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.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 3: Folsom Prison Blues

After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, we moseyed onto the still surprisingly empty streets of Sacramento around 9:00. Did we miss the morning commute rush? Was today a city-wide holiday? Do people wake up very early or very late in Sacramento?

A bulk of our 67 total miles for the day was spent no the American River Trail, which predictably skirts the American River and conveniently scoots under the busier highways of Sacramento. It continued our privileged route barred from motorists (this ends soon enough, says Future Nate) and we had company in the form of fellow cyclists.

The first group of cyclists were quite serious: athletic folks in matching bibs and jerseys, riding nice bikes, and cruising along at a fast pace. We saw lots of these people and similar questions arose. If you're on your bike at 10:30 AM outside of Sacramento, does that mean you're a professional cyclist? Have a very lax job schedule? Either way, it was great seeing so many folks taking advantage of Sacramento's outdoor amenities.

A more direct form of company was a recently retired high school computer science teacher. He saw us pausing for some snacks and started chatting. Turns out he was on the way to talk to a geologist working on a local project to inquire about some land formations he was curious about. I suppose those are the perks of retired life? In his earlier life, he had also completed a 17,000 mile bike expedition, which appropriately put our trip in perspective. People do some cool things, it seems, is the early lesson of our trip. He volunteered to accompany us to Folsom (yes, Johnny Cash song, yes, we passed but did not see the prison) and we enjoyed the turns of the American River Trail with him, particularly because the turning made us feel like we were going faster than we actually were.

In Folsom we decided to push onward and began to climb the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. The hills proved to be a difficult test and we were fortunate to meet two wonderful folks just outside of Placerville, Jason and Courtney Jackson, who were our guardian angels for the evening. Courtney had just pulled into her driveway as we were taking a break. A conversation was struck up and Melina, our charming female spokesperson (Sean and I have quickly realized that we aren't too helpful in this area; Sean has tattoos and I am the average white male, embodied), accepted Courtney's generous offer to house us for the evening.

Courtney and Jason opened up their downstairs bedroom to us and treated us to a cold beer as we sat on their back patio and chatted. Jason is a home inspector who had been working on this house since he acquired it in 2003 and Courtney works in the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce. We got to learn just enough about El Dorado County to keep it in our minds as a place to spend more time around in the future. Along with the lodging and company, Courtney and Jason modestly claimed they would put together an impromptu dinner, which turned out to be a feast of burgers, veggies, and fruit that absolutely filled us up for the coming day. Many thanks to them for their generous hospitality and we'll be sure to pass on their address to subsequent groups, whom they also offered to host.

Safe travels,

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