One of the perks of being Canon for Music at Trinity Cathedral is the opportunity to take a summer sabbatical every five years. This summer turned out to be a great time of travel, family, and adventure.
Following the wonderful celebration of my thirty years of ministry at the Cathedral, it was a time of Sunday morning relaxation. Not having to be out the door before 7 am was quite a luxury.
Our first trip of the summer was to visit JoAnn’s family in Northern California, and to spend a little time in the Lassen area. This included my first ever visit to McArthur-Burney State Park, and the beautiful namesake waterfall. What a spectacular place it is, despite the drought and the crowds. I also managed to squeeze a quick early morning hike to the top of Brokeoff Mountain, my favorite hike in Lassen Park. It was a great start to our summer adventures.
After a couple of days of recovery and re-packing, JoAnn and I drove off for a five day trip to Mendocino. Though I have driven through here, I’ve never really spent any time in the area, so was really looking forward to it. We stayed in a tiny (truly) cottage about ten minutes walking from town, which proved the perfect base to explore the area.
We did a lot of hiking… in both Van Damme and Russian Gulch State Parks. Beautiful forested scenery, with some good strenuous climbing. We spent evenings walking along the beautiful Mendocino Headlands, and had fantastic anniversary dinner at the Trillium Cafe (highly recommended). On our last day we explored the headlands around the Point Cabrillo light station… a still working light-house in a state park. It was a wonderful time together, and one of the absolute highlights of my summer.
After a few days to recover from our extreme relaxation, we were packing for a big family adventure: JoAnn and I were taking Justine and her friend Eliza for a backpacking trip to Yosemite. It was the first backpacking trip for JoAnn in forty years, and the first ever for Eliza!
We preceded the backpacking part of our Yosemite adventure with a couple of days of “campground” camping in the park. We spent our first night in the very busy/noisy/crowded valley, but escaped to the relative quiet of White Wolf campground on the Tioga Road the next night.
Our backpacking plan was to hike from the Porcupine Creek trailhead to a camp at the Lehamite Creek junction. From our basecamp, we planned to dayhike to the top of North Dome on our second day, and then return to the trailhead on the third day. It was a very warm and sunny morning as we set out, and even though it was only 3 miles to our campsite, there was a fair amount of uphill, and challenging for those not used to carrying a big pack. The camp area is a spacious area next to the junction of the Lehamite Creek trail and the North Dome/Yosemite Falls trail. We all settled into our camping spots and relaxed for the rest of the day.
The next morning it was up with the sun, and a hike to the top of North Dome. It’s a fairly substantial hike, with some good uphill sections, but from this campsite, it’s a fairly short hike. It is spectacular as you come out onto the valley rim, and see Half Dome and Nevada Falls across the way. After a little scrambling down a cliff, and a stop for lunch, we walked up the final ramp to the summit. This is really one of my favorite spots in the park, and I am surprised at how few people hike to it. After many summit photos we headed back down to camp to relax and get ready for our hike out the next morning. (NOTE: The area around Lehamite Creek, including our campsite is currently on fire. I had remarked when we were there, how much dry fuel there was on the ground, and what a mess it would be if there was a fire. Prayers for the firefighters!)
After returning from Yosemite, we had a few days to recover before heading up to Lake Tahoe for a few days with our friends Wayne, Kim, and Robin Linse. The weather was perfect, and it was a time to relax. Of course, I did manage to squeeze in a couple of quick hikes, as I was training for my next adventure.
The morning after we returned from Tahoe, I packed the car and headed up I-5 towards Mount Rainier. I have not visited this park before, and it’s been on my bucket list for some time. I planned a five day backpacking loop trip in the Northwest corner of the park, and a couple of days of touristing afterwards. This turned out to be one of the most amazing and enjoyable backpacking trips I’ve ever taken. I have written a detailed blog about this trip, which you can see here: Canon in Wonderland I am definitely smitten with this park, and hope to return to explore it further before too long.
Driving back home to Sacramento, I stopped to visit my old friend Bruce Neswick at Trinity Cathedral in Portland. I finally had the opportunity to play the magnificent Rosales pipe organ in the Cathedral… one of the finest instruments I have ever played.
Soon, it was to time think about returning to work at Trinity Cathedral. The last couple of weeks of my sabbatical were a mix of planning for the fall music season, and trying to squeeze in a few more leisure activities. Now back at work, I am grateful for the opportunities which this time off afforded. Thank you to the Dean, vestry, choirs, and congregation of the Cathedral for providing this time of re-creation for me. It is truly appreciated, and I returned to work in September, relaxed and ready to dive in, head first!
