Every time we make the drive over the mountain pass, Brandon would mention how he would love to ride his bike over the mountains. I would always reply with, "when the boys are 18". This year we celebrate 15 years of wedded bliss and decided it was time to head back over, this time without kids. It had been 5 years since we last came to visit without the boys. And, this time, I told Brandon he could ride his bike.
The days leading up the trip, I have to admit I had a hard time sleeping. I wouldn't lie awake picturing terrible things happening to Brandon, but I would wake up each night with my mind racing. I have a deep fear of heights, plus watching cars race down the mountain and picturing Brandon on his little bike, was kind of nerve-racking. But the day finally arrived. And with it rain. Lots of rain.
Brandon did say if it was raining when we hit the starting point, he would not ride. Part of me was hopeful it would rain. The rest of me just wanted this over with. My job was to drive support. To meet Brandon at prearranged stopping points with extra water and snacks. He thought it would take 4-5 hours. I could just imagine how thrilling my drive was going to be. Drive, stop, wait, drive, stop, wait, and so on.
Brandon gave me vague descriptions of where to stop. All I heard was, not on the left side of the road, not at overlooks, and not more then 10-15 miles. Seemed easy enough. Except I missed the first meeting place. I was looking for a campground sign, but I needed to be looking for a resort sign. Minor details but it meant I drove an extra 20 miles before I finally realized I had indeed gone to far. No cell service meant I couldn't just park and text Brandon where I was. I drove back to what I thought was a prominent parking place and pulled off. I figured he couldn't miss a bright red car with an equally bright orange bike on top. And he didn't. But he was a little worried when he finally rode up. Missing the first rendezvous point meant Brandon was envisioning me attacked by some crazy mountain man. Nope, just lost.
From then on I stopped every 5 miles in an easy to see pull out. And then I waited. Once I took a nap, but mostly I read. And ate Pringles and drank Dr. Pepper. Because it was kind of lonely just sitting in the car waiting to see Brandon appear, only to drive off again.
But 4 hours later I waited for Brandon with the camera rolling. And there he was, hot, sweaty, and tired, but he did it. 60 miles, 7, 680 feet elevation gain later, and he was done. Dream come true for Brandon. And my nightmare of worry and terror was over.
At dinner that night Brandon mentioned taking our boys on the ride one day. Then he paused and said, "Maybe not, it was kind of intense."
Happy Anniversary, Babe.