So these are the Real Mountains (the Appalachian Chapter)

The mountains, yes, the real mountains were a true test of strength and character today. Some with such steep slopes I felt that I would never be able to make it. The Appalachian Mountains…at least a portion of them, have been conquered today by all of the Illini 4000 riders. Testing the strength of each rider to push themselves to the top and emotionally battling themselves when exhausted and hungry. I have never been more proud of a group as I am right now of this team. No one gave in, thus, we have conquered a mountain, physically and emotionally.

Flying through the first part of the ride today, myself, Connie, and Dana were able to enjoy and relax the sunshine on a small beach in one of the several state parks. After John and Brad joined us, we all jumped in, rather dove in to the lake. Having fun and enjoying life has made a big impact in my thinking after today. Not letting the little hills or mountains take advanage of you, you need to let your emotions go sometimes to realize that there are bigger mountains to climb and that you should take each and every opportunity given to you!

After getting lost several miles away from our final location, we arrived in Everett, Pennsylvania and were greeted by some of the best most caring people I have met. At the Everett United Methodist Church we were provided with a home cooked meal, desserts, and all of the necessities one could ever need for one night. With a welcome sign greeting us on our arrival, we have been astounded by the love and care we were given and myself for one am very thankful for all that has been provided for.

As I get ready for bed, it is almost 11PM Eastern time, I realize that tomorrow another tough day lays ahead filled with mountains to climb and memories to be made. Coming from flat land my whole life in the Midwest, I truly enjoy looking at these beautiful natural creations, and after these next few days and weeks, I will be able say that I have conquered these mountains on bicycle, one pedal stroke, rather one very slow pedal stroke at a time.

 

“Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting.”
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

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