For all you gearheads out there!
- Osprey Aether 60 backpack 4 lb
- Sea to Summit pack cover (4 oz)
- Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 tent 2 lb/4 oz
- Montbell UL SS down sleeping bag 1 lb/8oz
- Sea to Summit UL insulated sleeping pad 16 oz
- z-rest sit pad 2.4 oz
- Jetboil Zip stove system 12 oz
- Utensils (coffee mug/long handle spoon) 3 oz
- Petzl Spatha knife 1.75 oz
- Gerber Dime multi-tool 2.2 oz
- Steri-pen Classic water purifier 8.2 oz
- Folding Naglene 1L water jug 2 oz
- 1 liter Nalgene bottle 6 oz
- Bike bottle (for electrolyte drink)
- First-aid kit
- OR 10L UL dry bag (for food)
- Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Solo Trekking pole
- Black Diamond Headlamp 3 oz
- Arc’Teryx Cierzo 18 day pack (for side trips)
- Ibex merino t-shirt (6 oz)
- North Face convertible pants (11 oz)
- Ex-Officio mesh briefs
- Darn Tough merino hiking socks (2.6 oz) x2
- Merrell Capra Sport low shoes
- OR Helios sun hat (2.4) ozs
- Dirty Girl gaiters
- Ibex merino hoody (11 oz)
- Terramar mid-weight merino tights (6.6 oz)
- MontBell UL down jacket (9 oz) (did not use)
- Smartwool compression socks (3 oz)
- REI Airflyte eVent rain jacket (15.8 oz) (did not use)
- OR Helium hybrid jacket (5.8 oz)
- MHW Plasmic rain pants (7.9 oz) (did not use)
- ArcTeryx Konseal jacket (10 oz)
- Smartwool light merino gloves (2 oz)
- Xero Z-trek sandals (16 oz)
For several years, I have had the ninety-two mile Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier on my bucket list. With a sabbatical on the horizon this summer, I had decided this would be the year to do it. Unfortunately, over two-thousand people (a record number) had the same idea, and I was not successful in the wilderness permit lottery. Nonetheless, I was able to put together a short five day loop backpack trip together, and planned for another couple of days exploring the park.
After loads of training hikes, planning, and packing and re-packing, it was time to head to Washington.
Day 0 Getting there After loading up all of my stuff into a tiny rental car, I headed over to I-5 to begin the long drive to Mount Rainier. It has been many years since I drove this far up I-5, and I was looking forward to some excellent scenery. Unfortunately, due to wildfires from Clear Lake and Trinity County, the air quality was so poor, I could hardly see anything beyond the interstate. Even Mount Shasta was hidden in the smoke, while driving right past it.
I pushed on to Salem, Oregon, where I spent the night in a rest stop. Not the best night’s sleep, I have to say, but it put me within a few hours of the park. I whipped up a mug of french pressed coffee, and was back on the road.
Day 1 The Mountain My first task was to drive out to the Carbon River Ranger Station, to pick up my wilderness permit. They take them very seriously at this park, and you are expected to display it on your pack and tent at all times (more about this later). After getting the permit, I had to backtrack, and drive a twenty mile washboard road to Mowich Lake, where I would begin my trip.
I arrived at the lake, and it was teeming with activity. Being a Friday afternoon, there were lots of day hikers around, and I had to park about a quarter of a mile from the end of the road. There is a very primitive walk-in campground here, which is part of the backcountry campsite system, and where I would spend my first night. As the day-trippers left, several folks who were in the midst of their Wonderland Trail thru-hikes stopped in to pick up cached food supplies, and to spend the night before continuing on. I chatted with a couple who were on their fifth Wonderland hike, and were taking their five children (aged between about 6 and 12 yrs) along for the walk!
Day 2 A walk in the park (6.7 miles) The first part of my itinerary took me through the dramatic scenery of Spray Park. After walking a whopping 0.2 miles on the Wonderland Trail, I turned left and headed up the Spray Park Trail. The first part of the trail is in lush dark Pacific Northwest Rain forest. A short way along, I came to Eagle View, which gave me the first astonishing look at the mountain. A few minutes later, I was greeted by a park ranger on patrol, who carefully checked my wilderness permit, to make sure I was in the right place at the right time.
