Tag Archives: John Wayne

Guest blog by Felice: “A change of pace… but always moving and always learning!”

Introducing my regular guest blogger, Miss Felice! This time, her take on history & the joys of traveling by bicycle. Enjoy!

Fabulous Felice - School Food Tour support crew superstar!!!

With a West Coast and Gulf Coast chapter of the School Food Tour under my belt, I was excited to seize one last opportunity to join Sara on the Tour for a ride up the East Coast. After a hectic couple of weeks of work and travel, I was keen to return to life at bicycle pace! I arrived in Charlotte, NC and collected my bike from the friendly folks at Uptown Cycles – who I must thank for caring for my precious machine. By the time I met up with Sara along the road, I had been struck by the beauty of the area – particularly the vibrant green fields and abundant blooming azaleas. And even though my nose started to instantly itch at the pollen in the air, I knew I was in for a great week of riding.

As we pedaled towards Richmond, VA we encountered many encouraging and inquisitive folk who asked some common questions: Where are you riding from? (Oregon … yes that’s right, Oregon!) Why are you riding so far? (The School Food Tour, of course!) Do you have a sponsor? (Yes – thank you John Wayne Cancer Foundation) and, What is it like? Well… the last one is a little more difficult to answer! It is especially tricky to describe to someone who will not even get out of their car to talk to you what it is like to explore the beauty of the world at bicycle pace, and how much more scenery you can appreciate compared to zooming along in a car. On my previous stints of pedaling on the School Food Tour, I had thoroughly enjoyed marveling in the natural wonders of the country – deserts, forests, rivers, mountains, beaches, wildlife and weather variations. But this chapter of the tour changed tune for me. Riding through the maze of roads in rural areas of North Carolina and Virginia I appreciated the chance to observe quaint farmhouses, grand plantations and estates, and spectacular gardens.

Beautiful scenery kept us happy during long days on the bike.

Traveling at a slower pace also gave us time to consider the area where we are riding. Since Sara and I were pedaling through a region so rich in history, we decided to learn more about the establishment of the United States of America. Being Australian, my education on the American civil war was spotty at best, so I got a crash course in US history! I was interested to learn about the numerous battles, the abolition of slavery, the secession of the Confederacy and the reconstruction of the Union following the war. The facts and figures were bolstered by some local tidbits of information that we found on roadside plaques that also gave us an excuse to have a snack and take a break from the headwind!

Using our brains while on the bike to take in a bit of history!

My favorite plaque was about the first major sporting event in the nation, horse racing at Long Island, which was the beginning of enthusiasm for sports spectating in America!

This love of sport also means that I must return to my work in the sporting arena, so I am sad to say that my time riding with the School Food Tour is over… A HUGE thanks to Sara for letting me join her on the adventure and I send best wishes for her onward journey to Michigan, and future endeavors. I strongly encourage anyone who can join the School Food Tour for a pedal, even just that final mile, to do so… you will enjoy the view of the world from your bicycle, and you might just learn something!

Thanks, Felice for the great recap of our journeys in North Carolina and Virginia. I can’t thank you enough for your dedication to the School Food Tour! -Sara

Siskiyou Field Institute

Thanks to a hot tip from the friendly crew at the Country Folks Restaurant in Selma, Oregon, I took a very worthwhile detour to the Siskiyou Field Institute in the Illinois Valley.

It’s funny how seemingly disparate events interconnect in our lives each day. After a chance meeting months ago, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation became a sponsor of the School Food Tour. Fast forward to the present, and as I pedaled through the hills of Oregon as a Team Duke athlete, my interest was immediately drawn to a trivia question written on the chalkboard in a local cafe:

“Who was John Wayne’s college roommate?”

This query spurred a conversation with the waitress about John Wayne in which I learned that he frequented a ranch only 2 miles away. Directions in hand, I headed out to explore this old pastoral haunt of my benefactor.

There was a John Wayne tribute on display.

A beautiful setting between field and forest.

I bet this kitchen has put out some delicious meals.

Stunning vistas of the Illinois Valley from the patio.

The Institute provides education in nature.

A huge thank-you to the friendly staff for an impromptu tour. For more information about the programs and location of the Siskiyou Field Institute, visit their website.