Even before I finished my ride this summer, people were asking me, “What was the best part?” It may seem strange to say this but until I reviewed my blog posts last week, I had forgotten much of the ride! I suppose this was because I was so focused on the present that the past was of little importance.
And now that I have reviewed the posts, I still don’t have an answer. There were plenty of highlights.
- Lincoln’s tomb (and the comic graves nearby) in Springfield, Illinois.
- The Burma Shave signs on the Route 66 bike path in Illinois.
- The many trail angels that showed me kindness, especially Jesse, the retired chef in a white pickup truck in Saint Louis. I am not exaggerating when I say that he saved my life. (I’ll never forget how he vacillated between saying “I love you” and cussing like Samuel L. Jackson.)
- The Buddhist monk in the cowboy hat walking on the side of the road in Missouri. I am still kicking myself that I didn’t take his picture but he seemed completely at peace, gliding down the shoulder of the road with a serene smile across his face.
- Taking a dive in the pool at the city park in Ash Grove, Missouri at the end of a hot and frustrating day. Fifteen minutes of bliss.
- Meeting and riding with Mark and Corey from Ash Grove to Pueblo, Colorado.
- The Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas. I could have spent hours and hours in that place.
- The epic flooding in eastern Kansas.
- The medicinal effects of marijuana edibles, an order of magnitude more effective and long lasting than ibuprofen for the pain in my left knee and hip.
- Mo at the Courtyard Country Inn in Westcliffe, Colorado for getting me a room after one of my most exhausting days on a bike.
- Making it to the top of Monarch Pass. And flying down the other side for ten miles.
- San Miguel Canyon in Colorado. I went off route to avoid Lizard Head Pass and rode through a breathtaking canyon. Pure serendipity.
- The Hogback in Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument.
- All the bike tourists I met on the side of the road. The French sisters and Dan Hurwitz are still riding. The sisters are on Instagram and Dan has a blog.
- Bryce Canyon. Egads, it’s amazing.
- Red Canyon, the little known canyon to the west of Bryce.
- The ride from Cedar Breaks National Monument to Cedar City, Utah, a loss of 5,000 feet in 20 miles.
- My Warmshowers hosts in Hutchinson, Carson City, and Sacramento. And Jesse and Mike in San Francisco.
- Mushroom Swiss burgers in Nevada. Everybody I met was raving about them for good reason.
- The sign guys who helped me find a place (and drove me to dinner) after I climbed Carson Pass in California.
- The bike mechanics in Pueblo, Salida, Ridgeway, and Carson City who dropped everything to help me.
- Most of my days seemed to be in survival mode on this tour. Still I had hours and hours of meditative solitude.
3 thoughts on “No Name Tour: Highlights”
Hi, rootchopper, ex DC area resident here, who enjoys vicariously riding with you. I echo your love of the Cedar Breaks, Panguitch, Escalante area, would love to go back there!
Thanks for coming along for the ride. It would be fun to go back and hit Canyonlands, Arches, and Moab. So much to see!
Always enjoy following your tours sir and, you reminded me of a trip, by VW van, I took through the southwest 25 years ago and all the beauty there. One of these days I am going to credit card tour, I have the bike, just need to make the time. I came across a term from a forum I follow where a member was commenting on a cross country tour he did this year, ‘La Volupté’ which may describe your experience with San Miguel Canyon https://cafeducycliste.exposure.co/la-volupte