September 18, 2015 Seattle, WA. A dear friend’s cozy home.

I’ve been back in Seattle for a couple weeks now.  Trying to lay low at my friend Karen’s house and spending cherished time with my daughters and dear friends.

And making a last push to raise money for our Fundraiser. (Please help if you can!)

Shal’s and my epic adventure leaves me with memories, photos, skills, and friends to last a lifetime. That’s not all I’m left with. I just found out that the health issues I’ve been having for the past couple months are due to a hyperactive thyroid – a not uncommon condition probably triggered by stress. My blood test showed extreme levels of TSH, T3 and T4 but the news feels hopeful. I now know what’s been causing the shakiness, weight loss, rapid heart rate, weakness, and insomnia. Now I can address it and work towards feeling like my old young self again. The best part of getting healthy will be uninterrupted sleep. Normally I’m a sound sleeper but my wacked-out thyroid leaves me restless at bedtime and having to pee three times during the night. The only thing that keeps me from total sleeplessness is marijuana. It’s legal in Washington but I still sneak it and feel a little naughty doing it.  It’s not even fun anymore and I don’t get the munchies. Too bad since I can eat whatever I want and not gain weight.  I hate that I have to take something to sleep but I can’t muster the energy to try more natural methods that take effort. I just need to sleep. As a former meditator (I’ll get back to it I swear!) I tried to meditate myself to sleep but my body is just too amped up. Maybe a monk could soothe a 105 bpm heart rate into snoozedom but not me.

On the brighter side, Shal and I will be reunited in a few days. We parted three weeks ago at the completion of the IDBDR. We rode together for a mile that final morning, and then as I turned north, and she south, the realization that our 25,000-mile journey together was coming to an end set in hard. We both sobbed in our helmets’ headsets – no words were adequate to bring closure to what we experienced and achieved together.

Shal’s southerly journey brought her to New Mexico to participate in the filming expedition of the newest Backcountry Discovery Route, the 1,200- mile NMBDR. An opportunity of a lifetime to be invited to ride with seven other excellent riders and industry leaders, and be the only female in next BDR film.

At the end of the month, as my daughters jet off to Nepal, Shal and I will go to Maine to heal and process the past 15 months. We’ll have the space and time to ponder what we’ll do next, and where we’ll live. We’re envisioning a smallish town in a beautiful setting – with spectacular roads and trails within easy reach.

Written by Steph

Explorer of adventures.

2 comments

  1. Beautiful post and can’t wait to follow the next chapter. I’m so glad for you that you have found the issue and can hopefully regain a new healthy state! Best to both of you!

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