A day at camp with the 2012 Journey of Hope North team and Jerrod Niemann

Almost from when we stepped on the bike, we began going uphill. The thin air from elevation quickly took its toll, but the ride was so stunning that it almost made up for it. We climbed through Arapahoe Basin and all the way up to Loveland pass, our highest elevation of the trip. As we waited for people to ride up, everyone started getting pictures with their school flags. Once everyone was at the top, we took our team picture. Spirits were high as we prepared ourselves for the descent.

Mark was nice enough to warn all of us to keep our pace and make sure not to go to fast since the descent was very treacherous. There were lots of quick turns and switchbacks so everyone took their time to get down safely. The way down took very little time and soon we arrived at our lodging at Rocky Mountain Village where we got a warm welcome from not only them, but also Build America. After eating our crew chief lunch, saying goodbye to our ride-alongs, and showering, a lot of us went to the pool and had a great time. Others took a nap and were joined by the swimmers soon after. Mostly everyone napped until dinner where we were served steak, burgers, and hot dogs by our sponsor Krasimir Koev. After eating, country singer Jarrod Niemann sang for the campers. A few of us starting setting up the event for after the concert: Jarrod was going to be kidnapped by the Build America team and it was up to the campers to save him. We helped at the different stations such as war painting (essentially face painting) and sword making. After everyone rotated through the stations, we chased down the kidnappers and saved Jarrod. We took a team picture, did our circle up, and went back to get a good night’s sleep.

The day in all was really fun. Everyone had a great time dressing up and expressing themselves with the arts and crafts while playing with the kids. Tomorrow’s wake up isn’t until later so all of us are happy to finally get a solid eight hours (or more since we’ve been getting up so early) and hang out with the campers again.