Updates in the form of a List

Here’s a list of some of the things that have happened the past few weeks, organized by each day’s final destination. I apologize that this isn’t an eloquent blog.

Murdo, SD: I wasn’t excited to arrive in Murdo, but it turns out that Murdo isn’t too bad of a town after all. To make the heat of the day go away, a ton of us stopped for ice cream and it was so delicious.

Wall, SD: On this day, we rode through the Badlands. I was fortunate enough to see some prairie dogs and buffalo. The entire team was chased out of the Badlands by a massive thunderstorm and everyone beat the storm! For dinner, each of us were given a free footlong from Subway.

Rapid City, SD: Before we departed Wall for Rapid City, we spent a few hours in Wall Drug–one of the best tourist traps the USA has to offer. I spent a ton of money on the Wall Drug photo booth, a prairie dog t-shirt, a USA bandana, and postcards. It was really hard to drag Maggie out of that place, but we finally got her to leave. Because Maggie and I love Wall Drug so much, we decided to take another trip there in 10 years! The ride into Rapid City was only a few miles but we were delayed several times due to hail and lightning. Eventually we arrived and went to the Merchen’s home for dinner (a group met the Merchen’s randomly on the road and they offered to provide dinner for the entire team!).

Rapid City, SD (Event Day): I explored Rapid City, especially the Downtown area. Maggie and I basically went on a shopping spree and purchased some really nice things (jewelry, purses, bandanas, post cards, etc). Dino Park is a pretty cool place too!

Newcastle, WY: Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills! I drove the van in an attempt to avoid driving through my favorite parts of our route (Montana-California). Nothing too exciting happened to Team Van that day. But I did make a rest stop at Erik Volkman’s favorite Quizno’s in the USA.

Gillette, WY: Once we arrived in Gillette, my group stopped at a gas station to get some Gatorade. We picked the right gas station because a local reporter was there and asked to interview us. Here’s a link to the article: http://www.gillettenewsrecord.com/browse.html?search_filter=illini+4000&x=0&y=0

Buffalo, WY: During the ride into Buffalo, I got 2 flats. But luckily my second flat delayed our group long enough so that we completely missed a hail storm. Right before the sun went down, we saw a double rainbow!

Ten Sleep, WY: This day’s ride was one of the most memorable days of my life. We climbed the Big Horns! At the top of a climb, myself and a few others took a very long nap. When I woke up from this nap, I felt so balanced and in harmony. Words can not describe how amazing this mountain was. I have never visited a place so peaceful.

Greybull, WY: BEST STAYOVER EVER. We had a roller skating party! It was so much fun, except I really need to improve my roller skating skills.

Cody, WY: The ride into Cody was really fun, but it was cut short for me when my front derailer stopped working and wouldn’t let me pedal. Fortunately, our bike mechanic fixed my bike. In Cody I realized that I am addicted to Subway and right now, the thought of Subway makes me feel a little sick.

Cody, WY (Event Day): HAPPY 4th Of JULY!  The team went to the Cody Rodeo, watched fireworks, and frequented the local Dairy Queen. Myself, Maggie, and Dory got feather extensions in our hair at the Cody street fair.

Yellowstone, WY: Yellowstone is one of the most beautiful places on this earth. Neither words or pictures can describe this national park. We camped in Yellowstone and my tent had a good time taking some ugly pictures. I’m sure they will appear on Facebook someday.

West Yellowstone, MT: I loved this day. So much exploring and so many amazing descents. But too many mosquitos and RVs. The best part of this day was swimming in a natural lazy river! I will definitely never forget that lazy river.

Ennis, MT: Team Relaxation + Brooks Saddles! Most of the day was downhill, which is always much appreciated. Today my group took very long breaks and had some great photo shoots. My chain kept flying off, but at least I didn’t get another flat. For dinner we had a taco bar and ice cream. Tomorrow I will be flipping pancakes with Taco for Marc “Team Barista” Maybaum’s Breakfast Bonanza.

I’m looking forward to the next few days in Montana and I am very excited to get to Missoula!

Comments (2)
  • Jill Canaday says:

    Loved all of the update and especially the Ten Sleep, WY update. Sounds wonderful! Stay safe and I love you all for doing this trip!

  • Nancy Replogle says:

    Gabrielle, Excellent travel log! I learn something new every time I read the Illini 4K posts. So many beautiful sites and sounds. I am simply amazed that the Merchen’s would provide dinner to your team without any hesitation. I’m going to check out that Lazy River in Yellowstone some day — minus the mosquitos! I saved a copy of the Gillette News article on the Illini 4000′s trek across the United States. Send me your email address if you’d like a copy.

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