A Travellerspoint blog

October 2013

Celebrate good times, c'mon!

Sunset Cliffs gave us a beautiful view of the Pacific and the sunset

I plan this to be the last posting in the Pony Ride 2013 blog. Of course there may have to be a short Epilogue after we arrive home so you can see the treasures we may have bought and any stray thoughts that we forgot to include. Again, I want to thank each of you for your kind and sometimes humorous comments. We looked forward to hearing the comments each morning.

The day at Ocean Beach was wonderful and we were treated to good weather, food at Hungry Lu's and of course the entertaining dogs. Colleen got her visit from Myrna and Jim,
Brenda and Wynn got their long walk on the beach
and Dan and Evelyn got their sunset.
The inn we stayed at had a beautiful Rosé Garden and a deck right out on the ocean cliff. We all laughed at the seagulls and especially liked watching the pelicans dive completely under water to catch their supper




We had pizza last evening from a local shop.

Cali time means that their 45 minutes for delivery was actually an hour and a half. We of course had to break open Eda and Jim's gift champagne and we knew they were toasting us from Albuquerque at the same time.


Evelyn and I had gotten each of the pony riders a card and then we sat and read our five predictions out loud that each of us had written before the trip started. It was amazing how many of them had come true. We headed to bed and got a very early start this morning (4:30 am PT) We drove around 975 miles today which leaves us with about 24 more hours of driving time. Hopefully we will get home sometime Weds afternoon. I' ve asked each rider to give a final thought or two when we get settled into the hotel tonight. Once again, it's been my privilege to serve these three go-getters for the past 30 days. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing our blog each night and will treasure the memories made and the folks we have met along the way.

The sun has set on our pony ride...



But another day and another sunrise will bring new adventures

Putting the ponies in the stable til next time,

Colleen here, thanks for sharing in our adventure. Rolling into Ocean Beach was surreal. Because of the fog out over the Pacific we knew we were nearing the ocean, but we couldn't see it until we were pretty close.
I stand in awe of the fact that we did not get lost, not once. One time we veered off course for maybe a mile but quickly made the correction. imagine!
Our celebration at Sunset Cliffs was perfect. Ev got to share her Pacific sunset with Dan, and we toasted with some bubbly and had a pizza delivered. Then at 4am we were hurtling ever eastward to return to our waiting families. I'm still feeling the exultation of the finish and looking very much forward to being reunited with my family. I hope you will know how much your prayers, encouragement and support has meant to all of us.
When you doubt yourself for some task that is ahead of you, remember you CAN do all things through Christ who strengthen you!

Dan here, I'm still basking in the afterglow of a wonderful journey.
I think back to the first few sentences I wrote on this blog before we started. I certainly had my time of moving meditation. I also had lots of time to get to know my fellow travelers. Colleen and Wynn were wonderful riding companions. Brenda was incredible at every day logistics. It was great getting to know Karen. She and I have much in common. The wonderful bonus of having my dear wife, Evelyn join the adventure was a delightful surprise.
The ride itself was very much what I had anticipated. Parts were difficult, but most days were a joy to ride.
I guess now I need a new item for my bucket list.

Wynn here-
I try to take away a life lesson after completing something like this adventure. One of my jobs on this trip was to be the mapster. I have been planning the routes for the last 15-18 months. Then every night of this trip I looked at the map, reviewed the turns and double checked the directions. When it was time to do the ride for the next day, we had to trust the map, no matter the doubts, the road surface or weather. Following the map is what got us to our destination.

It is the same way in my life. Being a follower of Jesus and His Word, the Bible is my life map. I have to trust what it says, no matter the doubts, the trials, the road set before me. If I want to get to my destination, I need to follow the map. I will attempt to incorporate this biking lesson into my life too.

Posted by brendagerber07 19:50 Comments (8)

It Was A Photo Finish

Ponies are safely across and the Pony Ride has been completed

View Pony Ride 2013 on brendagerber07's travel map.

