Mazamo, WA to Marblemount, WA – 75 milesWell, one more day to go. In some ways I know I’m ready for this adventure to be over, to not spend 8 or so hours on the bike, to have easy access to warm food, to be back in Florida with all the comforts of home. At the same time I know there is going to be an empty void, the peace and serenity of absolute quiet, the incredible views, the diversity of the landscapes, the surprising towns, that will all be missed. I feel like something I never addressed that many people have asked me is why do this? First, because I can. I am fortunate enough to have my health, to be relatively fit, to have the time and money to test myself in something as absurd as biking across the country. There is something very innately human about challenging ourselves and this is one that I knew was possible, but not sure I could do. The best kind of challenge. Second, I wanted to see the country. Not the way everyone sees the country, not by air or down the interstate but so slow it would be painful. To force myself to explore small town America, to feel the mountains, to suffer in the rain and cold, to really feel what this country is like. It is hard to appreciate the vastness and magnitude of this country’s landscape unless you are out in it. Lastly, I wanted an adventure. I wanted to always be somewhere different everyday. I wanted to force patience on myself, to face adversity, to constantly venture into the unknown.
Anyways, as far as days go it was stunning and difficult. The day started with going over Washington Pass -3400 feet up. The views were perhaps the best of the trip. Immediately after was the smaller Rainy Pass. As I began the long 5000+ foot descent out of the mountains I passed Ross and Diablo lakes with their turquoise waters, pretty amazing stuff. Lower down the environment turned to rainforest. Now that I’m on the other side of the mountains everything looks constantly wet, far from yesterday’s desert landscape.