Day 45 and 46 (68 miles)

Today we rode into Santa Fe, however I got to ride in the food van with Haley. Riding in the food van is actually pretty stressful. Since we are kind of in the middle of nowhere we decided to drive straight to Santa Fe and get a start on donations for lunch. Food can used to be easier when we drove through smaller towns in between cities. However, lately we don’t pass through any cities before the destination which is slightly annoying. When we got to Santa Fe we immediately started trying to et donations. Me being the coffee fiend that I am, we made a pit stop at Dunkin and also figured we would try for some donuts. Turns out, the manger was awesome and offered to give us 36 donuts. Also, today is J-bears (Jeremy) birthday. For those of you who don’t know, Jeremy has a slight obsession with donuts, so on the shelf at Dunkin was a donut bigger than my head. We asked about it and the manager also gave us one of those as well. I was way too excited about it. After Dunkin we decided to try various places such as Taco Bell, McDonald’s and KFC. Turns out, after about eleven different places we were still empty handed as far as lunch. In full panic mode we decided to try Walmart as a last resort. Haley and I put on the best desperate act we could. After about fifteen minutes, the manger returned with 75 dollars for us to use. This worked out perfectly, we bought various foods for sandwiches and chips. After this it was time for us to head out to the host because the team would be arriving soon. Turns out the address that we had was somehow incorrect. Upon arriving at what we thought was the host, we quickly learned it was not. We once again panicked that we had no where to stay but quickly figured out the correct place.

After detouring the team to the correct host, we surprised Jeremy with his donut. He actually ate the entire thing without sharing, but that is exactly what I expected. Even for him, I was impressed! After the team ate we headed downtown to explore. Santa Fe was definitely one of the more interesting places we have been. It was quiet compared to other cities such as New Orleans and Austin. Around ten the team headed back to the YMCA we were staying at and passed out for the night!

Rest Day

Rest days are wonderful, I’ll start with that. My legs have been sore since the day I left Baltimore and have yet to not be. It’s gotten to the point where I feel as though it’s just a normal thing. Out here on the 4k you learn to adapt to different things. After a whole it all seems like second nature. Today, I hung out with the boys all day. Brad needed to take his bike to REI to see why his chain was making funky noises. So Brad, Matt, Schmeags Danny and I all headed our to REI. I have come to find a new love for bike stores this summer. I could spend hours just aimlessly walking around looking at what cool things they have for my bike. I even convinced the boys to accompany me on a trip to Starbucks, how nice of them! At about 1230 we picked Brads bike up and headed back to the host. The boys and I then went to Buffalo Wild Wings, however, I waited for the girls to pick me up so that we could get whole foods for lunch! Whole foods is an organic food store, they have some of the best prepared foods, but not as good as Wegmans! Wegmans will always hold a special place in my heart. After whole foods me and a couple others went back downtown to enjoy dinner. While downtown, I picked up some more stickers to decorate my bike with, my favorite thing to do! After dinner I went back to the host and went to sleep in order to prepare myself to get back to riding the next day! Tomorrow is Taos!

East is East and West is San Diego

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Day 44: Tucumcari to Las Vegas (108)

Well…today was the day I had been waiting for/dreading for a while now. It was our longest day yet, and I was more than nervous. As we get deeper and deeper into New Mexico we get deeper into the Rockies. Prior to starting the trip, people could never believe I was about to ride my bike through the Rockies, actually people couldn’t believe I was about to ride my bike across the country at all. Sure, I’m imagining there was those people that would hear me and not believe it for a second, not believe that I would make it, but here I am, riding my bike through New Mexico, pedaling strong.

Anyways, today I rode with, Simon (C-money) Lauren, and Matt. I started off strong, but to say the least, the worst was for sure get to come. At about halfway through the route I could start to see the clear outline of the mountains. Then finally, I saw what I thought was my worst nightmare. I saw a sign that said “winding rode next three miles” that could only mean one thing. With the mountains clearly in front of me I knew I was going to be going over it for three miles. That meant three miles of climbing that I was not about today. Thankfully, Matt had introduced me to a new game a whole back in the ride. We started playing something called the movie game. So how it works is one person names a movie and whatever that movie ends in the next person names a movie with that letter. About halfway up the hill, I begged Matt to stop. Little did I know, he let me stop for about a split second and then encouraged me to keep going. One awesome thing about Matt is how he sticks with you no matter what pace you are going. One of the best moments of my day was almost at the top of the mountain. Matt is much faster than me and at this point I could no longer see him, at that point I saw him coming back down the hill towards me just to say “keep going dude it’s right up there” that was exactly what I needed to get up the hill. It really was awesome that he was willing to go back down just to help me. After about a million more giant climbs we were at the last water stop, and I was done. It was at this point that I started sobbing. My legs were tn having it and neither was I. I felt as thought I had nothing left. However after about ten minutes of crying I sucked it up and got back on. Thankfully Matt was right there to talk to me for the rest of the way. After a long long day we arrived to the host which was a YMCA.

