The Middle of the End

We are getting ready to finalize our journey from West Coast to East Coast. We will have some down time so these posts may be short or combined.

June 30, 2019- Sunvalley Campground, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania

Today we are heading to Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. We will be traveling 30 E most of the way there and then getting on 16 South. Ron wants to start the day out driving the road because he knows what the road is like right in front of the campground. After almost being hit 3 times in one day the other day (which I forgot to mention in that blog), he is very apprehensive on riding these roads. He is trying not to get injured or killed right at the end of his 3,000 mile journey. He plans to ride what he can, drive what he can’t and make up the miles while we have some down time during the week prior to our arrival in Cochranville, PA. We get out on the highway and there are guardrails all over and lots of winding tight corners. It is difficult to manage the truck and tiny home on these roads, let alone a bicycle. We end up driving the 50 miles to Sunvalley Campground in Mercersburg, PA. Once we get set up, Ron takes off on the bicycle towing Phoenix. The ladies at the camp office told him of a great route to take to get about 10 miles in. He rides for over an hour and then returns. Harold and Juanita pull in shortly and Ron helps them get situated in their spot next to ours. Meghan is working on finishing the blog that she is about a week behind on. Time flies for her with all the planning, writing, communicating and media. We have steaks over the fire for dinner. While Ron was cooking, Meghan was busy trying to figure out where they are going to camp next. She is having trouble finding campgrounds in their price range and along their route. Team Ronyx was supposed to dip down into Maryland near Taneytown and Pleasant Valley but can’t seem to find a place that will accommodate Team Ronyx and the Carey’s. We all discuss what a good alternative would be and Ron suggests we stay put here for a few days and then just drive through the congested parts since he is having trouble riding on these roads safely. He plans to get up early in the morning and ride and then ride throughout the day while we sit so he isn’t losing ground and he can talk to people around this area.

July 1, 2019- Sunvalley Campground, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania

Ron is up and out the door with Phoenix this morning before 7 am. He returns around 10 am and we discuss the final plans for staying here a few more days. Meghan has been up too, working on finishing the blog and getting it published. She is also keeping her phone close since her son is undergoing a small procedure today and she wishes she could be there. It’s difficult for her because she is so close but still so far away. She hopes to make it to the area before his birthday on the 6th of July. She is eager to surprise him as he doesn’t know that she plans to get there in time for his birthday. Today, Meghan will work on updating maps, fundraiser totals and trying to keep up with the blog as well as take some down time to unwind. She is constantly wrapped up in planning and trying to stay on top of finding places to camp, map routes, and keeping track of mileage that sometimes something gets left unattended to until she has a full day to catch up. After Ron returns from his ride, we all discuss how many days we are staying here in Mercersburg and then Ron takes a ride with Onyx and Juanita. They ride into town and take a look around. Ron decides to pick up Subway for he and Meghan. Juanita chooses to make sandwiches back at camp. That afternoon Juanita and Meghan head up to the pool for a little swim and that evening they all enjoy a dinner of grilled pork chops over the fire.

July 2, 2019- Sunvalley Campground, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania

Ron is up and ready to ride again today, Juanita is going to go with him. They leave a little later than planned but they are on their way. They ride for over 2 hours and return when it is nasty hot and humid. The heat index is pretty high up here. It’s almost too hot to do much today. Meghan took a few walks with the dogs and works on contacting some news stations. Ron also has been reaching out to news outlets as well to try and spread the word about Onyx’s Great Adventure. There are brochures in the offices of the last several campgrounds we have been too and anywhere else that will keep them on hand to share for us. We are enjoying our time here at the campground but Meghan is anxious to get to see her son. That evening, Meghan has a visit with her friend who drove 3 hours from Williamsport, PA to see her. They go into Mercersburg and find a place to grab a bite to eat and catch up. Ron and the dogs hung out with a neighbor camper and chatted until Meghan and friend returned. We continue to meet really awesome people who are sharing our journey and cheering us on. Meghan works on packing up most of the stuff around camp as her and Ron plan to take off tomorrow and drive to their next destination.

July 3, 2019- Southern Lancaster County, PA

Team Ronyx gets up early today. Their plan is to drive as close to Meghan’s family as possible and then let Ron ride the rest of the way in. When they left Sunvalley Campground, they drove out through Mercersburg. Once they got through town the shoulders on the road were really nice. Ron contemplated unloading his bike gear and riding most of it, but then the shoulders narrowed out again shortly after we discussed doing so. He knew he would be sitting for a week waiting for the finale at Canine so he plans to ride and continue spreading the word about them once we are in the vicinity. Our friends’ the Carey’s have decided they will camp at Sunvally one more night and then catch up to us on July 4th. We arrive in the southern portion of Lancaster County PA in the afternoon. Ron’s first stop was to surprise his mom, but he ended up surprising his sister instead. Then Team Ronyx headed to his mom’s and then to see Meghan’s son. He was really surprised to see his mom! It was such a wonderful feeling for Meghan to see her son after being away from him for so long. The next week, Team Ronyx will be off grid and will follow up with their finale post as they spend some time with family and rest up.

Hello Pennsylvania!

The beginning of the End of our Adventure.

June 25, 2019- Pilot Travel Center, Bentleyville, Pennsylvania

Team Ronyx is up early this morning and ready to roll. We have to drive off Wheeling Island, WV due to the bridge we have to take to accommodate our truck is on the Interstate. We drive 8.5 miles and then Ron starts to bike with Onyx at 8:20 am. He ends up pedaling out 40 E and it twists and turns close to the Interstate. In about an hour, Ron has gone 15.6 miles and passes over the state line. Meghan snaps a picture where the GPS tells them they have entered PA as there is no state sign on the highway they are on. They are both disappointed at the lack of signage. Ron switches Onyx out for Fonyx as the shoulders on 40 are getting smaller and the roads are winding this way and that. Meghan tries to stay as close to him as possible. We know that the roads in Pennsylvania are going to be the most challenging because as we venture further East, it is more populated which means more people are on the road. The other factor that makes Pennsylvania a challenge is the fact that we know what roads we don’t want to be on, making it harder to find the roads that are best for him to bike on. And, there isn’t a direct bike route from West to East like there are in most states. But we have plans and we will have some down time now that we have our arrival date set for arriving at Canine Partners for Life for Ron to make up the miles that we have to drive here and there. Meghan checks their emails, we got our weekly update from Canine Partners for Life, we have raised $9379.42! We are so close to finishing Onyx’s Great Adventure and we need all the donations we can get to get to our goal of $30,000. We end our day at the Pilot Truck Stop after Ron pedaled a total of 30 miles. In total for the day we have traveled 50 miles, some of that (about 8 miles) is off our route. Juanita and Harold have driven ahead of us and decided they would go ahead and travel to the Ohiopyle State Park to camp as the truck stop was pretty crowded for them and their camper. Team Ronyx tries to save money as often as possible and decide they will meet up with the Carey’s tomorrow in Ohiopyle State Park. Once they got settled at the truck stop, Ron stuck Onyx in the bike trailer and rode around the town of Bentleyville to make up for some of the miles they had to drive. After he returned he took a short break and then took Phoenix out for a ride as well. After Ron finished riding he went and got pizza. While Ron was busy riding and picking up dinner. Meghan worked on measuring out their routes for the next couple of weeks so that they knew about where they plan to stay each night up until arriving at CPL’s doorstep in Cochranville, PA. She also spoke with Juanita about Ohiopyle State Park. Juanita told Meghan that they only had one pet friendly site available for that day and that if Meghan and Ron wanted to camp with them tomorrow we would all have to take primitive sites. Meghan thought that was ridiculous. She had never heard of a campground that restricted pets on the actual campsites. She called the campground, thinking that there must have been a mistake because she could see 30 sites available online. They confirmed that they have pet and non-pet friendly sites. Meghan was angry at first and decided to look around for other places for everybody to camp in the area so that Juanita and Harold wouldn’t have to travel too far. She ends up striking out with affordable sites in the area. That evening, the dogs had a blast playing in the large grassy area behind the row where Team Ronyx parked. They played off and on for several hours and well into the evening.

