Hello! It’s 7:40 p.m. out here in Oregon. Astoria has been a beautiful day. I do want to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all the men and dads out there, and I just wanted you to know how much children really need you dads. So Happy Father’s Day and thank you for all you do for your children and your families.
For the start of the day I did get up at quarter to 6 and got some breakfast with the group and headed out for 9 o’clock to go out on our ride. We were due to arrive at the Fort Stevens State Park; however, the group that I was with did get a little lost from the directions. We ended up over at Sunset Beach Road along the coast, a beautiful ocean front there, and then found our way back to finding out how we got lost, and did get ourselves to the state park. So we got there much later than we expected to, but we had a wonderful ride. We had mixed weather between wind and beautiful sunshine and rain, we kind of had a mix of it all, in and out of different kind of weather patterns for about those two or three hours that we were riding today. When we got in, I had to change hotels because I had to be at a different hotel last night. I was at the Dunes Motel, and I can say that they were wonderful there. The owner there is very sweet. I shared with her about OLT and she was really excited about getting that information. She said she is going to follow our ride. I talked to the housekeeping lady who helped clean the rooms, and gave her a tip, and just really thanked her for everything and gave her a card and shared OLT with her. She was very excited as well.
Once I got kind of settled back into my room over here where we’re staying, at the Holiday Inn Express, I had to go down to ride down to the bike shop to get some bike parts. I rode my way down to Bikes & Beyond and talked to the man who owns that store, and I got my bike pump and a few things that I didn’t have that I needed for my bike because I had lost them. He was wonderful. I shared OLT with him as well. On my way back I stopped off at a Subway and talked to some moms with their children and again shared OLT with them and had a wonderful little conversation with them. I made my way back to wash up a little to get to a 3 o’clock meeting. We had a briefing with everybody, the 50-plus riders who are riding, and we had a little get-to-know-you session of everyone kind of saying where they were from, their names, and why they were on this ride. I shared that it was a dream of mine for over 12 years, but I was also very excited to be riding for Operation Life Transformed and how it has added this great excitement and value to me riding. I always wanted to ride for a cause and I’m very, very proud of riding for you all. I shared that and shared about my 4 kids, whom I’m really proud of and just really thankful that I have them.
I want to give my love to my parents; my dad is having surgery soon, because he has cancer, so I’m just praying for him that he’ll be fine on the 25th of June with his surgery in New York City. I want to give them my love, and to my boyfriend Raymond, and all my children, I love them dearly. To all my friends back in Bedford, NH, tomorrow is a final for the students, so I just want to let them know I hope they do well on their finals. To the Bedford High School staff and students, I just want to let them know I’m thinking of all of them tomorrow as they have their last day of finals. They have make-up day on Tuesday, but tomorrow a lot of them will be finished. I just want to tell them that I hope they have a wonderful summer. I’ve really appreciated their excitement for me and their encouragement. I thank the whole staff, especially Mr. Pepper, O’Hare and Pepper class. The American History class that I was in this year was amazing, the students were great. I was able to share about my ride towards the end of school there and they were all very excited for me. I just love the students there and I just want them all to know that I’ve really enjoyed my year being a Para there and look forward to seeing them again soon.
Anyway, we had our briefing, which was for about three hours actually, from 3 until about 6, and then we had some dinner; we were all very hungry! We finished eating and I just got back to my room. So even though it’s late for all of you on the East Coast, it’s still just quarter of 8 for me, but I’m definitely going to probably get to bed by 9:30.
Tomorrow is what we call a jersey day. I’ll need to wear our America by Bicycle shirts that they gave us so that we all leave Astoria in our jersey shirts. They are all-American with the red, white and blue and they’re really beautiful. We’ll all be wearing those tomorrow as we leave Astoria and head to St. Helens in Oregon. It’s about a 70-mile trip, not really too long of a ride tomorrow, but we do have a lot of climbing terrain to do tomorrow. We’re all excited. Each of us is riding together and we’re looking forward to becoming a team of riders and looking out for each other.
I once again am just really thankful to be riding for Operation Life Transformed. Tania and Jay of Operation Life Transformed, I thank you for everything, and Jay especially for all of your help. Jay, transcriber from HDTI Institute who’s doing this for me, it’s a huge load off my mind that I don’t have to try to put this on the computer, since I’m not very good on the computer yet! Something I still have to learn that I will get better at when I get home.
Anyway, blessings to all, and I thank everyone and look forward to starting the ride tomorrow, very exciting. This has been a beautiful stay here, looking out over the river over a huge bridge in Astoria. It’s been a really friendly, wonderful town. The Holiday Inn Express here has been wonderful, the staff has been great, the room is really wonderful, and I feel very blessed and very fortunate to be here.
Thank you all and I hope you have a good night’s sleep and a good day tomorrow as you get this message. Take care!