Riding through the big mountains of the west can be so cathartic. Their presence envelops me and I become– no, I realize– that I am so small.
Felkerino’s and my efforts to clamber over the mountains is almost laughable. We take so long to go up and over their every bump that I suspect we amuse the land with our hours-long pedaling antics.
But the mountains don’t seem to mind us. They were here long before we were and they will exist on this earth long after we depart.
Today’s route was so picturesque with plentiful 360 degree views. With the exception of feeling like we were in a soup bowl of dry heat at various points, it was a perfect day.
We rode away from Kremmling on the stunning CO-1 to State Bridge Landing, over to Eagle River, with a final memorable and sometimes other-worldly climb over Cottonwood Pass Road to Carbondale. (Guard rails? Who needs guard rails? Not Cottonwood Pass Road, I said, as my life flashed before my eyes.)
In the early miles of our ride my thoughts wandered to my “non-vacation” life. My mind grew cluttered with what-if talk. What if things were different? Am I living my life the way I should? This is a conversation I often have with myself, as those who know me will attest.
The mountains answered in their unexpected mysterious way. I had money in my pocket for a pop and potato chips. I had a beautiful bike to ride. I had a loving partner by my side (or in front of me, if you want to be literal). There was no need to contemplate what-ifs. They did not matter.
Content with my life and in my smallness, I kept pushing the pedals through the big Colorado mountains.