Back in Flagstaff, we plan to regroup, change gears and get out of town. Instead, we linger.
We linger at the library catching up on old news.
We linger with friends around their fire place sipping hot drinks.
We linger in our comfy pants – literally and figuratively.
Leaving is the hardest part. The best thing to do is rip of the bandaid and go. The discomfort will fade and the desire to see what’s around the next corner will replace it.
Today’s the day, except I have been awake all night, listening to the wind howl around the house and through the junipers. The last night on the river we floated through the night. Since then, I wake up, thinking I’m on a boat.
We ride a maze of fire roads through the Coconino National Forest. The ponderosas filter the wind gusts. Ice and snow cover the road in some spots.
We talk about being around a warm fire with family and friends. The mud bogs down my tires and my emotions. It’s a slippery slope, a rabbit hole.
Everything feels off today. It feels like day one all over again. What are these bicycles? Where are we going? What are we doing?
A thicket at the bottom of a wash provides protection from the wind. We’re down at 4,500′, and it’s slightly warmer here. I set up the tent and we crawl inside. In this moment, I am home.