Gorgeous day. 64*
Mahlique got his classes scheduled and I was uploading photos. We left the Horat family as we found them: Happy. Such a wonderful visit with them. I wish it could have been with all of their children but the two who were still home, as far as I’m concerned, made up for those not present. Thank you Terry Tignon for offering their name as possible hosts. They were the first on the second list (pastor Ed and wife were already hosting others and could not accommodate us at this time) and accepted us immediately.
Thank you, again, John and Tanya for hosting us. It was one of the many great visits that we’ve had along our tour from the many wonderful and beautiful people of this country.
In total, the drive to Corvallis, MT yesterday added an additional 7 miles to our ride that day and it officially became the longest ride we’ve had so far in 86.33. It’s amazing (yes, that word keeps coming up), but I am amazed at the fact that as we count the miles the YC’s don’t bat an eye at 50 anymore. They’ve moved beyond that in mental and physical strength. What an accomplishment!!
We took the bike path all way from Corvallis/Hamilton to Missoula, MT.
Joseph had four stops due to air leaking from his tire. 2 new tubes, two pinch flats and it was finally discovered that he was damaging the valve housing when he was inserting the tube.
Missoula Our Adventure Cycling visit. Met Greg Stiles, one of the founders, and got a great tour. Also we got photographed because we cycled in to visit. I also got to meet Ms. @acaRoutes herself, Jenn! What a cool day.
Had great burritos at Taco Del Soul, a nice joint down the street from Adv Cycling. We camped at the KOA Missoula.
My hair’s grown long and I look like George Jefferson but there’s not a thing I can do about it.
This morning everyone woke up positive and active. The boys and I took down our tent and quickly rushed to get the muffins which were laid out for breakfast. After that the crew headed out without me since I was on punishment and cycled for about 2 1/2 hours until the break. I handed out bananas to everyone and made sure that they were ready and had whatever they needed.
It was a pretty easy ride since they only had to cycle 50-60 miles and the weather was smooth and nice.
So, we were on our way to Whitehall, MT and the ride was fantastic. Kyvon had to get in the van, again, because he broke his seat post clamp. Now, he has to stay in the van for 5 days until Rich can arrive with the part needed to fix it.
Anyway, a giant storm came out of nowhere so we decided to wait it out. We put our bikes up against a bench on the side of a store and headed for shelter. Shortly thereafter, a truck pulled up to my mom. The whole time I was thinking it was just another nice citizen telling her how cool the trip was, but boy was I wrong. According to him “(y)our kind wasn’t welcomed to stay” on his property. Maybe when he said “(y)our kind” he meant cyclists but when questioned further he looked at Ibn and Brentton and said to my mom “you know what I mean”. We left and cycled about 8 miles in the rain. By this time it was nearly passed and although it was cold it was a light rain and not a storm.
At the RV campground in Whitehall we met a guy named Justin who was pretty cool and nice. Much nicer than the man just 8 miles up the road. He let us use his grill and in return we gave him dinner. He was managing the campgrounds that night. By the way, dinner this year is great! Each night it’s something new. We had Chili-Mac which is EVERYONE’S favorite.
After dinner, Jojo, Kyvon and I decided to take a walk. We ended up helping an older man put up a fence post in his yard.
Oh, yea. I forgot to say that we were 30 miles from the Meth (methamphetamine) capital of Montana. Meth is a BIG problem up here. Justing told me you could get it from ANYONE. That is some crazy stuff.
The campsite was OK and I got some OK rest. We awoke to another wet tent. We all got up and got our tents put up really fast. I think the fastest, so far. We ate muffins for breakfast and were out and on the road before 8am. That was a first and it felt great.
Today we reached the Rocky Mountains on our first trip to Yellowstone National Park. I was totally amazed at how much bigger the Rocky Mountains were than the mountains in North Carolina. The tips of the caps on the mountains had snow on them. At one of our stops we got to feel and touch it (on top of Bear Tooth Hwy). We acted as if we had never seen snow before. We also got to see many waterfalls surrounded by evergreen trees. The water was so cold because of the melting snow and ice into the newly created streams that turn into the rivers below. I have many great pictures of this phenomenal experience.
I was so excited when I heard we were having chili macaroni tonight. The last time we had this for dinner, I went back for thirds. But before we could eat this meal each of the campers went in a circle and said something nice about each other. After dinner, we had to set up our tents because we were afraid of the bears getting to us late at night.
