(Posted 1 day later–Day 18 blog will be posted shortly)
I dedicate this blog to all the Alzheimer’s caregivers past, present and future. This includes families taking care of loved ones at home, caregivers taking care in facilities and homes, and friends that visit Alzheimer’s victims because they care. You are the heroes of this ugly disease and it is for you that I am riding across America.
Today I got up to see the sunrise and had my hotel breakfast (Days Inn Saint Teresa). Waffle House, you would be proud of me–I eat waffles everyday when hotels have them, my bike riding secret formula for energy. Of course I eat cereal, yogurt and hard boiled eggs, too. Oh, and did I say my favorite–coffee!
My morning continued with a phone call from Hampton Roads’ own Joe Flanagan of WVEC 13. He did a phone interview with me as an update on my Ronasride for Alzheimer’s that aired Sunday at 6pm. I was so grateful to have his and the station’s support in getting the word out in hopes of raising more awareness and more donations for the Alzheimer’s Association. If you saw it I hope it was ok!!
I buddied up with Jeannie from Maine for today’s ride into El Paso because there were 60 miles of turns to reach our Comfort Inn. We have ridden into several towns and and have not gotten lost yet. We thought it was going to be a nice easy ride but surprise, surprise we rode into a Texas wind–seems they are common this time of year. So flat felt like hills and once again I was humbled. Most importantly we made it safely!!!!
Tonight we celebrate the crossing into yet another new state!!! I am so excited because we had spaghetti last night and since I don’t eat pork (tonight’s dinner), I get leftover spaghetti!! I could eat it every night. So as I hear my stomach growling, I will say goodnight, God bless and thank you for your support and prayers.
Today, Saturday, March 22, I dedicate my blog to the Alzheimer’s Association of Las Cruces, New Mexico. We left Kingston about 8:15 am for a chilly and a 9-mile downhill stretch! Just for the record, I REALLY DO NOT LIKE cold bike riding! It was an 88 mile ride–some rolling hills, but many miles of flat desert riding.
Oh, I had my first encounter with a loose dog (Womantours told us to bring a whistle in case a dog started to chase us). I had my whistle ready, and there he was across the two lane road in the middle of almost nowhere! I heard the bark and saw what looked like a great big angry dog, about 200 pounds and teeth showing. I was blowing as loud and hard as I could as he came closer, then an 18 wheeler came up from behind me. Don’t panic, the truck did not hit the dog. He just got between me and the dog and it stopped! Yea, Rona 1, Dog 0. By the way he was not a huge, angry dog but in my mind, that’s what I saw. He was actually a white, fluffy, mid-size dog ! Ok, now you know I am afraid of dogs!!! Too many bites…..
Arrived at the Days Inn and was greeted by the Alzheimer’s Association of Las Cruces. They brought balloons and treats, including their mascot Lizzy the stuffed lizard for me to take on my journey.
I am inspired by your support and prayers !
Wow, we left Silver City and rode to Kingston, NM. Oh, but it was not so simple, my friends. We went from 6000 ft in Silver City…up, then down, then up..Up..UP ………..climbing at 7mph, but steady. Now, when we reached the Emory pass peak at 8225 ft, we had an 8 mile steep downhill to Kingston back to 6200 ft. Now *that* was a blast. I was in control flying at 26-36 mph downhill! I celebrated reaching the peak with push-ups–it was a rush of adrenaline! We are staying at an old lodge which once served as a lodge for miners in the 1800’s tonight. Well my feet are up and I am sitting in a rocker and reflecting on my challenging ride but blessed day. My body feels like I did a 48 mile mountain climb. Even my email finger is tired, so till tomorrow my friends. But thank you for all your amazing support–I am never too tired for that!!! Oh, I thought of you all at mile 35 when I was a couple of miles from the top. “You raise me up!” Fundraising to date: $5713 Goal $10,000 Donate online or send checks to Alzheimer’s Association 6350 Center Dr Suite 102 Norfolk Va. All donations benefit the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
I am relaxing today–something many of you know is hard for me but, hey! I AM BIKING ACROSS AMERICA!!! Makes me tired thinking about it!
My blog on this rest day is about the thing my Dad told me before he died 4 years ago. “Rona, if you are not grateful, you will never be happy.” I always thought I was a grateful person, but my amazing Dad’s words play in my mind every day over and over again. We can never be too grateful. Even in the darkest of times, there is something to be grateful for in life.
If you are reading this blog, please stop and think of what you are grateful for at this moment.
Each of you that have read my blogs have enriched my life by taking your precious time to follow my journey. Many people have done what I am doing, though maybe not for Alzheimer’s. It does not make me special; it makes me grateful.
When I finish this journey, God willing, I pray I will be a better person.
Continue to reflect on the blessings of our lives. I will take the strength you are giving me and PAY IT FORWARD every chance I can.
I am writing you as I sit in my hotel room, resting from a day of climbing–and then climbing –and then climbing to our hotel in Silver City, New Mexico, 5945 feet above sea level. One of those climbs was the continental divide at 6534 feet. When I left Lordsburg this morning, it was 30 degrees–and you know I do not like riding in the cold! I dressed in layers, however at mile 5 on a beginning 15-mile stretch of uphills, the layers started to come off.
I rode mostly alone. On the hills, everyone kind of goes at their own pace. We see some other riders at the SAG (support and gear stops) as we roll in for a snack or drink. Then we leave and spread out again. There are 27 riders and we finish at widely different times. Some people like to stop more, some like to get to the hotel quicker. I will let you guess which one I am?
I finally found a good mirror at a bike shop in the quaint town of Silver City (a mining town for silver).
Tomorrow is the end of week 2–wow!!! Only 6 more weeks (yikes!) and many more climbs ahead.
Fundraising : $5595
Goal : $10,000
Thank you for following me and supporting Alzheimer’s
So, remember the really straight white line on the road with the fans blowing in my face that I was following in Arizona a few days ago in my blog? It went on and on?
Well, it was back today from Safford, Arizona and continued to Lordsburg, New Mexico, for 75 miles.
Except today the fans were blowing at my back. Wow, I was peddling up to 27 mph on a flat road. Wheeeeeeeee!!! Lots of desert beauty–God’s creation–and lots of beer bottles, glass and trash–MAN’s creation. Lots of signs in NM about DWI’s–must be a big problem.
My legs felt good today so they will be ready for our climb tomorrow to Silver City and then a rest day.
Now today’s Alzheimer’s story: I got up to call Tony Macrini at WNIS at 4:30am my time, and did a live spot about my ride. I talked about the ugly Alzheimer’s disease and yes, Tony, riding on a bike saddle hour after hour can be challenging!!! The price I pay to spread the word..
Well, I started talking to the front desk clerk at our Days Inn. Danica told me her grandmother and two aunts had Alzheimer’s. I gave her my blog card and she donated online to my ride today. Thank you, Danica! Even in a small mining town in Arizona, a lovely young desk clerk is touched enough donate to a total stranger. Bless you Danica!
Another day, another story, another mile a day closer to Florida 😊