Second home owner takes journey of a lifetime |

Second home owner takes journey of a lifetime

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

SUMMIT COVE ” Last month, Summit County second home owner Chris Waugh completed a feat that can only be described as grueling ” cycling from his childhood hometown of Colorado Springs to his current main residence in Half Moon Bay, Calif., in the San Francisco area.

Waugh didn’t do it merely as a physical test, but as an emotional journey as well. He dedicated the ride to his recently deceased mother, Barbara, a resident of Colorado Springs before she succumbed to cancer on Oct. 24 at age 58.

“It was meant to be a parallel path,” Waugh said of his journey, “in that she was saying that she wasn’t afraid of death per se … but that the journey from life to death is what’s scary.”

Waugh’s connection to Summit County goes back to his childhood in Colorado Springs, when his family would frequently visit the county. He and several relatives currently spend part of each year here living in Summit Cove.

Waugh’s approximately 1,600-mile route began Nov. 1, takng him 19 days to complete with many days spent almost exclusively on his bike. “Because the days are short, it was essentially getting up, eating breakfast and riding until sundown,” he said.

Waugh discussed his trip with family in Colorado Springs before undertaking it, but decided it was an experience he needed to have on his own. “I was worried that being on your own would be tough,” he said. “But that actually didn’t turn out to be a problem, and it was great. It wasn’t really ever lonely.”

But Waugh wasn’t really alone during his trip, partially thanks to modern technology. Family, friends and even people Waugh had never met were able to stay posted on his trek with a blog he kept on the road. Featuring a tribute to Barbara’s life and information about Waugh’s experiences during his journey, the website got close to 9,000 views.

Family and friends of Barbara and Chris regularly visited the blog, but word spread to “friends of friends” who heard of Waugh’s amazing feat, said his sister, Tamara Englehardt of Parker.

“We’d just gone through so much with (Barbara), and to get on a plane and go back to work, he said, ‘I just can’t do that,'” Englehardt said. “I just thought it was really, really neat. Of course, I had a little bit of that sister worry.”

Waugh has heard from many people telling him his journey has inspired them, but insists that “inspiration is a two-way street.”

“To do the ride, it’s not complete until you share it,” he said.

Waugh says that his trip helped him discover many truths about life both major and minor, and most importantly reflect on his mother’s legacy.

“Everyone has their own way of coping, and the take away for me is about living more and not mourning,” he said. “The biggest lesson from the experience, combining my mother’s death and everything, is that our bodies are like rent-a-cars ” we don’t get to drive them as long as we think.”

Find out more about Chris Waugh’s trip at his blog commemorating his mother:

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