I have never cared much for snakes. As a youth camping, I once woke up with a snake sleeping on my shoulder. Northern California while sunbathing on a rock, I found myself surrounded by snakes. It never got any better after that. Bill Cosby also had a fear of snakes. In his famous comedy routine, he fearfully calls out from his bed "snakes, are you out there?" So today as I pedaled through 100 body breaking miles of rattlesnake infested desert, I was vigilant and apprehensive. But although coyotes, birds, and retreads were abundant, not a single snake was to be found.
The things that conflict us the most are not always concrete. They are often fears, apprehensions, and insecurities. It is difficult to control and conquer the invisible and intangible. All of us have our own version of snakes under the bed. The horror of Eric's death will be my snake for the rest of my life.
Today's ride was beautiful. The desert is in early bloom, and the temperature was perfect. Remote landscapes and dunes separated the irrigated cornucopia of Brawley and Blythe. Today featured only a 1000 foot climb, but lots of miles. By the the end of the day, my bottom was sore, my back ached, and Blythe looked like heaven. This is 45 miles longer than I have ever done. Tomorrow is a rest day, the my friend Moe will end my solitude and accompany through Arizona.