Good bye Iowa!

Morgan Creek Campground

Our final days in our fifth state

May 28, 2019- Morgan Creek Campground, Palo, IA

This morning we woke up to threats of storms and rain throughout the day. Ron suggests we drive towards our next camp spot to see how the shoulders and traffic are on 30 E after he rides some miles on the rail trail with Juanita. This gives Meghan some time to catch up on “office work”. As suspected, once they start driving; there is little to no shoulder and the road is pretty busy so we end up driving the 64 miles to the Morgan Creek Campground. Along their route they see the effects of all of the flooding that has been happening in the state. Corn fields look like ponds, including ducks swimming in the water. The rivers have crested the banks and are into the low lying areas surrounding them. Team Ronyx arrive first and find two secluded spots in the campground loop that was right next to the creek where Onyx and Phoenix headed to as soon as we parked. After the Carey’s arrived, we discussed our plans for the next camp spot and when we wanted to travel. We decided that we all wanted to stay another night in Morgan Creek to look at alternative routes to get off of 30 E and get to Illinois in a few days. Meghan finishes another blog post and works on finding a new route. She has bicycle maps out, google maps and an atlas. It definitely looks like a modern day “Lewis and Clark” expedition. Harold likes to joke and call Meghan and Ron, Lewis and Clark. Tonight’s dinner is Cream Chipped Beef over biscuits made by Meghan. Juanita and Harold have never had it so it is something new for them. It turned out great but it was very salty. Meghan believes it was the type of dried beef she purchased. She typically gets the dried beef in a pouch but out here in Iowa she could only find it in a jar in the canned meat isle. Everybody enjoyed the meal. That night the fireflies were out in masses. It was drizzling but it didn’t stop them from lighting up the night. Juanita has never seen them so she thought it was the coolest thing! That night as the sun set, the air was quite cool; which was very pleasant.

May 29, 2019- Morgan Creek Campground, Palo, IA

Ron and Juanita head out for a bike ride this morning. While they are gone, Meghan works on looking ahead to their next camping spots. We should be in Illinois by the first if not before. We will head south east tomorrow towards Iowa City and camp at Sugar Bottom Campground. Meghan is curious as to how the drive will be surrounding the campground as it is right next to the Iowa River. After Juanita and Ron return to the campground, Ron takes the dogs to swim in the water. Meghan and Juanita take Juanita’s dogs for a walk around the park area. They walk 1.5 miles and then turn back to the campground as the Carey’s dogs are older and can’t walk too far. After they bring the dogs back, Meghan and Juanita head out to the arboretum and butterfly gardens. As they walked around the park they came upon a pond with turtles out all over sunbathing but they couldn’t get too close as the turtles would quickly slide under the water to hide. Ron rode more miles in the neighborhood, he began tucking our business cards into mailboxes and business slots as he rode around. Once he was done riding, he and Meghan headed into Cedar Rapids to the post office to pick up their package of extra neon t-shirts for Ron to wear on the roadways. That evening, they planned to have grilled chicken that Harold marinated. Meghan rode the bike towing the empty trailer up to the camp host spot to purchase some wood. She filled up two ricks of wood and that filled the entire bike trailer. She then rode the bike back to the camp site. Harold built a fire and Ron grilled the chicken. We also enjoyed scalloped potatoes and salad with our meal. While they were eating dinner, alerts started popping up on their cell phones and the tornado sirens started to blare. They quickly packed up camp in anticipation of high winds and the possibility of having to seek shelter in the shower house. Everybody patiently watched and waited out the storm. We had heavy rain for a short time and the radar showed the potential for a tornado very close to us. After about 1.5 hours of threats, the warning for our area was lifted. That evening we waited for the fireflies to come out again. There weren’t as many as the first night and as soon as it got completely dark, they were all gone.

May 30, 2019- Sugar Bottom Campground, Solon, IA

Meghan and Ron set out in the am for highway 30 E. They think Ron can ride the 6 miles until he exits off hwy 30 E to get on Ely Street towards the town of Ely. They park the truck on the entrance ramp and Ron gets to riding; Meghan drives ahead and quickly realizes that Ron is going to have a hard time pedaling through the traffic and all of the exit and entrance ramps onto the highway. Ron checks in twice and makes his way through the heavy traffic. He exits the highway heads toward the town of Ely. They are making good time and the roads are much nicer than 30 E. Once they get to Ely they make a pit stop at the convenience store in town and talk to some people there. They head out once again and get to the traffic circle intersection of Ely Road and Hwy 382. Meghan pulls the truck over to wait for Ron to navigate through the traffic circle. He only has 2 more miles to ride until he has to make his next turn. After Ron rides out of site, Meghan goes to start the truck and it stalls out. She tries again, it stalls again. She groans, “not the fuel pump again!”. She tries to call Ron, but he doesn’t answer, she tries again, and again. He still isn’t answering. She remembers his phone was on silent. So she continues to call hoping that it will interupt his music and he will stop to see why. As Meghan is calling Ron over and over again, she attempts to flag down a motorist to ask them to tell the guy on the bicycle to come back to his driver, but no one stops. After about the 6th attempt a young man pulls over, and after about the 9th call, Ron answers his phone. The young man isn’t sure how to help Meghan and she thanks him and tells him that her bicyclist is returning and she will be ok. Ron has pedaled 21 miles so far. Once Ron returns, they try to troubleshoot a few things, with no success in getting the truck to start. Then they discuss how they are going to get the truck towed with this house on it. Meghan suggests asking the farmer across the street if we can offload the camper box there and then return to get it since we can’t offload it on the shoulder of the road. Meghan calls AAA and gets a service truck arranged. While she is on the phone, a gentleman pulls up in a car and Ron explains our predicament. He leaves and comes back with a truck. Shortly after that, The Carey’s pull up and we discuss potential plans. The Carey’s may go ahead to their camp spot and set up and then unhook the truck to come get Meghan and Ron if the garage is going to work on Meghan’s truck. The gentleman that had returned with his truck told Ron that he could borrow his brother-in-laws shop and tools just 4 miles down the road. Scott from the Danny Mac’s tow service showed up and told Ron to turn the key, while Ron turn the key in the truck Scott beat on the fuel tank (which Ron had done earlier too) and bam, the truck fired up! We didn’t want to take any chances though so we went to the garage following the tow truck in case the fuel pump died again. We all arrive at the garage, and Ron decides Meghan should go to the camp ground with the dogs and the Carey’s for the night and he will return once he gets the truck fixed or spend the night with the truck. The Carey’s offered to return at any time if Ron should need anything. Meghan, the Carey’s and all 4 dogs went ahead to the camp ground. It was almost 4 pm by the time they got the camp site set up and settled. Meghan took Onyx and Phoenix for a walk around the campground to check it out. She ended up talking to a really nice couple who had built their own custom camper out of an enclosed trailer. Around 5 pm, Ron calls Meghan to let her know that he is done working on the truck and needs directions to the campground. Meghan is surprised that the truck is fixed already and is grateful that Ron was able to do it. She gives him the directions and he is there within a few minutes as it was only 8 miles from the garage. They pay for their spot, enjoy dinner and get ready for bed.

