I have not had any two of my drive days be even remotely similar. But today proved to be the most hectic yet. I did the driving solo today and thus had to do all the rest stops, having to keep up with everyone. So, that became quite stressful at one point, but all's well that ends well, right? Now I am just thankful that the day has ended and can look forward to tomorrow's ride to San Francisco! We are staying at another church here in Manteca, which is the first good-sized town we have stayed in since we crossed into California. That being said, many of us enjoyed our first In-N-Out Burger of the trip. For Rambeau, it was his first ever. The burgers were quite delicious with a shake to wash it down after a hard day's drive.
So sorry I have not posted in a while, we were in Canada with very limited internet access, and then we met up with the Rockies team about 10 days ago in Whitehorse and we have been busy sharing stories and catching up ever since and everything has just been pretty crazy. But, we are now in Anchorage, we arrived yesterday to an amazing meal. We were led in by a fire truck to Alaska Pacific University where we are staying for now and will be going to host houses tomorrow.
Lee Vining, CA through Yosemite National Park
Benton, CA to Lee Vining, CA
Tonopah, NV to Benton, CA
Rachel, NV to Tonopah, NV
Caliente, NV to Rachel, NV
Dammeron Valley, UT to Caliente, NV
Zion National Park to Dammeron Valley, UT
Day off in Zion National Park
Kanab, UT to Zion National Park
Page, AZ to Kanab, UT
Shonto, AZ to Page, AZ
Mexican Water, AZ to Shonto, AZ
Farmington, NM to Mexican Water, AZ
Cuba, NM to Farmington, NM
Albuquerque, NM to Cuba, NM
I assumed a day off would be restful and not exhausting. I should have known better and should not assume such anymore. A day off simply meant it was a day to do everything we have been putting off since we started riding. I feel more tired now after a day off the bike than I do after a day in the saddle.
Encino, NM to Albuquerque, NM
Fort Sumner, NM to Encino, NM
Clovis, NM to Fort Sumner, NM
Lubbock, TX to Clovis, NM
Post, TX to Lubbock, TX
Sweetwater, TX to Post, TX
Coleman, TX to Sweetwater, TX
Lampasas, TX to Coleman, TX
Cedar Park, TX to Lampasas, TX (2007 ATLAS Ride)
Austin, TX to Cedar Park, TX
Hi, How are you? Or better yet, who are you? Or maybe I'm the only one who constantly asks myself that. Whatever. Things are going. Going indeed. Of course, they could definitely be better, but often the case is such. And, of course, things could indeed be much, much worse. I, however, choose to focus on the negatives for whatever reason. But, as Sir Paul taught us all, life goes on. And go on it will, hopefully soon. But until then, I suppose I will write and bike for lack of a better solution. Perhaps that's not a bad solution after all though.
I realize it has been a while since I last posted... So, if anyone reads this, I apologize for not updating. I suppose with this synced with Facebook, people will read it there. I'm not sure anyone knows this blogger site exists though... Oh well, maybe someone will stumble upon it one day. Things kinda died there for a little while, so I didn't have much to write, and we haven't been able to login to our website for almost two months now, awaiting the completion of a completely awesome facelift to the entire site, thanks to our webmaster. Unfortunately, his progress was a bit hindered by the infamous bird flu. Ack. By the way, I got my first ever flu shot last week, and didn't pass out! that makes I think three consecutive shots, plus a blood test that I have successfully endured without passing out! Yay me! Yeah, I'm a wimp, whatever.
Today I woke up to an e-mail from one of the recipients of my letters, Mr. Peter Niccum. He is one of the main ways in which I have been affected by cancer. Admittedly, I still know very little about Cancer and it has not had a huge effect on myself, but his story has been one that my mom has kept me updated on throughout the years, and I hope that my efforts in this ride help Mr. Niccumand others like him and prevents others from having the same experience. Truth be told, I was initially wanted to do the ride purely for the experience of riding a bike from Austin to Alaska, and the fact that it benefits cancer research was just another motivating factor in making me want to do the ride. But, I tell everyone I talk to about what I am doing, and when they hear about it, they tell me some of the most incredible stories I have ever heard. Some of the tales I have heard just in the past month have really touched me and I think that by the time we begin pedaling from Austin, this trip will have a completely different meaning for me, and probably for the rest of my team as well. It is all very exciting right now.
A few hours after I posted that last entry, after I returned from band rehearsal, I got an e-mail from a good friend's mom saying her and her husband had donated to the ride! So that means my letters have reached some people and I hope to be hearing more responses soon! This is exciting! I hope this creates a trend!
So, since the last post... I have made little progress on fundraising... I am sitting at right about $130 in donations right now... But, I am confident that I will meet the $4,000 requirement and hopefully make it to at least $5,000. It's this upcoming $1,000 deadline in December that I'm worried about. But, I will probably end up having to front the money myself, and then as my donations start to come in, I can get that money back, and all will be well. Fear not my friends!
By the way of progress from the last entry I wrote, I talked to a family friend who my mother has known since before I was born. But anyway, she is a published author and accomplished businesswoman, and she has agreed to help us raise money for our cause! She said she would be more than willing to talk with business contacts she has and even donate part of the proceeds from a book that is going to be published and released soon! I cannot even express how incredibly excited and grateful I am at this moment. It's all too often that you hear about all the terrible happenings around the world and humanitiy seems to have lost its dignity. But not often enough do we remind ourselves of the good acts of others which are too easily overlooked by society and deserve much more attention than they receive. What a good weekend it has been. I hope everyone else's went equally as well.
Ok, so admittedly I'm rather behind on my fundraising... Things have been crazy. But as a result of posting in my blogs and such, I got my first donation, $10, from one of my fellow trombone players. I also went out and did some panhandling on Friday, which was a bit hampered by law enforcement... and then tomorrow I will be heading out to Race for the Cure. Also, at least 5 other friends have said they will donate and I'm also waiting on the response from my letters. But it's progress at least!
So that last entry was somewhat of a test drive to see how this all works I suppose, and just a general introduction somewhat. As you can probably tell by now though, I like to write, and I tend to get carried away. If you don't believe me, look to the left half of this page. It was really hard to keep those blurbs within a reasonable length. And then we needed a 200 character excerpt for the Rider Spotlight portion of the page, and that was possibly more challenging than my last Physics test. On the other hand, I am very shy when I first meet people, as I'm sure most of my new teammates have noticed. I'm just not good at meeting people, but I get comfortable quickly with new friends. That's neither here nor there I suppose, as it's up to the reader to decide how much to read. However, for my own personal benefit and reflection more than anything else, I would say you can expect rather verbose and frequent entries here. Why am I writing right now? Well, I told myself I would go to the computer lab between classes and work on my homework. I got here, I checked my e-mail, and as always, I ended up here. And I mean, do you blame me? This is a much more stress-free alternative to homework.
So here goes nothing. I'm finally getting around to writing in my journal. Actually, I've really been meaning to do this for some time, but in the past two weeks I've had tests in all my classes, and band has been keeping me busy as ever preparing for the weekly football games, and I just haven't had much time to breathe in general.