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!