In the Beginning; There was Love

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August 14th 2014
Published: August 14th 2014
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They never tell you how much reflection time you’ll get when you’re done with school. They never tell you how lonely and boring it is to be done with school, to not have to be somewhere at every second of the day, constantly going to class, doing homework, having social hour, working out, trying new things. They never say how depressingly lonely and real the “real” world is.

Well, fortunately for me, with boredom and loneliness comes wonderful new ideas and inspiration. It was one such evening in the dark and rain at somewhere around 7pm I had this harebrained idea – to ride my bike across the wonderful country of America. Now the reason this appealed to me was that

1. I haven’t really experienced or seen my own country

2. I’m not totally sure I can complete this mission, adventure, idea, whatever you want to call it.

For some unknown reason the things I am not sure I can complete or achieve I am most attracted to, I mean “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” right? So, on such a night I called my very old and wonderful friend to do a reality check. One reason I decided to call McKenzie instead of many other numerous friends is because she is the most positive and optimistic person I know and I thought that if I called her I would get the answer I wanted most a.k.a. “go for it” “you can do it” “doesn’t sound crazy at all” what I hadn’t expected was “Well gosh, Aili, I think that sounds like a great idea. Do you want company?” my response “Uhhhhhhh yeah!” Who could be better to ride across ‘Merica with than my very own, wonderfully inspirational, giving, caring and unicorn-loving friend!?

One important thing to mention in this story is how McKenzie and I became friends. When I was very young, about 20 years ago now, one of my best friends’ mom, Pamela, prophesized that McKenzie and I would be the best of buds if we only knew each other. While McKenzie went to school with this good friend, I was a home-schooled bumpkin out in the boonies of the Willamette Valley. As you can see, this is not ideal for meeting other young children. However, one day in my young years I was invited to a talent show at my good friends school. It was there that I saw McKenzie for the very first time, there she was, up on the stage alone with the longest blond hair, playing cello. My only thoughts at this point were first, ‘I can’t believe she’s up there alone, I would never do that!’ and second, ‘Ok, Pamela whatever you say.’ All McKenzie remembers of this talent show is the ridicule from here classmates for making weird faces while she concentrated on playing her music. Well, as her father always said while contorting his arm over top of his head and sticking his pointer finger into the opposing ear… “at least you’re not noimal.”… A philosophy to be had for the rest of life.

Fast forward 10 years, its my junior year in High School I try out for the women’s soccer team and get put on JV2 (pretty much the team for those who weren’t good enough to make Varsity or JV team….) Well you guessed it, it was McKenzie’s sophomore year and she got on the same team too. Since that season on JV2 we have been good friends. And here is the really crazy part, once again ten years later, McKenzie and I are planning this bicycle trip across the country (we didn’t even know it was our ten year anniversary as friends until recently). Call it fate, serendipity, luck or unicorns, this trip was meant to happen.

Back to the present and in the spirit of time for reflection, McKenzie asked “Well should we have a theme for our bike tour?” I respond, “What kind of theme? Superheroes? Stories? Blog?” Well, we’ve decided to document our crazy journey – that some say will change us forever. Our theme – LOVE. Now, take into account we are two women and I’ll just speak for myself but I love sappy romance. Not to mention, I think we all need a little more love in our lives. We plan to meet new people and make many new friends along this trip. We will then ask our newfound friends to tell us a story about love. Now, of course, there will be some about romance, but there are many kinds of love that I expect we’ll hear about; some funny stories, some of heartbreak, some of unconditional love. We hope to catch these stories and re-illustrate then here via words and photos. Brilliant, I know!! I can guaranty that McKenzie will be absolutely delighted to do a Magical Unicorns Oracle Card reading (similar to tarot, except only positive messages and backed by the love and light of the Unicorns) for anyone that wants to trade a story for a unicorn reading. This will only perpetuate the warm and fuzzy feelings of love, light and laughter.

Whatever comes our way this fall 2014 whether its Togwotee pass at 9,658 ft, riding in the ungodly hot sun, trying to sleep in a rain storm, or just battling headwinds, McKenzie and I are sure to at least give it our best, try to love each other through the hardship and have a smile on our face when it’s all said and done.

We appreciate you taking the time to read our story and wish you an awesome day!


Aili Johnston and McKenzie Woolley


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