I woke with the ride steed to my side and a beautifully wispy clouded blue sky above. The temps dropped overnight which was a refreshing change from the hot temps that have plagued recent days. Also, the past few days have been filled with reflection and contemplating. Reflecting on who I am, what I am doing and why I am doing it. Contemplating whether or not to put an end to the ride.

 

MY WAKING VIEW

MY WAKING VIEW. I TEND TO LIKE SLEEPING NEXT TO THE STEED.

 

A few days ago, a step-family member felt the need to tell me that nobody cares about what I’m doing and that I’m not doing anything worthwhile. That was not all he said, but it is pretty much the gist of all of what he said to me.

Needless to say I was pretty upset. At the time I was spending some time at my mom’s house to recuperate and work on the ride stuff. I immediately loaded up the bike and headed north to the Nicolet National Forest. An area I used to go up to quite often to fish, hunt and camp.

The demons in my head make me question what I’m doing enough, without having family members offer their 1.37 cents.

I hit the road and headed towards a spot that I have camped at before. A isolated rustic campsite by a trout stream. I arrived at the campsite around 9:30 pm. I was tired so I unpacked the sleeping bag and Therma-Rest. I fell asleep almost immediately.

So I have been camping in that spot for the past few days. One night I got stormed on. I was not using my tent. So I found the rainfly and covered myself in that.

I have been using the wifi at a gas station in a town nearby. I was wonderful of the employees to let me work all day inside the gas station.

The past few days have been tough as far as me questioning what I’m doing with the ride and all. If it is worth-while or if did any good out there. Or if anybody did care about what I was doing.

Like I said earlier, I woke to a beautiful morning. I laid looking at the bike and sky for awhile before I woke up. While lying there I decided that I would go to a campground at a lake I used to camp at when I was younger, Boulder Lake. I would clean up in one of the bathrooms there.

 

POST SINK BATH

SINK BATHS HAPPEN ON THIS RIDE. AND YES, THAT’S A SCAR.

 

I finished taking a sink bath in the campground bathroom and was out by the bike when a man walked by and commented on the bike and asked where I was riding to. So the door was opened, through it came my story. He did not know what he had started. Ha. I began to tell him about the ride and the causes it was for. The FACEiT Project and 500UNDER50BEFORE50. About FAP and my dad being take by colon cancer. He listened to it all.

He told me about his daughter who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when she was seven. She is 19 now. A long life of surgeries and treatments. He said she is doing much better these days. Thank god for that.

I talked more about the ride and why I was doing it. I began to get misty-eyed. He reached for my had and shook it, then gave me a hug. I have been so fortunate to meet such warm people on this ride. Beautiful people.

He needed to meet up with his mother and brother down by the lake. He began walking in that direction as I finished packing up the bike.

I took a little ride down to the boat landing to see the lake. As I was approaching the dock there was the man I was talking to earlier. He was with his mother and brother. I parked the bike, walked over to them and asked if one of them would take my photo. The brother said yes. As you can see, he did a great job.

 

AT BOULDER LAKE

BOULER LAKE. IT HAS BEEN AWHILE. DECADES ACTUALLY.

 

We talked a bit more. Then the mother invited me to their campsite to talk more. I said yes. I arrived at their campsite. We sat around the fire pit. After the introductions to other family members, they began to ask me more questions about the ride my story. They were very interested and touched. They said that what I was doing was great and that I should keep it up. They then invited me to their campsite for dinner and fireside chats. Oops, it’s actually time for me to ride their campsite.

Smith family here I come.

And guess what, there’s noway in hell I’m going to stop now with the ride. I’m just getting started…