Don’t Leave Us Gloria!

Day 55: Zion, UT to Cedar City, UT
Total Mileage: 77 miles

We had a pretty emotional dedication circle cause today was Gloria’s last ride before she starts med school at UVA (rumor has it, she’ll be riding with us into San Fran on the last day, SCORE!). When it got to me to say my dedication, I lost it. She’s one of the best friends I’ve made on this trip and am so glad we spent the last 55 days as teammates. I told her during the dedication circle that I feel like I’ve known her my entire life cause of the priceless memories we made throughout our 4K experiences and the strong bond we formed these past 55 days. I’m glad I made a friend that I can count on for the rest of my life, and I mean that (I know you’re reading this Gloria J). I even let Gloria take our team AV shot this morning. Our Black Beauty is going to kill med school!DCIM101GOPRO

IMG_4949I was initially supposed to drive, but I wanted to ride with Gloria on her last riding day before she leaves for school, so I switched van driving days with Caroline. Today’s team name, team Ho-Made Pies with Gloria, Sasha, Rachael, Lamie, and Kat. We didn’t have a ton of food for breakfast, so our team decided to stop at Thunderbird Café 10 miles into the ride for an actual breakfast. Rachael decided to ask the café for a pie donation and they willingly donated four pies to us. It’s great cause Thunderbird Café is “Home of the Ho Made Pies” with great service, delicious breakfast entrees, and tasty pies. Huge thanks to the manager that donated the pies to us, we really appreciate it! (http://www.zionnational-park.com/bw3.htm)

IMG_4956IMG_4951We had to backtrack 30 miles to get on UT-14 W, which meant we had to climb the 20 mile downhill stretch we did two days ago. It was a pretty tough day cause miles 11 through 50 were mostly uphill with grades between 6-8%. We gained 4000 feet in elevation in 41 miles. I actually don’t mind constant climbs for long periods of time anymore. As long as you keep a consistent cadence, don’t overwork your legs, and keep your heart rate consistent, you can climb any hill. It rained while we were climbing, which was actually a relief since we didn’t have to deal with the Utah heat. As soon as we reached the summit and had lunch, the rain stopped. The rest of the way into Cedar City was all downhill, which was our reward for climbing to the top of Midway Summit. There are climbs that seem impossible, but if you go into the ride with the right mentality, remember why you’re riding, and have a team to cheer you on, anything is possible.

DCIM101GOPROWe had dinner at True Life Center in Cedar City and were split into four groups for our homestays. The hospitality we received from the community associated with True Life was tremendous. To have strangers take in our team into their homes for the night after only meeting us for only a couple hours is incredible and we are ever grateful for the kindness and warmth from the families that hosted us. A huge thanks to Linda and Ed for taking the guys into their home for the night. Last year, they hosted eight girls and are stuck with 7 guys this time around. Such great hosts that treated us like their own family during our stay with them. I had an entire room and full bed to myself, which means I’m going to sleep like a baby tonight. Home stays are the best!

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