The Container

Of course I somehow found what I assume is the most hipster part of Vegas. I’m sitting here now, in a courtyard-open-space type place. Basically just some mobile-mini’s in a circle around some free space with holiday lights. My view is of a chocolate shop, a locally sourced art store, and a place that only sells cupcakes. Not to mention the fact that I’m eating at “Simply Pure”–which has delicious vegan food and I highly recommend it.
I’ve denied being a hipster for a while. And I still do to a certain extant (which might actually make me more of one?). Then, one day in the car a few years back, my mom turned to me at a stop light, looked me in the eyes, and said, “I love you, Lilly, but you are so. Completely. Hipster.”
She has this voice she does sometimes, and it reminds me that she works in a high school. Her inflection kind of becomes like a stereotypical valley-girl, and she adds a lot of unnecessary punctuation for emphasis. It’s hilarious.
But I digress. The point is, I’m surprisingly unsurprised that on my first night away from Kloe and Kyle, I somehow stumbled upon this hipster-haven surrounded by the un-reality of Vegas. And as much as I hate to admit it, I kind of feel at home. Which is not at all how I have felt in Vegas thus far.
While Kloe and Kyle have been nonplussed and impressed by all that Vegas has to offer, I have been overwhelmed and startled to the point of spilling my drink, more than once. I’m glad we are experiencing it, but it reminds me of the Grand Canyon: it’s all just a little much for me to conceptualize and grasp, but I know I am supposed to be impressed.
Though sitting on the railing outside the Bellagio fountains last night will go down as one of my top feel-good-folder memories.

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Bridge School Connection

Whenever we stay with people we explain what The Bridge School is and why we are raising money for them. What is awesome is when someone has heard of it, and what is really awesome is when someone recognizes my LincVolt tee shirt. This has happened a total of twice, but that’s two more times than ever before while wearing the shirt, so I get pretty excited.

“Is that a Neil Young thing?” someone in Salida, Colorado, asked me.

“Yes it is,” I said a little too loudly and much too excitedly. I proceeded to bombard him with facts about Neil Young, our ride, and The Bridge School, to which I expect he was startled but he recovered quickly.

It happened again last night, in St. George, Utah. We are staying at a house with this amazing couple, Zack and Sarah, and their friend, Elliot, came over to play horse shoes and sit around a campfire. Elliot is from Sacramento, and immediately recognized my tee shirt and he asked me if I have heard of The Bridge School. This launched a great conversation about the reason for our ride and raising money, and The Bridge School Benefit Concert.

If I fund-raise for another tour, I am going to print little information papers about whatever the cause is, because it’s hard to explain it to everyone and have them remember the fundraising web site, but this time around spreading awareness has been going well.

Grand Canyon

From Day 14:

Today was our first rest day. We slept until the sun woke us up in our tent, and ate a luxurious breakfast of pop tarts and crackers. Tim, the amazing camp host we made friends with when he was confused where our car was and we explained that we don’t have one, lent us his car to visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We were going to bike but I recently hurt my ankle, and it is much further than we thought from our campground. He has an old Subaru hatchback, and it has the best mix CD you can imagine on it. It is literally song after song of great 80’s music, from The Doors to Cindy Lauper to Simon and Garfunkel, the songs kept getting better and better.

After arriving, doing the obligatory photo taking and gift shop perusing, Kloe and I decided to embrace the “rest” in “rest day.” While Kyle went off and hiked around, we sat on the comfy couches and looked out at the great view. And I ate Indian fry-bread with pizza sauce, which is apparently such an odd pairing of food that the people gave it to me for free.

Hurricanes In The Mountains?

This post of from Day 7:

Today I found out what the purpose of the emergency phones are on the side of the road.

“Hello, this is not an emergency,” I said.

“Okay…” the voice on the other end said. I assumed it was a mid-thirties male.

“Can I make a phone call from this line?” I asked.

“Not a non-emergent one,” he said. It turns out his name is Tim.

I explained that we were at the summit of Red Mountain Pass, and it was pouring rain so we couldn’t make it down. My friend, Maddy, was already on her way to get us, but I wanted to touch base with her. Tim called Maddy for us, who was slightly frightened when her caller-ID read 911, but she ended up saving us from the storm an hour later. Luckily we were able to summit the pass successfully, though it would have been nice to reap the rewards of going down it. We have been spoiled, though, with amazing down hills, so it’s okay.

Mom’s Know Best

*We haven’t had a computer until now, so these are back logged blogs I wrote in my journal. This one is from day 4*

Okay, I will be an adult and just say it: My mom was right, and I was wrong. Things don’t go as planned and it’s good to have back ups. It took four days until we actually left our originally planned location and arrived to our predetermined destination.

It amazes me how much can come up. Between grossly overestimating how quickly we could bike with all our weight to underestimating how many flat tires we would get, our days have taken much longer than anticipated. But after the first night, where we–unbeknownst to us–broke into an Air-force base after dark and the people we were staying with had to come and pick us up, anything seems to be going better. And today we left Salida, which was planned, crossed Monarch pass at 11,000 feet elevation, and ended up in Gunnison, Colorado, also planned. Plus we only got one flat tire, which I got, five miles from Gunnison.

As the days go on, we are getting better acclimated to changing our tires quickly and improvising plans to help stay on schedule while not trying to ride more than we can. But each night it amazes me how much my mom was right when she said that no matter how much I planned, I would never be fully prepared.