Day 63-64, New York NY to HOME California – miles unknown

Hi Everyone,

I am only going say a few things and then share a LOT of pictures; I am HOME now and still not back to reality just dazed, amazed, thankful, happy (REALLY happy), grateful, Blessed (SO Blessed), and the list goes on…

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What a day, as I look back…WHAT an amazing day!

Thank you ALL for joining me in this and ALL your LOVE, prayers, support and most of ALL what we share together and to everyone who will listen…our Gracious Lord and Savior who gave me this opportunity!

Love to ALL, Joann

Day 62, New City to Statin Island NY – 56.6 miles

Hi again,

Well, it’s finally here and it was as great and exciting day as I hoped…actually more!

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The ride itself was a wonderful and pleasant ride with lots of opportunities to share all the details of what to today was all about, I passed out more cards and bracelets than I ever did before…especially, it was a shorted day than the rest of the week but even more since today was our last day!  Today it seemed that we were more together as a group even before we got to the “Ferry” at Staten Island.  We only had one SAG stop since it was a short day and also since the SAG vehicles needed to travel a different direction to get to Staten Island than all of us cyclist (they did not go on the Ferry).

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The Ferry ride to Staten Island was fun and what a great view, we see New York on one side and New Jersey on the other…we saw the Statute of Liberty, Ellis Island, and tons of every kind of boat!

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The police escort to our “Tire Dipping Ceremony” was great and very efficient, we rode together great and it was like a Parade with people constantly waving and cheering us on…what an INCREDIBLE feeling!

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The Ceremony at the Beach itself was wonderful and once again VERY emotional for me, I did it– I am DONE and as I said from the very beginning it was truly the Lord’s Will that I complete this amazing Journey and Mission!

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We continued with the Police escort and were brought to our Campsite for the night at Mt. Loretta Church, well at least for some of us.  With so many having Family and Friends for this day, a lot were either going home following the “Celebration Banquet and Service” or staying in a Motel room for the night.  Upon arriving at the Church site it seemed everything was so “surreal”, as I look back I just didn’t know what to do first (second, third, fourth and so on)!  My emotions were SO stretched right now because unlike most, I was staying here the night, had too many things to take care of with no one really “here” to help me and decide what needed to be done…let alone, to be done first!  I needed a shower, I needed to pack my bike up, I needed to setup my tent, I needed to get my stuff out of the gear truck, I wanted to visit with a few that were leaving before, during and after the Banquet tonight…the list goes on and I was JUST a little overwhelmed!

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Well, all in all…I did them all! The visiting, packing of the bike, getting the tent setup, showering and getting ready for the Banquet, it all happened and there I was…the night went great and more than I ever thought possible it was over!  I took lots of pictures, said “Goodbye’s”, laughed, cried, got phone numbers and addresses (which I should have listened to Mom and started doing this way back in LA when I started),  made arrangements for tomorrow…which included SO many things. I meet an incredible Lady, Terry from the Hospitality House in Statin Island who arrange all of my “needs” for tomorrow…a place to store my things, rides to and from the Ferry (and eventually to the Airport), directions for my excursions in New York — it ALL happened, once again I realized it was the Lord’s Will because it fell all into place.

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What a day, as I look back…WHAT an amazing day, God is SO Good ALL the time!

Love, Joann

Day 61, Hyde Park to New City NY – 58 miles

Hello Everyone,

WOW, after today there is only ONE MORE DAY and with these miles no one was worried about hills, wind, road surface and weather conditions.  It was a beautiful day and a wonderful ride, the scenery and area we rode through was just amazing…definitely the best day this week, I had a GREAT day and being the day before our last how could it be anything less!

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Right from the beginning it was a exciting ride, we crossed over the Hudson River on a really cool bridge full of History and with the miles being as little as they were we ALL took the time to enjoy every minute possible!

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As it seemed a few days this week, a lot of us have “beaten” in the Gear and Kitchen Trucks to see the struggles they have with finding the best location for each of them in our Campsite for the evening and night. It was a beautiful Campsite too with the river right next to us, unfortunately the “restrooms” were a walk for most of us and there were only two (one of each), for almost 150 or more to share…VERY tough in the morning!

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See you tomorrow, Love, Joann

Day 59, Whitehall to Albany NY – 72.3 miles

Hello again,

Yes, yesterday was definitely much more difficult day than today. We had our share of “hills” but as I am realizing, I am calling the “do-able”…still NOT my favorite and as I am in the process of riding up one, I think in my head if I ever see another hill on my bike ride it will be too soon!

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Along the way we were welcomed by a group of “CRWRC” workers in their green shirts at one of our SAG stops, one of them on this site they are working for three weeks rode for the day and they decided to cheer him on as well as support the SeatoSea cyclist!

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Our last week so far, by far is not an easy one…especially in miles! It seemed to me today even though the hills are still better than Tuesday, they seem to just keep coming and I just never thought that New York would have SO many of them! Once we arrived at the YMCA in the Albany area where we would camp for the night, the Delmar CRC served us our refreshments and showed their support through many meaningful and adorable signs!

