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Friday, February 17, 2012

Day 38 (33 riding): Total overall distance: 2429.50mi Total distance today: 108.54mi Total time: 7.55.59 Avg speed: 13.7mph Top speed: 31.0mph

Random thoughts of the day:
-To leave...or not to leave, that is the question
-Snow: check. Sleet: check. Freezing rain: check. Headwind: check. 2 2,000' climbs and 1 1500' climb: check. 108+ miles: check. Invincibility: check
-I. Am. Wet.
-I have ice in my beard
-The views are blocked by the clouds...but I can't see anyway
-So this is what it's like to be old and have bad vision
-I hope I don't have to break...because I can't feel my fingers
-Massage chairs are awesome
-What do monkeys eat besides bananas?

Good thing I lost my sanity sometime last week, because if I had it I would not have left the hotel this morning. I walked out at 7:30 to a light snowfall. Then I climbed up to the continental divide where it was snowing pretty good. As I descended from there however, it turned to sleet where I couldn't see because it was being blown in my face. Then it switched to a freezing rain. That was my first 13 miles of the day. Finally I dipped below the cloud levels and was just cold and soaked to the bone but could at least see again. I still made good time and was 30 miles in by 9:45. After that,the next 30 miles were just into a chilly wind but it wasn't that strong so not too bad. Then I hit the first of 3 big climbs. This one was just under 2,000' but was fairly steep and topped off at the Arizona state line. I then descended about 1500' just to climb back up about 2100' to the top of a small mountain range about 6300' high. The first climb was definitely worse. The second climb was cool because I literally limbed up into a cloud and rode in it for a couple miles at the top. Then I descended out of the cloud and was greeted with the best view of the trip to date. It was an unbelievable view of mountains, cliffs, canyons, and flatlands all right in front and below me. Really awesome view to ride down into. It made all of the pain and cold and uncomfortableness worth it. I rode through some incredible canyons an valleys with great views. I forgot to mention that I was on the longest straightest road ever leading up to the first climb. The road was just placed in the middle of massive fields of golden grass and mountainous backgrounds. Pretty cool. Anyway, I finally made it to the town of three-way after a decently long descent. I had reached 80 miles an was pretty wet and tired. I still ja 30 miles to go and the next 10 were staring down at me from a massive looking hill. In the pic below, I started in the dots of a town at the bottom and climbed up 1500' to the top. My legs were officially toast. Luckily, the next 20 miles were virtually all downhill to Safford, AZ and my warmshowers host for the night, Mons. I was greeted by one of his 3 sons, Bryce and then I met his parents who live 10 feet away. Mons' house was his great grandfathers and is about 110 years old. Then after an incredible shower, I was introduced to Collin and Scott who are staying here for the night as well and biking west to east and then maybe north. They showered up while I went over to the other house to help prepare dinner. I was in charge of rinsing and chopping 5 different kinds of vegetables. Somehow I didn't mess it up! We had a great dinner of chicken, roasted veggies, and something I forget the name of but was good. Then I ate the rest of his carton of ice cream. Nadine sent me a message on Facebook saying her and Paul were at a days inn in Safford, conveniently about 3 miles up the road. It looks like we will be riding together again! Ricky went south to Tucson though. The weather looks decent for tomorrow and I'm finally out of the mountains so riding should be quite easy...

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