Ghosts, Ships, and Aliens, OH MY!

“You’re going where? Boy, you sure are trying to figure something out aren’t you?”

That’s what my good friend Drew said to me upon hearing that I was biking to Joshua Tree National Park. If anyone else said that, I would just shrug it off. Coming from Drew…I had to know what he was thinking.

“You’re going to a place that has a very high amount of paranormal activity. You may want to check that out (as he giggles).”

Joshua Tree has been on my list for years. I’m excited to finally go.

“I’m not surprised. Of course you pick a place that has a lot of energy. And of course you’re going for your 38th birthday.”

But…but…

As much as I appreciate all the intel I’ve been getting from people, there’s a part of me that’s getting scared. Besides the insane amount of elevation that I’ll be trying to bike up with probably an extra 30 – 40 lbs of camping weight, there’s a wind farm on the southern edge of the park. Uphill, wind, and extra weight. All the things I love most! Note: sarcasm.

To top that, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY! I had no clue. Apparently there is an amazing amount of ghosts, aliens, and other odd things going on in the Mojave Desert. Like rocks that mysteriously move. Or how about a Spanish ship from the 1600’s that is buried somewhere out there with a poop ton of pearls. Or the countless stories of people seeing UFOs. Or chupacabras. Or a ghost of an old man in clothes from the turn of the 20th century riding his bike down the middle of the road. If the ride didn’t make me nervous enough, the idea that I’ll be camping with ghosts and aliens sure does.

I could have a completely uncomplicated, easy trip. I could be scared poopless every night in my tent waiting for sunrise. I could be abducted by aliens and found wandering naked on the roadside talking about radiators and space travel. Wait a second…naw…that was just a night of too much gin. Hee hee!

Seriously though, I can be quite the scaredy cat. Horror movies are not on my list of things to watch because they screw with my head. The last time I watched one was 10 years ago. It was the Ring. I couldn’t walk by a tv or computer screen without getting freaked out for months. Forget about sitting in front of one. It made working in an accounting department very hard. (Yes, I used to be an accounting clerk in another life.)

This trip keeps getting more and more interesting. I have a feeling that I might find myself being super tight with the ranger service. They’ll let scared, lone, cute cyclists stay in the their bunk house, right?

Yeah…probably not.

Hypnagogia

Somedays I’m so tired that as I’m falling into bed, it feels like I’m falling into his arms. Perhaps a certain level of exhaustion does that to the human brain; makes it believe it’s in a different reality. Why it would do that, I’m not sure. Maybe so the transition to sleep after a hard day is seamless…to help let go…

…let go.

….I’m…

………..I’m…..

…I’m so safe inside his arms. So safe…

The world just disappears with one blink. In one blink, I’m inside his arms and safe. I could swear that I feel his warm breath on my neck. His fingers, ever so gingerly, toy with strands of my dark hair before sweeping them off my face. The sweetest of sweet kisses graces my cheek, just next to my ear. A sigh mixed with love, adoration, and relief escapes my body. In all my exhaustion, I somehow muster the strength to turn over to see him.

His beautiful face…it makes my heart swell to the point of overflowing. I’ve traced the lines of that face in my mind a thousand times just this week alone. Every time my lips touch his brow…cheek…jawline…nose…kisses deposited to the bank of my heart’s desire. I could never stop doing this. I never want to stop. Nothing matters if I can not lay even the smallest of kisses upon his beautiful face.

With a kiss comes the scent of him and his day: sunshine and mountains, coffeehouse meetings, running downtown to meet friends for a beer, or just farting around the house all day. All the things my day was not. He knows how tired I am. A chaste kiss on the lips is the unspoken voice that says to me:

“My love, it’s time to sleep. Tomorrow is another day and I’ll be here when you wake.”

As if I’m a rag doll, I find myself flipped over easily with strong arms and legs wrapped around me, nose nuzzled against my ear.

And I’m safe again. Happy to be in his arms. Wishing it could always be like this. If only I could hold onto this…

…If only…

……….If only….it were real…

Maybe this happens to me in waking dreams when I am exhausted so I do not fight the hope that burns inside me of what could be.

