800 miles is a long way to drag your tail home. I did it. I’m not happy about it, but it happened.
I grabbed a kick-ass breakfast at the Sleep Inn: biscuits, gravy, scrambled eggs, waffles, and coffee. I filled fuel next door and was on the road about 7:30 AM. I had about 8 hours of asphalt to cover to make it home, and the day promised to be bright and clear.
I had a lot on my mind, namely the fact I had to quit this tour and go home. It was bullshit. At the surface, I quit. I threw in the towel. I gave up. Use any cliche you would like. It all adds up to the same thing: I didn’t accomplish what I set out to.
I have to make a physical effort to understand the decision I made was the right one. When I dwell on it, I get pissed off. I’m embarrassed. I’m ashamed. But there are very few in the world who know I did the right thing. After all the time I’ve spent in combat, imagine the irony if I died in some podunk ditch after getting hit in a snowstorm.
I could’ve fought the weather, the traffic. Taken my chances. But 1,000 miles through North Dakota winter has taught me distance cycling in below-freezing temps is disaster waiting to happen. I had to swallow a lot of pride to remember that.
Common sense and experience beats pride any day.