Day 371 / Zumbahua – Laguna Quilotoa, Ecuador / 10 miles (Total 8820)
It was hard to pull myself away from this place. One of the most amazing places I have been to on this trip. Well worth the 40 mile detour
I was amazed at the views heading towards the lake. Deep canyons hugging the roadside.
After a year of writing a blog, things can get stagnant real fast. I got into a rut of writing about the people I meet, the views I see, and where I sleep at night. The truth is, this trip is much more than that. It’s about remembering my father and all he has done for me. Friends and events that have shaped me and changed my life. Moments that constantly swirl through my head while I pedal each day. There has been great days, and days where I have wanted to throw my bike off a cliff and not look back. I will always focus on the positive, no matter how hard the day is. Sometimes it’s hard. But, this world is filled with fears and doubts, and I do not want any part of that. Never in my life would I have thought I would inspire others. It was never part of my plan. After my father passed away, my only thoughts were to honor him and raise money for cancer research. Over time I slowly noticed that I have a way to show others the positive in this world, and how to push on past the pain. I have a chance to use my photo’s and words to help others, just like others have helped me.
View to my right
Taking a small break, I saw these kids peaking around the corner. I pulled out the camera and they were more than ready for their photo to be taken. It seems as all the lady’s in Ecuador wear the hat that the little girl has on.
After yesterdays hard push, I woke up feeling almost ill. My muscles have never felt like this in over a year of touring. It was hard getting out of bed. I forced myself to pack my bags and that even felt like work. I knew immediately that the altitude was getting to me. I was over 12,000 ft and still had another 800 ft to climb today. The funny part of altitude sickness is, that it can hit anyone at anytime. It all depends on how you maintain your body. I over did it yesterday and I knew that was the reason.
Looking behind me and saying goodbye to the little village.
I was back on the road and the wind was piercing right through 3 layers of clothing. I knew that the next 10 miles would be mostly uphill and my motivation was thinning out fast. I grabbed my music player, threw on the headphones and hit shuffle. The bad “Hot Water Music” was the first to play and I was flooded with thoughts and memories of long ago. A day that still fills my soul with incredible memories.
The winds picked up and this elderly lady was walking just as fast as I could pedal
It was years ago when I took a road trip down to Florida to promote my company “Aspire BMX”. A video contest to help the underground BMX riders that couldn’t make it to contest or magazines. I jumped in my Astro van (the van I lived in for years touring the country) and did the long haul down to Gainesville, Florida. I finally made it around 4:00 pm, and decided to wait for my friend Mike to get off work. I wanted to kill some time, so I hit the local watering hole for a cold one. Sitting around I got to talking to one of the locals. We hit it off and talked the afternoon away.
One more view that will last a life time
When the sun peaked out the water turned a bright blue-green color
The wind was so strong today that it took your breath away. I would have to turn my back to the wind to catch my breath.
We eventually got to talking about our professions and I told him about my BMX lifestyle, then he dropped a bomb on me. He told me that he sang in a band, a band called “Hot Water Music”. I almost lost it. Another band that has changed my life with their powerful lyrics. I couldn’t believe I was talking to the lead singer of a band that has helped me through some tough times. That day will live with me forever, talking to a man who brings positive words into music. Music that I can relate to. Today was another day that music brought me out of slump. For the first time, I felt what high elevation can do to the body. My muscles felt stretched out, each turn of the crank felt like 5x the work. Only 10 miles to the Laguna and I felt like I was going to collapse. Once again, positive words pushed me forward. Surround yourself with positive wherever you are in life. Whether its friends, work, or the music you listen to. I would like to share the lyrics of Chuck from the “Hot Water Music band”. Thanks Chuck for the beers and the inspiration.
My legs were crossed, eyes slightly open, and following my breath. Everything seemed to calm down and my thoughts became extinct. 30 minutes later this guy came up to and plopped his head down in my lap. We sat there together for an hour as I petted his head. Every few moments he would let out a soft grunt to let me know that he appreciated the rub down. I went for a walk down to the shore and he tagged right behind me. Good to have some company today.
Hot Water Music – Manual
Go your own way, rid lies,
Burn the stitches that held your eyes shut.
Vacate and wonder, rid time,
Take off reminders and strive to shine.
Taking a stroll around the lake with my friend that tagged along for the ride.
You said you’ve got it, and I believe that you’ve got it,
And that you’ll survive.
Our hearts have exchanged the gifts that carry
Carry us over the walls,
The walls that blind us, the walls that bind us,
The walls that stand too tall to conquer alone.
The sun was setting…
Bring back your wisdom to trade, bring back the words you’ve saved
And teach me so that I may teach on.
giving off more spectacular views
We reach, we learn. We don’t, we burn,
Burn on the inside as well as out.
we search to solve how to not dissolve
On the inside as well as out.
Fire in the sky
So you’re at war with yourself
With space (and time) you’ll find a breakthrough.
If you don’t lose what’s real
You have our blessing.
It was freezing cold outside and I was wishing for some wood to fill the fireplace. Later in the night the owner came by with some hot coals and a pile of firewood to last me through the night. I kept the fire burning and cooked dinner over the fireplace. One of my best nights sleep on this trip.
Clear your conscience and ride away.
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