June 26, 2019- Ohiopyle State Park, Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania

When Team Ronyx wakes up this morning they discuss what they want to do. Meghan can either continue to find another site or they can pay $30 for a primitive site in a park that has strict rules on where dogs are allowed. We understand most rules about dogs but think that it’s a little excessive that you aren’t even allowed to walk your dog in “non-pet” areas. Ron suggests we just go and meet the Carey’s there so they don’t have to drive anywhere else and Meghan doesn’t have to spend any more time trying to find another place to camp. Today was a day of loading and unloading of gear. We drove the 8 miles from the truck stop to 40E where Ron would pedal. He was able to ride his bicycle towing Fonyx as he wasn’t comfortable with the roads. When he reached the 4 mile mark, he met a man who waved him over to chat for awhile. Meghan drove up to where Ron was stopped and waited for him, the road ahead is looking pretty rough. There are construction cones everywhere and lots of commotion. We decide to load up the gear and drive 6 miles and we unload the gear again and Ron starts biking down 40 E with Fonyx. Meghan stopped in at the Ruffin’ Around Resort and Day Spa to wait for Ron. She goes inside to check the place out and talks with the owner. They have a really nice clean facility there in Uniontown to take your dog for the day to play or stay. Ron ends up biking a total of 13.5 miles today and we drove 21.5. Once Team Ronyx gets to the campground they meet up with the Carey’s and find their spots. Ron helps them get their camper in the spot as it is pretty tricky. Ron takes Phoenix for a ride around the campground to try and make up for some of the miles we had to drive today. It is actually really nice in the primitive area, we are tucked back into the woods quite a bit and there aren’t many campers. We have steaks over the fire tonight. Can you tell it’s one of our favorite meals? That evening we all went to bed pretty early after sitting around the fire and chatting about our previous days events.

June 27, 2019- Laurel Hill State Park- Somerset, Pennsylvania

The next morning we pack up early and hit the road once again. We are heading to Somerset because we have secured an arrival to the SCI-Somerset for 10 on Friday. We will get to meet the staff, volunteers and the future service dogs that are being raised at the facility. We are on the road and drive the winding hilly road out of the State Park area. We are now being directed to our next destination by a series of back roads that lead out to 653N. At 17 miles, Ron begins towing Onyx out in the country. He is loving the lesser traveled road but once we meet the intersection of 653, his mood quickly changes. This road isn’t a challenge physically for him but it is a twisting, winding, hilly road that has a guard rail right up against the shoulder. He is nervous about someone flying around a corner and hitting him with nowhere for him to go. We end up packing up the gear again after he pedals about 10 miles and driving to Laurel Hill State Park. We got there pretty early and couldn’t check in, so we went back down to the main road and decided to get lunch at the Trent House Inn. The owner (which we missed her name) was so friendly and asked a lot of questions about what we were doing. She was so lovely. She even ended up making our food and sat and chatted with us. She went above and beyond for Team Ronyx and we highly suggest people stopping to her place to eat or stay if you are in the Somerset, PA area. While Meghan and Ron were getting ready to eat, Juanita and Harold pulled in. They are having some issues with their trailer brakes not engaging fully so the mountain roads have been pretty challenging for them as well. After Meghan and Ron finish eating, they meet up with Juanita and Harold at the park. We have lots of options for sites for the night. We have very limited cell service here at the park so it is going to be a challenge for Meghan to work on the blog or stay in contact with the news media that she has been reaching out to. After we pick our spots, Meghan and Juanita walk down to the Ranger Station and check-in. After their sites are paid, Meghan and Ron, walk down to the lake area to see if there is a place to swim the dogs. They take the Copper Kettle Trail down towards the beach area and see signs everywhere about no pets on the beach, so they continue to walk past the beach and find another access to the beach with a small floating dock and a rough beach area. It is a fishing spot on the lake but there aren’t any signs that say “no dogs” so we let the dogs play. Meghan is happy because she has cell service at the beach and can post some updates and answer emails. She is also working on securing their next camp spot near Bedford, PA. She calls Juanita to tell her where the beach is and invites her to join them. Harold likes to stay with the dogs and relax at the trailer so he stays behind since their dogs can’t walk that far any more. Juanita joins Meghan and Ron for awhile and then the thunder starts. Meghan needs her credit card to secure their site and Juanita decides to join her in walking back to their camp sites. Ron decides to stay behind and play with the dogs as long as he can since they have not had a lot of water play time lately. Meghan took care of their camp reservations and then walked back to meet Ron, who had already walked more than halfway back with the dogs. That night, we had chili dogs for dinner since it was too hot to make a fire. Right after we were done eating and cleaning up, the rain started and then we had an impressive thunderstorm. Harold, Juanita and Meghan sat under the Carey’s awning and watched the storm for awhile and then everybody headed off to bed. Ron and Meghan have to head out to meet the staff and volunteers at SCI-Somerset.

June 28, 2019- Shawnee Lost Hollow Campground, Schellsburg, PA

Meghan is up early today and getting ready to head over to Somerset. Ron isn’t thrilled with how the roads have been so he isn’t sure if he is going to ride today. After they are done at Somerset, Meghan wants to go and see the Flight 93 memorial site. Ron drives to SCI-Somerset, when we arrive, there is a crowd of staff, volunteers and future service dogs that are being trained at SCI. There are signs welcoming Onyx and Phoenix and snacks for all. We have such a great time meeting each Volunteer and sharing stories about our journey. Team Ronyx is given donations, snacks and treats for the dogs too. We are so thankful and honored to be helping out an organization who already has so many fabulous volunteers, liaisons and staff. Today, Meghan has received several calls for news stories. She has made arrangements to be on KDKA News Radio from Pittsburg at 5:30 that evening. She is also to submit photos and video of Ron riding around the area which is proving to be a bit of a challenge. We end up traveling 41.5 miles today but 4 miles were off of our route. Ron wasn’t comfortable riding these roads today so he will be making up the miles around the area over the next few days. We ended our evening at the Shawnee Lost Hollow Campground. We only booked the site for one night but after arriving and realizing how tired we all are after traveling every day, we decided to stay a second night. Once we got settled into our sites, Ron took the dogs for a walk and found a turtle and brings it back to camp to show the Carey’s. Meghan does her radio interview, submits photos of Ron riding in the area and we enjoy some dinner of hamburgers.