The trail climbs higher and leaves the rain forest for the beautiful high meadows of Spray Park. There are amazing views of not only Mount Rainier, but also of many surrounding peaks (including Mother Mountain, around which I am hiking). I stopped for a quick snack break just near the top, before topping out and entering rugged Seattle Park. In stark contrast to the green meadows and wildflowers of Spray Park, Seattle Park is a world of rock and ice and snow. Normally at this time of year, one would be navigating through snow. But it was a light snow year on Rainier, and so the route consists of a lot of loose talus and boulders. It would be easy to twist an ankle through all of the rock, so care has to be taken. After a while, I was back into the green, with trees, meadows, and wildflowers abounding. The grade of the descent is pretty steep, so my toes and quads were taking a beating. When I finally got to the sign for Cataract Valley Camp, I was ready to take the boots off!
Cataract Valley is a beautiful setting in the rain forest, with a burbling creek running right through the middle. Each of the backcountry camps includes a pole for hanging food bags out of the reach of the local bruins, and a toilet of some kind. In this case a solar composting toilet, which was not the best nor the worst I’ve seen.
I got my camp set up, and made dinner (“Rainier Rice” it was called. Really!), and then prepared for the night. At this moment, I went to move my wilderness permit from my pack to my tent, and couldn’t find it. It had obviously fallen off of my pack sometime during the day, and so I had some anxiety about being caught without it. But there was nothing I could do at that moment. It was obvious that it was going to rain that evening, so I got everything secured and climbed into the tent for the night. The gentle patter of the rain on my tent lulled me to a well earned sleep.
Day 3 The Return of Clubber Lang (9.4 miles) In one of the great scenes in the movie “Rocky 3,” a reporter asks boxer Clubber Lang (Mister T) what the outcome of the fight would be. “Pain!” was his simple reply. Clubber was going to be with me today, as I climbed the very steep Northern Loop trail up to Yellowstone Cliffs camp. The trail continued to drop from Cataract Valley, and everything was wet from the previous night’s rain, and so my pack and I were pretty damp by the time we got to the bottom at Carbon River. But the sun was shining, and things were drying out.
The Carbon River is the major drainage from the Carbon Glacier, one of the largest and lowest glaciers on the mountain. It is cold, deep, wide, fast moving, and loaded with silt, sand, and rock. In order to cross the Carbon, a 205 foot long suspension bridge has been built to the other side. Even though it is well built and sturdy, it is still a bit unnerving, as it rocks and sways as you cross… Indiana Jones style.
After crossing the bridge, I turned left and started up the steep Northern Loop trail. I had forgotten that I was going to take the short side trip up to see the Carbon Glacier, and by the time I remembered, it would have meant a major backtrack… and I just wasn’t up for it. Though most of the trail is in shade, I was working hard on the steep grade, and working up a mighty sweat. I was pleased when the trail leveled out a bit and got into the open, and a bit of a breeze cooled me down. As I approached Yellowstone Cliffs camp, I met a guy backpacking the other direction with his two teenage daughters. One of his girls was having blister problems, and they were having trouble finding the moleskin, so I gave them some of mine. At about the same time a backcountry ranger came by on patrol, and asked to see my permit. I shared my story about the lost permit, and he seemed to buy it. He needed to go to Yellowstone camp anyway, so we hiked down together. He called the ranger station on his radio, and got my permit information, and hand-wrote me a temporary permit to get me through.
Yellowstone Cliffs camp is about a thousand yards off of the main trail, and is small and quiet. I lucked out, and had the entire campsite to myself (along with a few curious mountain goats). After getting set up and making dinner, I decided to have a little after-dinner hike up to Windy Gap, the high point of the Northern Loop trail. This turned out to be the high point of the trip for me. Passing through high alpine meadows, spectacular views of the surrounding peaks dominated… totally worth the three mile uphill walk! I returned to camp, just in time for an unusual alpenglow display… instead of reflecting off of the rocky cliffs in the area, the setting sun glowed on the trees in the forest, to spectacular and eary effect. Darkness brought complete quiet and solitude… the best night of the trip.
Day 4 What goes up, must come down (8.8 miles) I was a little worried about going back down the steep Northern Loop trail… steep downhills usually do a number on my toes and quad muscles. But it was not nearly as bad as I had imagined, and I quickly found myself back down at the Carbon River for the next leg of my loop. At the lower crossing of the Carbon, the river has become much wider and more braided. So there is a long crossing of about .4 miles involving several small bridges and sand/gravel bars. The final foot bridge took me over the main part of the river, which was a little scary, as the river was very close to the bottom of the bridge, and was rushing by very loudly and quickly. But I safely made it across, and climbed out of the gorge and back into old growth forest.
