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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 33: Tallahassee, FL to Lake City, FL

We shattered our old record of 106 miles with 124 miles for today! We decided to go so far because (1) we know that tomorrow is Sunday which means we get a rest day and (2) we heard that there is going to be a mini hurricane coming to Jacksonville Sunday afternoon and is sticking around through Monday! We figured that the more we rode today, the less we will have to ride on Monday which will probably be against really strong headwinds. The winds are supposed to be 45 mph! We are praying that this isn't going to be the case because we are so close (69 miles away from the Atlantic!) and would love to finish this trip on Monday.

Matt and I really enjoyed our lunch today. Pops bought a 37-pound watermelon for $5, cut it open with his pocketknife, and cut big pieces off for us. We ate it at this park pavilion that was in one of the towns we were passing through. In the park there was a Baptist preacher who was giving a sermon. He was really loud (I'm surprised he could keep up the volume for so long) and used big gestures, but there was only one person in the audience--she must have been his wife. I think she was video recording his sermon so perhaps they just did it in the park for a nice background.

Just outside of Tallahassee we passed the Letchworth-Love Mounds, and Matt went to go check them out while I rode ahead. Matt said he was really "digging" all of the archaeological discoveries and that he had "mounds of fun." For those who aren't familiar with mounds, they look like really big, oddly-shaped hills. Archaeologists can discover what the mound used to look like, how old it is, etc. This mound that we went by today was built about 1500 years ago by some Native Americans. Researchers believe it was used as some kind of temple or burial place.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 32: Panama City Beach, FL to Tallahassee, FL

103 miles for the day. It’s exciting how close we are getting to the Atlantic!

Matt's and my best for the day was when we were biking along and glanced across the street, and there was Pops holding up a cantaloupe for us! He cut it into slices with his pocket knife, and Matt and I downed the whole thing in no time.

My worst for the day is that my feet were really hurting. Since my clip in pedal broke, I’ve had to use the normal pedals and wear my “for walking around after we’re done riding” shoes. I didn’t anticipate needing to bike in normal shoes so I brought really old, thin sneakers. They are so thin that my feet took a hit today. I don't want to buy new shoes/clip-in pedals when we are so close to finishing, so Matt is going to let me have the clip-in pedals tomorrow.

 Matt’s worst for the day was that he didn’t see an alligator. Haha he really wants to see one out in the wild. He saw something moving in the water when we passed by a lake, but he wasn't sure if it was an alligator or not. We did, however, see lots of cool Spanish moss on the trees.

Matt’s second worst for the day is all of the bugs. There are little gnat guys that come and buzz right by our eyes. I have no idea what they are trying to accomplish by attacking our eyes, but I don’t wait long enough to find out. And Matt’s bug bites continue but in a different form… he has a big mosquito bite on his eyebrow.

Today was hot! It got up to 98 degrees for a few hours (which means over 100 on the asphalt) and it's humid. We had to take breaks more frequently to keep hydrated.

Why did the chicken cross the road? We couldn't tell why.

Granola bars for breakfast. And lunch. And an afternoon snack.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 31: Pensacola, FL to Panama City Beach, FL

106 miles today! When we got done for the day, Grandma Gina thought it would be fun to total up how many miles we have ridden so far. Believe it or not, we have gone 2,222 miles so far! How perfect!

Today was great! Yesterday my knees were really hurting me and I felt like I had pulled a muscle in my calf, so I prayed that I would have the strength and the health to meet our goal for today (we always try to ride 100 miles). Of course I was really tired by the end of the ride, but other than that I felt great all day! It is humbling and I am so grateful for the many answers to prayers that I have received on this trip.

About half way through the day, we started riding along the coastline again. It is so beautiful! The beaches looked like they were straight from a movie with their turquoise water, white sand, and palm trees. Florida is amazing. We also biked along a bike path for a ways and it was really fun going over little wooden bridges, ducking under low branches, and dodging fellow bikers. After a while, however, we had to resort back to the road because it's a lot faster/smoother ride.

It's great to have Pops (our grandpa) with us! He drove out from Utah in Matt's car so that Matt can take it straight up to Virginia for his internship that starts in a week and a half. Pops caught up to us in the early evening and is going to be coming along with us the rest of the trip.

As we were riding our last few miles into Panama City Beach, a car pulled over next to us and kept honking for us to stop. The lady inside had her window rolled down and shouted, "Do you accept donations?" At first we were confused by what she meant (Matt thought she said "Do you want donuts?"), but after talking with her we learned that she knew who we were! She was staying in Louisiana when NBC33 showed our story on their news, so when she saw us in real life she got really excited! Her cousin has type 1 diabetes and she thinks our trip is a great way to raise awareness. We gave her the blog address and told her to just click on the thermometer to donate. It was great to meet you Marlene! You are a sweetheart; thank you for saying hi and talking with us!

And as promised, here is a link to a newspaper that we're in from Livingston, LA:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 30: Gautier, MS to Pensacola, FL

We biked in three different states today! Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida—we covered Alabama in one day. That means we only have one more state left!!

Looks like Alabama tricked us… We had hills all the way across the state. It sure is a pretty state though. It’s amazing how green everything is, there were beautiful bridges and rivers, and the big, red, setting sun still blows me away.

