May 9, 2019- Merriman, Nebraska
We have a few errands to run this morning, first stop-The post office. We need to get our Mother’s Day cards out to all of our moms (will explain later). Then we hit the market for a few items for the next few days as we aren’t sure what and if there will be any grocery stores for a few more towns. We are heading to Merriman, Nebraska today. It is bitter cold out and raining. Since Ron rode yesterday to bank some miles, we are going to drive out of town that far this morning. We clock his mileage and it ends up being 13 miles. We drive that far and then Ron gets on his bicycle and starts towing Fonyx East on Highway 20. It is currently 40° and overcast. The northern part of Nebraska is mainly flat but has some hilly parts as well. We have pastures on both sides of the highway and lots of ranches. We enter the Sandhills area of Nebraska. There are huge rolling hills of sand with grass growing on them. Ron pedals 17.5 miles by 2 pm. The mind is rough and keeping him at about 5 mph. A woman name Tria buys him a sandwich, water, chips and cookie from Subway. Ron is excited to tell Meghan when they meet up again; and asks her to thank her on social media. He ends up pedaling 32 miles into Merriman and arrives at 3:45 pm. As he is pedaling into town, he rides right past Tria’s house and she invites Team Ronyx to park in her driveway for the night. Ron rides up to where Meghan is parked and waiting for him and tells her that they are going to camp at Tria’s tonight. Once we got to her house, Onyx and Phoenix got to meet Mika. She is a black lab too! We also met Tria’s mom and neighbor too. That evening, Ron played with all 3 dogs and Meghan and Tria chatted. We have met another great friend on this journey.
Two month Road Recap
Team Ronyx has been on the road for 2 months. We have spent 61 days away from our beach, friends and family. We have had several challenges and experienced a lot of things. We love camping out in the middle of nowhere but we also enjoy our showers and hot running water. We have learned how to be very conservative with water and electricity. Meghan is glad that she purchased several small power banks and one large power bank. Ron jokes and says that all the wires and cords make it look like a mad scientist lab. We have had the opportunity to stay in 3 hotels during our trip and found that we actually sleep better in our tiny home bed but hot breakfasts are a nice commodity.
Ron’s take on the trip so far. He says that the ride has been grueling at times, through the sleet, snow and high elevations but he is loving every minute of it. He loves a challenge and getting to see all the sites that he has. He is motivated by the people we see along the way that could benefit by having a service dog and those who are so generous even when they don’t have much to give. Although we aren’t where we’d like to be with our fundraising goal, Ron is still happy with the overall trip and progress that we have made. Every new person that we meet and every new follower on social media gives him more motivation to keep going.
Meghan’s take on the trip so far. She’s ready for warmer weather! She is impressed by the progress Ron has made so far as some of the roads have been very challenging. Meghan has often remarked to Ron that she is glad it is him and not her. She misses he kids but get’s to talk with them often and video chat with them. Meghan is thankful for all of the people who have made suggestions and who continually share their (Onyx’s Great Adventure) posts on social media. She is also thankful that when Team Ronyx decides to stay in an area for more than one night, that she gets to get out and get exercise as she often feels cooped up in the truck (although she has started to do some exercises along the road to break up the time spend in the truck).
Overall, after two months on the road, Team Ronyx is almost halfway to their destination of Cochranville, PA. Their goal of raising at least $30,000 is still in their sights even though they have only raised just over $5,000. The adventure is still worth all the effort, money and time spent on it; as we have met some of the most kind people along the way. The media often depicts the world in such a negative light that it takes something like this to open your eyes to goodness that is still left in others.
