As Sam Cooke sang, a change is gonna come
June 14, 2024

By David Kraemer

After 1250 miles in the far west including heading south for the last 500 or so, we turned East into the morning sun.

 
 
The beautiful Wasatch mountains of Logan cast a deep, dark shadow over us as a beautiful gorge climb of 35 miles awaited us!
 
Having bronchitis on the trailing edge of our group “ sickness” (nearly everyone has been sick over two weeks) and recovering from a great build day, the upcoming distance and climb seemed daunting.
 
As a mediocre athlete I can very easily psyche myself out with details of WHY I can’t make it!  The stats, the illness, the lack of sleep, the exhaustion from the build all seem impossible to overcome.
 
We gather in community and launch at 7.  Immediately I fall to the back barely able to take a full breath. I default to defeatist thinking because I’m sure I’m not worthy or able to complete the day.  I begin to plan how I will have the rescue car pick me up!
 
In the most beautiful 2 hours the canyon reduces me to a mere 15 miles — 25 is the speed quota. Uh oh
 
The climb continues up and the views come more spectacular. Slowly my chest loosens and my nose drains.  I crest the top at about 4 hours — a measly 9 mph.  
 
The descent into Bear lake, Utah is stunning ! And I begin to forget about my cold. I am energized by the beauty! 
 
And then a second shorter, steeper climb. 3 miles and 1500 foot ascent.  But something in me has turned around! I’ve found new legs! 
 
Most thrilling is we have crested the tree line and voila!—- the pine canyons and snow capped mountains are gone— the plains of Wyoming await and a 7 mile descent adds quick miles to the odometer!
 
You can see a ribbon of highway forever in the distance with low mesquite scrub trees teasing the sparsely grazing cattle. 
 
We have left the cascades, big Sky, and the Wasatch behind!  It’s a new day! 
 
Before I know it we arrive at our destination. My worries were unnecessary and it’s time to carry on courageously!

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