This was by far one of my most mentally challenging days. Being on the 4k makes me feel as though I can take on everything. I constantly find myself asking “what’s next.” What other challenges could the trip bring to me? Well, only one way to find out!

East is east and West is San Diego.

Day 43: Clovis to Tucumcari (84 miles)

Well, today was supposed to be 77 miles, but out here on the 4k, we like to take any chance we have to make any and all routes longer if we can…Just kidding, that is not our intent, but that is just the way it turns out. This morning we were once again greeted by the people of the church. They supplied us with bagels, coffee, breakfast burritos, and yogurt. I had a bagel and of course TONS of coffee because heaven forbid I function one day without it. After I drank my weight in coffee I decided to finally get dressed and start my day. Today I rode for the my roommate Allison and her family. Every time they come up to Kent they are always so welcoming. For the times i have not been able to make it home for a weekend or even a holiday, the Bottoni’s have welcomed me into their house each time and made me feel just at home. We picked our ride groups today by getting into groups according to which was our favorite state to ride through. However, we had to pick from the choices we were given, in which mine was not in there. If I actually picked my real favorite state it would have been Louisiana, but no one else would agree. Louisiana really appealed to me because I really enjoyed the swamps, plus I got to see family there that I haven’t been able to see in a very long time, and they were so very generous.

Anyways, from the options I was given, I picked North Carolina as my top choice. North Carolina was so beautiful to ride through, and I truly do miss it. Today’s beginning of the ride was very easy, I rode with Schmeags, Haley, Michelle, and Danny who I haven’t ridden with often. At about the halfway point we ran into a grave road, but it had the PRETTIEST view. As much as I hate gravel, and as badly as I wanted to get into the van I decided that I needed to ride through it, no matter how afraid I was. 12 long miles later we made it to the end. Shout out to Danny for staying back with me for the entire 12 mile stretch as I went about 9 mph the whole time, I probably would have cried if he wouldn’t have been there. At this point we had about 30 miles left, Haley got two flats within five minutes of each other, but she changes them quickly so it really wasn’t too big of a deal. At one point Schmeag’s told me to pass the group in front of us. Giving it all I had I passed by them and hit a new pr for myself. We were going at 30 mph on a flat, which was so awesome. I am finding out so many things about myself and how much I can really accomplish on this trip. For the last six miles we got to ride on old historic Route 66. This reminded me so much of the movie cars, in which actually paints a highly accurate picture of what the actual scenery in New Mexico looks like. In the last 6 miles, the wind picked up to be some of the strongest headwinds I have ever experienced. i sincerely thought I was either not going to make it or fall over. Anyways, I am off to bed in an effort to rest up for another century tomorrow.

East is east and West is San Diego.

Day 42: Lubbock to Clovis (100 miles)

So, today we had another century. I am making it a point (or at least trying) to not miss a single century, and I am currently doing a pretty good job. Today we climbed over 1000 ft, which was pretty cool actually. We got to pick our riding groups today, which I loved. Usually on days when we get to pick our riding groups there are two groups that always stay the same. Mine and the “quad squad” which consists of Schmeags, Matt, Jeremy and Brad. However, since we have sadly lost Brianne and Matt was in the van today we took it upon ourselves to unite forces. You could say that there was a power squad on your hands. Today’s incline was gradual, so although we may have climbed a lot it seemed as though it was flat even though we were climbing the entire time. We also crossed another state line today. It is so insane to me that I have ridden my bike to New Mexico…a place I have never even seen by car. I cannot believe that I have been given the chance to do this and I am so very grateful for that. So many things go through my head each and everyday on the 4k. I have begun to think what I will do when I get home. What will real life actually be like? There are so many things that I will miss from day to day. I can’t picture waking up and not seeing the same 26 faces every morning. When they said we would become a family I didn’t quite believe them, but let me tell you, they were right, it is incredible.