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Halfway through the week, Love Joann

Day 60, Albany to Hyde Park NY – 68.2 miles

Hi,

My bike ride today was once again a LOT better than Tuesday, I guess as I was riding and there where a few hills…I just thought to myself, it could be a LOT worse as we have had in the past! Today the weather was warmer also in which I could feel as the day went on, I was actually feeling almost for the first time the “humidity” that is usually in this area and that we were Blessed not to have.

Our Campsite for the night was at Hackett Hill Park, this Park has a dedication to one of the “Fallen Firefighters” who was from this town. There was a pool but unfortunately they had closed it for the Season and there was no Chlorine to be found, at least that’s what the sign said…it would have been nice since I think a lot more of us would have chosen to use it versus the shower which seemed to have “freezing” water and literally took my breath away!  One thing about the warm weather, we do take advantage of rinsing out our clothes and find great uses of certain thing for a clothes line!

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The ladies in the kitchen help a few of the cyclist who were scheduled to be on the “Sweep Team” make homemade cinnamon rolls and were served “hot” out of the oven…we also had them for breakfast the next morning!

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Once again (like every evening except Satuday), we ended our day with our Pelaton Meeting sharing our days flats, falls, money stories and God Moments. We did get updates on Joan Doorsenpleet’s new granddaughter and the other cyclist son who was still in ICU, both were in our prayers again and again.

The week is going fast and most of us are starting to realize that there is truly just days left, as the saying goes “Time flys when you are having fun” and being the last week (except for Tuesday of course) our time is flying!  I think there is a little in all of us that we are looking forward to being done too, nine weeks is a long time to be away from home, Family and Friend, work too but also to being on a bicycle seat and my “butt” is ready for a break!

Take care, Love Joann

Day 58, Ausable Chasm to Whitehall NY – 81.6 miles

Hello Everyone,

Well, I didn’t think I could have a bad or tough day my last week but this was definitely in the “running” to be one of my toughest.  Besides the miles being VERY long, the Adarondack hills were as bad in Colorado…along with it seems as soon as we turned to head West to New York we get the East wind we were hoping for all the way across the USA, go figure! At one point, we had a “climb” that registered on someone’s GPS of a “16%” grade which was incredibly tough!

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It is ALWAYS a “joy” to finish and then the day just doesn’t seem to be as bad as when I was actually riding.  I did feel sorry for those who had just joined us in Montreal though, what a “second” day to have to ride!

I was riding with Donna Ragan and Alice Brink when we were stopped by Joan Doorenspleet, she was “SAG’d” by Al de Kock since he received a phone call that Joan’s daughter was in the hospital getting ready to have a baby.  That was all Joan needed to hear and she was on her way home, we were just fortunate enough to bike right where Al and Joan had stopped to make a few phone calls to see what arrangements could be made for her flight home.  It was a very emotional moment for me, I became good Friends with Joan and to have to say “goodbye” right then was just one more thing that made this ride a difficult one!  We were all thankful that Joan was going home for a wonderful reason rather than unfortunately another cyclist was leaving due to his son being involved in a horrible car accident that put him in critical condition!

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I did make it into Camp before Joan left and asked her to consider coming back just for Saturday’s ride and the “dipping of tires” Ceramony, which she said she would considerate and go from there (Joan’s husband Andy was already planning to be there). Our Campsite for the night was the Whitehall Marina, nice place but once again the “restrooms were quite the walk down to the other end making it always tough for most of us if we needed to use them in the middle of the night!

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…see you tomorrow!

Love, Joann

* Dedicated to Adam and David, all our “Service Men and Women” for PEACE and not War

Day 57 – Montreal Quebec Canada to Ausable Chasm NY USA – 74.8 miles

Well, it was a pretty good day (with exception to the roadway or should I say “lack of”), there were hills and for the past 10 days I can honestly say I have not missed them but only to know that tomorrow will be a LOT more “hilly” than today was with more miles too!

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Once we crossed the boarder back into the USA, we headed to Ausable Chasm Camp Ground. There are few tents across the way but more RV and Trailers, we ALL share a “community” shower/restroom which is unfortunate since as I mentioned earlier it is quite the “trek” across the roadway and campground and if you need to use the restroom, you need to start walking BEFORE you really have to “go”!

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For the past few weeks, my “spot” that I choose to setup my tent seems to get closer and closer to the Gear Truck. Most the younger and what I just learned from someone in my “small group”, is the guys that snore are considerate to move themselves away from other’s “ear shot” and go away from everyone else. No, not me and even others are catching on and since we have to get everything in and out of the Gear Truck…why go so far that you have to carry things further than you need too!

Hope you all have a wonderful day, and I will see you tomorrow!

Love, Joann

PS Shirley Folkerts, the one whole had a “hair-line” fracture in Colorado Springs is back on her bike this week…riding just partial way and a little more each time (God is SO Good)!

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* Dedicated to Peggy, Pete and Maggie, all your support and prayers as the Devotion mentions…”stewardship, my changes through this, my gears and the things God has shown me through this!