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Week Three

Home Up Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Week Nine Week Three, April 16-22 Mesa AZ-Deming NM


Sunday, April 16 Day 9, In Mesa AZ
Monday April 17 Day 10, Mesa -- Casa Grande AZ
Tuesday April 18 Day 11, Casa Grande -- Tucson AZ
Wednesday April 19 Day 12, Tucson -- Benson AZ
Thursday April 20 Day 13, Benson -- Willcox AZ
Friday April 21 Day 14 Willcox AZ -- Lordsburg NM
Saturday April 22 Day 15 Lordsburg  -- Deming NM



Finally a true rest day ... got to sleep in, reorganize my gear and figure
out what I didn't really need. The weather has been so warm, I was able to part with some clothing (hope I don't regret it).

Later on, Shelly and I went to the grocery store, and did some errands while Chuck (Shelly's husband) and Scott used Chuck's truck to take a bedroom set to some Catholic Sisters of the same religious order as Mother Teresa.

We had a nice BBQ, then Shelly, Chuck, their two sons Joshua and Kody, and Scott went to the teen Mass at their St. Timothy's. I was tired, so I used that opportunity to take a nap.

When they returned from church, we all ate some homemade banana-strawberry frozen yogurt which Shelly had put together - yum!

Janelle stopped by with some Power Bars, so we were able to say good-bye to her. Janelle is going back to Iowa soon, and is going to visit my Uncle Jack's ex-wife's 2 sisters, Dorothy and Betty Ann, who she knew years ago! They are in Algona, Iowa.

Chapter 1 of Bike For The Cure 2000 is over. Almost 400 miles in 7 days, 2
days in Mesa. Chapter 2 starts tomorrow. That's Mesa AZ to Las Cruces NM.

Yours ready to start Biking For The Cure tomorrow,



On the road again ... with prayer with Shelly, and fond farewells, Scott and
I set out on the beginning of Chapter 2, Mesa AZ - Las Cruces NM. We rode
South and East out of the Phoenix area, through the Gila Bend Indian
Reservation, past the casino to Maricopa.

While Scott was on the phone, still making arrangements to get his TM-20
pocketmail computer back, I spoke briefly with a tribal policeman for the Ak
Chin area. They are Papago Indians. Sometimes the tribal police help the
Border Patrol.

After refilling our water, and using the restroom, we started the 20 mile
ride from Maricopa-Casa Grande, parallel with the railroad track. It was
slow going the whole way, with side winds. Couldn't believe the thousands of
Holstein cattle S of the railroad tracks; must be a commercial dairy. We
were downwind of this operation. Need I say more ...

On the outskirts of Casa Grande, we passed an Abbott Pharmaceutical Bldg..

We followed the excellent directions given by our hosts, Barbara and Joe
Wright of Trinity Lutheran Church. They live on the E outskirts of Casa
Grande, on 4 acres. They raise Watusi-Longhorn cattle, pygmy goats, Barbados
sheep, and have fowl too! I saw a Canadian goose, a swan, and some pigeons.
They also raise hay; get 8 (yes 8) cuttings of hay a year!

I mentioned that we have a mini farm in Grand Junction, CO, and Joe told us
he was born in GJ, at the old St. Mary's Hospital. He used to live on
Orchard Mesa, and went to Columbus School in grades 3-5! We got to talking,
and his father is a brother to Helen Wright's husband! Those of you from GJ
know Helen was a teacher, then a School Board member, and a side-saddle
rider in the Frontier Belles. Helen's son Don runs the Red Crawford 2 way
radio business in GJ. Don and Jone's daughters Lisa and Kristi were in 4H
with our sons Kevin and Justin, and attended GJHS too! Small world!

About 5:30 pm Natasha Wright, her husband Phil, and their children Cassidy
and Reno arrived, having SAGged our gear for us, from Mesa to Casa Grande.
Natasha is the Arizona Chapter President of HDSA. A lovely young woman. Her whole family, including her wonderful mom Nancy, helped all day at the
fundraising carwash on Saturday. It was so neat to see them again, and a
real blessing that they brought our gear to us. It would have been real hard
riding today with my panniers (saddlebags) and the BOB trailer which my dear friend Charlotte Reicks loaned Scott.

Barbara is a nurse who does Health Education. I think Joe is retired.

We had a lovely chicken enchilada dinner, veggies, salad, and
strawberry-rhubarb pie. Barbara is a wonderful cook. Everything was made
from scratch. The salad had thin strips of jicama in it, plus thin strips of
purple onion, green pepper, and romaine lettuce. The pie was proclaimed
"outstanding" by our resident pie connoisseur Scott. I had to agree!

