Day 56: St. Augustine!!!

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Wow!!! We made to St Augustine on a warm, sunny and no wind day. What a blessing with all the terrible weather around us. We went to a beach and I dipped my front tire in the Atlantic, no small … Continue reading

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 48: A once in a lifetime day..

photo 1 (10)Today, April 23, is a very special birthday for me not just because is was # 60, but because there will never be one like it again.
I have been blessed to bike across America for Alzheimer’s Disease, my new bike buddies shared the happy day with me, I had a great 65 mile ride to Crestview, Florida, I was interviewed by the Huffington Post (checkout my Facebook), we are staying at a nice hotel (Hampton Inn), I got to pick dinner so I picked spaghetti, my wonderful husband Alan sent me a dozen red roses, tomorrow is our last 95 mile ride, my old running buddy Pat is driving down from Huntsville, Alabama tomorrow to visit in Marianne, Florida, I am ever so close to my fundraising goal and I received so many kind birthday wishes.
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Please know how grateful I am and how much I look forward to seeing everyone back in Va.

Rona

SHE DID IT!!!!

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Day 46: Takin’ it easy before the home stretch

Monday, rest day in Dauphin Island, Alabama:
What a nice feeling to wake up whenever you want, no rush to eat, no dragging duffle bags, no dragging bikes outside, no checking tires, no making snacks, no trying to decide what to wear based on weather predictions, no reviewing cue sheets for directions hoping to not get lost, no stress of traffic–just our day at a nice Resort to do whatever!!! Thank you!!
Tomorrow we bike the 2.5 miles to a ferry we take to Florida and ride 57.5 miles to Pensacola.  9 more riding days and one more rest day before St Augustine.
I will continue to bring awareness to Alzheimer’s, but a day off sure was nice!!!
Thank you for your amazing support–I will need it for the home stretch!!!!

Day 36: Five weeks down!!

I am dedicating this post to all my Blog readers over the last 5 weeks!  And those of you who have just joined me on my bike across America for Alzheimer’s trip, no worries–I still have 3 weeks to go!!


Please share my Blog as it is my hope to reach or exceed my fundraising for Alzheimer’s goal of $10,000.  To date, I am at $7356…..
Checks can be sent to Alzheimer’s Association, 6350 Center Dr Norfolk, Va. 23502 Attention : Rona’s Ride. Or donate online from my Blog… any amount is appreciated!

Today’s ride was special as it is our last stop (don’t ask about the hotel) in Texas.  Tomorrow, we pedal into Lake Charles, Louisiana. About an 80 mile ride!

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So I left our Super 8 Motel in Cleveland–yes, Texas–around 7:50 am, headed down a busy (did I say **busy**) 2 lane road.  We were sharing it with trucks, 18 wheelers, open back logging trucks filled with pine logs and yes DOGS!! Today I was prepared with my whistle and of course some nuts and M&M’s to throw at them in an emergency!  I just want you to know, I am afraid of dogs. it’s not that I don’t like dogs I am just afraid of them! Ok, so there are two bike buddies ahead of me about 100 yards and I see the DOG but I could see he was limping in fact it looked like he only had 3 legs!  No problem, I thought.  Wrong! Here he comes and I put my whistle in my mouth (it’s now around my neck) and blew it–in fact YOU might have heard me! He is limping on 3 flipping legs, but boy can he run!  But BOY can I pedal!!  Remember the buddies 100 yards ahead of me?  Well now I have caught them!!!! 1 for Rona, 0 for the limping DOG…
I am grateful for a safe ride to the Pinewood Inn (don’t ask).

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It was a flat 63 mile ride today, our first one with really no hills.  Lots of green trees and of course we ride secondary farm or country roads when possible. Small town America in Texas! Tonight’s stop is Silsbee, population 6,000…….

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Thank you for your continued support and prayers for our safety # 1 …..
Love,
Rona

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Our Cook, Kimberly

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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!!
Love,
Rona

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Day 31: Strength from our numbers

(Posted a day late – Day 32 blog coming right up!)

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We left Austin in a small group and it was not long before we missed a turn, it was cold and started to rain! We found after asking for help with directions, that there is no problem with asking. We found an alternate route that connected us back with our route and we think we saved a few miles! Stopped at the support car (SAG) and it started to rain really hard and thus began my downward spin. I got really cold and of course wet! Not a good combination especially on a bike! We found a gas station food mart and a few of us stopped quickly. I got some hot coffee, but got scared as I shook from the cold. Some ladies headed out and I considered a bump call it quits for the day. One lady, Mary Slade stayed with me awhile longer and thanks to her support, I decided to go for it. She gave me the strength with her support and I made it to the next SAG stop where she had extra clothes stored. Her kindness continued as she offered and I took her extra clothes. I had never ridden a bike in the cold and rain, so chalk up another new experience for this rookie rider. All ended well for me, as I am writing you this laying in a nice hotel bed (Hampton Inn) waiting for the washer and eating kettle corn I bought in Fredericksburg–yes, Texas.

 

I am grateful today for Mary Slade and the blessing of God taking care of us during this challenging day. As always I am grateful for your love and support I drew on it today for sure!!!!
I am also grateful for reaching $7216 to my goal of $10,000 for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Love,
Rona