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 54: Country roads take me home..

photo 1 (12)Tuesday’s 75 mile bike ride is complete and we are safe in High Springs, Florida.  We beat the rain, and it is the typical Florida humidity, just like home.  Good news is, I like hot weather, and it makes the post bike ride shower even more enjoyable.  I got a call from the St.Augustine/Jacksonville area Alzheimer’s Association. They are planning to be there when I roll in Thursday around 11-ish.

Biking through this part of Florida (Panhandle, small farming towns) is very different from the Atlantic coast, Orlando, and larger cities on the Gulf that I have visited.  We passed many cattle farms, crops being planted, and open lands. When you ride country roads, an area feels so different than traveling the interstates.  I have learned our beautiful country is covered with miles and miles of farm lands and open spaces.  Biking has given me such a great opportunity to see America from such a different perspective, and we are not done yet–120 miles to go!!!!

My fundraising is still ongoing and I am at $11,404 with no stopping us yet!!!

Thank you all for your amazing support–can’t wait to be able to thank you in person.

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Day 52: What a rest day is–and is *not*

Sunday April 27–our REST DAY in Crestview Florida.

So what is a rest day like for me??????  Well, I will tell you first what A Rest Day is *Not*!!!!!
1. It is *not* setting an alarm for 5:45 am
2. It is *not* laying out your bike clothes the night before (hoping you guess the weather correctly).
3. It is *not* getting up and hoping both of your tires are hard and you did not have a slow flat over night.
4. It is *not* throwing on bike clothes in the dark because your roommate is not an early riser like me and stumbling down for coffee in the lobby (that’s in the nice motels).
5. It is *not* trying to eat the right breakfast to get you started on your ride depending on the distance.
6. It is *not* schlepping down your two bags (that have not gotten lighter over the weeks) to put on the trailer.
7. It is *not* schlepping your bike down the stairs, unless you were the lucky one to get a first floor room.
8. It is *not* checking tires and waiting for your favorite pump to pump them to your favorite pressure. Mine is 100 lbs.
9. It is *not* making a peanut butter sandwich.
10. It is *not* gazing over the snack table wondering what snacks you might need to make it to the end of a long ride.
11. It is *not* worrying you will be able to follow the cue sheet and make a wrong turn.

Waiting for the fog to lift

Waiting for the fog to lift

Do You Get The Idea Of A Rest Day my friends?! Needed and appreciated!!!!!!

So what IS a Rest Day?
For me, a rest day is a day to reflect on this journey.  What have I learned about myself and life?
I take time to think of the people that have touched my life. Why did I meet a stranger on a plane in August as I was heading home from visiting friends in Maine, who had done a cross America bike trip? Why did he inspire me to attempt such a journey?

A rest day is my day to process my appreciation for you and so many things in my life. I can reflect on just how grateful I am for all the donations raised for Alzheimer’s.  I can’t think of a better way to rest than to thank God for my all blessings!!!!!!

Tomorrow we are off to Perry, Florida, a 54 mile ride.
Please continue to pray for our safety as our trip winds down. More miles to go and more journey to embrace.

Till tomorrow

Day 47: This one’s for you, Mom.

This is the Blog I have ridden across this country to write.
It is special because today is the 3rd anniversary of my Mom’s death to Alzheimer’s disease. My mom had no other illnesses, and I watched her body shut down as her brain shut down.
I watched this wicked disease take everything we all take for granted from my mother– walking, talking, dressing, grooming, going to the bathroom, eating, and the most painful, not knowing her family.  I only wish I could have talked to Mom when she first started getting sick, but we just did not know enough to understand what was really happening.  So she slipped away and then it was too late to say Good-Bye.
Today, I dedicate this blog to you, Mom, but please understand, MOM, you are sharing this dedication with every person living today with Alzheimer’s disease.  Today, I am a different person from your little girl.  I am a woman who will never stop fighting  to bring awareness to this tragic disease.  I will do that to honor YOU for the rest of my life.
Today we rode into Florida, stopping in Pensacola. I did not know it would be so emotional, but I can’t believe this is our last state and only 9 days till St Augustine.  I can only imagine that feeling and I continue to pray for our safety as that day approaches.
My fundraising to date is $9045 to my goal of $10,000
Please help me realize my goal with a donation of any amount !
Online or a check to the Alzheimer’s Association 6350 Center Drive, Suite 102 Norfolk, VA, 23502
With appreciation and respect