The Most Important Post 4


Thanks for everything America

Its Thanksgiving, so I suppose that it is fitting for us to finally role the credits. I think this is the most important blog post we have written yet, mostly because of recent world events. It is easy to forget that there is still good in this world, and that there are still people out there who would go out on a limb to help a complete strangers. This is one of the lessons that the two of us gals have learned this year. In the six months that Lizzy and I were traveling on our self-supported bicycle tour in around this country, we were never robbed, harassed, harmed, or hurt. Instead, we were welcomed into strangers’ homes, fed, prayed for, were adopted into families, and were loved. This is a shaggy list of all the people that came to mind. Of course, there are hundreds of others who deserve thankyou’s from us. To anyone who didn’t make it on this list, but deserve a thank you, well, thank you!


Thank you to:

Tommy’s Bike Shop for giving us helmets and some bike parts before we left.

Heather and Cody for letting us crash at their place our first night. And to Moriah and Jeremy who came and cut Lizzy’s hair. And also for Cody’s graphic design skills. He vectorized our logo for us.

Sears Ludwig for performing spoken word for our entertainment at the PDX Waterfront.

The stranger in a sweet VW bus who stopped and tried to help us cross the bridge in Hood River, OR.

The stranger who was able to give us a ride across the bridge at Hood River (he actually lifted each bike over the side of his truck by himself, a feat we are still amazed by)

The Mary Hill winery–though we were stinky, sweaty, and altogether a mess—graciously allowed us to fill our water bottles.

The elderly woman I met on the train to Bellingham who offered her home to us in the Dalles. We didn’t end up staying with her, but I would have loved to.

Dan in Touchett, who, though he had recently lost his job, insisted we take his last fifty dollars for Watsi.

Bob and Emma in Walla Walla, WA, who let us have complete reign over their home—including their kitchen, chocolate almond milk supply, and grape juice. Bob also made Lizzy vegan hot dogs. It was raining quite hard outside and Bob gave us the option of staying with them another night. We didn’t take them up on it, but were grateful nonetheless.

Jean and Wayne, the sculptors, for giving us a quick history of the Waitsburg Library History, which is actually quite interesting.

John (who actually lived in McMinnville at one point) and his cat Cougar who operate the Waitsburg Mercantile. John also runs the town cat adoption program and gave me a maple bar and a postcard.

John and his monster cat Cougar, owner of Waitsburg Mercantile

John and his monster cat Cougar, owner of Waitsburg Mercantile

John’s coffee clutch. This is a group of WWII and Korea veterans who have coffee together every morning at John’s Mercantile. They chatted with us for a good while outside the mercantile, shared stories with us about the town and invited us to the Waitsburg Sesquintenial Celebration parade.

The Forest Fire Fighter who gave us directions and permission to camp at the Pomeroy City Park.

Melinda and David, previous rat owners from California who met us at the top of Lolo Pass. Melinda saw Beefy and wanted to talk with us about the trip. She suggested that we go to the hot springs at the bottom of the mountain. We explained that we probably wouldn’t because we were on a tight budget. We went for a quick walk, when we came back to the bikes, Melinda and David had left money for the hot springs and an encouraging note. We ran into them later that night and had a good chat.

Steve from Beaverton who we met at the hot spring. His son is currently touring Europe. Steve bought us dinner and made a generous donation to Watsi.

The Babon’s who let us stay at their home in Missoula. Cindy set up Skype so that we could talk with my parents for the first time in a week. We had an exceptional time.

The folks at Adventure Cyclin HQ, especially Greg Siple who took us on a personal tour through the building and gave us cupcakes and ice cream! He was also a personal friend of my hero Ian Hibbel.

Picture or a picture Greg Simple took of Liz and Beef at ACHQ

Greg took our pictures

Mercy outside of Missoula, who bought us drinks at the place we’d stopped at to use the restroom. Her dad had died that morning.

The man who owned a little grocery store on the side of the road in Drummond, MO who purposefully undercharged us for our grapefruit and coffee.

Jim in Phillipsburg, MO who has an amazing accent and invited us to campout in the frame of the house he is building. He has biked on “the most dangerous road in the world” (which is the name of an actual road in South America) and had toured through Ireland. He showed up the next morning with hot coffee.

