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.

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.

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.