Riding your bike from coast to coast is the coolest job in America. Also, it's not a job. Yet.
I am just a scrawny boy from the wetlands of southern Connecticut. Wherever I can ride my bike, so can any body with two good legs.
What is good about traveling on a bicycle?
1. You can feel good about moving on the strength of your own body, and that strength only grows
2. You can move slowly enough to see where you are
3. As Hemingway has written, and as Gilhuly has quoted in a recent photograph, "you learn the contours of a country best"
4. You are exposed to the world, which means that you are vulnerable to more dangers. But your reward for this risk is an unmediated encounter with the places you move through. The sun and the wind and the rain all have meaning to you, because they touch you, and they affect you directly. The real temperature of the air, the strength and direction of the breeze, sounds and smells, all are available to you. Your relationship with the passage is imminent, intimate, direct, for better or worse.
Zach and Robin made us a delicious pancake breakfast (it was vegan). It gave us fuel to climb over Monarch Pass (11,312 feet high). We crossed the continental divide, there. Now, all the water that we see will be running towards the Pacific.
That day we rode 65 miles to Gunnison. They say that winters in Gunnison are some of the coldest in the nation. Fifty degrees below zero is not uncommon. In Gunnison I met a woman on a bike with two small dogs trained to respond to commands in Italian. We received more than one invitation to hospitality, the most appealing of which was the couch and spare bed of Steve and Nicole, for which we were very grateful. Steve, if your name is actually Scott, please forgive me. You deserve to be named correctly, but my namemory is very bad. It's something I need to work on.