The Lummi Nation Logo

The Lummi Nation Logo

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 11 Lummi Nation to Mt. Vernon (35 miles)

So, we had a great stay here on the Lummi reservation and the people here were very welcoming. It was really fun to meet our new relatives and also to rest a bit. Also, the food was amazing, I ate like 2 whole salmon. The guys are really tired but are ready for the bike ride back to home.

Yeah right. Haha. I am kidding. I think if the guys biked back down they would be Lt. Dan status with no legs. Everything went smoothly yesterday with the guys arriving to the Lummi Nation and the people were very welcoming. They had a lunch for us and they had a welcoming ceremony for Zach and Dad but I missed it due to stupid traffic outside of Bellingham (almost ran out of gas ahhhh).Troy (Dad's brother), his wife Katrina, and their daughter then came with us to show us around and help us get situated at the house on Lummi Island. We took the ferry over to the island and drove to the house that we are staying at. The house is really nice and the scenery is awesome here. I mean, it is no Modesto, but I'll settle for a waterfront house with a spa. Troy, Katrina, and their daughter stayed the night with us here last night and we went to a nice dinner at an Italian place in Bellingham. This morning we took it easy for a little and then my dad and I went into town. He dropped me off at the Gold's Gym here (on a side note, I have noticed after visiting various gold's Gym that I like the one in Modesto the least, all the other ones are really nice) and he went to get some grocery's that we didn't pick up yesterday. After that he picked me back up then we went to pick up Mommy, Thomas, Dane-o, and Katherine (BoBoBo) from the airport.

After crossing the ferry again and getting everyone situated at the house we took the 5:20 ferry back to the reservation for a dinner that Dean (the family elder) was hosting for our family (the Washingtons). It was really neat to meet all of our new family and we were lucky to have such a warming welcoming. Dean put Spongebob's cooking skills to shame with some incredible Salmon and we feasted on all other kinds of delicious food. Afterward Dean showed us around his shop where he builds canoes and showed us some of the ones that he had made. The canoes were really sweet to look at because the craftsmanship was so amazing. We then chatted a wee bit more, checked out the house which had a ton of newspaper clippings and trophies from pulling canoe, and then said goodbye so that we could make the 8:10 ferry back to Lummi Island where the house is. Upon arrival Zach and I constructed a fire rivaling that of Tom Hanks' in Cast Away. Dane-o and BoBoBo then joined us as we roasted some marshmallows (see pic) and made some s'mores. Naturally Dad and Mom showed up to grab some dessert and enjoy the masterpiece of a fire that we had going. Bo and Dane are sleeping and the rest of us are just watching some TV and getting excited for the beginning of the World Cup tomorrow morning!!!

Time to go to bed and get ready for the World Cup tomorrow morning. Also, good job Celtics, keep up the good work.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 10 Mount Vernon to Lummi

This is Ralph not John. I woke up too early this morning, excited, couldn't sleep, and thought it would be a good time to summarize our trip and to thank everyone for your love and support. So I woke John from a sound sleep and asked him to fire up the blog. Thanks grumpy:)

When I first thought of this ride it was as simple as "I'm gonna get on my bike and ride to Lummi". A very "Forrest Gump" moment considering Lummi is 1,000 miles from home. Over time, I've come to realize that there was a reason for my simple intention. During my life I've been blessed with loving parents who adopted me (Alfred and Clarissa Juarez), a loving sister {Sandra), my wife Michelle who loves me and who together we have created and raised (7) children, and her loving family the "Tuttles" who accept you for who you are and still love you for all your imperfections. I thought if I've been so blessed with the family that I've always known, would it be possible to again find that love with family that I've never known but whom I share a biological bond with? I cannot go back in time and create relationships that never existed but I look forward to and am hopeful of the new relationships that are in their infancy and those that are too follow.

