When commemorating an anniversary as large as 50 years of marriage, many will gather with family and enjoy the wonderful memories of adventures gone by. For Jim and Nancy Rubesch of Gig Harbor, they wanted to create new adventures which led them to bicycling across the country.
After joining the Tacoma Center YMCA 30 years ago, the Rubeschs knew they were strong enough to complete this adventure together. After undergoing major heart surgery which placed a pacemaker inside Jim, Nancy says it’s his regular routine at the Gig Harbor Family YMCA that allowed Jim to make the trip.
“The Y has been so engrained in our lives that we cannot imagine life without it,” says Nancy.
As they began their journey along the Pacific Ocean in Seaside, Oregon, the Rubeschs followed the popular Lewis and Clark bike trail along the Columbia River, across Idaho, into Montana, and then through North Dakota before the trail turned south. As they continued east into Minnesota and Wisconsin, the Rubeschs experienced wildlife from the saddle of their bicycles.
As their adventure continued, they cycled into Canada, up the Saint Lawrence River, around the Gaspe Peninsula then back down the Saint Lawrence River before heading home across the northern states. While they shared the road with cows, Harley Davidson’s, semi-trucks, and cars, they viewed nature with an unobstructed view.
Similar to marriage, the road they found was full of beautiful and challenging forks. “Bikers continue to travel across America in their quest to accomplish a remarkable feat; cycling from one shore to the other,” wrote Nancy in her journal. Together, Jim and Nancy accomplished their goal of creating new adventures and lifelong memories they can share with their family as they celebrate many more years of love through their active marriage and regular trips to the Y.
-YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties