Upon conception of this trip, our dreams included the grandeur of cycling the best natural wonders this world has to offer. We fathomed meeting every influential and interesting person that inhabited this country, and we were excited to be spending time doing the things we loved to do regularly.
Our only disappointment may have come from the lack of timing for this was far from a mild winter. We saw the worst of it. We camped in snow and biked through rain; We saw a lot of rain! We headed into the wind our entire trip (a mild breeze, or a 50 mph continuous gusting, but never a steady tailwind). We continually adjusted our route to a more southern latitude but to no avail. Our winter wasn’t metered in days or hours, but in inches and degrees.
We succeeded in the fact that we stayed committed and driven to press on and we never gave up. The hardest part of our trip was the middle. We were in the Deep South (a mindset not a region we were reminded). The sound of rain became a dirge and the praise of onlookers became a curse as we saw and heard the phrase ‘worst winter ever’ hourly. Within ideal contrivance we descended into the scrub and desert for the vernal equinox. With sandy hillsides splashed with the royal purples and yellows of the desert flowers our winter had paid off. We could appreciate our bitter time in the rain.
Of course, this immense appreciation I receive in completing our goal of cycling through seasons is indebted to Paul Dorr. Without his ‘let’s do it this winter!’ attitude and help with finances and skills I could live my life without ever experiencing what I have lived through. I owe it to him and to no one else.
Thanks to him for sticking with my (at the time) absurd notion that things would turn up and the clouds would clear, for the many times he awoke before me and started up a pot of tea on the coldest days, and for the fact that I had someone to talk to just before sunset after a long day biking.