Wednesday, June 24
I write from a hotel in Kremmling where Chris just left to continue his journey and hopefully hit Breckenridge in time for a tasty lunch.
Last night, I expected Chris to keep pushing close to Breckenridge, when I got a call from him in Kremmling asking if I was interested in driving the two hours up to see him. He and Kurt had been trying to decide what to do when they rolled past Kremmling -- Chris wanting to stop and get some sleep, Kurt wanting to keep pushing so he can make a post-office pickup in Salida down the line. Chris was tempted to keep going, he didn't want to leave his riding buddy, but he knew the right decision for him was to stop for the night to get some sleep. So both of them made the tough choice to do what they thought was right for themselves. And I'm sure both of them will be better off for doing that. Who knows, they may even end up meeting back up at some point.
For Chris and I, getting to see each other even for just a short little while, was seriously needed. We are a couple that can spend 24/7 together and never get tired of each other. In the last eight years, the longest we have spent apart is a week. As we faced the possiblity of not seeing each other for almost 20 days for this race, we both made the decision to hook up when he came into Colorado, giving us each a little more energy to make it to the end. We knew it'd be hard, and we've yet to see if it was actually the best choice, but getting to sit and talk for a little while over breakfast was refreshing. The hardest part about the visit was the concept of being "self-supported." I really couldn't do anything for Chris -- couldn't bring him any delicious food, couldn't bring him fresh clothes or even toothpaste, and (hardest of all) couldn't rub his tired legs. Essentially, I showed up, chatted with him, slept next to him, ate with him, and watched him ride away this morning. But even getting to see him in that limited capacity was better than nothing.
So for today... Chris is off riding. I plan to meet him in Breck for a quick lunch before I head home to hang with the puppy. As Chris nears Salida tomorrow morning, I will go down and see him again while he works on his bike with the parts I have already overnighted to the bike shop. The good thing about this route -- it runs many different places that are no more than just a few short hours from our house. That way I can see him whenever we want, with no real amount of effort or driving.
The last stretch of trail, past Salida to the end, is going to be really tough. But Chris has a good plan, he's determined to finish, and I know he can do it. Hopefully this time next week, I'll get to see Chris and take him home with me. Yay!