All smiles after The Wall.

All smiles after The Wall.

The ride from Salida to Canon City started off with a fast descent, and I must admit that I enjoyed every part of it. As the miles ticked off on my odometer I began to think to myself “This will be just like another recovery ride.” I was happy about the possibility of reaching my hotel room without being completely exhausted. Even after turning off Highway 50, when the road got a little rough and the fast descent disappeared, I was not discouraged because it seemed like we were close to the end already. Then Don Smith (Chandler’s father…happy Father’s Day by the way) greeted us in a way a carny might welcome you to a haunted house, “Welcome to ‘The Wall!'” I immediately looked up and saw something that I was not prepared for – the hill from hell! I immediately thought, “No one told me about this…where was this in the brochure?”

It is a good thing that Mr. Smith told me it was 3000 meters till the top or I might have collapsed mentally. For those that made the climb they were rewarded with the Royal Gorge Bridge and outstanding views; and I must say it was worth it. What a great reminder that sometimes the best things in life come by way of a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Ride The Rockies teaches me that almost every day. I am eager to see what tomorrow brings, but I hope I never have to do “The Wall” again!