More than a decade ago, I had the privilege of accompanying my daughter, Rita, on a unique journey. She rode her bicycle or walked from the southernmost tip of Florida, all the way to Canada.
I was traveling with her as the driver of her support vehicle. The car carried her bike when she was walking (and mine – I explored Key West and a few other places with her), as well as our suitcases. During the drive, I always kept her in sight, for safety reasons.
Rita had planned her route carefully, aiming for the safest route to walk or bicycle. She located lots of churches and ministry venues along the way. It was my job to contact them, for two reasons: for places to stay overnight
; and places where Rita could perform.
We knew we didn’t have funds to stay in hotels, and camping would be too tedious: too much gear, too taxing, and not frequent enough locations.
We couldn’t plan more than three or four days in advance, because it was impossible to know how far she would be able to travel each day. That made it mandatory to continue making stopover arrangements as we traveled.
The venues that agreed to Rita’s performances had three choices. The first was a child-friendly drama; the second a general audience drama; and the third a vocal concert.
While I was making calls prior to beginning the trip, Rita prepared her performances. It wasn’t long before we had the first part of the trip planned, and the first location wanted us there quickly. So, we headed to Key West and started our journey. The journey took about two months, with a short respite during which we attended a family reunion.
Along the way, we met many interesting people, and became aware of several unusual ministries. We had opportunities that we would not have enjoyed any other way and felt privileged to partake in those experiences. There were many times we laughed at ourselves and our previous expectations.
We ended up becoming sick the last couple of days of the journey, but Rita soldiered on, and finished on schedule. We were disappointed, however, that we were not allowed to photograph Rita at the Canada border crossing, for security reasons.
Overall, though it was a tiring experience, it was also exhilarating and worth every bit of planning and anxiety. What a fun way to meet people and see the country!
Looking for more? Check out these other pieces by MockingOwl Roost contributors and staff.
- Positivity Corner: Walking Three Times Daily
- Self-Care for Chronic Illness
- Race You to the Finish: A Look at Virtual Races
Nancy was born in Montana, raised in Ohio, and moved to Florida about 25 years ago. Mother of Rita Mock-Pike and her two siblings. Nancy learned to make computers “dance” in the 1970s, before most people had computers in their homes. She’s had a lot of experience formatting magazines, flyers, etc. throughout her life. Her husband thought that anything could be done on a computer, so she figured out how to do it! Without his direction, much of what she has learned and accomplished would not have happened.