Day 20: Yuma, CO to Denver, CO

The rising sun this morning was spectacular. The rays hit the van in a way that lit up the more than 300 gold signatures we’ve collected so far. That sun got hot as the day went on with the temperature reaching nearly 100 degrees in the strong wind. The landscape is vast – miles and miles to the horizon. Four antelope joined us for a few miles of the ride, running in the adjacent field parallel to the road. It was really cool to watch them slow down for a while, then accelerate to catch up with us. They are so fast! A train came by near the road, and the engineer played his version of the Notre Dame fight song for us with whistle toots – not exactly how it goes, but a really nice gesture. Little things like that really make a big difference to me out here.

Of course, the biggest thing that keeps me going out here is the goal of defeating NPC. It was great to hear about the successful conference that ended today.  What a wonderful gathering that brings together the terrific team committed to this fight – the families, the researchers, the supporters, and most of all the precious children. Cindy Parseghian said it so well in her closing remarks – the children show us what we’re fighting for and why we’re all here. Thanks to everybody for getting together for the video cheer.  The whole crowd came on the stage at Jordan Hall, which was really inspiring and came at just the right moment.

We pulled into Denver today and had a pleasant dinner with a few alumni, including Bob, the former president of the Notre Dame Club of Denver Club.  Dinner was a nice chance to wind down after a hard week. We can already see the challenge ahead of us for Monday’s ride – up and over the Rocky Mountains. The Rockies will be quite a change in the territory. There are snow piles here in Denver, and there’s sure to be more in the higher elevations. Fortunately, Outpost Sports is sending me a new tri bike via FedEx to replace the one that broke. I can’t wait to ride it on the other side of the mountains. I can go about 3 mph faster on the tri bike, so with a new one and my Zipp rims from SRAM, I will be in California in no time.

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