It has been one week since we've been back from Pedaling the Pacific, and for the next three weeks, we want to give you each of our perspectives of our post-trip thoughts. Starting with me - Sav.
It's a strange thing, you know. To go from living on a bicycle, constantly engaging with the people around you. To go from reminding yourself the reason why you're getting on your bike once more - even when it is the absolute last thing you want to do. To go from sharing your mission and watching others beautifully latch onto it like it's their own. To go from meetings with reporters and journalists and friends and campfires beside the coast. To go from all of that - to being completely still. It's something that has not quite clicked for me yet.
While we're all grappling with what exactly it means to live a life on two feet instead of two wheels, I can't help but think about the people we met along the way that made this trip possible. The people that made this trip so impactful, meaningful, and more far-reaching than we could ever imagine. Notice that I said look at what we've accomplished. I'm not just talking about the three members of Pedal the Pacific. I'm talking about you.
We have raised over $56,000, and we have done that together. Every stranger we met at every grocery store, gas station, or state park. Every human that opened their home, fed us a meal, and sent us on our way. Everyone that stopped us and asked what in the world 40 pounds of gear was doing on our bicycles. Every stranger that gave us an encouraging word, bought us some food, and picked our brains about the cause. Every person that told their friends about three girls cycling to raise awareness about human trafficking. Every Facebook friend that shared our page, blog, and website. We did this together. We reached thousands more souls than we could ever dream of because you believed in the cause and told your neighbor about it. Because of our collective efforts, almost THREE TIMES our original goal was raised for the Refuge. Over $56,000 will be poured into the walls of an organization that will give girls hope for a future. We all have a sort of connection now, don't we? An accomplishment that we get to share for as long as our minds will remember and the walls of the Refuge are standing. We hopped on a bike and you people started a movement.
There's this idea that people are places and places are times and times are people - or something along those lines. So, my reflection of the trip translates into an enormous thankfulness to the people that we were lucky enough to meet in the places we passed along the way. A sort of ode to the people, places, and times that made Pedal the Pacific what it was.
To Karma who gave us a roof in Seattle, WA and lived with the most cheerful heart. To Courtney, Cameron, and Jory who showed us love before the ride. To our first WarmShowers hosts in Puget Island, WA, Kim & Steve, who created a warm and inviting space. To Neil in Seaside, OR, who we never actually met but inspired us to live with more confident trust. To Chris the Park Ranger in Tillamook, OR who saw we were on a dangerous road, gave us a lift, and spilled the beans about his life. To Julie Bailey in Lincoln City, OR who truly embodies selfless love. To our dear friend Darin in Newport, OR, who offered his home to three strangers on a whim. To Doc and Marcie also in Newport, OR who made us feel loved by checking in on our health. To THE John Huttl, who knocked our socks off in Port Orford, OR. To Paul and Kerry in their RV in Crescent City, CA who showed us that your spirit can always stay young with a guitar, violin, and California Dreamin. To our Eureka Angels, Loretta & Steve who made it really hard to leave because of their display of such extravagant love. To Claire and Linda, who inspired us to take each day as it comes. To Texas 4000, who amazed us with their persistence in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, CA. To Jesse, who gave us a little more confidence in Mendocino, CA. To Outdoor Voices, who put "doing things" to a whole new level. To the Salkever family in Mill Valley who inspired us to live with a constant awe and wonder. To Brent and Sheila, who display the super power of making people feel heard, loved, and cared for immediately in Santa Cruz, CA. To Jeff, Ingrid, and Tori in San Luis Obispo whose hospitality went above and beyond. To Bill, who latched on to our cause and dedicated time and effort to making sure it was heard in Santa Barbara, CA. To Ann and Ed whose willingness to serve us was remarkable. To Mary Claire, Callen, and Abby, whose familiar faces eased our anxiousness. To Claire and G, who love my best friend so dang well. To Sonia and Vince in San Clemente, whose Italian food and laughter blew us out of the water. To the Barrie's in Newport Beach, CA, whose joy is unmatched. To Uncle Ryan in Solano Beach, who taught us that there is always time for play in the ocean. To my sister Aly, who decided to see what a day in the life of Pedal the Pacific was like and shared it with everyone she encountered. To Mariel, who went above and beyond in her devotion to our cause. And to those whom we did not exchange a name, but who hung on to our words and maybe shared them with a friend later.
The kindness will always amaze me. How quick people were to want to help. I don't think we, as humans, talk about wanting to be a part of something bigger enough. And that's okay, maybe for many, it's an unarticulated desire - to be a part of a movement. My hope is that for those people - the one's that aren't quite able to articulate this feeling in their chest and the one's that have thought "hmm.. maybe I could help in some way" - is that when three girls on a bike rode through their town, they were somehow able to articulate it. They were quick to their feet. That's what it felt like, at least. It felt as though people were anxiously waiting for someone to give them an opportunity to help. So when Pedal the Pacific rolled into town, they had no hesitations. When they were told that survivors of sex trafficking would find healing in the walls that this donation was going towards, there was no doubt in their mind that this was their opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves. To be a part of a movement. So people gave, and gave, and gave, until there was over $56,000 to gift. A movement that not just three of us are responsible for, but hundreds of us.
Now, let's all take that in. This is something to be proud of.
P.S. Through the end of August, we are still taking donations. We are also partnered with Go Rings - so anything you purchase from their website can be given to Pedal the Pacific if you select our name at check out!!