Day 33

Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for. In the words of Walder, “We started training in October, but really you’ve been preparing for this day all your lives.” Carhenge. But hold on, let’s start at the beginning of the day. Finally, we have quick-cooking oats! Full of yummy breakfast, we thanked Grace Episcopal Church for their hospitality and headed outside. The ride dedication was for Ellen’s grandfather who is a cancer survivor.

We were hit by a huge headwind today as we rolled south towards Alliance. First we had to climb out of Chadron’s valley, where Nebraska’s only national forest is located. Then we biked through rolling plateau hills with rock faces jutting out, which was beautiful. At least we had Carhenge to look forward to, which got us through the wind. Thank God for pace lines! These are the very close single-file lines where we all rotate pulling (being in front) and drafting (slightly less work to have someone in front of you blocking the wind).

Then, after a 59-mile ride, the moment we had all been waiting before: Carhenge. We were amazed by the giant cars standing on end, painted the buff color of stones. Group pictures and roaming around the sculptures led us to meet many people who were interested in our organization. One man shared his story of how his wife is currently battling cancer. Then our team split up, some going to Dairy Queen, and others checking out a place called “Dobby’s Frontier Town.” The old-fashioned town was basically an abandoned “old west” village with many antique machines and shops.

At last we reached the Evengelical Free Church of Alliance! The local YMCA allowed us to get free showers, as coordinated by Tammy from the church. Then we ate dinner prepared by the church along with many other community members, including a reporter from a local newspaper who interviewed Grace and Blake. We gave a small presentation to the church, then conducted a triple portrait: Kathy who is a breast cancer survivor and has lost numerous family members to cancer; Patty who has been fighting ovarian cancer for the past 6 years; and her husband Brad. Together, these people of Alliance formed a support group for people dealing with cancer in town. We had a great time with the hospitality of EFCA, and are grateful for their outreach to the community!

Something I forgot to mention yesterday: it was 6 months after Christmas, so we assigned our team secret Santa for half Christmas, which will be one month from yesterday!

Carhenge, the highlight of Nebraska!

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