Here are the pictures from today:

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I rode for “Diesel” today. Again, this dedication was for one of my high school teachers and they are currently fighting cancer. I hate to say that, again, I forgot to get a picture of my calves. I promise that the name was there and the thoughts were with me all day, and that I had to (as usual) scrub my calf raw to get the marker off so that I can dedicate tomorrow to another person!

Today was a really hard day. It was also a really long day. The ride started off with rough roads that didn’t even let us roll downhill more than 14mph. There were even bumps and cracks and gaps in the road which really hurt our butts after a while. This is more exhausting than you might think especially when the day is really heating up and it’s really dry out. We pretty much were breathing water it was so dry out. I got one really solid nap in today at an hour long water stop in the shade under a tarp hung from the rear doors of the van.

Shortly after that water stop, we started a surprise 13 mile climb of over 2700 feet! That was pretty fun. Only after we reached the top did we realize that we biked up a 14% grade! It took us over an hour to go less than 6 miles. That means we averaged less than 6mph going up this hill. We also saw some goats and a bull during our climb!

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At the top though the view was awesome. At around mile 10 we passed Shiprock. From the top of Buffalo Pass, we could see Shiprock WAY WAY in the distance. It was surreal to see how far we had actually biked.

On the way down, I didn’t go too fast because I had to stop and take pictures like every 5 minutes. The downhill grade was also 14%. From there, it was a few rolling hills until a huge downhill into Chinle, AZ. Although I don’t have a picture of it, we saw some wild horses crossing the road! We almost ran into one that just wanted to hang out in the middle of the road. I’ll try to dig up a picture because I’m sure someone has it.

My ride group today was Taylor, Allison, and Eric. Today was Taylor’s first day back on her bike since her elbow injury and she did really well for not riding for over a week! She picked one of the hardest days to start riding again! This is a picture of our group after our descent out of the mountains:

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We did cross into Arizona today, but there was no sign marking our entrance because we entered onto an Indian reservation. They kinda do their own thing and I guess they didn’t want a welcome to Arizona sign. We’ll have to take a picture with the sign when we’re leaving Arizona. An interesting thing about Arizona is that except for the Indian Reservation, they don’t observe daylight savings time. That means in the summer, they are in Pacific time (3 hours behind East coast) but in the winter, they are in Mountain time (2 hours behind East coast). Today we’re still in mountain time, but pretty soon, we’ll cross into our final time zone!

Here is the GPS data and route for today: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/547541080.

Our host today is Seventh Day Adventist Church in Chinle, AZ. We had the hardest time finding them. There are two very unmarked entrances off of the main road and both are dirt roads. A lot of groups got lost and missed a few turns. Had the van not been right behind my group, we would have missed them as well. When we arrived, we showered, talked to our hosts, and waited for the whole team to arrive. We had all sorts of stuff for dinner that we bought using the money donated from the man in Pagosa Springs. Afterwards, we played a game called Headband on a smartphone. You pick a category and hold the phone on your forehead. Everyone else gives you hints as to what the phone says and you have to guess it. You try to guess as many as you can in one minute. It was really fun and simple! After that I started the long process of blogging while we had a quick team meeting.

I also tried to take a better picture of the bruise on my leg because it’s getting bigger! This is kind of exciting because I almost never have visible bruises.

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You can now see the bruise on the pale part of my leg and on the tan part of my leg. My wounds are healing, but they are still really annoying when I sleep and ride. I can’t rest my arm on chair armrests and it really bothers me when I sleep. The only thing that bothers me when I ride is my hands and hip. My hip wound is right on my waistband, so it rubs against it ALL day. Even with a bandaid on, its still really annoying. My hands still have some scratches and sensitive spots on them and I can only hold my handlebars in one place. This makes my hands really tired and my fingertips a little numb since I can’t shift positions.

Tomorrow we’re getting up a little earlier than usual to try to beat the heat. We are riding 65 miles to Kayenta, AZ and we have a police escort into the city! We’ve heard it’s a lot flatter than today, so we’ll see. If we do manage to ride off of the Indian reservation, I think we will move to our last time zone. I’ll keep you updated on that. Remember to comment about whatever you’d like!

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