June, 29, 2019- Shawnee Hallow Campground, Schellsburg, PA

Meghan is up early today, she walks Team Ronyx’s laundry up to the laundry room and gets it started. Then she sets up her laptops, printer and hot spot. She has a lot to do today to plan their arrival into the area. She has already figured out what towns they want to be arriving in each day for the next several days but she has to find places for them to park or camp. She also needs to print more brochures about OGA (Onyx’s Great Adventure). She starts to print and realizes she is out of ink after she got 5 brochures printed. Ron takes the bike out for a ride to see where he can make up miles. The day is spent making plans and discussing options on where we will camp to get to our final destination. That evening Meghan makes PA Dutch style chicken and waffles for everybody. We used Juanita’s instant pot to cook the chicken quickly and Meghan got to making homemade waffles while the chicken was cooking. After the chicken was done cooking, her and Juanita made the gravy for the chicken. Meghan shredded the chicken, added it to the gravy and we had a wonderful dinner. Juanita and Harold had never had it before. Juanita thought it was good, Harold thought it was ok and of course Ron wouldn’t touch it because he doesn’t think chicken and waffles should go together. He ate his waffles with syrup and then had the chicken gravy by itself. Tomorrow we will be moving eastward again.

Outta Ohio and On!

June 21, 2019- Dillon State Park, Nashport, Ohio

It’s the first day of summer! The Carey’s and Team Ronyx are up early and packing up to hit the road. Ron and Meghan were woken up at 3 am by a banging truck. It sounded like a dump truck gate but we aren’t sure what it was. Then at 5 am the dogs were whining to go to the bathroom. Ron got up and let them out. At 8 am everybody is heading out of the truck stop. Everybody drives through the city of Columbus. The Carey’s are going to make a few stops on their way to our next camp spot. Meghan and Ron drive out of the city to 40 E and Ron starts pedaling towards Nashport with Fonys once the roads are calmer. We ended up driving 20 miles to that point. Ron ends up riding through constructions zones and out to Zanesville. He rides 36.8 miles to the road that goes to their campground. There is a dollar store there, so they decided to load up there and Meghan runs in to grab a few things for their 2 night stay in Dillon. Juanita and Harold arrived at the campground first and get everybody all checked in. Meghan and Ron were able to drive right to their camp site. Once they arrived and got set up, Meghan decided to make some signs to put by their camp site since their truck garners a lot of attention. The state parks are really starting to fill up on the weekends now that we are fully into summer. She puts signs with brochures out for people to grab while they walk past. A camp host is our camp neighbor and she tells Ron to grab some of her wood if we need it. Ron decides to hop on his bike without the trailer and dog (a first for him this entire trip) and rides around the campground to see if he can find a place for the dogs to swim. He rides several loops around the campground and returns telling us how easy it was to ride his bike without his gear and how he could have been across the US and back by now with how easy it is to ride just the bike. We have steaks for dinner cooked over the fire by Ron which are delicious as always! That night we stayed up late by the fire, talking, working on admin stuff for the trip and enjoying the fireflies.

June 22, 2019-Dillon State Park, Nashport, Ohio

Meghan stayed in bed late this morning. She finally emerges from their tiny home around 9 am. Everybody was up and sitting around chatting. Meghan, Ron, Juanita and the Team Ronyx dog’s decided to walk to find the water to swim the dogs. Harold offered to stay back and watch the Carey’s old girl dogs since they can’t walk very far. We end up walking the long way back to the entrance of the campground and don’t see any water. Juanita goes into the camp store to ask about where they can take the dogs to the water. Meghan meets Juanita in the store and asks how far it is to walk to the park since they are on foot. The lady in the camp store tells them that it’s only about a half mile down to the road to the beach and the dogs can swim in the water off to the left of the beach. Meghan, Ron, Juanita, Onyx and Phoenix walk towards the beach area. They ended up walking well over a half mile to the beach as Meghan’s pedometer registers that they had walked 3 miles to get to the beach. When they found the area that they could take the dogs swimming, the water was very muddy and there was trash floating around due to the recent flooding the park had experienced. Meghan and Juanita cleaned up the trash and attempted to get the submerged trash can out of the water. Ron let the dogs swim for a little while, but then pulled them from the water due to how dirty it was. They ended up waking back to camp. In total they walked over 5 miles to the beach area and back to camp. That afternoon we enjoyed ice cream from the camp stores and that evening our camp neighbor Deb joined us for dinner and brought her guitar over later that evening. She played and sang to us. She had a lot of talent!

June 23, 2019- Salt Fork State Park Campground, Kimbolton, Ohio

Team Ronyx drive out to 40E this morning at 8:45 am. We drove for 30 minutes out from the park to our main route of 40 E. Ron started pedaling down the highway towing Onyx behind him and at 18 miles he switched Onyx out with Phoenix and continued to ride. The shoulders on 40 E have been very nice so far and the traffic is moderate. It is warm and humid out. At the 27 mile mark, Phoenix must have had enough of the trailer because he had an accident in the trailer. It smelled horrible and he ended up having it on his paws, tail and legs. At 31 miles we packed up the gear but with great care due to the mess that was inside the trailer. Meghan tried to wipe Phoenix down as much as possible with baby wipes that they keep on hand. They ended up pulling the cover off of the trailer cushion and throwing it in a plastic bag and lining the back seat of Meghan’s truck with blankets so that they could protect her seats. Team Ronyx drove the 6 miles back to the park. Once they got to the park, Ron toted a bunch of water over to their campsite and Meghan bathed Phoenix. Then, she and Ron washed out the bike trailer and sat it in the sun to dry. Once Juanita and Harold arrived, Meghan, Ron and Harold worked on carrying jugs of water over to the Carey’s trailer and using a pump to fill their water holding tank since they couldn’t find a fresh water outlet on their way there and the water spigots here did not have the ability to screw a hose onto them. We ended up pumping close to 40 gallons into their tank, carrying about 5 gallons at a time. That evening we had steaks over the fire and a nice salad with them. After dinner we watched the sun set and the fireflies come out. We ended up staying up pretty late watching the fireflies and listening to the crickets chirp.

June 24, 2019- Wheeler Island Casino. West Virginia

We planned on driving the first portion of today’s ride due to 40E intersecting with I70 and then having Ron bicycle the remaining miles. Once we got off the Interstate, the road conditions and traffic did not give Ron room to ride. Now that we are further East, the roads are much more congested. We are ed at the Casino in the early afternoon. Ron got his bike gear out and took O yx out for over an hour and road around the island and into the city across the bridge. He handed out business cards and spread the word about he and Onyx’s Great Adventure. When he returned, he took a short break and then took Phoenix out for a ride too. Right after Ron returned with Phoenix , Juanita and Harold arrived. We all discussed the evening plans and Meghan snuck off to get some planning work done. We will arrive in Western, Pennsylvania tomorrow and she wants to start getting their stops organized and campsites booked as well as connecting with volunteers and staff involved with CPL. That evening Juanita and Meghan went into the casino to scope it out and see what they could grab for dinner. They weren’t in there very long when the torrential rain hit. They decided they would get Cafe food for the guys but the line wasn’t moving. After standing in line for over 30 minutes they decided they would figure so nothing else out for dinner and headed back to the trucks. Ron volunteered to ride his bike to KFC and we all agreed that that would be good. He was gone and back in no time at all. That night, Phoenix found a baby bird. It was raining and Ron was worried about the bird so he stuck it in the empty KFC bucket and brought the bird into our tiny ho e for the night. Meghan missed her opportunity to get a picture of it though. We slept really good that night with the rain hitting the roof. Tomorrow we are heading into PA!