Anyways, today we entered into New Mexico, which means we have officially entered into mountain time zone, which is also taking a toll on me. I feel so much more tired and ready to go to bed by 6pm. However, that may also have something to do with the fact that I am on a bike all day every day. We rolled into the host at about 2:30. Let me just put this into perspective for you, on the first day of the 4k we rode 60.5 miles in 8 hours and 22 minutes. Today, we managed to bike 101 miles in 8 hours and 6 minutes (water breaks included), can you say IMPROVEMENT? I couldn’t be more proud of my entire team, we have all grown so much, and it is so completely rewarding to see how far each and everyone of us has come.

When we got to our host, there were snacks and gatorade set up. The host today was a church that was the shape of a dome, which was extremely weird. When one of my teammates were on one side of the room they could be talking at a normal level yet, it would feel as though they were right next to me. We played around with that for a while. After we got all settled in, the pastor took us into his house to use his shower. It is nice when we get to shower in houses because it makes me feel like I am actually clean as opposed to a different YMCA shower everyday. Dinner was AMAZING, and I was starved. There was an entire spread. From tilapia, pulled pork, brisket, mashed potatoes, every vegetable under the sun, green chili, broccoli and cheese rice potato salad, chocolate and red velvet cake. This was EXACTLY what I needed after a long century.

Seeing as though I was exhausted from the ride, I curled up into my sleeping bed right after dinner. I feel great after today, and that is an awesome feeling. Tonights host was one of the best so far since the food was absolutely fantastic. I cannot wait to see what else New Mexico brings me. So far, I can tell you the bugs aren’t getting any smaller, the crickets are the size of my index finger, and the weather most definitely isn’t getting any cooler. That is FOR SURE.

East is east and West is San Diego.

Day 40 and rest day: Snyder to Lubbock (85 miles)

Today we woke up at 4:30 am as usual. I must say, as far as waking up goes on the team, I am one of the ones who is better at getting up when we are supposed to as opposed to my teammates. My team often comments on my excessive amount of energy each morning when I wake up. I don’t think that has anything to do with how much sleep I got, or how good I have gotten at waking up. I think it has been a character change within myself along the trip. This summer has given me so much time to think about myself, who I am and what is important. I have made a promise to myself to live every day happily and positively. When I get mad at stupid things I realize how petty they are. There could be so many worse things in life than the day to day “problems” I come across. As stated before, happiness is a choice and happiness looks much better than sadness. I try to share some of my positivity to my teammates, but this does not always work at 4:30 in the morning, even though I wish it did. Today, I rode for someone who my mom is familiar with, Don Austin. Picking my dedication each morning is one of the most special parts of the day, I love it.

Todays ride started out roughly. My team encountered three flats within the first 37 miles, one of which was mine. I have been experiencing a lot of flats lately which is completely annoying. However, on the bright side, I have become an expert at changing a flat tire. After the 37 mile mark though, the day began to be better. Hyped up on sport beans and shot blocks (the typical diet of a 4k rider) I was ready to finish out the day. After about the halfway point, the route became completely flat. I still haven’t been able to decide which I prefer when it comes to flats or hills. Flats make me just as tired, but it is a different kind of exhaustion. When the route is hilly, you are able to give your legs a break from pedaling on the downhills. When it is flat there is no break for your legs. Within the last five miles of the trip today we experienced two more flats. Today we were staying at another church, this one was absolutely beautiful. For those of you who don’t know, Lubbock is the home of Texas Tech. Before showering, the girls went on an ever so typical Starbucks run, where we met the nicest old man who actually bought our Starbucks for us. These little things mean so much to me now, they have turned out to mean the most. After our Starbucks outing, we made our way to shower. Today we showered in the locker rooms at Texas Tech, that was awesome. Afterward, we got to play around on the field, as if we already hadn’t exerted enough energy on today’s ride in.

Dinner was given to us at Texas Tech, and was so heartwarming. At dinner, we were greeted by cancer survivors who mingled with us. We even had a couple of the kids on the team share their stories. Watching peoples eyes light up over what we are doing means so much. It is sincerely crazy how much of a difference I am making in peoples lives, and I never knew it was even possible. I cannot wait to see what the rest of the trip brings me.

