Yesterday started our cold and rainy, as I said yesterday. The guys slept late, and I mulled over what to do and, I admit, I was feeling a little sorry for myself.
We had to check out from Caddo Lane State Park at 11:00, which meant waking the guys up and encouraging them to hurry. (Ha!) But no worries. The housekeepers at the park told us to take our time. One of them was even the lady I met last year (which I mentioned in a post last March). She realized who I was and jumped up to give me a hug, as if we were old friends. It was hospitality in action again. She showed great interest in what the guys and I were doing and, in a strong motherly way, told us to be careful.
We shoved off a little after 11:00. We warmed up quickly to the weather. The hills, on the other hand, were a different story. So did the wind. The day turned out to be fairly uneventful, except for the hills and the wind. One or two times I heard requests for me to end their life now. (They were steep hills and the wind was in our faces much of the time.)
Despite the agony of the climbs and the frustration of the wind in our faces, we made it to our destination, we were able to complete another day's ride. And this is good. We needed it.
Our stay at Martin Creek State Park has been good as well. The guys built a fire, ate sandwiches, and played more pranks. I worked in bikes, spent some time with my dad, and tried to lead a discussion last night about ambitions and how they play a part in our stories. We found that each of us on the trip do have ambitions, though putting them into words proved difficult. So we'll settle with our immediate ambitions: having a good day's ride today.
After fifty or so more miles, our journey will be over, as will our time together as a group. The guys don't want it to end. They've had a great time. I'm glad for that. Our set-back have left them nonplussed. I admit that I'm ready to finish, but I it's mainly because I'd the responsibilities and goals I need to get back to. If I didn't have "miles to go before I sleep," as Frost observes in his poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," I'd want to keep riding too. I'd want to keep getting to know these guys and working with them on the somewhat difficult task of thinking about what kind of stories we're going to tell, going to live.
Ah. But there still IS today. So we will ride. We will face whatever challenges the road and the weather offer us. We will smile in the struggle and thank God that we've had it. We will thank him for the story we've lived this week.