Old friends, New friends

The last couple of weeks have really flown by. As I approach the end of my trip, I find myself reflecting back on all of the amazing experiences I have had, and people I have met. I have had some absolutely incredible and enlightening conversations with many individuals about Syria and the great need and suffering the children of Syria are experiencing. I have had the opportunity to fundraise for Save The Children, an incredible organization who is doing so much over in Syria. While I have not yet reached my $10,000 fundraising goal, I am creating more opportunity for fundraising and for conversation.
Tonight I will be in Missoula, MT. I will be staying with a good friend from high school, Riley Helgoe, who has also helped me to organize a couple of speaking events where I will have the opportunity to share with others the story of Syria and of what I have learned and encountered during my travels across the United States on bicycle. 
After leaving Colorado, I made my way north into Wyoming. There isn’t too much to report about that state, other than I was alone for most of it as I had not encountered any other transamerica riders going west. 

As soon as I hit Grand Teton National Park, the landscape changed dramatically and I was bicycling in the shadow of old, wise mountains. Here is a photo taken at a swimming beach near Colter Bay Campground, where is spend the night:

Here is another photo of the mountains taken from another angle:

After a long day of riding over a semi challenging mountain pass, taking a dip in the frigid water felt fantastic.

As I crossed over into Yellowstone National Park, I was lucky enough to be passing Old Faithful in time to see her blow:

I also passed some incredible forested wilderness and waterfalls:

While I was stopped for lunch at Grant Village in Yellowstone, I encountered a man named Joseph who was also in line for lunch. I told him what I was doing by bicycling across the country and he decided to buy me lunch and invited me to stay with him, his wife, and his dog in their RV that night. Although I had only traveled 38 miles that day (I typically go between 50 and 100) I decided to take him up on his offer. He kindly invited me to dinner and breakfast as ell. I ended up getting to know Joseph, Denise, and Kimbo (their dog) very well after spending a wonderful evening chatting around a fire. Thank you both for hosting me! It is kind people like you who continue to inspire me throughout this trip. 

I then spent the next night in Dubois, WY at an Episcopal church. 
I had been having some problems with my tires, as they are pretty worn down from the journey. I continue to getflats frequently and I plan on purchasing new tires when I arrive in Missoula. 

Overall, the scenery has been incredible and I look forward to having more informative and compassionate conversations about Syria during my time in Missoula, along with catching up with my old friend Riley and taking some much needed rest days before continuing on. 

Thank you very much to all of my incredible hosts. I apologize if I have forgotten to mention you by name. 
If any of you are going to be near or in Missoula, MT, please consider attending my event tomorrow night Friday July 14th at Imagine Nation Brewing from 6-7pm.

One thought on “Old friends, New friends

  1. Dearest Matt, we are taking this trip with you through your posts and loving it. Thank you! I can’t remember if you have Simon’s number in Portland but let me know as you get closer to the Pacific! We love you! KU and Mark

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