Waking up in North Dakota, I couldn’t believe we were this far into the journey. I mean, every day was so long, but I couldn’t believe that we were in North Dakota already! I knew that James’ mom was there somewhere. The ambassador for the state, Mark Maddocks had picked her up at the airport the night before. I got up and out of the RV to see if I could find her. To us, this whole thing was routine, but for her it was all new, and I didn’t want her to feel like she didn’t know where to go or what to do. I quickly and quietly got dressed, then I slipped out of the RV. The weather wasn’t too hot, although the air was refreshing and cool once I stepped out.
I headed toward the rec, and saw people gathered, getting ready to go inside for the swim. I wasn’t sure where James was, but I knew that the Wingmen/friends would have him ready to start his day. I walked into the rec to see a news crew ready to interview James. I laughed to myself…the news used to seem like such a big deal, and now it was just a part of every day. When I was younger, we didn’t have cable at my house, and even the people who did didn’t have the amount of channels and shows that we have now. If someone was on TV it was a big deal. Nowadays there are so many channels and shows that you could be on TV and no one would ever know. This is what led to my chuckle, James has been on TV across the nation, yet people still had no idea who he was. And to make it through this many states, and still not get national news was nuts!
I knew that James wasn’t quite ready to swim yet, so I just sat in the lobby. I figured that I would see Charlotte come through the lobby, passing me, in order to get to the pool. Instead, the next thing I know, I see James on the TV in front of me. He had started his live interview, which meant that he was somewhere inside of the building. I waited, watching the interview, and then made my way to the pool.
This pool was beautiful! Turns out that we were at an aquatic center, so this was no average rec center pool, it was beautiful! It was long-course (Olympic distance), the water was a dark blue, and there were several lanes to swim in, it was awesome! I soon saw Charlotte, James’ mom, and we chatted briefly, making our way to bleachers to watch James start his swim. There was a gentleman there named Dan Droy, who had come from the Denver area to swim with James. This was his one chance to catch the Iron Cowboy on the 50/50/50 journey. Everyone jumped into the water, including our energized and hilarious Wingmen.
After the swim, Mark had a delicious breakfast ready for us. We sat down and ate together. I grabbed food on a plate to take out to the kids. It seems like one kid had joined us inside, but I can’t remember which one. We were soon on our way out to the RV. I knew that Charlotte wanted to see it, and that the kids would be excited to see her. It was a high step up into the RV for her, being that we didn’t have stairs that worked. This would be her new home for the next few days.
We didn’t have anything big planned for the day. In fact, I remember it as there being nothing to do. I tried to find a bank, and ended up in some random building, and some random bank, that was not our bank. When I asked, they responded, “Oh yeah, that happens all the time. It is so annoying. I don’t know why the google search brings people here.” So I wasn’t able to deposit the cash that I had hoped. It always made me nervous to have shirt cash. I didn’t want to get robbed, or have someone trying to break into the RV knowing that we had money in there. But my bank luck didn’t seem to pull through very often, and I was often paranoid.
Daisy and Dolly were disappointed that they had missed the mani/pedi the day before, so Brytin took them and Quinn to get their nails done. We just hung out at the transition area for the day. LJs had hoped to play soccer out in the field, but it was covered in goat heads. Seems weird for a soccer/baseball field. We had quite a few people with us at this point in the journey, so we enjoyed each other’s company. Shad had taken the van in for service, and we also took this opportunity to clean the RV to make room for more company, and to be ready when it was time to leave that night.
The day passed, and Mark prepared an awesome dinner for us. We were able to eat and relax. Soon the parking lot was filled with people for the 5k. We got the shirts out, and put up our canopy for shade. James came back and got worked on in the parking lot. He was procrastinating starting his run. This said to me that he was especially tired, a day like this frequented about every 4-5 days. He ate as much food as he could get down, and then was off for the 5k. This was the first of the 5ks that his mom had committed to do. Our kids went out and did it with them, and everyone was happy.
After the 5k, we tried to prep quickly. We had a very long drive ahead of us. James and his mom would be flying to Montana. Through all of the planning for the 50/50/50, we knew that this state would be the longest to get through. Once again, even though it had been a very long summer (each day was much longer when we were sleeping so little), I could not believe that we were on our way to Montana! We wanted to get on the road as efficiently and quickly as possible. As soon as the 5k was done, I kissed James and we packed everyone in and got on the road. We had several drivers to help drive vehicles this night (which had begun to be the norm), which always helped me to sleep better.
I stayed up as late as I could. All the guys were having so much fun, but I soon decided that I was too tired, and that I would let them be ‘guys’ together. I climbed into a twin bed with 2 of my kids, and was soon fast asleep (but did hear laughing all throughout the night…a very good sign!)