Three, April 16-22 Mesa AZ-Deming NM
April 16 Day 9, In Mesa AZ
April 17 Day 10, Mesa -- Casa Grande AZ
April 18 Day 11, Casa Grande -- Tucson AZ
April 19 Day 12, Tucson -- Benson AZ
April 20 Day 13, Benson -- Willcox AZ
April 21 Day 14 Willcox AZ -- Lordsburg NM
April 22 Day 15 Lordsburg -- Deming NM
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
part with some clothing (hope I don't regret it).
Later on, Shelly and I went to the grocery store, and did some
Chuck (Shelly's husband) and Scott used Chuck's truck to take a
to some Catholic Sisters of the same religious order as Mother
We had a nice BBQ, then Shelly, Chuck, their two sons Joshua and
Scott went to the teen Mass at their St. Timothy's. I was tired, so
that opportunity to take a nap.
When they returned from church, we all ate some homemade
frozen yogurt which Shelly had put together - yum!
Janelle stopped by with some Power Bars, so we were able to say
her. Janelle is going back to Iowa soon, and is going to visit my
Jack's ex-wife's 2 sisters, Dorothy and Betty Ann, who she knew
They are in Algona, Iowa.
Chapter 1 of Bike For The Cure 2000 is over. Almost 400 miles in 7
days in Mesa. Chapter 2 starts tomorrow. That's Mesa AZ to Las
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
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
pocketmail computer back, I spoke briefly with a tribal policeman
for the Ak
Chin area. They are Papago Indians. Sometimes the tribal police help
After refilling our water, and using the restroom, we started the 20
ride from Maricopa-Casa Grande, parallel with the railroad track. It
slow going the whole way, with side winds. Couldn't believe the
Holstein cattle S of the railroad tracks; must be a commercial
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
Wright of Trinity Lutheran Church. They live on the E outskirts of
Grande, on 4 acres. They raise Watusi-Longhorn cattle, pygmy goats,
sheep, and have fowl too! I saw a Canadian goose, a swan, and some
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
he was born in GJ, at the old St. Mary's Hospital. He used to live
Orchard Mesa, and went to Columbus School in grades 3-5! We got to
and his father is a brother to Helen Wright's husband! Those of you
know Helen was a teacher, then a School Board member, and a
rider in the Frontier Belles. Helen's son Don runs the Red Crawford
radio business in GJ. Don and Jone's daughters Lisa and Kristi were
with our sons Kevin and Justin, and attended GJHS too! Small world!
About 5:30 pm Natasha Wright, her husband Phil, and their children
and Reno arrived, having SAGged our gear for us, from Mesa to Casa
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,
real blessing that they brought our gear to us. It would have been
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
We had a lovely chicken enchilada dinner, veggies, salad, and
strawberry-rhubarb pie. Barbara is a wonderful cook. Everything was
from scratch. The salad had thin strips of jicama in it, plus thin
purple onion, green pepper, and romaine lettuce. The pie was
"outstanding" by our resident pie connoisseur Scott. I had
Tomorrow it's on to Tucson. We will ride the Interstate for about 50
Our hosts tonight, Barbara ad Joe Wright, are going to drive our
Tucson so again, we can ride light. I am just amazed at the Lord's
of generous folks to aid us in our journey.
With love and hope (and hoping for less wind), Still Biking For The
Marie (and Scott)
The best day so far as weather ... Scott and I left Casa Grande
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.
us about the road parallel to the I-10, through Eloy (elev. 1565)
Picacho. It was a good road, and again, we saw many saguaros along
In Picacho, God's timing for us was perfect, for as we rode in front
post office, we spotted the postmistress, and through talking with
discovered that there were frontage roads to use to avoid the I-10.
E of the I-10, with train tracks to the left, and the Interstate on
right. The sky was cloudy, and an occasional raindrop fell, keeping
We passed Picacho Peak, the only place in Arizona that had a Civil
battle. We also passed an ostrich farm/petting zoo on the other side
Interstate. The climb was gradual. When we passed Red Rock, the
1864. We could see the Pinal Air Park in the distance W of the I-10.
commercial airplanes, but not a passenger terminal.
