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Thank You, Lord!!!

by on October 23, 2012

I am so blessed; I truly mean that. And at this moment I am happy, very happy, and emotionally spent. Let me tell you why! I woke up this morning and had some lovely e-mails from many of you (and I will reply, I promise, over the next few days) but one, in particular, stood out and it was from Malone and he shared some loving words and told me he was proud of me. So I set out happy and, yes, I cried a little. So we wander along on our final ride into Charleston and at one point we meet up with a police escort that guided us for 8 miles through Charleston and we had an entire lane to ourselves, a bunch of proud peacocks all decked out in our Trek XC jerseys. And we arrive at a pub where we rendezvous for the final 7 miles and we had a beer and some appetizers. So I open my e-mail and there is an e-mail from Morgan with a video of congratulations (that took her 11 1/2 hours to upload to YouTube) and so I’m sitting by myself at a table outside (relevance of location in a moment) and there I go crying again. The video is so touching. So I’m sitting there red-eyed and I hear someone say “hello, there” and I look up and it’s my oldest sister Shirley, age 72, and behind her are two of her amazing sons, Rick and Mike, and their beautiful female partners, Laurie and Pam. I was stunned and thrilled and I tell you, if my heart wasn’t so strong, I would have had a heart attack right there. I was reeling with joy and surprise. It turns out that Shirley et al had just driven 19 hours straight from Sault Ste. Marie, Canada to surprise me (yes, Cayce was in on it). Okay, so another crying jag and much hugging. You see, I love all my brothers and sisters equally but Shirley is just special because she reminds me of our Mom so much and she just lost her loving husband of 52 years, Tom, in March and we seem to have grown closer through my epic challenge. So I need to leave Shirley and head off in our group to our final destination. We get about a mile up the road and there’s Shirley, Rick, Mike, Laurie, and Pam at the side of the road congratulating me and all the Trek XC riders with lovely home-made signs. A few more tears. So then we arrive at our final destination at the Atlantic Ocean and there’s Cayce and the Casey’s and the Youngs, all decked out in newly minted congratulatory t-shirts welcoming me along with Shirley’s family. A few more tears. Then the dipping of the bike in the Atlantic and more tears in recognition of what I’ve accomplished and how loved I am. I’m hoping I’ll be able to upload all the pictures we took.

So now we’re about to go out to dinner (all 11 of us) to celebrate Cayce’s 55th birthday. More tears on the way.

So now you can understand why I’m so happy and emotionally spent. So I was going to offer some perspective on my experience over the past 6 weeks but I think I’ll save that for tomorrow.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for staying with me. Now, let’s see if the pictures came through.






From → On The Road

  1. No doubt in my mind that you’d be celebrating at the coast today. And what a wonderful celebration with family. I know it’s hard to express in words, so luckily I know the feeling! I’m very proud of you, Don. You’ve aced the one and can tell the world what an amazing achievement this has been. Bigger than mine, fella. You guys had the worst weather ever. Glad I could be a teeny tiny part of it with you! Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Cary permalink

    So glad you made it! So impressed! So proud to know someone with such determination, stamina and grit! Hope you have a fabulous evening celebrating your incredible accomplishment and your darling bride! xo

  3. Dorothy permalink

    Well Don we are very proud of you as well and was glad that we could keep Shirley’s secret . It is nice to see you two together . I too have tears.What a glorious day you had. Such memories to tell your grandchildren. Love Dorothy

  4. Kristi permalink

    Congratulations uncle Don! You are truly an inspiration having completed such a tough challenge! It makes me realize that a person can do anything they set their mind to! Wish I could have been there to celebrate with you! Lots of love kristi and Adrian…..

  5. Brad and Karen Ottoson permalink

    YOU DID IT!!!!! Congratulations Don. We are soooooo happy for you. Thank you for sending us daily updates. What a thrill to hear about the daily challenges you faced and how you overcame them. What an inspiration you are. Have a wonderful time celebrating with family and friends. You’ve earned it.

    Love ya!

    Brad and Karen

  6. Stefan Lovgren permalink

    Woohoo!! Have an amazing time celebrating with your family and friends. I know what a challenge this trek was, especially with all the bad weather, but I never had any doubt you’d make it. You’re the man!!
    Congrats!! Stefan

  7. Joanna Hurst permalink

    Well I’ll admit I am blubbering reading this post….luckily I am sitting at home and not outside at a lunch table:) It’s difficult(without being able to hug you) to express how proud we all are of you Don and of your accomplishment through this challenging journey! What a blessing to have family and dear friends there to celebrate the amazing YOU! The photos are wonderful! Hugs to all, J

  8. Brenda Seasons permalink

    Sigh. Now what?? Lol. Congrats again from Canada – where Calgary is covered in snow and freezing cold. Enjoy the next few days and then get off your butt and start that run training…CHEERS. A toast to you. B

  9. Becky Ayers permalink

    Way to go! Keep dreamin’ big, Don. You inspire us.

    Best to you and your family!!! Becky and Bob

  10. John Heil permalink

    What an accomplishment of a lifetime! Congratulations to you for attaining a truly remarkable, amazingly challenging, and physically demanding goal.

    You have inspired us all along the way!

  11. Jack Horne permalink

    Congrats once again on your wonderful accomplishment. I marvel at the positive impact you have on so many lives–not just via this extraordinary bike trip, but throughout your life–and in so many ways!!! When I grow up I want to be just like you. Thanks for sharing your journey and sharing yourself with all of us who love you! I look forward to seeing you, hearing more detail of your epic adventure, having some coffee, and some more bike riding. Love you buddy!

  12. ernie messner permalink

    Çongratulations on this wonderful adventure. The challenges; the daily grind after a week or so; the weather right from the start — you did it all!
    You be “the man”. I suppose I was most concerned with your safety . Have a wonderful time in Africa. Erniel

  13. ernie messner permalink

    Çongratulations on this wonderful adventure. The challenges; the daily grind after a week or so; the weather right from the start — you did it all!
    You be “the man”. I suppose I was most concerned with your safety . Have a wonderful time in Africa. Erniel

  14. Andrea permalink

    What a marvelous ending…thank you for sharing your journey and your tears of joy with all of us! Congrats!

  15. Colleen permalink

    I am so glad you are home safe and sound. My mind can’t begin to fathom all that you have endured. Congratulations on the completion of your incredible journey….you are amazing!

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