Hello, Ohio!

June 1st, 2011

My first journal post of the whole trip! Computers are hard to come by so I am so excited to have this opportunity!

Compared to yesterday’s ride (94ish miles), today’s 63 miler was shorter. The day started off great, Conner Y. pumped us up by reciting some Walt Whitman (Pioneers! Oh, Pioneers!). Though out of the hills of Pennsylvania, Ohio still has some tough climbs for us. Ohio is still much flatter than Penn. I was in my first large group today (Sean, Gabrielle, Yang, Ron, Cristian, and Gedion) and I was so glad to have a cooler day; yesterday the sun was brutal! Unfortunately at the beginning of our ride a flat tire occured in our group. Flats are a bitter sweet thing. It’s pretty crummy for the person with the flat, but the rest of the group gets a little bit of time to lay back and close their eyes (even if it’s just for 10 minutes, it’s still bliss)

I4K was lucky enough to come across the beautiful Piedmont lake. We had a lot of fun swimming
and cooling off from the sun. Frisbees were thrown, people  splashed, and naps were taken–a pleasant rest stop if I do say so myself. It was sad to leave the lake, but we still had many miles to trek in order to make it to Zanesville, OH. The rest of the ride involved following the same highway for about 60 miles. The scenery was beautiful with the occasional uphill and thrilling downhill. The ride came to a hault for lunch! We had the usual PB & J, but in a different place–Deerassic Park, what a cool name.

We received a warm welcome from a stayover, Westwood Baptist Church. Pastor Mark Ballmer was kind enough to drive us smelly and sweaty I4kers to a local gym to get showers. After the shower we enjoyed a delicious pasta dinner prepared by church members. I4k is forever grateful for the kindness Westwood Church has shown us. They also provided cots to sleep on. What a luxury–way better than the floor!

So far, this journey has been life changing. It is truly amazing and wonderful. Not to say it’s not difficult. I love my team, I am so grateful for the generosity and kindess of our stayovers, and I am appreciating the beauty of our country. Keep a look out for another post by me! :)

-Rachel Samaniego

Comments (5)
  • Gayle Winters says:

    Rachel, sounds like you are doing well! I cannot believe 10 days have already gone. Before you know it, the team will be in California. Enjoy everyday and always take time to smell the roses. See you in Chicago!!! Pedal safe. Lauren’s mom

  • Mindy says:

    I’m so glad you’re keeping us posted!! I can’t believe how far you’ve gone already. Keep it up and be safe. LOVE LOVE LOVE you. If you could call sometime, I’d love to hear your beautiful voice. Steph and Will and I miss you very much and can’t wait til you guys get to Chambana!


    p.s. there’s a good chance i’m moving to Griffin, GA for my job. I’ll let ya know.

  • Karen Lavazza says:

    Keep up the hard work and great spirit. Champaign and Chicago are just around the bend! Dory’s mom

  • Ana María Ortiz says:

    Hi alyssa!!! It´s very nice to read you. This is like a -crónica- and I could know more about your exciting trip. I imagine you in a movie like across the Universe, Little Miss Sunshine or another beautiful roadmovie. love you primita, and hope, im sure! you´r having a terrific time!!!

  • Rachel, I am glad you had an opportunity to have a computer. Thanks for your post. It sounds as though Connor has some great motivational songs, poems, stories etc! Enjoy everyday of the life changing experience!
    Stay safe and ride strong. Gabrielle’s mom

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