Today we woke up around 5:45am at our lodging in Sacramento, CA to head out for the third day of our journey. Once we left the city, most of our ride consisted of either flat land or rolling hills through vast farmland. Once we got closer to our final destination of Jackson, CA we were faced with multiple challenging, steep climbs that eventually led into town. After we took a short break, we were given a police escort to our friendship visit at The Arc of Jackson. This was our first friendship visit in which we were lucky enough to get a police escort to. This was an awesome experience, but seeing the smiles on the individuals’ faces as we rode up to the site on our bikes was absolutely extraordinary. Each individual came up to the entire team to shake our hands and let us know how happy they were that is was the 30th year that the Ability Experience has come to visit their organization. It was truly heart warming to hear some of them describe it as “their Christmas and birthday combined into one day.” Once we were greeted, we were presented with an abundant display of cookout-style food and refreshments. After we ate lunch we danced and played other games to wrap up a great visit. As we rode out and said our goodbyes, it was easy to tell by the faces of the individuals that our time spent with them was priceless and that they would be waiting for the next time around for us to come back once again. For dinner, we were fortunate enough to be taken care of by Mel’s Diner in the heart of Jackson. The owners and staff of the restaurant presented us with a massive pasta dinner and gave us some local advice on how to prepare for our ride to Tahoe on Wednesday, which is supposedly one of the hardest days on our entire journey. It was very nice to see that we have had people in this small town that are so passionate in supporting our mission over such a long period of time. We have been very lucky on our trip so far to be provided with many wonderful meals local businesses and sponsors are willing to give us, leaving our stomachs full on a daily basis. It really goes to show that good things happen when you are willing to give back.
Eric Overby – Virginia Tech, Delta Alpha Chapter