Furnace Creek: Where the West—and the Quest—was Won

By Nancy Mother Goose Guth, 2002 solo finisher

Sun creeping over San Francisquito Canyon-
The quest begins.
Light clouds shuttle across the vast sky
Winds tease as pedals turn towards the goal.
Darkness, the sun dips below the mountains.
As riders, resembling focused fireflies,
Flit up Townes Pass,
Followed by faithful golden eyed Spider men-
They dance together, like red and gold flickers,
Plunging into Death Valley.
A regal coyote gives only a glance-
And the quest continues.
Sun rises over Badwater, and bakes Death Valley for lunch
Some lose heart as
Winds tempt to slow the quest-
The Mad Greek appears shimmering in the distance-
Coffee, ice, refreshed, the quest marches on-
Dusk brings another challenge for the pedaling fireflies
Supportive Spiderman spiritually push cyclists over Sheep Hole…
Twentynine Palms shimmers in the distance,
The quest is almost won.

Through city lights a supportive van escorts to the end,
friendly faces at the finish line-
The western quest is done!