Tomorrow it's on to Tucson. We will ride the Interstate for about 50 miles.
Our hosts tonight, Barbara ad Joe Wright, are going to drive our gear to
Tucson so again, we can ride light. I am just amazed at the Lord's provision
of generous folks to aid us in our journey.

With love and hope (and hoping for less wind), Still Biking For The Cure,
Marie (and Scott)



The best day so far as weather ... Scott and I left Casa Grande about 5:15
am, riding "light" once again. Barbara and Joe offered SAG our gear to
Tucson! Thank God for folks like them!

At first, we thought we might have to ride on the I-10, but not so. Joe told
us about the road parallel to the I-10, through Eloy (elev. 1565) and
Picacho. It was a good road, and again, we saw many saguaros along the way.
In Picacho, God's timing for us was perfect, for as we rode in front of the
post office, we spotted the postmistress, and through talking with her,
discovered that there were frontage roads to use to avoid the I-10. We rode
E of the I-10, with train tracks to the left, and the Interstate on our
right. The sky was cloudy, and an occasional raindrop fell, keeping us cool.
We passed Picacho Peak, the only place in Arizona that had a Civil War
battle. We also passed an ostrich farm/petting zoo on the other side of the
Interstate. The climb was gradual. When we passed Red Rock, the elev. was
1864. We could see the Pinal Air Park in the distance W of the I-10. Many
commercial airplanes, but not a passenger terminal.

We passed under the I-10 at Marana, Elev. 2000 ft close to 11:00 am. Time to
eat lunch, the peanut butter sandwiches that Barbara had prepared for us.
Scott got some pizza too. The last stretch was a frontage road on the W side
of the I-10, into Phoenix. Passed a business where golf carts shaped like
cars (ie. 57 Chevy) were displayed. Also passed a golf course just before we
got to Ina Road, where we turned E. We planned a rendezvous with Barbara,
Joe, and Tom Caldwell, our Tucson host, from the Hunt-Dis list. We all
arrived within 10 min. of each other! Had a second "lunch" at the Waffle
House" before loading the bikes and gear into Tom's 4Runner, and bidding
fond farewells to Barbara and Joe. It was like the passing of the baton, but
Scott and I were the baton!

Tom drove us to his lovely home E of town. We met his lovely wife Wilma, who had been preparing food for the support group picnic later in the day. They are bird lovers, and Ardie, they even have Gambel's quail who frequent their yard!

We took 2 vehicles to the Agua Caliente Park, a lovely desert oasis. There
we met Esther, a rep from one of the nursing homes, Susan and Cheryl
(sisters, pHDs), Cheryl's husband Eric and his father, and Susans's 2 year
old son Brandon. Mary Ann and Gary (pHD and a Nebraska football fan) rounded out the HD group. Gene and Jeanne Sacha, formerly of Grand Junction, also joined us. I met them last year at the send-off Dolores and Phil Rogers had for Charlotte, Evelyn, and me. Great to see them again. Good food, good fellowship.

Gene and Jeanne will SAG with us tomorrow, from Tucson to Benson. What a
blessing! They ride recumbent bicycles, so one will ride while one drive,
and then switch off.

Another rich and full day, 54 miles of riding.

Thanks to each who send messages privately. I will answer them as our
schedule permits.

Yours still Biking For The Cure, deep in Arizona, surrounded by cacti and
spring wildflowers, enjoying God's creation,

With love, Marie



What goes up, must come down ... A great day of riding, encouraged by being
SAGged by Gene and Jeanne Sacha, formerly of the Grand Junction, CO area,
now "snowbirds" in Tucson.

Tom Caldwell drove Scott and me to a pre-arranged rendezvous with Gene and Jeanne. We transferred the gear, and put the magnetic signs for Bike For The Cure on Gene-Jeanne's truck. Jeanne rode her recumbant with us, for the
first 18 miles or so. The ascents were pretty gradual on the I-10. We took a
frontage road N of the Interstate, and that's where the "fun" began! The
road was like the infamous "Roller Coaster Rd" in Colorado Springs, fast
downhills and grind out the uphills. Beautiful scenery near the Cienega
Canyon. After about 12 miles of that, Gene and Jeanne switched roles, Gene
rode and Jeanne drove. By then, we'd covered most of the uphills, and the
last 5-6 miles into Benson was a fast downhill, complete with a tailwind!

We only rode 38.34 miles, so we got into Benson about 12:30 pm.

Benson is a quaint Western town; even an Amtrak station! It snows there
occasionally, too.

We got directions to our hosts home. Nancy and Tom Adams have 5 adult
children, and one of their son's wife was recently diagnosed with juvenile
HD and is symptomatic. Emily is only 25 or so, with 3 little ones. She was
not told that her father had HD.