May 30, 2019- Sugar Bottom Campground, Solon, IA

Ron wakes up with a headache today and he’s worried about the fuel pump in the truck. Even though he put a brand new fuel pump in it, he is concerned that the wiring may be faulty as the new pump almost didn’t start too. We decide we will spend the day at the campground and regroup. The day is spent planning the next day’s route to Illinois and exploring the area. Because of the flooding, some of the lower level camp ground loops are completely under water. The only way you can tell there are sites out there are the electrical boxes sticking out of the water. That evening, Team Ronyx discusses trying to get more free camp spots to help save their budget.

Bugged Out!

Our Memorial Day Weekend and Second Week in Iowa.

May 23, 2019- Two Bears Campground, Boone, Iowa

We have over 70 miles to cover today from Yellow Smoke Campground since we stayed a few days longer than planned at Lewis and Clark State Park. Ron plans to ride as far as he can on 30 E even though there isn’t much of a shoulder to ride on if there is any at all. Meghan is working towards trying to find an alternative route but like all of the other challenges Team Ronyx has faced along the way, they will get through this and add it to their adventure. Ron heads out of Yellow Smoke around 8:45 with Fonyx since he isn’t sure what the roads will be like. We are supposed to contact Dan the reporter so he can get live photo coverage of Ron towing Onyx but Ron does not want to put Onyx in the trailer if the road conditions aren’t favorable. Meghan gives Ron 2 hours to pedal ahead and then she heads out with the truck to see how far he has gotten. She meets up with him a few towns over in Carroll, IA. They talk for a few minutes and she let’s Dan know where they are but he is unable to come and meet them, so Meghan offers to send him some photos she has taken of Onyx in the bike trailer. We have received another update from Canine Partners for Life that we have now raised $8,051.47. At 3:30 pm Ron has pedaled 60 miles and he is still going. Juanita and Harold spend the morning relaxing at the campground and running errands. They pass Meghan and Ron and head to their designated camp spot for the weekend. Ron ends up pedaling 70 miles today and they drove the remaining 9 to their camp spot. Everybody was initially surprised by the amount of bugs and high grass at their campground that they were scheduled to camp at for 4 nights. They discussed trying to find another location the next day but they knew they were going to have issues due to the holiday and how full all of the campgrounds were already. That night they have leftovers for dinner. Meghan and Juanita discuss plans to go to the store in the morning and to drive over to the state park to see if they have 2 camp spots open.

May 24, 2019- Two Bears Campground, Boone, Iowa

Ron wakes up with a bad headache so he stays in bed a little longer than normal this morning, relaxing. Meghan and Juanita make their shopping list and decide they will drive Team Ronyx’s truck and tiny home combo because their truck and camper are parked in a way that won’t be easy to get out of. When Meghan went to pull out, she ended up stuck in the soft grass. When she went to put her truck into 4 wheel drive, the shift lever was completely loose (no 4 wheel!). They found some metal tracks laying nearby and got them under the tires and Ron was able to drive the truck out. Harold and Ron stayed back with the dogs and leveled the 5th wheel better. Meghan and Juanita went to the store and then to Ledges State Park. The Park was full except one empty spot so they decided they would make do with their tiny campground and the horrendous bugs. They head back to let the guys know. When they got back the grass had been mowed and they found they could escape from the bugs by sitting in the shelter that was provided at Two Bears. This campground is unique because it offers primitive sites, electric sites and water and electric sites. The owners have been working diligently to improve the electric at the sites and by laying stone “pads” to created their sites. It is a small campground with no bathhouse and no flush toilets but their “club house offers a stove, sink, hot water, microwave and covered area with 2 large tables and 8 benches as well as an indoor area. It is run by the owners who also hold down full time jobs. They have fought their neighbors and the county to be able to continue to provide an “unplugged” and “old fashioned” way of camping. No tv, no internet, no fancy clubhouse and game room. Just good old camping. That evening, Team Ronyx and the Carey’s (Juanita and Harold) had a fire in the group fire ring and enjoyed bacon and cheddar cheese burgers for dinner.

May 25, 2019 and May 26, 2019- Two Bears Campground, Boone, IA

Team Ronyx and the Carey’s are doing a lot of nothing and it feels good. Meghan hooked up the satellite dish that her and Ron have in the clubhouse and got some TV going (contrary to none being offered here) in case anybody wanted to watch some tv. We ended up watching a lot of the weather channel due to the threat of storms in the area. Ron and Meghan took a 4 mile hike around the neighborhood to see what was out there and then Ron took Onyx and Phoenix on alternating rides around the neighborhood banking up miles. Juanita took a ride with Ron too for awhile. Meghan and Juanita spent part of the Saturday doing paperwork and personal things, like bill paying and phone calls. On Saturday night, Juanita and Harold prepared a roast with potatoes and carrots in their instant pot. Meghan has decided she needs one now! On Sunday, Ron and Juanita bicycled more. The shelter became our “home” for the weekend as we could escape the swarms of bugs that flew in our mouths, ears and eyes. Meghan and Harold were the main targets as they are covered in bites. We started to pack up camp and decided to move the Carey’s 5th wheel back a spot so they wouldn’t get stuck after it rains. We are expecting some severe storms over the next few days and Ron will decided whether or not he can ride or if he will use his banked miles to continue traveling East.

