June 29, 1999
|This morning it was very cool, cloudy, and
windy. Leaving at 11am we rode into headwinds. We decided to only ride about 50 miles and
camp out at Steamboat Mountain. Since it would be a short day I rode very casually.
Ive been so burned out riding lately. Maybe its just the monotonous terrain,
but my mind cant even push my body any more. Riding now isnt like it was when
I could push myself through any adversity. Hopefully, it will get better when I reach
Summit Lake. Dominique and Marie havent enjoyed the section of riding either. They
said it was better biking through the dessert.
After about 30 miles of riding, the other couple I met briefly yesterday stopped to talk. They are driving everywhere. All around the world, in every direction. Their names were Stefanie and Gaston. Stefanie is Swiss and Gaston is French. On the hood of their truck, Stefanie painted a map of the world and is painting white dashed lines to indicate where theyve been. She started from the beginning and briefly told me about their trip up until now. There were several challenges especially through east Russia when no roads existed. I think it was in Iberia where they had to drive on frozen rivers. After about an hour of conversation, Stefanie gave me their web-site tuour-du-monde.int.ch, although she said it hasnt been updated because she got tired of writing. We discussed the difficulty of trying to write every day and still make free time to enjoy where you are. Stefanie also told me that her perception about some of the places shes been is different now than when she first wrote about them. You quickly loose the intensity of emotions you experience.
When they drove away, I continued for a few miles when I saw 2 cow moose near the road. They noticed me and ran into the woods. Stopping at the area where Id seen them run into the woods, I could see them hiding behind some trees watching me. I stayed there for about 30 minutes and when they decided I wasnt a threat, they came back out. After taking a few photos, I continued riding. Then, after about 10 miles, I saw a black bear, off the road near the tree line to my right. He was about 60 feet away so I stopped to take some photos. I took a few photos while he moved through the grass eating. A couple of times he paused, looked in my direction, and began sniffing. Some bears have poor vision, they rely on their very powerful sense of smell. He knew I was there while he continued to eat and slowly moved up the hill. I stood there watching him, and I'm not sure why Istood there so long while he walked from ahead of me down through the grass to behind me. I was fascinated watching him and although I was a little nervous I was surprisingly calm about it. He kept inching his way closer to check me out and most likely could smell my food. When he got about 15 feet away I made a noise to him and cycled off. After I started pedaling away I started to feel my adrenaline pumping through my body. That is not an everyday experience back in my normal life. Then I saw another much smaller black bear off the left side of the road, but I didnt hang out long this time.
When I reached Steamboat Mountain, Patrick had been there for a couple of hours. He doesnt stop to take photos like me because he doesnt have a camera. We set up our tents, fixed dinner, and made some coffee. The temperature was dropping quickly so I took out the bottle of Kahlua that Ive had since Jasper and added some to our coffee. Mmmmmm, warmth :-)
Today - 49.76 miles