I am celebrating (read: icing) the most Type II fun I’ve had in a long time. Or as Matt puts it:

Somebody activate my Obamacare
< bro > Because that trip was si-i-ick < /bro >
On my tiptoes. The whole weekend was a reach.

These guys were saintly, per usual, providing shop-work and snacks and sweet little lies about the amount of time they spent waiting in the wind—a knife’s-edge promise of the next day’s snow—while I dragged myself up climbs hours longer than anything I’ve attempted in years. The altitude upped the ante from “this is tough” to “I tried to ride over a tree root and I yakked up breakfast.” Pffffttttt. I love the mountains, madly, honest, but it seem that love alone won’t turn the pedals: I did a lot of walking my bike and a lot of “deciding” to sell the damn thing at the first available opportunity.

Fortunately, Jacob and I have a long friendship based largely on dismissing each other’s dramatics. “Oh, please,” he said, around the seventh or eighth time I announced I couldn’t continue. “You know you’re going to do the whole ride.” Yeah, well … OK.

Star Lake. Exhaustion to wonderment ratio approaching parity.

Anyway. There was this—the end of the season, shining on the water—and Tahoe blazing blue on the horizon, the snow packed into my pedals on the thin traverses and the glowing aspen leaves’ addled spin to the tumbledown granite of the creekbed. Maybe it was only my eyes gone bleary with the effort, but I swear every last little thing looked lit and living from the inside out. Typical: I can’t breathe here but can only breathe here. And what can I ever do about that?


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