Day 55: So close, I can TASTE IT!

I am so flipping excited as I checked my donation page–I just went over $12,029 today!!

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Right now as I sit in my Best Western hotel room, I am brought to tears for so many blessings. Going over my goal and the donations still continue (please, don’t stop now!!).  Some friends from home had a basket of some of my favorite snacks sent to my hotel room and it was delivered by chance by Ralph’s Florist (that was my DAD’S name).

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Debbie even sent a picture of some residents at the facility where she works in Williamsburg, thanking me for my efforts. So many amazing words of encouragement, support and prayers that I could never thank you all enough, BUT I WILL TRY!!!!

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Tomorrow, this physical journey will end (God willing) as we ride out from our hotel and wait for each other at a fire station a few miles from the St Augustine  beach. Together we will ride to the beach (police escorted)  for the front tire dipping in the Atlantic to signify the end of our 2 month bike ride across America.  Now you *know* I will tear up again (I won’t be alone).

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So much has happened in the last 2 months and I hope my words have helped you gain a small part of what this experience meant to me. I will be processing this journey for quite some time.  By the grace of God, this has been an experience both physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual, all while bringing awareness and raising donations to end the horrific disease with presently no way to prevent, or cure; Alzheimer’s disease.
Thank you for your patience.  2 months is a long time, but to journal this trip was so important because though I did the pedaling, you were with me every mile I rode. Alzheimer’s needs us all to fight, and to speak out loud because “IF WE DON’T WHO WILL”?
With love and appreciation

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Day 33: Out in the Great Wide Open

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Today is Tuesday, April 8th, and I made it safely to Navasota–yes, Texas–safe and sound!

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We left the Best Western Hotel in La Grange and followed some quiet two lane roads,  some busy, truck-filled two lane roads, and a country road.  70 miles in total, and at last, our Best Western in Navasota!!  Today, the sky was a beautiful blue the whole way with lots of cattle ranches, horse farms, and a few pesky DOGS!  My bike buddy today Sally had her whistle ready and a load voice.  I did not have my whistle handy, and I can’t yell loudly so she kept us safe!!!

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It’s interesting that people I meet say, “Are you having fun?”  Fun, that’s a funny word and I am not sure where it finds it’s place on my journey.  I find words that come to my mind are words like ‘purpose’, ‘awareness for a cause (Alzheimer’s)’, ‘challenging’, ‘personal introspection’, ‘personal reflection’, ‘cautious’, ‘grateful’ and ‘blessed’!  Yes, there are fun moments with a nice group of women, laughs, shared stories, getting to know women who were strangers 5 weeks ago, but for me, it is the bigger picture and the deeper journey I hope to hold onto for a lifetime.

Thank you as always for your love and support I treasure it everyday!!

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Day 28: HALFWAY!!!

I dedicate this blog to our Alzheimer’s planning committee of 6 years and our new steering committee. To have as successful an event as Walk To End Alzheimer’s, it takes committed, passionate individuals and indeed, that is exactly who they are, a blessing to the Southeastern Virginia Chapter and our Peninsula Walk. Thank you my friends!!!!

Today was an interesting ride of 80 miles. It was along country roads passing many ranches mostly cattle, and some sheep. Traffic was minimal and that is always a treat. We are still in Texas hill country so there were plenty of hills. For some reason I like climbing hills.  Maybe it’s because you can make up more miles on the downhills. You can really get going on those downhills, but 36 mph is scary on a bike!!!

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Tomorrow is a well needed rest day thank you God !!
Thank you for all of your support and embracing our fight against Alzheimer’s

Day 22: An evening to myself!

I am dedicating my blog today to my dear Joanne who is living with Alzheimer’s and her amazing, loving daughter Lisa. You, my wonderful Joanne, are my strength to fight for a cure, and Lisa you inspire me with the love and care you give to your mom everyday of your life.  You were there for me with my mom and I will never forget your support.

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After a challenging ride into Ft. Davis,  poor internet connections and a needed rest day the winds were finally with us en route to Marathon, Texas.  60 miles in 3 hrs. 10 min. I almost felt guilty for the boost, but quickly remembered the 75 miles into a headwind, and thanked God for the help.  One thing is for sure–Texas is always windy in one direction or another!!!

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I have a single room for tonight in the historic Gage Hotel in Marathon Texas charming and rustic. Dates back to the 1927…..

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Feeling good and I think I have found the sweet spot on my bike saddle (it only took 3 weeks).  Or it could be because I bought the saddle right before I shipped my bike to San Diego and only rode on it 2 times–another rookie mistake!!

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Never forget how much each of you mean to me and this experience, I could not do this without YOU!!
Thank you all for the donations to Alzheimer’s and words of prayer!  For that I am grateful.  Thanks to you all, we are over $6000!

Love Rona

Day 18: Taking it easy

We left El Paso on a bright sunny cool morning. We left a little late to miss the crazy El Paso traffic; they don’t seem to like bike riders!!! We rode 52 miles flat and no wind–a very relaxing ride. Kind of scary–makes you wonder what kind of ride is to come!

Day17-5We saw lots of pecan trees.  It must be the capital of pecan growing trees!  We saw a herder with a herd of goats grazing on alfalfa. Lots of Mexican poverty along the side of the road as we peddled. Once again, I am reminded of how grateful I am for the blessing I have in my life.

We peddled to our hotel for the night, the only hotel in Ft. Hancock.  It is really a motel– in fact, under any other situation, I would have peddled right by it, but the next place to stay is 75 miles away! Old and run down does not describe his hotel. To use the shower you have to hold the button that makes the water come out from the shower head so it was one handed showering!!! The good news is it is only for 1 night.

Tomorrow is another day and I will see you in my blog tomorrow.
Sweet dreams!




Day 17: Into the Lone Star State!

(Posted 1 day later–Day 18 blog will be posted shortly)

Day17-5I 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.