Day 66 – 31 miles to Jackson, California

Good morning!  And HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAUREN!

We got up at 6 am to the smells of french toast, ham, coffee, and fruit.  Last night, I cleaned my bike and put all my stickers on it, so I’m excited to take it out on the road today!

With just 4 days left (and 3 riding days left… I’m driving the van tomorrow), today is dedicated to Team San Francisco, Team Portland, and Jamie Roberts.  We’re always thinking of them and so proud to be fighting with them.

Teams were Spongebob characters.  I was on Team Squidward with Adam, Holden, AK, and Linnea!  However, after about 12 miles on Highway 49, which was just narrow, small shouldered, and had fast cars, we reconvened at our first (and only) water stop.  Many people opted to shuttle to the host, feeling unsafe.  I continued riding, as Erica drove ahead to survey the route and found it to get a bit better.  Linnea, Katie, and Harshini joined me for the last 13 miles.  We climbed a couple of hills, but are happy to announce we are finally out of the mountains.  At an elevation around 1,300 feet, we are so close to sea level and San Francisco.  This trip is ending all too quickly and everyone is trying to hold onto their brakes as long as possible.

We arrived at Grace Fellowship Church in Jackson, California around 11:30 am, a record for us.  We showered and enjoyed a delicious spread of hummus, fruit, pretzels, and cheese provided by our hosts.  They are new hosts of the 4K, this being their first year, and they are so excited to have us.  Thanks Grace Fellowship!

We hung out a bit, creating a playlist for our last day, and laughing over old jokes and hysterical moments of our trip.  It’s crazy to think that 30 strangers could be so close after 65 days.  I can honestly say that while I probably would’ve never met or been friends with some of these people, I am so happy we are one family.  We’ve been talking about how amazing our team dynamic is, with no drama and fun at all times.  My 29 teammates are all unique, special people and I don’t think August 9th is the end of that.

Some of the team went to a Starbucks to caffeinate and catch up on blogs since we haven’t had service, wifi, or downtime in so long.  After, we enjoyed a night of celebration of Lauren’s birthday!

Michael

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