As soon as the sun hit the horizon, we set of on our 115 mile trek towards Austin, NV. In the desert, we rode by huge rocks on the side of the road spelling out “JOH 2017” and “JOH 2018”. It was surreal to think that JOH cyclists had been on this same route for over 30 consecutive years. For several hours, we would stare at the same set of mountains in the distance and when we finally reached them, there would be more mountains 40 miles away across the desert. Besides a gas station and RV park, we did not see any civilization until we reached Austin. The main strip we rode through in Austin reminded me of a 19th century Western. The small town has a population of about 200. We stayed at the local church where we were treated to an amazing Thanksgiving dinner hosted by these ladies in Austin who have been sponsors for over 20 years. In talking with them, I learned Austin used to be a popular place for the gold and silver rush but is now a modern ghost town. I was blown away by the close bonds formed within this small community and am inspired by their generosity.
– Andrew Kaskie, Purdue University (Omega Chapter)