|Talia, with me peeking around and Slater's backside. Pebbles was in the porta-john.|
It was funny, we drove out there (we had our Mascot, Lil, with us, so we couldn't stay in one of the cabins close in) on Friday evening and came onto part of our route - up a killer, killer hill. Man, oh, man - did I let that hill get in my head - I woke up in the middle of the night worrying about being clipped in and not being able to make it up that hill. Almost totally psyched myself out over it. We did get a lot of comforting advice from other riders, along with the assurance that "from the looks of us" we should be going a much farther distance. The best piece of advice, however, came from a man who lives near Reata South (small world!) who told us about traversing the hill. Serpentine Shelly. Serpentine! I should have known about that from skiing, but didn't. Anyway, that gave some comfort, although we didn't really need it.
The hill that nearly kicked my ass was a long, long, long grinder. Not that steep, but just relentless. I kept thinking I'd get to the top and stop and rest, but each time I thought I was at the crest, I wasn't. Big on my gratitude list right now? Inez' gear ratio - turns out she's a climbing MA-CHEEN! I chicked two guys on the way up ;-) And a spot where someone who'd come along before had lost their breakfast about 2/3rds up.
The scenery was magnificent. Mountain, prairie, buffalo, elk, longhorn cattle, cobblestone village, art, lakes, wild flowers - this ride had it all!
I'm back at home puttering around - waiting for time to go see the big Impressionists exhibit with some friends early this afternoon. I'll get to see my favorite painting at the local fine art museum and spend some time with friends.
Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. It's not the speed, it's the journey.