Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fire up the kettle
Woke up once again long before first light, did a little reading in the tent using a headlamp as I waited.
This year I packed a good set of polar fleece pants along with a polar fleece jacket to sleep in. They make comfortable sleeping gear also they are great to wear around camp in the morning when the sun had yet to warm the ground. I packed a Helly Hanson long-sleeved winter undershirt a new addition to my touring gear. In the past I would stop for lunch or at the end of day. Hot and sweaty but rapidly cooling to the point of getting a chill I would toss on a jacket that soaked up the sweat and kept me warm. This time I would pull off my bike Jersey putting the HH shirt on. Designed to wick away the sweat but as opposed to a cool max shirts these kind of winter wear under shirts are used to help keep you warm even when wet. What a difference as it worked better than expected. I would cool down but didn’t get cold. Was much easier to rinse out and hang dry then a jacket.
Breakfast had my Kettle flaming for some killer oatmeal and hot coffee. Sun was rising up on the cliffs I started to pack up but was stalled, the dew on tent fly needed to dry. What is the old saying about if you can’t move the mountain then move to the mountain? I gathered up the tent fly and walked up out of the stream bed to a rise that the sun was already shinning on. Laid out here it dried while I finished packing up.
The next village was barley awake when I arrived. Had another cup of coffee from a sleepy cafĂ© owner who was on his first cup of the day. It hit me that I hadn’t a clue what time it was except morning, as for the day of the week I would have to count back sleeps to get to the a day of the week I actually knew. Such a bad thing…
As I left I spotted a small church poised high on a rocky ridge some miles away in the distance. Amazed that someone would have the tenacity to haul the building materials to such a high and remote area.
Today was also episode 27 of the ongoing saga of you can’t get there from here. When I pointed to the back road I wanted to use to get to Sigri I was told no way, dirt road, take this fine paved road that is also going to Sigri.. There was a lack of understanding that I wanted this high mountain dirt road the hugged the coast over the main road that yes it would get me there easier and faster but wasn’t the way I wanted to go. I told them in my limited way that if the road got to rough I would turn back and visit with them later for a beer. Not two miles down the dirt road came across a small church that had a covered well sporting a new shinny bucket. Under the shade of a large oak I took a great refreshing bucket shower.. okay I am lying it was a frigid icy cold, freeze my butt off wash that was wonderful. Clean duds followed felt 100% better. Off to tackle the back road route. It wasn’t long before that church that I talked about earlier; you know the one high up on that ridge. While I was climbing and climbing and now I was looking down on this same church in one direction and in the other more climb. but wait in the other direction more climb yahoo There is nothing I can put in words here that would accurately paint you the picture of the feeling of awe when I crested this next ridge. I was now going back in time as with the acceptations of this gravel road the landscape was green rolling hills with a few stone fences this area was devoid of modern mans influence.
Again road is an large encompassing term here for anything from almost a wantabe jeep track to a paved highway. The down side to this remote adventure highway was the fact that the un-marked spur roads that jutted off in several directions were sometimes as large or small as what I will call this main road. Many long minutes were spent standing at a crossroad or spur doing a mental coin flip on what road should I venture down. As hard as it is to believe never once during this days back- road trek did I have to reverse course.

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