Escape Route

I had to Google my own blog to find out where I left off.

August 6, 2018. It’s been awhile.

So here we are with a biking and living update slash story for the three people that read this thing. Big shouts to you, three people. You’re some of my favorite three people. Those updates and stories will trickle in as I’ve had time to sit with them.

Last week…Tuesday(?) my boss and I celebrated my new bike and my excitement over this new bike by taking it into the mountains—up and away and out of the Boulder bubble. To places I never would’ve explored on my own. I mean, probably not, because I get comfortable getting good at the routes I already know. I let Joey, my boss, take the reins and the lead. I can’t help but feel extra grateful for people who want people to see Colorado for what it is, and to bathe in this state’s awesome beauty, especially during the golden hour.

We closed up the shop early that Tuesday(?) for one reason or another, got kitted up and headed for Fourmile Canyon. It’s a road that connects a million other roads in the mountains—basically the gateway to fun.

After a couple miles we took a left onto Logan Mill off Fourmile and were welcomed with a painfully steep dirt climb that didn’t quit for what felt like two hours (30 minutes if we’re not being dramatic). The weather couldn’t have been any better for a short Tuesday(?) work day.

We talked the whole way. I think the best time to learn about someone is during physical activity—when you don’t have to look at one another, when your hearts are hammering and your lungs are bleeding and when it’s pissing rain or painfully hot. When you’re vulnerable to all the elements all at once, it’s easier to crack open your soul and connect with the person you’re sharing those moments with. You’ll never say the wrong thing in those moments because you don’t have the energy to be anything but honest. I suppose that’s why the bar scene was never my thing. I learned about his paintball career and about a million random bike facts and fix-it tips. He kept telling me how great my new Schwalbe bike tires were… and I finally understood why.

And so we kept going up. Waaaay up until we were at eye level with the mountains on the horizon. Way up until we hung another left off Logan Mill onto a road called Escape Route.

And Escape Route is quite literally what it sounds like—it’s an escape route in case of wildfires. Homes are few and far between way up there, but for the few that enjoy their secluded mountain sanctuaries, it’s an out in case of danger.

And I thought: what a metaphor.

How fitting, it felt, as we rolled from one loose gravel road to another. Colorado, and its entire existence, was my escape route. Colorado was my last and final attempt at starting over—at wiping the life and work and relationship slate clean. And here I was running wild in the mountains with new friends, escaping my own wildfires.

This escape route took us to another magical mountain road called Left Fork with snackable dirt. (<<< Ok, I hate myself for that one.)

By this point my legs were screaming. Conversation had almost ended because we’d already climbed 2,300 feet and were focused on oxygen consumption. But the thing is, even when you feel like you can’t go one more pedal stroke, you do. Because if you want to bail, the only way you can go is the way you came, and that way isn’t any easier. So you shut up and push on. And we pushed on with some of the most beautiful views I’ve seen since coming to Colorado. It was silent, too. I remember that most clearly. My heavy breathing was deafening; the crunch of gravel under our tires echoed against the mountains.

We approached our final left turn onto Sugarloaf Road, which brought us screaming back into Boulder on a windy downhill. It felt epically satisfying after the work we put in getting to the top.

^^^ Feeling so spoiled with the great friendships I’ve made the past 10 months living in CO. 

If it wasn’t for my escape route to Colorado, I would’ve never made this whole-hearted life and soul change. I would’ve never set myself on a journey to re-discover a life of happiness. This real life capital ER Escape Route brought me on this wonderful journey just as this metaphorical one did.

It feels meant to be—everything, all of it, every second of it.

And also. It’s OK if you need to take your very own escape route. It’s not a bailout, it’s a new journey. I’m living proof they save lives.

Push on, PUSH ANIMALS >>>

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