Our bike trip began exactly a month ago and although we got off to a rough, slow and extremely disappointing start, things are beginning to look up. We have spent the past couple of weeks in Sun Valley, Idaho and are thankful to our good friends, Gina and Rich, for allowing us to crash at their home while we mended our bodies and souls. It is beautiful here (a perfect place to rehab) and we have found it easy to occupy ourselves with hikes, camping trips, dinner parties, music and an abundance of other activities to the point where we actually forgot we were "supposed" to be biking until someone asked us about it. I guess that's a good sign we were having fun!
All the while, Mike has been doing strengthening exercises and stretches for his knee, slowly building up his endurance and the weight load on his bike. We hit a turning point last weekend when Mike took off on a ride up Trail Creek Road, a substantial climb which he had partially climbed several days before. I took off a while later up the same road and met him just as he was starting his descent. I have never seen him beam with such an enormous and happy smile as he was at that moment. He had made it to the top, completely pain-free and we knew we'd soon be back on the road. It has been 4 consecutive days of increasingly long and difficult rides with increasingly heavy loads on the bike, all pain-free, and we are beginning to feel the euphoric sweetness of bike touring creeping back into our senses.
We will have to alter the route we originally set out on, completely omitting the Oregon and Washington coasts as well as the detour up through Banff; time (or the seasons, rather) will just not allow it. Although it's a bummer to have to miss those areas, nothing in this world could make us happier at this moment than knowing we'll be back on our bikes within a week's time!