Riding without a shoulder is dangerous

Apparently, last week on Mill (where ASU students go for their extra curricular activities), Joe and I accidentally performed a rain dance; clouds have followed us everywhere. Rain was expected on the way from Show low to Springerville so leaving the cougar’s lair this morning was a gamble. Everything was great until we stopped for lunch. Off in the distance we saw and heard a giant thunderstorm. We finished our 11th peanut butter and jelly sandwich of the trip (we’re keeping track) and preparing ourselves for a wet ride with our thumbs sticking out. Turns out our lunch break was just long enough for the storm to pass and the rest of our ride was sunshine and damp roads. The brief rain did cause another problem, however. Locusts. Locusts everywhere. Oh my god you couldn’t believe how many there were. Riding through them was like Moses parting the red sea of insects. Our tires smashed dozens and our spokes ripped up a few, but they got us back. Hitting fat insects going 20mph leaves goo marks on a windshield, imagine that hitting our arms, legs, thighs, and Joe’s face. After that ordeal we decided that locusts totally work as a top 10 plague. *The animal nerd inside me made me look up the species after I wrote this post; they were plains lubbers: Brachystola magna.
Originally, our plan was to camp in the Springerville area, but the forecast for tonight says rain. We just have our hammocks so we decided to get a motel in town instead. Nestled in the magnificent white mountains, Springerville is a beautiful place with a rich history. We know this because we checked out the local museum and learned all about it.
Many of you know of my deep and unending love for nature, but many of you may not know that I have a conservation hero. His name is Aldo Leopold and he is considered the father of modern conservation. His short essay, “The Land Ethic” changed my life (you should go google it and read it, it’s only 3 pages). Fantastically, much of his career was spent in the White Mountains and the Springerville-locs embrace him as a local hero. I cannot wait to go to the Aldo Leopold exhibit tomorrow before we head out of town. I’ll tell you all about it.
Refocusing on our cause… support has continued to flow in from all corners of the country. Countless people have contacted us asking if they can contribute monetarily to our bike ride. Fortunately, Ed Ramia and his company, Chemdry Carpet Tech in Los Angeles, are taking care of our financial needs (see the “our sponsor” link at the top and like their Facebook page!). Honestly, the best way to help us out is to make sure you are a registered donor. Once that is taken care of, spread word to your family and friends. If you need any information at all, look through the Donate Life website (also located at the top) or message us. I’m going to steal Joe’s idea and put a quote at the bottom.

Love from Springerville,

“Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching- even when doing the wrong thing is legal”
-Aldo Leopold



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