Day Seven, Gila Bend to Casa Grande, AZ

Today was 67 miles of relatively flat ground. We were blessed today as we timed the storms perfectly other than some light sprinkles pretty much staying dry. We were told by others that went before us and came in after us that they got caught in heavy rains. We were supposed to do 85 miles and stay in another campground tonight but the campground was flooded out so we stayed in a hotel and cut the day to a 67 mile day. Perfect. They had to double us up at the Hotel so we shared the room with Lee and Vickie another tandem bike couple. Lee had taught me how to clean our bikes the night before so it was great to share the room with them. Turns out the room had two bedrooms so we really only had to take turns in the bathroom. We spent the evening in the hotel laundry washing and drying all of our bedding and clothing. It was great to have everything clean and dry.

Coming in the last 5 miles the roads were flooded and cars and trucks were driving through them spraying water ten to fifteen feet in spots. We found an ally way about a half block away that paralleled the road so we were able to avoid the worst of it. That and then riding up on the sidewalk kept us relatively dry. The best thing I did to the bike to prepare for the trip was to have a front fender installed. It has paid huge dividends with all this wet riding.

Day Six, Dateland to Gila Bend, AZ

Rained all night in Dateland making the campground into a literal lake. Luckily as long as no cars drove through the lake that was the road in front of our tent washing muddy water into it we stayed semi dry except when we had to wade through it to get to the bathroom and breakfast. Once out of camp and on the road it was 70 miles of fairly uneventful highway. Good weather not hot, breaks at good times, a few stops along the way to refuel. All was good.

The event of the day was in the evening at Gila Bend. We stayed in a nice updated KOA campground that was Shangra La compared to Dateland. After an hour cleaning the bike of all the mud and grunge we went to dinner. After Dinner during our meeting Richard showed up. What a welcome sight to see my favorite oldest brother. He asked what we needed so we gave him a list, mostly bike cleaning supplies, and he stayed and mingled with the folks we were riding with. It was great to see Richard as it always is.

The real event of this day was the night. We were in tents and the weather got intense. Thunder and lightning with heavy rain all night. We laughed at our predicament and held each other tight all night. I got up about 2 AM because I couldn’t hold it any longer if you know what I mean, there was a river running through our camp about 6 inches deep and fifteen feet wide two tents away that I had to wade through to get to the clubhouse bathroom. Some of the tents were moved and those people finished the night in the clubhouse. The water got about an inch high around our tent which had everything touching the floor wet. Storm was gone by morning thank goodness.

Introductions – Our Team

Introductions – Becky sharing that we are so excited to start this bucket list item!

Friday we arrived to check in at the beautiful Ocean Villa across the street from the Beach / Pacific Ocean! Meetings started at 12 and we enjoyed learning a lot from Bubba and the staff of what is to come. We all introduced ourselves! Such an incredible group … Let’s do this!

Steve introducing in his red/white stripe shirt that has been a part of his wardrobe for years and so many travels!! Its tradition that it goes now!

Meeting everyone was fun as we introduced ourselves. Luckily we all wear bright safety vests with our names on the front and back every day so names weren’t a problem. We quickly found out we were the rookies of the group. They all have been riding week long and month long rides some for decades. They have ridden across the country and europe. A whole new cycling world has opened up. We are collecting info and are excited to enter this world of cycling the world. Everyone was very nice and excited to meet each other.

Cultivate

Happy New Year! Time in St George always gives me such clarity. As I think about a word for 2020, CULTIVATE / CREATE keep coming to mind. Cultivate gratitude – cultivate connections – cultivate growth (personally, professionally), cultivate adventures – cultivate love, cultivate kindness … ❤️

What do you want to cultivate today?

In gratitude

Today we spent the day assembling furniture, organizing our additional office space, shopping, cleaning and getting Suite 6 of Resilient Solutions, Inc ready! After fourteen years, it is time once again to expand. I found myself reflecting on my conversation as an applicant for the MSW Program 15 years ago. He had indicated that he was concerned about my abilities to succeed in this profession. How did I think I could do that without vision – eye contact, etc. I was not accepted into the program. I was determined and sought out another master’s program/path that led me to become a Licensed Clinical Mental Health counselor and achieve my dream.

Now, 15 years later what I want to say to him is:

Dear (Director of SW Program),

As we are expanding our office, I have been reflecting on the day when you questioned my capabilities as a therapist. I want to say thank you. Your questioning my abilities led me to a stronger resolve and determination that I could do this work. I knew that you would not deter me from this dream. I recognized on that day that your lack of education of what a woman who is blind can do in this profession is unfounded. It was a strong resolve and determination that said on the bus ride home — I don’t need to believe him. (I still hoped that I would be accepted into the program yet wasn’t surprised when I wasn’t.)

However, that disappointment galvanized my determination to FIND A WAY to achieve my dreams. I pursued another pathway that led me to a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling and then to a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor.

For the past 14 years my private practice at Resilient Solutions, Inc has grown from me and another therapist to 16 therapists. Throughout the years, at times your voice has crept in my mind — yet there is a stronger voice that says – You CAN do this!

Thank you for helping me to build that stronger voice that says — YOU CAN DO THIS!! It will take a lot of work – you can do it. Believe in your dreams. A setback paves the way for a comeback (Evander Holyfield) is a quote I love. And another one that resonates: As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better. – Steve Maraboli

Thank you for helping me learn this lesson again. I recognize I am a passionate, grateful therapist because it didn’t come easy. I lean in and listen because you are correct I don’t make eye contact.

I walk inside the doors of our office grateful for the opportunity and privilege to work with clients and to see the power of healing in their lives.

I am full and not taking new clients at this time. My clients don’t seem to be concerned that I am blind. The conversation generally goes something like this — I am blind and that is my guide dog in the corner of the room. Now, tell me what brings you here today.

In gratitude,

Becky Andrews, LCMHC

Resilient Solutions, Inc.