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May 10, 2019- Cody City Park, Cody, Nebraska
Phoenix is sick, it’s early and Meghan is woken up to the sound of Phoenix getting sick in their tiny home. She gets up and lets him outside and cleans up the mess. She isn’t quite sure why he has an upset stomach but has an idea it could be from sneaking cat food. Everybody attempts to go back to sleep but is kept up by Phoenix’s constant upset stomach. Finally everybody is up and moving. Meghan’s phone is confused. It keeps changing times on her. Tria told them that when they get to Kilgore, they will be in Central Time, so Meghan assumes it’s from that. Team Ronyx is ready to head down the road around 8 am. Tria has places to be too. Everybody chats a little bit and then we all head off. Ron and Onyx head out on 20E towards Cody, Nebraska. Ron does not think he will make it the whole way to Valentine (61 miles) in the wind so we decide we will camp in Cody then head to Valentine. We arrived in Cody just before 11 am. Ron pedaled 24.5 miles to get here. About 10 miles from town he switched Onyx out and put Phoenix in for the remainder of the ride. They went to the Circle C Market in Cody. It’s the only grocery store for the area. Most people have to travel 30 or more miles to the next nearest grocery store. The store is run by the high school students and was built off of a grant. It wasn’t very big but it has a little bit of everything that you could need. We grabbed some milk, eggs, bread and the essential Milky Way and Hershey Bar. Then we headed over to the Huskers Bar for lunch. We had a wait a little while since it didn’t open until 11 am. We both had bacon burgers and they were delicious. Then we parked at the City Park and walked around town. You are definitely out in the middle of nowhere here. Meghan and Ron wandered over to the livestock store. It had your typical livestock supplies and then a little gift shop area with some really nice stuff from dishes, to jewelry to leather wallets and toys. Ron had sneakily purchased a cowgirl necklace for Meghan. When they left the store, Ron surprised Meghan with the necklace since he knows she loves horses and thought she would like a keepsake from the mid-west. That afternoon, Ron decided to bike with Onyx. The day turned out beautiful and sunny around 50°. He biked out to the next town of Nenzel and back which added up to 15 miles that they could use towards heading to Valentine the next day.
May 11, 2019- Valentine City Park, Valentine, Nebraska
7 am and Team Ronyx is up. They refill their water jugs and hit the road as it’s raining this morning. They drive to the 15 mile mark that Ron rode yesterday and unloaded the bike gear. Ron decided he would take Fonyx since we weren’t sure how the weather would hold up. Ron pedaled 10 miles before Meghan caught up to him. The skies were clearing up and it is 41°. When we were about halfway between Cody and Valentine, Team Ronyx entered the Central Time zone. We are now 2 hours ahead of the West Coast and 1 hour behind the East Coast. Another sign that we are almost halfway across the country. Ron rides into Valentine around 1 pm. We stop for fuel, lunch at Subway and some groceries; then we head 3 miles out of town. Meghan has found a free campsite out there but it was gated off. They decided to drive a little further and park at the Nebraska Rail Trail and take the dogs for a walk. Team Ronyx and the dogs walked to the old railroad bridge and back to the truck. They decided to go back into town to the Valentine City Park to camp. It’s $5 and right along the water. As soon as we found our spot for the night and let the dogs out, they jumped into the water for big drink and splash. Ron throws balls and sticks with them in the water for over an hour. Soon the dogs are worn out a little.
May 12, 2019- Valentine City Park, Valentine, Nebraska
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s out there. Whether you are a fur mom, birth mom stepmom, aunt, or mom at heart, we wish you a day filled with love and togetherness. Team Ronyx isn’t biking today. Meghan wants to explore the Wildlife Refuge just outside of town because there is a waterfall and bison there! We take our time getting up today, then we head into town to see what’s there, then we go back out of town to the Wildlife Refuge. As soon as we pulled into the Refuge we saw a whole herd of bison. There was probably around 8-10 with little calves. Meghan was so excited. Then we drove out to the hiking trail that goes by the waterfall. We hiked with the dogs for over 2 hours and then we took pictures of the prairie dogs and bison and headed back into town for lunch. We ate at the Bunkhouse Restaurant. It was a good meal. After lunch we decided to go back to the Valentine City Park to camp even though the restrooms and showers weren’t available. We decided we would take our “cowboy” baths. We played with the dogs for several hours, heated our water up over the grill and then hung out for the evening. We had several visitors stop by our set up and comment on how much they liked our tiny house. Overall – even though we couldn’t be with our families today, we enjoyed it. The world of technology helps us feel a little closer anyway.