I’m Alive!

Hello! I apologize that it has been awhile since my last post but today marks the first time I’ve touched a computer since July 4th. While I can not update the world on the past 11 days in a matter of 20 minutes I just wanted to check in and say that I’m alive, doing well and have returned to somewhat normal civilization after having spent the past week or so in Wyoming and southwestern Montana. This afternoon we cycled into Hamilton, Montana and will head to Missoula tomorrow. It seems hard to believe that we less than three weeks away from Seattle – how fast time flys when your having fun! To be honest I don’t even know where to begin this post as there are so many things that have happened in the past two weeks. We have gone from the flat lands of South Dakota through the Black Hills and by Mt. Rushmore, celebrated the fourth of July in Gillette, climbed the Big Horn Mountains where we got to play in the snow, visited Yellowstone National Park, worked as a team to find a last minute stay over after our plans fell through and made several trips to Dairy Queen among many, many other things. I’ll update you on all of this stuff in time however it would probably be easiest to just start with today.
 

This morning we awoke in the tiny town of Wisdom, Montana where we were staying in the community center. I heard people moving around and looked at my watch only to see that it was 4:00 a.m. and that I had an additional two hours to sleep. When my alarm finally went off I’d been laying awake for atleast 30 minutes so getting up was no problem. I packed up my stuff and headed to the kitchen to put on water for the oatmeal. While I was preparing breakfast Xixi Moshered me, I tried to pass it off on Nick by handing the Mosher card to him with the team credit card (since he was driving) however as he went to put the credit card in his pocket he saw the Mosher behind it and handed it back to me. After a breakfast of oatmeal, rice and Golden Grams (all mixed with milk and maple syrup – creativity is key) we cleaned up and headed outside where I gave the daily Mosher speech. I hadn’t prepared anything so I had the team form a massage circle and spoke a few words before we all sang Happy Birthday to Matt and headed on our way. The morning included a gradual climb and marked the third and final time in which we cross the continental divide. We reached the top of the climb around mile 25 before beginning our decent. I was riding with Xixi, Fei and Takaya all of whom were ahead of me. Around mile 29 I went around a bend where there was gravel and rocks alongside the road. Looking at the rocks on the side I paid no attention to the rock that was right in front of me and hit a jagged rock about the size of a tennis ball at about 32 mph (not something I’d recommend doing), when I saw it I knew it wouldn’t be good and immediately after going over it I heard my tire make a hissing sound and knew I’d just gotten my first flat tire of the summer. (I’d been pondering only a few miles earlier as to if I’d be able to go the entire summer without a flat so maybe I jinxed myself.) Riding in the back of my group everyone else was well ahead of me and didn’t hear me yell "STOP" so I pulled to the side and quickly began to change the flat. Cell phone service which has been hit or miss the past few days had resurfaced by this point in the descent so I turned on my cell and tried to call my group to tell them that I was ok however nobody answer their phone so I just began changing the flat. After a few minutes a man in a white truck pulled over to check and make sure that I was ok. I told him that I was fine and just had a flat tire and he went on his way. A few minutes later I looked up to see Takaya making his way back up the hill to make sure that I was ok. About a mile after my flat my group realized I was no longer behind them ad had set Takaya back to check on me worried that I may be hurt. Takaya helped put the tire back on the rim and we headed down the hill. When we got to the bottom we found Fei and XiXi sitting on the side of the road. As we approached them Nick who was driving the support van pulled up to make sure we were ok. We refilled our water bottles, grabbed a snack and I re-pumped my tire before letting the van go to catch the front group for lunch. 23 miles later we pulled into Darby MT where we ate a fabulous PB&J lunch in the parking lot of a super market gas station. From lunch we quickly made our way to Hamilton where we are staying at the Big Sky Baptist church.

 
After unpacking the van Andrea and I headed to the post office, the library and the grocery store where we bought ingredients to make Matt a brownie banana ice cream cake. We then headed back to the church where Andrea, Dana and I made cake and heated up the Chicago style pizzas which Matt’s grandfather had bought for the team. When the pizzas were done we ate dinner which was immediately followed by our brownie banana ice cream cake in celebration of Matt’s birthday. We are now watching the movie Super Troopers while celebrating Mustache Montana!
 
That updates you on today. Updates along with pictures from the previous two weeks will come in time. Tomorrow we ride into Missoula, a short 45 mile day meaning we will be sleeping in an extra hour!

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