I’m in Ouray and surprisingly I have Internet so the blog continues.
I expected solo touring to have it’s own set of difficulties and it certainly has. The loneliness that I had avoided set in last night and today I’ve been thinking about why and what it teaches me about myself. Let me begin by telling you that my ride from Durango over Lizard Head Pass to Ouray was everything one could want except for the traffic construction that kept holding me up. It was exciting and long and towards the end, hot. When I got into Ouray I was not in the best of shape. Ever since Santa Fe, I had been battling with the altitude. It caused me to tire easy and be short of breath and caused my heart to pound rather alarmingly. Durango was lower so it was better there but Ouray was higher than I had been so far and it was much worse here. So, tired, hot, out of breath and facing hauling my luggage up a set of stairs to my room. I then went across the street to the very excellent Ouray Brewery for a burger and a beer. It’s a great little joint and I really wanted Mr. Man there. I think he would like it. The food is good and simple and not fancy, the beer is very excellent and the music was really really great and people kept singing along to the music. Not is a weird Karaoke way just in a I like this song way. I think this is what started the lonely.
I was lonely but the amazing crying jag I had that night was really about being tired and being upset with myself for not handling the altitude well. Loneliness was just an easier emotion for me to feel. I don’t always deal well with tired. I don’t always know when I’m tired and my five year old takes over. And take over it did. As for the altitude problems, that actually goes back farther than this trip. I’ve never been in great shape, even when I was 110 pounds and a size 3. I am certainly no longer either of those things. Recently I’ve moved away from my decade long hunt to loose weight and be thinner. I’ve begun making changes in my life that make it easier for me to do the things I want to do. I’ve been in the gym with a trainer in order to make this trip easier. It has, I can tell a vast improvement in my performance on the road and in my endurance. When I get back from this trip I intend to work with a nutritionist in order to rethink my food for the same reasons. I’ve given up my fruitless journey to be thinner and am working on a new journey to live a fun-filled and exciting life. That being said, such a shift in my thinking can’t happen all at once and it’s easy to fall back into believing that my problems are all because I’m fat and out of shape. Fat I may still be but out of shape does not really apply anymore. I was having a hard time remembering that last night. I felt like if I had worked harder then I would be breathing better, my heart rate would be lower. I mean I had done all this hard work to make the trip easier. Why was it so hard? It must be my fault, I hadn’t worked hard enough, I was too heavy, too lazy, too useless.
All this crashed on top of me last night and it just felt lonely. It took me all night to unravel everything I was feeling so that I could look at everything. Tired I could fix by going to bed so put that aside, it can be dealt with shortly. The upset over the altitude had to be addressed. I thought about the ride I had just done. It was hard. It was twisty and carved into the side of a mountain. I was able to engage more of my body to navigate the curves. My shoulders thanked me for the beating they did not take. My back thanked me for the pain it was not in. I had done well to prepare for this and I should be proud. Altitude sickness effects people regardless of how in shape they are. It was frustrating and unfortunate but not my fault. Today I still felt like people were staring at me, staring and the fat chick wheezing her way down the street. I wanted to yell at them, “I’m in better shape than you! You’re going to go home and sit on your couch in your size 8 jeans and eat ice cream. I’m going to go to the gym with my trainer and continue to work on my strength and my cardio health.” Fortunately for me, I didn’t have the breath to yell.
The loneliness was dealt with by a long call to Mr Man including seeing his face. I also got up this morning and went down to talk to a man about renting an ATV. As a result I’m going on a guided ride of Yankee Boy Pass tomorrow on an ATV. Why an ATV? Well actually I’ve always wanted to ride one and while my sidecar is a dual-sport, I have a street back tire. With all the rain they’ve had down here, I don’t think it’s safe. Also, I would be going off road alone and that is never a good idea. This way I will still get some off road time in a safer manner.
So that’s me, overcoming the daily adversity of solo touring and continuing on my way. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been and my endurance in vastly improved. I’ve got one more day in Ouray and then I’m heading to Pueblo for the start of the ride home. The breathing problems will go away once I get lower and I’ll feel better. There will be video soon, I promise. For now, I’m getting some sleep for tomorrow’s adventure.