Huh? Whats that? You thought we were riding together? Well we were, until....
So last we checked in, I was having a couple of days break on the trail at Steamboat Springs, to rest the very tired legberts, and the even more exhausted mind....well after my lift in the car to Breckenridge there was a lot of soul searching done, more tears, but much more relief when I finally decided that Colorado was the end of the Great Dividing MTB Route for me.
10 weeks and nearly 4,000kms was pretty much my limit for now. There was another 1,600kms to go to get to the Mexico border (with something like 22,000m of climbing), and probable stupid headwinds, and well I knew I just didnt have it in me. We were both disappointed, but very relieved. I was happy with my decision for a break, and Shane was happy that I was happy. He was also pretty excited that he would be able to spend the next 1,600kms smashing himself, doing in 2 weeks what would have taken 4 weeks if I was still riding with him.
And so began 2 parallel adventures.....
First things first, I had to get myself to Salida, 160km away, as there were a couple of parcels I was expecting there (new tires for me, and a replacement OR jacket for Shane). For me to get there, it involved a lift to the bus, a 1hr bus ride to Denver where I had to drop my bike off at a bike shop to be boxed up, and for safe keeping for a few days, then jusp on a Greyhound bus for the 3hr bus ride to Salida. Rolling into town on the bus, who's bike is sitting outside Maccas? Shane's of course, the little bugger had beaten me under his own steam, even after climbing Boreas Pass in the snow!
It was nice to have one more night together in Salida, and as it turned out the next day was our anniversary which was even better! But then it was proper goodbyes, and well, Ill be honest, I was left feeling a bit lost and directionless. No Shane, no bike, no purpose. I was used to this constant forward motion, and well suddenly I was stalled "resting". It also didnt help that I discovered that there was a stabbing the night before at the hostel I planned to stay at. Gulp! No matter i stayed there anyway and felt very safe, i even borrowed a bike to cruise around on, that was better.
The next day I was back on the bus to Denver, where I stayed with a wonderful Warm Showers host, Allison and Jim, and after 2 days there, I picked up my newly boxed bike, and jumped on the Amtrak train bound for Napa, California. After 31 hours on the train (with some amazing scenery passing through Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California), I finally arrived in Napa, and was picked up by my wonderful friend Ali. I used to work with Ali at ANZ in Australia years ago, and she and her hubby Carter moved with their kids to Napa 3 years ago. And I tell you staying with them has seriously felt like coming home. I've done a lot of sleeping, a lot of reading, a lot of drinking, a lot of eating and a lot of not much, and it has been just what I needed.
But I'm nearly ready for the next chapter in the adventure....Shane's only 2 days from the Mexico border, after having some crazy adventures of his own (dog attacks, replacement panniers, rattlesnakes, crazy headwinds, sleeping out back of Walmart.....thats just the tip of the iceberg, I'll let him write about what he's been doing). Once he gets there, he will make his way back up to Napa via lifts/buses/trains etc, where I might make him take a shower, before we head out on the bikes again to ride the Number 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles, then down to the border and cross at Tijuana, and ride through Mexico till the money runs out! The adventure continues!
In the meantime, I think it might be time for my nap!