The Ride

West Boulder Road
West Boulder Road

The cool crisp morning air rushed past my helmet and I road out of the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness to a rising sun. My goal was simple; to ride around to the next drainage and then back up over on some sweet single-track. No expectations other than that. None. And it was quite possible I would have to bike back the way I was headed. Who knows.  Just a general plan.

Rest Stop
Rest Stop

The journey, and I am talking about life here, is so freaking brutal when I have some expectations. I heard once that the less expectations you have the happier you will become. What ever. Gosh … I need to come up with more words for life. I am getting bored talking about life as “The Journey”, even though it is. How about “The Ride”.

Focusing on Color
Focusing on Color

So my “Ride” had no expectations. Just wonder. I wondered if I would get to the trailhead in enough time to continue. My cutoff was 2 hours. And I wondered if I would find the trail over the ridge. And would I actually make it before I am missed. I don’t know. And why is my favorite flower colored yellow anyway? Too much wonder.

Homestead on top of the ridge
Homestead on top of the ridge

After 3 hours my ride I was in good position on “The Ride”. It took me past the trailhead and over the ridge. All I had to do is ride down the other side. Better yet I had already rode on this side so I knew I would come out ok. No more wonder. I expected to be home before lunch.

Burned Patch
Burned Patch

Just as I pointed the bike West I felt the front tire give and knew immediately it was going flat. No matter I will fix it. And I did. Then I crashed. I picked myself up and continued. Then my tire went flat again. And I started to wonder if I would make it out at all.

Nurses Lakes
Nurses Lakes

Frustrated I leaned my bike up against a tree and sat beside one of the Nurses Lakes. The day before I came ripping through here without incident. Today it wasn’t so smooth. And it was because “The Ride” went from no expectations to the expectation that everything would go smoothly on the way down. And now it wasn’t. And my ankle hurt from dumping the bike off a switchback. But who cares … right? Just extra time … pifffttt. Just take the lumps and continue on.

Aspen Grove
Aspen Grove

Soon I was riding through a glorious forest of aspens and forgot about my problems.  I picked up speed and ripped down the side of the mountain pass. I shouted with glee at the valley below. Base camp here I come.

Looking over to Shell Mountain
Looking over to Shell Mountain

“The Ride” worked out just fine as I glided through the meadow at the bottom of the valley. What is the use of expectations anyway? Doesn’t things always work out? Isn’t it always fun?  What do you expect anyway?

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