This post was written by me at fourtheroad.com. I decided to share it with my THP readers in the hopes that it may encourage.
It was written on the road, and I have left it unedited.
Date: December 27, 2012
Time Pedaling: 5 hrs. 06 min.
Avg. Speed: 9.7 mph
Max Speed: 23.3 mph
Trip Odometer: 2,320.84
Weather: sunny, windy, 62 degrees (Tacna, AZ) to (Yuma, AZ)
Time of Departure: 10:30
Arrival Time First Christian Church in Yuma, AZ: 3:30 (Mountain Time Zone)
Much in life isn’t as hard as we think it will be.
We left our lodgings in Tanca at about 10:30am. That was actually a good time for us. Part of it was that there wasn’t anyone around asking questions.
Sidenote: My children insisted I write about this mishap. I’ve carried mace with on the entire trip. I keep it close at hand in my shorts (right pocket). I have had no cause to use it or even spray it to make sure it works. Well, I mentioned my ringworm, and the Athlete’s Foot Spray right? This morning I was a bit groggy (typical for the morning) when my wife handed me the mace. I mistook it for the Athlete’s Foot Spray and sprayed a little bit on my ringworm. I thought it odd that just a little bit came out and it was red, so I sprayed more on. That did the trick. I started coughing and sneezing, not to mention, burning. My wife was amazed that I did it, the children were delighted. The good news is that I was outside near the tandem when I did it. The other good news is that I know the mace is still good. It took a good 15 minutes for the burning to stop. Who knows maybe the ringworm will now go away…
We got on I-8 and before you ask, the wind was not favorable. It was coming out of the southwest. Again, unless it is a tailwind, no wind is preferred. It was about 15 mph mainly pushing us sideways. We knew we had about 40 miles or so to get to Yuma. We also knew that we had to face Telegraph Pass before we got to Yuma. We did what we could do, we pedaled.
We were warned about the Pass going to Yuma. One gentleman at the rest area even gave me another route that would avoid the Pass. I asked how far out of the way it was. 15 miles. It was tempting because of the wind. We would need to take the exit to Wellton which was only about 15 miles into our day. Gail and I were both for going over the Pass (Dakota and Luke were fine either way). The gentleman at the rest area told us the climb was about 4-5 miles, and that it was hard on his RV.
We decided to climb it. It seemed a bit odd for us to travel over 2,300 miles and then bypass a 4-5 mile climb, even with troublesome winds. We wouldn’t be able to respond to someone who asked, “How was that climb before Yuma?”
Now we can.
The wind subsided a little the closer we got to the mountain. I noticed a sign on the side of the road that read, Slow Moving Traffic Next Two Miles. Two miles? Our climbing was just halved it would appear.
We stopped to get a picture of what we had climbed to that point after less than a half mile. We took a drink, and climbed on. About a mile in the girls had stopped for a break, and so Luke and I waited for them. There is a beauty in us climbing together as a unit.
We set out to finish this thing. There was no walking. There was no griping. There was just pedaling.
About two miles in we reached the top. Within a quarter mile of that, the downhill. The downhill was about 4-5 miles with very little pedaling. The GIANT that was before us fell much like it had in the past, one pedal stroke after another. I wonder how we would have felt had we chosen the ‘easy route’. We won’t ever know. But, we can all answer what it was like to climb Telegraph Pass.
We stopped on the outskirts of Yuma at exit 12. It was time for a bathroom break and celebration. We also needed a place to stay the night. We were planning on a Couchsurfers host, but the host had two dogs and my allergies objected. We were sipping some drinks in front of the gas station while Dakota was calling local churches. Several people came up and spoke with us. I want to share one with you.
A guy named Kevin came up and asked where we came from. We explained which caused him to smile from ear to ear. It dawned on me that his smile wasn’t one that was wishful. It was a welcome to the club smile. Kevins’ friend Chris came over and also had a big smile on his face. We talked. Kevin and Chris had hiked the Pacific Coast Highway from Mexico up to Washington. They were on their way back when we met them, from a 24 day rafting trip through the Grand Canyon.
The reason they had smiles on their faces, was because they were already in ‘the club’. They were only too happy to welcome 4 travelers that had braved the elements, the hills and their fears into ‘the club’. I get that, now.
I get that when Gil Wagner showed us overwhelming kindness and encouragement, he wanted us to join him in ‘the club’. When Jeff Ellis left this message, You Will Want To Quit…Don’t, on Dakota’s Facebook for us, he was beckoning us to join.
I’m not sure if my children understand it completely. They will.
The doors were kindly open to us at the First Christian Church. We are going out to see The Hobbit.
Thank each of you for being part of our adventure. There is a club waiting for you.
Time to eat.
To the Coast…wherever that may be for you.
The ‘club’ awaits you my friends…
Live it LOUD!