About Lea's Foundation

In 1998, Lea Michele Economos, a young woman who died of leukemia at the age of 28, made a dying wish to her parents that others would not face the hardships she encountered by finding a cure for this disease. Her family started this charity to carry on that wish. Today, Lea’s Foundation takes an active role in finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and myeloma and to better the lives of people living with these diseases. At the UCONN Health Center, the Lea’s Foundation Center for Hematologic Disorders sponsors research in this field. A new program covers the cost of bone-marrow testing to help recruit life-saving transplants for patients. Also, annual scholarships are given to children with leukemia who are planning to attend nursery school. For more information on other projects carried out by Lea’s Foundation, please visit their website at www.LeasFoundation.org.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Day 16 - Ontario, OR to Boise, ID (63 miles)

Greg Kirby:

After our pre-sunrise to post-sunset ride from the day before, Greg and I slept in a bit and didn't get on the road until 930am after enjoying our complimentary continental breakfast. Unfortunately by the time we got out the door, the temperature had already reached 90 degrees.

We headed south through "Onion Country USA" towards Nyssa, Oregon. Today Greg's tire has already gone flat in the motel room. Now that we're on the road, it's obvious he still has a slow leak that needs more air every 5 to 10 miles (we've inspected the tire/rim more than five times and found nothing that would keep causing a leak). A few more pumps of air, we we crossed the snake river into Idaho. After the last two days in Oregon, we weren't exactly sad to leave. The sign thanking us for visiting and welcoming us back soon, seemed like an out of touch joke.

We headed down a scenic bypass that exposed us to more and more corn fields, and our first train of the trip. We were shocked that it took until day 16 for us to see any trains, and suddenly freight trains were passing hourly.

We stopped for snacks at a gas station before heading down an unpaved fishing access road. Typically our routes are pretty self explanatory and I only need to read route numbers and street names before we head out in the morning. However, when we approach an urban area such as Boise, streets become more confusing and sometimes I let Google call out navigation commands from my back pocket. Unfortunately, this time Google's unpaved choice was private property. Unwilling to backtrack, we trespassed for another mile.

Entering Caldwell, the heat was rising and we were getting tired of rolling through the mix of residential neighborhoods and corn fields. We decided to sit down under a shady tree at an intersection. Exhaustion from the previous days of riding combined with the heat to result in us napping next to the road for about 30 minutes. Despite two unconscious, disheveled looking men in 95 degree heat, not a single person stopped to ask if we were okay. We also played the game called "where is it currently colder than where we are, but shouldn't be". Quite a catchy name, I know. Flagstaff, Arizona won at 60 degrees and rainy weather. So much for choosing to go north and "avoid the desert heat".

Somewhat refreshed from our nap, we continued on to find food just west of Meridian, Idaho. Never before have I more enjoyed the environment of a Walmart. Even having Subway for the 6th day in a row was bearable because of Walmart's aggressive air conditioning.

After working up the courage to go back outside, we faced the final 18 miles of oppressive heat. Straight down Franklin Avenue we headed to our Warmshowers host house. Riding sidewalks to get hit by residential sprinklers and be sheltered by some shade as Greg would pump up his ever-deflating tire. To illustrate just how hot it was, one of Greg's water bottles cracked due to the ice and cold water it contained.

Finally, in Boise proper we pulled up at our host house. We were exhausted from the heat.


Our trip took a fortunate turn with the alignment of our arrival to Boise, Idaho on the Fourth of July. Tucked away in the mountains of Idaho, Boise is a hidden gem out here in the west and a much needed break from the barren deserts of Oregon that had chewed away at us the last few days.

Upon arrival, we first biked to where we would be spending the night, the house of our Warm Showers hosts Patrick and Rachel. Patrick and Rachel were incredibly welcoming and had a fantastic story. Avid bikers themselves, the two had met while cycling across New Zealand. Patrick had been on a tour, cycling the globe at the time. Together, the two had cycled on many continents including America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and some wild places such as the arctic circle. We knew right away that their tips and advice for the remainder of our trip would be invaluable.  

Our hosts helped us celebrate the Fourth of July the way all Americans should - with a giant barbecue. After days of eating cliff bars, or at restaurants and truck stops, having a home cooked meal felt incredible. As the sun set, we headed over to a large hill to watch the fireworks over Boise; a fantastic end to the day.

Photos by Jonathan Kobles 

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