Rash Ramblings

A runner once, an explorer always!

Category : Quote

Destination achieved…

No run today,  just a journal entry from my 1984 bike ride:

Monday  September 17, 1984

I set out from the Snyder Travelodge at 9:00. I had stayed in room 215. I got off a little later than I had planned so I knew I was going to have to do some hard riding to get to where I wanted to, when I wanted to.

The wind was in my face and my knees were hurting but I knew it was my last day so I even pushed a little harder.

I made it to Roscoe and I decided to stop at the Dairy Queen. I wasn’t going to at first but I remembered I had a 1934 series five dollar bill hidden away in my wallet…otherwise I only had about a dollar seventy-five.

It was so good. I had a Dude, fries, and a medium Dr. Pepper. I also had a D.Q. sandwich (ice cream). I made it to the Dairy Queen at about 12:15 and I left about 12:45.

I was passing Sweetwater at 1:00…there was lots of downhill and I was standing up and cranking.

I pushed really hard and made it to Abilene at 4:00….

 We will either find a way, or make one.
– Hannibal

If I set for myself a task, be it so trifling, I shall see it through. How else shall I have confidence in myself to do important things?  – George Clason

I’m a big believer in growth. Life is not about achievement, it’s about learning and growth, and developing qualities like compassion, patience, perseverance, love, and joy, and so forth. And so if that is the case, then I think our goals should include something which stretches us. – Jack Canfield

Share

I was out on the run thinking about commitment. All those years I wasn’t running wasn’t as much about not having the time to do it, but more about no longer taking the time to do it. That is how we open new areas of interest. There comes a time that we make time for this new thing and if this is something we truly desire to accomplish, it is very important that we do not lapse and let something else ooze into this block. I f you were wanting to run and didn’t feel you could run, then walk or do sit-ups or something that is related. Just make sure you don’t let something take this time over – go through the motions until you can get back on track. This is mostly about building a routine. This is really true in any area you want to pursue. If you want to be a writer and can’t think what to write, then just sit down and write the alphabet out over and over until you can turn them into words. Do what you want to become and you will move that direction and slowly gain expertise in that endeavor. That is why I do these things and I must remain diligent.  18:44.99

Gary

After taking a couple of days break in Lubbock to see old friends and visit my former employers, it was time again to continue my journey to finish my trip from Durango, Colorado to Abilene, Texas in 1984.

Ready to leave Lubbock.

…today Sunday, September 16 (1984).

I got up this morning and went to get the flat fixed. I went to the Texaco station by Tech (on University). I couldn’t find the hole so I went by Roland and Penny’s…(Ron and Rick’s cousin). I had to borrow a wrench so I could get my front wheel off to change the tube.

While I was at Roland’s he almost insisted I eat an omelet…so I did. It was great!

I then went by my friend’s sister’s place so I could get my windbreaker. I also wondered where my pump was – I lost it somewhere here in Lubbock….

I then went back to my friend’s mother’s house and packed my bike up. His sister called and then I went and picked her up – she wanted to take some pictures before I left.

I finally got on the road about 12:30. It was overcast and cool…quite a change to what I had been riding in. Two guys came up beside me on bicycles and I talked to them until we got to Slaton. They said something about the bike club out on a ride…I then thought to myself I might see Jürgen and Simoné. Not long after that – I did. They were riding their tandem along side another guy. They were really moving on. They both had red, white, and green shirts on. I said “Jürgen”. He heard me and recognized me… He said “Gary.”

I made it to Post about 4:45 pm. I was riding against the wind all the way. I stopped and got some snacks and had to figure which way I wanted to go. It was 89 miles to Aspermont and only 44 miles to Snyder. It would still be close but I took off for Snyder at 5:00 pm. I had been talking to a boy (about 12 or 13) …he asked a lot of questions about where I’d been, what I had been doing and where I was going.

