by | Jul 20, 2014 | This Lefe Family

Our first day of RAGBRAI consisted of arriving in the overnight town of Okoboji.

No biking today, unlike the other 10,000+ bikers. We arrived ready to go. They did not. They looked how I might feel tomorrow at this time.

We are choosing to relax tonight before starting out tomorrow. A nice dinner of cheese, crackers, dip and a turkey sandwich. Saving our calories for pie the rest of the week! 🙂


We have the luxury of a hotel room tonight. (Thanks to some great friends!) The rest of the week we’ll be “roughing it” in our tent.

Our kids left a few hours ago to return home. I had a meltdown, complete with tears and questioning why I’m doing this crazy thing. Bill’s hug and encouragement reminded me why.

For him.


But I will miss those two who I’m blessed to be a mother to.

So, we’re calling it a night, and we’ll be up before the sun, ready for our first day of biking. Together.

Look for the “Road Hogs” if you’re near the route. We’ll be the only ones on a tandem!


Goodnight from Okoboji!

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  1. Jennifer Stallman

    So proud of you for going out of your comfort zone!! You will do awesome tomorrow! Go #17! 😉

    • Julie

      Jennifer, you have no idea how I needed your words tonight! Your “#17” comment brought a HUGE smile to my face! Thank you! I’m going to remember that the rest of the week. Hugs to you, dear friend!

  2. patti seda


    I’m not going to sugar-coat this; this will be a mentally and physically tough week. It will be hot and probably humid. You’ll question yourself again and again, and, if you’re like I was, you may shed a few more tears before this is over.

    But, stick with it. Keep your eye and mind on the prize; the sense of accomplishment you will feel will you dip your tire in the Mississippi. Enjoy the landscape, the wonderfully/terrible-for-you food and the incredible people you will meet along the way. And, when it’s done, this will be a badge of honor you’ll have for the rest of our life – no one can take it away from you. In future years when people talk about RAGBRAI, you can say, “yep, I did that”. And after a few years you will reflect fondly on this experience (it’s a bit like child birth – over time you forget the pain and only remember the good parts).
    So, enjoy the ride. And if you see my daughter, Stephanie, please tell her hello, and give her a little slap on the back (she’s with Team Slappy) and tell her “good game” for me:)

    • Julie

      Thanks, Patti! I’ll keep your words in my mind all week. Looking forward to this adventure! Glad Bill will be with me every step (or peddle) along the way! I’ll look for Stephanie! Hugs!

  3. Janel

    Hello Dear Julie
    Tomorrow you will step into this. It will probably be different then you imagined, but in a growing way that you didn’t see coming. Love that you and your hubby are heading out on this. praying as you step into the journey. Be blessed and keep safe dear sister.

    • Julie

      Janel, thank you so much for these words. I read them last Monday, but didn’t have the time to respond. You’re right… it was different than I imagined. God used this experience to grow me, to change me and to give me a different perspective on so many things! We appreciated your prayers more than you know. It was if we could almost feel them! Blessings to you, dear sister!!

  4. Beth (@SimplyBeth3)

    Praying for you and cheering you both on from Chicago. Much love. xoxo

    • Julie

      Beth, thank you so much for your prayers and cheers. They meant more to us than you’ll ever know. There were moments where we could almost feel the prayers. Praying all is well with you!


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