2013 RMVQ part IV

Crossing the swinging bridge

Grave Range | Snow Bowl | Sheep | Mit Tower | Alp Turah | University

MitTower Climb to Turah

I sat up in my bivvy many times throughout the night. Almost once every hour. Every time I took notice how beautiful the view was. I mean I could see the city lights and knew I was close to town. But each time I also took stock in the situation and it was not impressive. My legs were still frozen and as soon as I awoke I started to shiver. It is like I woke up to shiver to generate some much-needed heat. Then I would pass out again.

I awoke to a beautiful morning on top of a ridge outside of Missoula. I stood up and to my amazement I felt my feet. I was entirely thawed out.  It was 6 am and from what I remember from the forecast today was going to be super nice day. My plan was to ride into town and quit this year’s RMVQ … but that feeling started to fade.

Morning sun on Jumbo Saddle
Morning sun on Jumbo Saddle

I rode out and on Jumbo Saddle to declare, at least to myself, that I was not quitting. I made my way over to MitTower and started up the climb. I needed water so I stopped at a creek. Then it came back to me … my water filter was broke. I figured that if I could get to the Turah General Store I could restock the good ol-fashion bike-packing way. I started to dream of the perfect breakfast.

But all this took back seat to the real reason I wanted to get to Turah. As soon as possible. I knew that if I did make it there I would have a friend to ride AlpDeTurah with.  I was hoping my friend Ed would be waiting there. I sure needed a friend after almost freezing to death the night before. I could see him standing with that amazed grin, relishing in the entire sortie.

Marcy posting on top of Mit Tower
Marcy posting on top of Mit Tower

The climb did take a little while but only because I decided to save energy, keep my heart rate at 133, and walk all the climbs.  Actually it seemed like forever but eventually I reached the top where I posted a Marcy photo. Almost to Turah I thought to myself.

Dropping down into Bonner
Dropping down into Bonner

The rest of the trip was pretty exiting… well except for the road-ride from Bonner to Turah. The route features a huge bomber downhill and a swinging bridge. All the while dreaming of my entrance to Turah. My friend waiting … with some sort of bacon breakfast. Smiling and waiting for me. It would be glorious.

I finally did arrive but not until noon. And my dreams of meeting up with a friend to ride with faded into a dizzy glare. Thoughts of breakfast long gone. It had been over 15 hours since I had taken in water or eaten.  I had climbed over a snow-covered peak. I was delirious. I needed saved.

I stumbled into the Turah General Store and announced that I had ridden over a hundred miles and wanted to buy some water, borrow a cup, and needed to use the microwave to make some butter coffee.

One thought on “2013 RMVQ part IV

  1. “I could see him standing with that amazed grin, relishing in the entire sortie”. Arggghhhh:) I was SO torn that morning, one side of my brain telling me to go to Turah, the other side fighting for another important commitment. Competing priorities, ah…what would life be like without them 🙂 Great write up Bill, I was thinking of you, I must have sent my grin through the energy waves to you at least.

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