May 27, 2019- Riverveiw Campground, Marshalltown, IA

Happy Memorial Day! May we remember all those who never made it home and those who served and returned home but not the same. It’s pouring down rain this morning. Team Ronyx barely got sleep last night as the storm made their tiny home super humid and hot. The dogs were up and down all night and so where Meghan and Ron. They haven’t figured out how to vent their portable AC unit due to the exhaust pipe being fairly large. The window is too far away to vent it out that way and they don’t want to cut a hole in the side of the camper. They are exploring alternative options to hook up the air conditioner. It’s time to get on the road soon. Meghan wants to stop and get some groceries and to see if she can find something to vent the air conditioner. We are going to drive to the store and see how the roads and weather are for Ron to decide whether or not he wants to ride. Once they get to the store and got their groceries the skies were still really grey so they decided to drive to the next destination in Marshalltown, IA. Meghan and Ron arrived at the campground and used 45 of his banked miles. He intends to ride around this campground and park to bank up more miles in between the storms. We set up our spot and wait for the Carey’s to arrive. Once they arrive, we help them set up and Ron starts riding laps around the campground loop. That evening, Ron built a fire in the fire ring and we rigged up a grate to cook steaks on. If you couldn’t tell, Ron really likes steaks and everybody really likes the way he cooks steaks! After dinner Ron and Juanita take a ride on the bike path that is nearby. That evening Meghan and Ron decided they would try to connect the exhaust hose to the stove pipe to exhaust it out of the camper. They took off the end cap on the bottom of the stove pipe and wrapped foam around it and then slid the exhaust over the foam and stove pipe. They did a trial run with the air conditioner for a few hours and it is working well except there is some hot air coming out around the pipe coming from the stove, so Meghan wrapped another piece of foam around that part of the stove. That night Team Ronyx was able to sleep in peace with the air conditioning keeping everybody cool. Their “redneck” rigging worked!

Iowa!

Our first few days in our fifth state….

May 19, 2019- Lewis and Clark State Park, Onawa, IA

Everybody is up and about around 7 am. The plan today is that Ron will tow Fonyx and Juanita will ride a short distance with him to start the day off. Since Juanita and Harold have joined our Adventure, Ron is more confident in letting Meghan sit “behind” a little longer. Meghan will pack up camp and keep an eye on the dogs while Ron heads out of town. Ron and Juanita start pedaling at 8:30 am. Meghan will leave around 11 to catch up to Ron and see how far he has gotten. The state line is only about 40 miles away. After about an hour or so, Juanita returned to our camp spot. Meghan, Juanita and Harold discussed their route and destination. Juanita and Harold would hang out in Laurel for a few more hours and then would catch up with Meghan and Ron at the truck stop in Sioux City, Iowa later in the day. Meghan leaves around 11:15 am to go and find out how far Ron has rode. He calls her when he reached the town of Jackson to let her know where he is and to warn her that there is construction. Meghan tells him she is on her way and should be there in a little while and that she was 14 miles East of Laurel. As she is talking to Ron she sees a sign for Jackson that said it was 16 miles away. He had already made it 30 miles in 2.5 hours. Meghan was impressed, she continued driving till she met up with Ron just as he reached the point where 20E intersects with I129 where he can’t legally ride. Ron had pedaled 37.3 miles. They drive 3.2 miles to cross the Iowa state line and another 1.5 miles to get to the Pilot Truck stop in Sioux City. It is cold out and the truck stop is crowded with semi-trucks. Meghan suggests that she and Ron go a few blocks down the road to Walmart to pick up a few necessities and they have decided they want to purchase a portable air conditioner for our tiny home. After they went to Walmart, they return to the truck stop to wait for Juanita and Harold. Meghan decides to look at their next destination and work on the blog. They want to go south to Route 30 East since 20E intercepts with Interstates along their route through Iowa and Illinois. She finds a campground in Onawa, IA and has an idea to turn in the miles they were planning on driving the next today so they can camp in a campground rather than a truck stop parking lot. She mentions her idea to Ron and he thinks it’s a good idea so they contact Juanita and Harold to see where they are and if they want to do the same. The group decides to drive the 35 miles down to the Lewis and Clark State Park in Onawa, IA to camp for the night. They drive down I29 South to Onawa and find their spots at the state park. It’s beautiful and peaceful with tall trees and a large lake of water. The bathhouse is a little bit of a walk but it’s clean and very clean. This is a much better camping spot than a crowded truck stop. That evening, Ron and Meghan built a fire in the included fire pit and Ron cooked the very best steaks for everybody to enjoy. There are severe storm warnings so the four decide they will make the decision to move East or stay put in the morning.

May 20, 2019Lewis and Clark State Park, Onawa, IA

It’s very windy and overcast today, so we all decide to stay another night at the Lewis and Clark State Park, Ron and Juanita are going to ride laps around the Park so Ron can bank up some miles. Meghan works on the clerical stuff and cleaning up our tiny home. Today is a pretty laid back day. Meghan and Harold spend some time looking at potential routes and campgrounds along the way. They know Memorial Day weekend is going to be a challenge to get camping spots, so they are working on trying to make arrangements for the weekend by estimating how far Ron will pedal throughout the week. Meghan makes reservations in Boone, IA for Thursday night and they start looking into Friday and the weekend but they are having difficulty finding camping spots that will allow them to make one night reservations. Meghan, Ron, Phoenix and Onyx go out and explore the woods by their campground. That evening, we all discuss staying just one more day so we can celebrate Ron’s birthday, and get some laundry and grocery shopping done.