I did a lot of stand up riding after I left Post. I got a lot of strange looks from people along the way. The sun was over the horizon and I was still about 6 miles from Snyder. I passed a place that had about a 10 foot high chain link fence and all the sudden all of these dogs ( about 7) were racing to the fence line. I didn’t think I had anything to worry about until they flew through a gap in the gates. I had an adrenaline rush…they never really got close after that.

It was about 8:40 pm when I got checked in at the Snyder Travelodge. I used my credit card and still got my room for $18.95 though I had to take an upstairs room. I called Mom because I told her I would be there Sunday at the latest. I got to bed about 11:0 pm.

Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle will never know.  – Charles Kingsley

I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time. – Charles Dickens

The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. – Confucius

What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.   Samuel Johnson

Share

I stepped out this morning and the first thing that caught my ear was some body’s wind chime off in the distance. It was doing what wind chimes are meant to do,  in a most purposeful manner. I immediately thought, “I’ll have a breeze today and instantly my day was a little better.” I try to stay attuned to those things that will be a positive factors. We are doing no good if we are not enhancing the world around us when we can.  That world includes the people and the conditions. So many are indifferent to all the factors that influence who they are and rest in the illusion that it is they alone who shape who they are. Even a solid rock outcrop cannot shield itself from all the climatic conditions or other outward inflictions that would cause it to be changed even in its own resistance against it.

I take off running with these thoughts and a question from a friend on my mind. The question was, “How is your body holding up?” My body is more of a barrier than my thoughts. Everything is in good repair and working as it should for now, but if I didn’t have this body holding me back…there would be no limits.  But as God has put me in this body, I will strive to reach the potential that it has. I realize  it is in doing that we become. In being in the regular practice of running and writing I become both a runner and a writer. If I only periodically run or write something, I am just a person that does those things. You cannot hide from the fact that you are what you do. Daily we must look to our actions to verify that we are doing what we want to be or want to become. Whether you are cognizant or not, that is what is happening. That is one reason I have gone back to running. I don’t believe I can become the person I am to become if that is not a part of me. 19:03.72

Below is the text from which my title quote comes:

ULYSSES

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel; I will drink
life to the lees. All times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
that loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vexed the dim sea. I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known—cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honored of them all—
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades
Forever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end.
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains; but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This is my son, my own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the scepter and the isle—
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfill
This labor, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and through soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centered in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail;
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me—
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil.
Death closes all; but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends.
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
the sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be that we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are—
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

1842

That best portion of a man’s life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.    –    William Wordsworth

The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.    –    Benjamin Mays

Share

Day Six…

Every morning I run I am formulating what I am going to write while I am on the run. I want to record what I was thinking, but even more I want to have said something that is useful to someone else. I started these runs because I have a goal to place in the top ten of my age group at the next Austin American-Statesman sponsored Capitol 10,000. The tenth place finisher in my age group last year ran a chip time of 42:55. Back when I was running my best I ran some 10Ks in the 33:00’s, so I definitely know the potential is there. I take my steps slowly now knowing I will increase the intensity at an increasing rate as the race draws near. My biggest step has been to get my body use to the routine and movement of running regularly.

On the run today I was going over important things to monitor while on the run. I try to make sure I am relaxed – shoulders are down, hands are open and relaxed, jaws are loose (you don’t want to be gritting your teeth) and also that I keep a smooth stride. I also have running through my mind something one of  the runners I used to run with said. His name is Greg Lautenslager and all of us at Tech that ran with him were pushed more just by around him while training. He said, and this quote may not be exact, that a coach of his once said that “you must run to win and the rest will take care of itself.’ I don’t know that I ever thought that way. I always tried to do MY best, but did I sell myself short by having a preconceived notion of what my best was? I think if I had consciously had that thought in mind I might have done better.