The Carbon River has a history of extreme flooding, and it is very evident here. Massive trees laid on their sides, pulled up out of the earth, taking large boulders along with them. It was really quite amazing. My destination for the night is the Ipsut Creek campground, and for many years, this was a regular drive-up campground. But flooding of the Carbon River has caused so much damage to the road over the years, that now it is only accessible by foot, and is part of the backcountry camp system. But it was luxurious having a campsite with a picnic table and food storage box (and a toilet with walls and a door!). It is a lovely spot in the midst of old growth forest, with lots of ferns, moss, and tundra.
As I got my campsite set up, there was quite a bit of thunder from a storm up around the mountain. I thought for sure we’d get another night of rain, but the system seemed to blow the other direction, and it turned out to be a lovely warm evening.
After dinner, I decided to take a little evening hike out on the old park road, back across the Carbon River to lovely Chenuis Falls, a refreshing forested grotto, which seemed far from the rest of the world. Returning to Ipsut campground, I went to bed early, anticipating the challenging hike to come.
Day 5 Back to where I started (5 miles) My last day of backpacking promised a 2,700′ climb over three miles to Ipsut Pass, which would return me to my car at Mowich Lake. The hike started innocently enough, but soon the grade intensified, and the quality of the trail got sketchier. Thimbleberries (similar to raspberries) grew in proliferation right along the trail, so I used them as an excuse to stop and catch my breath, while snacking away. After a couple of hours, I finally made it to the top of Ipsut Pass, which presented spectacular views. All that was left was a relatively easy one mile hike back to the car.
When I returned to the car, I found my missing wilderness permit hanging from the door, with a note scribbled on it. Someone had found it in Seattle Park, and remembered meeting me on the trail, and having had a conversation about the missing permit. I drove to the bustling town of Enumclaw, where a motel room/shower/clean sheets/tacos/beer awaited. I had a great night’s sleep.
Day 6-7 Playing the tourist I had planned to head back to Rainier, to experience some other areas of the park. I drove from Enumclaw down to the east side of the park, where I decided to do a 8 mile hike to the beautiful meadows of Summerland, which is reputed to have some of the best views of the mountain to be had. The hike starts out like most of them here do… in shady old growth forest. After an hour or so it breaks out into meadows, and grants exceptional views of the mountain. Arriving in Summerland, I had a lunch break, and headed back down to the car.
I continued to drive the park road all the way around the eastern and southern sides of the park, and found my campsite at Cougar Rock campground, just in time for happy hour. I had good local brew and some snacks to consume, so it was a good lead up to… dinner!
The next morning, it was time to think about heading back to Sacramento. I explored the Paradise and Longmire areas after breakfast, had a picnic lunch, and then hit the road to Portland. Arriving in Portland, I visited Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, and after many years, got a chance to play the gorgeous Rosales pipe organ. The day finished with dinner with Cathedral Canon for Music, and long time friend, Bruce Neswick. And then it was back on the road to Sacramento.
All in all, it was a fantastic trip, and I am keen to return to Rainier soon!
A few other sundry notes:
- I am usually plagued with foot problems on backpacking trips. This year, I had one tiny blister on my right bunion. Other than that, no other blisters, no black toenails.
- Last year’s backpacking trip in Sequoia National Park found me bailing out two days into the trip due to extreme back and shoulder pain. I really worked on my core strength this summer, and had no back or shoulder issues.
- Mount Rainier National Park has the best log bridges I’ve ever seen. They are cut evenly with a nice level, wide tread, placed firmly, and sometimes have handrails. They are vastly superior to anything I have seen in the Sierra. And Rainier’s bridges are frequently washed out year after year, due to glacial flooding. Yosemite/Seqouia-Kings/Inyo take note!
- I seem to have gotten thru-hiking the Wonderland Trail out of my system. It seems very busy, and counter to a wilderness experience. However, the Northern Loop Trail is now on my bucket list.
One of the perks of being the Canon for Music at Trinity Cathedral, is the opportunity to take a three month sabbatical every five years. With summer being the least busy time of year, these have always fallen during June through August.
My first sabbatical was in 2004. Wanting to do something really outrageous, I decided that my sabbatical challenge would be to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, at 19,340′, the highest peak in Africa. I spent the summer training and acclimatizing, and on July 19th, with my friend and colleague Dr David Deffner, stood on the summit of this massive mountain.
