Wise River, MT- late June of 2012. Patti and I were outside the little local grocery store doing our usual magic of packing several days of food into my bike bags. The mosquitoes were at their peak, it was the hottest part of the day.
A fellow around our age rolls up in a car, stops right beside us and gets out. He then blurts out to us, “you don’t know how lucky you are!” I look up from packing and swat another mosquito as I wipe the sweat from my eye. Oh??? I sort of expect him to go off on the usual being mauled by a bear or being run over by a car type of story.
Patti and I have been together 24-7 for close to 3 months now. If ever there was a test of a relationship, this is the way to do it. Patti’s blog posts paint a rosy picture but occasionally those roses have thorns. Sometimes this trip has been hard, sometimes monotonous, sometimes stressful but pretty much always incredibly memorable and rewarding. I have to say I cannot and would not consider doing this trip with anyone else. She has been the positive influence, more often than not. There are times I’m ready to throw in the towel but Patti has been there to keep me on track. Our quibbles are getting fewer and fewer as the trip progresses.
So, I’ve been thinking of this fellow in Wise River a lot recently. He finished his statement saying “you’re very lucky to have someone to share this adventure with”. We were well into riding the Divide when we met this fellow. I feel he was talking to me more than Patti. I think I responded with a thank you and that, yes, I do feel really lucky. I dearly wish this fellow could see us now as he is the one that doesn’t know how lucky we are!