Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Destination: AZ

I had visions of exploring some riding in Austin, but the weather turned to crap, and as soon as Art’s race was done we moved on out of town. That ended up being a good choice as Sunday’s Elite races got cancelled anyway. I do not care to comment on Nationals, but I am pretty glad we made the choice to get out of town and head to Arizona a few days early.

Friday we got a late start because it was raining and 34 degrees with chance of freezing roads. We drove all day to cross Texas. Texas is one big state and not much to see outside of open space, wind farms, and oil fields. As we approached El Paso, there was border control activity and abandoned cars with no wheels along the highway. We drove through the boarder town at sunset. The sky was painted in beautiful color, with the glimmering lights and smoke of refineries in the foreground. At the time, it seemed beautiful, and then in a blink Texas was gone.

By the next day, I was beginning to get down from the cold, dreary, cloudy weather. We forged ahead on our last days drive. Finally mountains appeared on the horizon, and I spotted a patch of blue sky ahead. About the same time as we crossed into Arizona, the sun came out. Close to a year in the works and finally the day was here that we would arrive at our new home. Visions of sunny days and riding in shorts and short sleeves would become a reality at last. We managed to get a ride on the trails before a beautiful sunset.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A New Year

New Years day 2015 was an exceptional day. Not only did it mark the start of a new year, but it marked the start of a new chapter of my life. Months of preparation, planning and packing, and now the departure day was finally here. Art and I both woke up 30 minutes before the alarm. Excited, we opted to get on the road early to start our journey. As I walked out the door, the cold 10 degree air smacked me in the face as if to confirm the purpose of the journey.

Our days drive went well, and every song that came on the radio seemed to have something to say about life. Maybe all songs say something to someone, but this day, my antenna was up and the words spoke to me clearly. Trucks came and went, and the van rocked in the truck wash with the rhythm of the road.

It was great to be reunited with family in North Carolina. However, it was disappointing to have it rain all 3 days of our visit. I knew there would be many sunny days ahead, so I tried my best to enjoy every drop of rain that came my way. The few days off the bike also allowed to make family time a priority. We ended up helping Art’s mom clean drawers in an old desk she wanted to give us for the Arizona house. In that desk we came across the letter that Art wrote to his Dad when he retired and moved to North Carolina 26 years ago. It was quite the perfect timing that Art was reunited with that letter on his own retirement journey. The desk that Art collected belonged to his great grandfather, who was a sea captain. It was used on voyages across the ocean. It was now packed between boxes and bikes on our pilgrimage across the country.

We drove down the mountain under a full moon, and as the Appalachian Mountains faded in the rear view, the horizon opened to the west. We drove 600 miles in a flat straight line until we turned off in Texas for our next stop: Cyclocross National Championships.