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.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Day 21 - Idaho Falls, ID to Tetonia, ID (70 miles)

After loading up on coffee and carbs at our complimentary breakfast, we took to the road with Rexburg, ID as our planned stop for breakfast. This road brought us a change to the typical sage brush scenery we had become accustomed to in Idaho. Finally off to the east, the Teton Range was visible. Also along our route were signs for Yellowstone and Jackson, two destinations that we are very anxious to reach.
This morning's ride would prove to be the last time that we were on a four lane highway for some time. Keeping with the theme of "odd vehicles being on highways in Idaho", I heard what sounded to be a tractor trailer truck revving its engine loudly behind me. Instead, it was a tractor driving in our shoulder, wishing to overtake us. Otherwise our ride to Rexburg was unremarkable.
Looking for a big meal we pulled into Applebee's and started talked to the manager there. While they did not open for another hour, nor did they serve breakfast, we were given an extensive history of this manager's bike touring back in the 1970s when he was a self-proclaimed hippie.
Eating breakfast at Burger King, I began to notice the influences of the LDS Church in Rexburg. Not only is Rexburg home to a large LDS Temple, but also contains Brigham and Young University - Idaho. There were many customers around our age that were well dressed, clean cut, and appeared to be married. Heading further into Rexburg we spotted many apartment buildings boasting that they were University approved for either male or female housing. Stopping in AT&T to get a screen protector on Jonathan's shattered iPhone, we spoke with a BYU student, Jason. He told us that his overall cost of attendance is around $5000 annually, they sign a strict honor code when they enroll, and that there are no bars anywhere in Rexburg. What do students do for fun? Sometimes the school brings in entertainment such as magic shows.  Jason's brother goes to Mizzou, and unsurprisingly says that student life is a bit different there. The life of a BYU student seemed totally foreign to the experiences Jonathan and I had in college.
Now on Route 33, we began our turn towards the Tetons. First stop, Sugar City's Post Office for Jonathan to mail home some extra clothing. We continued on for a beautiful, but grueling 30 miles of net elevation gain. This was complicated by Jonathan's knee feeling the effects of daily long rides during his first week. Every time we reached the top of a hill and expected to head down, our speedometers corrected us and pointed out that we were still ascending, only now, more gradually. The redeeming quality of this road was its scenery. Distant views of the Tetons became closer and clearer with every mile, and a partially overcast sky gave us some relief from the heat.
By the time we reached Tetonia we were tired and running low on water, but decided to head past our destination to get a real meal at the North End Grill.
Dinner completed, it was time to make the 3.5 mile trip on packed dirt/gravel to my father's friend's brother's vacation home. We are extremely grateful to the Abely family for allowing us to us their truly beautiful home with stunning views of the Tetons.

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