As America’s Perimeter Tour – ”To The Ends Of America To End Cancer” rolls along the last thousand or so miles, Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider wishes to dedicate today’s ride through Glacier National Park to Mission Control, whose beauty rivals even that of the most gorgeous scenery America has to offer.
I met my wonderful wife about 40 years ago at Freshman orientation, Washington State University. Her long red hair, gorgeous smile, and eyes that lit up like 4th of July sparklers literally entranced me. It was love at first sight, and we spent the next several years working out the details.
We both became police officers after we married. Leanne was truly a pioneer as one of the first females on patrol and had to alter men’s uniforms to wear. Try that with a bullet proof vest! All the while Yours Truly was working graveyards pushing a squad car around, pretty much all full of myself. Eventually we both became Sergeants. She earned the respect of all she worked with, Yours Truly included. Just call Seattle PD today and mention her name. She is missed big time and is known as “one of the good ones”.
I ended up working motors for 27 of my 35 year law enforcement career. Now let me tell you what that means. There Yours Truly was, chasing a speeder down a huge 7 lane arterial in South Seattle, when the proverbial little old lady coming in the opposite direction makes a left from the curb lane, right in front of me. I performed all of the magic I could muster, and damn near missed her. Until she stopped. After many surgeries over the next 18 months I was back on the bike.
I tell that story not to talk about me, but to tell you about Leanne. She ran code to the hospital to be at my side. She had been told I was in critical condition. When she arrived our Chief Of Police told her that he would have me quit riding and give me a car. I had regained consciousness and agreed. I had put her through enough. This was not my first crash, but it was by far the worst. Leanne got that look on her face that only she can, and tells us both that not until I’m well, and back in the saddle, will anyone even discuss me giving up bikes. From the look on the Chief’s face, I guess she gave us both the what-for!
To this day riding is my passion and Leanne has forgiven, consoled, and nurtured me in it. And now, as Cancer Ride America winds down, I look back and pray that together, Leanne and me, made a difference, no matter how small.
As Yours Truly writes this I’ve been on the road almost three months. Upon my arrival in Yakima on 8-26 it will have been 89 days. What wife would allow that, much less encourage me in fulfilling my dream, and honoring those fallen, fighting, and those who have beaten cancer? Think about that!
America’s Perimeter Tour has been exciting, wonderful, scary at times, wet at times, hot, cold, dangerous….you name it. And Leanne has been there for me every moment of every day, every step of the way. “Mission Control” really does describe her job for Cancer Ride America. She finds campgrounds and hotels, manages the contribution efforts, handles all of the Face Book and CancerRideAmerica.org work, posts all of the photographs you see every day, handles the phone and email inquiries, Etc., Etc., Etc. Leanne, my dear friends, is truly the unsung heroine of this amazing effort. All I had to do was get on my trusty ‘Wing and ride each day, and write about the wonderful people and adventures that came my way.
Dedicating this day to my wonderful, beautiful wife seems a small pittance. None-the-less, for Leanne I