All of the wonderful people at the Brewery in Philipsburg including a lady named Lydia who is also a skull collector, Sonny and Meg who were working for the CDT Trail Alliance, another guy named Jim who has a sweet dog named Hoss, and the lady who owns/operates Friday Night Pizza at the Laundry Mat. She makes a mean pie. She’s also a former lady bike tourist.

The Corvette Club who met us at the top of a mountain somewhere in Montana. They were very encouraging.

The heartening Wisconsin Bible Quizzer family we met at the McDonald’s in Butte, MO. They were very friendly and made a donation to Watsi.

M. Rich, who flagged us down on the side of the road and gave us cold drinks and cookies.

Ken and his mom in Ennis, MO. I had forgot my wallet at our campsite and realized it after we’d ridden over a mountain. We stopped to eat breakfast in Ennis. I asked the lady running the joint if she knew of anyone who’d be willing to give me a ride to Virginia City and back. She called her son and he drove me. We had a wonderful conversation and he would not accept any gas money.

Andrew and Tammy, fellow cyclotourists from Utah, who we met in Ennis and who gave us a really expensive National Geographic map of Yellowstone.

Donna the rat lady from Oklahoma! We have so many thankyous for her and her family, but we met her in Yellowstone and were touched by her kindness and encouragement there. She kept in touch with us the entire tour and opened her home to us when we needed it most. We happened to be in OKC when Denali really needed some medical attention. Donna graciously brought us to her rat doctor and helped with Denali’s treatment. She and her family adopted us and let us stay with them for three nights and took us on field trips around the City. We met a ‘famous’ didgeridoo, tree climbing, yoga man together. He should also get a thank you because he let us play with his adorable puppy and gave us the BEST private didgeridoo concert ever. Donna rode with us for many miles when we left to ensure that we wouldn’t get lost on the way back to Route 66.

The ranger at the state park outside of Cody, who gave us a discounted camping fee and free firewood.

The folks at the Cody Dam who opened the gates to the super-special-secret tunnel so that we wouldn’t have to ride with traffic, but could speed through the canyon on the old access road. Once in a lifetime.

this is for you, cody.

this is for you, cody.

Blaise in Cody, who let us stay at his house. He left a key hidden for us so that we could show up at any time while he was at work (he is an ER nurse). He also had opened up his home to two other tourists, Bob and Andrew the Roosta’. We had quite the adventurer pizza party that night. In the morning, Blaise said Lizzy and I could stay as long as we wanted, so we did.

The gal at the market in Greybull, WY, who said that we looked strange but that she wanted us to feel comfortable getting water there. She meant it quite well and we talked with her for a good while.

Megan and John in Tensleep, WY who told us about a pig roast that was going on down the street. Lizzy told them she was vegan and we all laughed because Meg is vegetarian and John is Jewish. They are good people.

The lady who yelled while I was riding over Powder River Pass. She wanted to buy us breakfast.

Britt and Shannon, retired teachers from Oklahoma, who ran into us on top of Powder River Pass. They gave us pistachios and gum.

Deb, the retired PE teacher in Buffalo, WY, who invited us into her home to take showers. She too is a cyclotourist. She gave me a piece of petrified wood and let us make oatmeal in her kitchen. She also gave me a plastic garbage bag so that I could cover my sleeping bag in the rain. I used that bag the entire tour. She also let us ride her Eliptigo and looked exactly like my grandma.

Grant and Tim, the nice newspaper fellas in Gillette, WY, who printed one of the most accurate articles published. Not every interviewer got the facts right.

Jim and Cindi-Sue from Moorcroft, WY, who saved our lives and bicycles. We got caught on the plains in a severe storm and had to evacuate. The storm was so bad that we had to use a flashlight to flag down a car. Without thinking, we left everything we had on the side of the road and hopped in. Fortunately, Jim and Cindi-Sue are the most wonderful, kind, and honest folks you’d ever meet. They gave us dry clothes to wear, and then Jim took Lizzy back to the bikes to drive them home. I learned a lot talking with Cindi-Sue, who is a town famous chef.

The guy at the Family Dollar in Deadwood who ate two cheese sticks while talking with us. His dad is a huge Boy Scouts fan. They were really encouraging and gave us some tips about the George Mikelson Trail. Also in Deadwood, we met a wonderful older couple who were traveling around America (by car). We received a letter from her months later in Oklahoma.

The gal in Olrichs, SD, who warned us that the road to Nebraska might flood over in the night. I’m not really sure whether this was necessary, but it got us to church on time the next morning, and without that we probably wouldn’t have met Juanita and Donny.

