My journey

I can remember the first time I went home to Cherokee, North Carolina. It was an awesome trip and an unforgettable experience for me. I remember seeing the Smoky Mountains for the first time and in the moment I just stood there in awe. I have made the journey back to Cherokee many times. I was trying to count and I believe that this is number seven for me. Every time I get to go to Cherokee I have an awesome time. I have had the opportunity to attend their festival in October and experience the hills in the summer. Three of my trips to Cherokee have been to retrace the Trail of Tears. Those times I was with a large group of people on a travel bus and we toured starting in North Carolina. On this seventh trip of mine to Cherokee I will be undertaking a challenge like no other I have ever faced. On this journey to retrace Cherokee footsteps I will be on a Specialized road bike for 950 miles on the northern route of the trail. I was selected with 13 others to ride on the Remember the Removal bike ride from Cherokee Nation. We will also be joined by 7 riders from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians when we get to North Carolina. Yesterday we all gathered at the W.W. Keeler complex to say farewell to Oklahoma and all our loved ones. There was a send off ceremony for the riders in which we were introduced, given advice, and had the opportunity to meet the Eastern Band riders for the first time through video conference. Both the Cheif and the Deputy Cheif were in attendance and wished us well. Cheif Hicks from the Eastern Band also joined through the video conference and gave a very moving speech about family and what this ride means. The riders were privileged to hear from some previous riders including Todd Enlow. I use to work with Todd in Leadership services and I must say I am sad he is not on this trip. Saying goodbye was bitter sweet. I know that I have so many people praying and supporting me as i begin this endeavor. I will miss all my friends and family very much. At the send off some awesome people came to wish me well. Ryan, Sara, and Reuel all came to see me off and seeing each one of them made my heart smile. they are some of the most awesome people I know and they have always been there to support me no matter what I do. Pam was there to see Clay off. I am going to miss that sweet lady. She has always been there to encourage me along my journey to the ride. Tony came with my parents and it was nice to have my big brother there. Saying goodbye to my parents was hard. They say I’ll come back a changed person and I don’t know who that will be, but I am eager to find out…

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2 thoughts on “My journey

  1. I know that you are feeling intimidated by the ride. Your success on the ride will come from deep within you. Reach in…find strength…and you will succeed.

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