Ohio!

We have entered our 8th state!

Ron pedaling into Ohio!

June 17, 2019- Walmart, Englewood, Ohio

Ron is up early. Meghan a bit later but still up by 7 am. Ron is on the road with Fonyx because it is overcast and drizzling, by 7:40 am. He is traveling 36E towards the Ohio line. Meghan suspects they are less than 10 miles from the line. She snaps a few pictures of Ron heading out and then goes back to talk to the Carey’s and fill them in on the plans. Ron plans to pedal as far as he can. If there is a laundromat nearby, then they will stop and do laundry at some point today too. The wet dogs and heavy rains over the last few days have left their bedding a little smelly; plus Ron’s riding clothes can get pretty dirty too. Ron ends up at the Ohio line at 7 miles into today’s trip. He and Meghan take pictures at the line and he does his famous sign climb. They have about 6 more miles on 36 E before they take 49S down to 40 East. Once Ron get’s on 49S the traffic gets pretty heavy. Tractor trailers are whizzing by and not slowing down as they pass him. Ron rides for several more miles before he decides to have Meghan pick him up. He has ridden 20.5 miles so far. They end up driving the remaining 18 miles into Englewood, Ohio and decide to drive closer to Dayton to go do laundry. As they are driving to the laundromat, they see lots of tornado damage from the recent storms that the area has been experiencing. It doesn’t take them long to do laundry; so they go and pick up some lunch too and wait for the Carey’s to arrive at their Walmart Parking lot camp spot. Meghan worked on added up all the miles Ron has biked and they have traveled this entire trip. He has pedaled over 2,440.7 miles across; Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. Team Ronyx has traveled over 2,500 miles. Ron’s total miles traveled in Indiana were 181.2 miles. Our total funds raised so far have reached $9,096.17. That evening, Meghan and Juanita grabbed Subway for dinner for everybody and brought it back for dinner after walking around Walmart. After dinner, Meghan finished the latest blog and started the next.

June 18, 2019- Buck Creek State Park, Springfield, Ohio

It rained a lot last night. Team Ronyx isn’t moving very fast this morning to try and wait out the rain to see if it will clear up for Ron to cycle in it. They leave around 11 am. They drive out to the intersection of 40E where they left off the day before. Ron starts pedaling through the town of Englewood. He misses his turn when he reached the Englewood Reservoir so he had to back track back to the land bridge. The land bridge over the Englewood Reservoir was pretty narrow with no shoulder so Ron had to ride directly in the lane of traffic which he isn’t a fan of doing but he did it with ease. As soon as he got over the bridge, he pulled off to where Meghan was parked on the opposite side and let all the traffic go by. He and Meghan discussed their route and he took off again. As we entered the town of Vandalia, Meghan pulled off the road at Burger King right before the road crossed over Interstate 75. The traffic was pretty heavy and there was a lot of confusion coming up. She waited for Ron to arrive by bike so they could discuss their plan of action. A very nice woman pulled up right after Ron arrived and asked to take their picture and told us she worked with the animal rescue and wanted to share our story. We gave her a bunch of brochures and our information. We drove 2 miles through the intersection and then Ron got out and rode with Onyx. He rode a total of 29.5 miles before we packed up the riding gear and drove the 6 miles to our campground. Once we found the camp store, we decided we should stay 2 nights to give Ron and the dogs a break and to wait out the potential severe thunderstorms that were heading our way. After checking in and getting our spots all set up, Ron took off with the dogs on the trails around our camp spot. There is also a nice beach close to our camp loop that we want to take the dogs to the next day. Lots of people are driving by and stopping in front of our camp spot to read the truck. After dinner, the clouds opened up and we had a fabulous thunderstorm with lightening and a beautiful rainbow at the end. After the storm passed; Ron and Meghan took the dogs on a nice walk, they hadn’t realized it was after 9 pm when they left. When they got back, they grabbed quick showers and turned in for the night.

June 19, 2019- Buck Creek State Park, Springfield, Ohio

We wake up to rain in the morning but it clears off and Meghan, Ron and the dogs head off to the beach area; on the way to the beach they stopped and talked to several neighbors who asked if we were the ones in the “dog house”. It is sticky hot and humid out. Meghan walks back to camp to meet up with Juanita to show her where the beach was. Once Meghan and Juanita got to the beach area, Juanita went right in the water and swam in her clothes! She thought the water felt fabulous in the heat. Ron, Meghan, Juanita and the dogs walked back to camp to grab some lunch. After lunch, we all decided to go back to the beach. Juanita and Harold drove their truck to get their old dogs to the beach with less walking. We all brought chairs and Juanita was in her swim suit this time! Ron had lots of fun playing fetch with all four dogs while Meghan took pictures, Juanita swam and Harold watched the action. Then, all of a sudden, torrential rain hit us. We all ran under the trees to try and stay somewhat dry but it wasn’t working very well. Harold headed to the truck with their dogs and everybody else followed shortly after. Since Juanita, Meghan, Ron and their dogs were already wet, they decided to walk back in the rain since it was still warm out. That afternoon after everybody dried off, Juanita and Ron took off on a bike ride. They ended up riding 10 miles around the campground, down to the marina and back. When they returned, Ron took the dogs to the lake to swim for a 3rd time that day. It was a good day for resting and giving the dogs a break from being on the road.

June 20, 2019- Pilot Travel Center, Columbus, Ohio

We wake up to the threat of more rain this morning. After packing up most of the truck we hung out around the campground. Harold made us all breakfast of bacon, fried potatoes and eggs. Right after breakfast we got a bit of rain. After the rain stopped, Team Ronyx hit the road, they traveled out to their main road of 40E. Ron took off with Fonyx today since we aren’t sure what the weather is going to do or how the roads will be. Ron covered some tough terrain out there today, including one lane construction and lots of big trucks and the threat of storms. Ron pedaled 31.5 miles to the intersection that led us to our camping destination for the night. He and Meghan loaded up their gear and grabbed sandwiches at Wendy’s for a late lunch. They arrive at the truck stop just before the Carey’s. It appears that the truck stop may already be full, Ron does a quick check a few isles up and finds a spot for Team Ronyx and the Carey’s to squeeze into. It is going to be a skinny camp spot tonight for all. Meghan pulls their truck in first and then Ron assists the Carey’s in getting their rig back into the spot. They have a slide out on their trailer but they can only put it on partially to avoid being too close to the rig next to them but enough that they can access their bathroom. Not long after we get all parked the skies let loose once again on us. Meghan and Ron climb into the cab of their truck and the Carey’s hang out in their camper. Meghan and Ron talk about future plans and what they plan to do when the trip is over and how they can’t believe that they are almost to the finish line. It all seems so surreal. Meghan can’t stop thinking about how great it will be to help someone (or a few people) obtain a service dog. It has been so fun to go on this adventure but the end goal of helping others is what really excites both Ron and Meghan. After the rain stops, Meghan and Juanita go for a walk with Onyx and Phoenix while Ron maneuvers their gear from the camper box to the cab of the truck (our daily exercise of making room in one space or the other). That evening Juanita and Harold went into the convenience store to look around, Ron walked over shortly after them for a snack. He ends up sneaking up on Juanita and scaring her silly right in the middle of the store. She vows that she will pay him back. That night was pretty noisy. I think everybody is ready for our next camp spot.