May 21, 2019- Lewis and Clark State Park, Onawa, IA

Happy Birthday Ron!!!! Meghan spreads the word that it’s Ron’s birthday and their updated fundraising total. So far Team Ronyx, with the help of all of their followers and donors, has raised $7,579.00 for Canine Partners for Life. Ron gets to take the whole day off and relax. Meghan and Juanita make plans to pick up an Ice Cream cake for Ron at the Dairy Queen in town when they go to do laundry. Harold unhooks their truck from the camper so Juanita and Meghan can go into Onawa. Ron decides he wants to go as well and grab a burger in town. Harold stays behind with the dogs. First stop, Laundromat, then grocery store, burger for Ron and then Dairy Queen. That afternoon, after Meghan, Ron and Jaunita return from town, they plan their next camping spot in Denison, IA at Yellow Smoke Campground. Meghan shares all of the birthday wishes from Facebook with Ron and then she works on contacting the Denison Newspaper and a few other media outlets to share their story. Since they sat an extra day, Ron will have to make up a lot of miles to make it to their reserved spot on Thursday. He will have to ride over 50 miles one day and 70 the next to make it to Boone. We gave Ron his birthday gifts, sang Happy Birthday and shared his ice cream cake.

May 22, 2019- Yellow Smoke Campground, Denison, IA

Ron heads out around 8:40 this morning with Fonyx. Juanita is riding too. She will ride a few miles out with Ron and then return to the campground to help Harold pack up camp. Meghan spends the morning, packing and finalizing plans with Harold. When Juanita returns, Meghan will head out to find out how far Ron has gotten. She has been contacted by a reporter from Denison who wants to meet up with Team Ronyx along their journey today to do a story on them. Meghan catches up to Ron just outside of Onawa. The temperature outside is nice but there are gusts of wind that make Ron work pretty hard occasionally. When they were about 25 miles into today’s journey they decide to meet up with Dan the reporter in the town of Ute around noon. Meghan pulls in first and waits for Ron to arrive. Ron pulls in about 10 minutes after Meghan. They do their interview, and wait for Harold and Juanita to arrive since they are close. Ron isn’t very hungry so he decides to continue East while Meghan and the Carey’s (Juanita and Harold) order their lunch. After leap-frogging out highway’s 59S and 141, Meghan, Ron and Fonyx finally make it to the town of Denison. Juanita and Harold went ahead and secured a camp spot for them for the night at Yellow Smoke. Ron ended up towing Fonyx 50.5 miles to Yellow Smoke Road in Denison where he and Meghan loaded up the gear and drove the remainder of the way to the campground. That evening, we built a fire and had steaks for dinner again.

“The Great American Desert”

Quick Facts: In 1927 Nebraska was named “The Great American Desert” then it was the “Tree Planters State” and finally the “Cornhusker State”. (https://www.50states.com/facts/nebraska.htm ) We can see why it has been named all three of those things. You have the sandhills and desert type soil mixed along with cattle and farmlands as far as the eye can see and the further East you go, the more trees you see. (These are our observations from the Northern part of the state.)

May 13, 2019- Long Pine State Recreation Area, Long Pine, NE

We woke up later than our normal 7 am or earlier time. It took us a little while to pack up camp this morning but Ron an Onyx were able to get on the road a little before 9:30 am. Today, Phoenix turned 8 months old; we have had him since he was a few days over 6 weeks old. We (especially, Meghan) can’t believe how much he has grown and wishes time would slow down just a little. But, isn’t that true for all kids (furry and non)? After Ron rode 11.5 miles, he’s shedding some layers of clothing. It is warming up pretty good. It is 65° and sunny. Onyx gets to get out of the bike trailer and Phoenix has a turn. Around noon, Ron has ridden 24.5 miles. He takes a quick break and switches Phoenix out of the trailer and puts Onyx in. Ron pedals 46.5 miles into Ainsworth, Nebraska. They stop for lunch at Pizza Hut and decide they will ride another 7 plus miles out of town to the Long Pine State Park as there aren’t many options in Ainsworth. After lunch, Ron starts riding and Meghan goes to get fuel for the generator as they know they will be dry camping. She inquires about getting water too as they are starting to get low on their water storage. The woman at the gas station tells Meghan where she can get water but Meghan missed the turn somehow and decided that they would figure it out later. When they arrived at the park. Ron had ridden another 8 miles, making the days total riding 54.5 miles. We also received our weekly Canine Partners for Life update that we have raised $5,405.87! We are excited to see the number go up and hope that it increases even more. We are close to halfway through our journey! When we pulled into our camp spot next to the water, the dogs were super excited. The first thing Onyx did was run down to the water and wade in it up to his belly. Phoenix and Onyx barked for play time. Ron threw sticks and balls for hours with them. Meghan found a water spigot and filled a few jugs of water. Our camp neighbors came over and chatted with us for a little while and even handed us a donation! That evening we built a fire and took our cowboy baths in our tiny collapsible dog pool. The dogs were so tired, they curled up in the grass and slept while we bathed. Onyx ended up moving into the high grass and laid in it like a wild animal. We didn’t need heat for the probably the second time in our entire journey so far but we did need our fan.

May 14, 2019- Carney Park, O’Neill, Nebraska

Today we are headed to O’Neill, Nebraska’s Irish town. We woke up this morning and it is sunny and nice out. By 10 am Ron and Onyx had pedaled into the town of Bassett. We stopped for quick drink at the convenience store and switched Onyx out of the trailer and put Phoenix in. Around 1 pm Ron puts Phoenix in the truck and take Fonyx for the remainder of the ride. Some time in the afternoon while Meghan is waiting around the halfway point for Ron she spots someone flying a bi-plane really low overhead. It is quite entertaining to watch while she waits for Ron. In total Ron ends up riding 60 miles into O’Neill. Just as we were about to enter the town, a man driving a green Chevy Cavalier swerved and drove up the shoulder of the road directly at Ron and Fonyx, running him off the road and into the ditch. The man was laughing hysterically as he intended to run Ron off the road. There has only been a few of these incidents but Ron was very upset by this man’s actions. (And enforces our commitment to keeping the dogs safe and using Fonyx whenever we are uncomfortable with traffic conditions). The traffic is also getting heavy this evening as we head into O’Neill. As Ron is riding into town, he is passed by several tractor trailers carrying windmill blades. We find Carney Park which is just on the south side of Highway 20. It is 75° today and Team Ronyx is feeling it. The temps seemed to jump from cold to hot overnight and our bodies haven’t had time to adjust. We have officially reached our halfway point in our journey. Ron has pedaled 1,627 miles across Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Nebraska. He has completed 317.5 miles across the state of Nebraska and will soon be in Iowa. Our good friend Kem has sent us a package to O’Neill but it isn’t due to arrive until Thursday so we decide to stay in town 2 nights and grab the package on our way out of town on Thursday morning. Our friends’ Juanita and Harold are still stranded in Table Rock, Wy but they have gotten word that their axle should be in tomorrow and fixed. An insurance appraiser has been out to inspect their trailer damage to see if it can be covered under their insurance policy. We have some laundry that needs washed and could use a break. The park is nice and quiet. We talked to a few people passing through. The park has electrical hookups and water spigots and bathrooms and showers. Team Ronyx is happy to get a real shower again.

