March 4th, 2010
The 4K recently held our annual check presentation at the Hope Lodge, symbolizing yet another closing chapter of the 2009 team –the epilogue, if you will. While this was technically the last event for the 2009 riders, the torch was passed to the fresh and eager 2010 team who were thrilled to finally experience, in many ways, our home away from home. Whether viewed as the closing of 2009 or the kickoff for 2010, it was classic 4K: telling stories, learning about the residents, and sharing a great meal. For the alumni, it was old friends reconnecting and trying to convey the experience of an outrageous, borderline insane, and seemingly implausible trek. Everyone could tell the summer had changed us. While thinking of the mountains, desert, headwinds, and hail, spending time with our Hope Lodge family reminded us of our inspiration to push through the difficult stretches and our reasons for joining the team in the first place.
While some alumni sported lingering tan-lines, the new riders listened intently, attempting to comprehend the magnitude of the 4K experience. This juxtaposition of the past and the future riders was certainly amusing for the residents and caregivers, who were thrilled to have such a diverse turnout. Luckily we also had the chance to meet a handful of residents still in their first week at the Hope Lodge, who were pretty surprised when they learned of our route. The infamous Karen Seaberry (Hope Lodge Manager) and Kira Eyring (American Cancer Society representative) also gave some kind remarks about the 4K and our mission.
The underlying theme of the evening characterized how the Hope Lode and the 4K are fundamentally interwoven, indicative of how such an eclectic group instantly feels like a family. While the alumni were applauded for the summer efforts, the residents and caregivers were truly the heroes of the day. We always hope they understand that. Without them and events at the Hope Lodge, the 4K wouldn’t exist as it does today. Even though the 4K was thanked graciously for the support, we are equally grateful to be a part of the Hope Lodge and look forward to our next visit.