Going Our Separate Ways

Tom Packing UpUnfortunately, the road rash burns on my right buttocks and upper thigh proved to be more problematic than first thought. The doctor told me that it could be 10 days to 2 weeks before I would be able to comfortably sit on a bicycle but was not sure I would be able to pedal for 8-10 hours a day due to the stretching of the skin in the burned area. It has now been 10 days since the wreck, and I do believe the doctor spoke with ‘straight tongue’.

Tom On The RoadAfter a week of sitting in a rental car following Tom around it became painfully apparent that I was not going to be able to ride before the scheduled completion date of our trip. Sooooo, after some discussion we agreed that it would be pointless to continue spending money on a car rental, rather, I would drop Tom off in Dell MT and then head on back to Billings MT.

Certainly, the ride did not end the way I hoped it would, but there were a lot of positive things that happened along the way. We saw a lot of beautiful country as we pedaled from the flat cactus covered southern Arizona region up through the hilly tree covered area of northern Arizona. Along the way I was able to meet and spend time with some wonderful people.

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There were my relatives and friends in Tucson that gave us a bed to sleep in went out of their way to make us feel welcome. Then there was JoE, the wonderful lady that drove us from out in the middle of no-man’s-land when the side road literally disappeared into a brush and rock pile back to the interstate entrance ramp. I got to know Tim & Deb Hall (Tom brother and sister-in-law); two wonderful people that treated me just like a family member. Their warmth and hospitality was a cherished spot on the trip.

Two people that really left their mark on my life were Randy and Dean. Immediately following my bike wreck, while cars were whizzing by at high rates of speed, Randy pulled over to help. Even though he was working under a time constraint he helped out without reservation, acted as though time were no issue, and shared the story about life long heart issues and his recent heart transplant. The next day Dean came to my aid and gave selflessly of his time in getting me a rental car. Both of the individuals and their ‘no questions asked’ acts of service made an indelible mark on me.

grand-canyonMy long suffering riding partner (Santos Tomas, Too Thin Hall, Tom the Fast) is always a critical part in making these trips fun and memorable. A ride of this magnitude would not be near as enjoyable without Tom pedaling along with me. We have stimulating conversations, we have dumb conversations, and we swap stupid jokes. As a matter of fact, when I got back home I was somewhat disturbed to find that there were still major problems going on the world; I thought we solved most of the world’s problems while riding our bicycles through some of the most beautiful county we have seen.

A big thanks to all that supported me on this trip, be it through thoughts & prayers & blessings, generous acts of kindness, or the endured anxiety on the home front when communications became limited. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Blessings to each and everyone of you . . . . . . . until we talk again . . . . . . .

2 thoughts on “Going Our Separate Ways

  1. Thanks for the kind words and the excellent summary of another ride of a lifetime. We may have missed all the TV episodes, ballgames, and sitting around on the couch, but what a grand replacement–despite the accident. Thanks, Rick, for making the journey memorable, inspiring, and compelling.

    Blessings,
    Thomas Halll
    Border2Border Team Member

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