Day 34: Sitting at the Bottom of the Mountains

By Nicole Bies


I wake up many mornings of this adventure tired. Tired of getting up at four in the morning. Tired of getting dressed in spandex. Tired of riding my good old trusted steed of a bicycle. Okay, so you get it—I’m tired. This was on of those mornings. Yet, I got up anyways, hoping my mentality would change once I ate my breakfast. Once we had our fill of the amazing pancakes prepared by our hosts at Holy Cross Lutheran/Saint Andrews Episcopal Church of La Junta we headed ninety-six miles to Florence.  Oddly enough, somehow I made it- with the help of a tail wind, Kurt and Mark (the helpful sweeps that taught me how to changing my first flat tire), Lindsey (my silly riding company), rest stops every twenty miles (Midas and Nadine- You rock), and pixie dust (just kidding).

If I were alone on this trip/adventure/whatever you want to call it, I wouldn’t make it. If it weren’t for these twenty-ish crazy people I would be on a flight back to my hometown of Evansville, Indiana to be a cashier at a local grocery store for the summer before I head off to graduate school for occupational therapy. They all have a unique story of how they got to Florence, Colorado. Whatever ‘happies’ and/or ‘crappies’ they went through to get here—they made it. This is the part of the adventure that amazes me.  We are family and we all finished the entire ninety-six miles today.  Hooray!

Tomorrow we ride from the bottom of the Rockies here in Florence to Fair Play. It’s a long climb of 5,000 feet. But together as a family we will make it. Whether this is out on the mountain roads or in the comfort of the van– we will make it. We must not fight against the steep hills, but roll with them and never give up hope that we will make it to the other side.


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