Adding Hitch to the ride is a great conversation started. Much more awareness is being raised because of her! I a surprised at how many people are here at the “Village”. It is like its own town…
Today I am just hanging aroung the Canyon . I camped here last night and will again tonight. It is beyond beautiful~! Sunny, mid 70’s…
They call me the squirrle whisperer
Don’t even think about it!
God’s Canvas 5.30
Today was kind of a roller coaster day. The weather was nice, upper 60’s / low 70’s and for the most part sunny. There was a passing storm but it went by quickly. Most of the stretch was downhill then as I approached the Grand Canyon the road started CLIMBING. I thought I lost my wallet, luckily after about an hour of panic I found it!
At the first viewing spot from the side of the road I stopped it. It was amazing! Pictures I have seen and these pictures I will share don’t even come close to seeing it in person! Everyone should have this on thier bucket list!!!
I made it to the Grand Canyon Village about dinner time. So, if anyone is wondering, like I was, why there is like no one in northern TX, NM and AZ, it is because they all are here! Had to pay to come into the “park”, ok, fair enough. Then showers are $2. Odd…
Tomorrow I will lock the bike up and Hitch and I will go for a hike. Can’t wait!!! (No dedication tomorrow, they are for ride days only)
Oh Jake, the shower did not really wash the sap out of my hair, I may need to trim it out.
Beautiful 8 pointer! Coconino National Park 5.29
The ride between Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon 5.29
God’s Canvas 5.29
At a pull over viewing spot along side the road. Grand Canyon Southern Rim 5.29
We have known Randi for several years. She always has a big smile and a warm hello. Parents love meeting her and hearing about her journey. We are lucky to live only about an hour away from her so Jake and Mom see her about 2-3 times a year (I have met her a few times, but Mom and Jake know her better). In addition to what she says below about herself, she is a super Aunt who loves her nieces and nephews. Mom says Randi and her boyfriend Jonathan make the sweetest couple.
She is pictured here at the WSA walk a year or 2 ago in Frederick MD with Sophia and Oli:
And here she is with Jonathan :
“Hello I’m Randi Wallace I am 31 with William’s Syndrome. I found out when I was 20 years old. It has been a tough journey with a lot of ups and downs but I have pushed through every one of them . I love hanging with my friends and family and I love animals and food and music.”
Wow it is AMAZING here in Flagstaff. I am glad I put this on my must see places to stop. I only rode about 7 miles from the warm showers host home to the KoA campground. Did I say it is AMAZING yet? It was sunny, low 80’s, PERFECT!
I did not ride far today, wanted/needed to take a break, rode pretty far the past few days (~350 miles in 3 days from Albuquerque.) Took a break today, went on a hike, met some super nice people and slept in a… well, you’ll see in the pics.
Thursday I plan on riding to Mather Campground in the Grand Canyon.
Enjoy this pics…
The “conversation” – “What??” / “Oh goodness when you have to state such” / “And there’s actually a picto for it” / “You know signs like that, they say it’s happened before… things that make you go hmmm”
Swimming hole near KOA Campgroung, Flagstaff 5.28
Hiking views, north of Flagstaff 5.28
Ready for the hike, Flagstaff 5.28
After the hike near Flagstaff. Poor baby… hahahaha
Sunset in Coconino National Forest 5.28
Sleeping quarters 5.28 at KoA north of Flagstfaff
I am pretty sure I am going to meet Megan in CA. I am really looking forward to seeing her! It sounds like we have a lot in common! She even has a billboard in her honor near Palm Desert to help raise awareness of WS. I will post a pic of it here, and hope to get another pic as I ride by.
“Megan celebrated her 16th birthday in September with all her Williams Syndrome friends and their families, as well as her own family and high school friends, with a large “surprise” birthday bash with a live band and entertainment! As you know, all our kids love music, so you can imagine that they never stopped dancing!
Megan is a vibrant, beautiful and loving soul that seems to touch anyone who she meets. She has dreams and aspirations of becoming a speaker for Williams Syndrome, traveling all over the world raising awareness.
There is a billboard on the I-10 in Indio, CA, that has her picture on it bringing awareness for Williams Syndrome! It was a wonderful honor for the use of the billboard to be donated by her Middle School, for our donations and support we gave over the years. It won’t be there much longer, but we are hoping it will be for a picture moment with Kevin coming through the desert.
Megan just attended the “Night to Remember Prom” in Chula Vista, hosted by Eastlake Church. It is open to all disabled teens and twenties! It is the most memorable and heart-warming event your child could attend. This was Megan’s second year and she plans on going till she ages out!
Megan loves jewelry, and the art of creating her own! She also loves theater and just played a part from “Wicked”! She loves art in all forms!
She is an animal lover and is deeply committed to stop animal cruelty.”
Here she is on the billboard… soo cool
First a shout out Happy Birthday to Evan! Evan’s dedication day was 4/12
It was a warmer day today, it is amazing how much the temperature swings between day and night out here. Left the desert and went into the northern part of Coconino National Forest to a warm showers host home. Thank you Bruce and Vicky! For the longest time it did not look like a forest, at least not like the forests back home. As the road climbed I started seeing more trees. I did not travel as many miles today, it was flat to start then the last half of the day was just all up hill.
