October 15, 2001

10/15/01 Denton, TX

94 / 9720 miles

It didn't surprise me that I was welcomed by only two people, Dr Claire Sahlin (head of the Women's Studies dept) and Brok (a Women's Studies graduate student). Institutional Development thought it would detract from the celebration and bike rally to be held in a few weeks if people knew I had already finished. Dr Sahlin chanced Institutional Development's displeasure and had an impromptu celebration in the Women's Studies department offices. I was welcomed by a group of department students and staff, complete with flowers, cookies and punch. It was nice to be done and 'really' finished. The Women's Studies department has, first and foremost, been my most ardent supporters, especially Dr Brenda Phillips and Dr Sahlin. I will always be indebted to both Brenda and Claire. My cousin, Nancy Johnson-Coyle, is blessed because of women like these to keep her memory alive in the Women's Studies Department at Texas Woman's University.

'Chair' tree as I entered Denton

It was wonderful to be around people who not only knew me, but also believed in this whole crazy bike trip. Patricia, the 2001 Nancy Johnson-Coyle Endowment recipient, even attempted to ride my bike pulling the trailer in the parking lot. As it got dark, I finally had to say my goodbyes and ride across town to Allan & Dale's home, my cousins and Nancy's brother. What would I do without my family.

I MADE IT! 9720 MILES!

Over the next couple of days I did as little as possible, watching a lot of TV and surfing the net. Dale is a wonderful cook and she made a good attempt on putting a few more pounds back on these bones. I felt at home, really home. I visited with the rest of my extended family here in Denton, including my Aunt Virgini, Nancy's mom. Finally, it was time to head back home, getting a ride to Dallas with Doug, Nancy's husband. In a few short hours, back to where I had started oh so long ago, Kansas City.

Besides catching up on my correspondence, I was planning a return trip to Denton on 11/3/01 to participate in the Show Me America! Bike Rally, being put on by Institutional Developement at TWU and the Denton Parks & Rec Department. Hopefully, mom will be able to come with me to help me celebrate my finish.