Rule #2: Spite is Sexy

After every New Year’s, it seems I get a barrage of messages from old suitors trying to regain the spark. For the turn of 2012 to 2013, there was no competition about who would get the award for best shot. On January 4th (seems to be a magic number for me) I received an email that put all doubt out of my mind. There were no words. Just photos. I would put little black boxes over the eyes to protect the innocent but let’s not kid ourselves…no one is innocent here.

The guy in the blue is who I dated for about 2 months. I’m not sure why I broke up with him because every girl wants to be neglected, unsupported, and told she’s crazy. I always lose the good ones.

Seeing this just sparked the fires of passion for me all over again! Guys, seriously…if you lost your woman this is DEFINITELY the way to get her back. She is going to be beating down your door!

Who is he kissing?

Who is he kissing?

Do you think he’d take me back?

Yeah…

Thanks for playing the Worst Dating Advice Ever!!

Joshua Tree National Park: Am I Crazy?

Where I came up with this idea, I’m not sure. Joshua Tree National Park has been on my list of places to visit for quite a few years. On Thursday, I had the bright idea that I should make it a point to visit this stunning ecosystem for my birthday at the end of February. Not just visit though. To bike it.

Apparently I'm trying to kill myself.

Apparently I’m trying to kill myself.

Yep, you read that correctly, to bike my scrawny ass about 35 miles to the park, bike around to all the cool shit in the park, and then bike back. The “back” would be back to Palm Springs.

As you can see from the trip I made in MapMyRide, I might have finally bitten off more than I can chew. At about mile 21 I’ll be at 4128 feet of elevation. That is a steep climb from 485 feet where I start. For a woman who hates biking hills, this looks like a trip from hell. I complain about biking up the hill on 16th Ave going up Capitol Hill in Denver. That’s only 2 blocks. And I’m going to tackle this behemoth?

I must be crazy.

I apparently love to abuse myself for some strange reason. The first time I did any sort of long distance was August 2012. I was still healing from a broken sternum and had been on my bicycle for only 5 days when I decided to bike from Boulder to Longmont for a training. Four days of biking about 34 miles round trip. I ended up doing it only 3 days and then a friend loaned me his car. The mornings were wonderful for biking. The crisp early morning air…the lack of cars on the Diagonal Highway…some good tunes…the rising sun…it was heaven. The evening was hellish. Hot with cars and busses zipping past me and a head wind that never gave up. By the end of day 3 my legs were jello. It did something to me that I wasn’t expecting.

I fell in love with distance cycling.

Up until that point, I had done shorts. Six miles here. Three miles there. A 1.5 mile bike sprint to my office. Maybe even a 10-15 mile ride but broken up between stops at breweries. There were days that I could total my riding miles to 20 but never were they in one shot.

I have a feeling once I do this trip, that biking will never be the same for me.

If you ask me, I’ll never say I’m a cyclist. Even though I’m investing in my first clipless pedals and shoes(of which I NEVER thought I’d do, just wait for the video of me biffing for the first time trying to use them), in my mind I just love to ride bikes. Cyclists are those people who wear spandex and have bikes that cost more than the car I used to own but weight less than my pint of beer. They look so uncomfortable and stuffy. I wear summer dresses or jeans when I bike and I definitely do not go fast. The most I’ve ever paid for a bike was $20. The beer bike was found in a dumpster in Boulder by a friend. That’s the bike for this trip.

For a Specialized that was totally trashed out and resurrected, all the times I was told by hardcore riders that I was crazy for taking it on long rides, and bike mechanics looking at me, the bike, and then me again and saying “you did what on this?”, I don’t think I could take a different bike on this suicide mission. She’s been good to me and I couldn’t think of a better companion. She’ll also get the fame of surviving this trip, which I’m sure will surprise a lot of people.

Since this is a multi-day trip with camping, hiking, and what ever other mischief I can get into, I’m going to have to add panniers to my baby. I’ve been eyeing these sassy bitches:

Ultra-lite

At only 14 ounces, they’ll give me a fighting chance of not dying from extra weight on my way there. That is, so long as I don’t die from lack of water. I’m going to have to tote at least a gallon to get there.

Why am I doing this again? Oh yeah…because I’m crazy and I like to bike.

My dad is going to kill me if I die on this one.