I have this turret like response in stressful situations: it’s called traveling. So when my boss asked me to take on more work in the coming weeks, I panicked. Had I not done a bad enough job at Wall Street to preclude further customer interactions? Apparently falling asleep on top of the keyboard mid afternoon wasn’t enough. I would not be spared the pain of more customer visits. So, I did what I do best, panic and ask for a vacation.
Vacations here are not as easy as they were back in Puerto Rico, where we could leave the dogs in the backyard and ask the neighbor to throw some scraps over the fence every other day. Since planning around dogs is a lot more involved here, the only quick getaway involves lots of driving– so here we are, roadtripping to California and taking it slooooow.
We’ve got to see Roy in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma, and are now in Durango, Colorado staying with Troy. Since Troy races mountain bikes for a living, it is only natural for Yano and I to go ride the trails with him. You’d think I’d be intimidated by riding with national champions, but I’m used to getting dropped by the worst riders– this would be no different.
Troy and Cricket took us up some beautiful mountains, and after the first 15 minutes I started to wonder if my brake was rubbing, I had flatted, or if someone was actually physically pulling me back. I slowly started drifting back with this searing pain in the back of my throat. Little by little it was getting harder and harder to breathe and I was starting to wonder if I would pass out and fall down any one of the dozens of precipices. “Uhhh, can we wait for Yano? She’s falling behind”. Truth of the matter is, Yano was gaining on me and there was that whole macho thing.
When we get to the top of the climb Troy says, “how’s the altitude?”. I panted, “how high are we?”. Troy smiles and says “9000 something feet; can you feel it?”. I was getting real dizzy by then and could only nod right before partially passing out on a nearby log. By the time Yano came up I was lying on the side of the road wondering why the heavy breathing wasn’t helping me feel better at all.
Somehow I limped back home, huffing and puffing the whole way, meanwhile Yano seemed unphased by the lack of oxygen. To help things along, Troy was pinning it all the way back home– in his cross bike by the way, because apparently, riding up trails in a mountain bike with us was too unchallenging. I’m sure he could’ve done it in a road bike and still dropped me going up and down.
We got back and had a scrumptious taco night and I passed out on the couch while everyone took pictures and laughed. My only companion was Frida who Yano had taken for a 6 mile run earlier, and had spent the rest of the day between being passed out and lying miserably under the couch. I am definitely scratching “climb mount Everest” out of my list of things to do before I die.
Next stop, Moab Utah– at least it’s not at altitude.
By the way, we’re taking PICTURES along the way.