Thursday, July 24, 2008

An Incredible New Host - Diamond Springs, CA (Day 60)

Today was finally the day we began our journey back down to that amazing thing we dream about called sea level. Other than two climbs, which were nearly nothing compared to all the climbing we’ve done through Nevada and into Lake Tahoe, it was so glorious and thrilling down hills for most of the day into Diamonds Springs.

The first highlight of the day was Echo Summit, at which we all tried to yell and hear an echo, but to no avail. We yelled enough to make an effective scene, though. As we descended, we saw countless burned out patches of trees, reminding us of the ever-present danger of forest fires in California.

We were excited to meet our hosts in Diamond Springs, anticipating our first real community dinner and interaction in well over a week. Our expectations, however, did nothing to prepare us for the overwhelming hospitality, generosity, and kindness that we found at the Solid Rock Faith Center in Diamond Springs.

In addition to an amazing dinner, the church, along with the gym that provided showers for us, donated $2000 to our cause, which is something well beyond what we expected. Again, our appreciation for this community cannot truly be expressed in words. Pastors Sue and Don Pritchard were incredible.

The community also organized home stays for us, and Ondrej, Rob and I had the pleasure of staying with Mary and Pat Frost at their beautiful home overlooking the California valley. They also provided more hospitality than we could thank them for, and shared the story of their son, a many-time Iron Man and tri-athlete.

Without hesitation, I personally would say Diamond Springs, even as a brand new host for the 4K, was one of the greatest days we have had all summer. Their generosity and understanding of our mission is immeasurable.


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