8/21

8/21

Arrived in Kingman today. It was a very strange day.

Last night we were hit by a significant wind storm. And a bit of rain. Our tent stayed standing but was very close to collapsing.

I woke up this morning, and spent a few miles in the van in an effort to get my school year set up. After repairing two flats on my bike (one from a goathead, the other from a pinched tube during the Olympic event last night) I got on my bike. Only to experience another flat and a totally destroyed rear tire. I was unable to get in touch with our support van, and was offered help by a very kind local!

Ultimately I biked into town. Found food (experienced in and out- which was fantastic!!) and got ready for the laundry Olympic challenge. Each chore group had to fold the full laundry tarp (the burrito) and successfully load it into and unload it from the van. We placed second!

Bed time!!

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8/20

8/20

Seligman, Arizona! This place is another town that only exists because of Route 66 but it is much smaller! It is actually the town that the Pixar movie “Cars” is loosely based off of! Naturally all of the gift shops have characters from the movie inside and outside their shops!

We are also camping tonight! So great! I am totally getting a tent for when I get back to school so I can get away and just camp on weekends! It would be so nice! This campsite though is filled with goatheads (little balls with multiple thorns about the size of your pinky fingernail. They hurt. They pop bike tires. They pop camping mattresses. They poke through the tent. They suck!

Tonight was also the first night of Bike and Build Chore Group Olympics! We held the opening ceremony, and a tire changing competition. We had a torch and flame, and introduced our teams. Not to brag, but we had the best intro-a bit over the top – but everyone loved it as it referenced a lot of what we had encountered along the route. I might post it to Facebook at a later date.

8/19

8/19

Wildest build day ever! Hands down. Period.

Well we ALMOST painted an entire house today! Then it poured. And hailed. And poured some more. I was freezing. And for some reason, we kept painting. Which in my non professional opinion seemed a little pointless as I saw paint pooling into puddles in the yard.

We got back to the church, some people went out. I decided to get a little more sleep. Not too much to talk about here. Although its a really amazing place, our schedule has been getting very tight! We have a lot to discuss in the coming weeks, including the bike and build Olympics and grant applications that determine where our fundraising will go!

The Olympics will be played in the coming week to determine what chores different groups will need to do in the last week (packing coolers, the trailer, making dinner, filling water and Gatorade coolers, or making breakfast and doing laundry). I’m pretty stoked!!

8/18

8/18

Fastest ride ever!!! It was so amazingly short! We ran through some pretty amazing forest. We keep leaving and re-entering Kaibob National Forest. Not sure how they decided on the park property line, but I think they got someone to try and draw a straight line on a map in the middle of an earthquake.

We arrived in the town of Williams! It’s a town that runs purely on tourism and only exists because historic Route 66 runs through it. It was a really amazing place!

We are scheduled for a build day in town tomorrow! Sounds like its going to be interesting!

8/17

8/17

Oh my god. We woke up at 4 today so that we could watch the sun rise over the Grand Canyon before we hiked into it!

My vocabulary is not even close to being extensive enough to explain the beauty of the canyon! I stood at the rim speechless as more and more light flooded over the rim. I had chills and it wasn’t very cold!

We hiked about 4.5 miles into the canyon. We were able to see the canyon change before our eyes all day. As the sun moved around the canyon, every rock face changed character. We were given a new perspective of the rim every hour. It was stunning!

Returning to the campsite was not as much fun. We had left the canyon just in time for an insane monsoon to roll in! We biked back to our campsite to make sure our duffel bags were dry. It hailed. And that hurts when you’re going 20mph on a bike! Our campsite flooded. Some tents had been placed at the low end of the campsite. No bueno.

We had another great campfire, and are prepping for a relatively short ride tomorrow!

This guy seems to know what he’s talking about:

“The Grand Canyon fills me with awe. It is beyond comparison—beyond description; absolutely unparalleled throughout the wide world… Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is. Do nothing to mar its grandeur, sublimity and loveliness. You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see.”

-President Theodore Roosevelt

8/16

8/16

The ride into the Grand Canyon today was only 70 miles, but it felt like it lasted an eternity! The anticipation killed me and all I wanted was to be there! I bonked before and after lunch today. The higher altitude has been killing me lately.

We also found a pretty cool aviation museum near our lunch location that I had a little spare time to explore!

We were able to ride with a ME2SB’11 rider today as well which was really cool! We passed some beautiful forest, huge mountains, and then a large flat clearing before a wonderful descent!

We have had a few interesting things happen! Riding under large power lines, you can hear electricity moving overhead through the wires. Some riders have actually been shocked when passing under them if a part of their body touches the metal frame of the bike!

We met just outside Grand Canyon national park, and had to be shuttled in to avoid being charged an insane amount of money to camp. We rolled in to our camp sight and spotted a couple of elk before setting up camp for our first night under the stars.

We made dinner, opened our mail, and made a camp fire before getting ready to pass out. Tomorrow is our day off and we have big things planned! After waiting all day to see the canyon, I have to wait another night.

8/15

8/15

Pretty cool day! The climb from Cottonwood through Sedona was beautiful. It fit the stereotype of what I imagined I would see in Arizona, but better! We stopped in Sedona for coffee and ran into the homeowner receiving the Habitat home we worked on yesterday!

We passed through more amazing sights. Before arriving at Slide Rock State Park! We went cliff jumping! 40′ 50mph! So crazy. So terrifying! But it’s one more thing to check off the list!

In order to get to Flagstaff, we needed to climb 2,000 feet out of a canyon. The road had more switchbacks than I can count, but it was an amazing feeling as we conquered the climb! It was like scaling a giant vertical rock wall- actually we did scale a giant vertical rock wall.

Flagstaff is a cool little place. We passed our first sign pointing toward the freeway to Los Angeles though which brought mixed emotions. I’m so pumped to hit the Grand Canyon tomorrow!