Today was a good day. A relieving day. Here are some pictures:

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Today I rode in memory of Ken Hicks. He was the grandfather of a friend from high school and passed away from a serious form of brain cancer about 10 years ago. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of his name on my calves. I haven’t counted how many dedications I have left, but if I have an extra day, I’ll ride again for him and get a picture.

Today was a short and relatively easy day. I rode with Dana, Shawna, and Haley. We did 61 miles and had only one big climb. The climb seemed really easy though because it was nothing compared to yesterday or previous days. We arrived in Durango, CO at around 1pm. Garmin is updating their servers or something dumb at the moment, so I couldn’t upload the data from my GPS watch. I promise to get the stats posted by tomorrow. (Here it is: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/546842731) The ride started out with a huge uphill, then we had rolling hills until our one big climb. From there, it was all downhill into Durango. I think Durango is actually lower in elevation than Pagosa Springs. We’re starting to head out of the rockies I think.

The ride was pretty uninteresting. When we got to our host Durango High School, I promptly found a nice soft mat in the wrestling room and took a nap until lunch was ready. It was probably the best sleep I’ve gotten in a while and I can’t wait to go to bed after writing this! After eating, I took a painful shower. My bandages had stuck to my wounds pretty badly and taking them off hurt a lot. I tried to be as gentle as I could. While I was in the shower, most of the rest of the team went out to a mountain coaster, so Allison, Eric, and I hopped on our bikes and pedaled downtown in search of a beverage! We ended up at Carver Brew Pub and it was so awesome that we went back later. We met some people there and had a few beers (it happened to be happy hour too!) and bought some tshirts because they were REALLY cool. Eventually we had to leave for dinner at our host.

Our host donated a bunch of burritos to us, and I finally met Val who donated lasagna and salad! Val grew up in my hometown and lives in Durango. She saw the article about me in the Maryland Gazzette while she was home visiting family and we’ve been talking ever since. She had to leave a little quickly to go finish up her scuba class, but then met us at Carver’s later that night when we went back. Eric and I had a great time talking to her and her boyfriend! They both work on the local mountain in the winter and we talked about skiing, Maryland, Colorado, and all other sorts of things. I’d also like to thank her for buying me a beer! I always forget to get a picture with the awesome people I meet on the ride, but she is standing next to me in this picture with the “biggest bike ever” that was located on the back patio of Carver’s:

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I think I decided I’m going to do a ski crawl through New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah as soon as I can. After talking to the Emanuelson’s and Val, I HAVE to come back to visit them and ski with them! I think I want to ski at each resort along the way for a day or two and then drive on to the next one so that I hit a lot of different mountains in a short amount of time!

Tomorrow we ride to Shiprock, NM. Unfortunately our stay in Colorado is over, and we return to New Mexico before moving on to Arizona. I’ve heard tomorrow is a short ride (about 70 some miles) and that the hills aren’t too bad. Riding with my wounds today wasn’t terrible, but it was pretty annoying. I’m hoping tomorrow will be a little better. Remember to comment!

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