Thanks to Steve, I just arrived one mile from Yellowstone in Gardiner MT. My brother arrived in Missoula around 10 am at the Red Lion hotel where I was staying.. Man was I excited. It was so great to see him. After 6 weeks and somewhere around 2800 biked miles, my ride home had arrived.
It wasn’t Easy…
Not an easy trip for Steve as he had some some adventures of his own. He left Monday evening from Decatur MI and drove to Morris IL so he could get around Chicago at a low traffic period. Steve then drove to Chamberlain SD and camped. Then next day took him to Livingston MT where set up camp.
I say setup as Steve met up with a Montana wind storm that night. With his Sylvan camper (see pics) erected and pitched, Steve was sitting outside when he heard the wind before it hit. The wind came thru the mountain pass and channeled into his area at 60mph practically tipping over his camper. He quickly tore it down in a driving rain storm and ultimately ended up sleeping in the back of his truck. Good for neck kinks and sore back the next day do doubt!
Arived Early –
Needless to say, he had a long night or short sleep. I didn’t think he would arrive until noon or latter. Since he was used to EST and not had time to adjust to Mountain time, I didn’t expect him on the road so early. I woke at 6 am and went for a bike ride so I could enjoy some of the elevation changes Missoula had to offer.
Missoula has some nice bike trails and after cruising those I decided to ride up Jumbo mountain which shadows the town and has a large M for Montana University blazoned on the side. This was a chance for me to ride without all the panniers and to be relieved of the baggage and weight. After about 30 minutes of ascension, Steve texted me he was 30miniutes away. Dang – I shot back down the mountain to the hotel to finish packing and prepare.
Steve Arrives…Bike Journey Adjourned!
His arrival was awesome.after 6 weeks of loneliness, as a friendly face makes a huge difference. His arrival meant the end of this bike trip as I will travel home with him. But before heading east, we will go to Yellowstone and take on some epic hikes and enjoy one of the truly great national parks. I am ready and anxious to return to Westfield. I miss my wife and the simple life we have together. Time to tend to chickens and bees again.
I hope to have a better appreciation for the simpler things. Simple to say or write. Never simple for me to do. Don’t know what I have in my personality that drives me the way it does. I’m too often anxious and worried. Too often driving to some goal and ignoring or even throwing away the moment that exists in front of me.
Can I learn to enjoy the moment in front of me?
Can I slow down and enjoy the things I missed? Enjoy a cup of coffee as the sun rises instead of pounding it for the caffeine it provides so I can hammer the day? Accept more invitations? Offer others more invitations? Go on a bike ride with out killing myself ( this May be asking too much)?
Epiphany or not…
I hoped I would get an epiphany during this ride. A smack upside the head in a direct manner that left no equivocation about what this ride meant and what I should do after this ride.
I told Jane on the phone that no such epiphany occurred. No idea what I should do after this ride. Yet maybe again I missed the point. An epiphany is like a cymbal crash. Unmistakable and loud. But maybe what I was supposed to learn was much more subtle and subtle lessons can never be delivered with flying banners. This lesson is about appreciating the small moments.
I never learn these type of lessons the easy way so I’m going to have work on this. I think this blog was attempt to capture the moment or memory so l can look back as a reminder of the more subtle lessons delivered through each mile.
A good start is a relaxing trip with Steve where we go on some moderate hikes ….right Jesse and Amber?
Inside joke – Steve always takes us crazy all day hikes that kill us. My kids remember. Just ask them to tell the tale…
Relaxing at dinner in Gardiner MT
Cool Sylvan camper at RV Park
Thanks Steve for taking me home. I owe you one!!!