Friday, June 6, 2008

Day 23: Caliente, NV

Today we rode ninety miles from Snow Canyon to Caliente. We were told that this time of year is usually ten to fifteen degrees hotter, but we still struggled with the thirty-mile per hour headwinds.

I started the day with a ten mile stretch, despite the fact that my knees are still sore. It was better than being stuck in the van (yet again). Those ten miles felt like a lifetime, the wind never let up and the song "Against The Wind" kept playing in my mind.

On the way to Nevada, we heard two sonic blasts from nearby jets. The first one startled me because I thought it was an explosion from the test range. I then realized we were too far away from Grim Lake.

Apart from that, there's nothing new to report. We find ourselves completely in the desert now and this is the part of our trip we've been dreading the most. We wake up o'dark early, spend two hours packing and cleaning, and spend seven grueling hours biking through the heat and wind. On top of that, we eat granola bars for breakfast AND lunch. Biking cross-country is nowhere near glamorous.

I am pleased to announce, however, that the Alive Campaign has now added a new box to the van. For those of you who aren't traveling with us, you must know that our van is a catastrophe! Since our departure from Waco, we have been organizing and reorganizing our luggage, camping gear, and essentials almost daily. We have a water bottle box, a shoe box, and now...a book box! Yes, the Alive Campaign is now equipped with a traveling library. There's not much to do outside of biking besides read and sleep. I'm currently reading "People of Sparks", the second book in the "City of Ember" series.

We arrived at the Agape Baptist Church after eating a late lunch at the Brandin' Iron, a saloon-style restaurant. They had amazing pie a la mode. The people at the church welcomed us with open arms and the pastor treated us to dinner. I've never had so much food in a four-hour period.

Now, as always, everyone is doing their own thing. Andi is updating his MP3 player, Justin is cleaning water bottles, Kyle and Nathan are inflating mattresses, and I am cleaning/repairing bikes.

I've been keeping track of my personal mileage, and today (after 20 miles) I am up to 472 miles! :D Who knew I had it in me?

Looking forward to the Ale'n Motel in Rachael, Nevada,


Matt said...

OK. Now is when I knew it would get hard. I told Nathan's Dad at the sendoff that this would be the time. The new is gone. You are starting to feel tired and alone. You're not. Besides God, that you KNOW is there with you, there are others like me who are with you all the time. I say a prayer for y'all each morning. Each day of life is a challenge. Revel in that. Realize that overcoming is what makes it interesting. Each hill, each moment, changes what you are experiencing. That makes it different and fun. Three weeks from today is the ninth annual Itasca Chamber Of Commerce BBQ cookoff. You'll be in Portland and we will have a booth for you here. We may raise some funds, but we WILL raise some awareness. Good luck through the beautiful Northwest!

Matt "Mayor of Itasca"

sonia said...

I too am praying. You are never alone. In a matter of days you will be in California. Wow! Word of Life Church can not believe it each time they ask where are you guys. Each time I tell them a different state. Amazing, truly amazing. We are supporting you and yes, you are definitely bringing awareness to a great cause!

Anonymous said...

I'm praying too, and so is my family. We lost a bother, son, and friend to sucide this past December and we love what yall are doing to raise awareness.

Anonymous said...

I biked a little on a trip to the desert a few years ago...while the heat is a killer...the best relaxation I found were the stars at mosquitos like back here in LA...and out there, a telescope hinders the stars more than it of the few places you can see the Milky Way without help...