IN, Indiana

June 11, 2019- Old Mill Run Campground, Thorntown, Indiana

Today we are leaving Lafayette to head east, closer to Noblesville. We drive down to the intersection of Old 25 N and Sagamore Parkway. Ron starts pedaling on Sagamore Parkway since that is on our route. He pedals all through town until the traffic is too heavy. Meghan picks him up and they drive for about 8 miles until the roads are better. Ron then gets back on the road with Fonyx. He doesn’t trust the roads today for the real dogs. As he is pedaling down the highway he is sticking business cards in newspaper boxes and giving them to everybody he meets. A man in a red truck starts following him. When Ron and Meghan meet up, they chat about the guy in the red truck that seems to be circling them and they aren’t sure if the man is curious or crazy. Ron rides up to his truck but the man doesn’t engage in conversation. Soon a police cruiser pulls up to Ron to talk to him. Apparently the man in the red truck called the police accusing Ron of opening mail boxes and looking through people’s mail. He claims he has Ron on video going through his mailbox. Ron told the man he couldn’t have him on video opening mail boxes because he doesn’t open people’s mailboxes. The man accused Ron of being a felon and committing a felony by going through people’s mail. Ron told the man in front of the officer that he was a liar and to bring the recording to show them. The man then admitted he didn’t have a video of Ron opening mailboxes. Ron told the man, the only thing he was doing was riding across the US on his bike to raise money for charity and that he (the man) was hindering Ron’s efforts by making false accusations. The police officer then told the man to get on his way and told Ron where there were places he could put cards. We decided the man was crazy! Ron rode 30 miles to get to Thorntown, when we got into town, we stopped for a few groceries and Ron ordered lunch. The ladies at the bank in town came out to see what this “dog house” was all about. We told them the story and they brought treats out for the dogs. Then we went on to the campground. Ron rode the whole way to the campground and down to our spot to make up for the miles we had driven earlier in the day. As soon as Team Ronyx is parked and hooked up, they head to the stream with the dogs to let them swim. That evening after the Carey’s arrived, Team Ronyx had dinner. Meghan’s aunt showed up again too! After she got parked she grabbed her fishing pole and was ready to join Meghan, Ron and Harold on a fishing trip to the pond. Ron caught the first fish, a bass, then Harold caught a blue gill and Ron caught one too. They ended the evening with 3 fish. Sandy (Meghan’s Aunt) offered to clean the fish. Meghan helped her by holding a flash light so she could clean the fish in the dark.

June 12, 2019- Old Mill Run Campground, Thorntown, Indiana

This morning, Meghan has to spend some time on the phone trying to get some things figured out with her daughter’s insurance. It’s all messed up. She spends a few hours working on that and then working on some things for the event coming up on Saturday. Ron takes off with Onyx first thing in the morning to ride around town. He pedals out of the campground and back into Thorntown. He is gone for about 2 hours. When he returns he takes the dogs swimming at the stream. Meghan and her aunt go up to the office to pay for her aunt’s site and to check on another site for her to move to. They talk about what Meghan and Ron are doing and share the Onyx’s Great Adventure story. That afternoon, Meghan is stuck on the phone for several more hours trying to get her daughter’s insurance fixed. Ron spends most of the day playing with the dogs. That evening, Meghan’s cousin and second cousin come for a visit and have dinner with Team Ronyx and the Carey’s. Everybody has a great time. Then it is time for Meghan’s family to head out. Rain was starting to move in on everybody so they packed up as much stuff as they could and headed off to bed. Tomorrow Ron has to pedal to a new town to get ready for their event on Saturday.

June 13, 2019- Glo Wood Campground, Pendleton, Indiana

Team Ronyx is moving slow this morning, Ron woke up with a headache. They drive into town and Ron pedals from Thorntown with Phoenix out 47 N. Meghan goes into the Dollar General store to see if they have yard stakes that she can use for their signs for their event. She then catches up with Ron, he is making good time today but the traffic is pretty heavy and there is little to no shoulder for him to ride on. Meghan has to drive 7 miles ahead of Ron to find a place to pull off. She is going 55 mph and is being passed by people. Some people are making really bold passing maneuvers which makes Meghan worry about how Ron is doing. Once she finds a safe place to pull over she texts Ron to check up on him. He tells her it’s pretty bad for riding. Meghan offers to come and get him and he says to go ahead and come back. Ron had pedaled over 12 miles. Once Meghan gets to Ron, he tells her how a woman in a van almost hit him and he had to jack knife the bike and trailer into the gutter to avoid getting him and Phoenix hit. He was pretty shook up. They ended up driving most of the way to Noblesville. Ron and Meghan go to Forest Park and check out the picnic shelter they will be using for the event on Saturday. They are pretty excited about how many people may come. Then they head to the campground. We have driven some chunks of our route but we know Ron will make it up with all the walking and riding he does when we aren’t moving, plus we have counted miles that were technically on our route so when the trip is finished he will have pedaled well over 3,000 miles. Once we arrive at our campground, Meghan get’s their weekly update from CPL (Canine Partners for Life). We have raised $8,596.62 towards our $30,000 goal to help others. Today we traveled 55.5 miles. That evening after Juanita and Harold (The Carey’s) we visited with our neighbors who had a retro winnebago that was almost completely all original. It was really neat. After visiting we had ribs for dinner out of Juanita’s instant pot. They were delicious. Tomorrow we will work on getting ready for our event on Saturday. Meghan needs a few things from the store to make signs. She works on contacting the Indianapolis news stations to see if anybody will cover their story.

June 14, 2019- Glo Wood Campground, Pendleton, Indiana

After everybody was up and ready for the day they discussed their plans. Team Ronyx plans to drive into Noblesville to pick up their packages from the post office and go to Walmart to get sign materials for Meghan. Juanita wants to go along too so the plan is that Team Ronyx will drive their truck and take Juanita along. While Meghan and Juanita are in Walmart, Ron will hike around town spreading the word about Onyx’s Great Adventure. The post office is our first stop. Lots of people stop by to ask us about our truck and what we are doing. We told our story and invited everybody to Forest Park for our event. Then we went to Walmart. Ron ended up walking 2 miles around the area, talking to whoever would ask him what he was doing. Fox 59 called Meghan and wants to interview Ron, we agreed and told them we would be available. We got back to the campground and the reporter pulled in just a few minutes after us. He did his interview and Meghan gave him information about our event in hopes that the story would air the same day and they would invite the public to our event. Meghan made donation jar signs and yard signs directing the public to their event. That evening Juanita made spaghetti for supper and Meghan baked cheesy garlic bread. Tomorrow is the big day!