Juanita and Donny Whittecar from Chadron, NE. These are two of the sweetest, most hospitable, and generous people you’ll ever meet. To put it this way, they took us out to lunch and when we were half way through  eating we realized we didn’t know each other’s names—we’d just been chatting so much. Juanita invited us to stay the night and we took her up on it. We have decided to call Juanita and Donny our adopted grandparents, they have kept in touch with us through the whole trip.

Doesn't this just look like it could be a picture of your grandparents??

Doesn’t this just look like it could be a picture of your grandparents??

The guy we met at a diner in Murdo, SD. We never got his name, but we ran into him three times. Once at a diner, once on the side of the road–we were cooking up some beans literally on the side of the road and he pulled up and threw us some high end granola bars—and finally in the McDonald’s in Pierre, SD. He was leaving town but offered us the key to his hotel room so that we could shower if we got there before checkout. We didn’t end up taking him up on his offer, but it was really kind.

The gnarly biker dude at the Sinclair Station before Pierre who was blown away by our trip and took a picture of us with a disposable camera. He was great.

The elderly hostess at the McDonald’s in Pierre who made up for the most extremely rude woman I have every met who happened to be working the front counter. The hostess came to us and filled our coffee several times.

Bruce, Mary and their friend Jim who let us stay with them in Pierre. They also fed us, let us do laundry, collect eggs, and pet their cute pair of ginger piglets. Bruce gave Denali a small sack of raw sunflower seeds.

The American Legion in Pierre, SD. These guys were great. They gave us snacks and encouragement and let us completely blow up their picnic area while we were preparing to mail back our winter gear. They also let us store a couple of boxes of things in their building so that we wouldn’t have to bike around town with them.

The stranger lady outside the Post Office in Pierre who recognized us from our newspaper interview and insisted she give us 40$ to buy ‘steaks’ when we got to Wisconsin.

The stranger at the gas station in the middle of nowhere who prayed over us.

The man and his wife in Faulkner who unlocked his woodshop so that we could get out of the raging thunderstorm. They were on their way to church and said that we could stay as long as we needed. They came back right as we were packing up. He offered to let us come to their home and take showers and do laundry, we didn’t take him up on it, but it was very kind.

The lady that picked me up when I was hitch-hiking back to Aberdeen where I had accidentally left my cell phone at a Starbucks. When I got there my phone hadn’t been moved though it had been sitting there unattended for four hours.

The homeschool family that picked me up hitch-hiking from Aberdeen. These folks were so fun, and absolutely fantastic people. We drove around and did errands, then they took me back to the gas station where Lizzy and Denali had been waiting for me with the bikes. They took us across the street for ice cream.

Lizz teaches kids about rats

A lesson in rat ownership

LaDarious and Isabella, Ethan, Jeron, the kiddos in Britton, SD who were very curious about what we were doing. We talked with them for a good while and tried to fix their bikes. Eventually, they called their mom, Kristen, and told her that we needed showers. We took them up on their offer. These kids are absolutely wonderful.

The lady running the gas station in Britton, SD, who gave me one of her world famous brownies.

The Librarian at the little library in Foreman, ND, who brought us hot coffee.

Rita and Co. in Milnor, ND. It had been freezing and raining all day. When we made it to Milnor, the entire town was closed except for the tavern. We went in to get French fries, use the bathroom, and change into dry (more like less wet) clothes. We met Rita and Charlie there and ended up going home with them. They are so much fun and quite interesting. Rita is an electrician, Charlie works at a cement plant. In the morning, Rita arranged an interview for us.

The fella working at McDonald’s at the Minnesota border who gave me a chocolate milkshake.

Steven and Jessica  who followed our entire trip on Instagram and even made us some cool custom jewelry. Can’t cind the picture, but its on insta.

The man in Hoffman who gave us a bag of produce and chocolate. YAY! The man who ran the gas station in Hoffman who gave us an entire sack of granola bars and offered to make us a big breakfast.

dear world, thanks for always wanting to feed us.

dear world, thanks for always wanting to feed us.

Mary from the Philippians, who gave us orange juice when we stopped at her garage sale, and all the ladies at the Lady of the Ruin Stone rummage sale who tried, without success, to find us the perfect Minnesota Souvenir.

Betty the gardener, who  stopped us outside of a grocery store and wanted to hear all about our trip. She too is an adventurer and used to live on a sailboat in the Caribbean. She insisted on giving us snack money.

