Friday, August 4, 2017

It’s hard to believe we have almost reached the end of our 12th state! Our crew chief, Nick Barton, treated us to one of his crew chief breakfasts this morning with all the fixings for our bagels and some coffee to get our day jump started. Before hitting the road, we had our routine circle up where cyclist Ryan Duke spoke on anxiety as disability of the day and shared information with us on the daily impact it has on so many people and their loved ones. Today’s ride was for everyone effected by the hardships brought by anxiety!

Only a short 70 miles into Beckley for the ride, however, the last 10 miles were all uphill. Nothing like getting the legs warmed up for our arrival to our friendship visit! West Virginia continued to live up to its “wild and wonderful” motto with plenty of scenery and curves in the road along the way. Everybody made it to stage up about 1:00 – just in time for our police escort from Beckley’s finest. We caused quite the traffic jam riding into lodging hosted by our friends at Mountain State Center for Independent Living, but the locals were more than friendly and cheered us to the finish. We were greeted by the council men and women of Beckley who delivered a proclamation from the mayor that August 4, 2017 will be known as Journey of Hope day!

 The team then enjoyed some hibachi meals for lunch sponsored by Mr. Stephen Paul, a Pi Kappa Phi man from Marshall University, and had a chance to shower/nap before dinner and the friendship visit. MSCIL then generously hosted a spaghetti dinner at lodging for us and their clients served us to show their thanks. It was nice to be able to experience another branch of the MSCIL organization and meet more friends working to develop independent living skills! The rest of the night was spent relaxing and catching up on sleep (a few of us headed over to New River Gorge bridge to explore – check it out on Google Images). Tomorrow is a big day, especially for our Virginia Tech Hokies as we head for their college town! Here we come Blacksburg! 

Author: Zane Gardener, Cyclist (Eta Chi Chapter, Texas Christian University)