I texted mom that sap got in my hair. Do you know how hard that is to get out? Thanks to Jake, he reminded me to just take a shower
Hitch did not like the new wanna be friend so we left him be…
About mid day I called my mother, “Hey Mom, I’ve been thinkin…”
Guess who I am going to meet in a couple weeks? Yup, Levi! I can’t wait! Doesn’t he sound like an amazing little man? Look at his eyes. These are beautiful WS eyes with the starry pattern. Amazing!!! Click on the pic to enlarge and just look at them, they are mesmerizing! When you look at them it is like you are traveling through space almost. The other one with the thumb up is classic! Have you noticed the thumbs up in pics of boys and men posted previously?
Levi is a 5 year old super hero loving, joke telling, monster truck crashing, Strider racing, little charmer. He adores his kitty cat Darth Vader. Looks up to his brother and sister and is a friend to everyone he meets. He is a bit of a local celebrity and his mom has to often ask strangers how they know each other. His smile can brighten anyone’s mood, his laugh is contagious and his hugs are all that is needed to fix a bad day. When Levi was first diagnosed with Williams Syndrome his family was distraught. Within a month of his diagnosis they were scheduling his first of two open heart surgeries. They were faced with so many uncertainties and spent a lot of time pondering the question of, “What did we do wrong…where did we go wrong…why is this happening to us?” But, they pushed through the hard times, the never ending Dr. appointments, therapy sessions and the scary hospital stays. They learned a lot about medical terminology, insurance games and became great scheduled jugglers. Then they got to actually enjoy their baby again, be a family again. Things got easier, they found their new “normal” and today now ask the question, “What did we do right to deserve this amazing little spirit that touches lives of everyone he meets?”
To see the charts better, just click on them.
Memorial Day 5.26
With deep gratitude and appreciation….
I have some great pics from the weekend I will post below and will also be on the trip pics page, link on top of blog.
Great weekend!!! Emma and her room mates were so much fun in Albuquerque. I was there Friday and Saturday. Thank you thank you! It was a little chilly and rainy but still got around to see some sites and there is an REI there! Needed a couple things, traded back some things I have not needed.
Sunday I headed out and made it to about Gallup. It was pretty chilly. Actually more than chilly. It was 28 degrees when Hitch and I were in the hammock. Even with some cold gear it was chilly and I couldn’t sleep. So what do you do when you can’t sleep? At home watch tv, get on the computer… When you are in the desert I don’t know what you would do but I hopped back on the bike and rode… It was pretty much up hill to Gallup. It is funny, the coldest night since the trip started is in New Mexico in late May (and left MD/PA line April 1)! I just would not have thought that!
Monday was still on the cool side, sunny and a great riding day. Most of the day was downhill. It was a great break. The wood in the Petrified forest is AMAZING!!! Hitch and I went on a hike and another hiker snapped a couple of pics. To all my Eagle Scout friends, I hiked in sandals (guess the expression I made when this came to mind). I suppose a the sandals are little stronger than the duct tape shoes I made a few years ago for the hiking trip… I still don’t know why the leaders didn’t like that : /
Tuesday I should make it through the “corner in Winslow AZ, such a fine sight to see..” (sorry… And they say I don’t need Aderall). I will make it to the Coconino National Forest and maybe to Flagstaff, dependng on the terrain). There are a few Warm Shower hosts in Flagstaff, so I may stay there a day or 2.
Enjoy the pics below.
Nowheresville NM 5.22
Chillin in Albuquerque 5.23
Petrifies Forest 5.26
Petrified Forest 5.26
Mom, I’m fine….
View on Memorial Day 5.26
AZ view, Memorial Day 5.26
My version of The Lion King, AZ 5.26
Petrified wood 5.26
Petrified Wood 5.26. More beautiful in person!!!
Hitch and I on a hike. 5.26
Albuquerque!!! Sooo close to 3,000 miles. Per map my ride and google maps the roads traveled are 2,929 but then if you add in riding around towns, getting lost in Aligator River National Refuge, around the beaches etc surely am over the 3,000 mark.
Thanks Emma for hosting Hitch and I for the next couple of days. Hitch and I pushed to get here, 509 miles in 4 days. Oh a warm shower, air conditioning and a bed/cot/floor I don’t care, any and all sound incredible! Glad it is the weekend too!
The scenery is very pretty in some spots in the mid west. The I-Phone does a pretty good job at capturing, by the time it is transferred a couple of times to post here, the pics really do not it justice but still ok. We will hit the road again Sunday or Monday so there will probably not be posts until then. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend and a HUGE THANK YOU to all who serve and who have served! Jake will have a great time in DC with the Rolling Thunder on Sunday.
Do you have any funny stories to share? Sure you do! Please send them in. I have enough dedications to get to Flagstaff. If you would like your child spotlighted please send a pic and bio to firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you!
Near Santa Rosa, NM 5.22
Near Albuquerque 5.22
Catching up on sharing pics from the past week:
Somewhere in New Mexico 5.22
TX Sunset 5.21
The sunsets are really really amazing
Savanna is amazing! She is sweet & funny & pretty! I am glad I got to spend a couple days with them in Petal Mississippi. Her whole family was soo nice to Kori and I. They took us around town, we really appreciated that! Do well in school Savanna and I hope to see y’all again real soon!
“Savanna(15) was only diagnosed when she was 12, although, looking back, it was very obvious now, that she has Williams Syndrome. We have been very blessed that unlike many WS kids, Savanna never had the severe medical problems that many have. The only medical issue that she has is severe scoliosis, she has had 13 back surgeries. She has double rods in her back and her spine has been fused. It truly doesn’t slow her down much. She is turning into a typical teen pretty much.”