To date we have travelled 3200 miles, not including our excursions all over a few states off the route. We are in Virginia, which is the last of nine states to cross.

I started a blog last week and in it I was to put all the epiphanies of the moment, and since I put that document on the virtual shelf, to be completed later, I came to realize that what worked one day is not the answer to this day’s happiness. I had convictions about diet, people, training, perseverance and the list goes on. I didn’t eat sugar, thought sugar was the answer, and swore off it again. I crammed in greens and protein for health and then decided potatoes and bananas where the magic. I thank deeply Navitas Naturals for sending replenishments of energy foods that are whole and good. It helps me physically, mentally and in my spirit to eat their product.

On the morning of July fourteenth, I received the sad news of my uncle Phillip’s passing. As a heart fueled rider, it became difficult to muster the mojo and soldier on. I dragged for a few days and then I became ill. We had a goal for that day as well as the need to be close to the Louisville airport to pick up my friend. As I climbed into the RV and announced to the boys I was unable to ride, Spencer asked if he could ride for me. Until that moment I had the idea that I MUST complete all 3400 miles myself. Wherever I stopped, they placed me back on the road in that spot the next day. This is how we painstakingly have made it over 3000 of those miles. The boys have risen, cleaned, cooked, navigated, waited, waited, waited… fed, watered, hugged and in general, they have been the pillars that made this ride even possible for me to do.

One son has a love he left to have this experience. A lot of the interactions between he and myself remind me of the ones between my parents, specifically, my mom and I last year. I moved there to take care of her and was to do so under her roof with her lifestyle choices and rules to live with. Not necessarily to live by, but in the same home it is difficult to leave unaffected. One thing, for example, was the all day watching of the news. I not only don’t watch the news, but I do not watch TV, so this is a toughie to ignore, therefore it challenged my peace. I only give this example to share how I can relate to my sons. We all three have been our own bosses and we all think we are.

So, when Spencer asked if he could ride for me, I considered a few things. On my mind, was a concept recently shared by my teacher, from Wokini, A Lakota Journey to Happiness and Self Understanding by Nicholas Sparks. I have not read the whole book, but the message I was impressed with is that we live each day knowing it is our last. We know we will pass in the night a quiet peaceful passing and this day is our blessing. We all know that a recent death of a loved one can bring this notion up in our minds. So it was. I looked in my mind at the faces of my sons over the past few days. I had not seen their bright smiles in a while. I thought to myself that when I passed in the night, this was not how I wanted to remember their faces. This was not the tone I would leave to our relationship. This journey cannot be all about me.

We have had incredible success in contacts all over the country for new chapters of Hairdressers with Heart, so it is about that. I shared with a friend and I will say it here more politely, today’s happiness is not worth giving up for tomorrows bragging rights. So, I said yes. He asked again and wanted confirmation that when he rode I was not going to want to be placed back on the road where he left off. Nope. He smiled. Are you sure? Yep. And so that is how that day went. First Spencer and then Blake rode their hearts out several miles down the road. The good news is I did not total the maps in advance so my estimation of 3400 miles was wrong. It will be a total of 3700 miles ridden by the time we reach the shore in Virginia. Some people have exclaimed their discomfort over not knowing “the plan”. I wanted it this way. I needed an adventure and each day felt like one. I did not study the maps or communities we entered. I just took in what I saw and experienced it as it came. I can tell you Virginia is measuring very high… very high on the desirability scale. The last few miles of Kentucky were pleasurable as well.

We went back to tag team riding. The day before I entered Virginia, we shared the ride. During Blake’s turn, in his excitement to get the heck away from all things RV and family, he took off without viewing the maps. One of the turns was not signed and, you guessed it, he went miles in the wrong direction. Without his phone or a map, he stopped at a little pizza joint. The two ladies there took great care of him. By the time we arrived, he had eaten a whole pie and made two friends. The next day I rode across the border and perhaps it is me, but everyone was over the top friendly. One guy gave us ice cream and invited us in to his shop, another storeowner told Spencer to grab a drink. Spencer was waiting for us and we passed him. Not having money he declined, but the man insisted saying it was on him.

One more week and we will be at the coast. Then I will rest for a week at Virginia Beach while the boys start their trip home. My oldest girl Juliet will join me. We are going to road trip it to Chicago. A new Style Hero waits there. She is interested in starting a chapter there. Then on to some monuments, family and a girlfriend road trip on the west coast. Thank you so much for your encouragement, notes, likes and support.

Please leave a comment and let me know you read this blog. Your energy really helps a lot! I am propelled by love and good wishes. I wish the same for you.

I am riding across the country to bring awareness to Hairdressers with Heart. We are a network of hairstylists known as Style Heroes, who provide pro bono services to patients with cancer experiencing hair related side effects from treatment. We are currently in need of volunteers to help facilitate the growth of our organization. To volunteer you need no particular ability, just time, energy and love. To further our reach and fund a wig or this ride please donate.

17 replies
  1. Tracey Woodward says:

    Nina, your adventure has been my adventure too! Thank you for sharing your experience with such honesty. Looking forward to seeing you in that caban!
    Much love to you all!!

  2. Chris Eddy says:

    Awesome. Reaching a goal such as this raises awareness to others goals they have left behind. You have no doubt inspired many and helped lots. Having family time that you have is a miracle in itself. You are blessed with a happy courageous God given golden thread.
    Hope to see you when you return to the west coast Conradulations Chris Eddy

    • Nina says:

      That is my hope Chris. I could not have done it without your encouragement and riding company early, early on in the trip. It seems like a lifetime ago we were climbing the Sierras. See you in a month!

  3. Anonymous says:

    You are doing so amazing!!! continue to ride safe and you will complete this with lots of style!!! Great job Nina and what an experience to share with your boys! This is a once in a lifetime trip for very few!!!

  4. Danica and Nathan says:

    We enjoyed catching up on your adventures and enjoyed hearing your thoughts. We love the three of you and are very proud of your endurance and strength.

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  5. Julie Fritz says:

    Nina, as I read this, I really am honored to call you my friend. I think you are an amazing woman. You have set out on, not only an adventure, but such an important quest- to find other amazing men and women who will take care of those who need comfort and care. I love you, Nicole and NH2…the generosity and willingness to share your love. I think TODAY is the last day of your ride. ENJOY those last few moments. YOU are a HERO.

  6. Smook says:

    It was a pleasure meeting you guys today in Victoria’s Secret! Made my day! Hope you found a swim suit you were looking for! Good luck with everything and I will be sure to share your amazing organization with everyone I know !


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