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The passage from Robbins’ book was a poignant reminder, and one line seemed tied to the theme I created for my blog (check my words below the title of the blog): “Should you fail to pilot your own ship, don’t be surprised at what inappropriate port you find yourself docked.” I quickly called Union Creek Resort to reserve the room they had available for Saturday night. “Hi. Do you still have the single room available Saturday night?” “No, sorry, we are all booked for Saturday.” I drew a blank. My instincts took hold, the calling more so. “Do you have a room for Sunday night?” “Yes, Room #1 is open.” “I’ll reserve that please.” And it was set. Sunday I would ride from Ashland to Crater Lake. Stay at the Union Creek Resort Sunday night, and ride home Sunday.
Long rides out in the hills call to me, perhaps getting me back to where I left off in a past life as a cowboy shot down at high noon by a quick draw renegade… or as the shot-down cowboy’s lonely horse. That night I went to bed, slept soundly, the decision was made, allowing me to dream and sleep with intention.
Saturday night I looked over maps, checked mileage on GoogleMap, and came up with my route. The first day would take me north with plenty of climbing. From Ashland north up the bosom of the Rogue Valley. Then to Crater Lake Highway following the Rogue River, through Cascade Gorge, climbing gradually along the Diamond Lake Highway to 5,400 feet, down to Diamond Lake, then up the ten mile climb to the North Rim of Crater Lake, ten miles up and down along the northern side of the rim, then exiting the South Rim looping back to Union Creek for the night. Around 150 miles with plenty of climbing.
Sunday morning breakfast was simple, sustaining, fuel for the ride. The weather forecast called for clear sky, warm temps, and light till late, which meant not having to wake up early to ride. I gathered up my supplies for the journey, my only means of carrying were the pockets built into my cycling jersey. Enough room for, well, see below.
Hot, sunny, blue skies, I set out. The concept of time during a long bike ride is non-linear. The passing of minutes replaced by the timing of cadence and breath, the combination of beauty, boredom, and humor of the scenery, difficulty of the terrain, and of course all the other mental sideshows going on in my brain in any moment.