In Yellowstone National Park you have to take extreme precaution when it comes to cleaning up after yourself because of the animals. One thing I noticed is that at night is it gets really cold and sometimes it’s hard to sleep. Good thing I was fully covered for bed.
I have to say that climbing out of that valley this morning felt worse than it did going in when I was on my 80th mile! It must have been the anticipation. The hills just kept rolling and rolling and rolling. I think the count was 5 hills. I didn’t count. Didn’t want to. Didn’t want to think about it.
This will be a short entry. We had a great ride, no one was overheated and we had nice cloudcover for pretty much of the day. We clocked in about 75 miles today which includes the 9 miles it took to get out of West Whitlock Recreation Area. So, mapped, it was 66p
The nights are getting cooler now. As I type this at 11:45pm CDT the temperature seems to be around 73* with a slight breeze of about 5mph. Fireworks are going off in the distance.
There was a lovely sunset this evening and a beautiful moonrise. The wind was at our backs today and the DFL team was me, Itza, Jeimy, Maysa and Kate. No repairs has to be made today and all was good.
Everyone went to be in good spirits as I’m going to do now. Enjoy the slide show.
What I noticed last night was that not only are we on a schedule (although, not yet keeping to it as perfectly as we would like) so is the wind. We rise begin cycling and almost like clockwork the wind begins picking up during the 8am hour and continues on until somewhere in the 9pm hour (there roundabouts); seriously! It’s done it for the last 4 days that I’ve noticed. Hopefully, it won’t prove me wrong tomorrow.
So, after a beautiful sunset last night there was a storm coming thru the campsite at Northpointe Recreation Center but it wasn’t the type we normally experience out east. It was a dry lightning storm. We battened down the tents and listened as the wind rustled and whipped everything in its path. When asked what they thought about the storm the girls answered “what storm?” Seems they slept right thru it. It must be great to not have a care in the world.
The morning’s ride began with an uphill out of the park. It was a fitting warm up; just enough of an incline to wake you up and not have you mind it so much. Being DFL Leader (DF2L) I now have a DFLL in-training with Itza, my co-pilot. Suepinda was able to join us today and we all rode DFL with dragonflies buzzing about us like dolphins to a ship. We had a combine truck pass us and we did something different in moving onto the other side of the road since he was taking up much of the shoulder and road at the same time. I think he appreciated that, as did we.
With the wind in our faces the three of us caught up with Kate and rode beside her for a number of miles. Itza and I started a game to break up the monotony by racing downhill as fast as we can while I call out the current speed. We were impressed with our best time of the morning with 37 mph; an improvement from yesterday’s robbery of 24.9 mph. But eventually we found another hill where we were able to get up to 40 mph. Suepinda and Kate got up to 37 mph. Their best time to date! We didn’t tell them that 40 was faster than 37, but I think they knew.
Me being a lover of grande vistas I took lots of pictures but realized they meant nothing without the context of a cyclist in the picture. Oh well. But South Dakota, I would say, is home to the rolling hillsides. Miles and miles of rolling hills. What a site. I can’t wait until I see mountains in the background or grande vista. Working on my Spanish this summer: learned to say “Hola, vaca negra, hola, vaca kaffe”
To remind us that we are in the very deepest of the country we only witnessed a few oncoming vehicles and almost NONE coming up behind us for miles. Wow. That’s why I’m DF2L. Because in the country, to quoting one of my favorite movies, “no one can hear you scream”. As we rode on eventually more vehicles past us and two of them were trucks carrying hogs. Dripping, oozing, leaking a foul substance that clung to the road like a paint. And being up wind we began to travel what we now call the “Trail of Stench”! The wretchedness lasted consistently for almost two miles as we could not get away from the headwinds which faithfully brought to us every molecule of that strange substance.
At the campsite tonight the youth cyclists played “Ninja”. A game where they get two moves, defensive and offensive to either block or hit the other opponent’s hand. That’s all I can explain but it looks fun.
Tomorrow we plan to continue with the tailwinds and make good time to Fort Thompson.
Today began at 6:30am with a nice cool morning of just under 74* We ate an oatmeal breakfast and headed out of the Lewis & Clark State Park for a fabulous ride with the wind at our backs. We saw a dead mocassin that someone went out of their way to ensure was dead. We also crossed “Dead Frog Lane” while leaving the park. Well, that’s what we called it because there was carnage. It reminded me of what it would be like if sea turtles had to cross a highway to get to the sea. yea, it was that bad.
