July 15th 2010, Mountpellier, VA - Chickahominy River

Day 50

We woke up in the house of Fiji brother, Oz, and got ready for our second to last day of riding.  We enjoyed some bagels and also some leftover apple cobbler from the Dutch Oven.  Breakfast of Champions.

We began our ride where we had left off the day before.  We were on a little more of a tight schedule because we had to be at the Dominion Energy headquarters by 1030 in Richmond, VA for the event they were hosting for us.  We rode through the suburbs and downtown of Richmond where we rode past Virginia Commonwealth University.  I enjoy seeing the different campuses we pass along the way.

We arrived to Dominion Energy and we were welcomed by our friends David and Mark and the president of the Richmond Alzheimer’s Association chapter.  We took some photos and then we went inside to cool off for a bit.  When the event started we rode our bikes onto the stage where the employees of Dominion welcomed us.  The Vice President of the company offered a wonderful congratulations speech and made the whole crowd laugh with his stories of his mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s.  Dominion presented Fijis Across America with $1,000 and we were very honored.  It gives me hope in corporate America to see a big corporation take the time to host an event for us and donate toward our cause. 

We rode the last 40 miles into our campsite on the Chickahominy River.  Dana Hesse was there to meet us and was treating us to one dinner at the home of his family friends, Barbara and Mike Stripling.  We were also met by Virginia Tech grad brother, Sean, who now lives in Virginia Beach.  After we showered, we drove up the rode to enjoy some barbecue and cedar plank salmon at the couples home.  Barbara and Mike were so hospitable and very pleasant to be around.  We listened to their stories and enjoyed the several talents they possessed with Barbara’s photography and Mike’s painting and wood carvings.  They inspired me to pursue your passion and share your blessings with others.  They were very generous to have us in their home and entertain us with their amazing stories.

We returned to the campsite and enjoyed our final night together.  Justin started a campfire for us and we pulled our Wade’s guitar.  Dana and Sean stuck around for the music and we all gathered around for one last night of “broing” out and doing some picking and singing.  I opened the night with a couple original songs such as “My schedule is open” and “Pensacola” (despite what Cameron might tell you) and then Wade, the real guitarist, took over.  We listened to some picking, joined in on some of our favorites (Free Fallin, Folsom Prison Blues, Walking in Memphis, Etc.) and even Cameron got his wish of singing “Snake Farm” while Jordan picked on the guitar.  It was the perfect last night as we camped out and enjoyed the guys we had gone through so many trials with the past summer. 

As I hopped into my hammock to call it a night I thought of the great journey we had accomplished.  Crossing the Mohave Desert, climbing over the Continental Divide, and surviving the Appalachian Mountains, I had gone through some of my toughest challenges with these other men.  But, I know these are some of the best men I have known and I am proud to have made the trek across the country with them.  We have one more day to soak up the joy of this challenge and one more day to soak in the lessons God offers us through this journey.

In His Adventure,

Chaz Vittitow