Monday, May 31, 2010

Soldiers, Sinbad & Solitude

Memorial Day 2010
Day One Hiking the Sinbad Trail

Today-Memorial Day- is the first day of logging miles for Road Warriors 2010. Dave and I decided to start out close to home. The 9 mile Sinbad loop in Augustin Bernal Park is perhaps my favorite trail hike/run in Pleasanton as it is lined with wildflowers, ferns, bay laurel, views of the entire tri-valley and Mt Diablo. You run or hike uphill 1,200 feet all the way to the top of the ridge, but you are shaded much of the way with giant arching arms of oak trees and when you reach the bottom of Sinbad and cross the creek, you literally swim through trees drenched with mossy green dripping off lanky tree limbs. Walking here feels like living in the bayoo country of Louisiana.

Lots of mbikes today and I do like to mbike this trail too, but I realized when you whizz by too fast, you miss the absolute solitude that comes with just a footfall on the path vs the crunch of bike tires on rubble and dirt.

Today, I received another donation bringing me up to $250.00 for Wounded Warrior Project! This to me, is just incredible and I am so very thankful to my high school friends Susie and Jim Jaqua and Phil and Nancy Bement for catching the vision and caring as much as I do about supporting and remembering the sacrifice and service of our military men and women. You guys are truly awesome! I am very very grateful.

BTW, the flag pictured here belongs to my uncle, Gale Holbrook. It flies proudly 40 feet in the air in his backyard in Rapid City, South Dakota. He was stationed in China during WWII as a member of the Seabees.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Gotta say, there are a lot of big hearts for our troops out there. And two of them need a great big shout out. First, my very first donation for Wounded Warrior Project has come in from the BIG ISLAND in the name of Richard Mastronardo. Richard lives in a little piece of heaven on earth, overlooking the Pacific and Waipio Valley tucked into the sleepy north end of the BIG ISLAND. The first time Dave and I visited Richard's Cliff House Hawaii, we were hooked. Not just on the ridiculous views, the hike up the Z trail, and the friendly natives, but on Richard's warmth and generosity. Thanks Richard! You made my day and are helping our guys and gals heal and move back into civilian life successfully.

Anyone who wandered over to the Kick Off Event Booth on Sunday was met with RW 2010 info and charmed by a choice of hunky, homemade cookies to refuel themselves. Trader Joe's made those cookies possible by donating all the ingredients including crunchy almond butter, eggs, flour, dried blueberries, cherries and chocolate. We are very grateful to TJ's for their generous support and willing hand in making our Kick Off and future events VERY tempting and tasty indeed.

Monday, May 24, 2010


WOW...What a great day!

Under a big-blue-sunny sky, Pleasanton Ridge Park turned out to be the perfect location for Sunday's KICK OFF EVENT. Our umbrellas, banners, and offers of ice cold water and cookies announced something was up. So as hikers and mountain bikers spilled off the ridge and through the big green gates, they stopped by to find out....

"What are you guys doing here?"
"What's Road Warriors?"

Tom, an old friend from my days as a waitress at the HUNGRY HUNTER, stayed with me all day, passing out ice cold water and answers to hikers with dogs, dads with babies on backs and even a guy on a unicycle.

To all our wounded warriors and families out there, I wish you could have been with us to see the faces and hear the stories from your fellow countrymen when they learned how ROAD WARRIORS 2010 was an opportunity to do something big and tangible for you. Over and over they said things like,

"What a great idea!"
"I can do this."
"I can do more than a 100 miles!"
"I have a lot of active friends I can tell about this."
"Good on ya for doing this!"

One young vet I talked with insisted on giving a donation and refused to let me take his name to give him credit. He must have said at least five times,

"Thanks for doing this."

I'm not sure how many people will start their RW adventure by pinning their sponsorship form to a wall at work next to the picture of the female soldier who lost her leg in combat, as Tom suggested. BUT no matter how they decide to spread the word and start to collect sponsors, if they are as enthusiastic as they were at the KICK OFF, we are going to raise a ton of awareness, money and support for WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and FREEDOM ALLIANCE SCHOLARSHIP FUND.

Thank you
to everyone who said,
"Sign me up!"

Your whole hearted willingness
to to put in
100 miles for our incredible vets
is a great encouragement.

BTW...we had some surprise visitors to the info booth who wanted to do BIG things for the soldiers and ROAD WARRIORS in terms of gifts and prizes. Will keep you updated as these ideas turn into realities.

PS...jcnelson22...of course I know you..the warrior guy who chases down rattlesnakes and bobcats at Sycamore Grove Park. Thanks for hanging out with us for the Kick Off and for those 1,000 miles you're gonna do, dude. Bet I can beat you.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Just got an exciting "guess what?...guess what?...guess what???" email from the very first person to commit to being a part of ROAD WARRIORS 2010. And NOW she has another first...


BIG shout out to Patti Cowger for taking the time to send out 107 emails to friends today, inviting them to sponsor her run, walk, hike, bike efforts. Thanks to Patti and her sponsor! A generous $50.00 has been pledged to honor and help our vets.

Way to go Patti!
What a wonderful start for you,
and for our incredible military heroes.