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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Learnings

Now this adventure is over I am brought to think on what it means to me and what I have learned.

First, I find it amazing that even a senior man in reasonable good health can achieve this.  The key in endurance.  Of course I had to condition my legs to take the 4-8 hours of continuous effort every day except Sunday, but once I had got to that point it was relatively easy to finish the goal.  We often marvel that the early pioneers of the western United States could make the long travel by wagon or hand-cart.  However, I think that when you set up a routine, have developed sufficient strength, it is just a matter of continuing the daily routine and in due time you are there. 

You must avoid the pit falls, of course.  For me that included avoiding sunburn.  I was not use to that  much time in the sun.  I applied 50 sun block liberally, but still found my nose getting burned.  I fashioned a duck bill visor on the front of my helmet using cardboard and duct tape.  I never had a burned nose again. 

Louis, Lynn, and I had our weather challenge in Washington where we had two days of cycling in the rain.  By choosing our travel time during the warm part of the year (July and August) we avoided getting chilled and endured the rain even with Lynn's multiple flat tires.  Try sitting on the side of the road, in the rain, trying to repair a tube (because all spares had leaks), with logging trucks barreling by.  To do that without discouragement is amazing.  However, we were very thankful when our support car, with Luetta's inspiration, came back just in time with spare tubes.  Patches don't glue well when wet.

This was the summer that wasn't for Luetta and I. We lived with fog, and fog drizzle more often than not. Even sunny San Diego, was foggy most of the time. I guess that is life on the coast.

I have been inspired by my fives sons (and several family members) joining me on parts of this trip.  My two daughters would have loved to come but it didn't work out for them.  I don't mind long hours of cycling alone (three weeks of this) and enjoying the special solitude of that, but it was much more enjoyable having loved ones with me on the ride and  at camp. 

Of course most inspirational of all was my wife, Luetta.  When I first proposed this idea to her, I had thought to go alone will full touring gear, but she said she wanted to go with me.  I was very happy to have her company and love and help throughout this adventure.  She cycled some, but for the most part drove our car.  She amazed me, being able to find all these camp sites and hotels.  Truly, it was a joint effort and I thank her from the bottom of my heart for supporting this crazy goal.

Now, I think what adventure is next for us.  In retirement we have the time and so far the health to pursue them.  We are planning on serving a senior couple mission for our church.  We have to submit our application and then wait and see what part of the world we are called to.  We plan on a 23 month mission, so the adventure will continue.  Stay tuned to this blog for the ongoing adventure.  Luetta has a cousin that has been in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and most recently Hong Kong.  I have a cousin that served in London and another that is now in Cebu Philippines.  They serve and teach principles that help people find happiness in life and an eternal perspective to existence, what could be more exciting than that.

STAY TUNED.

1 comment:

  1. I sure am excited to hear about an upcoming mission. My parents decided that they could only afford a certain amount of money per month, so were convinced that they would be going to an inexpensive Stateside mission. They had said they would go anywhere, but wanted to go English speaking. They were shocked when they got their call to South Africa. :) IT was a little scary to them, but they enjoyed it sooooooo much!

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I have worked 30 years at Del Monte Foods in Walnut Creek CA, 5 years at Ralston Purina in San Diego CA, 7 years at Carnation in Oconomowoc WI