March 8, 2010 Friends:
We would like to share with you our daily updates from the Rise Across Texas Challenge, a two week, 850-mile trek across our great state in an effort to raise money for the Rise Schools, a network of schools dedicated to children with disabilities. No we have not been texting while on our bicycles, but every night we will be sitting down and collecting our thoughts about the day’s ride and reporting back to you. Please enjoy these two updates from March 6th & 7th, the first two days of our ride and look out for our daily emails. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter if you’d like. For more information about the Rise Schools, please visit http://www.riseacrosstexas.org. Saturday, March 6th, 2010 – Rise Across Texas Challenge: DAY 1 – 59 miles- Orange to Kountze Today we started our journey across the state in the Rise Across Texas Challenge benefitting the Rise School, a school for children with learning disabilities.
We would like to thank Steve Hicks, the President of the Rise Across Texas Foundation for hosting a great journey. This morning we departed from Orange, TX. We kicked off the ride with a nice ceremony hosted by the Orange Chamber of Commerce at Ochiltree Park. We were joined by Mayor Brown Claybar, State Rep. Mike Hamilton, Governor Rick Perry and Beaumont Councilman Audin Samuel. Orange is one of the 10 smallest counties in the state in sq mileage but one of the 45 biggest in population. The town of Orange was settled in 1830 and originally named Green’s Bluff. The name was later changed to honor President James Madison in 1840 and renamed Orange in 1850.
It was named for an orange grove planted by early settlers at the mouth of the Sabine. Y’all know how paranoid Rodney is about dogs? We were chased by several dogs, but no worries I protected the senator from the wild pack. Attached is a photo of one of the ferocious dogs that was chasing Rodney. We arrived in Kountze this afternoon and head to Conroe tomorrow. Sunday, March 7th, 2010 – Rise Across Texas Challenge: DAY 2- 88 miles, Kountze to Conroe Today Rodney and I met local elected officials from Kountze and then made our ride to Conroe. It was a very long ride filled with a few adventures. Kountze is home of the Big Thicket located in Hardin County. We’re told cougars and bears are still spotted in the Big Thicket. Hardin County was created in 1858, named by the Texas Legislature to honor the Hardin family of Liberty. Kountze was named for two financial backers of the Sabine and East Texas Railroad, Herman and Augustus Kountze. Today we were joined by Bill White.
We’re glad he took a break to join us for a worthy cause. Our adventures included being chased by yet another dog, this time the senator protected me and let me know that I owed him one. I thought we were even since I saved him yesterday? A funny thing happened between Cleveland and Cut and Shoot, someone drove up beside us and threw a beer can at us! I’m pretty sure it was intentional since it had plenty of beer in it. Did I mention Rodney and I took a wrong turn and we rode a few extra miles? Thank God Senator Leticia Van de Putte, who is a pharmacist sent us some special cream. Tomorrow we’re off to Brenham. More updates to come! Thanks to all who have offered their support of our endeavor. From the Road – Carol Alvarado Rodney Ellis Texas State Representative Texas State Senator