May 15, 2019- Carney Park, O’Neill, Nebraska

Team Ronyx hardly slept last night. It was hot, the dogs were panting and begging to go outside in the middle of the night. Ron got up and let them out to do their business. When he crawled back into bed, he felt something crawling on his arm. He tried to sweep it off the bed, him and Meghan both sat straight up and grabbed a light. It took Ron a few moments to find the culprit but he did and he was a black spider about the size of a quarter. Ron smashed him and took the blanket outside. Everybody was all wound up then so no one was able to sleep. Ron laid on the bench that we have in the camper where the dogs normally sleep. Meghan rearranged the bed and tried to read herself tired but it didn’t seem to be working well. Eventually, everybody drifted off to sleep again. It was a good thing that we weren’t going anywhere too far today as we are tired. We get up and take our time gathering laundry and packing up our camp. We go do laundry and meet a very nice trucker there. He brings in his atlas and goes over suggested highway routes with Meghan for their Indiana route. He has lots of information about the different highways and places to avoid the heavy traffic. After our Laundry is done we go and grab lunch in town and then return to Carney Park; after unsuccessfully finding anywhere to swim the dogs. We pick a different camp spot that is in the grass between two nice shade trees. Meghan fills the dog pool for the dogs to get a drink and get wet if they’d like. Onyx, the super water dog does NOT like pools of any size shape or color. He will dive in a river, stream, pond, bay or any other natural body of water but is absolutely unwilling to touch a pool. Phoenix was hesitant at first but then would stand in the pool to drink. Meghan was finally able to assist Onyx with putting his front paws in the pool but that is all he would cooperate with. That afternoon, Meghan spent time reading and cleaning out the camper box. She took all the dog blankets out and hung them on a line to air out. She shook the couch cushion out and left it outside to air out as well and vacuumed all the dog hair up inside. Our tiny home get’s pretty dirty quickly. We heard from Juanita and Harold, they have been repaired and they are on the road to the nearest campground to get showers and do laundry. They have been stranded in their abandoned gas station parking lot for 10 days, from Tuesday, May 7 until today. They haven’t heard from their insurance but they and Team Ronyx hope that their insurance picks up the damage. Now, Juanita and Harold are back on the road and ready to catch up to Team Ronyx. That night it was so hot that Team Ronyx left their tiny home door wide open almost all night. They also had two fans running and they were still hot.

May 16, 2019- Plainview City Park, Plainview, Nebraska

Today Ron starts out around 8:40 am with Fonyx as we aren’t sure how hot it is going to get and the traffic was pretty busy in twn the other day. While Ron is pedaling East, Meghan heads to the post office to see if their package has arrived yet. After she get’s their package from Kem, Meghan picks up a few groceries and then heads out of O’Neill to see how far Ron has gotten. At 16 miles into today’s journey Meghan and Ron meet along highway 20 and Ron decides to switch out the old bike trailer for the new one and puts Onyx in the trailer. It is 75°F out already and it’s only 10:45 am. The weather forecast is calling for temps up to 89°F. It doesn’t seem very windy out today but there is just enough wind to keep Ron working hard for every mile, even the downhills have to be pedaled through. Team Ronyx arrives in Plainview after Ron rode through 48.5 miles through the wind, just before 5 pm. They are camping at the City Park which is across the street from the Klown Doll Museum. Team Ronyx is curious and would like to visit but it doesn’t appear to be open during the evenings on weekdays. With the park being right in the center of town there are people all around us. Several stop to talk to us to comment about our tiny home and our journey. After Ron made the dog’s their supper on our single burner “stove”; Meghan decided to heat up a pot of water for Ron to take a bath. She took the burner outside and plugged it into the power outlet outside and made sure the light was on. She then set the pot of water on it and waited for it to get hot. Ron checked the water a few times and it didn’t seem to be getting hot. He eventually took the pot off the burner and the burner was cold. At first he didn’t think Meghan turned it on but after checking it out, realized our burner had burnt out. No, showers tonight. There are supposed to be shower facilities at this park but since we are here early in the season, the pool isn’t open and that is where the showers are located. They decide they will get showers at the next campground in Laurel, Nebraska. That evening the temperatures began to drop as a cold front was moving in. There were predictions of severe thunderstorms overnight and Team Ronyx was ready for a good storm but hoped it didn’t interfere with Ron’s riding the next day. Earlier in the afternoon, Team Ronxy and James Dworkin announced that Onyx’s Great Adventure would be chronicled in Dworkin’s next children’s book. Callie Kautz, a friend of Team Ronyx’s will be illustrating the book.

May 17, 2019- Laurel City Park, Laurel, Nebraska

The temperature outside this morning has dropped significantly compared to the last few days. At 8:15 Ron and Phoenix headed out on 20 East heading towards Laurel, Nebraska. It is only 38 miles away and the wind doesn’t seem too bad inside the town of Plainview. As Ron heads outside of town, he is hit with the wind again. It seems much stronger than the wind yesterday. As Meghan is pulling out of town to catch up with Ron, the wind hits the truck camper and really puts a drag on it. When Ron reached the 7 mile mark, he switched Phoenix out and puts Fonyx in the trailer. Team Ronyx is estimating that Juanita and Harold will catch up with them sometime tomorrow. After fighting the wind all day Ron arrives in Laurel a little after 4 pm. Meghan had driven a few miles ahead of Ron and found their camp spot at the City Park. The City Park is right on the edge of town. On three sides of the park there are residential houses and the fourth side is a farm. There are bathrooms at the park, a pavilion and electrical hookups for RVs but no showers. Meghan is disappointed but she was able to stop at the Dollar Store in town and found another single burner cook-top to heat their food and water. After Ron arrives, Team Ronyx has dinner and feeds the dogs. They heat up water for baths and got cleaned up. Tomorrow they are planning to get to Iowa but Ron is exhausted from fighting through the wind all day. There are thunderstorm warnings throughout the region for the night with the potential of hail and tornado warnings. Meghan kept an eye on the weather for the evening to make sure that they aren’t in any danger.

