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
Rona

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Day 34: Rest and outreach

 

Today was a rest day in Navasota–yes, Texas–and a very special one indeed. My day started slowly with coffee in the room and progressed to the hotel breakfast–good raisin bran and more coffee! I cleaned my bike–a regular event these days.
I had been contacted by local TV Channel 3 to do a news story on my ride for Alzheimer’s so Alex came to the Hotel at noon and we did an interview, lots of video, etc. She was great and will put the story on my page after it airs here. Then I walked to Subway for lunch.  I took a break from peanut butter for today!  Across the street was a Walmart and I decided to wander over.  Out front of the store was a guy on a packed bike.  I spoke to him–Curtis.  He is from Vancouver, Canada and he is biking to Florida, camping along the way. He is a caregiver for a large clinic for Alzheimer’s patients. I told him how much I appreciate what he does and we took some pictures. What were the chances of that!!!
I thought, how amazing, he is an aide for the disease which I am biking across America to *end*.
At 3:30, Amanda from the Houston area Alzheimer’s Association picked me up to go to city hall and meet the Mayor, Bert Miller. They arranged a group to gather for a proclamation given to me in appreciation for my efforts of biking for Alzheimer’s. The guests were wonderful and I was so proud to be representing our Association. I gave them all my Blog card to follow my ride to St. Augustine.

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I finished a great day with dinner with some bike buddies at Pizza Hut!
Tomorrow is back to riding 75 miles to Cleveland–yes, Texas!!
Sweet dreams and again, thank you for your support and prayers!
Love,
Rona

Day 32: Blue skies are here again!

Monday’s ride, April 7

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I have recovered from the cold wet ride on Sunday thanks to hot tea and a good dinner and sleep!!  I learned about putting newspaper in wet shoes, and after doing it 3 times and checking them in the morning, they were good enough to wear today!
Today, we had a pleasant ride to La Grange-yes, Texas– a town of about 4,000. Rode through Bastrop State Park.  Lots of rolling hills.  Some I stood up on, but remember, I like the hills and their nice diversity.

It was cloudy and cool but not RAINING. As we rode the quiet roads to La Grange, the blue sky started to appear.  I found myself smiling as my friend and I peddled at a good clip to the Best Western Plus (yes, another nice hotel)!!

Every morning, we can pack snacks. Lots of choices today, so I had my peanut butter sandwich and banana for lunch.  I even threw in some Sun Chips– I know I am getting a little wild with adventure eating!!!

A good hot shower and today I am thinking about those from home that traveled to DC to speak to our congressmen about the need to fund Alzheimer’s research NOW.  I am with them in spirit just as we all are, hoping for the funding to find answers and ultimately a cure. Safe travels, my friends.  As you journey home, I will wait to hear about what happened and which representatives had an open mind!!
We will leave La Grange tomorrow for an 80 mile ride to Navasota–yes, Texas– and then a rest day.  It is very green here in these parts of Texas, ranches everywhere.  We even have cows staring at us as we pedal past them!  About 10 deer ran across the road in front of us today–pretty cool!  Lots of wild flowers, too.  In fact, I actually recognized one from my yard (primrose, I think, pink).  Oh, I had my first experience of being stopped by a train on my bike!!!

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Be well my friends, I miss you and I am so grateful for your support !!
Love
Rona
Alzheimer’s fundraising :$7336 to goal of $10,000

Day 27: Ticking away the miles..and the hills!

Today’s blog is dedicated to my Southeastern Virginia Alzheimer’s Association friends that are going to the Advocacy Forum in Washington, DC.  Thank you for being our voice and taking your time to let Congress know we so deeply need their help to find the answers to Alzheimer’s Disease.  Safe travels, and know I will be thinking about you and praying that your voices are heard.

Well, today we left Camp Wood on a damp, foggy morning…oh, what to wear? It was 70¡, so that helped make the decision easier.  Our usual routine begins with 7:30 am breakfast at the trailer.  I had my cereal with raisins, but this morning I added peanut M&M’s because our room (don’t ask) did not have a working coffee maker (no caffeine!!) It’s OK..It was probably too dirty to use anyway.  We began the Texas Hill Country (as it’s called for a very good reason).  But I like the hills–they make me focus on the cause I am riding for and that gives me the strength to reach the top!

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Fox Fire Cabins (the closest I want to come to camping) is our stopping point for today.  I am eating my usual lunch–a peanut butter sandwich I make everyday at morning snack table! Oh, and nuts for sure!!  Shower completed!  I am thinking about the 80 mile ride for tomorrow–again, Hill Country–to Fredericksburg (YES, STILL) Texas and then a rest day on Friday. Some old NN friends, Barry and Mindy, that live in San Antonio are driving up to spend Friday with me in Fredericksburg. That will be fun to have a visit and just hangout!
Please feel free to share my blog etc.  Donations are greatly appreciated!!  Everything goes to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Thank you as always for your amazing support!
Oh–tomorrow is the halfway day!  WOW!!!
Miss you
Love , Rona

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Day 26: Happy April!

photo 4I am dedicating this blog to my friends and neighbors, Gail and Tom.  Gail’s Mom is Helen, another victim of Alzheimer’s disease living in an assisted living facility.  God bless Gail and Tom for the love and care that they give to Helen, making sure all her needs are taken care of so her quality of life is the best it can be.  You are my heroes of this ugly disease.

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Today was day 26 of my bike journey for Alzheimer’s and April 1.  The scenery has changed dramatically.  It is greener, the air is more humid (almost feels like home), and the mountains are farther away. The roads in this part of Texas are made of ‘chip and seal’, as they call it.  All I know is it shakes the body like I have never experienced.

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I am loving getting to know these ladies!  We spend hours after rides getting to know each other.  It’s great how lives are thrown together and it’s fun to see us mesh!!!
Two more riding days and then a rest….in Fredericksburg, Texas!
Love, Rona
Thank you for all your support!  It keeps me going, for sure!!!

**UPDATE**

On April 1st, my Blog was dedicated to my friends and neighbors, Gail and Tom, for the dedication, love and care they give to Gail’s mother Helen living with Alzheimer’s. I learned Helen passed away on Sunday, April 6th.  So to Gail, Tom, and your family, my heart is heavy from our loss.  May her memory and God give you peace.

Love, Rona

Please feel free to share anything I post so that we bring even more awareness to my ride for Alzheimer’s Disease and a vision for a cure.

Day 25: Rocky roads–and no, not ice cream

Many of my blog thoughts come as I am riding across America and today was no different. After our 107 mile ride yesterday (yes, I am still sore in many places), I thought of how researchers are working around the world to find answers to Alzheimer’s from drugs to cures. They hit many bumps in the roads of their work.  It may slow them down, but it does not stop them. They fight through the rocky spots and disappointments and keep going for a cure and to save the next person stricken with the disease called Alzheimer’s.  Today, our 45 mile ride had many literal bumps in the roads.  At times I thought my bike was going to fall apart but I kept going forward.  My head was bounced around and so was everything else, but onward we go. The thoughts of the researchers working through their challenges inspires me to take the bumps in stride and take each one at a time.
We are at Ft. Clark in –yes– still Texas !!!

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$6,626 of $10,000!!

Love

Rona

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