The generous folks at the Paynesville baseball complex, which doubles as the town storm shelter. They gave us TONS of food and then arranged things so that we could stay inside the storm shelter during the night because a huge storm system was moving in. We were very glad they let us stay indoors because there was a major storm that hit at 2 am. It was raining so hard that Lizzy took a shower outside.

home sweet storm shelter! Beef playground! indoor-outdoor-floor!

home sweet storm shelter! Beef playground! indoor-outdoor-floor!

The man who owned the Mexican Restaurant in Hutchinson, MN. He was very kind to us and interested in our adventure. He also can make a mean quesadilla. Also in Hutchinson, the wonderful lady who runs the little movie theater downtown. She let us leave our bikes inside the lobby while we watched a movie. Tickets were only three dollars.

The cop that didn’t bother us when we were sleeping behind the library in New Prauge. He could have made us leave, but he didn’t.

Mat de St. Huber, who survived three tours in Vietnam and being trampled by a team of draft horses and 48 strokes. He wasn’t lying either. He used to ride a Gitane bicycle.

The YMCA that gave us free showers.

The lady that interviewed us in W Concord who was very kind. Also in W Concord, the police officers that couldn’t allow us to camp in the city park because of city ordinance, but showed us a place we could stay. They were very polite about everything, and impressed that we had made it so far.

Our interviewer outside of Rochester who was very encouraging and has kept in contact with us through the whole trip.

James Rogers, who approached us when it was obvious we needed help.  We were looking a little road worn and ragged, but he tried very hard to find someone we could stay with for the night. He couldn’t, but he gave us his card in case we had an emergency. When we looked at his card we saw that he was a chairman for the Mayo Clinic.

Michael Jackson, who installed a new chain and freewheel on Lizzy’s bike, and then helped us again after work. Lizzy’s rear quick release snapped in half, but he had one that he gave us. He also gave us permission to tent camp behind the bike shop, gave us access to his car in case we needed to leave at some point in the night, and gave me a hatchet. We got beverages together and had a wonderful chat. We can’t forget Michael Jackson.

thanks Honest Bikes!

thanks Michael Jackson

The owner operator of the bike shop in Decorah, IO, who gave us very detailed directions to Wisconsin. We followed his route and it turned out to be one of the most magical rides we had the entire trip. We also didn’t have to ride on any major highways.

All of the people we met in Monroe, including the dairy farmer bike tourist who would wake up at four and wait for hours for his tent to dry. We thought about that a lot. We also met a great woman at the McDonald’s who wrote us often. We were stopped by the police when we tried to camp in the city park. They were extremely polite and understanding and showed us another place we could go.

The reporter in Woodstock, who brought us Swiss Maid cinnamon bread and other snacks.

Tom and Karen, who opened their gorgeous home to us in Lake Forest, IL. We had been looking for a place to stay when we ran into Tom and Karen and a couple of their friends. We were all watching the sunset together over Lake Michigan. They were gracious hosts and genuinely wonderful people.

Cory, Laura, and baby Bayland who let us stay with them in their new house in Chicago.

The elderly man who gave me my Yellowstone hat when we stopped at his garage sale. I didn’t get his name, but he is a former adventurer and has backpacked in most of the National Parks.

Sasha and Even, who let us stay with them in their super hit apartment in Cleveland.

The man who told Lizzy a detailed account of his dream in which Coby Bryant stole his dog. Sometimes it is just good to talk to people

Mary who pulled over on the side of the road and invited us to her house for dinner. She made us oatmeal and tacos and we got to hang with her and her cool son Tom. They were so much fun! Little Beef did his rat ambassador thing. Great people.

Leo, Bonnie, and Bud the dog who let us stay the night in Erie, PA. Leo drove us to the Post Office and surprised my with a birthday cake and even let us wash our sleeping bags.

Colvert Arms Fife and Drum Corps, who let us camp out with them in Fredonia, NY. This is one kickn’ fife and drum corps! Thank you Jeff, Dave, Mary, Mark, Markus, Cody, and Rosamond. And thanks also to Mary Deas who gave us a jar of exceptional, pure, raw honey. We treated that honey like pure gold—“How do you know its pure honey if you don’t know the beekeeper?” This was definitely one of my favorite moments on the tour. I had Battle Cry of Freedom stuck in my head for three weeks.

