Dateline Minot North Dakota: There Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider was, riding down Broadway in beautiful downtown Minot (?) and passing by the lovely Minot International Airport. I was killing time because Mission Control had put me up in a very nice hotel today and check in was a few hours away. Apparently she decided I finally needed a shower and a real bed. Hmmmm, I wonder who called her from that last campground? Maybe Kim??
Anyway, I’ve always enjoyed air flight and so stopped to watch the jet (yes, there was only one) land. Then I parked outside to see if just perhaps there might be more than one flight per day into Minot, North Dakota. As I’m sitting there on my ‘Wing, here comes this lovely gal out of a terminal door. Being a red blooded American male, on the road from almost three months, she captures my attention. (Oh please, tell me you wouldn’t notice…..) Suddenly I hear “DEAN!!!!” and she runs over, gives me a great big hug, and a kiss. I blush, cannot resist, and take her back to my hotel room. Sorry honey, it’s been a very long summer.
Yup, my mom, AKA Shirley Leslie of Wenatchee (who is a cancer survivor herself), joined me today and will ride with me for the remainder of Cancer Ride America. Mom is a case in point about how you are only as old as you feel. She’s 76. Her and my father rode a bike for several years as very much younger folks, and she has not ridden for years. In fact we got to talking and decided that the last time she sat on two wheels was about 15 years ago when Leanne and I took mom and Leanne’s mom Daisie to Maui. A little known fact is that my wife loves to fish and so did her mother. So they took a fishing charter, and my mom and I rented a bike and spent the day riding around the island. My mom apparently enjoyed that, because today I took this picture as we rode across Montana and she had the same grin back then.
Mom was very young when I was born, and as I like to say, “We grew up together”. We are like best friends and we enjoy being together immensely. I shall truly enjoy having her along as I complete this awesome effort.
And so today I dedicate America’s Perimeter Tour, “To The Ends Of America To End Cancer” to my mom, Shirley Leslie and to my dad, Peter Leslie. For without Peter, yours truly would not have taken this ride. Mom and Dad have been supporters extraordinaire throughout the summer and long before I left. Dad sending Mom on this ride really helps me to finish out the last week. He “gets it”. It has indeed been a long summer.
And besides, on her first day in over 15 years on a bike she hung in and we rode damn near 400 miles….and across Montana no less. This was the “pretty” scenery!
Yup, the old broad still has it! (Don’t tell her I said that, OK??!!)
I love you mom and dad.