July 26, 2013 Day 13: Final Riding Day

It rained during the night, but stopped before breakfast. More rainfall is expected, but we can't complain since we've had beautiful weather every day except for the one where it rained and hailed. Alaska has summers where it just rains non-stop.

Our breakfast had the usual eggs, hash browns, oatmeal, ham, sausage, and bacon. I know it sounds like paradise, but I was getting sick of eating eggs and refined carbs every morning. On the counter was a basket of apples and bananas for $1.75 each. Fresh fruits were rare and a highly valued commodity on our trip. I added them to my oatmeal to avoid eating more refined sugars.

It rained pretty much the entire ride. I love riding in the rain. Nature is silent and only the monotonous sound of the rain interrupts it. I can lose myself in the fast rhythm of the the raindrops hitting the pavement. The lowered visibility and the isolation form an invisible wall protecting me from the reality. Jamie just runs on the wet surface making it easy to accelerate up to 16 mph, even with headwind.

Today, I was not wanting to go into this meditative state and just wanted to be done. Twenty-seven miles down and counting. I shifted into the wrong gear several times, making my climbs or descents harder than they should be.  Exhaustion was taking over. I visualized how nice it will be to arrive in Denali and not to have to be on Jamie for a day or two.  I was longing for the trip to be over and not a bit sad.

I got into Denali National Park at 3 p.m. as the last person. I may have caught up if I would have taken a shorter break at the cinnamon roll place or had I not cycled way past the campsite and had to turn back.

It is almost time for our final communal celebration dinner. My previous frustration left for an overwhelming sadness. There was just one more morning left where I would wake up to share breakfast with Joe or Phil, who have become my breakfast companions.  I've grown to appreciate their quiet, yet poignant sense of humor and friendly smiles.

return to top