This year was the 6th year for The Challenge to Conquer Cancer and it was my 3rd. This year was quite different than the others because instead of going to Austin, Texas, we made our way up north to Lewiston, Maine. Things had changed with the warrior walk in Austin which is something that is so very important to the C3 group and for all those involved or that have donated. The warrior walk is incredibly special to many and is the perfect way to end a very intense and challenging week of riding. So the new destination was Lewiston, Maine for the Dempsey Challenge. Sounds like an easy switch huh? This ride truly was a challenge yet so very rewarding and beautiful. For us to make it in time for the Dempsey Challenge, we had to leave a day and a half earlier. The ride was filled with climbs and detours. The detours were primarily due to the government shutdown and certain roads were either closed or only for limited use. There were also many facilities that were not open and quite a few government employees out there working without pay.
Our first day on the road was rather difficult. There were so many climbs and everyone was supercharged to attack them which left quite a few feeling the burn. When our first day started at 9am and ended at 3:30am, it goes without saying that we were fried. The 7am wakeup call came really fast BUT everyone was back in the spirit and ready to tackle the day with positive energy. This left a few of us saying “Starbucks…where ARE you??”. Days went on, sunrises and sunsets came and went, the views were gorgeous and the C3 spirit was evident. Toward the end of the ride, the things we laughed at made no sense, we realized which cell phone provider was the best and the phrase “WOW that view is amazing!” must have been said a thousand times. As bodies tired it was clear why we were all out there…we were there because we are ALL fighting to conquer cancer. It’s that simple.
Crossing the Maine state line was exhilarating and we had to stop and take a photo. When we pulled over, a woman stopped and asked one of us to come to her car. It was apparent that she had been crying. She just wanted to thank us for what we were doing and wanted to make a donation. She then said “I just found out one hour ago that my mom has stage 3 breast cancer and I am on my way to see her”. I cannot type this without having tears form. What we were doing meant so much to her and THAT is what this is about.
All of us had made it into Maine and our journey was coming close to an end. Before we headed into Lewiston, we had to stop and eat. Our group pretty much took over Kathy’s Diner! haha. When it was time to go we gathered for a group photo and made our way into Lewiston. The employees of the Dempsey Center were beyond welcoming!! They made us all feel like we were on top of the world. Their cheers and excitement were real and so very encouraging.
These next photos show just a handful of the views that were seen along the way.
One of the highlights for many was seeing and/or meeting Patrick Dempsey. Yes…Mr. McDreamy! For Patrick and all of the Dempsey Challenge crew to stop and take time to acknowledge the C3 team means a lot.
Year 6 is now behind us and we are ready for next year’s challenge!! Thank you to all of those that donated and for those that donated for a photo session. I am very excited to work with you and your families very soon! If you have time, please grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the slideshow. If you want to know more about The Challenge to Conquer Cancer or are interested in riding, please check out our website HERE.