Posted by: twistsoffeet | August 7, 2011

Surprise


I woke up this morning barely to move, I fell over while trying to stand up after crawling from my tent. I didn’t want to ride today but I had promised myself I would get into Colorado today. For breakfast I had a couple of packages of instant oatmeal and I didn’t even add any protein powder.
Eventually I climbed onto the bike and was riding by 06:30 but riding was painful. The ride began with a long climb, it was of a moderate grade but over 2 miles long and the way Arthur was attacking my joints every yard I pedaled was torturous. I made it nearly to the junction of hwy 85 and state hwy 213 which I had planned to ride into Colorado. AS I rested virtually unable to move a truck drove up and the farmer who had given me the directions yesterday that had lengthened my ride got out.
He said he thought I looked like I could use something to drink and handed me a can of Arizona ice tea. I told him about the additional miles I had pedaled the day before and he was very apologetic. We determined his calculations were off because he was calculating mileage from his home which is halfway through the shortcut. All is well that ends well and I forgave him and we had a couple of laughs about the whole thing.
As we spoke it became obvious that I was in a lot of pain and it would be extremely difficult for me to pedal any further. I was in the middle of nowhere surrounded by private property with nowhere to camp. And I don’t stealth camp! I will not camp on someone’s property without their permission. An offer of a ride into Colorado was made and even though I had some misgivings I accepted.
My plan was to only take a ride across the border into Colorado but in our discussion he mentioned he was going to LaSalle Colorado and offered to take me to his friends farm there.
Today my family was having a surprise birthday party for my father and I really wanted to be there so I decided to accept the ride all the way to LaSalle where I could call my daughter and arrange for a ride to Denver and then my fathers birthday party. When we arrived at the farm of my friend who was giving me a ride I was in pain and barely able to stand again but after pedaling into town and getting some Tylenol I called my daughter and soon her man was on his way to get me.
As I was riding into Denver I kept looking up at the mountains that I love and miss so much I was so happy to see those mountains. I was so excited to be able to see my family again and surprise my father, but at the same time I felt a sense of loss and had a feeling of emptiness inside of me. This ride was over and it wasn’t ending under my own power. Suddenly I was throwing myself back into the mix of things without having had the last few days of my ride to prepare myself as I had originally planned. I was in shock and really didn’t feel as though I was able to think clearly.
But I made the decision to end this ride in this manner for my DAD. It was very important that I be at my fathers birthday celebration. It would be important for him and it was important for me. So when I arrived at my daughters home I quickly showered and prepared to go to the party. My daughters significant other toldĀ  me that nobody other than my daughter and him knew I was going to be at the celebration and it was decided that we would wait until everyone was at the party before we went over. My daughter was already there helping to prepare everything and I would follow L into the house kind of hiding behind him so nobody would see me until I was ready to expose myself.
My brother in law spotted me first when he opened the door but he saw that I wanted it to be a surprise for my parents and kept the secret. My daughter was there with a camera to capture the moment and I gave her a big hug before walking down the hall where I waited for my brother in law to get my mother. It was a surprise to her and very emotional. Other people started to notice me although most of them didn’t recognize me. My aunt walked in the door saw me and stopped in her tracks with a look of shock on her face unable to move or say anything.
My father was in the backyard on the patio when I walked outside. I walked by several family members, most of whom did not know who I was. I walked up to my father and shook his hand and gave him a hug while he stood there in shock. He said my name and then started crying. Everyone had told him I wouldn’t be there and he was so surprised he couldn’t believe I was really there. At that moment I was very worried for my father and was uncertain if surprising him like this was the right thing to do.
I spoke to my father for a few minutes before walking away to allow him some time to recover. Other family members were coming up to me wishing me well, confirming I was who they thought I was and was saying I was. Everyone wanted to know how I got there and how I was doing so I told my story of today several times.
Then it slowed down a little as the eating began and like always there was so much good food to eat. I sat down with a couple of aunts and uncles and cousins enjoying their company and relaxing. I ate and had a couple of beers all the while catching up on the lives of others will updating them on my life.
There were unfortunately some tensions as a couple of people that did not support me in my decision to make this tour were there and since we had all had words and all said things that the others didn’t like it was difficult to be around the others.
But today was all about my father and every effort was made by me to not let these tensions become public or even for my return to steal the show and detract from his day. I casually made the rounds speaking to this group here and that group there and in general had a very good day.
Soon it was time to leave so goodbye’s were said and I walked out the door seemingly all too soon. Now I have to try to put a life back together and decide on where to go from here. I had thought it would know exactly what I was going to do from here. I thought or maybe hoped there would be so sort of Epiphany for me and I would somehow have all the answers but somehow in my present state of shock there seem to be more questions than answers.
But there are no worries no regrets about having gone on this tour or how it ended. Now there is only a desire to spend time with family and friends catching up on all that has taken place since I last saw everyone.

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Responses

  1. Enjoy it, you deserve to! What a feat indeed! I really believe that we need to strive to accomplish our dreams with our ra. Yes, we may have to modify things, change them up some and even maybe get some help along the way but in my heart it is all worth it. I know you will find your footing once again and can only hope you will know which dream next you wish to pursue.


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