June 15, 2019- Glo Wood Campground, Pendleton, Indiana

It’s raining! And the weather doesn’t look good for today’s event. Meghan posts on social media to let everybody know that it’s rain or shine. Meghan and Ron head out early to make a stop for ice and snacks. Meghan wants to offer bottles of water and snacks by donation. We get to the Park and start setting up. Meghan set out all the shirts, stickers and material that Brenda Woodley-Thomas sent her. She purchased all of the above to help Team Ronyx get more donations. Meghan realized that she did forget to make an order form up for other shirts or hoodies if they didn’t have what people wanted. She quickly made up an order form and got it printed. It’s a good thing that we have our office/house with us! Kaggie calls to let Team Ronyx know that the directions on the invites send people to the wrong place. Meghan went online and quickly changed the venue/directions. Beth from Wags to Whiskers Mobile Grooming comes to give Onyx and Phoenix baths before the event starts. Kaggie arrives with Denver and Author, Jim Dworkin and his wife show up not long after that. Everybody gets introduced. Juanita and Harold arrive with their dogs, Tootsie and Blue. They are going to get their nails done by Beth as she is donating all monies from the nail trims today to Canine Partners for Life. Jim has also brought his books to sign and sell with the proceeds going to CPL as well. The whole gang is here, and so are the storms. It is thundering lightening. Juanita buys some books, Ron gets some books too. One of Team Ronyx’s friends from the Oregon Coast contacts Meghan and wants to purchase a whole bunch of books to share. Towards the end of the event, Meghan’s Aunt Sandy and cousin Karen show up in support too. Even though we didn’t have anybody from the general public show up; we ended up raising $400 for Canine Partners for Life. We also had a wonderful time talking with everybody and learning about all of the great things that Kaggie gets to do now that she has Denver, her service dog. She is even going to Tennessee to college to get her Master’s Degree! Kaggie is such an inspiration to Team Ronyx and we wish her (and Denver) the best! We also wanted to acknowledge; James and Nancy Dworkin, Beth and Mike from Wags to Whiskers, and our dear friends and family for showing up and supporting us. That evening after the event and visiting, we picked up a pizza and headed back to camp just in time to get the ultimate down pour. We had a river flowing through our campground. It was so much water that we couldn’t get to the bath house! Meghan spends the evening planning out their next few days and nights of travel.

June 16, 2019- Route 66/Flying Sauser Truck Stop, Lynn, Indiana

Team Ronyx is up early but not moving very fast due to the weather. They head out of the campground around 10 am to head to the gas station. They will drive to 36E to get back on their route. Ron rides 36 miles total today to the Route 66/Flying Sauser Truck stop in Lynn. Meghan arrives around 2 pm and Ron and Fonyx roll in around 2:30 pm. He and Meghan discuss how they will be in Ohio the next day and about how things have been going. Meghan gives Ron a Father’s Day card from the dogs. That evening Juanita and Harold arrive. Meghan is busy for most of the evening talking to her dad, her son, mom and a friend back on the coast. They are all wondering where Team Ronyx is. Around 9 pm Meghan and Juanita walk over to the Dollar General store to grab some treats for the guys. It is humid and raining off and on all night. Tomorrow we will be in our 8th state.

On to Indiana!

June 7, 2019- Community Park, Earl Park, Indiana

Ron is up at 4 am and prepared to hike out on highway 24E as it isn’t good for biking. He leaves the truck stop at 4:25 am with both Onyx and Phoenix and his hiking pack with snacks and water for him and the dogs. Meghan is up too, she snaps some pictures and then tries to go back to bed unsuccessfully. She goes into the truck stop just before 7 am to get some coffee. Her and Ron text back and forth for several hours and he tells her to hang tight since he is only going about 2.5 miles per hour. He ends up hiking 12.5 miles (possibly more with his bobbing and weaving across the road and into cornfields during his hike) by the time Meghan catches up to him at 10:30 am. He has been hiking for 6 hours. Meghan brings him a fountain soda and a breakfast sandwich. When they meet up they discuss driving the remainder of the way to 52 E due to the lack of shoulders on the roadway. They end up driving 14 miles to the Indiana line and amazingly there is a shoulder on the road again! They snap their state line picture and Ron gets out his riding gear and bikes the remainder of the way to their campground in Earl Park Indiana. When they arrive they aren’t sure what to expect as Meghan couldn’t find much information online. Harold and Juanita arrived shortly before us and picked the area for us all to stay. We have water and electric hookups and it’s fairly inexpensive so we decide to stay 2 nights since we are taking our time to get to Noblesville, Indiana. Once we are all set up, Harold cooks steaks on his grill and Juanita makes veggie kabobs. They enjoy their meal and hang out for the evening. There is a nice breeze that is keeping the bugs down. The showers here are rough and chilly but it sure felt good getting clean after sweating for 2 days. Meghan receives word that their venue and date are set for a fundraiser/meet and greet for Saturday, June 15. She works on contacting Canine Partners or Life Graduates, Kaggie and Natasha to let them know about the event and to see if they are able to make it. Ron has hiked and biked 209.5 total miles across Illinois. He crossed the state in 7 days, and took 1 day off. So far, the total Ron has pedaled across the United States is 2,331.2 miles. We are 2/3 of the way to PA. The total funds raised for Canine Partners for Life is $8,514.97!

June 8, 2019, Community Park, Earl Park, Indiana

Today is a laid back day and catch up day. Ron and Juanita take Onyx out for a ride around the area to replace banked miles. Meghan works on the blog. She has it ready to publish but she is having issues with getting the pictures to upload. In the afternoon, The park and campground is busy today, reunions and graduation parties are happening in the shelters and campers are pulling in. Meghan, Ron, Juanita, Onyx and Phoenix all go for a walk around the area. Ron saw a stream that he wanted to let the dogs play in to cool off. They walk down the road that Ron thought the stream was on but they took a wrong turn and ended up out in the fields where there were windmills all over. Juanita and Meghan wanted to get close to one so they continued to walk down the road to the windmill and took pictures. Then they all headed over to the road where the stream was. On the way, Ron threw balls for the dogs and Meghan practiced getting photos of Phoenix jumping. After the dogs were all cooled off from swimming, they headed back to their camp spot. Meghan was able to get all her photos uploaded after deleting the first batch and starting over. Then she started emailing news outlets in Lafayette, Indiana to try and get coverage of their journey when they got to town. That evening Juanita made delicious pork spare ribs in her instant pot. Meghan discusses with Ron their plans for getting to their next town and they head to bed.

