Daily Archives: June 28, 2009

Jeannie Benton’s Ride Across America for Military and OLT June 27th Update

Jeannie wearing her OLT Jersey! (2)

Hello to everyone out there today!  We are on Day 6, leaving from John Day, OR and heading to Baker City, which is 81 miles away.  We started off with a cool morning today, about 45 degrees, it was chilly.  We started off again getting up at 5, stuff on the trucks by 5:45 and breakfast at 6, heading out about 6:30 or 6:45 this morning.  It was a nice, smooth, very peaceful, quiet morning as we rode out for about 12 miles.  It was a prairie area; we went through the town of Prairie City.  Very picturesque, really sweet, the quietness was really nice, hearing all the birds and seeing the cattle.  It was really very peaceful, a nice time.

Then we started climbing, climbing, climbing, climbing.  We had a really nice photo op in an area that had a nice view that looked out over some mountain ranges; I think they were called the Strawberry Mountain ranges.  There was a covered wagon there.  You’re going to see some of those pictures that we took that were really nice.   That was kind of the beginning of a very long climb again.  We climbed up to Dixie Mount Summit, which is 5277 feet above sea level, which was a hike again.  We had a very nice SAG stop near a little restaurant where we had a delicious blackberry cobbler that they made homemade, and they made sure they made extra, knowing that we were coming.  That was very welcomed.

Then we continued to climb, climb, climb, and even though we climbed to 5124 feet, we had gone downhill for a while and climbed back up again.  So I can honestly say again that the downhills today were probably my favorite.  Yesterday they were my favorite and today was even more my favorite, because the roads were smooth, little traffic on the route.  We were on Route 26 all yesterday; today we were on 26 and moved later on onto Route 7.  Route 26 is a very nice route going across Oregon.

It was a very nice ride.  We had another SAG stop that was near a very pretty facility that looked out over some water, which was very nice.  Still, doing 81 miles after doing 117 yesterday was pretty challenging.  But we’re all doing it and we’re all thankful that everyone is safe.  It was a very nice day today.  The weather warmed up to the 80s.  We really have had wonderful weather, very thankful for that.

I’ve been particularly thinking of moms who are home with their kids and people who are out there whose lives didn’t turn out the way they’d planned.  You may be doing things in real drudgery and a lot of work and no one really noticing what you’re doing and no one really giving you much thanks or praise for what you do.  You might be a little bit lonely and you might be wondering if your life is really going anywhere.  I was particularly thinking of people in that category today and I was praying for you that you’d really be lifted up and that you’d be encouraged, and that you would know that I’ve been there and I really understand that time.  A lot of times we do things when nobody is noticing, but I can tell you that God notices and I can tell you that I’ve been thinking of you and just wanted you to know that my thoughts and prayers were with you today.  You do matter.  Life does have some hard twists and turns.  As I was cranking up the hills, I was thinking how there was just no way sometimes that we could go any faster than 5 mph for a long, long time going up hills.  Sometimes our lives kind of feel like we’re going no where.  But you know what, you are going somewhere.  I never would have dreamed that I’d ever be doing this trip, and there were times when there were really tough days to even get through an hour.  I can tell you right now that here I am, never would have dreamed that it would be like this.  I have never been so happy and thrilled that I’m alive, that I’m succeeding at a goal that I just dreamed of.  So start dreaming, start thinking of some things that you want to do in your life, and start putting little plans in place to make it happen.  You might have some setbacks, but if you keep on moving toward that goal, one day it’s going to happen.  For me, every day it’s just getting out on the road and being safe and watching out for what I need to watch out for.  Yes, I’m having some fun, but it’s also a lot of work.  But you know what, it’s just one day at a time, one pedal stroke at a time, and we get to our destination.

I’m thinking of you men out there who are fighting for us and keeping our country free.  I know I keep saying that, but we would not have this beautiful America if it weren’t for our forefathers, if it weren’t for brave people, brave men and women and people who were willing to do the hard stuff, the stuff that it takes to get things done and the stuff that it takes to keep our country going.  I’m seeing a lot of farmland and I’m really thanking God for all of the fruits of their labors.  Thank you to you farmers out there, and to everyone who is doing the daily grind, the truckers who are shipping the stuff everywhere it has to go, the railroad people.  I’m seeing a lot of the blue-collar workers, the ones who are the substance of our country.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I really am proud to be an American.   As thrilling as this is, it’s also really emotional, and I’m just overwhelmed with the beauty of our country and the opportunities that we have.

So everyone who is having a tough spot, just know that in one more minute something could be better, in five more minutes something could be that much better, in another day, in another month, in the months to come, in another year.   Your life can take turns that you never dreamed of, and life can get so much better for you.  When you’re hitting those hard spots, just remember, there are people out there who care.  If you don’t know of anybody who cares about you, just know that I’m somebody who doesn’t know you but I care about you.  Just remember that and don’t give up, keep on fighting the fight and keep on walking the walk and doing the battle.  That’s what it takes, and you’re going to make it.

Tomorrow we head out to Ontario.  We have 84 miles to do tomorrow.  We’re going to be climbing just a little bit tomorrow in the beginning of the day.  The rest of it, what will be difficult about it is there will be a lot more traffic than we’re even used to, and we’ll just have to be very, very careful of the road conditions with those runner things that go along the road that can give us flats and give us a lot of danger.   But we’ll make it, 84 miles, and it should be interesting tomorrow.

Thank you, and my love goes out to all of you out there, my friends and family.  My dad is recovering better and better every day, he’s definitely getting stronger and doing well from his surgery.  It’s good to be with the people here.  Every day that we’re alive is a good day.   God bless you, and God bless America.



Filed under Ride Across America, Uncategorized