Day 42

This morning, we dedicated today’s ride to a University of Illinois journalist’s cousin, Luke. He died a few years ago at age 9 from leukemia to be exact. If you would be interested in dedicating a ride to a loved one who has fought cancer, contact one of the riders and we will be happy to ride for that individual on any given day.

Today we biked into a desert… Colorado showed us some heat for our century. It was hot enough to melt peanut butter and toast our sandwiches. Through the smothering heat, we rode US-40 out of Steamboat Springs. Although the ride started off with a lot of downhill, it gradually transitioned to huge rolling bluffs including several steep 2-mile climbs. The views were incredible! We celebrated our “Every Day Is a Holiday July” as Cinco de Mayo today by eating Taco Bell in the town of Craig. The manager was very kind and gave us discounts and a donation because his wife had survived cancer last year.

Logistically, Connor and Walder booked it to the campsite (Deerlodge) this morning to get a few sites for our tents. Walder stayed at Dinosaur National Monument all day, and Connor drove back to meet us at Craig. In Maybell, all of our groups were together (such small gap for a century!) and we met Nancy, whose sons had been diagnosed with cancer. Chip was born with a tumor in his heart and died at age 13 from a brain tumor, and Scott survived lymphoma. Nancy had a positive outlook and told us she believes we are all connected as brothers and sisters in humanity.

Arriving at the campsite, some of us swam in the quickly-flowing river (Blake was all about that flow rate), enjoying skipping stones and watching Josh swim in his upstream “treadmill.” Anna and Shiqi made us dinner – possibly the most important team job. The evening disappeared quickly and we all went to tents to escape the mosquitos. What a fun, long day! Tomorrow we leave Dinosaur National Monument and head to a new state.

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