Me and the boys got to go to Yellowstone National Park on Sunday after church. It was incredible. We saw so many cool things. I saw about a zillion animals and some really cool water falls. We spent like 6 to 7 hours just seeing different areas of the park and still didn't see everything. The natural beauty of God's world just really blows my mind. Also to top it off I heard a wonderful sermon that Sunday about having faith in Jesus. The preacher pushed the point that Christians easily say they believe in the power of faith, but when it comes right down to the wire, and they have to put their faith into action, not so many want to take that leap of faith.
Ok so now to the other news. This week was going to be a hard week for us riders. We only have 4 days of riding, but they were all long riding days. Everyday was an 80 to 100 miler day. The temperature has gone up quite a bit and there are head winds that will actually push your bike back if you stand still. However, the two week adjustment period is over. I have been feeling stronger as a cyclists than I ever have before. Yeah, its hard, but your feel like you've really accomplished something at the end of the day. Near the end of my ride yesterday I started to have some bike trouble though. I got my first flat tire of the trip. Not knowing exactly how to take care of it, I had to sit on the side of the road till the sweepers (designated cyclists for the day who bring up the rear) to come help me change it. Usually I ride in the middle of our group and not around other cyclists so much. We were about four miles from the next rest stop. So once my tire was fixed up, Blake and I (who also had gotten a flat and was therefore in the back with me) pedaled through a tough head wind to the rest stop. Here I made sure I got some fruit and filled up my water pack (which was nearly empty) so that I could stay hydrated for the next 17 miles where our final destination was. I took off as soon as I was refilled with everything because my legs were still warm from pedaling and I didn't want them to cramp up. As I have mentioned it was a rather windy day and so I started drafting behind another cyclist to make it a little easier on my self. Unfortunately, because of the wind, drafting can get a little clumsy and I nicked the back tire of the girl in front of me. This caused me to lose control of my bike and sent me and my bike flying. I don't know how exactly, but my feet unclipped themselves without hurting my ankles. I hit my leg hard against my bike frame, and landed on my butt. When I looked down at my leg, it wasn't so pretty. The girl in front of me didn't hear me fall, but for some reason turned around and saw me laying there. I immediately put pressure on my leg with my hand and started chugging the water from my water pack. Seconds after that, the one doctor on the trip and her husband pulled up behind me and quickly waved down a vehicle who had an insane first aid kit in their car. Time was kinda relative to me, but we were only about 15 miles outside of Pocatello, and I feel like an ambulance got there pretty quick. As they were putting me in the ambulance, Blake pulled up with his bike, and thankfully they let him ride to the hospital with me.
To make a long story short, there was about a 4 inch gash in my leg, down to the bone, on the front side, right below the knee cap. Nothing was fractured or broken. I have quite a few stitches. It does hurt, but I feel like it's bearable. God really had my back. He made sure I had plenty of water, the road was clear of traffic when I fell into the road, level headed and experienced people around to help at the scene, he kept me calm during the whole ordeal, he provided me with comfort by making sure Blake was there, he provided a town that had a hospital (most of the places we stay are too small for hospitals and this hospital was just opened a month ago so the facilities were state of the arc), he gave me a mother who made sure I drank milk all through my childhood so I would have strong bones and he even provided a bed for me to sleep in that night so I wouldn't have to get a hotel room.
I'll be off my feet for a little while. The doctor told me at least for 3 weeks I wouldn't be able to flex my leg too much. While I'm a little disappointed about being unable to bike for a while, I'm mostly grateful. So many miraculous things happened to keep me safe and alive. Even though I've only known my fellow cyclists for 2 and a half weeks, they have given me the support that would be expected from life long friends. I had several of them visit me in the hospital, one girl held my hand and kept me distracted while I was being stitched up, and another girl spent the night with me and missed her ride today so that I would be comfortable. Joy is really what is filling me right now.
All your prayers are so much appreciated and please continue to lift me up in them. But please don't forget to thank Him for what he has already done. Much love to everyone!