I'm sitting at Sunset Cliffs in a rocking chair overlooking the Pacific Ocean. What a beautiful sight. There are so many emotions going through my head right now...mostly proud of my wonderful Schwynn for organizing and completing this awesome task. I'm also so incredibly proud of Dan and Colleen for being part of this journey along with Wynn and for going the distance. Karen and Evelyn were such awesome co-pilots and photographers. I am in awe of the vast and varied parts of creation that God had given us to enjoy. The oceans are where I so often find myself alone with God. His imagination and attention to detail always reminds me that He knows my name and even the number of hairs in my head...and He loves me! And I am incredibly thankful to have been able to share this trip with my husband (best friend!) Enough of my musings...it's time to show the videos and pics of the finish line. Thanks for following along with us on Pony Ride 2013.

The team started out at 7:30 this morning and rode from Alpine to Ocean Beach. It took them about three hours to ride through the city with a lot of turns and stop signs. And...they did not get lost even once! Ev and I were ready with the cameras at the end of the trail. I hope you can see the tears and joy on each face of the team and the SAG team as well.


We arrived at Ocean Beach, which is right next to Dog Beach


We were highly entertained while we waited for the ponies. So many dogs in all shapes and colors. And the same could be said about their owners. We kept track of the ponies' progress on the Find My Friends App. Finally the big moment arrived!


I think Wynn needed a moment to process the whole thing...what a huge dream now accomplished and realized.


We started the trek across the sand. We heard someone yelling Colleen's name and her and Greg's cousins (Myrna and Jim) were hurrying across the sand. They presented us all with a sunflower from the sunshine state. What a lovely thought.


Then the wheel dipping took place.


We tried to re create the jumping all together that the kids do when they are excited...we didn't seem to jump as high...hummmm


Love the looks on the faces as they were captured by the cameras.


As usual I will put up a few videos, but they will take a while to upload. It's been a privilege to write the blog for our entire team and I hope you enjoyed the trip across as much as I did. Ride on and enjoy the journey. I will post our celebration pics tomorrow!

Brenda and the ponies


Posted by brendagerber07 16:21 Comments (23)

All that's left is the PROLOGUE!

We scoff at the climbs...HaRumph

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29 days of riding are completed and what an exhilarating feeling. Dan called Ev after the two CAT 2 climbs and declared in a loud voice that he was King of the World. All three riders mastered those climbs and then some. We are extremely proud of them, in case you haven't noticed. The winds were favorable and the descents were well earned. Ev and I made our last sandwiches for a while as we will do Subway at the beach for lunch.

The ponies are tired tonight after a tough day of climbs. They rode 84 miles, averaging 10.7 mph. And they were in the saddle a total of 7 hours and 53 minutes. We are staying in Alpine, CA tonight at the Aryes Lodge. ( a little pricey, but about the only place in town. We'll take it.)

I will put up some of the scenery we took along the way. Pics will include Historic Rt. 80, the US /Mexican border fence, signs at a roadside park, rocks balanced precariously along the road, a sugar mill, the moon and especially the big thumbs up from the riders before they started their last full day of riding.


Here are a couple of my favorite shots of the day...


Here's a salute to our three riders in riding form today


Good night from Brenda...tomorrow I'll be writing from the beach

Ev here - for real! What an incredible adventure to take part in. Each day brings something new to see and do. This is so much more than a pony ride, particularly when you experience first-hand all the planning, preparation and hard work and that's not just the riding. First of all, Brenda is an amazing organizer and the glue that holds this team together in so many ways. She makes sure everyone has a good place to lay their heads for the night and that bellies are always well-fed plus so much more behind-the-scenes that everyone is grateful for. Then there's Wynn without whom this would not be realized --- these ponies have NOT gotten lost once in 2000-plus miles --- he spends all his "spare" time pouring over maps and directions to keep everyone on track. What a great can-do attitude and then some. And Colleen -- what a pleasure watching her accomplish this dream; she is one heck of a strong woman in so many ways, and I'm happy to be getting to know her better....you go girl!!! I only got to meet Karen at the beginning of the trip but she was an integral part of the team and kept my seat warm till I got here, and for that I thank her. Last but definitely not least is my amazing husband Dan. It just warms my heart to see him realize his dream. He has trained so hard for this and it is coming true. There's still more to go tomorrow with the reward of a long-awaited journey being completed. I am in total awe of each of these wonderful people. OK gotta get this posted!

