Another 5 am wake-up call. We loaded the vans and enjoyed a delicious breakfast of eggs, sausage, and fresh vegetables and fruit.
Today is dedicated to Dee Picciano and Bill, a loved one of a member of Paonia’s United Methodist Church.
Teams were divided into Presidents (Crazy story – Elliot, Wasserman, and I were talking about our home towns and I mentioned that Bill & Hillary Clinton live in Chappaqua, about 20 minutes from my hometown. This conversation was not prompted by the teams, it just happened. And what team do I draw from the cup? Team Clinton. Weird). So Team Clinton was Tyler, Jeff, Carissa, Wasserman, and myself. We left around 7:15 am and found coffee about 10 miles in. We enjoyed about 10 minutes of relaxation and met a woman who beat breast cancer. She mentioned her sister, Shari, is currently in remission for thyroid cancer, but because her age, it will probably come back. She wished us well and donated $20 to our ride.
Because of our coffee stop, the water van was not at the first water stop and seemed to have forgotten about us. No big deal, though, we got water about 5 miles further.
The day was fun, as we played hot seat (the team asks one person different questions with the topics going from A-Z). We passed the Grand Mesa which was beautiful and the land was starting to resemble to Grand Canyon a bit.
Carissa got a flat, so we took advantage of the time by climbing onto a train and taking pictures…
After a second flat, she opted to ride in the van until she could get a new tire.
At around 1 pm, we met up with townspeople and got escorted into Grand Junction by a pink fire truck dedicated to Delaney, a young girl of the community currently battling. Some of our team rode the truck. We arrived in Grand Junction to a crowd of church members cheering and clapping. It was overwhelming and amazing to have such an entrance and so much support.
We had lunch, took some pictures, learned a little more about the fire truck, and then headed out to the Colorado National Monument, a series of canyons and cliffs. They were gorgeous.
We returned to receive mail from home… From Julie, I got two letters, a Continental playlist CD (from the restaurant I used to work at), a Philadelphia Fairmount Park book, and little energy snacks. She’s amazing. I also got a gift from one of my best friends from high school, Gianna. She sent me a Harry & David package with cookies, candies, and pears. Her note made me cry – we haven’t talked in a bit but to hear from her and get a package was so nice. We had dinner, listened to a few speakers of the community, and met our host families – tonight we are in homestays. I am staying with Cynthia and Kurt (by myself). They are an awesome couple, super sweet, and have a beautiful house with views of the mesas.