First, I want to thank Michelle for loving me for all my crazy ideas. I want to thank Michelle's sister, Clare Devlin for all her words of encouragement during this journey. I want to thank Zachary for sitting in the saddle and riding with me on this great adventure ( I know you will remember this trip for the rest of your life). I want to thank John for being at Zach and I's beck and call and making this adventure run so smoothly and for having the talent to think of, and write this incredible blog. I want to thank Vela Kerkoff at Lummi enrollment for her emails and words of encouragement in directing me to family. I want to thank my new brother Troy George and his wife Cutrina for being the first to open up their home and life to me in discovering my new family. I want to also thank my new brother Tom Kinley and his wife Rachael for their telephone calls and emails and I look forward to meeting you both soon. I want to thank Danita Washington for all her telephone calls and behind the scenes work for putting me in contact with family, contacting the Lummi college, and for setting up a dinner on Thursday evening to meet my new family. And finally, I want to thank all our family and friends for their love and financial support of the new scholarship fund created in the name of of my biological mom, Kristine.

Well its time to get the day started and get back in the saddle for one final ride to Lummi. Best to all, Ralph

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 9 Centralia to North Marysville (137 miles)

2nd to last day!! Started the day with the usual wake up routine and then I drove them to their departure spot for the day. I then visited the Nike Outlet store that I saw yesterday, but it was kind of weak. Too much Lebron James gear, I can't support a player who travels almost every play.
[I got to write this down before I forget to mention it- Zach is on the other bed right now and has been snoring for the past half an hour (he missed the Finals game) and he just did some sleep talking, it kinda scared me. Basically, the dudes are pretty tired.]

I then met up with the guys in a city called Sumner for a lunch break. After the lunch break I had to drive the guys to another spot because they were not allowed on the route they had planned to use because bikes were forbidden. The guys then went into beast mode and rode their bikes for almost the next four hours while I hit up the really nice Gold's Gym in Kirkland, which is a little east of Seattle. During the work-out I remembered that I had a friend from Notre Dame that lived near Seattle so I got in contact with her (Didi) and she was in Kirkland at that time (coincidence? I Think not). So, we got to hang out for a little bit which I enjoyed a lot. I am tired of hanging out with Zach and Dad!! (haha just kidding). Shout out to Didi who said she would read this! The guys then met up with us in Kirkland where they stopped for another break. After chatting a little bit with Didi they took off and I left to find the next spot for a break. Luckily I left Kirkland right during Seattle rush hour so I got traffic everywhere, it was horrible. I am pretty sure my dad and Zach were going faster on their bikes then I was in the car. Eventually I got to Snohomish and waited for the guys to show up for the last break of the day. The guys showed up, snacked, rested a little bit, and then left for the final stretch. I got tired just looking at the guys (second-hand exercise didn't work this time though either). I went ahead to check into the last hotel of the trip in Mt. Vernon, it was a very emotional check-in. I then ended up driving back to North Marysville to pick the guys up. The team decided to take a mulligan and drive to Mt. Vernon where they will start tomorrow (I think they have earned the break).

The guys said that their legs felt great during the ride, the weather was outstanding, and it was neat to see some of the Seattle area scenery (The big pic above, it was taken on bridge over Lake Washington). However, they also added that they are more tired than the rowers from Ben Hur who went ramming speed!!! and Rocky at the end of the first movie. After chatting about the day, dad went and picked up pizza for dinner and we watched the Lakers squeeze out a lucky victory. (Damn you Derek Fisher, you're too clutch. But at the same time - come on Ray Allen and Paul Pierce!! Get your act together...jeeze.) The whole team is definitely ready to get to the destination and relax. So, wish the guys luck for the final trek tomorrow and keep them in your prayers. Finally - Thanks for following the blog and for all the support. I never expected so many people to actually read this. It was a pleasant surprise to find out people are reading and commenting.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 8 Portland to Centralia (101 Miles)

Don't worry loyal fans. I am back. For all those non-loyal fans who read my dad's post, I'll remember that. I heard there was an uproar in the blogging community over the fact that my dad wrote a post but he begged and I was starting to get typer's fingers anyway(it's a rare typing disease). The NBA Finals game was also on. Go Celtics! Special thanks to Ray Allen for destroying the Lakers. Anyways, here it goes-

I would like to start off by saying I am not a fan of downtown Portland, especially with a Suburban that has a bike attachment on the back. The guys woke up at the usual time today and took full advantage of the hotel's complimentary made to order omelets and breakfast. After breakfast the dudes came back to the room, got ready, and I drove them to a little outside of Downtown Portland so they could start their ride safely. I then went back and made a visit to Voodoo Doughnuts (see pic), a famous doughnut place in downtown Portland that was shown on the travel channel. You might want to Google it just to check out the menu, it's pretty sweet. [Side note- On the way back to the hotel I saw the mom from the TLC show Little People Big World driving around.] After packing up and checking out I spent 20 minutes trying to find a parking spot in Downtown Portland so that I could buy some BioFreeze, the magical elixir of life that heals all pain. Eventually I picked some elixir up then met up with the guys on the border between Washington and Oregon for a lunch break and to share some Voodoo Doughnut treats (As the team's unofficial nutritionist this was probably not a good idea, but they tasted too good to waste).

