Monday, June 03, 2013

Hilary's Big Adventure or How Hilary Spent her Summer Vacation

Watching daughter Hilary ride her bike out of sight last Saturday turned me into an emotional puddle. My heart was full and empty at the same time - filled with love and loss. That's when Hilary's first day of an epic adventure 4000+ mile bicycle journey started. Yes, you read that right -- 4000+ miles. She and a group of fellow University of Texas students are riding their bicycles from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska in the name of fighting cancer while sharing hope, knowledge, and charity along the way and giving support to those who battle cancer and support for their loved ones. The Texas 4000 is billed as the longest charity ride in the world. I don't know if that's actually true, but I tell you what -- Texans sure do know how to do it big.

The Amazing Reese, Tilly the wonder dog, and I went to Austin to cheer Hilary on at the beginning of her big adventure. Soon-to-be-son-in-law James joined Hilary for the first 50 miles.

At the start of the ride, 69 teammates paused to remember loved ones affected by cancer and  listen to the national anthem. Hundreds of bikers joined the ride for the first day.

Each rider raised at least a dollar for every mile they ride. Hilary's group is riding the Sierra Route and amazingly will be out of Texas in three more days, in and out of New Mexico in two days, in Arizona for a day total, and in Utah by Sunday!!! Y'all can follow the route here, and if anyone still wishes to contribute, Hilary's fund raising page is here.

Friends and family were invited to join the riders for a day one celebration lunch at Lagato Winery in Lampasas, Texas. We poured Texas wine in little plastic cups, toasted, and shared one last Texas BBQ meal under a big tent in a big Texas field. Well, our last meal for a while anyway....until she reaches Anchorage, Alaska in 70 days.

After our meal, it was time to say our good byes. It sure was hard. May God bless you and the people you (and your teammates) touch on your journey. May God bring you safely home at journey's end.

Here's a little something in her own words.

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