Day 51 – 50 miles to Bryce Canyon, Utah

Good morning!

We slept in even more today – wake-up at 6:15!  We biked back over to the Escalante Outfitters Cafe for breakfast.  Harriet and her committee prepared pancakes, eggs, bacon, muffins, fruit, juice, and coffee!  It was an awesome start to our day.  The community especially enjoyed our dedication circle, with many of them sharing inspirational messages and words of encouragement.  Today is dedicated to the Escalante community, specificall Steve Roberts (a co-owner of the cafe and color cancer survivor), Dana Waggoner (a co-owner of the cafe and breast cancer survivor), and Aunt Helen (Dana’s aunt who taught her adventure and positive energy).day51dedication

We said goodbye to everyone, including Harriet and Winnie.  After a few months of emailing back and forth, it was sad to leave such an amazing town.  Steve Roberts and community member Sheila rode us out.day50escalanteday51harrietwinnieday51team

Because of a challenging day of climbs ahead, we did climbing partners again.  Erica, Kos, Lauren, and I formed a solid, and fun, group.  We had a rough start, facing headwinds right away and a gradual climb.  We entertained ourselves with games and being completely delusional and weird.  51 days of biking and being together at all times takes a toll.  Because it was a shorter day, we took our time, enjoying the sights.  Utah, though dry and sometimes barren, really is beautiful.  Before entering Bryce Canyon, we enjoyed lunch, provided by Scott and Circle D’s Restaurant in Escalante (Thanks, guys)!  We got to Bryce Canyon around 3 pm, settled in at the local fire station, and opened our mail!  I got packages from my dad and friend, Ann!  They sent me sunscreen and a ton of snacks!  Thanks so much guys!day51mail

Before dinner, we set out to explore Bryce Canyon.  It’s a gorgeous national park with canyons and rock formations.  I’ve been there once before, while on a cross-country family trip my mom organized about 12 years ago.day51teambrycesignday51mebrycesignday51groupbryce1day51laurenkosmebryceday51bryceday51mebryce1day51laurenmebryce1day51laurenmebryce2day51mebryceday51teamposebryceday51laurenmebryceday51bryce1day51groupatbryceday51groupbryceposeday51posebryce

On our way back, we stopped at the Bryce Canyon welcome sign to take pictures.  While there, we met a family and a young girl named Shelby, who is currently battling thyroid cancer.  She is from Colorado and is 14 years old.  We chatted with the family for a while, explaining the 4K and hearing her story.  This was the first time on this trip where we actually met a young adult randomly who has cancer.  It was awesome to talk about the 4K and UCF and introduce them to a world or support for young adults battling cancer.  She said when she turns 16. she wants a black Jeep with the words, “Fight like a girl.”  Needless to say, Shelby is a strong young girl that we are all rooting for.  Tomorrow is for her.day51teamwithshelby

Back at the firehouse, we had a team meeting and hung out.  Both Rachels and I are planning our Harry Potter themed riding day!

Michael

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