For our rest day, we spent the morning at the YWCA of Lubbock. We even got to sleep in until 7:30 am. Some of you I am sure think that is nothing, but to me it is a gift. At the YWCA, we made cards for cancer patients with the children which was very rewarding. It was so cool to see how excited they were and how interested they were in what we are doing. I could tell that we were such an inspiration to them, and they were full of both energy and questions. After lunch, we painted two picnic tables for the church as some more community service. I didn’t mind this because I actually find painting fun, even if I am not even that good at it. Anyways, I am off to spend the rest of my rest day by seeing Transformers!

East is east and West is San Diego.

Day 39: Winters to Snyder (87 miles)

Today I had the pleasure of riding in the food van with Dana. Like said before, I love Dana. She is one of the funniest people I have ever come across. Dana was driving the van obviously because I am not 21, and I was the co-pilot. Upon leaving, I said goodbye to the new friends I had made in Winters. Winters was for sure one of the smallest places we have come across so far, but at the same time, the people who live there have some of the largest hearts. The children of the lady who owned the diner that we ate at had the cutest little boys. As I was wearing my tee shirt for Jamie, he looked up to me and said “there is a heart because that like kind of means I love you, right?” At that exact moment my heart melted. As we said goodbye, Dana and I got into the food van ready to get some awesome food donations for the team, but not without getting a quick picture with the kids.10306314_10202427348065997_424549762264731305_n
Dana and I drove out to Abilene, TX seeing as though there was absolutely nothing in the town of Winters, TX. Getting food donations for a team of 27 kids isn’t the easiest thing to do especially because we have some people on the team who require special dietary needs. We usually go to fast food places first, seeing as though they are the ones who are easiest to get to say yes. However, each fast food place is different. One may agree to give us food, while the other will say we need to go through Corporate first. What they don’t understand is, we don’t have time to do that. After being turned down from multiple places, we decided to hit Starbucks for a coffee break. While in Starbucks, Dana Bri and I were approached by a reported for a local news station. I was interviewed with the news and answered questions about our mission and what we are doing, which is so completely awesome.
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As the day came to a close, Dana and I actually managed to get together some awesome donations which included: Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, Pasta, Sonic and Albertson’s. The team was very gracious.

Upon arriving at the church we were staying at tonight, they told us that we would be having dinner which was hamburgers. Everyone who knows me knows I do not typically eat red meats, so this trip has been very different for me. After dinner, we went to this cute little frozen yogurt place in town which was so delicious. Of course, after this, it was time to go to sleep in preparation for tomorrow which is an 85 mile day, can’t wait to be back on the saddle.

East is east and West is San Diego.

Day 38: Brownwood to Winters (65 miles)

My alarm blasting into my ear this morning at 4:30 am was the last thing I wanted to hear. I was rooster this morning. Rooster has the responsibility of making sure everyone is awake. As I walked around using my phone for light, I tried hard not to step on any of my sleeping teammates. One by one, I tapped them on the side to tell them that unfortunately the time had come. It was time to wake up. After my first round I noticed a lack of movement, so I turned on the light and threatened to hit all with my pillow pet if they didn’t get up (joking I course). Today though was Kirks birthday, and he was in my riding group so, I was of course excited about that. I woke Kirky up by telling him Happy Birthday:). Since the host didn’t provide us with breakfast, I made a pb sandwich with some of the bread that we still had. Thankfully, breakfast is one of the easiest meals to fend for yourself.

The ride started out with a nice uphill in the very beginning, which is exactly what I love. Just kidding….eyes still heavy from lack of sleep I pedaled my tired legs up each hill, passing dead rattle snakes and armadillos. The scenery in Texas isn’t much, but when you get to the top of the hill and van see nothing but green and mountains in the distance, it’s kind of awesome. It gets hotter and hotter the more west we go, and I’m almost positive that I may actually melt soon.

Among the second water stop, I snacked on some awesome fruit that the food van dropped off. Some man in McDonalds gave the food van 100 dollars today when they were turned away from a donation. At the last water stop, a nice old man drove down in a pick up truck and dropped off over ten cases of water to us. It truly amazes me each day how amazingly generous people can be. This trip is making me see the good in people and most of all, the good in myself. The world is filled with amazing people, you just have to open your eyes to it.

Today, we are staying in homes. There are about 8 different houses that are taking about 4 of us in. The town of Winters isn’t much, but the people are so sweet. My host has the most adorable poodle, even though this trip has made me develop a horrible fear of dogs (due to being chased) she is still adorable. For dinner the local diner let us pick whatever we wanted off the menu. I had a chicken salad which was awesome. Afterwards we sang happy birthday to Kirk and had cake, AGAIN.

