Day 17: Cheers to Embracing the Unexpected

Hi Sarah here, I’m going to tell you about Day 17, but first a brief look into what being in the SAG (support and gear van) has been like for the past 2 1/2 weeks:

As some of y’all may know I am slightly accident prone and injured my leg in a boating accident 3 days before arriving in Seattle, it got crushed between a speed boat and a houseboat. And it looks gnarly. It hasn’t hurt since it happened but it has been quiet swollen and slightly disfigured. And yes I know the situation is crazy: I am a cyclist who got in a boat accident and my leg doesn’t hurt but it has a bruise that looks like the universe on it and is shaped like a mountain range. I have had to tell the story to many confused urgent care and ER doctors down the coast and it never gets less ironic. Long story short I have gotten to spend lots of time calling people and asking them for free food and have gotten really good at smiling in the faces of blatant rejection. It is, in a word, character building.

Aside from coordinating meals and housing I have had the privilege of getting one on one time with the 9 beautiful humans on PTP19 as they have cycled through the SAG on their rest days and after many car concerts and rest stop dance parties here is what I have learned:

Chloe is a firecracker who loves Maggie Rogers more than anyone I know. Haley is a phenomenal storyteller and can roll with the punches like none other. Grace talks in a high pitched voice when she gets nervous and is terrified of driving the SAG and honestly one of the funniest most wonderful humans I have ever met. Robyn is deep like the ocean and a great listener who cares very deeply for those around her. Hadley’s laugh is contagious, she is conflicted about being a #7 enneagram and when she sets her mind to something there is no stopping her. Christina asks you the questions you didn’t know you needed to be asked and cares for me more than I deserve. Keaton is secretly a savage and she climbs and is a total history nerd. MC can make me laugh like no one else, she is honest and strong and appreciates coffee as much as I do. And finally, Kalindi is a poet, has overcome unimaginable loss and yet remains the most real and hopeful human I have ever met, also she has never met a stranger. If I am being honest it has been hard being in the SAG, I trained a lot and was not intending to spend the first 3 weeks in a car but it has been an unexpectedly sweet time of getting to know these phenomenal humans. And for that I am forever grateful to the speed boat and house boat that demolished my leg....

Okay but day 17-

We started off our morning by talking to a chapter of the league of women voters that meets in Sixes Oregon (yay women empowerment) and then left our picturesque host home to continue our journey. We called places in Port Orford for lunch and the owner of Mr. Ed’s, Ed himself, answered and told us to come stop by and he would get us taken care of. Very often when we call local restaurants we have little to no clue what we will be getting to eat or what sort of experience we will get. Such was the case with Mr. Ed’s. We went into Mr. Ed’s and it was initially a little coffee shop. And there was Ed leaning against the counter. A full head of bright white long hair and the most laid back, surfer dude smile you could imagine. He looked like he didn’t have a care in the world. After a short convo he told us to follow him to the back room and boy were we in for a surprise. Taxidermy and instruments filled the walls. Every instrument you could want or need and there was a stage and tons of tables. “Welcome to the underground pub, the stage is yours and you won’t go hungry”. He had built this music/diner room for any one to come perform or mess around free of judgment. It was incredible, it felt like we got to take a step into Ed’s mind and see his love for music and community. He fed us till we couldn’t eat anymore and listened to us belt Halo by Beyoncé, play heart and soul on the piano and read spoken word we found on the internet. We were thriving. Ed was good to us.

We left Ed’s with full bellies and smiles on our faces to bike what seemed like a never ending uphill winding road. After a long haul we arrived at our host home and per usual we had no idea what to expect. Most of this trip has been just showing up and not knowing what to expect.

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So anyway we got there and called the number of the person who lived there and they said “y’all head on down to the barn you can sleep in there”... sleeping in a barn yayyyyyy (sarcasm). I was initially less than impressed but little did I know I was stepping onto holy ground. We soon met Bonnie and Chris who owned the ranch and the “barn” that we were staying in was actually a lounge in a horse training arena on their property. Chris is a retired horse trainer of an award winning horse and is now a commissioner of Curry County and his wife Bonnie is an absolute angel who mentors young people in their community. They brought us homemade fettuccine Alfredo and a salad they made from their garden veggies. We told them what we were doing and Chris, who holds a lot of authority in the county, was excited to hear potential ways to fight trafficking and share them at the National Assemply of commissioners. They also showed us around their greenhouse, and my little vegan soul exploded with joy. There were blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and lemons flourishing. There were Brussels sprouts and asparagus and tons of squash and peppers. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. They also had goats and cows and horses and 2 of the best looking pups I’ve ever seen.

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Bonnie and Chris were good to us, they welcomed us into their little slice of heaven with open arms. Just like Ed welcomes us into his little oasis of music and good food not once asking us to pay a dime. We have been so blessed on our trip to meet such beautiful and wonderful people. I learned on day 17 that people are good. People believe in change and sometimes the most unexpected circumstances turn into the best memories. Day 17 made me hopeful for the army that we are forming to fight sex trafficking. Today Ed joined our army as did Bonnie and Chris and today we were triumphant.

-Sarah

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