South Dakota

Right now I’m writing this from Rapid City, South Dakota! We can officially say we’ve entered the west and today is the exact halfway point for our trip. Thinking about those things alone fill me with to a of mixed emotions…I’m excited we’ve come so far, sad it’s halfway over, and curious to see what else is in store for us. Yesterday we did 100 miles in about 100 degrees through the badlands. It was a long hot day but definitively one of the best days of the trip so far. The hills were gorgeous and although some of the climbs were unexpected, reaching the top was incredible and the views on every downhill more than made up for all of the sweat we put into the day. The people we run into on the trip have been so inspiring. I think my favorite part about being a young adult is getting the chance to learn about life through older adults and listening to their struggles, mistakes, advice or even just a story or two. While cycling in Minnesota a group of us ran into motorcyclists who were raising money for breast cancer research. After just a few minutes of taking with them we met Penny, who brought out cancer awareness bandanas, bracelets, patches, and key chains that said strength (which she said were to help us on our journey) to give to each of us. As we went to leave, all of the other motorcyclists came up to us and opened their wallets emptying their pockets and giving us donations for the cause. It was one of the most memorable experiences of the trip for me thus far. Cancer brings us together because we’re all determined to fight it.  It’s that determination that enables us to persevere through even the hottest and hardest of days and the people we interview for our portraits project are the best kind of motivation. I still wear my breast cancer ribbon on my jersey every day and carry with me the rest of the things Penny gave us…just a small reminder of what I’m fighting for and a small token of the generosity we constantly run into on the road. Ps- motorcyclists often get a bad reputation so i promised to help clear the air for them and i want to let you all know they’re actually teddy bears who would give you their leather jackets if you needed one.  

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