After we got off shift, we drove a ways to get to the next hotel in Athens, Ohio, checked in, and then went to eat. I learned that it's better to eat before you go to bed- it helped me sleep much better! We had dinner at Taco Bell, I think just about everyone called their families, and we also lost all our money. No biggie. We were standing in line at Taco Bell and when it came time to pay no one had the envelope with money. Phil ran back to the van to look and it wasn't in the van. We started thinking we left it at the hotel so Phil ran back (the hotel was less then a mile away) and didn't find it there either. We checked the van again and Phil found it. He still won't admit there he found it, I'm starting to suspect it was where it was supposed to be.
Since our crew shifts were messed with a little bit, I got to be the next hotel driver (for the 3rd time). Since it put me back on shift with Mom and Kyle again, I didn't mind a bit! Our hotel was right by a Wal-Mart at the Time Station, so we decided to crew transition in the Wal-Mart parking lot. It came in pretty handy too, we had a mini team meeting. Dad needed to adjust the seat on his bike and teak a few other things and Troy needed a stationary place to do some physical maintenance. While the rest of the crew was helping with their miscellaneous things, Kyle and I ran into Wal-Mart to get ice, water, and a few other odd and end things that the oncoming crew would need in their vans. We lost about an hour of race time- but it was a well needed rejuvenation. Sometimes you need to slow down to speed up.
Along with our little stop Mom and Dad finally got to see each other! The way the crew rotation worked out, Mom was never crewing for Dad :( She was always in Troy's van.
After all was situated, I drove the crew coming into rest the 2 minutes to get to the hotel and we all slept very well. I got 7 hours of sleep that night since I got to sleep, go pick up the crew a few minutes away, then come back and go to sleep. It was pretty nice! As we were laying there trying to sleep it dawned on me that we made a huge mistake! Since Kyle, Mom, and I were all on the same shift- there was no one IN the race that would be taking pictures. We text the other shift and told them to get some pics. Chris got one of Mike, but I can't find it :/ At least he tried!
The next morning we woke up around 8 or 9 and started getting showers and doing our hair. I had taken a shower and was blow drying my hair when the power went out in our room. Oops! Kyle was just about to take a shower and the manager of the hotel didn't seem too concerned that we didn't have power so I set up my headlamp in the bathroom for Kyle and he took a shower to headlamp light. :) Once that was all taken care of we headed out to go meet the crew that was on shift.On our way to look for the crew we passed through West Virginia...
and we found VERY yummy BBQ place and had some amazing grub. I know it looks like there's a fly in the macaroni and cheese, but there's not- I promise!
There was a route change in the Route Book so we decided to drive the route backwards so we would be able to see how the route changed. I'm kind of glad the route changed because instead of coming mostly through the town we got to drive around the town through the outskirts. We crew transitioned right before the route change and tt was so fun to be with Kyle again, he just makes life funner! There was BEAUTIFUL scenery so we took the opportunity to get some pictures.
We saw the gorgeous barn and pinwheel and decided Mom needed a picture of with Dad in tow. Isn't it beautiful!?
Here's Troy! I love to see the pictures of these two guys when the race started and then how their beards keep growing as the race goes on.
There are certain time stations in the RAAM that has pretty crazy turns and this time station had a few crazy ones. There was one time that it told you to turn right on a certain highway where we almost turned right onto the freeway. We caught our mistake and drove forward, parked, and got ready to have a rider transition. We kept in good contact with the other van in letting them know where we were and them letting us know where they were. Troy was on the bike and as we were riding up to them we started to get reception on these small hand held radios. They are line of sight radios so we knew we had to be close to them. We got closer and closer to the mile point they said they were at and then the radio started going out and they were no were to be found. We finally got them on the radio and it turns out that they took the freeway that we were about to take and didn't. They hoped back in the van and Kyle got on the RAAM tractor App and told them where to go to get back to us without having to turn all the way around. Luckily, it only took a few extra minutes and we were able to get Troy in to rest.
We went through lots of out skirts and made our way back into a little town again. They had us go down a street that had a bunch of one way streets coming off of it. There was one section that said to make a left turn after a certain bridge and we totally missed the turn. Luckily, Troy was in the van so it wasn't that big of a deal but we wanted the other guys to know about the turn since they missed the last one. Kyle called them and let them know it was a tricky one. We thought about stopping and marking the turn but since there were a bunch of one way streets we figured it would do more harm then good with us trying to get back onto the right route and not messing up our odometer.
We got all set to transition, they let us know they were only a few miles away, we woke up Troy and got all ready to go. Then Kyle got a call from Doug... "Hey, you know that turn that you told us not to miss? Well, we missed it." Uh-oh. They threw Bob back in the van and got back on the route. While we were waiting for them to find all their way back we ran into the team of a solo rider. Troy got to live his life long dream of having pink hair.
After Troy went out we finally pulled out the Go-Pro and got some really fun video. Troy was going up a pretty steep hill and wanted his camelback so we handed it out the window for him and watched him try and put it on by myself. He would get the pack right where it should be, go to slip his other arm through, and it would slide off again. He probably did it 10 times before he accidentally got it stuck over his head. :)
A little later we were going to have a pretty good descent and wanted to put the Go-Pro on the front of the car. Since the hill was so steep we were only going about 5 miles an hour, so Yost volunteered to go run up, put the go pro on the van, run along side Troy, and then hop back in the van. Since it's not smart to run in front of a moving van, we stopped the van for a few seconds (while still keeping the rider in our headlights) got the camera on, and then went to catch up with Troy again. Funny side note- we mentioned this to Troy Hull a little later about when Yost started running beside him and he couldn't remember that at all! We even have video!
Once a dentist always a dentist- brushing his teeth- good job Endodontist Troy!
We had a lot more hills and a lot more descents and our shift came to an end. It was really bitter sweet know we would get to Annapolis by the time it was our next crew transition. Annapolis was less than 200 miles away and we figured by the time we got to the hotel we wouldn't have long to sleep before it was time to go meet the team at the finish line. We decided it would be much funner to go be the Media Crew for our finish instead!