East Coast Bike Ride: Pedaling for Ghana
This last spring we went on a medical mission to Ghana through Ghana Make A Difference (We wrote about it here if you'd like to read about it). It really was amazing to see the life altering operations take place right before our eyes. A lot of people were able to get help, but the demand was still higher than we could have ever planned for. Some of those people that came in for help were assessed and given a spot for the next medical mission that Ghana Make A Difference is planning for 2018.
So, Ari and I started brainstorming of ways we could creatively raise money for the next medical mission; preferably while making it a family adventure at the same time. After some discussion, we decided that we were going to bike the East Coast and somehow incorporate a fundraiser during our ride at the same time. We would get donations and pledges from people for GMAD and then go bike. We thought it would be a cool way to spread awareness about GMAD and a way to incentivise people to donate. DoTERRA Healing Hands Foundation agreed to match everything we raised up to $10,000 as well. So we were stoked and knew it would work. (DoTERRA is matching everything until August 31st, so if you are interested in supporting this medical mission - click here OR if you are interested in going on GMAD's next medical mission - click here).
These pictures are of the sweetest couple who will be helped during the next medical mission. They were involved in an explosion due to a gas leak in their cooking stove. They both suffered serious injuries and burns, yet they remain so optimistic and grateful. We are excited for them to receive care.
Pictures by Cristi Dame from Weeds to Wishes.
We started and ended our trip in Chicago. Our general itinerary was this: Chicago - Buffalo, New York, - Rochester, New York - Portland, Maine - Boston - Cape Cod - Newport, RI - Long Island, NY - NYC - Philly - Lancaster, PA - Gettysburg - D.C. - Chicago. We hit up a lot of cool places seeing massive waterfalls, big cities, farmland, small towns, historical sites, etc. It was a very unique and packed trip.
We realized first off that we were going to have be very relaxed and easy going with this trip. When Addison wanted to stop and take a break from her bike trailer, we would do it! Haha Our plans needed to include enough time for the extra stops and the baby breaks; these moments ended up being as much fun as any other aspect of the ride. I actually prefer biking with a baby; anytime I get tired I call shamelessly for an “Addi break”. Addi in the bike trailer is the only thing preventing Arianne from biking me to death!
This trip is really so loaded. So we will just pick and choose some of our favorite rides to share.
Palmyra Farm Country. This ride was the most unique ride we did. There is something refreshing about farm country. We enjoyed the quiet roads and all the different barns and silos we passed. Ari finally agreed to let me build a silo in our yard. We biked right along the borders of the Sacred Grove, which was a cool experience for us.
Cape Cod Canal. This trail was lined with local fisherman. EVERYONE was fishing - it was just the thing to do. Their bikes were parked by the side of the canal all rigged up with baskets and fishing rod holders. There was just something pretty cool about it.
Cape Cod Rail Trail. Cape Cod did it again! This trail was a train track that was converted into a biking trail. We were constantly whizzing through some beautiful tree tunnels. I think this was Addison’s favorite ride as she really enjoyed the ice cream stop we made!
Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Lancaster exceeded all expectations. Probably one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been. We couldn’t get enough of the farm country. Not only was it so beautiful, but there was tons of AMAZING food. We went to the Amish market and there are SO many samples. We basically had lunch there. Haha Just kidding. But the salsas and the desserts were too good. And it was so fun racing Amish people in their horses and buggies!
Washington D.C. It was POURING rain, but we decided to go for it anyways. We cruised around all the sites. We went to the Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, the White House, and a few others. A LOT of history in just one ride!
Highlight : high·light ˈhīˌlīt/
an outstanding part of an event or period of time.
"he views his marriage with Arianne as the highlight of his life" or “he thinks Arianne’s air running was the highlight to his bike ride” or “watching Addison play with ice cubes was the highlight of his meal.”
Some of our top highlights:
We biked along the gorge of Niagara Falls. There is this good feeling that accompanies the beginning of every trip we have gone on. It’s that, “I’m doing it!” feeling, “we’re here!” feeling, that, “what am I doing in Buffalo, NY riding a tandem bike with our one year old child!?” feeling...
Sunset cruise in Portland, Maine. It was a really beautiful scenic boat ride through some of the islands off the coast of Maine. The three of us were just mesmerized by the pretty ocean landscapes and huge homes. While Addison snacked on crackers in her stroller, we sat there and enjoyed the views and the Maine vibes. Arianne has always wanted to visit Maine, and she was very content with the Maine experience that the boat provided. It was a very peaceful and romantic ride.
Our drive from Maine to Boston. We took a full day to drive down this portion of the East Coast. We stopped in New Hampshire and loved all the beach towns and beautiful homes.
Whale watching. Throughout my time knowing Arianne, I always knew that she liked whales. She mentioned it a few times, and I remembered, “Ari likes whales”. I just didn’t realize how much she liked whales! There were a few moments of our whale watching trip where I thought she was going to jump overboard. After the whale watching tour we enjoyed walking around Provincetown for a bit.
New York City - It really is what people make it out to be. We are fans of NYC.
Philadelphia. We walked everywhere in this city and saw all the sites. Eating a Philly cheese steak at Reading Terminal Market is a must! And of course, we also climbed the Rocky steps - even Addison made it to the top.
Our favorite reason to travel is because it gives us family time. Trips like this give me gratitude and humility that I am able to spend a lot of time with Arianne and Addison. Back home, I work a lot and even when I’m not working I feel like I’m recovering from work! So I just feel lucky to spend all the hours of my day with my family.