Calbert arms fife and drum Corps

Calvert Arms Fife & Drum Corps, and their groupies

The man in Hamburg, NY, who gave us permission to camp out behind the gas station on a night when we really had no place to go.

Leslie King, and Dwight, who let us stay in their home in Buffalo. Leslie gave me clear and accurate directions to Niagara Falls, which is noteworthy—not everyone gives perfect directions. These people are wonderful, so hospitable. Leslie invited us to stay as long as four days. If we didn’t have a schedule to keep we might just have taken her up on it. She also helped Lizzy convert the Beef box.

The good people who organized the Erie Canal Trail ride, and invited us to take advantage of the wonderful lunch bar—fruits and granolas and peanutbutters . . . They must not have realized how much we can eat. The Erie Canal Trail is absolutely magical and we had the great opportunity to share Watsi with many fellow cyclists. We also met some friends who offered us dinner in NYC. We took them up on it!

The elderly woman in Saratoga who checked on me to make sure I was ok when I fell asleep on the table at St. Arbucks. We had a long talk about race horses. She has been teaching for over 33 years.

Adam and Emily, fellow tourists who rode with us through Vermont, though not by their choice. Even though Lizzy and I were being extremely obnoxious and in the troughs of a lively Harry Potter debate and offered them dumpster doughnuts, they treated us with nothing shy of respect and grace. We even semi-accidentally ended up staying the night with them at a Warm Showers host in New Hampshire. I could write a whole page about their kindness, and the kindness of our host, Scott.

Our new pal, Scott.

Our new pal, Scott.

Timmy and Mia, fellow PNWers, who camped with us in Massachusetts with a huge salad, hugs, and Oreos! Great folks, great times. Also, the woman named Dylan and her granddaughter who offered to let us sleep in their yurt that night.

Miss Esther Hunt a friend from school who is a math genius and still life polar bear artist who let us stay with her in Providence. She also gave us a real live tour of the math think tank at Brown University.


Ladies of math, Unite!

The great guys at the Methodist Church on Long Island who gave me a really cool bowl, Lizzy a rabbit magnet, and the both of us water.

Kevin Motel, a long time instagrub pal, who let us stay with him in his apartment. He let us run though his old tour pics and let us use the air conditioning. In the morning he rode with us to the train station and let us use his and his girlfriend’s train pass so that we wouldn’t have to pay for the bikes.

Waiting for the trin

Waiting for the trail with Kevin

The wonderful folks we met on the Erie Canal Trail, who cooked us a super nice dinner, complete with tofu steaks and salmon. It was great to be there and have long conversations about bikes, New York, and life.

Friends in NYC

Our new friends in NYC

Lizzy’s uncles Macario and Kirk, who generously let us stay in their beautiful apartment in Harlem for two nights so that we could enjoy the city. They are really great guys and have a wonderful dong named Scout.

The man in Edison, NJ, who tried so hard to line up a place for us to stay. There were so many strangers we met all through Appalachia and the Eastern Seaboard  and I wish I could remember their names, but I do remember their faces . Many offered housing or showers, most an encouraging word, some snack money. Several churches let us camp out in the back of their property. Some even left the doors unlocked so that we could use the bathroom and kitchen, and get water. Talk about trust.

Frasier, the cool cop who stopped us from literally camping in the playground equipment at the city park, but gave us permission to sleep at the church parking lot. He was fantastic, extremely helpful, and funny all the while maintaining his professionalism.

The man who builds cabinets who stopped and gave us (and our bikes, no small feet) a ride over the scary bay bridge in Maryland. We were just about to give up hope making it over that bridge when he showed up. If you’re reading this: go on that tour you’ve always dreamed of.

Richard, the most gracious host ever! We love Richard! He let us stay with him two nights in Washington DC and we learned sooooooo much from him about politics, Germany, the Syrian Refugee Crisis and so on. Richard wants to someday become a professor, now he works with the German party embassy and participates in think tanks (like the Rand Corporation!) All the while he treated us with respect, even when I broke a picture frame, and he shared his wonderful, imported German jams and jellies with us. He is simply one of the most unexpectedly fabulous people ever.



How could we forget bluegrass musician and tire salesman Mr. Randy Carr (seriously) who pulled over on the side of the road in Virginia at exactly the time that we needed it, and offered us one of his cabins for the night. We had absolutely no place to go when he offered. Again, a whole page could be written here about him. He gave me a neon safety vest and some cookies, and his grandson gave us a tour around the property. Good times in Virginias.

