Day Nine (94 miles, 769 so far)

Today was the last really long day -- and good thing too because at around mile 70 I stopped my bike on one of the godforsaken gravel roads in Minnesota and just stood there, saying, "Yep, that's about it." (Of course it didn't end there -- I spent a determined fifteen minutes glaring at my surroundings in my most ornery state but The Sherpa had been commissioned to drag me and my stubbornness all the way up the mountain, and wasn't going to let a little gravel end our journey so close to the finish. He enlisted the aid of a friendly gentleman and his much more terrain-suited vehicle -- an all-terrain golf cart -- to fetch me from my sullenness. Then The Sherpa rode my bike a hundred yards or so out of the trench and we continued on, gravel and all.)

 Why is this god-forsaken gravel not on the map?

Why is this god-forsaken gravel not on the map?

But there have also been wonderful, incredible encouragements today. Not least of which, remember that lemonade stand I visited a few days ago? Well, the young entrepreneurs have made a reappearance:  

Hi Bethany- This is Tara, the overseer/babysitter of the kids with the lemonade stand you stopped at last Thursday. They really were SO excited that you stopped. After you left we closed up shop and went online to look at your story. I read a little bit of your story and your route plan to the kids and they decided they wanted to donate their earnings (all $7) from the day to your cause. You truly inspired those kids and they are enjoying keeping up on your journey. Best of luck to you, and thanks again for making their day.

I really can't describe how fabulously encouraging and uplifting things like this are, and again thank you, all of you, who do things which make sitting on a bike for nine days worth it!

Another such great moment came when I got to see the rest of my family for the first time in a week and a half. We were even able to see my uncle Ben (technically he's some twelfth upside-down cousin twice removed but only halfway ... "uncle" seems to work just fine for me!) and his daughter Pearl. {Ed note: Ben is actually The Sherpa's first cousin.} They live in Minneapolis, and took us out to Chili's for dinner. I ate so much food that it was difficult to roll myself out the door, but I take pride in my newfound ability to consume ridiculously large amounts of food at a startling pace. 

 A Pearl of great price. (And Uncle Ben & The Sherpa)

A Pearl of great price. (And Uncle Ben & The Sherpa)

Unfortunately, the massive volume of food is rapidly sending me into a food coma, so I will say goodnight for now. 

Tomorrow we ride the last ten miles on this epic journey!

Thank you for reading, 

 

Bethany

 

PS - Yellow Car Update: Literally as we pulled into our hotel, I caught a yellow bug and tied the score 69-69, and evened up the tie-breaker. Tomorrow is it - but ties go to the daughter, right?