Monday, June 23, 2008

Day 40: Bandon, OR

What a great way to start our trek through Oregon! We did 110 miles today, and let me tell you, the team dominated them! We had breakfast and then immediately began our biking for the day, without complaints or delays. The weather was so cold, but that didn't stop us from making record time: 6 1/2 hours for 110 miles!!! Our team is stronger than ever.

As we came into Oregon, we were welcomed by other bikers headed south. It was cool to see fellow bikers on the road. We're like our own little community, waving from opposite ends of the road, checking out each others' bikes, and talking about our journeys with one another.

We arrived at St. John's Episcopal Church in Bandon, and were so grateful to have 40 people eat and talk with us about our cause. Justin, Kyle, and I gave an amazing presentation and opened it up for questions. There are so many people who are affected by suicide, and the stories keep on rolling. It really touched us to hear such personal accounts.

After, we went to the Sunset Motel, where a lady named Denise Skillman gave us a place to stay for the evening! The motel overlooks the beautiful Oregon beach!!! On the way back from our dinner presentation, the team stopped and walked down to the ocean while the sun was setting. We saw seals and gulls, perfectly smoothed stones, and huge cliff-rocks out in the water. The rest of the team went back up to the van to drive back to the motel, but Justin and I decided to walk around the shoreline to our motel. We saw the sun literally disappear behind the ocean. We wished we had a camera, but the batteries were dead. Maybe tomorrow morning we'll get a picture, before we leave.

I think I truly understand the phrase "Se la vie"- so is life. Before today, I'd wake up almost regretting getting out of bed. I knew the day would be filled with a challenging, athletic feat that appeared to be a year-long process. After that, we'd have to go through hours of settling into a place, just to wake up and do it all over again.

Today, however, was different. I got up, without complaints. I helped pack, without yelling. I offered to bike first, without negotiations. I set a high goal of 50 miles and when I only did 30, I was still proud of myself. I walked on the beach in a part of the country I've never been before, watched the sunset, and didn't have a camera... but I took it all in and was happy anyway.

I think sometimes we forget what we're doing on this trip. We're caught in a routine at times, and I realize it in the middle of the day. That's what's so great about biking... it slows life down to a point where you HAVE to stop and smell the roses. You HAVE to look around you and appreciate that life is so much more than the daily routine.

What a great way to start our trek through Oregon!

On another note I just want to say, on behalf of the team, we miss our families and friends. Hi to everyone back home, and thanks for the support!


Mindy said...

It's hard to believe that you are already in Oregon! You guys are doing a fantastic job!

Dad and I read the blogs every morning. We love to read about your progress and adventures. It helps us kick start our day!

We miss and love you!
xxx ooo

sonia said...

Congratulations on entering another state! The pictures are beautiful. I hope everyone keeps warm. Tell Justin to wear his coat. LOL

We too wake up first thing to read your blogs. We feel a part even though we are not riding. Thank you for doing this. It is for a GREAT cause.

Life does go by so quickly. Especially as you get older. Remember these times. Ponder them in your hearts. And truly enjoy today because it is a "present".

Love You!
Justin's mom

Anonymous said...

I read yalls blogs daily at work. I look forward to a new one each and every day. My aunt commited suicide 2 years ago this November so this campaign really speaks to my heart. Great job guys! I appreciate all you are doing!

jonstoops said...

I continue to be impressed and proud of you guys (and gal)! Some comments... Yes, Kyle should probably be a professor and thank you Lord that Al ended up going with you guys, you'd be lost without her. Be in prayer always. Oregon and Washington are states that have been ravaged by suicide in the last couple of decades. Continue to bless those with whom you fellowship! Stoops

cutelilbubear09 said...

Hey guys...LOVE to catch up on your blog after a long day of work! Miss ya'll! <3 Ash

ps--Kyle, hang in there!!!

Michael Barr said...

Howdy: Tried to catch you in California but it appears you are ahead of your on line itinerary. Wife and I just returned from a vacation in the Northwest (Coos Bay, and parts north). I'm a bicyclist and a mental health professional from Tucson, Ariz. I agree that Suicide is a problem and there are many with thoughts who are reluctant to talk to others. We need to be cognizant of this and willing to ask others if we suspect suicide is an issue. Keep your spirits up, NEVER give up and I hope to connect with you when you return to the lower 48. Make it happen! Michael Barr