Hello everyone out there! It’s Day 21, Sunday, July 12, leaving from Lusk, WY to Hot Springs, SD. We are moving on out of Wyoming. I can’t believe we’re leaving our third state into our fourth state already. This morning, of course, it was up at 5 o’clock again, loading the truck with our luggage at 5:45, grabbing something to eat at 6 o’clock and heading out by about 6:20. it’s pretty much a routine at this point. It changes up a little, but not too much. We headed out this morning at 6:20 and it was a precious morning, I have to say. Leaving out on Route 85 North, Route 20, and then heading onto Route 18 East and 85 North. It was just a gorgeous, beautiful, 61-degree start to the morning. It was warm, we just had to wear our cycling shirts without anything extra this morning. The air was just fresh and beautiful, it was clear, it was sunny. It was quiet because it was a Sunday morning and no one was out on the road. The road was smooth, it was a bit of a climb but it was a comfortable climb with all of our legs being so conditioned now. It was just beautiful for the first 35 miles. We had a tailwind, it was just a gorgeous, beautiful, comfortable ride. One of the things that was just a small little thing that impressed me, we see these great big, huge, mammoth rock formations that just kind of stick out of the middle of nowhere. You just wonder, how did this thing from the glacier end up here? There are just these rolling mountains of grassland and these mountainous little chunks of big rock sitting out there. It’s just kind of amazing to see the landscape, what it looks like. I told you about these pretty little wildflowers that are out there, and the smells from some of the flowers are just so sweet and fragrant. But this one time, the only time I’ve seen it, and it was really, really precious, we were riding along and on the right-hand side I looked over, and there was this cluster of these beautiful pure white flowers that looked like they were grown out of a garden. It was like a mix between a double impatiens and a rosebush. I don’t know what kind of rose it was, but that’s the only thing I can describe to you what they looked like. There was this cluster just sitting there out of nowhere. I haven’t seen this flower anyplace else along the way. There it was, just sitting there in all its little glory, and I just couldn’t help but think, how do these things grow here, in this place? How did it get there, when it just looked so sort of out of place, but yet it was so refreshing to see something that pretty, like something out of a planted garden, just in the middle of this wild, wild West. It was just kind of an overwhelming thought of the analogies of life and how God just gives us these little pleasures all over the place in life to just remind us of the preciousness of everything about life, and what He does, and what we have, and how we’ll never figure Him out. We just have so much to be thankful for and the small blessings are the ones that can really bless us the most. Beside all these great big mammoth things that are so huge that are also a blessing too, but the smallest of this little flower bush just really blessed my heart. I thought, you know, it’s often the little things in life that we can really savor and that can mean something special to us. It did to me today, and I just wanted to share that with you. I was also remembering that it is Sunday morning, a day of worship, a day to just reflect and remember all the gifts I’ve been given, the physical ability to do this and health and fortunately safety so far. I’m just so grateful for the opportunity, even monetarily wise for me. I’ve sold my house and it made me afford to be able to take this trip, a house that I’ve lived in for 23 years and raised our kids. So it was a big chunk of money for me to take to do this, but it’s all been worthwhile. I had the opportunity to do it through my job, I have a job that I have the summers off, working in the high school. My kids are old enough for me to be able to come out and do something like this. So everything just really fell into place for me to be able to do this, and I’m very grateful for it. Another thing that happened that was really sweet was I was riding along and this guy Paul, who is one of the riders, I was riding with him for a while this morning, and we stopped just for a real quick little rest. He did something so sweet. He has a wonderful wife, they’re both dentists, he loves his family to pieces, which is what I love about him. He’s a faithful, honorable, wonderful man who loves his kids and everything. He did the sweetest thing, he picked one of those black-eyed susan flowers and handed it to me and said, “Here, here’s a flower, because you’re just so sweet.” What was so precious about it was not just that he would think of doing such a sweet thing that tells you what a kind-hearted man he is, but it reminded me of my son Justin. When Justin was younger (he’s my 23-year-old), he was the tenderhearted