May 18, 2019- Laurel City Park, Laurel, Nebraska

After waking up this morning, Team Ronyx decides that they are going to stay in Laurel and let Ron relax and rest up after fighting the wind for 2 days straight. The thunderstorms never hit overnight but the cold weather has officially moved back into the area. They decided to hike around town and stop at some of the stores. They end up grabbing lunch at Subway and taking it back to their campsite. Today is a slow day for Team Ronxy, Meghan realized she hadn’t updated their social media to let everybody know that they had decided to stay another day so she posts a quick message to let everybody know they are ok. Team Ronyx reaches out to Juanita and Harold to let them know where they are. That afternoon, Meghan spends time watching some movies, working on the blog and Ron plays with the dogs and relaxes outside. That evening, Harold and Juanita arrive a little after 4 pm. Everybody has a good evening of sharing trip stories and having dinner. Before everybody goes to bed they go over the map and finalize their route plans for the next day. Tomorrow we will be in Iowa!

We are in Cow Country!

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.

If you’d like to donate please click here.

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.

3 Down, on to the 4th

May 5, 2019- Eagles Rest RV Park, Chadron, Nebraska

I’m ready dad!

We wake up and discuss where to go today and decide we will head into Crawford further and potentially go on to the next town of Chadron. We are officially in our fourth state. It’s overcast and cold today. Team Ronyx needs to get their laundry done. Ron is out on the road by 8:30 am with Phoenix. They make a quick stop right at the Crawford sign and pick up drinks at the convenience store. Meghan sits at the store for awhile while Ron rides through town. There is a breeze today and some inclines in the road, there is no ability to coast because there is enough of sideways wind to require Ron to pedal for every forward movement. Meghan catches up with Ron around 8 miles into today’s journey. He switched Phoenix out of the bike trailer and puts Onyx in. Onyx isn’t really digging the trailer so Ron has to physically carry him to the trailer. Team Ronyx makes it to Chadron, WY a little after 1 pm. They decide to go find lunch and a laundromat and then they will decide if they want to camp at the RV park just before you get into town or at the truck stop in town. They decide to eat lunch at Helen’s Pancake and Steak House. Ron orders a burger and Meghan get’ a chicken wrap. While they are sitting there waiting to order a man and two teenagers start asking Team Ronyx what they are doing. They think it’s really cool what we are doing and they are already on our Facebook, following our Journey. Their mom ends up being our waitress and she does a wonderful job. After lunch we go and do laundry, then we decided to go back to the campground that was just outside of town. Once we got there, we set up camp. We do dry camping so that we can get a discounted rate and still get showers. The place is pretty muddy but it works for what we need. Meghan is having a really off- day, she’s tired and irritable. (She calls it “peopled-out”) She’s hoping an early bedtime will help. Ron tells her to take a break and they will stay put in the morning if she still needs some time.

May 6, 2019- Eagles Rest RV Park, Chadron, Nebraska

Team Ronyx wakes up early but Meghan is still moving pretty slow. They decide to take the day to run some errands and give Meghan a break. Being tied to Social Media almost around the clock is draining Meghan, she loves what she is doing but she needs to give herself time off. They head into town back to Helen’s for brunch, Ron orders his burger again because he liked it so much, Meghan orders eggs and toast. After brunch, they pick up dog food and head over to Walmart to get a few things. They go back the the original campground after exploring around town for a little while. Meghan get’s the updated amount of funds they have raised for Canine Partners for Life. They have raised $5,274 dollars so far. Team Ronyx isn’t quite where they want to be with donations but they will continue working to get to $30,000 which is the cost of one service dog. Meghan figures out that it took Ron 9 bicycling days and 7 networking or resting days to ride across the state of Wyoming. That gave him an average of 48 miles ridden each day. Early in the evening Tean Ronyx meets one of their camp neighbors and talk to him for awhile and learn that he is part of a motorcycle club that raises money for kids who were burn victims to go to a special camp. Meghan picked up some steaks at Walmart and tonight they are going to have Ron’s famous grilled steaks. Ron fires up their tiny home wood stove and starts cooking their steaks. Meghan prepares mashed potatoes, gravy and corn. Again, this cooking thing takes multiple pans and a single burner as they are using the cook top on the wood stove. Once the steaks are done, Meghan cooks the mashed potatoes, and makes the brown gravy. She has run out of pans though to cook their corn. She remembers she has a small loaf pan in their bin of kitchen items and pours the corn in there and cooks it alongside their gravy on the cook top. Cooking everything this way helps them save fuel by not firing up the generator. They keep the woodstove going late into the night and fire up up the generator right before bed. They decide Ron will ride to Rushville, Nebraska in the morning.

