Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day 35 - Grinding Away into Dalhart, TX

The days get harder and harder as our bodies get sorer and sorer. Texas has not been treating us well. After two days of intense crosswind, today we were treated to 86 miles of straight headwind. The first part of the day we were able to travel between 11 and 13 mph but by the end of the day, 8 mph was all we could muster. It took us more than 3 hours to compete the last, mind-numbing 30 mile stretch. 

This trip would be impossible without my teammates. This morning, I rode with Eliza and we chatted for the first 50 miles, distracting each other as the miles crawled by. There wasn't much to look at, just lots of wide open space broken occasionally by an oil well or a factory farm. There was one pretty scene this morning as we descended into a valley. Rocks rose up in either side of us and the land went on farther than the eye could see. It is amazing how vast the land stretches. 

At mile 51, there was a Dairy Queen that was treating everyone to free ice cream!!!! It was our saving grace today because it was roasting hot on the road. I had a s'mores blizzard which was so delicious I almost cried. Eliza had a Butterfingers blizzard. 

After that, we just put our heads down and grinded out the last 30 some miles by sheer willpower. The heat was so dry that my mouth felt like sandpaper no matter how much water and Gatorade I downed. I heard that it was 112 degrees on the road today, but luckily the wind took some bite out of the heat and there was a little cloud cover. I turned my computer upside down to avoid watching the miles accumulate so slowly. JD, Curtis, and I formed the slowest pace line ever but we managed to keep it together and I could barely believe it when we rolled into Dalhart. These last three days have been the toughest I've ever experienced. Our minds and bodies are worn down but we are determined to keep going. Just keep pedaling, just keep pedaling. 

We have learned so much about ourselves and our limits on this trip. It amazes me how much the human body and soul can do. Every person on this trip is driven by their passion to serve others and sometimes, that is the only thing we have to carry us from one city to another. Thank you all so much for your support, especially during these tough days. It is hard but we know that we can do it!!!

92 mile day tomorrow into New Mexico! The team cannot wait to leave Texas. A new state should definitely boost the team morale!

Well, I've just finished using the "Stick" to help stretch my sore quads and it is about time to hit the thermarest. Pray that there is a tailwind tomorrow! Goodnight all!!


  1. PLEASE DEAR GOD, PROVIDE A TAIL WIND FOR THESE KIDS!!! It sounds hot! Here in Illinois it is raining something fierce. IT just won't stop, floods in the area and closed down interstates!! So far, our basement is dry but it is so soggy. Not sure if I would rather have the heat? . . .

    Just keeping swimming. . . . . XXXXOOOOO Extra power to you today, honey. Mom

  2. wow I never blogged b4. this is real hard. my fingers are numb. Need a beer.

  3. now really Elaina. You are so strong to keep this up. No quitter twitters in our fam. Glad Cathy showed me your site. I'll get all caught up with your adventure this week end. Finally going to stay home this week end. Love you...Uncle Dan

  4. Hi Elaina!
    Glad to hear you're doing well and I can't believe how much ground you've covered! My admiration to you and the rest of your team. What an experience.
    Dalhart, TX got my attention. Dalhart was and is considered ground zero for the Dust Bowl of the 1930's. No wonder your mouth was like sandpaper!
    The Sherwood's are all thinking of you and can't wait to hear some stories in person! Safe travels. JS

  5. Hi Elaina,
    You are so courageous and generous to be doing this for such a good cause. It bring tears to my eyes to read about all that you have gone through. I hope you don't mind that I have put out a Hemauer Homestead sort of email "plug" for you, to refresh what you are doing while we all go about our "regular" lives back here in the Midwest! It sounds like you have made lifetime friends in your group. Stay safe - all of you.

    The last part of your trek sounded grueling! I remember a trip to AZ when I was 15 and your mom was about two. I thought Oklahoma was the l-o-n-g-e-s-t state EVER, and Texas the windiest, dustiest state EVER. Tumbleweeds were everywhere. Both were boring and FLAT except for the oil rigs in TX which at that time was rather new and interesting landscape. All of that observed from the back of a station wagon, even air conditioned 46 years ago....not from a skinny bicycle seat mile by dirty mile....oh my!!

    I will go to the site and donate my $$ tonight. I will be thinking and praying for you all the rest of the way.

    Love, Aunt Cathy

  6. Dear Elaina,
    I have been following your progress and OMG what a grueling trip. It will forever change your perspective of the world and your place in it. You are doing God's work and he couldn't be prouder and we couldn't be prouder. Will be thinking of you constanting as you are half way and this is the leg we sponsored. Know that your mom is coming soon and what a joy that will be.

    Will miss you this 4th of July at Paradise but we will pray each night for you as we gather around the campfire.

    Love Aunt Lynne
    Continue to be safe