, flowers along the road, and many elk. It
made me feel a bit better when Id stop, get off my bike, and stick my nose inside
one of those big red flowers. Ahhhh, the scents of nature are soothing.
When I reached 40, I was confronted by something I did not want to see, a five mile uphill climb. Ive had no sleep, a slight hangover, and a billion pounds Im pulling. That sucked! I just kept pushing my feet into the pedals. After riding a total of 60 miles, it was 3pm and I was beginning to fall asleep. Id shut my eyes for a second and then I begin to dream instantly as my bike veered off the road. Finding the Gregg Lake campground, I rode in and stopped at the main entrance to the camping area. I parked my bike and laid in the grass for about 30 minutes. There were too many people and too much noise to sleep so I bought a Pepsi from the soda machine, downed it, and was on my way.
For most of the day it seemed as if I were in a trance, just pedaling in a bit of a daze. As the evening progressed it began getting colder. I allowed myself to get cold and hungry in an effort to help me stay awake. The cold night was brutal as I used my strong will and determination to keep pushing my weak body, trying to make it to Grande Cache.
By 11pm it was too dark to read my odometer or even see the road well. I was still to far south to have light all through the night. The wildlife went unnoticed until I rode up close to them. They were scared of me and I sent 2 black bears and a cow moose off running. By 12:30pm I was too tired and weak to move any more. I pulled off the road by a lake and hid my bike in the trees. Laying my sleeping bag in the grass by my bike, I crawled inside fully clothed and with my bike shoes still on. It was now 1am, 16 hours on the road, 41 hours without sleep, I was very tired.
Today - 132.79 miles