Open Road Press


July 10, Day 8 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014

Challenges. We can’t live without them, but so many times we don’t make an effort to take on a challenge. We take the easier, softer way.

When was the last time you really challenged yourself? It could be socially, intellectually, physically, or financially. Are you up for a challenge? With bicycle touring, there is no denying challenge. If we want to get back to Massachusetts, we have to put the pedal to the metal, so to speak.

Today’s Challenge

Today, we had a challenge. I was apprehensive of it since this is only our fifth day of riding and I just had a cortisone shot in my knee. Furthermore, the map forecasted a 4,000-foot climb up to McKenzie Pass. But like most challenges, the anticipation is worse than the event. And I must say this event was breathtaking…in a most positive way.

Much Needed GraceWe saw an amazing combination of forest, lava fields, and snow-capped mountains. We even saw a sign stating that bicycles can use the whole lane, just like cars—a good thing given the steep drop-offs with no guardrails separating a bicyclist from a disaster! Traffic was minimal on this stretch, and the climbs were gradual for the most part. Later in the day we cycled on perfect roads with wide shoulders. Our average speed was slower than usual, the result of our 22-mile uphill climb. But the challenge was all worth it, and the satisfaction at the end of the day was priceless.

Tomorrow’s Challenges

Tim and Deb atop McKenzie PassJust as with anyone’s walk through life, every state will provide some challenge for us. Assuming we travel in these directions, no services in Wyoming will be a challenge for these two inexperienced campers and Kansas tornadoes and tumbleweeds might curtail our progress. Of course, we all know about the height of those Rocky Mountains in Colorado, not to mention the bears in Yellowstone and the wild dogs in Kentucky. Other challenges no doubt await other routes we can opt for. But learning to take one day at a time, and enjoying one moment at a time, keeps us focused on the here and now, and loving the ride as we go.

The Biggest Challenge

A reward awaits at the end of any challenge.

A reward awaits at the end of any challenge.

Our biggest challenge on this trip is raising $100,000 for TheHopeLine. We are so grateful for all of the folks who have already made a donation. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We feel blessed to be part of something so…CHALLENGING! If you have not yet pledged your support to TheHopeLine, we hope that you check out our webpage about why TheHopeLine is worthy of support and that you consider pledging. Teenagers and young adults growing up in this world also have a big challenge. Won’t you accept the challenge to help them climb their mountains and navigate their way through life?

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