Posted by brendagerber07 17:50 Comments (13)

Wouldn't you like to ride a dune buggy for a day

Rode through the Imperial Sand Dunes today

92 °F
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Day 28 is in the books with 88.1 miles having been ridden at 13.9 mph. The ponies were saddled up for 6 hours and 21 minutes.


We started in the little town of Palo Verde and rode through Glamis, Brawley ( our lunch stop) , El Centro and stopped in Seeley, CA. The road became very tough because of the texture of the chip and seal...hope tomorrow lays a little smoother for the ponies.


Day 28 did take us through the Imperial Sand Dunes and it was spectacular. We have a few pictures. Ev and I drove up to the overlook and had quite a time watching the dune buggies while we waited for our riders to pass. I tried to get a video of the riders winding their way through the dunes, but they look like little ants. I may try to post it anyways.


( videos are in process so may be a bit before ready to view...thanks for your patience)
Tomorrow is the day we have all been looking forward to...or should I say dreading. There are six climbs scheduled ( two of which are CAT 2's.) This will be a new experience for our ponies and everyone is looking to conquer this task. By tomorrow evening's blog they will have been victorious and will only have the Prologue ride into Paris...I mean, San Diego. Pray for the team as they go up and down the climbs tomorrow. Pray for safety. Everyone is nursing along a few little things from fear to sore arms to numb fingertips to aching hips. The journey is about complete. We have a room booked in Alpine tomorrow night and then we will be celebrating at Sunset Cliffs on Sunday evening.

Our hotel tonight is a Best Western Plus and we all enjoyed the hot tub and then I cooked a southwestern chicken and rice dinner that was a winner. I am so thankful to be able to cook for a team that doesn't complain about the food or the cook. Proud to be a part of this with them!


Posted by brendagerber07 19:15 Comments (4)

California Dreamin'

One more state to conquer

86 °F
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Before we get started on today's ride, I must let you see some of the pictures from the Golden Nugget last night. Rumor has it that this place is haunted, but we didn't see any ghosts. We did see an 1800's building with the original chandelier and name plaques of the rich and famous that came through this place. I guess Wickenburg is the halfway stop between Phoenix and Las Vegas. Here we are seated with Wynn's Aunt Marian and Uncle Herman.


There were some beautiful mosaics around the hotel...Evelyn got a few of them.


We also saw some fruit trees and cafes


And here's a movie theatre for Karen.


This was such a cute little town with many statues and such depicting Wickenburg history.


As we travelled along we saw other things reminding us of bygone days.


And I love the cacti.


Today I passed through a town with my name.


We finished our ride through Arizona by riding into Quartzsite and met up with the riders for lunch. Ev and I finally got to eat at a Carl's Jr. For lunch.


And then a happy moment for all as we passed into our final state of California. The riders had a bit of fun and you can tell that they are sniffing out the finish line. It's getting real for them that the end is in sight, yet I've heard all of them say that they are not done, there is more to accomplish and that they must stay focused and stay upright!


Tonight we are staying at a Regency Inn and Suites in Blythe, CA. The riders decided to blaze on to Pale Verde and be sagged back to base. The ponies want to shave some miles off of Saturday's ride through the mountains. Three more days to ride...

Today's stats include:
100 Miles (yep, another century) , at 15.8 mph. Saddle time was 6 hours and 19 minutes. We are under miles to go. Tomorrow finds us riding to El Centro.

I hope to get a pony rider to write tonight...we'll see!
Brenda and the team

Dan here:
Today was a perfect ride. I want to dedicate it to my dear departed brother in law, Dave Anderson. He would have said YIPPEE!!!!
Arizona was a great riding state. California has been a really good start so far. We did a Silver Wheels open ride for the last miles of our century today.

Wynn - after struggling different times during this journey, it is nice to reflect that our goal is near and today, we were really able to ride at the end of the day like we know how to ride on good old Lorain County roads. The end of day ride was very much fun.

Colleen: "rejoice with those who rejoice". It was a very good day on the bike and the exultation and happiness was shared by all and evident in big smiles and laughter all around. Today was a gift, thank you Lord.

Posted by brendagerber07 17:07 Comments (10)

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