6.2.14 (Stats)

chart 6.2

graph 6.2

I am glad the day ended well because it sure started not that way (trying to keep it G Rated). 4 flat tires on the bike and one on the trailer. Mike at the bike store back home said that I will get a lot of flats in the desert but this is crazy! The weather in the desert is crazy too! Just 150 miles back it is in the 80’s and now it is pushing 90 and up ahead about 100 miles it is 100 degrees. Once the sun sets the temps drop drastically. Crazy!

Kingman is a nice town in the middle of the desert. People are nice. I had a long heart to heart with a guy who works at Jiffy Lube who let me pump my tires that he wants to hike Alaska and he said this ride is an inspiration to him to just do it. I hope he does!!!

Petco people were nice and gave Hitch eye protection.

The KoA campground people were REALLY nice. They comp’ed the night when I told them I was riding for WS. Apparently the front desk person did not tell the security person so when I went back to the site after taking a shower all my gear was gone, the panniers, hammock, everything but the bike. Security had locked it up thinking I was a squatter. Once security and the front desk talked it was all good.

Will be in Vegas VERY soon…

Flattiresville, AZ  (4 in one day!)  6.2

Flattiresville, AZ (4 in one day!) 6.2

Sportin shades thanks to Petco so sand won't get in her eyes.

Sportin shades thanks to Petco so sand won’t get in her eyes.

6.2.14 Dedication – Kyle

Hi Kyle! You sound like my kinda guy – loving the outdoors and the beach. Me too! I hope I get to meet you soon! Take care of Kiki! I am sure you do…

Kyle Adbo 1

Kyle Abdo 2

Kyle A likes to listen to Rock music – the louder the better. He works at Service Source and has been given a Security clearance by the Defense Department. He is 27 and loves to bowl, play softball, and watch WWE. He likes to spend time in nature, going on walks with his family, and enjoys days the beach and at National’s Park. He has one brother and two sisters and adores his cat, Kiki.

6.2.14 Message to Siblings

Mom saw this on fb and wanted to post this for ALL of us siblings…

To The Typical Siblings
April 17, 2014 by Ellen Stumbo

Dear typical sibling of a brother or sister with a disability,

Today I want to speak to you as a parent, perhaps not your parent, but a parent nonetheless.

I know you’ve had to sacrifice so much, and I wish you hadn’t. For the many times you’ve thought it wasn’t fair, we’ve felt it too. And if you’ve had to miss out on life experiences, please know that we wish we could offer you the world.

Perhaps at times you’ve felt overlooked, because your sibling’s needs demand all of your parents’ attention. But they see you, they see you in the cracks of their vision, and their hearts hurt for the moments they’ve had to sacrifice time with you. But many nights they think about you, of the wonderful person that you are. I want you to know that the pride and love they feel for you could never be measured, you are what keeps them going many times. You make their days brilliantly beautiful.

And you’ve told us – your sibling with a disability has affected you too. Yes, there’s been sacrifices and some things you’ve had to give up, but you’ve gained so much from your sibling too. You’ve said your siblings with disabilities have shaped you into who you are today. We look at you, and we’re sure there is not a more compassionate, caring, accepting, and kind human being walking on this earth.

We’ve seen you be frustrated with your sibling, because after all you are siblings. We’ve seen the frustration in your eyes. But then something happens – perhaps it is a look that as parents we don’t recognize – but we see that frustration be replaced with love. You can be annoyed by hands pulling at you, and suddenly be a willing participant in the biggest, sweetest embrace that any siblings could ever share. I see the love in your eyes for your sibling, and I cannot believe that the two of you can share this kind of love. It’s not typical, but it runs so deep, and it reflects a quiet strength in you that brings me to tears.

We’ve seen you stand up to the bullies, even when it was scary. Because you understand so deeply that it isn’t right to diminish anyone, in any way.

And you have extended not only a smile, but a friendship to the kids that others so easily overlook. Because you don’t, you don’t ever overlook people. You notice them, you affirm them. With your smile and friendship you remind them that they matter in this world too.

You are perhaps more mature than someone your age. You’ve probably had more responsibilities than most of your peers. I guess in some ways you’ve lived a different life, life impacted by disability. And every day you’re out there, moving in this world with an understanding about the beauty and value of life that makes you stand out, and understanding that few people posses.

You’ve known these truths from a young age, they’ve always been a part of your life. As the parents, we arrived to those truths much later in life.

And you smile at life, enjoying every moment. You are stirring the people around you, helping them to see what you see, to know what you know. You are affecting people’s perceptions of disability as you advocate for your sibling, as you give them a voice when needed. You have willingly embraced this role…it humbles me, it brings me to tears.

You are moving those around you, and you will continue to do so.

As parents, we hope to make this place a better place for our kids. But as the siblings – with hearts so full of acceptance, compassion, an understanding of the value of life – you will go out into this world and change it. Not just for your siblings, but for all of us.