May 7, 2019- Rushville, NE

Ron and Fonyx pushing through

Meghan is the first one up today, she takes the dogs out, and then grabs a quick shower. The bath house at this campground is kind of awkward. There is a door from the exterior to go in the ladies room and a door in the interior that goes into the laundry room, which has another door directly into the men’s bathroom. The first night here, Meghan went in to use the facilities and could hear a group of men talking. The doors to both the ladies room and men’s room from the laundry room were wide open. She decided to skip having a shower than night as she wasn’t sure if she was alllowed to shut the door or not. She had decided in the morning that she would shut the door regardless if it was supposed to be open or not. Ron heads out on 20E around 8 am with Onyx. It’s overcast and 38° out. This isn’t very nice riding conditions but Ron is determined to move forward. Meghan heads into town with Phoenix to refuel the truck and gas can. Then she heads over to the Bean Broker Coffee House and Pub for a little pick-me-up for herself. She is surprised when she walks into the rather large establishment in the very charming old building. The building was originally a bank built in the 1900’s. When the banks went under this building became a mariad of other business until the previous owner turned it into a coffee house and pub. There were 3 seperate areas on the main floor. One was the coffee house, the other the bar and the third a small dining room. The space was perfect for small gathers. The new owner heard Meghan talking to the baristas and came out to talk to her about Onyx’s Great Adventure. He asked Meghan if she would pull her truck up in front of the building so he could share their story on social media. She agreed and went out to move the truck. Once she got situated in front of the building, Meghan, Phoenix and the two baristas got their picture taken. Then, Meghan got a tour of the building. She then dismissed herself and hurried out of town to catch up to Ron and Onyx. By now, it was raining pretty hard, at the 8 mile mark, Ron took Onyx out of the trailer and put Fonyx (Fake Onyx) in so Onyx didn’t have to sit in the trailer and get soaking wet all day. It took Ron almost 6 hours to get to Rushville, Wy due to the wind and rain. He pedaled 33.5 miles to town. They stop at the Pump and Pantry to see about parking there overnight as there aren’t any RV parks or rest stops nearby. The attendant in the store said they could park there but there wasn’t much room and it was right on the road. Meghan made a few phone calls and figured out there was a small RV park just on the other side of town. They drove out there and contacted the owner. This spot was formerly a mobile home park and they are fixing it up to become an RV park. They have water, sewer and electric hook ups but not bathroom facilities but there is a market next door. Once they find their spot, Ron plays with the dogs and Meghan works on finding their next camping spot and the distance to the next town. They determine they want to get to Merriman next and it’s 47 miles away.

May 8, 2019- Rushville, NE

I don’t care if the grass is wet.

It’s pouring down rain this morning and still 38°. Ron and Meghan discuss whether they want to continue forward or not. Ron suggests he ride around and bank miles today and they sit tight. This way Meghan can catch up on invoicing and updating their blog for the trip. It’s a good thing for Meghan because she is worried about their friends’ Juanita and Harold. Remember when they came to Arco, Idaho to visit us? Well, when they went home, they purchased a camper and decided to drive out to wherever we are along our journey and join our road trip! They left on Sunday, May 5 from Oregon and had driven through Oregon, through Idaho and as of yesterday they were making their way through Wyoming on Interstate 80. They were flagged downabout 70 miles before Rawlins, WY and told they were missing a tire on their camper. Upon inspection, they realized their whole tire and rim were missing along with the brake housing and it had caused a flat tire in the rear tandem axle. They ended up being able to put their spare tire on the rear axle and limp the trailer 6 miles up the road to an abandoned gas station and slept their overnight. They have been waiting all day for a tow or repair service to help them. Meghan decided around lunch time to start calling some tow and repair companies herself to see what the issue was with getting them towed because she was worried about her friends sitting along the highway in an abandoned gas station for who knows how long. Finally after calls all day and lots of waiting, Harold and Juanita have a company who will come and help them tomorrow. Hooray! The disappointing news is that they will have to replace their axle and it might take weeks to get one in but they are safe and will be getting help tomorrow. Tonight, Ron and Meghan feel less anxious for their friends, knowing they will get somewhere tomorrow. Ron starts up the wood stove and Meghan does the dishes then makes dinner of Chicken Alfredo from a pre-made frozen mix. That night, Ron heated up a pot of water to take his cowboy bath and Meghan continued to play catch up with the blog and updates.

That’s WY!

May 1, 2019- Ramada Plaza, Casper, Wy

Phoenix playing in the snow

We woke up to more snow! Ron wants to stay another night so today is going to be a relaxing day for Team Ronyx. We have to move rooms due to extending our stay. The next room is much smaller, but we don’t mind at all. Meghan is having some pain in her hip due to their cold hike yesterday (and the fact that Phoenix likes to play tug of war with the leash). She spends the day walking, stretching and resting. Ron rides 20 miles around the exterior of the hotel in the morning. They walk to get lunch and return to the hotel. They have met so many wonderful people here. They even made a friend from Massachusetts. They often run into her and Ron likes to give her a hard time about being a Patriots fan. After lunch, Ron goes out to bike more miles. While he is riding, a woman flagged him down. She is from the East Coast and has traveled out West to find doctors to get her sight back. She had seen Team Ronyx on the news and wanted to thank him for what he was doing. She said she didn’t have much and gave him a $5 bill. Ron thanked her and continued to pedal around the hotel. He was so excited to share the news with Meghan. These are the moments that give Ron the drive to do more. We ended the evening with another flat tire on the bicycle trailer. This time from a shard of glass in the parking lot.

May 2, 2019- Bixby Access Area, Douglas, WY

First stop, Tire Repair

Team Ronyx is up early today. They head down for their last breakfast at the hotel. Then it’s time to load their gear. Since we have put so much money into all of our gear, we typically take it all with us when we are not sleeping in the camper box. So that means, a bicycle, 2 trailers, generator, backpack, Fonyx, the jacks for the camper, electronics, the dogs, their dishes and whatever clothes and toiletries we need, go inside. It tends to fill up the room quick and it takes many trips to load and unload. We head out of the hotel a few minutes before 9 am. We have to go back to the Crazy Pedaler bike shop to get this tire repaired. After that’s completed, Ron get’s on the road with Onyx. He ends up calling Meghan a few minutes later to confirm directions. Meghan says she will head out to meet up with him. She calls him when she gets to where he should be and he isn’t there. He had missed his turn. They meet up and get back on track. Once Ron is back on the main road, Meghan sits and waits for him to pedal ahead. He pedals to the gas station just as you are leaving town and tells Meghan to meet him there. Meghan catches up with him and they go inside to get some beverages and discuss the rest of the route. The cashier told them she had the bill covered, no charge for their drinks! Thank you! We really do like how friendly Wyoming has been. Ron switches Onyx out for Fonyx as the road is busy and the shoulder is narrow. He pedals 24.5 miles and arrives in Glenrock, WY and decides he wants to keep riding to Douglas, WY. The road they had to take to bypass I25 goes by the Dave Johnston Power Plant and the Alvah H Unthank memorial site. After a few short miles, Tank Farm Road turns to gravel. At first Ron is able to ride on the packed down stones, then after about 2 miles, the gravel is loose. Ron is concerned that he is going to mess up his newly replaced tires or worse bend his rim by the weight of the trailer. We load up the truck and dive the 4.5 miles to the Bixby Access Area. There is a pit toilet and a lovely stream that runs through this area. The resident cattle herd is very curious about our tiny dog house and the barking frisky “mini-cows” (Onyx and Phoenix). Ron plays with the dogs for hours since they were cooped up for a few days in a hotel (even though we did take them on several walks). These access areas are great for off grid camping.

May 3, 2019- Outpost Truck Stop, Lusk, WY

On 93 South

We wake up early this morning and decide we will drive the remaining 10 miles out to the paved highway of 93S to get into the town of Douglas, WY. The road is rough but the scenery is beautiful. There are lots of cattle, horse farms and antelope along their journey. Once they get out to 93S around 8 am, Ron hops on his bike and tows Onyx into the town of Douglas where they intersect with 18/20E. They take a short break at the Douglas Fairgrounds and discuss how much further they want to go. They aim to get to the town of Lost Springs but they aren’t sure there is going to be many options there for them. Ron swaps out Onyx for Phoenix and continues out on 20 E which turns into E Antelope Rd. When Meghan and Ron meet up again, Ron informs Meghan that a passerby told him that E. Antelope Road gets pretty rough and that a group of cyclists turned around and came back to Douglas because of it. They decided to continue on, Ron had pedaled about 10 miles at this point. Little did they know in 5 more miles their road would turn to gravel again. Ron decided to see how far he could continue on the road. With his determination he was able to pedal through 14 miles of gravel road. Halfway through pedaling on the gravel road, he switches Phoenix out of the cart and puts Onyx back in. The sun is shining today and it’s 45°. They are off the gravel road around 12:30 pm, Ron switches, Onyx out of the trailer and puts Phoenix in. Then they are back on 18/20E. Team Ronyx goes through the town of Shawnee and then reaches the town of Lost Springs and their population is 4! The town literally consists of a antique store/shop, bar, parks and recreation building and park with a pavilion and very old playground equipment. There isn’t anywhere to camp so Ron says he will continue pedaling to Lusk, WY. When they were 7 miles from Lusk, Team Ronyx took a break at the 3 Sisters Rest Stop in Manville. Ron was getting hungry and was thinking they could grab something to eat there. When they went inside they talked with an elderly man who inquired about their trip. He was from Ohio and he had moved out to Wyoming 30 some years ago. He suggested Team Ronyx eat at the Outpost in Lusk. Ron decides he will stave of his hunger a little longer and pedal on. They arrive in Lusk around 4 pm, Ron has ridden 52.5 miles to get here plus we drove 10, so in total we have traveled 62.5 miles today. They find the Outpost and enjoy their meal. Before they left the restaurant a sweet couple approached them, they wanted to to know if Team Ronyx were on a work crew or something because of their neon yellow hoodies. After Ron and Meghan explained to them what they were up to the couple handed them a very generous donation and asked to be kept anonymous, the only thing Team Ronyx knew was that they were from Minnesota and on vacation out in Wyoming. Tonight’s sleeping spot is determined by the fact that the local RV park isn’t open yet and the truck stop is close by and showers are $5. They park behind the Outpost Truck Stop/Convenience store and settle in for the evening. Tomorrow they shall arrive in Nebraska!

May 4, 2019- Fort Robinson, Crawford, Nebraska

Hello Nebraska!

Today is the day that Team Ronyx will cross another state line. Along their route this morning a truck drive name Brett pulled over to talk to them in Van Tassell, WY. He shared his story with Team Ronyx about how he has walked across the US twice, for overdose awareness after losing his sister to an overdose. Ron talked with him for a few minutes and then took off with Onyx. Meghan continued to talk with Brett for a few more minutes and got information about his non-profit that he has started in Georgia. He is currently driving truck to save up money to continue his good deeds of helping people overcome addiction. If you’d like to learn more, check out his website here.
Ron pedals 23 miles to the Nebraska line. In total Ron has bicycled 433.5 total miles across Wyoming to Nebraska for Canine Partners for Life. Meghan snaps a bunch of pictures. Ron decides he wants to use his monkey skills and climb the Nebraska sign. Meghan snaps a few pictures and hopes that Ron doesn’t injure himself on the way back down. They continue on, their goal is to make it to Crawford, Nebraska. They find a historical park call the Fort Robinson State Park. They decide they will pay the daily park fee and the overnight fee and stay here for the evening. Ron has pedaled 56 miles and he’s hungry and needs a break. It’s also sunny and 69° outside, something Team Ronyx hasn’t seen this whole trip yet. Meghan goes to the park office and makes their arrangements. After they set up camp, Meghan decides to make spaghetti for dinner. It’s not often that she gets to cook but since they have electric hookups and the ingredients she sets out to make dinner. This is no easy feat though, we only have one burner to cook on so it’s a timing thing, she boils the noodles and then puts their strainer on a bowl, she then pours the noodles and boiling water into the strainer and bowl, the hot water keeps the noodles moist and hot. Then she browns the burger in the same pot, once the burger is browned, she adds a few spices and the spaghetti sauce. Nothing fancy. She thinks it would be great if they had garlic bread. She takes a few slices of white bread, smears them with butter, adds garlic and Italian seasonings, then right before the sauce is finished cooking, she throws the garlic bread into the toaster oven. Wa-la! Dinner is done! While Meghan was cooking dinner, the dogs were tied out. She noticed that Phoenix was shaking his paw and chewing on it. She check his paw and sure enough he had a goat head thorn in his pad. (Yep! We are dealing with them still!!) Apparently our site is riddled with them as Phoenix acquired several more through the evening and they were even tracked into our camper. After supper was eaten and the dogs fed, Team Ronyx explored the campground and the history that it held. That evening, Ron took a shower and upon his return he took the dogs down to the stream to see if they could spot any fish. When they returned, Meghan went and took her shower. Everything is done in turns so that one of us is with the dogs almost all of the time. The outside temps started to drop quickly as the sun set and Team Ronyx headed off to bed.