Hopkins 4K for Cancer

The mission of Hopkins 4K for Cancer is to unite communities across the country in the fight against cancer by spreading awareness, raising funds, and fostering hope.


July 24, 2007

by Nicole Errett
When we tell most people what we are doing, after marveling over our intentions, they are astounded that we will get to experience the country so first hand. As we are biking, it seems that our exhaustion and the monotony of pedaling often cloud the amazing opportunity in front of us. On our days off, we get to sleep in a little and enjoy what we see for what it is. It is no longer an obstacle that we must get though, but instead it is what it is Ė and that is beautiful. Today we had the wonderful opportunity to explore Yosemite National Park. Lee Vining sits at the gate of Yosemite and getting to the good hiking spots such as Half Dome and Yosemite Falls takes approximately two hours. A car of avid hikers and outdoors-4K-men set out bright and early to hike up Half Dome. They dragged poor Katherine along who would have preferred not to attend. They hiked all day up hill and almost made it to the top. There is a ladder close to the top that hangs from the side of the mountain because it is too steep to climb. As the group approached the ladder, lightening struck the top. Given the opportunity, the group would have successfully completed the strenuous hike (even after biking about 3,500 miles) so congratulations to them! My group left a little later from Lee Vining and chose to do a much less strenuous hike up Yosemite Falls. It is about a three mile uphill hike. I am not too much of a hiker (or a biker, for that matter) and couldnít believe that I had only gone one mile when I reached a giant rock. Lauren and I decided to head down since it was getting cloudy out and proceeded to the lodge for some hot coffee. Peter and Michelle continued up the falls and called us when they were at the top. We told them that we had already made it there and had headed down and must have bypassed them somehow! They played along and pretended to believe us as we sipped on our hot beverages. Yosemite was a beautiful park with trees that are taller than I could have ever imagined. The falls had dried up for the summer (since they are composed primarily of melt water) but were still beautiful. Itís amazing how much more you can appreciate things when you arenít exhausted!
When we arrived back at the church, we were given a wonderful dinner. You would think that the awesome guacamole and homemade salsa was the best part, but that was nothing compared to the wonderful people that we met. This is our first time staying in Lee Vining and we hope it wonít be the last. I met a woman who survived cancer, but her husbandís first wife was not so luckily. Despite hardships, hope prevails.
As many of you may have heard (and to the dismay of myself and others), my bike was run over by the support van two days ago. I cannot ride for the remainder of the summer, but tomorrow the team will be climbing a Tioga Pass, a mountain. I will be waking up early and leaving two hours before the team to climb the mountain by foot. I will be doing my climb not only for the inspiring people that I met in Lee Vining, but also for a girl that I met at the Baltimore Hope Lodge last year. Her name was Belinda. Belinda was only a few years older than us and she lived at the Hope Lodge with her parents. She was there constantly, always with a smile on her face. I had not heard Belinda speak until the day of the Hopkins 4K room dedication ceremony at the Hope Lodge. There she read a poem about her wonderful experiences at the Hope Lodge, despite her debilitating disease. One of the wonderful experiences that she had was interacting with the Hopkins 4K. Belinda passed away right before the 2006 Hopkins 4K began. Last summer, we dedicated the first day of our ride to her. She battled hard and tried many alternative methods of fighting to keep trying to win. I think itís only appropriate to dedicate the first day of my walk to her. Because, clearly, itís not about the bikeÖ