Monday, August 19, 2013

Made it to the Grand Canyon

August 16, 2013
Flagstaff, AZ to Grand Canyon, AZ

WE RODE TO THE GRAND CANYON TODAY!!!  I've always wanted to go to the Grand Canyon, but never in my life did I think the first time I would go I would get there by BICYCLE from MAINE!  The entire day is kind of a blur because all I was thinking about was getting to the Grand Canyon as fast as I could.  I rode with Jeff and Casey so we kept a pretty good pace and the scenery was the same amazing mountains as they have been for the past few days so I didn't feel like I was missing anything too big by going fast.  

The sweepstakes for the day was the best practical joke.  The leader that was driving the van had sent a group message letting us know that there was a big surprise for all of us up ahead, which most likely meant a long downhill.  However, I thought it would be funny to use our chalk to write SURPRISE in the middle of absolutely no where so people would think that that was the surprise.

It actually fooled quite a few people.  One person called Chris, the van driver, to ask what was the surprise at this spot.  Another group got so into reading it and looking around for something that two people accidentally crashed into each other.  Luckily they were going slow enough that no one was hurt though.  I felt pretty accomplished in my practical joke playing skills considering it would have fooled everyone except the one rider that was ahead of us.  About 1 or 2 miles out of lunch, I realized that my tire was going flat.  Luckily I was able to ride it to lunch just fine, but then I had to change it there.  I never found what caused it though, which was very frustrating.  After lunch it was a straight shot of 22 miles to the IMAX theater where we were meeting the van to get shuttled in to our campsite.  To get into the park on bike would be $12 per person whereas we could pay $25 for the van and then go in and out as many time as we would like.  Casey kept getting flat tires and initially we thought we could just keep pumping air into it, but we realized that it really needed to be changed.  Finally, we got to the IMAX theater and waited for the van to arrive.  When the van got there, we piled in with a few of our bikes and headed into the park.  Chris took us along the rim of the trail so I got to see just a teaser of the canyon.  We spent the next couple hours pitching the tents and starting to make dinner for everyone while they shuttled back and forth both people and bikes.  It's so hard to believe I'm in the Grand Canyon right now!  A group of us actually took the van back to Flagstaff around 8pm to go see how Ellie was doing.  Turns out she needed surgery so she had that this afternoon and was on bedrest for the next couple of days.  It was really great to see her and I think she really enjoyed the company.  We miss her so much.  Please continue to keep her in your thoughts for a speedy recover and return to Bike & Build!

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