I didn’t want the girls to think I didn’t have faith in them and their journey, but fear began to set in. The reality of what they were embarking on invaded my heart and mind like a wave. Sleep the night before Lizzie and the team left did not come. I tossed and turned all night as visions and thoughts of all of the things that could possibly go wrong flooded my mind.
Santa Barbara, CA is this place where dreams are made of. I think for many of us it was our favorite part of the trip because the hospitality was overhwhelming, the views were breath taking and lively, and we came in contact with some of the most incredible leaders in the city that are dedicated to fighting present day slavery.
We were already in high spirits because we flew through the 57 miles that we had that day to Hazards Bike Shop there in Santa Barbara. They graciously allowed our bikes to stay there for our rest day and they so happened to be the ones that hid Savannah and Grace to then later surprise us which left us in tears. We each read a part of a letter that the man, the myth, the legend, our California dad Bill Macfadyen (Shout out Bill: he went above and beyond to make our stay in SB the best it ever could be.) had for us from our founders in the parking lot outside the bike shop. At the end of the letter it said “JK. SEE YALL RIGHT NOW!” We went WILD. Sav and Grace jumped out from around our support car and ran at us. It was unreal.
Each of us went to our own host homes in groups of 2-3 and we were taken care of so well by these families that opened up their homes and took us in as one of their own.
The next day was the most unforgettable. We met with the District Attorney of Santa Barbra, Joyce Dudley, and the Human Trafficking Task Force who tirelessly work to fight this horrible crime in their city (you can read the Noozhawk article written about it here.) You should of seen the look on our faces as we sat around this large round table near the city capital. Being 11 smelly girls, we found ourselves deeply encouraged by them. They shared about what they did, from the courtroom to the streets, and in return, we shared about why we rode. I couldn’t believe they really wanted to know about each of our individual decisions of why we took this on. We didn’t have to prove that we were capable to finish this ride of that we were necessarily qualified. They simply believed in us. Like the girls at The Refuge, we believe that healing will come and that they don’t have to prove their worth. We believe that each individual story is worth listening to. The DA shared profound experiences of restoring life back into the eyes of a survivor. This is what this is all about. I think time and time again I am reminded much bigger this ride is than ourselves. This meeting lit a fire in our team and we all laughed at the fact that the DA offered us a job if we went to law school. I will never forget that I honestly contemplated it. :-)
San Diego is literally happening tomorrow. This isn’t a dream anymore but we are called to remember the things we have experienced on this trip and the people we have met and let the life change of it all set in. I am grateful to be sitting here with my bags packed and bike ready for one last day of riding. Santa Barbara feels forever ago but it will always be an important part of this adventure. It fueled us to keep moving forward and guess what, tomorrow we move forward to the finish line of PTP... but this fight against sex trafficking is far from it. We know more now than ever before that we aren’t doing this alone.
If you would like to make a donation for our last day of riding, visit www.pedalthepacific.com/donate
We would also like to thank Judy, Rob, and Al for hosting our team dinner at Goa Taco, Bill Macfadyen, Noozhawk, and Los Arroyos for hosting our dinner at Impact Hub, and all of the families that hosted the team for our two nights in Santa Barbara!
Our time spent in Newport, Oregon remains one of the highlights of our trip - a time of rest we
can look back on and laugh at how little we knew and how far we had to go. Sweet moments
with even sweeter people -- more names to add to the list of countless kindnesses that we
couldn’t complete this journey without.
Hello all who have stumbled upon this blog. It’s me, Savannah, and I’m typing this up just after having finished a continental breakfast at a hotel in Half Moon Bay. How freaking awesome right, pedaling the pacific doesn’t sound half bad right? Haha. You know the song “Blessings” by Chance the Rapper? A timeless classic. One of the lyrics goes, “it seems like blessings, keep falling in my lap.” Yeah, I feel the same way. I feel more #blessed on this trip then ever before.
Day 29 we left our wonderful, very green and organic hosts Heather and Willie who live in a cute house that George Lucas once used as a creative space. One can’t help to think that perhaps Star Wars was birthed there?! We later stopped for lunch in Fairfax where we got some bikes tuned up and Kelly copped a new pair of cycle shoes after her originals chose to rip (RIP). We got to see our pal Quintin who told us he hooked us up with a sweet place to stay in Newport Beach, holla! We then pushed on to San Francisco! We cycled through Merin County, mother of mountain biking, and it was beautiful with many friendly cyclists. Finally we made it to the Golden Gate Bridge and we all cycled across together! Wow, it was surreal. A little busy but holy moly that was a big moment for me mentally! Our wee lil legs got us here, well not so wee after all. STRONG LEGS. STRONG GIRLS. We cycled to our home base for the next 2 rest days: The Marriot (!!!) thanks to one of the sweet moms. Now thinking, someone should write a blog about our moms, maybe that will my next blog, they’re our biggest supporters and fans and sometimes I feel like they know more about pedaling the pacific than I do! Many blessings come from them. Anyways, we walked through the fancy hotel lobby with our dusty bikes while weaving through the business men and women and i remember distinctly thinking “Savannah, do not brush up against one of their fancy suits with your panniers and don’t you dare leave a trace of dirt!” Being back in a city with a wide demographic of real life humans was bizarre but refreshing. We safely made it to our rooms to find care packages made by Kitty on our beds and i think that was the moment that officially commenced our 2 rest days in San Francisco! Day 30-31 consisted of exploring, shopping, eating, biking with no gear (we were reminded how easy and enjoyable cycling can be!), eating, showering, eating, and sleeping. Something really exciting happened the morning of Day 30 while some of us were getting our bikes tuned up: NowThis Her realeased a video (https://nowthisnews.com/videos/her/pedal-the-pacific-bike-ride-dedicated-to-sex-trafficking-awareness) about us highlighting our story, our cause, and our mission. We couldn’t be more honored and excited. It has over 100k views, which means that many more people who know about the Refuge and sex trafficking. Wowza. So yes, blessings falling in our laps! Can I get an amen. *amen*
Overall, The rests days were well enjoyed and much needed, even my mom came to visit which was wonderful, shout-out to her. It was a little strange staying in one city for two days, it felt bizarre not being a traveling nomad from one place to the next constantly. But we feel refreshed and ready to kick it for these last 2 weeks!!
UPDATE We are a little halfway to our final fundraising goal and we fully believe we can make it to $250,000! Keep sharing with your friends, family, co-workers, maybe even share it with someone random. IDK but I know the blessings will comes. Cheers.