Nancy is an elementary school office manager, but years ago she was a
Tupperware saleswoman, and she had so many pieces that reminded me of my collection, in harvest gold, avocado, persimmon, and a little almond.

We were concerned about getting our gear SAGged to Willcox. But God always provides ... Tom works in Willcox, so he offered to SAG our gear to where he works!

Early to bed, early to rise. Usually we turn in between 8-9 pm and get up at
4:00 am to avoid some of the heat of the day.

Yours still faithfully Biking For The Cure,
Marie (and Scott)



Brrrr! Coldest morning yet, by far! Probably 40 degrees, so cold Scott wore
long pants, 3 layers of shirts, and his balaclava (face mask). I had to don
my jacket for the first time, and my headband that covers my ears.

Again, riding the I-10 ... We'd been warned about "5 Mile Hill" and Texas
Canyon, so our expectations were in place. However, 5 Mile Hill wasn't much
more than the 32 Rd hill in Grand Junction. Scott rode ahead of me, as is
his custom when hill climbs are on tap. About 8 miles into the ride, I
stopped at a Stucky's, a throwback to the 50's. Remember those pecan logs?

Texas Canyon started about 12 miles into the ride, with a gradual uphill. At
14 miles, rock formations of rounded sandstone appeared, slightly reddish.
Some formations jutted upwards, like around Salina UT. I just loved looking
at the formations, balanced rocks, etc. as I pumped along. I felt almost
like I was back in Colorado. The rest stop was a welcome sight, and I rode
in all smiles. I was exhilarated with the success of riding up without
walking. The summit was 4974 ft!

Scott was there, at the rest area, waiting for me. He'd written in his
journal, written some post cards, etc. We ate an early lunch, and I checked
for E-mails.

Although there were signs prohibiting graffiti, much was in evidence. We saw
a crew sandblasting off the graffiti.

The ride into Willcox was basically downhill, albeit with a crosswind. We
made it safely to Tom Adam's office. Scott called Mary Wiseman, our contact
through Valley Christian Fellowship Church. She came to get our bikes and
gear, and take us to their home N of town. We swung by the church, to check
on the arrival of Scott's pocketmail, from the La Paz Co. Sheriff's office.
A notice was there, indicating two delivery attempts. After talking to
FedEx, nothing was settled, so we headed for the Wiseman's. Mary suddenly
spotted the FedEx van, which we waved down, and finally .... Scott and his
lost TM-20 were re-united! Praise God. What a saga! I am going to encourage
Scott to write up "the rest of the story."

Wayne and Mary Wiseman live on an acre, in a lovely mobile home. Mary helped get us settled, then went back to work. Wayne arrived about 4:30 pm from Bowie, where he's a teacher and substitute school administrator. Mary
arrived back about 5:15 pm and we had a lovely spaghetti dinner.

While visiting after dinner, we found out the Wisemans used to live in Casa
Grande, and were friends with our hosts Joe and Barbara Wright! Again, small

Today was our last full day in Arizona. I will miss the saguaro, and Texas
Canyon, and all the wonderful folks who have hosted us, taken us in as
strangers, and leaving as friends. Tomorrow we have a long day, 70 miles,
from Arizona into New Mexico.

One year ago today, I was in Las Vegas NM on the first Bike For The Cure.
Now it's the first anniversary of the Littleton school shooting. Many
thoughts and prayers today for those families who had loved one's lives
snuffed out, who sustained injuries, whose innocence was stolen forever.

With love, still Biking For The Cure,
Marie (and Scott)



Started the day with a prayer and a SAG to the I-10 with Wayne. Knew it was
going to be a hard day, even with Wayne and Mary going to SAG our gear to
Lordsburg. My little bicycle computer that records distances, speeds, etc
decided to quit working. So ... it was a bit harder to pace myself.

Scott and I had a good ride to Bowie, where Wayne is the ag teacher in high
school. Small school district and community, about 85% Hispanic.

Soon after Bowie the most dreaded enemy of bicyclists surfaced -
HEADWINDS! We rode into the wind through San Simon, where wind was then combined with a gradual uphill ... for miles ... and miles ... and miles ...
Finally I reached a nice rest area, about 2 miles from the New Mexico
border. Scott had arrived earlier, and was eating, journaling, etc. About 5
min. after I got there, Wayne and Mary arrived, to encourage us and bring us
water. We sure enjoyed our visit with this neat Christian couple, but we had
to press on. We bid fond farewell to Arizona, with so many memories (Scott's
loss and finding of his TM-20, Wickenburg/my mother's 80th birthday,
Mesa/stay with Shelly Wagner and family, car wash, Natasha & family, Casa
Grande/Joe & Barbara Wright, Tucson/Tom & Wilma Caldwell and the support group, Benson/Tom & Nancy Adams, Texas Canyon, The Thing?, and Willcox/Wayne & Mary Wiseman ....

