It’s 2157. My bags are packed and loaded, I’m showered, and eagerly anticipating my 0300 departure on post-deployment leave. Colorado Springs, Colorado is my first stop. Residing there are the very same soldiers of the 506th I trained with in Iraq. It’s a reunion that’s sure to produce more than a few laughs. From there it’s on to Bismarck, North Dakota for six days for a wedding, a few get togethers, and plenty of Badlands single track with my good buddy Dale.
But things don’t get really interesting until 15 September. 15 September is the day I fly to St Louis, Missouri to begin my journey in completing the coveted Lewis and Clark Trail. Last year it was twenty days and almost 1500 miles and this year isn’t much different. Sixteen days and 1200 miles, a majority of them I’m guessing straight into northwest winds, await me. My body aches with expectation. Literally.
You’d think I’d be excited about it. You’d think with half the trail already under my belt I’d be fitter and wiser. Well, you’re half right. I’m wiser, granted. I’ve adapted my gear list to avoid the same pitfalls I made last year. But fit? Ha! Since completing my tour last year, I seriously doubt I have a hundred cycling miles under my belt in any capacity. My cycling muscles are jello. My only saving grace is I know how to fight through the first few days (and possibly up to a week and change) of excruciating muscle pains and varying degrees of “bike-ass” while my body adapts to being back on the road. I see success, as per the usual outcome of any of my endeavors, but I also see a hard road ahead.
What this all boils down to is me being gone through the first week of October, eventually a crap load of tour photos and video for the website, an immensely chaffed ass, and another tour journal to procrastinate on transcribing to disk. Hell, I may as well wait and publish both tours in a special hardcover edition with souvenir shot glass. We shall see.
So it’s not goodbye, but rather “see you later”. Charlie 3rd, I’ll see you later. Outstanding job during the last field op. Jaymekohler.com fans, I’ll see you later too. Power to the pedal…ShareThis