one in my family of four kids. He randomly, when I would take our kids for walks or for picnics up on the Dumases’ land, which my kids know where that is, or just to parks or whatever to make the day fun and adventurous and good, he would just go and pick these little wildflowers and bring me a flower and say, “Here, Mom.” I told Paul that that’s what it reminded me of. So Justin, here’s to you, honey, I was just thinking about you when you were little and how sweet and kindhearted you were and still are. It was a precious memory. Of course, I’m always thinking of my kids. Brie, I had a great talk with you last night, Christina, thanks for the text and hearing from you. Joshie, you know I love you guys, your hard work for the summer, I know all you kids are working and doing your own things this summer, and I’m just really proud of you, that you’re all doing great. I want to thank the Wilsons for following my blog. Raymond’s telling me that you’re following it every day. And Dick and Dorothy, thank you so much for following my blog and keeping up with it and for your support with your prayers and being so excited for me that I’m doing this, I really appreciate it. All of you out there, it’s just really great to have your support. So to finish with the day, the first 35 miles were really great. We got to our SAG stop, and then we went just a little ways more, up to 45 miles, and we had to make a turn. When we took the turn, unfortunately we hit into a headwind. So from 45 miles for the rest of the trip, which was 92 miles today, we hit some real significant winds for a little while. There was a section from about 55 miles until we got to about 70 miles that was extremely scary for me. The rumbles were really deep, so it was really hard to cross over them, which usually they don’t want us crossing over anyway. But there was such a strong headwind that we kept in pace lines trying to take turns being in the front. It was really anxious doing that, because we had a narrow shoulder again and the winds were really, really high and we were climbing. It was actually really difficult. Those kind of winds, a couple of the winds put me right over into the rumbles in the road. It’s just really a scary thing. You can go down when you hit those rumbles. The wind just carried me right over into them twice. So a lot of times I’m just holding onto my bike, literally for dear life, going downhill, braking and trying to be careful, climbing the uphills into the wind. It’s constantly fighting against you, these 15 to 20-mph winds that you feel like you’re going to be blown over. It can be really trying, and for me there’s always a part of the day that’s really trying and really scary. I just thank God all the days aren’t usually like that. We hit another SAG stop in between all that I told you about, at 67 miles. We went back into the wind for a while with a couple of steep climbs. The steep climbs were hard, but we’ve done it before and you just put that gear into the lowest gear and crank those legs, and you’re going about 6 or 7 mph up those hills, into the wind. Some of the winds weren’t too bad on the second one really. But we carried it up, we got through, and sailed down into a nice decline right into Hot Springs. So safe and sound, thank you Lord, and thank you all of you. As soon as I got in I showered real quick and took my little bike off a couple of miles up to the Evans Plunge, which is the hot springs here, about 85 degrees year round. It’s a natural spring that comes up through the rock and they have like a covering of this pool so that it can kind of be indoors. It just smelled delicious, it was great to be in the water, it was really, really fun. I enjoyed it a lot. So I have officially been in a hot spring, which was really awesome, In Hot Springs! I rode my bike back and had some dinner with the group. I’m just getting my bike cleaned up and things ready for tomorrow. We head into Rapid City, and we’ll be riding just 75 miles tomorrow. We have a couple of climbs, but we have some really special views tomorrow. We get to see Mt. Rushmore, which I’m very excited about, and also going to the Keystone National Park. I can’t wait to see all this by bike, it should be really, really special. We’ll have some traffic and we’ll have to be careful, but it should be really exciting. It will be Day 22 of our ride. I’ll be up again tomorrow at 5, so I’m going to sign off at 8:30 my time. I hope you’re all enjoying your summer. I met a lot of people again today, I always meet people and share the information about OLT, hand out cards. I get a chance to talk to lots of local people, I really get out there and talk to a lot of people and share my ride time and my dinner time and some other little bit of time in the hotel with my group that I’m riding with. Other than that, I really get out there and talk to the local people and get to know the people around town. It’s always a real treat. You all take care, God bless you all, and God bless America.