We had taken 2 weeks off of work, a big deal for me, and had a really nice time getting to Tucson with a trip up the central coast and stops with friends and family. We started our trip off with a trip to Monterey and the Aquarium. From Monterey we headed down coast to Cambria for the night at a great little 50's motel in the heart of town.
|Mary and Sasha in Cambria|
|Mary riding in Los Osos|
|The views and riding are really good here.|
Ben and Lani have a beautiful home overlooking the Catalina Islands, Ben is a surfer and he told us how happy he was that he never has to call in for surf conditions, he just looks out the window!
We pressed on to Sonoita but I knew at that point my race was over if the fever didn't break that day. It didn't, in fact it was 5 days before it got below 100 degrees which necessitated a visit to the urgent care for some antibiotics and some cough medicine(for what had become a horrendous, nasty cough) so I could sleep, something I hadn't done for 3 days.
The race was officially over before it began.
In between feeling really bad we did some nice tourist things. We hit up Karchner Caverns which was incredible(no pictures as it's a living cave) as well as our second trip to the Sonoran Desert Museum which is always a very cool experience and something I highly recommend.
|Blooming Yucca plant|
|We made the Raptor show which was really cool, 4 of these guys diving and flying inches over your head!|
|I guess it's like riding a bike, once you learn.....|
We didn't have any plans for Sunday or Monday so we decided to head up to Payson and camp a bit and to get out of the heat of Tucson. We hit up a couple of spots where the race gets close to the road so I could feel even more disappointed, not really, it was cool to see where I would be racing next year.
|At the Gila River in Kelvin|
|Wonderfully built trail here|
|Still a lot of flowers out|
|Massive Copper mines dominate the landscape in this part of Az.|
We stayed at a Forest Service campground that was immaculate and had showers. It was also empty on a Sunday so we had the place pretty much to ourselves. I tried to ride but got about an hour in and imploded, barely made it back to camp, ugly it was.
|Sasha looking for something to chase|
I was now a week and half out on being sick and my patience was running out, I was trying to be a good sport, but sometimes it was difficult to say the least. My cough had continued to be a problem, I was certain I had pneumonia but the chest x-ray in Tucson didn't show it so I just had to be patient and know that the huge case of bronchitis I had would eventually go away(3 weeks out and I still have it...).
|Sedona, amazing as always|
|Remnants of the snow and rain of the previous week.|
|Beauty in the desert.|
I was ready to go home though, two weeks of feeling really sick away from home is tough and I was ready to be done with it. We decided to head home a day early by way of the Grand Canyon, the Eastern Sierras and Lake Tahoe, a great choice as the weather was perfect and the recent snows in the Sierras made for a beautiful backdrop on our drive.
|I might be hiking that with my bike strapped to my back next year....|
|Not a bad lunch spot!|
|14,000' Mt Whitney|
Totals for the 14 day trip:
4000 miles driven.
18 miles ridden on my bike.
Memories to last a lifetime, too many to count....
4 days feeling well.
Missing the race is nothing in the grand scheme of things, I am hugely disappointed that I missed the adventure, these things get harder to manage the older you get and my time is running out on doing these sorts of things. I'll move on and hopefully be in a position to do it next year. For this year I'll try and set my sights on the Colorado Trail Race, not sure I can make it happen but I'll keep it in the background and go for it if the opportunity presents itself.