Lizzy enjoying Mr. Carr's cabin

Lizzy enjoying Mr. Carr’s cabin

Armpit sandwich

Mini, Poor thing got an armpit sandwich for thanks

The pastor of the First Pentecostal Church in Hot Springs, Virginia who, when we asked permission to camp in the parking lot, flipped us the keys to the building. There was a torrential downpour that night.

Tim and Min missionaries in Bluewells. A whole page here. These are the kindest people ever, they brought us home for two nights, gave us access to the internet, trusted us with funds to go school supply shopping for their ministry, brought them to their ministry headquarters to use the office, treated us like family, gave us a driving tour of the area, gave us directions that we desperately needed, and were just—well—really nice. We love the Swingles and will always cherish those days.

Chow time

Mmmmmmmmm. Chow time at the Swingles!

Gordon who saved us from Hob Nob’s Gob, the WORST and steepest road in America I’m sure. He let us stay with him and his dogs and gave us directions that let us go around the super steep death road.

The pastors at the Pound, Virginia, who let us stay in their circuit preacher’s apartment when we asked for permission to sleep in the parking lot. The next day, one of the pastor’s mother-in-law saw us on the top of a neighboring mountain and bought us lunch.

Kin, owner of the Thrift Way in the Pound, who saw us out front his store and brought us bananas, granola, and Gatorade. I thought he was going to ask us to leave because we’d been there a while and were looking rough, but instead he wanted to hear about Watsi and introduced us to his customers, by name, as they entered his store. He had done medical missions work in Africa.

Kendall, the man who went out of his way (literally miles) to find us in the parking lot of a McDonald’s and bring us inner tubes—not once but TWICE. He refused to take money too. There is a whole page worth of story on this one, but it goes without saying that he is a generous and selfless man.

The folks at the bike shop in Asheville who replaced my rear derailleur. I’ve never before had anyone work on my bike in my life, but I was so frustrated I decided to pay the 30 bucks labor and get coffee. They did exceptional work. I wish I could remember the shop name, Epic I think was.

The lady in the parking lot of the church who we asked to sleep at. Somehow she found us online within the week and sent us a postcard. She’s awesome!

Emma, who pulled over to the grocery store where we were loitering and tried so hard to find a way to bring us back to her family. They were only five miles away, and in retrospect we really should have just ridden there, but at the time we were so exhausted the thought of one extra mile was crushing. She bought us a great dinner at the food co-op across the street and we talked a lot about intentional community and adventuring.

Floyd,  dude with a son in Alaska and a fanny pack made out of a bear claw who drinks raw honey from a Gatorade bottle. We didn’t accept his invitation to stay with him and his wife that night, but he offered so we’re thankful for that.

The wonderful folks at the Baptist church in Hartwell, GA, who brought us into their bible study / dinner, and then sent us home with Cindy and David, some wonderfully and encouraging nice people with an ancient, blind Yorkie. Cindy took us out to breakfast the next day and we were able to help the church out with food distribution in the morning.

Aunt Jenny, for meeting us in Georgia (and getting us a hotel, and dinner) I don’t often get to see my Tennessee family so it was a huge encouragement to visit. Aunt Jenny also offered to send home a huge box of junk that had been accumulating on our bikes for the past two months. Bless her.

Jenn-ayy (say it like Forest Gump, you'll like it)

Jenn-ayy (say it like Forest Gump, you’ll like it)

The church in Pascagoula, FL, that gave us the entire youth building for the night.

Rick and Kim, the artist family in Alabama that let us hang out for a while. It was fun to be around kids for a while. Lizzy went through the entire Katy Perry video discography with the little ones. . .

The folks who were obviously on meth who let us camp inside the air-conditioned community center in Mississippi. We locked the doors.

Dad, for meeting in the Ozarks and spoiling us rotten with campsites and milkshakes.

fixing a flat

fixing a flat with Daddy

Wonderful Nancy, who brought us home to stay with her and cooked up the most fantastic feast  I have ever had. She is a gracious host and a hard worker. She also is the local pie lady !!!

Nancy's Meal

Nancy’s Meal. And she didn’t go to the grocery store

The lady at the McDonald’s who walked outside with a hashbrown and a biscuit in a napkin. She had saved it for little Beefy.

Olivia of Transylvania, LA, who is a prime example of selflessness and generosity. She gave us food and water, then her son arranged for his church to get us a hotel room for the night. We were quite taken back by this. In the evening, Olivia drove to the hotel and brought us a yummy home cooked meal.

