By Ben Coughenour
Today we spent our last rest day together in Spokane, WA. We now stand with the final segment of this long and arduous but incredible journey immediately ahead of us, and soon enough we will find ourselves at our long-awaited destination in Vancouver, BC. We’ll have some new faces joining us for the last part of the adventure, and we’ll be saying goodbye to others. Many of us got together and brought Sue Pratt several bouquets of flowers in the hopes that they might express how strongly we all will miss her when she leaves our group after tomorrow’s ride. I’ve begun to realize for the first time how much I will miss this family I’ve become a part of, that like all things this bicycle adventure must come to an end, that this next week will surely come to pass far too quickly and could never truly last long enough. I know I’ll enjoy it while it lasts, as I’ve enjoyed every mile and every minute thus far.
Most of us attended our host church’s service this morning, and then we all enjoyed a wonderful potluck lunch and gave a presentation afterwards. After the presentation we each took advantage of the free day in a variety of ways. A lot of the group went to REI before going to shower, while I went with Alex, Nicole, and Midas to a semi-professional baseball game and cheered on the Spokane Indians and watched their dancing mascot, Doris the Spokanisaurus (and no, I’m not making that up).
Afterwards we went back to the church and relaxed with the rest of the group. The hosts here in Spokane have been wonderful, as have so many of the hosts we’ve met along the way. Once again I’ve been impressed by the generosity we’ve come across, without which this trip would be nearly impossible.
Now, although there is so much more I could to tell, my heavy eyelids and the challenging climbs we’ll surely face over this next week in the Cascades remind me of the inconvenient necessity of sleep. This adventure, the friendships I’ve made, and the memories I will forever carry have been a blessing and a miracle in my life, and we still have a week to go! Though I may dream of seeing the Pacific, I dare not think about the ride into Vancouver just yet. Tomorrow’s 87-mile ride will take us to Grand Coulee, and with just one week left, all I can say is OYEE!!!