Pawnee Rock is a famous landmark on the historic Santa Fe trail. Strategically it was an important viewpoint where Indian tribes used it to pinpoint approaching buffalo herds and wagon trains. For some it was regarded as the most dangerous place on the Santa Fe trail. For others it was a waypoint denoting that about half of the journey westwards was complete. Over the years many of the people passing by carved their names into the soft rock. Sadly by the 1870s much of the rock had been removed to be used as building stone. Since 1970 it has been officially protected and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. So there you are. That’s what I didn’t tell you about before in order to win the bet!
|The Euros stand together one last time|
We rode south east from Burlington gradually crossing Boston’s suburbs before we all gathered together again to form up for the final procession to Revere Beach. We were formed into a line in pairs and I was pleased and proud to be standing next to Pete. We both recalled our first ever ride together, to the Hollywood Hills, before the tour started. We have travelled so much ground together since, both on the tarmac and off it, and we have become good friends. I look forward to the day we rode together again – how about something around the Trossachs or the Borders, Pete?
Taking advantage of the brief halt, I asked Pete to hold my bike and went to the front of the line and worked my way back saying ‘goodbye’ to each of the riders individually. People, kindred spirits that I have ridden with and got to know well and others who I now wished I knew a bit better. Such is life on a Tour. From every one of my fellow riders I have drawn tremendous inspiration. Each of us, experienced cyclists or not, have shared a unique experience and overcome so many obstacles and challenges that threatened our achievements. I will treasure those memories forever. A good route makes a good ride or tour. And great tours are made by great people. This has been one of the greatest tour teams I have ever ridden with.
I have a lot of memories from the tour and it is going to take me a long time to process and understand them. I need to organise my photographs and other records as one of the downsides of a long tour like this is that places and events blur into each other. So when, in a few days or weeks time I have made sense of all this I plan to write one final reflection on the tour. Watch this space …