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DAY 3: I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY

We set our sights on Cottonwood in the morning. The Lime Kiln Trail proved to be sandy and slow as we meandered along the final miles down into the valley, Mingus Mountain rising in the distance. “We’re going up there after we leave Cottonwood,” I mentioned. The gravity of the situation didn’t really seem to sink in as we rolled into town and stopped at the first cafe we could find. It was nearly noon, but they were still serving breakfast, so I opted for some French toast, eggs, and hash browns. Both Lucas and Glenn opted for giant burgers with French fries, devouring them as if they hadn’t had a real meal in 24 hours. “You boys are starting to learn how to clean your plates,” I joked. In Sedona, just a day prior, we’d all ordered the same sweet potato and mozzarella sandwiches and I was the only one to finish. They leaned back and patted their bellies, “We’re learning from the best.” It was well after 2:00 when we rolled out to tackle Mingus Mountain, a steep, 2,000-foot climb up from the valley floor. The heat was oppressive for me, even after spending the winter in warm Arizona climates. Lucas and I rolled next to each other until he pulled up short. “Oh, this is embarrassing.” He dropped his bike and walked over to the side of the road, disappearing into the bushes. When Glenn caught up, a few second later, he asked, “Where’d Lucas go?” “I don’t know, I think he had to go to the bathroom.” We waited. He emerged from the bushes a few minutes later, looking pale. “Well, I guess I shouldn’t have eaten all that food.” “Did you puke?” Glenn asked. “Yep.” Aye. The rest of the climb went slowly. I found myself stopping in the shade whenever it presented itself to wait for the boys, who were reduced to pushing their bikes up the steep dirt road. The Cottonwood Valley expanded beneath us as we gained elevation. Their 1,000-yard stares clearly showed their state of exhaustion, but we continued pushing toward the top. Bunyan Velo 174

Profile for Lucas Winzenburg

Bunyan Velo: Travels on Two Wheels, Issue No. 05  

Bunyan Velo is a collection of photographs, essays, and stories celebrating the simple pleasures of traveling by bicycle.

Bunyan Velo: Travels on Two Wheels, Issue No. 05  

Bunyan Velo is a collection of photographs, essays, and stories celebrating the simple pleasures of traveling by bicycle.

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