where I am: 5/17

Tonight, I am in Cuivre River State Park. I disembarked from the Katy in Marthasville. Now I’m heading north on Adventure Cycling’s Great Rivers route.

It’s quite a change. It’s all new ground I’m covering. No more pedaling away the unheeded miles on a familiar and uncomplicated track. Biking the Katy is like navigating a river. In leaving it, I’ve taken to the open skies. There’s a greater sense of freedom, but it comes with the responsibility of keeping an eye on where I’m going and noting where I’ve been: landmarks, road signs, miles covered.

Leaving Marthasville, my excitement was quickly quashed by a sheer, straight 250 ft climb up out of the river valley. It was the sort of climb that, had it been in the Appalachias, the road builders would have provided some kind of switchback or sloping diagonal device to ease the strain of climbing it directly. But I guess we are less practiced in the art of mountainous road building here.

Or maybe I’m just out of shape and whining. It wasn’t my last difficult climb of the day (though it remained the most difficult) and it was another 80-and-then-some mile day. But I would have been more than willing to call it a day at 60-or-so miles, there just wasn’t a campground until I got to this one.

I don’t think I trained nearly as well for this trip as I did for last years. Or maybe the arc of last year’s topography served as better on-the-road training. Regardless, I’m pretty weary, and a little cranky. Tomorrow, I think, will be a short one.


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