A tremendous 5:30am breakfast to finish off the week! We only had an 80 mile day, which we were all happy about because we just had a 97 mile ride the day before! We rode the first 20 miles to the rest stop very quickly and easily. It was mostly a cool downhill fast pace ride. As we came around one corner we saw a train pass by us on the rode to our left. It was an awesome sight with the sunrise in the background, really a great morning memory! After the first strop Ryan (former trip leader) and I stopped in Grandby to say goodbye to Pastor Micheal and to thank him. He was the pastor at the church we stayed that night, and had volunteered to ride the first 30 miles with us. While we waited I went to the gas station nearby to purchase a snack. When I entered I found a DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFIN!!! I was so excited! I had been craving a double chocolate chip muffin since back in Washington when a church gave us a box of them! I grabbed the double chocolate chip muffins in pure happiness! ...until a guy came up and took it out of my hand and said I couldn't have it... I was stunned! then he continued taking all the double chocolate chip muffins off the shelf! He said that they weren't dated and he couldn't let me buy them... So I bought a twinkie instead. I was surprised and let down.
After that we thanked Pastor Micheal and headed to the second rest stop. After the second rest stop is when we started to climb the tallest mountain we will encounter on this trip! At an elevation of 11,300ft, Bertha Pass was the only thing standing between us and Idaho Falls!
I climbed slowly for a couple hours until I was only about a half mile from the top. Thats when the sky started to darken! Then the rain came, then lightning, and the hail started! I rode hard and fast trying to stay warm and make it to the top! A jacket would have been nice, but I had left it in the van, to be honest I didn't expect it to hail on me on July 8th. I finally saw a downhill sign, maybe an indicator that I was indeed at the top. However, I didn't see the elevation sign or a place to get out of the hail. (apparently there was a shelter off the road everyone else was at) So I started back down the other side going down the mountain. After a few miles the rain stopped. I was still very cold, trying to flex my arms to get the warm blood moving. I unzipped my shirt to dry it out, but I was still very very cold! I squeezed my brakes a lot going down hill into the turns on the wet rode. I couldn't feel my hands after about 5 miles. I then realized that my best option was to turn around and start climbing back up the mountain to warm up! After passing two other riders I saw a shop and pulled over hoping that they might have coffee or something hot. They were closed. I finally decided my best choice was to call the van to pick me up. As I brought up my hand to call I couldn't even keep the phone at my ear without shaking it away. I couldn't get signal on the phone to get in touch with anyone. I stood there for a little while and the sun started to come out. I started to do push up after push up to warm myself up. It was really helping. Then three other riders saw me and pulled over. One girl Sarah saw how could I was and told me to take off my wet shirt and put on her rain jacket. Then she and another girl got on either side and hugged me to warm me up. I continued to shake all three of us! The other rider with us was able to signal for a ride and me and Sarah were able to ride down to the bottom of the mountain in a truck. It was a real nice guy named Kevin who gave us a ride. We talked for a while and he took us all the way to the church in Idaho Springs. I was just happy to have the feeling come back in my hands! We made it to the Baptist Church on the end of town. I laid down on the cement in the jacket to warm up. I then walked to the convenient store (which wasn't so convenient, it was over a mile away) and bought gaterade and water to rehydrate. We then took turns going to shower at the RV park. The best part of the day was when we had pizza at Beau Jo's! It was delicious! One kind of pizza was chicken alfredo! MMMMmmmmmmmm! We explored the town all night, I bought an Idaho Falls bumper sticker for my bike. Then off the bed around 11:00pm! An adventurous and exiting day!