Day Ten - Three Little Birds
With Day Nine behind us and without reason to think about it, we jumped into Day Ten with both feet. And, our legs were strong, which was great. We had a good steady mojo and it lasted us the entire day.
We had two descents that each dropped us around 3,000 feet a piece. I have to say that there are few things better than a high-speed shimmy down a mountain road. As Kevin pointed out the other evening, ‘gravity is for real on a bike’. At times, the drop-offs were breathtaking. On one side, valley floor that was painted red and green with high-desert grasses, and on the other, rock faces. For a few miles, it was a quartz-like surface, and I’ve never seen it so shiny. Caught my blurry reflection at one point as I cruised down. In a few other places, the rock was very different; what I remember most was one point where the same texture of rock was shared by a very liberally diverse medley of colors. Blue, orange, pink, charcoal, green and lavender shades shifted on to another but were all muddled together. They were neighbors and distinct, but together they were part of something bigger. It was magnificent.
Sunny day. What few clouds existed were puffy and inviting.
After only one negative on the day (I got forced off the road onto a gravel embankment by a truck, or rather a truck driver. This was at mile 43, and I’m fine, BTW), we pulled into Baker, NV. Baker is a self-described hamlet of a town whose 2010 census survey boasted a population of 68. Yes, sixty-eight. So, we expected a snooze-fest/ghost-town combination, but instead we rode into town to fine the tail-end of a festival going on. It was a benefit for conservation efforts for Snake Valley, which is where Baker calls home. It’s part of the Great Basin. There was lively buzz in the air, probably more so than in any other town we’d visited in Nevada. It was ironic. The people were great. Everyone wanted to know about our cause. The sheriff came out to meet Kevin and I. Heather bought some jewelry from a Native American woman who had made it herself and didn’t want to sell it to Heather unless she could explain its origins and meanings.
Our innkeeper, Terry, made us a pasta dinner and it was slammin’. He treated us like true guests in his home. At one point, Kevin even said in his thick Long Island-ese, “I feel like we’re in your home, here”. To which Terry replied, “well, you sort of are”. It was grand.
The day’s magical moment came when Heather was checking into their room. There were three little birds right by the front door. ‘Three little birds’ is a Bob Marley song and, in it, they’re sitting by a doorstep. The song had immense deep and personal meaning for our Honoree, the late SSG Jesse Williams. Everyone who knew him knew this. Of all of the subtle reminders we’ve gotten about our purpose, this was the most pleasant. Heather was able to capture a photo.
We mingled with some locals and then enjoyed our patio, which was in a shady spot just outside of our rooms. At one point, Heather was heard to say, “wait a minute – I think we just got a chance to relax! Wow…”.
Yup, the opportunity was there, and we gladly took it.
For the Families of the Fallen…To the Limit!
Care Creates Community, Matt Sauri