As we climbed Wolf Creek Pass yesterday evening, our medical man extrordinaire, Jim Gagne discovered this location (see photos) for Ann Rasmussen and I to take a nap at.
Despite a front tire flat on our Santana tandem at the end of a steep descent 30 miles into the race and a nighttime flat tire on our follow vehicle at the end of Day #1, our mileage and our energy level was where we wanted it to be.
Day #2 of our Race Across America adventure presented us with a more significant challenge. Ann thought the 107+ degree heat of the day was getting to her as we rolled into Congress, AZ, but after getting checked out by doctor Jim it was clear that Ann was suffering from pulmonary edema (altitude sickness). Jim, having climbed the highest peaks on all seven continents, was very familiar with how to treat this problem and hoped with the appropriate treatments that Ann might be able to continue her RAAM dream. The medications that Jim prescribed immediately improved Ann’s condition and for the next few days she was able to ride, but not at the special level we have been accustomed to. A level needed to do well or even survive Race Across America.
Yesterday, Day #5, we began climbing Wolf Creek Pass, the highest point on RAAM at 10,500 ft. As the climb progressed Ann’s condition worsened. We took a nap at this beautiful location. When we were woken 30 minutes later Ann’s condition did not improve. As a group we decided it would not be wise to allow Ann and I to go any further in this RAAM adventure.
Given this decision, you might think we would be overwhelmingly disappointed and sad, but we are not. We gave it our best shot under our circumstances, we had an amazing team supporting us and the experience was rewarding beyond words.
I have learned that when you make the decision to chase a dream good things tend to happen often and at unexpected times.
Down the road we will say more, and post a few photos, about our Tandem RAAM experience, but right now we our busy making some lemonade.