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And we ran, we ran all night and day... Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:

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Joined: 22 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:34 pm    Post subject: And we ran, we ran all night and day... Sun Jul 17, 2005 11: Reply with quote

For the first time in many, many days, it's really me - the one and only Matt Wyble.

I'm pretty tired, but I promised myself today that I'd post and give you all my own unique perspective on our unusual day.

The events of this day began early, at sometime around midnight. I awoke to find our tent flapping and rocking all around me, with the wind whistling all around. I managed to go back to sleep, but was given a much more rude wake-up call shortly after when our tent collapsed inward. This of course caught the attention of Brandon as well, as we were now both being smothered by our own tent. We unzipped the door and scrambled out to survey the situation.

It was extremely dark out, with only a few streetlights for light. The wind was more intense than any I can remember experiencing outside of Hurricane Ivan. We managed to still the tent and survey the damage: our metal tent poles had been bent under the extreme stress the wind placed upon the tent.

Realizing we had no choice but to move the tent to a more sheltered location, we began to pull up the tent stakes to prepare for a mad dash to the corner of a nearby building that would hopefully provide some cover. As I walked around back to get the bag for the stakes the wind picked up again, causing the tent to lift up and pin me against the stroller. Yes, for a little while I was squished in between the two, until Brandon was able to get control of the tent. We managed to get it to a safer location and secure it once again before wearily collapsing once more.

It held on until the morning, but the wind didn't let up. We tore down quickly and then Brandon went in search of some water. The town of Scenic was almost surreal in the morning light - the "Old West" flavor and design, and a complete lack of people. The only life that we saw was a very large dog that was wandering around the center of town.

Eventually the owner of (all) the stores in town appeared, and let us into the gas station to get some breakfast. Her name was Twila Merrill, and she was an interesting character herself. She's currently in her late 60's, but in her youth she was an excellent rodeo rider, a female pioneer in the sport. She even rode bulls until one nearly fatal ride that left her with a cracked skull and broken fingers.

After our "breakfast" of microwaved burritos and chocolate milk, we were on our way. We didn't start until about 9, but thankfully it was a fairly cool day. Still, our old friend Mr. Wind was still there in full force, which meant every step north or west was an effort. We met some nice people that are riding across the country to raise money for the American Lung Association, they were amazed at what we were doing. Still, biking across isn't easy either, and we wish them the very best.

We didn't stop again until a few hours later, when Brandon found an old reclining easy chair on the side of the road. That was just too tempting for him to pass up, and we made it a nice stop for water and a snack. After that we didn't stop until the "Country Convenience Store", which was like an unexpected oasis to us. There we were able to refill on water and eat some ice cream bars (try the English toffee if you're ever in the area, it comes highly recommended).

After that it was one long push to Rapid City. We thought it would be about 20 more miles, but it turned out to be more like 25. To complete this tale, let me just say that we didn't end at Holiday Inn Express until nearly 10 and ended up doing 46 miles. So now we're planning to rest and pig out on the morning's complimentary breakfast.

That's all I've got for now, I will upload the new pictures sometime before we leave. I guess the only way left for me to express how I currently feel is through the ancient Japanese poetry art of haiku, so here goes:

today was windy
yesterday was really hot
now we go to sleep
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