Double side Note?!?!- [No offense to Oregonians but I was happy to be in Washington: I was tired of Forrest Gump rain, having people pump gas for me into my car, and semi-trucks that were carrying logs. However, I really enjoyed the stop at the Azevedo's, it made up for the rest of Oregon's downfalls. Zach added that it was too green in Oregon with an excessive amount of photosynthesis]

After lunch I drove ahead and stopped for the next break and fell asleep in the car on the side of the road, so much for reading when I had extra time. The guys woke me up about an hour and a half later for the 2nd break of the day. My Dad and Zach then took off for the home stretch to Centralia. I went ahead and got the hotel ready for the aching bodies of the bikers. More importantly, I spotted the stores around Centralia and I'm pretty sure there is a Nike Outlet store here so I am definitely going to visit that tomorrow morning. For dinner we went to some sushi place that had an all you can eat sushi buffet. Zach and I got the sushi buffet and I am pretty sure we put them out of business. Sorry I'm not sorry.

The guys are very physically tired, but they said the ride today wasn't bad in regards to weather and elevation. Zach is giving the old man an intense massage right now (looks painful) and I am suppose to give Zach one in a bit (suppose to). Only 2 more days left and then we're done. So pray for us as we hit the homestretch, the riders are pretty warn out. Thanks to everyone! (Even the non-loyal readers, you know who you are). Also, Go Celtics! Big pivotal game tomorrow.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day 7- Eugene to Portland (117 miles)

Dad is desperate to become a celebrity so he wants to write today's blog-

I (Dad/Ralph)woke up from the best nights sleep at Dan and Melissa's. They treated all of us like kings from the moment we arrived to when we left! This morning Dan made custom made omelets for each of us while Melissa made home-made Banana Bread (very, very yummy). While Dan was making omelets I had the chance to have a deep conversation with Hagen. He wanted to know where I was going, and being a smarty, I told him I was going north to the North Pole. Of course, he asked if I could ask Santa for a "pirate telescope".

We started to get ready for the day and as we were packing it started to rain and it continued to rain for most of the day. Which leads me to the real reason for my portion of the blog. To this point I've thouroughly enjoyed my son John's blog, every time I read the daily blog I see that John has a gift with his writings and his humor. But, John hasn't had the chance to sit in the saddle and with that I have the following good and bad list:

Good list first:

1. It's been great to ride with Zach. I've gotten to share this trip with him and rely on him to carry me many times. For example when we were climbing the last (3) miles of the Cascades over to Ashland, Oregon I needed Zach to take the lead and set the pace, or I wouldn't have made it over the top. It's nice to see Zach growing up into a young man.

2. The wind. For the most part (with the exception of the first day) we have had either light wind or the wind has been at our backs (when you're riding into the wind you have to work that much harder to get to the end of the day and visa vera).

3. John. John's been at our beck and call. When our bike broke down during a rain storm near Dunsmuir John picked up the bike, gave us the backup bike and drove to Redding. He had the bike fixed and back to ride within (2) hours. And that's the dedication he has had with everything related to our adventure.

Bad List:

1. The saddle. Sitting on that seat hour after hour leaves you with a sore bottom and blisters. Everyday before I ride I have to apply new band-aides on my bottom and "bottom butter" to keep everything sliding on the saddle.

2. The rain. Both Zach and I have waterproof caps over our helmets, waterproof jackets, waterproof pants, waterproof booties over our shoes, and fenders for our bike (you get the idea). But hour after hour in the rain, the water seeps in and we not only get wet but sweat a lot because of our gear. And wind is a lot like rain, it slows you down, and seems to slow down time (depressing).

3. Aches and pains. After riding (7) days my right knee has hurt for the last (4) days and I think I've strained a tendon in my left leg. I've iced up my legs nightly and twice a day when I stop for break and during lunch. Zach has done the same.