June 9, 2019- Wolfe’s Leisure Time Campground, Lafayette, Indiana

It rained off and on all night and it’s still raining this morning as Ron get’s on the road with Fonyx (Fake-Onyx in case you missed that along the way) around 9 am (We thought it was 8 since our phones didn’t switch to East Coast time. He tells Meghan to hang back a few hours since he has 30 miles to ride on the 52E. Meghan heads out around 10 am (11 am EST) to go and see how far Ron has gotten. When she catches up to him, he has already gone 20 miles. He ends up riding 38 miles through the rain to get to Lafayette. Once he and Meghan reach the intersection of Old 25N, they load up the gear since it is off of their route and the road isn’t good for riding with the weather and traffic. Harold and Juanita are already at the campground and told Meghan where they would be. Once Team Ronyx arrive and checked in, they got their campsite set up. Juanita and Meghan take a walk around to check out the laundry facility and bathrooms and game room. The Carey’s and Team Ronyx really need to get some laundry done. Juanita gets hers going first since she has the most. Later in the evening, Meghan takes Team Ronyx’s laundry up. When she went back to switch her stuff from the washers to the dryers she found her one load had not spun out completely and she had to hand wring everything in order to put it in the dryer. She ended up taking out a few things to hang up to dry at the camp site to aide in getting the overly soaked clothes a chance to dry in the dryer. While we were finishing up supper, a short bus conversion pulled in and parked int he camp spot beside the Carey’s. We all commented on how Ron could build something like that next. When the woman got out of the bus and walked around, she looked at Meghan and asked her if she knew who she was. Meghan was perplexed at first and then quickly realized it was her Aunt Sandy Jackson, who she hadn’t seen in 20 years! Sandy had been in contact with Meghan’s mom and called Meghan to check on them and decided to surprise her. Her and Meghan had a lot of catching up to do, which made Meghan completely forget about her laundry and some Team Ronyx duties she was supposed to be working on but it was a wonderful distraction! Sandy had lots of stories to share with Meghan and of course she showed us all her bus camper build.

June 10, 2019- Wolfe’s Leisure Time Campground, Lafayette, Indiana

This morning we are waiting to hear from the news station. We also are anticipating a visit and meeting with James Dworkin who is writing a children’s book on Onyx’s Great Adventure and assisting us in hosting our event on Saturday, June 15, 2019. He arrives and brings donuts. It is raining again this morning and the game room isn’t open so we decide to sit under the picnic shelter to talk with Jim. We discuss our details for Saturday and finalize plans as well as share stories of our journey. Jim signs some books for Sandy to keep and heads off to his other appointments for the day. Sandy visits for a few more hours and then heads off too. Meghan works on catching up on emails and some of the things she left unattended the night prior. That evening, she and Juanita were able to get their fire started from the warm coals left over from the night before’s fire. They were pretty proud of themselves. Ron cooked burgers on the fire and Juanita made baked beans. Team Ronyx eats really well with Juanita and Harold around. It is much easier and rewarding to cook for 4 rather than two. That night we made sure we had arrangements made for our next camp spot and our route all planned out. We are only traveling about 34 miles tomorrow to Thorntown, Indiana.

Illinois

June, 1, 2019- Jumer’s Casino, Castle Rocks, Illinois

Team Ronyx is up early and packing up to head south to Illinois. They drive from the campground to the main road of 1 South for Ron to start biking. He leaves at 9:20 am with Onyx and pedals 23 miles before he switches Onyx out and puts Phoenix in the trailer. At 24.5 miles, he stops to take pictures of the All Veterans Memorial site. It is 75 out and overcast. At 1:30 pm we get onto 38 South. At 41 miles, Ron switches Phoenix out of the trailer and puts Onyx in. While they are on the road, Meghan reaches out to the Rock Island news station to see if they want to do a story on Onyx’s Great Adventure. They quickly respond and let her know that a reporter will be in touch with them soon. When Team Ronxy meet at the intersection of 61, Ron has pedaled 45.5 miles and they decide he better put Fonyx in the trailer, as 61 is a 4 lane divided highway. We make the switch and Ron gets back to pedaling. Today’s ride is pretty long. Meghan connects with the reporter and they pick a time in the morning to do the interview. We end up exiting the highway at 56.2 miles and load up the bike and trailer. While we were loading we noticed a gentleman had pulled into the gas station we were at. He was driving an SUV pulling a utility trailer. When the man went to leave, his vehicle wouldn’t start. Ron walked over and assisted the man. It sounded like his fuel pump was not working very well. Ron bangs on the fuel tank a few times and it fires up! (We are getting good at these road repairs.) We head back out to the highway and it is getting busy with the evening traffic. Soon, we will be on the Interstate. At 65.6 miles we entered Illinois by going over the Mississipi River. We can see houses and cars under water. After we traveled 67 miles we arrived at the Casino. Once we arrive, we found the Carey’s at the back of the casino. Meghan and Juanita go to the casino after everybody is all settled in. They want to play a little and see if there is a cafe to grab the guys some food. Meghan only plays with $20. She ends up doubling it and then loses most of it. She ends up leaving with $10. Her and Juanita find the cafe and get some food for everybody. It’s getting close to bed time and they plan to set up Team Ronyx’s portable AC in the camper and run it off of Team Ronyx’s generator so that everybody can stay cool. When the ladies return, Ron and Harold had already set up the AC. They discuss tomorrow’s plans of interviewing in the morning and then heading off to their campground in Kawanee. That night, Everybody found a spot to sleep. Ron slept in the top bunk of the bunk beds, Meghan slept on the dinette turned into a bed and Harold and Juanita slept in the main bed of their camper. All four dogs sprawled out across the floor.

June, 2, 2019- Chief Keokuk Campground, Kewanee, IL

Team Ronyx is up before 7. They start packing up and organizing to prepare to go out to the front of the casino to meet Andrea from Quadcities News Channel 4. They head around to the front of the casino and talk with Andrea and record audio and video. A security guard from the casino came out to inquire what we were doing with a camera on site. We explain ed and he asked us to wrap it up. We were surprised but understand they had e their own rules so we finished up and headed out. We drove to 6 E and Ron started biking with Onyx in the trailer around 9:45 am. We are still seeing lots of flooding in the area. The one road we had to take to get to 6E was still covered with standing water that motorists had to drive through. Ron stopped at 17 miles and switched Onyx out and put Phoenix in. He pedals another 9 miles with Phoenix.We stopped 2/3s of the way to our destination in the town of Geneseo and ordered a pizza for lunch/dinner. Meghan sits and waits for the pizza as Ron continues on his way. He alternates the dogs and ends up riding 34 miles today to the town of Annawan where we take a detour to go down to Chief Keokuk Campground. We drive the 5 miles to the campground as it isn’t part of our route. The campground is part of a park and has tall pine trees all over as well as open grassy spots. Ron and Meghan choose a night shady spot back in the trees. When the Carey’s arrive, Ron takes the dogs for a walk in the woods and returns with a very large mushroom. We start a fire and Ron cook’s us steaks over the fire (he spoils us with his steak cooking). It is hard to spend much time outside as everybody is eaten alive by the bugs. Most of our sprays or repellents aren’t working very well. Juanita finds a way to sit outside with Meghan’s portable fan on her, that helps with the heat and the bugs.

