Friday, August 10, 2012

"Journey of Hope"

Two GW Catholics, Sloan Dickey and Jacob Sutherland, biked across the United States this summer as part of the "Journey of Hope".  Sloan set up a blog site with videos and writings to chronicle this epic and inspiring trip.   He writes about the trip below; click here to view the videos on his blog.  Major thanks to Sloan and Jake for all the sacrifices they made this summer and for being open to the strength of God throughout the journey.  He helped get you through every leg of it.  Congrats on your accomplishments!!

The Journey of Hope is a 4000 mile bike ride across America for the purpose of raising awareness and funds for programs that support people with disabilities. On this ride we will be stopping at camps and community centers across the nation to show our support. Each day will consist of a combination of biking, visits, team events, and, hopefully, a little bit of rest.

For the biking portion of our trip, we will be covering anywhere between 60 and 120 miles per day. You can trace the day-by-day distances here. The Journey of Hope is divided into three sections, the Southern route, the Northern route and the trans-America route. All three have different landscapes, difficulties and destinations. My route starts in Seattle and heads through Montana and Wyoming. Then we meet up with the Northern route in Colorado as we head to Kansas. Next we head up to Ohio and back down to Kentucky. We end the trip in the Virginias and cap off our trip in Washington DC on August 5th.

For the service part of our trip, we will be visiting camps and community centers. Here we will play games, converse, and, hopefully, bring joy to people with a form of disability. I often wonder what it is will be like to bike across the nation while visiting people who may never have that opportunity because of some form of incapacity. The way I see it is that I will hopefully bring recognition to challenges that are visually smaller yet truthfully and significantly larger than any journey I face. Challenges such as learning to walk, or talk, or communicate, or adapt to a disability that was not acquired by choice. Hopefully we can bring to light some of these challenges that make our ride seem easy.

I am truly blessed to be a part of this experience and I hope that I can give back as much as I gain. It will be a difficult ride, but I think that it will be one that I will never forget.

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