Day 4 - Markleeville

Markleeville Travel Blog

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Today is the day. Today is when boys become men. Alia Iacta Est - the dye art cast - there is no turning back. If you can climb Kirkwood and Carson's Pass, you can get through just about anything! It's a 11,000 foot climb! They are going up freaking mountains! I didn't really know if I could do it 3 years ago, but it felt so amazing to finish! Just the sense of accomplishment was one of the greatest feelings. I wasn't the best on hills- in fact- I sucked! But I didn't give up. The key to today is perseverance. It takes as long as 13 hours to get to the end. That's 13 hours on a bike, 13 hours of climbing, 13 hours of legs aching.

 

On the roadside, we played the "hit the 20oz Gatorade bottle with a rock from 30 feet away' game. I definitely won in under 5 tosses... twice! Other guys who played had over 20 turns and couldn't hit it. Apparently, I'm a natural at that game- too bad they don't have it in the Olympics, yet...

 

So, after the last guys finished, I have a better understand than ever of what a brother is and of what a crew member is. I took on a new role, today: the cheerleader. The last few guys were hurting pretty bad but they kept on trucking. J Hump, Billy, Eric, and I all did everything we could for them to encourage them and cheer them on. From running behind them, skipping beside them, telling jokes/singing songs to get their minds off of the bike, having a great “coaches yell”, or simply staying with them and driving behind them with our headlights so that they could see when it was getting dark. It was just a great moment for me to see J Hump running beside the guys to keep them moving. I even ran with them for a little while! Note to self: 8,000 feet in elevation, running, freezing weather, and asthma do NOT go well together! Regardless, it was such a great experience as a crew member, and just a great boost of confidence for the cyclists to overcome such a feat.

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Markleeville
photo by: Besandri