The Unicycling Unicorn
|Posted by Jamey on September 17, 2015 at 9:10 PM|
Alarm went off at 6am. Hit snooze until 6:45 and sat in bed planning the day. Got up made some oatmeal, packed tent and rest of the gear and took off at 8:30am.
Me in the morning with my whislte and Spot Gen3 Tracker nearby in case of an emergency and some of my gear hanging up to dry. Notice my unicycle tattoo?! I might need to add some touring gear to it.
My seat was a bit low all day yesterday and my knees were starting to hurt a bit so when I made it to a nice viewpoint I stopped to raise it. Took a nice break and continued on.
Ran into this street sign along the way. Are there lions in Colorado?!
From here the trail flowed pretty good so I was able to ride for a bunch of miles with no breaks. Made it to a spot where some nice guy had put a bunch of emergency gallon jugs of water as this section had no water for 10 miles. Apparently these people are called "trail angels". I still had some left so didn't need to take any but thought it was cool that someone did this just to be nice.
Made it to the end of segment 2 where there was a trailhead and toilet. Definitely took advantage of that! My first poo of the trip and it wasn't in a dirt hole. Yay.
While here a mt biker going the other way stopped to take a break. He had huge fat tires and a shitload of gear. Easily twice as much as what I had. He admitted he had way to much stuff and it was tough with that much weight. He couldn't believe I was doing the entire trail with half as much and on half a bike. He got dropped off a few days ago and was only riding to Denver.
We talked for almost an hour. He said he was interested in muni and might try it. I told him to look up the Denver unicycle meet up and I would teach him. Before he left he asked if I wanted any food as he had way too much and wanted to lighten his load. I said I was good but would take a snickers and energy bar. He also gave me some "green medicine" as a birthday gift. It is legal here and lightweight so why not.
These were the signs I looked for every day along the trail to make sure I was going the correct way. You could tell some of them were really old and had been there for many many years.
The next few miles were rolling hills. I ran into a day mt biker going the other way and he asked to take a photo. He said no one would believe him that he saw a unicyclist on this trail unless he had proof.
Ran out of water but timed it just right as a creek showed up literally 1 minute later. Used my awesome squeeze filter and filled up with ice cold water. Delicious!
Passed an older couple hiking and made it to the end of segment 3. While refilling water they caught up to me so we chatted for a bit. They were only hiking a few segments at a time as that's all their jobs would allow. Reminded me how thankful and happy I am that I have the job that I do. Being a professional performer, making people laugh and smile plus being my own boss to work when I want to is incredible and I'm very lucky doing what I love.
I haven't always been a performer. I actually went to college and got a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering. Worked at a medical company in MN designing heart valves and after 4 years wasn't happy. The corporate world felt like jail to me, sitting in a small cubical with no windows, in front of a computer, M-F, 8-5pm with only like 2 or 3 weeks vacation a year. One day I had enough, quit and moved to California where "dreams come true".
Didn't know what I would do with my life but a few months later I saw a street performer working in Venice Beach. I took video of it and zoomed in when he collected his money and he actually made a decent amount for a 20 minute show. I've always juggled and unicycled as a hobby growing up so I already had the skills. So I sat down with a pen and paper, came up with a very rough idea of a show and got permission to make my debut in Huntington Beach at their Surf City Nights Street Fair.
Was pretty nervous going out there but I set out my hat and started doing all these crazy hard tricks on my unicycle. Was working really hard for an hour and only made like 2 bucks. I was devastated and started packing up. Guess street performing wasn't for me. As I was putting my things away, a nice old lady came up to me and gave me a 20 dollar bill. She said "I've been watching you and you have been working really hard and are really good. Keep doing what you love." With that she was gone and I decided that maybe I could do this. This one person literally changed my life and career path. If it wasn't for her I probably would have gave up and would either have went back to engineering or would be doing something else. Crazy how just one person can change your entire life. Wish I could find her and thank her...if you are that lady and happen to be reading this blog, THANK YOU!
Anyways, back to the trail...so somewhere along the way I had my first blood of the trip. Nothing too major and it wasn't even from unicycling. It was from walking while pushing the unicycle and having it hit a rock making the pedals slam back into my shins. I wish I could say this was the only time it happened but throughout the entire trip it happened daily...sometimes many times per day.
The next two miles were all uphill and I ended up walking most of it. At this point my ass was starting to hurt from being sweaty and rubbing against cheek to cheek. I kept looking for this campsite but it was longer than expected. I was spent and was so happy when I saw it at mile 41.9. Sat down and took a long rest before setting up camp. When I put up my tent I realized I forgot two stakes in the ground at the last campsite. Oops.
Made buffalo chicken and it was actually pretty tasty except I wish I had something to wash down the spice instead of water...like a beer. Rolled a joint and smoked it. Hung up my food and was going to have a fire but couldn't be bothered. Mainly cause it was still warm out and there was nothing comfortable to sit on. So headed to my comfy air mattress.
Started reading The Alchemist and wrote in my journal (aka my iPhone). It was 8pm and the sun wasn't even down yet but I was very sleepy and fell asleep.