I have been watching my AZT 750 record being dismantled by Alice Drobna, whom I have never met and only briefly saw just north of Rawlins this past summer on the Tour Divide. She is cruising through my very favorite part of Arizona right now. She looks to be camped in Washington Park and will be pushing up to the Mogollon Rim tomorrow. Word is the Highline Trail is in much better shape, but that doesn't matter. Every mile of the Arizona Trail is tough. Damn tough.
And, oh how I am smiling.
Smiling to see this Oregon girl getting it done.
Smiling because as I watch her dot move, I can see every tree, turn, rock and viewpoint she is passing. These memories I can recall in vivid and precise detail. I remember my thoughts, the smells, the sounds. the aches, the hunger and the true joy and peace I felt everyday no matter how hard it was.
Smiling because I will never have to wonder or talk about or use anyone else's experience to guess what it would be like.
Smiling at the memory of the lifelong friends I met in the miles she just covered today and the miles she is going to cover tomorrow.
Smiling because I now have another bikepacking hero besides Jefe.
Go, Alice, Go. Get up the Rim!!