The Tuesday after I returned home, the Judith Karman Hospice invited me and husband, Jeff, to a Welcome Back & Thank You Breakfast. This helped me close this chapter of my adventures and meet many of the nurses and volunteers who will benefit from the money I raised (see below).
|The breakfast buffet filled with delicious breakfast dishes|
|Judith Karman Nurses pose with one of the "Congratulations" balloons that made the breakfast table festive|
|Valerie Bloodgood and me. Valerie was my "right hand (wo)man, arranging for talks, press releases, some overnights, and keeping in touch throughout the ride.|
The journey is at an end but for several weeks I felt at odds and ends. I had a hard time getting used to:
- Walking without pushing the bike and trailer
- Going to bed after 9 p.m.
- Sleeping in the same bed each night
- Sleeping past 5:30 or 6 a.m.
- Eating a leisurely breakfast
- Looking at the same scenery out the window each day
- Wearing underwear (none with bike shorts)
- Wearing different (and loose) clothes each day
- Wearing sandals instead of bike shoes
- Not washing my clothes each night
- Not wearing a helmet or bicycle gloves
- Carrying a pocketbook instead of my handlebar bag
- Writing this post on a full-sized computer
What did I say about it's not over until it's over? Learned that the ride garnered two donations in July . . . one from Ann Bernhardt Williams and another in memory of William F. & Marie Bernhnardt, bringing the ride's-end total to $15,229! I worked as an official for Ann's daughter, Cathy, who raced her bicycle across Oklahoma from west to east and now holds the UMCA (ultra-Marathon Cycling Association) record for the state. Thank you Ann!