Today is Friday, June 21st and we are sitting around camp drinking coffee, eating mixed nuts, gluten free crackers with peanut butter, and canned sardines. Tom bought some nice steaks and is going to barbecue them for dinner tonight, along with some corn on the cob that Kathy bought at a road side stand. We took today off as an unscheduled rest day because the previous 3 days were long with lots of climbing and we were done in, also because we rode in the RV yesterday 40 miles to get to an alternate camping spot so we gained some miles, and also because the weather has been so cold, windy and rainy and we are hoping to wait it out. We are leaving in the morning at 6:00 am for Lincoln, Montana regardless of the weather. It will be a 90 mile day and it is all uphill though fairly gradual, we will gain about 2,000 feet in net elevation in the 90 mile day as we follow the Blackfoot River upstream. I expect it to be another beautiful trip as we ride along this wild river.
Yesterday at the end of the ride I was physically very, very tired, out of gas, weary, exhausted. But another kind of tiredness is mental fatigue. I get physically tired almost every day, it is part of being 70 years old, and I cope with it, but I very rarely get mentally tired because I work so hard on positive, healthy, and Biblical self-talk. But yesterday I was mentally tired as well. For me, a clear indicator of mental weariness is I want to quit, so yesterday I spent most of my riding time trying to figure out how to do that, that is ride in the RV for the rest of the trip with dignity. One of my personal rules is to never quit or make major decisions while mentally fatigued, because they are almost always a choice that I later regret. Today, everything is super, and I am ready for a great ride tomorrow. In thinking about my mental state yesterday, I came to the conclusion that the all day long pain was what drained me mentally. My feet hurt from the cold, my shoulders and neck hurt as the constant vibration from the road went up the front tire, through the forks, the handle bar and then into my arms and upper body, my butt was on fire from sitting on that little, bitty seat for hours and hours, and numerous stops to apply “Butt Butter” didn’t help a bit, and my legs and knees were killing me. I have had a relatively pain free life physically, and I haven’t learned very well how to manage it mentally so this is a very good time for me to develop some new character, and thinking skills. I think the difference between this trip and the previous ones is my age, my body just isn’t as tough as it used to be. So, a new life purpose statement I have written for myself is, ” As my physical body gets older and weaker, my mind, soul, and spirit will get stronger”.
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.