Zen On Dirt

Into Blenheim and meeting partners in biketramping

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We spent our evening here, at a lovely little campsite high above the city of Blenheim eating dinner with Kurt and Kait, listening to the Toot-toot birds sing, and occasionally checking the election results as they rolled in.

Right now, I guess I just feel sad. So please excuse me if I lack my usual enthusiasm for all things life.

We woke up in our lovely little surprise cottage after a glorious night of sleep in a ridiculously soft bed. Breakfast and coffee was made inside while we watched the two large bulls wander around the front of they yard – our eventual path back to the road. They were huge! After the previous morning’s cold, the warm indoor was much appreciated.

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We got moving fairly early, knowing that we were already half a day late to meet K&K farther up north. Lucky for us, we were only 40 miles away from Blenheim. I may have underestimated the difficulty of this route…

After a few more sets of climbs and descents from and to the river, the rolls that had stalled so much of fast forward progress the day before, the road finally hit open valley and vineyards began to appear. Not only that, but pavement, and tailwinds! For a little bit there, we were flying.

But the the universe remembered that we were bikepacking, so the wind shifted, and we were once again battling.

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It was a beautiful climb up over Taylor Pass and then a straightforward descent into town, where we even got to ride a little bit of single track at the very end, our first of the trip.

Quickly finding the library, we discovered, via the Wi-fi, that K&K weren’t going to get to town until noon. It was noon. We’d beat them there! We weren’t late after all. Bonus points for having stopped at the hot spring two days prior.

We sent them a note and went to go get lunch, and just as we were finishing our coffee, Scott exclaimed, ‘Bikepackers!’

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I went out to wave K&K in. It was a happy reunion, and after the general junkshow that is shopping for four people for two nights out, we were on our way. K&K had done all the research for this part of the trip and we were happy to follow a Google bike routes track out of town and into the mountains.

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Nearing the end of our pavement, we got stopped by a man running out from his house who wanted to make sure that we weren’t looking for the campground we’d past a few miles ago. Then he asked if we were American or Canadian. After telling him, he said, ‘It’s a big night for you guys.’

‘Sure is,’ we replied, ‘But it’s looking like it’s going to be okay.’

‘Scary times these are,’ he said, and paused while we contemplated the statement. ‘Well, enough of that. Have a great ride.’ And with that, he waved us off.

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After an endless climb up a dirt road, we found ourselves a little campsite with a beautiful view and watched the lights of Blenheim twinkle as the sky grew dark. Our last check of the Internet via Kurt’s phone brought the official election news.

We sat there in silence for a few minutes. Stunned, I guess. We made a few jokes about not going home from here. But tomorrow the sun will rise. I will continue to do my best to be an honest, kind, and caring person, and I hope that everyone else out there does the same.

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