About Lea's Foundation

In 1998, Lea Michele Economos, a young woman who died of leukemia at the age of 28, made a dying wish to her parents that others would not face the hardships she encountered by finding a cure for this disease. Her family started this charity to carry on that wish. Today, Lea’s Foundation takes an active role in finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and myeloma and to better the lives of people living with these diseases. At the UCONN Health Center, the Lea’s Foundation Center for Hematologic Disorders sponsors research in this field. A new program covers the cost of bone-marrow testing to help recruit life-saving transplants for patients. Also, annual scholarships are given to children with leukemia who are planning to attend nursery school. For more information on other projects carried out by Lea’s Foundation, please visit their website at www.LeasFoundation.org.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Day 31: Hitting the Dusty Trail (Harrisonville, MO to California, MO - 108 miles)

Today was a great day for riding, which was much needed after yesterday's test of resilience, to put it nicely. We were met with a cool morning, right as the sun was rising. The first part of the day was filled with short, steep rolling hills, but the wind stayed in bed today so we enjoyed the morning. As we made our way through the back roads of Missouri, the landscape looked a lot like that of the small towns in Connecticut- a pleasant reminder of our destination.

While looking for the most direct way to California (the town), Google Maps failed to indicate that one of our roads was unpaved. It was only 3.7 miles, and the alternative route would be at least 3x longer, so we decided to test our bikes's off-roading skills. They held up nicely, and the soft gravel was actually a nice change for 15 minutes or so. After a little while back on the pavement, we arrived at the Katy Trail, which we had been looking forward to since entering Missouri. The Katy Trail follows an old railroad bed, so it's relatively flat and goes along a route all the way to St. Louis. The limestone made for some dusty yet overall smooth riding, which was a little slower than the roads but much, much more relaxing.

We departed from the trail after about 11 miles to cut out some of its less direct sections, but we'll be riding on it for a good deal of tomorrow and Monday's trek. As our miles accumulated and our destination approached, we contemplated our lunch/dinner choice. We rode through the day with our usual peanut butter/granola/trail mix/tortilla creations, but our tired bodies craved some real food. I spotted a buffet sign in the center of town, so naturally our bikes shifted into autopilot and maneuvered their way into the parking lot. The Burgher Haus generously (or foolishly) offered us their buffet for only $5 per person. The spread was great- full salad bar, ribs, brisket, chicken, all the fixings, and my personal favorite- bread pudding! Now that we're on day #3 in a row of buffets, we're getting better at controlling our impulses to eat until we can't move. Just kidding.

We rolled our bikes to the grocery store (very, very slowly) to pick up our food for breakfast and the ride tomorrow. On the way there, we spotted a dead armadillo in the parking lot. Since neither of us has ever seen an armadillo in person, we had to stop.

With our bikes stocked with groceries, we rolled (again, very slowly) to the local motel, where the owner cut us a deal. We're now laying in our beds, watching the George Zimmerman trial commentary. Will the jury decide on a verdict tonight??

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