Thank you!

If you ever wonder who we look up to, it’s you. We could not be prouder or love you more fiercely.

This post first appeared on ellenstumbo.com

6.1.14 (Stats)

First a Happy Birthday shoutout to Allyson, she turns 5! Her dedication day was on April 10…It is all about pink tractors today I hear…

6.1 chart
6.1 chart

GREAT breakfast!!  I really needed it!  It was just at a little diner, not even sure if the town had a name. There was only a diner and 2 gas stations along Rt 66...

GREAT breakfast!! I really needed it! It was just at a little diner, not even sure if the town had a name. There was only a diner and 2 gas stations along Rt 66…

Feeling better today thanks in part to the delicious breakfast!! I must have really needed the calories. It was mostly downhill today so it was an easy ride. A police officer stopped to make sure I was OK, he had never seen a cyclist on the interstate before (I am allowed to ride here). I had just pulled over to let Hitch take a break. This is the first time in about 3500 miles a police office has asked if I was ok or needed anything. I thought that was nice! Of course he asked why I was riding and was happy to share the mission!

It is good to be back on the interstate again. Traffic moves faster but I feel safer! And every now and then there are signs of life and electricity.

I came across an RV park early so I just pulled in there for the evening. I have plenty of time to get to Vegas. I met a really nice widow at the campground and we talked for a while.

SO glad to be back on a main road!!! 6.1 AZ

SO glad to be back on a main road!!! 6.1 AZ

Custom "Paint'"

Custom “Paint'”

AZ  6.1 - OK< I will use lower gears...

AZ 6.1 – OK< I will use lower gears...

This police officer only stopped to see if I was OK.  (Hitch needed a break).  He asked what the WSA sign was about, "Well Sir, you see I am riding for..."  "Here's my card Officer, thanks for stopping and checking"

This police officer only stopped to see if I was OK. (Hitch needed a break). He asked what the WSA sign was about, “Well Sir, you see I am riding for…” “Here’s my card Officer, thanks for stopping and checking”

6.1.14 Dedication – Oli

Oli is all that with whipped cream and a cherry on top! I have known Oli since he was barely walking. He is sooo cute! He has the biggest smile and just steals you heart without you even knowing it. His sister Bella is just as cute. She probably does not remember me but she was in the baby room at the last convention so I got to spend some time with her. You can just see how much Oli and Bella love each other!

oli

1470201_10151774898052694_1279191420_n[1]

“This is Oliver, he is 5 years old. He is such a loving, sweet little boy. He loves his mighty machines, diggers, captain America and the hero squad and his little sister, Bella. Their love for each other is a joy to watch daily! He also must have his hugs and high fives. With no prevail he makes friends wherever we go and is adored. From the school to the grocery store he leaves his mark, charming all he encounters. Oliver is about to start kindergarden in the fall and is super excited about that. He loves to play sports and be outside. I wish I could say it’s always been so easy. he was diagnosed with Williams syndrome when he was just 3 months old. The constant screaming in pain (due to reflux) It was a relief to have an answer but at the same time the fear set in of ‘what will this mean for him’ ‘ what will this mean for our family’. All I can say is we take things one day at a time. We don’t limit him or say he can’t. We encourage him to always say he will try. Because that’s all you can ask any child for. Boy does he try! He is super explorative and inquisitive which always puts a smile on my face as exhausting as it is to watch over this behavior. I smile because I remember the little boy who at 3 wasn’t even talking. The little boy who has to try 10x harder then a typical kid to learn things. I know his potential, it is exponential!! When he was a baby he had a two staged urinary surgery and another. Each time all I could think is due to his heart condition or WS, please let him survive. And he did. Despite all of his health issues Oliver is a vibrant spitfire kid! He is all boy! I couldn’t imagine him any other way then the way he is. If I’m having a bad day he seems to find a way to brighten it. We have had our tough times and things have gotten rough, BUT, we will prevail! I see my son and he makes me proud and I know he will continue to do so. As he always says to me “Your the best mommy ever!” To this I say ” Your the best son ever!!”

5.31.14 (stats)

5.31

KoA Williams

To be honest, I think today was one of the hardest days so far. It was partly cloudy, low 80’s, terrain was ok and only rode about 60 miles so it wasn’t anything like that… I guess I didn’t expect there to be days that I would ride in absolute desolation, days I would not talk to anyone about WS, days I would not even see anyone to give them a card…
The vistas now are well, nothing but brown. It is crazy how just a few miles ago it was so beautiful. I left the Grand Canyon Village and rode to one of the 2 towns between there and Vegas. The warm showers host was hosting a group from Couchsurfing. I will check into that group as well as a backup. I stayed the night at a KoA. They were not the friendliest KoA I have stayed. Sure am missing southern hospitality of a month ago.
I can’t wait to get to Vegas where there are people and places to see and things to do!!!