Now I lay, thankful for air conditioning in a strangers house in Winters, TX. Who would have ever thought I would be here. I am thankful for the little bit of wifi I do get since I haven’t had cell phone service all day. Welcome to Winters everyone, home of no contact and zero cell phone service.

East is east and West is San Diego

Day 37: Lampasas to Brownwood (75 miles)

Today we picked our ride groups by choosing our favorite breakfast food! I of course picked team French Toast. Today, my ride group consisted of Schmeags, Michelle and Haley. This was an awesome group to be with and I couldn’t have been more excited. We got up at 4:30 today, and let me tell you, getting up at 4:30 in the morning never gets easier. I still moan and groan each day when I am forced from my air mattress. It’s a horrible feeling, however it has to be done. I am looking forward to keeping up my early morning wake ups when I get back to school, that way I can wake up each morning and ride my bike before class, kind of like I am still on the 4k:). Anyways, today’s ride started out great, until we reached what they like to call “hill county.” I am still baffled because this whole time I was under the impression that Texas was going to be flat. It is hotter and hillier than ever. Take my word for it! When we reached the first water stop at just 19 miles my legs were already sore. I have come to terms with the fact that my legs are going to be sore for the entire summer. That is never going to go away, no matter how many stretches I google or how many motions I take that morning. Fueling myself with jelly bean sport chews, I got back on the saddle to make my way to the next water stop. Something I have noticed in Texas is their main road kill is in fact armadillos. I was under the impression that there were none actually alive in Texas until Schmeags filled me in that they are nocturnal! That sort of explains why there are so many on the side of the road. As it got hotter and the hills grew hillier I just kept the ending point in mind. As we climbed the hills at what felt like a speed of 0 mph I kept my focus on Haley’s back tire and just kept pedaling. I am proud of myself though because I never really switched into granny gear today. Granny gear is what we like to call the easiest gear, I have used it a lot on large hills, but I am getting better and stronger each day.

Of course, toward the tail end of the day, I got a flat. It wouldn’t be a day on the 4k if I didn’t get at least one flat tire. It seems as though our team really enjoys flats because we get them OFTEN. However, I am finally able to change my own flat which is super awesome. 37 days and several flats later I can do it without any extra help from anyone! I am learning so much about cycling and just plain life in general. When we arrived to the host, I couldn’t have been happier. Brownwood had more in it than I was used to. There was even a Walmart AND CVS which like rarely happens. It’s always nice when there are things that are within walking distance. We showered at a fitness center. I must say, I miss my shower at home the most, but I am grateful to have a shower to begin with. The host had a whole spread of food for us which included fried chicken, vegetables and cake! Too bad the cake was chocolate, and I am not a fan. After dinner I made my way to the sanctuary for my favorite part of the day, sleep. I have never felt more exhausted and worn out in my life, yet at the same time I feel so alive and strong. It’s actually an awesome feeling. Well, anyways, at least tomorrow is a shorter day!

East is east and West is San Diego

Day 36: Austin to Lampasas (58 miles)

Today was a really easy day. I felt absolutely fantastic, and that was one of the best feelings. Today, I rode with Kenny, Erica, Dana and Simon. I love riding with Dana because she talks to me. Getting me to talk on my bike is hard. I am always just so focuses on what I am doing that I kind of forget to speak!

Let me start off by saying that who ever told me that Texas was flat, lied to me. It is nothing even close to flat. It seems as though every uphill is strategically placed with another uphill and no downhill to make it any easier. I suppose it should be expected though. Seeing as though we will be in New Mexico soon (hill central) we need to start climbing and getting away from sea level. The flat land however was nice while it lasted!

Today was one of the first days I didn’t get a flat tire which was fantastic. I dedicated my day to a little boy named Andrew Masse. Andrew is from my hometown, and attends the same elementary school that I once did. This especially hits close to home for me. Andrew’s mom sent me a photo of Andrew explaining to me how much it means to him. That meant the world to me. I instantly lit up at my water stop when I saw it. It gave me the motivation and the power to keep going that day.

When things get hard on the 4k it helps to glance down at your legs and remember who’s name is on them. Then, look at the person in front of you and who they are riding for. I remember how many people think I am truly awesome and how many people love me and are supporting me. That’s part of what makes the 4k so special.

