Since Mark gave you his lists, I decided I would share all the things I learned on this trip. Some of them are brand new lessons learned, and some of them are things I already knew, but were reinforced from our days on the road and away from home.
If you fall (in life or off your bike (and believe me, I have some experience with this! 🙂 )) just dust yourself off and get going again – there’s no use fretting about it – it does you no good at all!
You (okay, maybe it’s just me) can never have enough cactus plants – check out these ones I picked up at the Desert Botanical Gardens on our last day in Phoenix! Aren’t they cute!
My daughter Beth has a tremendous and extremely dry sense of humor! Tim, Mark and I know that if anyone was following along on our blogs, it was Beth’s that everyone was really looking forward to! What a treat it was to have her along on this trip!
People all over are, for the most part, really nice! One of the things I really enjoyed doing was talking to people, especially on our rest stops! Most of the people driving on the highway (the truckers in particular) were very courteous. A few were not, but you’ll always have people like that.
It’s been 40+ years since I spent a full, continuous week with Mark and Tim. It was great fun and it was everything I could hope for and more! Mark is as funny as he ever was, and Tim is still in love with family, the one he grew up with and the one he heads up now.
If you’re sharing a room with someone, try not to sleep on your back (I believe it promotes snoring) and if you must eat a Mexican dinner, don’t overdose on the brown beans! I’ll let you guess the reason! 🙂
I enjoy going to a local church if I am away from home over the weekend. When Tim and I went to Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe in El Centro, CA to pray for Mark’s soul (just kidding, Mark!), there was an extended family in front of us, which included a Mom and Dad, their two small daughters, and the Mom’s parents. The two girls spent the entire Mass crawling all over their grandparents and whispering (OK, not really whispering) to them, and it was simultaneously entertaining and distracting, not that I minded a bit! At the Kiss of Peace, the Mom apologized to Tim and I for “all the commotion.” I wanted to tell her how much I enjoyed it, but thought that might be inappropriate. And I wanted to tell her parents how lucky I felt they were. It was a really nice Mass and we even sang a few of the hymns we knew. At the end of the Mass, the priest told us that his granddaughter had taken first prize for her pet bunnies at the county fair. Everyone laughed and applauded, but Tim and I were puzzled. Either we had attended Mass at one of the rogue parishes that allow married Catholic priests, or that the priest had been married, his wife had died, and then he entered the priesthood. The latter seemed to make more sense to me, because his sermon (on the Transfiguration of Christ and how we can all change too!) was extremely humorous and down-to-earth. That, the family in front of us, and his comments at the end of the Mass about his granddaughter may be the only things I ever remember about this Mass. Here is a photo of Tim in front of the church just after Mass was over.
I need to drink more on these bike trips – I am still slightly dehydrated from our ride across the CA and AZ deserts.
Even though we were burning off thousands of calories during our ride, it is still possible to gain weight on a trip like this! I somehow managed to put on 5 pounds! Too much beer and snacks once we reached our hotel? Who cares ….
Blogging every night helped all our loved ones stay connected to us – it was a great idea (Mark and Beth take the credit here) and I’m glad we did it, even though it sorta felt like homework at the end of the day.
And finally, I can’t believe how bad I can look in photos! I think if I had the power of approving whether or not photos of me would appear in these blogs, you might not have seen me at all. But in truth it doesn’t really matter. Plus you’ll get a whole year off from having to look at pictures of me in bike clothes! Lucky you! 🙂