There was still more uphill across the New Mexico border, maybe 6 miles,
then finally downhill into Lordsburg. We passed Mary & Wayne headed back to Willcox, after dropping off our gear at the Best Western Motel at Exit 22.
Pastor Mike Watts of the Abundant Life Fellowship paid for our room!

After showers, Scott and I ate dinner at an adjacent restaurant. We were
both pretty spent with all the hill climbing, but I'm pleased to report that
I didn't have to walk; I rode the whole way, 70 miles.

The motel managers, Dave and Erma, told us they would SAG our gear to
Deming, since they were headed that way for their son's baseball game in
Hatch (chili pepper capital of the world). We made arrangements with Pastor
Greg Brown of Redeemer Lutheran Church. Isn't it incredible that, so far,
every riding day has been light, with different folks SAGging our gear for
us? When we got to Lordsburg, we had no idea if we could get a SAG, and the
Lord provided through Dave and Erma. We never know what the Lord has in
mind, but He does, and we just sit back and watch it unfold.

On to Deming tomorrow ...

From the leisure and comfort of the Best Western,

Still Biking For The Cure,
Marie (and Scott)



The wind beneath my wings .... Buoyed up with anticipation of the first full day of riding in New Mexico, Scott and I left Lordsburg, riding "light." The motel managers offered to SAG our gear to Redeemer Lutheran Church in Deming, as they were headed through Deming, to Hatch, where their older son had a baseball game.

About 6 miles into the ride, Scott shouted,"Stop! I've got to check my front
tire." Examination yielded the evidence of three goatheads in the tire! Very skillfully, Scott removed the goatheads, and proceeded to remove the faulty inner tube, and replace it with a new one. This process took about 1/2 hour. I was able to help some, and watch what Scott did.

Undaunted, we resumed the ride, with a powerful tailwind at our backs. We felt the presence of the Lord, carrying us along, under His wings.

Soon we reached Separ (pronounced SEE-par), 1/3 of the way to Deming. There was a Bowlin's Trading Post there. I called my dear friend Marilyn Walter in Florida, to tell her we were very near the Continental Divide. It is my tradition to call Marilyn, who is in a wheelchair, from high places. I have called from the top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, from the summit of Pikes Peak three times, and from the top of Mt. Garfield in Palisade CO (near Grand Junction.) I want her to share with me some things that she cannot physically do.

We continued to ride about 6-7 miles further East, to the actual Continental Divide, at 4585 ft. It was really pretty flat there, only a gradual incline up from Bowlin's. After a quick "photo session," we rode on to Gage, where there was another Trading Post. It was 20 miles from Separ to Gage. These tiny settlements are former stagecoach stops, along the former Butterfield-Overland Stagecoach route. Scott got his usual Oreo Blizzard, and I "splurged" with a small butterscotch sundae (99% fat free soft serve, since DQ is phasing out its fat free yogurt.) We had already traveled 40 miles in less than 3 hours!

We rolled into Deming, "home of clean water and fast ducks," arriving at the church at 1:30 pm. We'd gone 61 miles in 4 hours 25 min of actual riding time. The timing was perfect, because soon there was a dust storm, which would have been a threat.

We inquired about the "clean water/fast ducks" motto. The Mimbres River flows underground through Deming, and the water is filtered and processed into what has tested to be some of the finest water in the US. "Fast ducks" refers to the annual duck race that Deming sponsors each year, quite the spectacle!

We were hosted by Rev. Greg Brown and his wife June (and their dachshund Ditto), who helped us to feel at home in their modest home. Ditto was a real conversation piece! He was so cute; he sat up at the table and begged, with such a sweet expression on his face. After a great pasta/salad/pie dinner, we returned to their church for the Easter Vigil service, a liturgical ceremony reminiscent of what I remember from my former days in Roman Catholicism. An older lady was baptized, another man was confirmed, and two folks were accepted into church membership.

After the service, we visited with various parishioners, giving them our
Bike For The Cure brochure, creating awareness.

It's hard to fathom that the third week of being on the road has begun.
Psalm 91 comes to mind: "If you make the Most High your dwelling - even the Lord, who is my refuge - then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." (vs.9-12)

One more leg of Chapter 2 of this journey, then a needed rest day in Las

Yours basking in the Father's provision and protection, Still Biking For The Cure,
Marie (and Scott)