Taking a break from my fitness adventures to tell you about a special trip and a different cause that is near and dear to me.
Just ahead of Martin Luther King Junior Day – a day of service, I had a great opportunity to deploy to So Cal with my friends Aaron Comfort Dog and Jennie. We were able to visit with so many people, bringing comfort and joy through this wonderful ministry.
Aaron is one of many Lutheran Church Charities’ LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs, who are stationed and deploy all around the country to bring comfort in times of need. I am blessed to be one of his photographers and soon to be handler.
On the way down south, we met Andy, who moved to Bakersfield, but previously worked with Aaron’s friend Katie Comfort Dog and team. I met them in Nebraska when I cycled across America. Talk about connections!
The visit to Southern California was requested by Maeson, who is student teaching at Christ Lutheran School in Costa Mesa. We visited kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades. Maeson was teaching about how to be loving and compassionate to others so they even role played with Aaron, which was a lot of fun and very heart warming.
Serendipitously, we met people who were celebrating birthdays, and who wouldn’t want hugs from Aaron Comfort Dog on their special day? Happy Birthday RuthE!
As a special treat, we visited the ocean at Huntington Beach – a fabulous reprieve from the fog and gloom we’ve been experiencing this week (normal this time of year in my neck of the woods). Of course we got to run around and play too!
All in all, it was a wonderful experience and motivating to get myself back out into God’s country to run and ride and soak it all in!
Today felt like a roller coaster. Up and down. Up and down. I climbed nearly 4000 feet today – and I descended nearly 4000 feet. Rolling hills on back country roads with 8-9% grades and a temperature of 98*F. I’ll take it any day over the wind! I drank almost 2 gallons of water too! There was some meandering along the Platte River thrown in for good measure as well.
Before I even got started – 15 miles into the ride – Mr. SAG saved the day again! Flat #4.
Camp got set up as the rain started rolling in. And then it hit! Wow! We’ve never ridden out a storm like that – in an RV. The thunder and lightning and sheets of rain, we could take. But when the wind started rocking (felt like throwing) us to and fro… Even Katie Comfort Dog’s Top Dog, to the west of us now, checked in to see how we fared! Thanks for the prayers! We were saying some too! Thanks for the welcome Iowa!
Well, we’re half way there now! Wait. What? We’re only halfway there? More adventures await. Tomorrow we head toward Iowa and I have to say, I am going to miss Nebraska! For a cyclist, it’s been a dream. Good roads. Fairly flat, but with enough hills thrown in to keep it interesting.
Today we met up with another wonderful LCC Comfort Dog team. Katie Comfort Dog, and her handlers came down from Fremont, NE to greet us. We had a great few hours of fellowship and sharing dinner with them. What a fun group! I even get to be an honorary team member since they gave me one of their t-shirts and wrist bands.
I also got to see and catch up with my college roommate! We haven’t seen each other in 30 years! She hasn’t changed a bit either! She happened to be driving from South Bend, IN to Nebraska for an interview tomorrow. What a stroke of luck! (or a God thing)