Now that I’ve depressed you, let me tell you of a guy Suepinda and I met at the park which just goes to show you that leadership training comes in all forms. He had a young man out camping to get him away from home and be out on his own, well, with him and his girlfriend. But the point is that people see the need for young adults to be guided and given the opportunities that they, themselves, won’t get otherwise. Because at this stage in life teens have stopped listening to the expert advice of their parents and outside intervention is of great help.
The youth cyclists are doing fantastic! For the second day they have completed over 70 miles and are staying enthusiastic with lots of energy at the end of the day. Speaking of Jeimy she tells me that she never sweats and is superwoman! I must agree that she is outstanding and is right up their cycling with Bob B.
As usual, Itza says she actually feels great and cannot wait until tomorrow. She’s so excited. She also rides with Bob. But that’s not surprising. Her and Jeimy only held back last year to make sure I didn’t pass out (hahaha).
My daughter Maysa is certainly the rockstar of the group. She was a last minute add on and is having the time of her life! With no training at all she is riding in the middle pack of cyclists and smiling every (hmm… not every step, is it?) rotation of the wheel.
The boys, Mahlique, Kyvon and Damaris are certainly very strong riders. Showing their prowess by catching up with us after they took a rest break at the local Burger King in Souix City, SD.
Sammy rides hard and strong and takes it upon himself to wait for the meanderers (those who take their sweet time). Well, at least that’s what he’s telling us.
Joseph actually accepted Bob’s challenge of a race during the last section of the ride before making camp and, of course, got dusted. But he was proud of the fact that he was brave enough to do so and laughed the whole time.
Khin surprised herself by going over 20 mph during a part of the last leg. During the first ride she was dogging it with the gremlins holding back her wheel. With the wind at her back she was definitely sailing!
Lastly, and I mean lastly. Kate and I are having the time of our lives bringing up the rear and making sure that no one is left behind. Riding on what Itza calls “endless roads” as they went on and on into the horizon as far as you could possibly see and then disappeared into the haze.
I began working today at 1pm so my cycling experiences ended at the Souix City Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. The place where the only person of the entourage of pioneers died. But there are other wild stories that I hope the youth cyclists will tell. I know a little bit of a guy the group met named “uncle Steve” who was with a friend bar hopping on their bikes. Yikes!! He was given my number to call but I didn’t get it.
Tonight we’re sleeping in the actual campsite of Lewis and Clark as camped along the Missouri River at the Lewis and Clark Heritage City Park in Elk Point, SD.
13 hrs later SnR youth cyclists arrive at the first overnight stay @ camp Trimble! Tomorrow the rest breaks will be shorter!
Everyone’s excited about the upcoming tour. One of the many discussions was the “National Park passport” that Bob has where he gets a stamp for each visit to a National Park. He was happy to say that he will be getting quite a few more on this tour. Suepinda and I decided to get one, as well, to record out visits as we’ve had a few that would have been included that Bob didn’t. That made him laugh as he said Suepinda had better hurry and because we’ve got a lot of ground to make up and he’s not stopping to wait for us.
After a long ride we finally reached the wonderful home of my bother and sister-in-law, Brad and Jen, in Indiana. Our first stop on the tour. It was that final stop of a not-so-grueling, but long, trip across NC, WV, KY and then Indiana.
Normally a quick 10.5 hr journey it expanded to 13 because each stop became a joyous visit to the restroom, coffee shop and snack counter. I don’t think we want to continue having lengthy stops like this or we’ll never make it to our destination to start cycling. hehehe
My mother-in-law had cooked a good Thai noodle dish for the crew and Brad grilled chicken legs to round out the meal.
After dinner we sang “Happy Birthday” to newcomer youth cyclist, Sammy. Afterward the girls dropped out of sight with my nieces to play “Just Dance III” and the boys went off to play a round of basketball with my nephew, Dillon, while I played with the very little ones a game of cat and mouse.
To round out the night we collected music to play on the van’s MP3 player. We’re ready to roll in the morning.
7 @spokenrev youth cyclists graduated along with our son, Mahlique! I know it was yesterday but with all of the festivities I didn’t get a chance to make the best announcement of the week. Our son, Mahlique graduated from East Chapel Hill High School yesterday at the Dean Smith Center. It was a great event and all, and I mean ALL, of the youth speakers were excellent.
We’re very, very proud of our youth cyclists. We’re so happy that the UGRR tour last year was one of the many things you all did that set you apart in the college application process. Extra congrats on the scholarships!
Congratulations on a job well done!!