Into Colorado we go!

I’m going to try to keep this post short because I’m perpetually tired and dehydrated up here in the Rockies. Nebraska was pretty much the worst state ever: boring, windy, and stinking of manure and what smells like old beer. We were ecstatic to cross the border into Colorado. Our first full day in beautiful CO was supposed to be 95 miles into Fort Morgan. Along the way, we got caught in an uncharacteristically long and torrential thunderstorm. Being ahead of the group, my friend Hannah and I hid out in a public bathroom at a park for 3-4 hours while everyone else ended up at the same gas station with a Quizno’s. Hannah and I went into straight survival mode: since we got so wet and cold we had to strip down and use the godsend of a hand dryer to dry our jerseys and shorts. Then we turned our mobile data off and phone brightness down, ate granola bars, and found scraps of papers in our bags to play games on. We finally got rescued at 3 pm by the van, which began shuttling people to Fort Morgan since we can’t ride in the lightning.
The next day we rode into Loveland, CO where we saw the Rockies for the first time. Rachel and I screamed our heads off for about five minutes–the mountains were so terrifying because even though they were so hazy and far off in the distance, they loomed tremendously in the horizon, beautiful and terrifying at the same time. I’ve never felt more humbled in my life: seeing them on a bicycle with the knowledge that you’d spend the next four days slaving through the unforgiving roads of those peaks was all but reassuring.
I spent that evening with my dad who flew in from SF for the day and we went to the house I lived in as a baby and to the hospital I was born at, fitting because the next day would be my nineteenth birthday!
We started climbing the Rockies today and as much as I want to hate every single incline, I can’t deny the incredible majesty of these mountains. I mean these views are heartwrenching and heart-stopping. Also, I saw a rattlesnake today slithering off the side of the road! We took a dip in a creek running down the mountains and it was FREEZING cold but awesome nevertheless. Sometimes, because we’re exerting ourselves at such high altitude, I feel like I can’t get enough oxygen and I get out of breath without realizing it. Oh well… Tomorrow is the big climb all the way to the top of Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous paved road in the States. Can’t wait! Wish me luck!

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