At Christmas dinner the other day, my Dad posed the question to all of us, "What was one of your greatest memories of 2010"? We went around the dinner table and shared a brief 'year in review'. Most of us spoke about the blessing of family. I have so many wonderful personal and professional memories from this past year, but one that I will never forget is the biking trip I took with my oldest daughter, Kennedy.
Here we are at 7:00 A.M. at the start of our adventure. "Team Boeve" was mentally and physically (?) prepared for the road ahead. We gave ourselves a black sharpie marker tatoo (with our team name and "bib number"-our address.:) and we were ready. We were going to attempt to copy my sister Lauri and her son's quest of biking to our favorite camping spot, Pentwater, Michigan. They had done it once before, and camped overnight halfway up with all their gear. We had NO gear, only strong wills, and a competitive spirit. Standing proudly next to our new hybrid bikes that we got only three weeks prior to our ambitious quest, we felt energetic and up for the challenge! Notice the pop-up camper in the background. Ken and Brecken would be trailering that up later in the day for a weeklong camping trip at Pentwater's State Park, so we knew if we ran into any big problems, help would be shortly on the way. We mapquested the journey and were anticipating about a 100 mile trek!
Ohhh, these helmets were seriously gonna cramp our style, but we had already discovered how invaluable they were to us the very night Kennedy had received her new bike and was telling me a story on the Lakeshore Dr. bike trail and crashed into a tree! See reinactment below!
This was the exact tree and pretty much the exact expression from that fateful night. The only thing missing is the pic. of me reacting to the whole thing, by slamming on my brand new very touchy brakes and flying over the handlebars! Amazingly, after bending her tire back into place, no harm done.
Entering Grand Haven we had a little over 20 miles under our tires. Still smiling and feeling great. It's about 9:30 A.M. and we're making such good time, we decided to stop downtown for a light breakfast. We decided we would also get off the bikes to stretch and take pictures of landmarks every ten miles. At that time, we also handed off the sag bag-each taking turns putting it on our backs. Who knew that bag didn't 'breathe' at all?? All we had in it was a wallet, a map of our route, and most importantly lip gloss! But that thing got heavy and sweaty as the day wore on!
Here's Kennedy enjoying a fruit smoothy and a bagel. She was loving life at this point! Feeling good..only 70 something more miles to go!
Okay, so this is turning out to be a lot more humid than we bargained for. We had one water bottle mounted to my bike to share between the two of us and we couldn't seem to fill it fast enough! Where's a camelback when you need one?
Hindsight, I guess I should have packed some healthy snack choices along. We ended up being at the mercy of whatever convenience store happened to be on the route and gourged ourselves with carbs and trail mixes. Here, you can see her healthy selection of Combos. She'd pay for this later upon arrival.
This pic was actually taken in a not-so-nice part of Muskegan and I was ready to make some tracks out of there!
Still plugging along. We tried to take pictures of the speedometer every 10 miles. This is right after we got on the 'rails to trail' Hart-Montague Bike Trail and after surviving a very harrowing traffic experience on Whitehall Road after Muskegan. We were so relieved to be 'off road' and nestled in the safety of a scenic bike path.
We're getting there! We were having so much fun and in good spirits at this point! Laughing and chatting and spending time one on one...nothing could be better!
At this point, we were less than halfway there!
And as the day wore on, our determination was beginning to wear out!
We were nearing our destination, but we were also nearing frustration.
Some of us hung in there better than others. :)
This is half of "Team Boeve" arriving at our destination!! We made it!! 11 hours later we made it! It took all day and lots of encouragment the last 10 miles, but we made it! This is the precious sight we saw as we rounded the corner into Charles Mears State Park where we got to spend the rest of the week relaxing and hanging out with " the cousins".
From left to right...Danika, Jagger, Brecken, (mine) and Kaia with paper plate signs that say "We are proud of you"! Let the fun begin!
To keep her motivated during the last arduous 15 miles, I told her I would jump into Lake Michigan with her right when we got there, so that's exactly what we did. It felt great!!
This is what the speedometer read as we pulled into the campground. Not quite 100 miles, but close enough.
It was a long day and a long trip but I won't forget the memory of it for as long as I live. One of my best days ever. So thankful for my daughter(s), our health, the sunshine, family trips and memories like this one. May 2011 be filled with all your favorite things as well. Happy New Year and Happy Trails!