I will go into this endeavor with that thought in mind. It is time to step it up. I will not let my mind hold me back. I say I will aim to be in the top ten, but I really strive to win my division. Now as I wind this down, I look back in an excerpt from my journal to day six of  my bike ride in 1984 from Durango, Colorado back to Texas. :

Thursday September 13, 1984

I left my camp in the river bed headed for Vega. It was just barely light when I started (7:07 am)

A shot from my campground under the bridge.

I think the ride from Channing to Vega was the toughest so far…no matter whether I was going uphill or downhill I had to pedal. The wind was blowing in my face…and at times 20 -30 miles an hour. It was also about 93 – 95 degrees and the sun was beaming down on me. I was thinking to myself of seeing how the ride from Hereford to Lubbock was and if it wasn’t any better – I might take the bus to Abilene.

I made it to Vega about 11:15…thank God. I stopped at a the grocery store and bought some snacks…chocolate milk, pineapple cinnamon rolls, bananas, and an orange. I went across the street to the courthouse lawn and sat under a tree and ate. Vega was a nice town though there wasn’t a whole lot there. I was heading out of town and stopped at a gas station to fill my water bottles…I also rested a little more.

I headed on to Hereford. It was not nearly as bad there. I got up some speed for a while…then the wind picked up again and I ran into some uphill. The sun was really hot and the trees along the road were about 15 miles apart.

It was good to get to Hereford (about 3:15 pm). I headed to a friend’s dad’s house…… I knocked on the door and one of his younger sisters opened the door and she didn’t recognize who I was…at first she thought I was the yard boy. (Pretty funny as it turns out) His dad came home about 5:30 or 6:00 and he took us out to eat at K-Bob’s. It was great I had steak and shrimp.

It was great to see them again… …His younger sister talked me into riding into Lubbock with her (didn’t take much). God answers prayer! We got into Lubbock late…

I stayed in Lubbock a couple of days so I won’t add another excerpt again until the 16th. 18:04.30

Heat, ma’am! it was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones.  ~Sydney Smith, Lady Holland’s Memoir

Share

Day Five…

I got back out running this morning. It is still muggy and uninviting out there. My mind for some reason this morning was on politics and politicos and this just made this run much more tasteless. I like my mind to be clear so I can concentrate on what is going on during the run. It is also good when not really thinking about anything, but just letting all that can be gathered through my senses be enjoyed. 

Now for another excerpt from 1984 bike trip journal…

Wednesday September12, 1984

The wind has been much worse than the mountains…and the heat is much worse here. I’ve backed off the pace…today was just a pickup day…tomorrow will be easier though with Hereford only 63 miles away – but there is only one town in between –> Vega.

I got up in Clayton – took a shower and was on the road by 6:50 MDT. I made good time to Texline…It was about 8:45 CDT. I nearly blew the day off in Dalhart. I was getting really discouraged. I took a break under a highway bridge about 9 miles out and I was really set on staying in a hotel there, but I decided to get a Dude at the Dairy Queen and see how I felt after that. I decided I would be better off if I just rode till I didn’t want to ride anymore. I made it to Hartley and bought two Dr. Peppers and after I finished them I filled them with water…so hopefully I won’t run out between towns. I got four miles out of Channing and noticed I had a flat (low) tire – the back end was bouncing up and down when I was pedaling. Luckily I was close to some trees. I took the bike over there and fixed the flat, but my pump sucks so I put enough air in where it wouldn’t hurt the tire or tube and walked the bike 4 miles to Channing. There I put air in at a Texaco station. I was surprised and relieved to find a station open in a town that small (304) at nearly 7:00. The old man was inside watching TV. He never came out, just waved when I was leaving.

Taking a break under a bridge.

 

The Texas road I was traveling

 I then bought two more soft drinks from a machine at a closed station at the other edge of town.

I could see the terrain was changing some and the lady at the store in Hartley said something about a river. I decided I would ride to the river and camp there.