My second sabbatical came in 2010. I spent the summer riding my new bike “The Red Baron,” and training for a thru-hike of the High Sierra Trail… a seventy-two mile backpack trip across Sequoia National Park. This stunning trail starts in the west side of the park, climbs over the Great Western Divide, drops down into the Kern River drainage, then climbs the Eastern Sierra Crest with a grand finale at the top of Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states. With a whopping 19,000′ of accumulated elevation gain, it was a epic challenge, but worth every blister!
Now as I celebrate my thirtieth year at Trinity Cathedral, I am easing into my third sabbatical.
One of the trips which has been on my hiking bucket list for some years, is the ninety-two mile “Wonderland Trail” which circumnavigates Mount Rainier. Perhaps the biggest hurdle in hiking the Wonderland Trail, is actually getting a wilderness permit. The process is exceedingly convoluted, and is still done by the park rangers by hand. The park received a record number of applications to hike the Wonderland this year… 2,500 in all. My permit application managed to work its way to the bottom of the pile, and I was unable to get a permit for the whole trip (some are calling this the “Wild” effect… the result of people watching Reese Witherspoon struggle with a mammoth pack and mammoth blisters up on the big screen. Gosh that looks like fun!).
However, I was able to work with a ranger to put together a five day backpacking trip in the northwest corner of the park, taking in one of the most scenic parts of the Wonderland trail, for mid-August. I’ll spend a few more days in the park afterwards, exploring some of the other highlights of the trail with the lightness of a day pack. I am very much looking forward to exploring this iconic national park, which I have not visited before.
My ultimate goal for the summer is to get into the best shape of my life. Being away from the cookie-monster which is my place of employment will help. And I have lots of time to work out and get into shape. JoAnn and I will be spending a few days in Mendocino in July, and we are taking Justine and her friend backpacking in Yosemite too.
Today was the first Sunday of my sabbatical. Truth be told, it felt a little odd. I slept in an hour later than usual (6:30!), enjoyed a leisurely coffee and breakfast, and went for a bike ride on the Delta. I even had a dream last night, that I snuck into the Cathedral in the morning, to spy on my substitute organist!
Now, this whole sabbatical thing may just seem a bit self-indulgent. But I do find myself needing a time away from church music… away from questions, and rehearsals, and meetings, to clear my mind, body, and soul. It is a time to re-create myself and rest, and to do some things I wouldn’t have the time to do in my normal schedule. And I have found with my previous sabbaticals, that I return in the Fall, refreshed and rejuvenated, with lots of energy and enthusiasm.
I want to thank the good people of Trinity Cathedral for giving me this opportunity every five years. It is great appreciated! And I am truly thankful for the wonderful celebration of my thirty years of ministry held a few weeks ago, and for the generosity of so many to make this a memorable sabbatical.
I look forward to being back with you all in September. We’ll have lots to do!
Last November marked thirty years since I played my first service at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Sacramento. The fact that I am still here after thirty years is certainly mind-boggling. At the time I thought, “I’ll put in a few years, and then move on to a church with a better budget, and a bigger pipe organ.” But, when one finds a good “fit,” it makes it difficult to move on. As I am turning sixty this year, I realized that I have spent half of my life here!
When I arrived at Trinity those many years ago, there was a small adult choir of about twelve members, and a small Children’s choir. Over the years the program has grown to include four singing choirs plus handbell ringers. We have had hundreds of people of wildly varying levels of ability sing in our choirs . We’ve had many wonderful highs, and struggled through the occasional lows as well.
I have been assisted in this wonderful journey by many talented people: singers, musicians, clergy, lay people, seminarians (including our outgoing Presiding Bishop!). Each has contributed something wonderful to this time at the Cathedral, and I have developed friendships which are supremely important to me. I am grateful for everyone’s patience as I tried new and unusual things… many of which have worked beyond our wildest imagination… and occasionally some things that just didn’t work at all. I am grateful to the musicians who have let me experiment with them, challenge them to do things that seemed beyond their capability, and put up with my weird sense of humor. And mostly I am thankful for everyone’s willingness to work so hard to bring music to life in our worship. It is truly an amazing thing to be able to make a living doing this work which I love.
One of the most exciting parts of our history, has been the opportunity to take the Cathedral Choir to England, to sing in the great Cathedrals on five different occasions. Daily Choral Evensong is one of the venerable music traditions in England, and their resident choirs usually take a couple of months off during the summer months, so invite visiting choirs to sing in their stead. The challenge of these tours is tremendous, and the choir has experienced wonderful growth in the process.
