Happy Fourth of July!!! Mom and Abby left early this morning on a plane so we said our goodbyes last night. It was sad to see them go, but I know they were excited to get back to see the rest of the family in Wisconsin for the fourth. It won't be too long before I will be home again.
We spent our fourth and final day off in Memorial Park in downtown Colorado Springs. There was a big Fourth of July festival going on that we wanted to check out. It was great to be able to wake up with the sun already risen and to take our own time getting ready for the day. We headed downtown at about 1:30 and found a spot on the lawn underneath some trees. We got there before it was really crowded.
After we claimed a spot, a group of us walked to a nearby lake to swim. The water was nice and the atmosphere felt like a big block party. There were kids running around with their faces painted, hot dogs being sold at stands, and music being blared from stereos. We swam for a bit and then laid in the sun and reflected on our trip, recounting the funny things that had happened. It's crazy that less than two months ago we were all still complete strangers. Now my teammates feel like my family and it's hard to imagine life without them.
We walked back from the lake after a while and found that the rest of the group had set up a slack line between two trees and were taking turns trying to walk across it. Slack lining is similar to tight rope walking except the rope is wider and not as taut. It was really hard but we were all getting the hang of it after a while. JD and Ethan were the best at it and were showing off their moves. The best I could do was flail my arms wildly at my sides while attempting not to fall off. I managed to make it halfway across after a lot of practice.
Toward the end of the night, a symphony played while fireworks were shot into the sky. Our team loves to dance so we jumped around to a few songs and made sure to change as many lyrics as we could to "U.S.A." Whether we're slack lining or dancing like crazy people, we always manage to make a scene and lots of people stood and watched us. Some joined in dancing! We are definitely the life of the party wherever we go!
It was a special Fourth of July for all of us because we had seen so much of the country that we are all feeling super patriotic. "America the Beautiful" was played tonight and the lyrics, "from sea to shining sea," really stuck out to me because we're heading from ocean to ocean. It is incredible to be able to see all landscapes of our beautiful country by bike and it's insane to us that we are already in Colorado. I wish this trip would never end.
We had three guys bike up Pike's Peak today: Kevin, Dan, and Marcus. They managed to make it to the top, but they were totally exhausted afterwards. Pike's Peak is supposed to be one of the toughest, if it's not the toughest, climb in the United States! We are just all glad they made it back safe. Storms appear quickly on the mountains and it is dangerous to be stuck in a lightning storm way up high. The mountains are so wild, they have to be respected!
Tomorrow, we start another build day. The house is slowly but surely being constructed and hopefully we'll get a lot of work done tomorrow!