After a hard couple of days, the team got the opportunity to rest for a night in the company of two incredible people: John Huttl, the angel who helped the girls out last year, and Mary Jane Labelle, an angel who opened her home to eleven girls that she didn’t even know were coming until 10am that morning.
We biked up to the house and were immediately greeted with warm hugs and told to get into MJ’s private swimming hole- the most beautiful, clear, cold water that soothed our sore legs. We swam, laid on the warm sand, and hung out around the house until John showed up with chicken, burgers, and sausage to grill out for dinner. As we sat out on the patio, MJ asked each girl about our plans for the future and took the time to affirm and encourage us in the most genuine way. We all felt safe, known, nurtured, and at home in a way that so many of us have been missing in our time on the road.
After dinner, John took us on a grand tour of Port Orford which included a trip to the westernmost point of the US, to the port, a small hike to the old coastguard lookout, a trip to TJ’s diner for milkshakes and pie, and a walk around John’s beautiful land up on a mountain. John kept us all by laughing listening to Mariah Carey in the car, telling sasquatch stories, and somehow possessing the ability to keep up with the jokes and comments of 11 college-aged girls.
We felt unbelievably blessed by the ways that John and MJ cared for and provided for the team- in food, laundry, showers, conversation, and a beautiful lawn to sleep under the stars. They are kind, generous, encouraging, and inspired the names for some of our bikes (MJ- Isabel, old blue- Lizzie).
The next day, we hated to leave MJ’s house to start our ride to Indian Creek RV Park. The day went well and John met us again to deliver our new tires!! Yay!! What a blessing it was to have him do that for us. We all went to eat pizza and talked and laughed some more. We said our final goodbyes to John and thanked him profusely. We were sad to see him go but so grateful for his generosity.
This ride and this movement would not be possible without people who support us. Whether that is financially, emotionally or giving us a place to sleep. Words can’t describe how thankful we are to everyone who cheers us on and volunteers their time to us.
Thank you, again, John and MJ. We are so grateful.
-Isabel, Audrey, and the rest of PTP