The folks at the first Baptist Church in Dumas, AR, who insisted on putting us up in a hotel room when we asked to camp out in their parking lot. Two ladies from the church, Velva and Jessie, drove out to the hotel to talk with us after the evening service, and in the morning took us out to a lunch.

Becky and Co., who we stayed with in Arkansas. She rode with us through the confusing bike paths to make sure that we were able to find our way.

We and Becky

We and Becky

The church in Miami Oklahoma that let us take showers, and who sent us away with an abundance of Gatorade, fruit salad, and doughnuts.

All of the Trickeys in Oklahoma. ‘nuff said.

Donna the Rat lady in Oklahoma City and Tod, and their daughters. I cannot say enough of how appreciative we are of these wonderful people, who we met in Yellowstone. They let us stay in their home for two nights while we nursed little Beef. Not only were they generous in opening up their home to us, they went above and beyond the call of hospitality to make sure that little Beef had his medical needs met. Donna rode with us a good 20 miles the morning we left so that we could get back to Route 66 without getting lost. We couldn’t have made it without the encouragement and grace of Tod and Donna.

cyclescoot gang

cyclescoot gang, Aunt Donna

The wonderful people who gave us a key and let us crash their cute house in downtown Santa Fe for a few nights. These are the parents of one of Lizzy’s friends and I cannot remember their name off the top of my head, but I am soooooooo grateful for that time of rest.

The elderly man running the gas station in the middle of nowhere New Mexico who gave me a coffee. (he made Lizzy pay. Hmmm.)

The folks who let us stay in their back yard in Durango. Sandhya and Joey. There is a long story here, but they are fellow cyclists, Joey runs the best bike shop in Durango. They let us stay with them without notice or introduction.

The folks at the church in Cameron, AZ. We had a great time pulling weeds and  talking about the US Space Program, the Dominican Republic, and ministry in the Navajo Reservation.

Momma, who brought Grandpa Hal to Arizona and treated us to a stay at the Grand Canyon. Fab.

Lizzy’s Aunt Lelli, who got us a hotel room when we were in Barstow and drove all the way from LA to meet us for dinner.

Lovely Leli

Lovely Leli

Paige and Adam, for letting us crash their place in Tracey and for cooking us a wonderful dinner.

The folks at Rivendell (especially Mr. Peterson), for hanging out with us, talking with us, and being nice.

Rivendell Yo

Rivendell Yoy



The folks at Watsi for letting us come to the big city for a visit, for buying us sandwiches, and for letting us dedicate this tour to their work. Thanks Watsi, and all the donors who support Watsi so that people who need medical care can get it.

All of my Bay area family who hosted us for days and treated us like Queens—You rock.

And of course, all of you friends, family, and strangers who made this tour happen. There is no way we could have done what we did the last 6 months without the generous and continuing support from all of you. (I can think of all the phone calls Tessa put up with when I was highly emotional and utterly exhausted. She could have hung up, but she didn’t.) We are also grateful for the support of our parents, the continual prayer support from Carlton Community Church, all of the letters we received on our way, and all the friendly and supportive Instagram comments we received from you 1,050 followers. I’m sure that Lizzy has a lot of thankyous that didn’t get into this one, especially from her solo leg up the Pacific Coast. fact, it's great!! so much love for my family for surprising us with a care package :-)

…in fact, it’s great!! so much love for my family for surprising us with a care package 🙂

We’re still not sure what we’re going to do with WBD, but I will say that there is talk of touring to Alaska and Hawaii sometime in the future. Now that we’re at 48, why not 50? Thanks again, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

The End

The End







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4 thoughts on “The Most Important Post

  • lynnpol

    Faith in humanity restored! Actually never lost it, but your litany of thanks was encouraging. Thanks so much for taking the time to detail many of the wonderful folks you all met on your grand adventure. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Richard from Washington DC

    Thank you, ladies, for your wonderful thank-you-message today. It totally made my day. Keep on bikin’ and writing about it, I enjoyed your posts quite a bit. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving back home and wish you all the best for your next adventures!

  • Katherine

    It’s so great to read of the many people who helped you along on your journey. That’s the experience many of us have; it’s just easier to NOT see it and focus on the things that annoy, hurt, and frustrate us. We should all make the purposeful effort to see the blessings around us each day.