Waking up earlier than anyone else I know, watching the tour and eating cereal, watching the tour and stretching, watching the tour and pumping up my tires, walking outside to take in the fresh desert air, getting on my bicycle to race the heat. Desert mornings are the most beautiful.
But, man oh man! It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come – almost to California - EEE! The place we’ve all had on our minds for the past two months is actually becoming a reality. Over 3,000 miles down!
I’ve spent the day in the van due to being number 29 to catch “the NC2SD virus.” It came upon us and took out 30/33 riders (see, I almost made it) in three days with flu symptoms. I won’t go into detail, but it’s not a fun thing to have on the road. BUT one positive is that I can actually write a real blog post for once! Guess I could tell you about my trip thus far…
To start off, I can’t believe the thought of 15,000 ft mountains, 45mph headwinds, century rides, or 105 degree heat never crossed my mind when I was applying to Bike&Build. Although it’s been extremely challenging at times, every other aspect of this trip has made the hard times well worth it. You may, or may not, now be thinking, “what other aspects, Emily?” Well, let me tell you!
My Bike&Build family. It’s hard to explain how blessed I feel to have the opportunity to be able to surround myself with these amazing people each day. Not only are they hilarious, fun, and totally awesome, but they are the most genuine, intelligent, good-hearted, and talented people I have ever met. I can assure you that this is a handful of the most amazing young people in our country. These are the people who are going to change our world.
Our hosts. As each day progresses on this trip, my faith in the human race grows and grows tremendously. The amount of kindness we have been shown from complete strangers is so incredible. Not only do they offer us a place to stay, but they feed us, provide us with showers, and sometimes go above and beyond with pool parties and bike cleanings! It really is so refreshing to be around so much love and support.
Things I’ve been learning. Not only am I learning construction skills on our build days, but I’m also learning so much about our country. I can now side a house, “properly” pronounce Appalachians, build a deck, and correctly landscape in red-clay-dirt-stuff. Definitely things I could not do prior to this trip.
Things I’ve been seeing. The amount of beauty that I see on a daily basis is truly unfair. Sometimes I don’t even understand how I can handle it – this country is breathtaking. It makes me sad to think about how often people take it for granted, myself included.
Margaret Mead once said, “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” This is exactly how I view Bile&Build. With a little bit of hard work and passion we are becoming a visual identity for the affordable housing crisis in our country.
Hope this helps give a glimpse into the world of NC2SD and Bike&Build!
Started off the night of 3rd visiting some if the microbreweries in town. Only beer that I really enjoyed was the Monkey Wrench IPA at Carver Brewing Company. Guessing it was named in honor of Edward Abbey - makes sense since we are entering into his “territory.” After the breweries we went to a bar and watched the mums? a local band.
Morning of the 4th started out by sleeping in - till 7:00! Around 8 a dozen of us headed off to go whitewater rafting and stayed on the river till around 1pm. The water was freezing and the river was pretty high due to the fact that Durango had snowfall all through May. After rafting we explored Main St and went out to lunch. Cute city but there were too many tourists for my liking. Finally, after a perfect holiday, there was a beautiful fireworks show after the sun set behind the mountains.