I was looking for an adventure this summer - and I am certainly getting it!!!
My last post stated that our van had broken down. The good news is this: it was NOT the transmission (as we initially thought), but rather a couple leaks we were able to get patched up with the help of some amazing and kind folks who stepped forward just when we needed them. It could not have worked out much better, really... and we now have the van back and were able to use it to offer support to our 14 riders as they made an 80-mile ride today from Apple Valley, CA to Twentynine Palms, CA.
Much has happened in between then and now.
Yesterday when we were van-less, I planned to spend the day doing some odds and ends while I waited for our rental vehicle to come pick me up at our hotel. As the bikers were warming up for their ride, one stepped down to get off her bike and her foot slipped under her. She fell pretty hard... and could hardly move. So the team left without her and I got her to a doctor. Unfortunately, it looks like she won't be able to ride the rest of the trip... she has fractured her tailbone. ugh. Poor Criselda is having a rough go... her pain pills made her sick today, which was quite miserable as she had to sit in a hot van in the desert as we made our way to support the team. I have to say, though, I am absolutely blown away by her optimism and laid-back reaction to it all. She is even going to stick it out- and I welcome her presence with me (us) in the van.
There was also a decent wipe-out on the road yesterday with another rider. She's sore and has a pulled groin (ouch!), but is going to be okay. thankfully. She wiped out on a busy highway, at probably the only time all day there weren't cars there that would have hit her.
When we arrived in Apple Valley, we were absolutely blessed by Apple Vally Baptist Church that took care of us. We parked our bikes there, then went to the pastor's house where we were hosted with an amazing grill-out - great food and fellowship! It was nice for the "event" to be so laid back and overwhelmingly friendly! In talking to Mindy about Phoenix, I mentioned I am excited to get together with a friend who lives there (Brian), and when she asked I told her I knew him from an organization called MoSAIC. She was definitely interested to hear not about the organization, but about how I as a Christian can support my theology as a part of such an organization. She didn't push - I didn't either - and we kept it low-key and conversational (NOT a debate) as to not stir up controversy in this room in which I am pretty sure I am the only one who stands in affirmation of such inclusion in the church (avoiding conflict out of respect, not because I am afraid to let others know what I believe). She received it openly and curiously, and I look forward (!?!?) to furthering the conversation later, when we don't have to 'whisper'.
From there, we split up into host homes. I went with 3 other girls to stay with Bunnie, a wonderful older woman (and her husband/mother) who opened her house to us to give us a cool, clean, wonderful place to stay. We were so grateful for things like showers... and she made the rooms up all nice, even putting chocolate mints on our pillows! She was fantastic. I do wish we had had more of a chance to chat with her, but it was nice to just relax. We (Mindy, Blocker, and Margie were also all staying there) sat around for a little while and chatted... it was great to have that time with no agenda but just to talk about our thoughts and experiences and impressions, etc thus far.
Hospitality we have received thus far has been amazing, and I hope everyone knows how much we appreciate it!