I'm very glad we're doing this ride. It's been fun watching the boys interact and it's great to have done this adventure but I don't think I'll try this long of a bike ride again. Three days left and counting!!! I look forward to finishing and getting to the Lummi reservation and meeting my family on Thursday.

Best to all:)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 6 Canyonville to Eugene (98 miles?)

We did not wake up at the usual time today because Zachary Juarez is not only a handsome athlete with a sense of humor, but also a scholar. (Ladies just leave a comment with your number, he'll get back to you). Zach and I had to wake up at 5 a.m. to drive to Eugene to take the SAT. To make matters worse, Bronx Bagels (a bagel place at one of the random exits before Eugene)did not open until 6:30 so we settled for some breaky at the BK Lounge (Burger King). I dropped him off bright and early at Sheldon High School in Eugene where he managed to get a standby spot so everything worked out. Since the SAT takes like 5 hours I left him and went and fell asleep in front of the nearest Gold's Gym. Unfortunately I did not get second-hand exercise by taking an hour long nap in front of Gold's Gym so I had to go in and actually work out. Post nap and workout I went to Safeway and used the money that Zach won at the Seven Oaks Casino Resort to buy food for the next couple of days. I then picked Zach up, we had some Safeway sandwiches, and we were off to go meet Dad in Cottage Grove so Zach could join him for the last part of today's ride. When we got there my dad said the ride up to this point had been good and that the weather was great. During departure Zach was refusing to ride because he was tired from biking the past 5 days, waking up at 5 a.m., and sitting for a 5 hour long SAT(Well that's original, I'll file that next to the dog ate my homework excuse.) With a little persuasion the Coup d'├ęZach was squashed and he saddled up for the last bit like a true warrior. While the two were riding I went back into town to find some BioFreeze for the aches of the riders. Unfortunately the only places that seel this magical elixir are closed on the weekend. So, I went back and picked the dudes up and we headed for Casa de Azevedo in Springfield. Since arriving, the service has been terrible; we were forced to eat all kinds of delicious and nutritious foods, sit in a relaxing spa, and sit down at a dinner that put Beauty and the Beast's "Be Our Guest" scene to shame (See pic, it is the aftermath of the feat). However, I think we'll survive. (There is a dessert concoction staring me down right now. I think it is an apple crisp). On a serious note: Zach, my Dad, and I are very grateful for the hospitality shown by the Azevedo family and wish that every place we stayed at was just as wonderful. Everyone is tired so after I battle the apple crisp I shall probably hit the hay (Zach and Dad are already making friends with the couches). Tomorrow we'll be saying goodbye to G.I. Joe-Hagen, Sophie, and the rest of the gang and we'll be heading up to Hillsboro.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 5 Medford to Canyonville (74 miles)

Woke up at the usual time and the guys grabbed some breakfast while I grabbed some extra z's. After they left I eventually woke up, washed their dirty jerseys they had worn, checked out, and grabbed a small pump that can fit on the bikes. Afterward I caught up with them somewhere in the mountains between Medford and Canyonville (see pic). The weather was awesome all day and the guys said that the first long climb was really tough but that the rest of the day was mostly downhill so it was fun to ride. After the snack I left and checked into the Seven Feathers Casino Resort. Unfortunately you have to be 21 years old to gamble here, so we still have funds for food. The dudes showed up not too long after and we chilled for a bit in the room while they told me some of the stuff they saw. Some of the observations they told me about included: the fact that they have seen a lot of skunks on the road, an argument the two had over whether they had seen more cows or llamas (it's cows hands-down), an intense river, and the fact that they were chased by a pack of four rabid dogs that were hungry for cyclists. After swapping war stories we hit up the buffet called "the gathering place"; my favorite dishes included the banana bread (with frosting), the shrimp, and hand-made flour tortilla chips. Pops then left to get another old man leg massage. Meanwhile Zach and I hit up the blackjack tables and Zach went Rainman on their ass and made tons of money; or maybe we went into the arcade like 5th graders... Post massage/arcade we all took a dip in the spa/pool then retreated to the room to watch some television. Zach and I are going to be waking up extremely early tomorrow so that I can take him to his SAT's in the morning. Thanks for all the prayers and wish Zach good look on the tests!