Sunday, July 6, 2008

Back On Track



What a whirlwind the past week has been. I've spent four days in transit, five days in Puerto Rico with friends and family, several late nights celebrating my cousin's nuptials, and now I'm back in the Grand Tetons National Park at Colter Bay campground. I've gone from sunsets in San Juan back to sunsets in the Tetons. Thanks, Gongui and Rebecca, for your hospitality in San Juan. And congratulations, Kevin and Marita. You throw a great wedding!

I landed at the Jackson airport at 2pm today. As I walked onto the tarmac, a light rain was falling and it was in the 50's -- a bit of a shock after a week of 80's and 90's. By 3:30pm I had reclaimed my bike, repacked my panniers and was all geared up. Once again, the weather worked itself out. The rain had stopped, the clouds had lifted and it felt 20 degrees warmer.

Getting back on my bike was a lot like reuniting with a good friend that I haven't seen in quite some time. Before seeing each other again I wonder whether we'll be able to recapture the connection we once had. I worry that we may have changed too much and we'll no longer have anything in common, that our conversation will be nothing but awkward small talk. But then we meet and it's like no time has passed. Within minutes, we're laughing at the same jokes and finishing one another's sentences. That's how it felt pedaling my first few miles today. Now I realize I'm writing about steel and rubber, but after several thousands miles you develop a bond with your bike.

Today's ride was an easy reintroduction -- 45 miles through beautiful country. For much of the ride I was retracing my path out of Jackson through the Grand Tetons. After pitching my tent at the campground, I headed to the Chuckwagon restaurant at Colter Bay. As I finished dessert, I heard my name. It was Cam and Don, who I last saw in Kentucky. They noticed my bike parked outside and were looking around the restaurant to see if it was mine. We sat and talked, exchanging stories about our rides across Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming.

Rain returned as I left the restaurant and I've been listening to the patter of raindrops on my tent throughout the night.

3 comments:

Greg said...

First!

Anonymous said...

Brian,
I am glad that you had a good time in Puerto Rico and I am glad that you went.
Continued prayers and blessings on the trail.
Colleen

Andy said...

Bet you're glad to be back on it! Hope it wasn't too hard getting settled in again.