Since today was a very short day (amazing 58 miles seems short to me now) we got to the host much earlier than usual. The girls and I tried to take a detour to a coffee shop, but being that it was Sunday it was closed. We were upset, naturally. Next stop was the springs! Lampasas is home of the last natural spring in America. For those of you who don’t know, a natural spring is all natural water and sulfur. There are no other chemicals that enter the water. This was awesome. It was a nice chance to get away from everything and just relax. After our festivities at the spring we returned for dinner, which was subway. The amount of subway I have eaten on this trip is a tad bit unreal, but I am grateful for everything I receive.

Sorry for the shorter blog post, shorter days means less details (usually).

East is east and West is San Diego!

Day 34 and rest day: La Grange to Austin (75 miles)

Today, was the fourth of July. I was absolutely STOKED to ride my bike on the fourth. I just thought that was so cool to be able to do. While everyone else was busy making plans as to which beach they would sprawl out on at home, I was on my bike, making a difference, which is what I do everyday. Riding my bike is sort of becoming like a full time job. I am on it each day for countless hours, and the amount of which I have improved in the past month completely amazes me. I want tot make it a point to stay just as good of a cyclist when I return home. Biking has become a lifestyle for me, and it is something I never want to have to give up. I decided when I get home, that I want to become certified to teach spinning. I think that would be an awesome way to channel my energy in a good way and show everyone how awesome cycling can be for your mind and your body.

For today’s riding group I was with Haley, Brad, Schmeags and Jeremy. Haley and I were able to collaborate and join the so called “quad squad” seeing as though the other two riders of our usual group (Michelle and Brianne) were in the van for today. Us girls, being girls decided to go all out for the fourth. We planned special outfits and even decorated Brianne’s crutches! The day started out super early today, it was the earliest we have made it out so far. We got up this morning at 4:30 and we were out the door at sunrise, which was perfect because I wanted to get to Austin earlier than later so that I could enjoy my day! After about the 40 mile mark, is when the ride took a turn for the worse. Upon going on a downhill, I ran over a piece of metal. Unfortunately, this caused my front tire to go flat and flip out from underneath me. This was one of the scariest things I have ever encountered. Being that it all happened so fast, it is hard for me to remember it completely. However, I do remember flying under my break and into the lane of a congested highway. Thankfully Jeremy was riding behind me. I remember him shrieking for me to get out of the road, but I was in such shock I couldn’t move myself. Jeremy quickly got off his bike and ran to pull me off the road. Without him there I wouldn’t have known what to do. After the fall, I was very shaken up. Not to mention, my entire arm was covered in a bruise, my knee was bleeding and my whole body felt sore. My handle bar tape had fallen off during the crash and my bike was not rideable. Mid cry sesh though, I managed to ask Brad if he grabbed my speaker off the road, my direct quote was, “did you grab my speaker, it’s important to me?” Brad laughed and replied that he indeed did manage to grab my speaker, and brought my bike across the street where we waited for the van to come pick me up. I am so very grateful for the group i had today, they made me feel better as I was torn up over my fall and I appreciated it so much. I was upset that I couldn’t finish the ride with them, but still so grateful I was riding with them!

After arriving to the host, which was an amazingly beautiful house, the girls and I made a much needed Starbucks run. Then we prepared to takeover 6th street. 6th street was awesome. It had so many people and was such a relaxing chill environment. It was a great way for me to spend my fourth of July.

The next day, was a rest day for us. I really enjoy the rest days, it gives us time to explore the city and do things that we find enjoyable. The morning started off with a tour at the Livestrong headquarters. This was so awesome. We had the whole place to ourselves. The building was filled with inspirational quotes, and the things we were told were just so breathtaking. I even got the chance to sign the 15 year anniversary wall. This was cool, to be able to see other 4k riders from past years on it, and be able to add myself onto it. We spent the afternoon at an absolutely amazing river. After the river, I was completely exhausted. I can never get enough sleep on this trip, and I never stop being tired. But hey, I am halfway through, and have rode a BIKE halfway across the country, so there is that. I am entitled to be tired. I never stop remembering how truly lucky I am. This trip is changing my perspective on life, and my perspective on the world. I am so excited to see what is next to come, this trip has so much in store for me, the world has so much in store for me, and I am finally starting to see that.

East is east and West is San Diego.