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Ride with Rich

a fundraiser ride in memory of my cousin and in support of mental health

In June I went to Missouri for my cousin Cris' funeral. Cris was one year younger than me and died from respiratory failure earlier this year. Her funeral was delayed due to the pandemic and we took the window of opportunity we had to celebrate her life. Before attending the funeral, I rode the Katy Trail across rural Missouri, making a donation to Mental Health America in her memory and to help with the mental health crisis that is accompanying the pandemic. Here is a chance to ride along a bit and, if you'd like, support the cause.

The Katy Trail runs along what used to the be the MKT (Missouri-Kansas-Texas) Railroad line. Abandoned for decades, it has now become a state park and the longest such rails-to-trails project in the U.S.

Much of the trail runs along the Missouri River. There are many historic places along the way, including many Lewis and Clark exploration sites.

It also runs through some of the most beautiful scenery and farmland in the midwest.

Much of it follows along the banks of the majestic Missouri River.

Wildlife encounters included turtles, snakes (at least their tracks), deer, a fox, a dog (who chased me), a beaver, and my favorite - a butterfly who perched on my shoulder and rode along for several miles!

There were stops along the way with fun roadside attractions, including "Boathenge."

You pass through a number of towns with great history, friendly people and delicious food.

And it also runs through Missouri wine country!

Ride along a bit ...

A picture of Cris ... and her kids at the funeral.

A lot of people are struggling with mental health issues during the pandemic. As we have isolated, depression has increased. As we have distanced, anxiety about going out in the world has taken on new levels. Be gentle with one another. Get whatever help you need. Wear a mask. And, if you can, support access to mental health services for others. Give a few dollars to Mental Health America here.

In loving memory of Cristina Nelson


painted by Cris' son Orlando


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