I rode to the nearest bridge and if this is the river – it’s dried up… so I am sleeping in my river bed tonight. Tomorrow I’m just trying for Hereford. Money situation is not good, I only have about $ 8.00 …hopefully I can cash a check in Hereford.

The Riverbed Campground

I’ve been 472 miles so far in 5 days.

18:42.93

That is all for now.

Gary

Try not to become a man of success but a man of value.
– Albert Einstein

My bicycle and gear up close.

Share

The Rain has Passed…

The rain has ended for now. This morning I emptied another 0.25″ of rain from the gauge from yesterday’s rain. The air was heavy this morning as you would expect after a few days rain. It wasn’t excessively hot but just muggy enough to make you feel uncomfortable. I always come out in the morning to find the neighbor’s cat sitting in our driveway or carport and he takes off constantly looking back like the town’s people in those old western movies do when the gunslingers suddenly take to the street. The run this morning was uneventful. I have finally attained a mode where my body has adapted to what I have been doing, so shortly, it will be time to step it up. Funny thing this morning, just after I finished my run and had set the garbage out for pick-up and was heading inside – a little shower popped up. Good timing!

I have now added “Day 2” of my bike ride in 1984. The excerpt is as follows:

Sunday, September 9, 1984

This morning I left Wolf Creek Campground at about 7:20 and headed for Wolf Creek Pass. It was only eight miles to the pass but it was also about 2,800 feet difference in elevation. I stopped at Treasure Falls for a moment and then cruised up to the observation point (scenic overlook) and there I fed some birds and chipmunks. I then trudged on up the mountain stopping occasionally to rest and take a drink of water. I finished my water before I got to the top, so I filled up at a mountain stream by an emergency truck exit ramp. It was a good thing, too. I finished another bottle before I got to the top.
 
 
 

I fed the birds and the chipmunks at the scenic overlook.

 

Finally at about 10:45am I made it to the top of the pass. There I saw two guys on motorcycles, one with a trailer. They told me they were from Borger, but they had been staying in Southfork, CO. One took a picture of me and then I got him to take a picture of me with my camera. He told me his name was Tom Robinson and that if I went into K-Bobs in Abilene to tell Merle Richardson I had seen him.

It was really good to get to the top. The ride down was great. I must have been going about 35 mph. The scenery was great. The Aspens were starting to turn and at one point I was riding beside a river and it felt like it must have been about 38 degrees.

I stopped at a lodge and store and got a burrito (egg, potato, cheese) and a couple of cans of fruit juice (apple, orange). Then I cruised on past Fun Valley and into Del Norte. There I bought two more rolls of film. I went to Monte Vista and ate at a Sonic Drive-In. I had a steak sandwich, large order of fries, and a large Dr. Pepper and I can’t say how good it tasted.

From Monte Vista I cruised on to Alamosa. I wondered where Pat Porter (Olympian) was. The town was not what I expected. It was very flat – only surrounded by mountains (though it was nearly 7800 ft. elevation).

After I left Alamosa I decided to see how well I could see the Great Sand Dunes from the highway and then just cruise on to Fort Garland. There weren’t any campgrounds near so I stayed at the Concord Motel for $ 28.25. I wouldn’t have done it but I didn’t want to sleep in the desert away from a campground – plus I would get to take a shower.

So here I am now feeling much better. I’ve been looking at my routes and I’m going to try to make Trinidad tomorrow via State Highway 12.

I am adding the excerpts in italics, everything else is from now. I remember that morning well. I only had a plastic “tube tent” that hung on a rope between two trees. I put my sleeping bag in that. I got up real early because I was freezing my buns off. Overnight it had fallen to around freezing, so I had to get up early and get to moving. The other thing that stands out in my mind that was not mentioned was the fact that when I got to the top of Wolf Creek Pass, it was about 26 miles of a constant downhill…didn’t even have to pedal if I didn’t want to. Today – Carpe Diem. 18:48.03

Gary

 

Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.  — Chinese Proverb

Share