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Monday, November 12, 2018


"Doc, ya oughta be in bed. What the hell are ya doin' this for anyway?" (Turkey Creek Jack Johnson)
"Wyatt Earp is my friend."  (Doc Holliday)
"Hell, I got lots of friends."  (Turkey Creek Jack Johnson)
"I don't."  (Doc Holliday)
Tombstone (1993). Video Link.

Twenty-some years ago, a thoughtful person in my Bible study group asked a challenging question. Outside your family, do you have a friend who you know would immediately come to help if you called at 3:00 o'clock in the morning? Many responded affirmatively, some by experience but most by trust in their friendships. Others, however, were not so sure.

After wrestling with that for a bit, the follow-up question was more penetrating. Under similar circumstances, would anyone call you? That is, are you the friend that another would call, knowing that you would answer and come help? The group grew more pensive.

Every so often, I remember that discussion and the resulting conversations with friends. It always reminds me to appreciate my friends, of all kinds, and prompts me to work to build stronger friendships. Admittedly, those intentional efforts over the years have been infrequent and haphazard, at best.

That leads me to a few friends who have been on my mind lately. I'm especially blessed to have some special friends who helped me finally achieve a multi-year goal of riding the entire length of the 310 mile Black Hills BackBone. Each of them answered my call and ventured far outside their comfort zone to join me. College roommate Rob Sorge rearranged his schedule to drive across the country to share our latest adventure together, totally trusting my route planning and bike selection for him. College classmate Dave Litzen doesn't ride much long distance, but bought a new bike just to join this crazy cross-state weekend ride, and then had the moxie and ability to finish it. Former colleague Shaun Arritola simply quipped, "I'm in!" in response to my vague suggestion of a ride, instantly transforming a nutty idea into reality. To top it off, all three enlisted family to crew, who made it work. Together, we created a special weekend that I cherish.

Yes, that ride was a year and a half ago. But whenever I think of the Black Hills BackBone, I think of those friends who recognized what it meant to me and did what it took to make it happen. Thank you Robbie and Corinne, Dave and Lori, Shaun and Jonis!

Here's a link to a post summarizing our 2017 Black Hills BackBone ride. Three Days of BackBone. And here's our finish line photo.

When you're riding so fast that it's hard to hear each other.   😎
Approaching the South Dakota - Nebraska border at the end of the 2017 Black Hills BackBone.
Rob Sorge, Dave Litzen, Shaun Arritola and Craig Groseth (photo by Corinne Sorge)

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