Bike & Build— I’ll Come Too

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I have been Portland Bound with Bike & Build for 10 days now.

We started in Yorktown, VA and pedaled 80 miles to Mechanicsville, VA.

We rode 61 miles to Mineral, VA.

We continued on 56 miles, through the rain, to Charlottesville, VA.

We helped build a home– stained decks, installed windows, put in stairways, applied paint– with Habitat for Humanity Charlottesville.

We climbed 80 miles along the Blue ridge Parkway to Lexington (the first time in 5 years that an entire group has completed this segment).

We rolled 53 miles to Catawba,VA.

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We blew through the 65 miles to Pulaski, VA.

We made the ascent through Jefferson National Forest, at the end of a 60 mile ride, to reach Troutville, VA.

We spent our final day in Virginia pedaling 65 miles to Honaker.

Today we crossed state lines, 56 miles, to Ashcamp, KY.

We have slept in church basements, cabins, tents, and hammocks.

We have eaten well, thanks to generous donations from the communities we have stayed in.

We have splashed in Lakes and rivers.

We have seen breathtaking vistas, splendid fields and marvelous forests.

We have rested at parks, scenic overlooks, and coffee shops.

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We have become a family in only 10 days.

Every person in this group and every person I have met along the road has pulled me forward in some way– physically, emotionally, spiritually.

Every day I marvel at the strength, kindness, and generosity of the men and women around me.

And it is just beginning.

This summer, I’ll come too.

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Birthday Hike, Darcy Comes Too

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I turned 21 on July 18th. I sort of thought I would be more emotional. I had a serious existential crisis when I turned 20, but 21 just feels good (maybe it’s the bourbon).

In fact, it was one of the BEST birthdays I have ever had. This year my birthday was on a Tuesday which meant my family celebrated the weekend after (so everyone would be off from work).

I didn’t mind– I was stoked my birthday was in the middle of the week because my favorite hike, Old Rag, is known to be PACKED on the weekend. I planned to make the venture alone, but my older sister Darcy had the day off so she came too :)!

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Jim Will Always Come Too

James Bradley, June 19, 1960 – May 14, 2017

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” – Frederick Buechner

Jim Bradley didn’t believe that the people he trained needed to become strong, he believed that they were already strong and they could grow stronger.

Jim looked at me in June of 2015, a time when few people believed I had any strength at all, and he definitely believed I was already strong.

If he hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here today. I was 93 pounds at 5-foot-10 and eating 400 calories a day.

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Clarion-Little Toby Trail, Biking Not Hiking!

 

When we all still lived at home, my parents frequently took my siblings and I on adventures.

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When we asked where they were going, they’d just say, “crazy, wanna come?”

Sometimes we complained when hiking in the rain, or whined when biking in the cold, or totally freaked out when canoeing with alligators (it was scary, okay)… but we were always glad we went.

For their 25th anniversary, they went on a 100-mile bike trip together without us kids.

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Valentine Flats Recap

The weather was gorgeous last weekend: 70 degrees and sunny. I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of longing for my coastal Virginia home and a sandy beach.

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I had to settle for somewhere a little closer, but I still found myself a “beach.”

The Valentine flats trail, located in the Zoar Valley Multiple Use Area, leads to the rocky banks of the Cattaraugus Creek — not sandy, but I’ll take it.

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