We passed under the I-10 at Marana, Elev. 2000 ft close to 11:00 am.
eat lunch, the peanut butter sandwiches that Barbara had prepared
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
cars (ie. 57 Chevy) were displayed. Also passed a golf course just
got to Ina Road, where we turned E. We planned a rendezvous with
Joe, and Tom Caldwell, our Tucson host, from the Hunt-Dis list. We
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,
fond farewells to Barbara and Joe. It was like the passing of the
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.
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
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.
blessing! They ride recumbent bicycles, so one will ride while one
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
Yours still Biking For The Cure, deep in Arizona, surrounded by
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
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
downhills and grind out the uphills. Beautiful scenery near the
Canyon. After about 12 miles of that, Gene and Jeanne switched
rode and Jeanne drove. By then, we'd covered most of the uphills,
last 5-6 miles into Benson was a fast downhill, complete with a
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
We got directions to our hosts home. Nancy and Tom Adams have 5
children, and one of their son's wife was recently diagnosed with
HD and is symptomatic. Emily is only 25 or so, with 3 little ones.
not told that her father had HD.
Nancy is an elementary school office manager, but years ago she was
Tupperware saleswoman, and she had so many pieces that reminded me
of my collection, in harvest gold, avocado, persimmon, and a little
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
long pants, 3 layers of shirts, and his balaclava (face mask). I had
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
more than the 32 Rd hill in Grand Junction. Scott rode ahead of me,
his custom when hill climbs are on tap. About 8 miles into the ride,
stopped at a Stucky's, a throwback to the 50's. Remember those pecan
Texas Canyon started about 12 miles into the ride, with a gradual
14 miles, rock formations of rounded sandstone appeared, slightly
Some formations jutted upwards, like around Salina UT. I just loved
at the formations, balanced rocks, etc. as I pumped along. I felt
like I was back in Colorado. The rest stop was a welcome sight, and
in all smiles. I was exhilarated with the success of riding up
walking. The summit was 4974 ft!
Scott was there, at the rest area, waiting for me. He'd written in
journal, written some post cards, etc. We ate an early lunch, and I
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
made it safely to Tom Adam's office. Scott called Mary Wiseman, our
through Valley Christian Fellowship Church. She came to get our
gear, and take us to their home N of town. We swung by the church,
on the arrival of Scott's pocketmail, from the La Paz Co. Sheriff's
A notice was there, indicating two delivery attempts. After talking
FedEx, nothing was settled, so we headed for the Wiseman's. Mary
spotted the FedEx van, which we waved down, and finally .... Scott
lost TM-20 were re-united! Praise God. What a saga! I am going to
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
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
Grande, and were friends with our hosts Joe and Barbara Wright!
Today was our last full day in Arizona. I will miss the saguaro, and
Canyon, and all the wonderful folks who have hosted us, taken us in
strangers, and leaving as friends. Tomorrow we have a long day, 70
from Arizona into New Mexico.
One year ago today, I was in Las Vegas NM on the first Bike For The
Now it's the first anniversary of the Littleton school shooting.
thoughts and prayers today for those families who had loved one's
snuffed out, who sustained injuries, whose innocence was stolen
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
Lordsburg. My little bicycle computer that records distances,
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
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
border. Scott had arrived earlier, and was eating, journaling, etc.
min. after I got there, Wayne and Mary arrived, to encourage us and
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
loss and finding of his TM-20, Wickenburg/my mother's 80th birthday,
Mesa/stay with Shelly Wagner and family, car wash, Natasha &
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
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
both pretty spent with all the hill climbing, but I'm pleased to
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
Deming, since they were headed that way for their son's baseball
Hatch (chili pepper capital of the world). We made arrangements with
Greg Brown of Redeemer Lutheran Church. Isn't it incredible that, so
every riding day has been light, with different folks SAGging our
us? When we got to Lordsburg, we had no idea if we could get a SAG,
Lord provided through Dave and Erma. We never know what the Lord has
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
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
Bike For The Cure brochure, creating awareness.
It's hard to fathom that the third week of being on the road has
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
Yours basking in the Father's provision and protection, Still Biking
For The Cure,
Marie (and Scott)