Fitz-Barn Day 3

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I woke up late which at first disturbed me a little. Sure I was not doing as well as I thought I could. But I still had a bit of fight left in me. I still wanted to try and make up for the slow start. Waking up late isn’t a good way to get things started but in hind sight it was good to get a full 8 hours sleep. It didnt take me long to pack up and I was on my way in no time.  It felt good to be riding again and when the route turned into a climb I was excited to learn that I had all my super powers back.  First though I needed to take off my slumber clothes. I stopped at a good vantage point above the Big Hole Valley to make a coffee and strip the warm down clothes off.

Big Hole Valley

Photo courtesy of Aaron Baldwin

I noticed a carcass in the field below me and my mind started to wonder off on a new perspective. How little we are in the world.  How are life is here and gone and how we just get left behind.  It was all this animal could do to stay with the herd until one day it just fell over and moved on.  And the herd just moved on as well.  I felt the same sadness. how I was running with the pack and then left for dead.  No, I wasn’t really left for dead but everyone was moving at their own pace and I had to get myself to the finish or just be forgotten out here. 

Suddenly three white dogs appeared. All three looking into the valley as I was. The eldest sat on the ridge above me. The middle aged one on the road I was one. And the young one near the carcass below.  The young one noticed me first but not until I spoke up.  I don’t know what I said. Something like, “Whats wrong” or something stupid. talking to dogs is dumb right?

It started barking and they all approached me. I got nervous for a second but notice the eldest was already wagging it’s tail and they all came and sat in front of me.  It was weird. They all watched me pack my warm close and prepare to ride.  It was if they were there in support.  Waiting for me.

I started riding and they ran with me.  At first all three until the older dogs fell behind. It seemed like I was getting strength from them and I started riding stronger and stronger. It was like I had not ridden in a week. When the last one left me I was traveling at a higher velocity then ever and started to cover ground quickly.  Then on another section big Clydesdale like horses ran with me and I rode even faster.  By the time I caught up to Tracey P I was simply flying.  I chatted for a bit and then continued my inspired ride.

Climbing into the Bitterroot

Photo courtesy of Aaron Baldwin

The rest was a blur of focused riding and wonderment of the vastness of the Bitterroots. After a beautiful and relaxing water / filter stop I was hammering up a long sistained climb towards Shultz Saddle, the last real sustained climb of the ride.  Easy peasy.

Last big decent into Sleeping Child

Photo courtesy of Aaron Baldwin

Before I knew it I was headed down familiar ground, down to Sleeping Child Road.  I was home and I couldn’t wait to see everyone and finish the ride that started out with disaster and ended up on a strong day. I cant tell why I rode so well that last 100 miles, probably the fasted 100 miles I have ever rode.  Inspiration from other creatures … maybe.  A welcoming hug from my girlfriend, most definitely.  Maybe I was just back to my old self … just out for a ride.

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