We’ll Climb a Little Higher

Today, I conquered a mountain. That’s right, I pedaled my brains out for thirty-six miles on a 7% incline for over 5,000 feet of elevation. I climbed a vertical mile today. Even as I write this blog, I know that I will never be able to describe how it all felt. I can’t put into words the beauty of the forest, the pain of my legs, the heavy breathing, or the desperate shouts of “WHERE’S THE VAN?!?” that were screamed once we hit mile thirty-three, where we had been told the end of climb was. I cannot describe how amazing that peanut butter and jelly sandwich tasted at the top, how unexpectedly cold it got, or how relieved I was that this climb had no electric fences for me to crash into.

I will, however, attempt to describe the descent.

Here we are, at the top of this mountain. It’s freezing. The wind is tearing at our jackets, and we’re ready to get back on our bikes, if, for nothing else, than to continue pedaling to keep warm. We’ve been up since 5:30 am. We’ve been on our bikes pedaling for at least five and a half hours, willing ourselves to make it the top, to Powder River Pass at 9,666 feet above sea level. We’re exhausted, and we have no idea what lies ahead, other than an eighteen mile downhill to our campsite. The first few miles are similar to the evergreen forests we had gone through on the way up. And then the suddenly, the rocks on either side of us surge upwards, and we are thrust into what is one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen, and to what stands as one of my most incredible experiences.

Red rocks with evergreen and scattered shrubs surround us as the road gradually snakes down through the canyon. It’s unbelievable. The wind roars in my ears and my heartbeat quickens, not because of effort, but because of the adrenaline rush. I’m going as fast as I can with this incline and wind, a steady 37 mph. The trucks and campers that pass us can surely see the expression of absolute joy on my face. I can’t hold in the excitement of this thrilling experience. I want to scream at the top of my lungs. I want to let the world know that I’m here, that I’ve conquered the mountain. I know that I can do anything. Even now, as I write this, the feeling comes back. This is better than any dream I’ve ever had. I could have never imagined a better reward. This moment is something that I will never forget.

But, like all good things, it ends somewhere. This one ends at a campground at the edge of the national forest, by a fire, surrounded by twenty-one other lunatics that just climbed over 5,000 feet. We’re roasting marshmallows, swapping stories, and enjoying a night with no phone service and no internet. The roar of the river echoes through the trees, and the fire dances to the night music. I’m ready for whatever tomorrow, the day after, next week, or even next year has to throw at me. Because I know I can conquer anything.

Comments (8)
  • Awesome! I cannot imagine the trip but have a feeling all of you are having a life change! The Lord is sharing His beauty with you in a way, not many get to experience!!
    Love the blogs!!

  • Tory Cross Tory Cross says:

    Rebekah, I’m so glad you’ve gotten to have this feeling. You’ve done an incredible job describing it, and I really really hope you can continue to write about your journey and what it’s been like, your blogs are awesome!

  • Regina Bates says:

    I love you and miss you and so proud of you. I’m so glad you have this time and experence doing this amazing journey. See you soon baby girl.

  • Shelley Moyers says:

    Wow Rebekah,what an amazing view of nature you are blessed to see! I do believe you will conquer anything that comes your way!!

  • Peggy Mayer says:

    Your description of your mountain journey is increditable! I so enjoy reaing them. This journey will change your life forever, so glad you are doing this. May God richously Bless you in this journey and keep you safe.

  • Kim Melton says:

    Rebekah, wow what a beautiful post! I am so happy you are having these amazing experiences! Your writing is so inspiring, it came at a moment when I really needed to be uplifted and you did just that! I am so proud of you and this wonderful group of young people! Keep on pedaling and know how much you are loved! XOXOXOX

  • Suzanne Munaretto says:

    Rebekah, you truly amaze me! I look up to you and think “I wanna be just like her. Make a difference. Stand up for whats right!” I love you so much! And miss you. I hope when I’m in collage I can do this amazing thing like YOU! <3

  • John Frank says:

    Rebekah,

    Can you swing back by Pocatello and give me another hug?
    I became addicted.

    Old John

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