My body hurts really badly. Some of my body aches, some of it has sharp pains, and the rest of it is somewhere in between. I couldn’t help but cry the last ten miles today because my body wanted so badly for me to stop.

We had another news channel come out and interview us! Christian and the camera man were really nice to us. Christian interviewed Matt and me, and then the camera guy recorded us biking down the street a few times. When Christian sends us the link to the story we’ll post it.

Matt was singing "Sweet Home Alabama" to himself today. We are both big country fans, so we have passed some of our time singing to ourselves. John Denver songs are some of my favorites to sing out here.

Pumped out 100 miles for the day. We’re projecting to finish this trip on Tuesday of next week! Can’t wait!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 29: Slidell, LA to Gautier, MS

We made it to Mississippi! Apparently Mississippi is the birthplace of American music (according to the sign). If it was up to me, I would change their slogan to "the state with the best roads." On this bike trip, Matt and I have added to the definition of beautiful:


  1. Pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically.
  2. Of a very high standard; excellent.
  3. A stretch of smooth pavement.

Thank you Mississippi for not having bumpy roads and litter/rock covered roads and shoulders!

We got a late start to the day (we didn't start biking until 10am--4 hours after we usually start) because Matt didn't get back from the hospital until 1:00 last night and we had to go and fill a prescription for him this morning. He has some cream stuff that he's putting on his ankle and some medication that he's taking. His ankle didn't get worse today, so hopefully it starts getting better soon!

The ride today was absolutely beautiful! For a lot of the way, we were biking by the Mississippi coastline of the Gulf of Mexico. The sand is so white and fine... I just wanted to go lie down in the middle of it! Alas, we only stopped long enough to touch the sand and snap a few pictures.

We rode 80 miles today. I am surprised we got so far considering our late start.

So we thought it was hilarious that the only quote NBC 33 news took from us was when Matt was talking about weird bugs and dead armadillos. We think it's so neat that they did a news story about us on TV! Here's the link to the story about us:

Happy Birthday Grandma LeBaron! Hope you had a great day today. Thanks for frequently calling us and checking in on how we're doing. We love you!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 28: Baton Rouge, LA to Slidell, LA

Matt went to the Ochsner hospital today--our third time at a hospital this month! He had to wait for hours before someone could check out his leg. While he was biking today his left ankle started turning red and swelling up and the bed bug bites on his left leg started turning purple! The doctor said the bites had become infected and had caused Cellulitis; he prescribed some antibacterial medication which we will go pick up from a pharmacy in the morning. The good news is that Matt told the doctor and nurses all about the bike trip and they were all very intrigued; they said they wanted to check out the blog and possibly donate!

It was really hot today! Mixing the humidity and the 90 degree weather makes for a very sticky, sweaty ride. I think I drank over two gallons of water today.

We have some exciting news... we got interviewed by the FOX44 news station for Baton Rouge this morning! He interviewed each of us and videotaped us biking. We'll be sure to post a link when it comes out. In addition to that, a newspaper had us take a picture in front of the Livingston Library and send them the picture to put in their paper. Below is one of the pictures we sent them.

We went 94 miles today! Tomorrow we should be out of Louisiana and into Mississippi!

Every night Matt and I wash our clothes that we wore during the day in the bathroom sink. We brought some Tide with us, and we sprinkle some on our clothes and scrub them, rinse them, and wring them until they're clean. (It's gross how dirty the water can be at first.) We hang them up to dry overnight and have to hang them up during the next day to let them fully dry. We only brought two sets of biking clothes with us, so wear one set while the other is drying and then switch. Every weekend Grandma Gina is a sweetheart and goes and washes our clothes at a laundry mat for us. This means we love Friday and Saturday nights because we don't have to wash our clothes in the sink at night!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 27: Baton Rouge, LA (Rest Day)

Thank you so much to everyone who donated to JDRF (the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) since last Sunday! You are all so wonderful!

Ruth Ann Ferreira, Kathy Ward, Brian Henderson, Georgia Ogles, Jonathan Fischer, Paul and Marilyn Robinson, Curt and Jan LeBaron (our parents), Trevor Evans, Jared Colton, and Brittany Miyahara

Ruth Ann Ferreira wrote to us and said, "I've been diabetic for 35 years. By my best estimate, I've poked myself around 64,000 times for injections, insulin pump insertions and blood tests. It's paid off because I've escaped the tragic complications of diabetes so far, but I'm ready for a cure!!!" 

If you would like to make a donation, click here or on the button that says "MAKE A DONATION!" on the right of our blog under the thermometer. All donations go straight to JDRF; Matt and I don't see any of it. (All of our expenses like lodging, food, biking gear, etc. come from our own savings.) Every donation makes a difference!

Today we went to church (we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). And what do you know, the Baton Rouge temple was right next to the church! Although it looks really small compared to the Utah temples, it is such a beautiful temple, and we had to take some pictures with it. 

I feel so bad for Matt whom is still recovering from his bad case of bed bug bites. He has a big one on his left eyelid that makes it hard for him to open his eye, and a lot of his bites have swollen with pussy stuff and started leaking (gross!). He had a hard time sleeping last night because they itch so badly, but it helped that the lady at the front desk in our motel was really nice and gave Matt her anti-itching spray. Hopefully he has a better night tonight to gear up (no pun intended) for another week of biking.

Matt taking a nap before church starts
(don't worry, the chair did not have any bed bugs)