This actually was a really tough day. We thought it would be easier because it was only 81 miles compared to yesterday's 117. That was not the right way to be thinking. It was still 81 miles---that is a lot, and with three hard climbs, at that. The last ten miles were into a killer headwind. Poor Mike had to pull me all the way in. Even riding behind him was very tiring, and he was taking the full brunt of the wind. What's hard about this adventure is the cumulative wear and tear. Each tough day is followed by another tough day and by another tough day.
I'm not sure why it came to me today, but I remembered something from elementary school that Ranger Ted from Yellowstone National Park taught us. He instructed us that if a friend was hurt or we had an emergency and we had to cover ground quickly on our feet to run 50 paces, then walk 50 paces, run 50 paces, then walk 50.... This would conserve our energy but get us where we needed to be. I thought of this today as I was grinding my way up the second climb. So I started counting pedal strokes. If I was still alive after 50, I would pedal another 50. To actually be able to see that I was getting closer to the top of the hill I kept my head down and would only look up every 50 pedal strokes, too. Good grief.
Thankfully, tomorrow is Sunday. We have made arrangements to go to church here in Baker City (thanks Anne!), then be driven to Ontario (thanks Lyle!). We'll be riding again with the rest of the group on Monday.
I love barns, especially barns with silos.
Mike is a good sport.
Outside of Prairie City
A nice, warm welcome. Also, nice, warm blackberry cobbler.