I was privileged to have my first sabbatical in the summer of 2004. Having decided to do something completely unrelated to my work, I had the opportunity to climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. I am looking forward to another sabbatical this summer… this time of rest and re-creation is vital to my ministry at the Cathedral. You’ll hear more details of my plans as we get closer to the time.
Finally, I am grateful for my wonderful family. They put up with a lot… weird hours, holidays spent away from them at work, and countless distractions. To my beautiful wife JoAnn, and lovely daughters, thank you. I love you more than you can know.
Please join me in a celebration of thirty years of music making on Friday, May 29th at 7:00 pm, at Trinity Cathedral, 2620 Capitol Avenue at 27th Street. There will be music, refreshments, and general merriment, and I would love it if you could come!
This past Sunday I finished my fifth year participating in NorCal AIDS Cycle. This year was a little different from past years. I had a work conflict for the first day of the ride, so participated as a “weekender,” joining the ride for the last two days.
As I was cleaning and lubing the bike for the ride early in the week, I noticed that the rear wheel had a pronounced wobble in it. So when I went into the bike shop to check in for the ride, I took the wheel in to have a mechanic straighten it out for me. Unfortunately, it was more than just a tweak… the rim of the wheel actually had a inch long crack in it right at one of the spokes! This was a bit of déja vu, as I blew the rim out on the same wheel just prior to NCAC in 2012 (it got replaced under warranty). Fortunately, I still had a high quality spare wheel from my previous mishap, and a quick return to the bike shop got everything back into order so that I could ride.
Thanks to fellow weekend rider Alicia and her lovely family, I was able to get a ride up to Williams on Friday afternoon. As we pulled into Williams High School, the school cheerleaders were out cheering the riders as they came in. Good fun! Friday night was taco night at dinner, so a win-win in my book. Friday evening’s program always includes a candlelight ceremony to acknowledge those whom we’ve lost to AIDS. I remembered especially Ken Piercy, in whose honor I ride.
Saturday morning was beautiful as we headed out for the days ride of 130 km, which took us through Cache Creek and Capay Valley to Woodland. This day is known as the “day of the hill,” for the seven mile climb up highway 20 in the first part of the day. It is also “red day,” where all of the riders wear red to remember those who have died, and some of the red outfits are pretty fanciful and sometimes downright whacky.
After a few flat miles heading west out of Williams, and quick pit stop, I started the climb up the hill. As I started to go up, I thought “this isn’t as hard as I remember.” I was surprised, considering my lack of training this spring. Then it occurred to me, that the reason it was so much easier, was that I hadn’t ridden 200 miles in the previous two days. I was starting to like this “weekender” thing! At the top of the climb is a really fun and fast descent into the turn to highway 16, which is the most scenic part of NCAC. After a quick lunch stop in the booming metropolis of Guinda, it was off to Woodland, and the finish to a great day on the bike.
After a yummy pasta dinner, and a speech loaded evening program (plus a surprise visit from the Prophet, Bob Dylan), it was off to bed, for our early start on Sunday morning.
Sunday morning is a relatively short 86 km ride from Woodland through Winters and Davis, to the west steps of the State Capitol. It was a perfect day for riding… not too windy, not too cold (or warm), and the miles breezed by. We had two short rest stops in Winters and Davis, before crossing the Tower Bridge and gathering at Crocker Park to begin our celebration.
After lots of photographs and tears and hugs, we lined up for the procession to the Capitol, escorted by Sacramento PD’s finest bicycle patrol officers. The first couple of years I rode to the Capitol at the end of NCAC were very emotional for me, but the last two years I’ve found myself strangely detached from it all, and expected that it might be the same this year. But as I rode in and saw the crowd, the tears came, and seeing JoAnn and Brenna in the crowd sealed the deal. We had a few words from West Sacramento mayor Chris Cabaldon, retired state senator Darrell Steinberg, and from John Reed and Emily Rymland from NCAC. Then it was time to go home for a hot shower, cold beer, and family.
So far for 2015 I have raised $7,450, which is a little short of my goal of raising eight-thousand dollars. The donation site will be open until June 15th, so there is plenty of time to get the contribution in, by clicking the link at the bottom.
Thank yous: First and foremost, I wish to thank all who were generous with their pocketbooks, and helped me to raise this money. It truly makes a difference to someone in our community. I also want to give a big thank you to my fellow riders and crew members… you are one of the big reasons I come back year after year. And I’d especially like to thank JoAnn and the rest of my family for their support in doing this for the last five years. I love you all so much.
Click here to help me make my goal: http://tinyurl.com/l6ezaq7
And click here for more photos!