June 3, 2019- Walmart Parking Lot, Ottawa, Illinois

Ron heads out with Onyx around 8 am from Chief Keokuk Campground. He travels North to 6E and heads towards Ottawa. We have a long journey today. 6E has limited shoulders and lots of truck traffic but he will making the best of it. Today we have lots of motorists pulling over and giving us donations after seeing us on the Quad Cities news. Ron also had a very nice gentleman assist him in getting though one lane constrution on a bridge. He waved Ron in front of him and escorted him through the construction when all of the other motorists were just zipping past him, no allowing him to get through the light. We stopped in Princeton around noon for quick break. Meghan has an important call to take at 12:30 so she hangs back while Ron pedals on. While she is waiting for her phone call, she explores the Lovejoy Homestead Historical Marker; it was very important part of the underground railroad. After Meghan receives her call, she heads down the highway to find Ron. Meghan’s phone is now on the fritz. It has gone into Safe Mode and will not allow Meghan to access any downloaded apps on her phone or turn Safe Monde off. She decides it is necessary to get a new phone today. Throughout the day, he switches Onyx and Phoenix until he has pedaled 44 miles; he is just outside the town of Peru. Ron puts Fonyx in to navigate through the heavy traffic and the town. Meghan finds a vets office and sticks brochures and business cards in their door about Onyx’s Great Adventure. After Ron goes another 14.5 miles, the traffic is too much. We load up to drive the last 4 miles to our turn off for Walmart. Once we get to Walmart, we find Juanita and Harold who arrived before us in the back corner. The spot they picked is really nice, we parallel park against the curb and we have a whole grassy area for the dogs to run and play as well as water for the dogs to swim in. Meghan is happy to see that there is an ATT store across from Walmart. She heads straight over as soon as they are parked. After Meghan’s phone is replaced, she and Juanita go in the store and grab stuff they need. That evening, we had fried chicken, fruit salad and tossed salad for dinner. We hooked up the portable AC unit in the Carey’s fifth wheel and found our spots for sleeping.

June 4 -5, 2019- Illini State Park, Marseilles, IL

Ron rides laps around Walmart and banks up 13 miles. Meghan and Juanita go back into Walmart for a few things. Meghan wants to find something to organize Team Ronyx’s food storage. They are currently using two small totes and it is starting to look very disorganized. She finds wide plastic drawers that she thinks will work perfectly. After she picks up a few more items she heads out to rearrange their setup. After loving in their small space for several months they are finding more ways to organize and arrange their things to fit their space better. The laundromat and post office are also on today’s lists of stops before they get to their campsite just 11 miles away. While they are at the laundromat, Juanita text’s Meghan to let her know that Harold found a bald spot on one of the tires that was on the other side of the axle that got damaged when they had their break down in Wyoming. They were going to go look for a place to get it repaired and then meet Team Ronyx at the campground. Meghan and Ron arrive at the Illini State Park first. They find a spot and wait for the Carey’s to arrive. As soon as Meghan gets out of the truck and makes her way to the back, she is bitten twice by mosquitos. Her skin starts welting up right away. Once the Carey’s arrive, Team Ronyx moves their tiny home over next to the Carey’s. They weren’t able to get their tire repaired today so they will have to go out tomorrow. We decide to camp at Illini State Park for 2 nights so that the Carey’s can get their tire replaced. Ron takes off with the dogs to go play in the woods and the river. Meghan follows a little while later and they walk over to CP’s Ice Cream in the park. They give each Onyx and Phoenix their own tiny dish of ice cream. It is hot and humid today.

The next morning, Ron heads out with Phoenix and rides around town, he hands out business cards for Onyx’s Great Adventure and talks with people who are curious about what he is doing. We are working harder and smarter on spreading the word, by leaving business cards everywhere and brochures wherever we can. We also wear our hoodies and t-shirts 95% of the time. The Carey’s have to move their camper as someone else has their spot reserved tonight. We help them get it moved over. Ron helps Harold take their bad tire off the trailer and Juanita and Harold head into town. Ron then takes Phoenix for a ride around town. That evening we met our camp neighbors who just pulled in. We ended up talking to them for awhile. Ron built a fire and cooked steaks while Meghan works on securing camp spots, planning their Indiana and Ohio routes. That evening Meghan talks with Sarah G. She is working hard to help Team Ronyx arrange an event in Indiana. She and Meghan discuss potential plans and a preferred date for the event which they will reveal once everything is confirmed. Tomorrow Team Ronyx and the Carey’s will be heading to Gilman; our final stop in Illinois before we head into our 7th state.

June 6, 2019- Pilot Travel Center, Gilman, Illinois

Ron is ready to ride this morning but he takes some time to help Meghan clean up camp before he heads out. Juanita is ready to go too. She plans to ride with him out of the park and then come back. Ron is taking Phoenix first today since he is the most willing. They leave a little after 9 am. Meghan stays behind and packs up their tiny home and works on finishing the latest blog she has been working on. She is getting behind on writing the blogs due to procrastinating, map adjustments and trying to coordinate different activities. She is determined to catch up on them as they leave their 6th state and prepare to enter the 7th. After 30 minutes, Juanita calls back to camp to see if Harold would pick her up if she rode 6 miles with Ron. Harold agreed and Meghan wrote directions down for him to follow when it was time to pick her up. Today is a long day of riding. We are supposed to travel 77 miles. Ron plans to ride as many miles as he can but we aren’t sure how the roads will be for bicycling. Meghan left the campground a little after 11 am to find Ron. She finds him along his route and checks up on him. He switches Phoenix out of the trailer and puts Onyx in and continues on. Meghan snaps a few pictures of the Ron with the windmills in the background. When Ron gets to the Intersection of 47 South he can tell it is going to be a difficult road to ride. There is heavy truck traffic and little to no shoulders. While Meghan waits along the road for Ron to ride a few miles down 47 S; she sees a red minivan go past her and then back up to look at their truck/tiny home. She gets out of the truck to go and talk to the woman driving. The woman is very excited to hear about what they are doing and promises to share it. Ron calls Meghan to tell her the traffic is too bad for him to ride with. He has ridden a mile or so down 47 S and 26 miles total so far. Meghan drives to where Ron is and they load up the gear and drive the remainder of the way. They have cars and trucks passing them, even though they are only going 5 miles under the speed limit. Ron knows he is going to have to make up the 51 miles they end up driving to their destination. When Meghan and Ron arrive at the Pilot Station it is very hot and humid. He and Meghan decide to take a walk to see if there is a place where Ron can ride to bank up his miles. They end up walking over a mile around the area but there really isn’t a good place for Ron to ride. He knows he will make up the miles somewhere especially since they added over 40 miles to their Illinois route in order to head to the south. That evening, after the Carey’s arrived, Team Ronyx brought their generator over and hooked up their portable AC unit in the Carey’s trailer again. It was too hot, not to have AC. Harold and Juanita went to dinner and Meghan worked on the blog and contacting news outlets and campgrounds in Indiana. That night, the truck stop was overflowing with trucks and more trucks continued to circle the lot to look for more spots. Everybody went to bed with the sound of diesel engines purring and the cold AC running. Tomorrow they will cross into another state!