Fathers Day and Antelope

My mornings here in Wyoming have become much like every other morning. I awake at 5:30. My mind begins to buzz with the expectation and excitement of a new day. What will I see? Who will I meet? The skies are blue, the sun is just beginning to come up. I realize it is Fathers Day. I am fortunate. I am still here. Alive. I will receive a gift from my daughter, a framed quote she wrote:”My Father didn’t tell me how to live; He lived and let me watch him do it”……..My son calls. I am lucky. I can still hear his voice. He is a young father now and makes me proud. My day of running  begins. 30 miles, 30 flags. Some of the flags today bear the names of sons. Some of fathers. We move down the highway together. For the briefest time there is no wind. Crickets chirp. Birds sing methodically. The sun warms my skin. I smell sage.  On the hills of sage I see numerous antelope and they snort and run as I draw near. Sons and fathers. I think that somewhere a family is sad. Today there will be no sadness on this road. There is to much beauty in this place. Enough, today that I share it with each name. What I see, they see. What I hear, they hear. Our senses are one, joined in a way I can’t explain. The prairie has power. Immense power and it pulls me down the road to another day done. The sun sinks low. The antelope seek their beds for the night. I dream and await tomorrow…………

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9 Responses to “Fathers Day and Antelope”

  1. Carol McCrum Says:

    Happy father’s day Mike Ehredt. I will pray that the Lord watches over you and keeps you safe on your journey. I only learned of your journey after you had already left the Mission Valley and were heading somewhere down the Bitterroot Valley in Montana. I live in Ronan and travel to Missoula to work every day. I work as a nurse. I would very much have liked to shake your hand and thank you for what you are doing. I stopped at 4 flag’s along Hwy. 93 south, said a prayer, gave thanks, and saluted these soldiers that gave the ultimate sacrifice. My only “child” is in the National Guard and will be leaving to go back to Iraq for 1 year in mid September. This will be his second tour. I am, once again, scared to death and will be until he returns safely again. No one really understands what families go through unless they have gone through it also. Once again, God bless you for what you are doing. Be safe…. Sincerely, Carol

  2. Linda Wright Says:

    You continue to amaze me and I love reading about your journey and all you are experiencing along the way. Happy Father’s Day. Your daughter is right about you showing her and so many how to live. Blessings to you and continue to watch for the rainbows along the way. See you soon in Fort Collins.

  3. Mike evans Says:

    What’s up ehredt? Happy fathers day ! I was hoping we might cross paths along the way but no worries. I saw one of your flags along the bike path when we were headed to the spud and it reminded me that your old ass was still out there. I know you’ve heard it before and you’ll continue to hear it , but your an inspiration to us all, and I’m honored to say I’m your friend. Take care bro!

  4. Lori Says:

    So many flags you have already placed, am so proud of your efforts,
    your daughter will grow with the true value of what living is all about. I believe all four thousand – plus are watching over you and will be gathered together when you get to the end of your journey.
    Bod Bless everything you are doing.

  5. judith d'Albert Says:

    Today or tomorrow, you will place a flag for Cpl. Yari Mokri of Pflugerville, TX, U.S.Army (June 11,1980 – Dec 6, 2006) His mother’s tribute can be found at http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/newsletter/2007/07Honor.html . It describes the outstanding scholar athlete and musician that Yari was and his plan to use his experience as a counter-intelligent agent with Third Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 25th Infantry Division based at Schofield Barracks,Hawaii, and later with Task Force 2-27 Infantry, Kirkuk Province,Iraq, to later pursue a career in law enforcement.

    Yari touched the lives of the Harbor Day School , Corona del Mar, CA, community through his close friendship with our alumnus SPC James Strong, my fifth grade student in ’83! James, a husband and dad to two little girls when he put his career on hold to serve, wrote that Yari had a real gentle spirit, was one of the finest guys he ever knew and was a real gentleman. We know they were like brothers, having been buddies and roommates from boot camp, to advanced training, the posting to Hawaii and ultimately to FOB Hawija, Iraq.

    Both were keen, talented soccer players and James described hilarious games with their usually bare footed Iraqi Special Forces friends on the dirt hard desert. Both guys were prepared to donate their shoes to those guys!

    When HDS had a school wide project Operation Kids Care to send 100 care packages to D company,arrived on the day after Thanksgiving 2006 , when spirits were a bit low, there were the two guys hamming it up with Surfing magazine etc to send pictures back to school to show how much the support of kids meant.

    A week late, James, overwhelmed with grief, carried his buddy draped in the American flag, to the waiting helicopter, loyal to the end, as Yari would have been for him.

    Yari, with his winning smile, great sense of humor and positive attitude to life was a true hero and one of Uncle Sam’s finest. May his sacrifice never be forgotten!

    Thank you Mike for writing the stories and sharing them through your sensitive and perceptive blog entries, as well as for raising funds for such a necessary and worthwhile cause and for opening our eyes to the goodness of ordinary folk of great stature along your route who exemplify the best of our Nation’s values.
    God bless you all!
    Judy
    Immigrant from England, September 1, 1964, proud citizen since January 16, 1976 and passionate teacher of American History, albeit with an English accent, to eager fifth graders for forty years!

  6. Paul Says:

    You are a good man and an inspiration, Mike. Happy Fathers day.

  7. Lori Says:

    As I updated some of my Veterans
    I left these words with them and now share them with you

    As they watch from Heaven High
    They have joined hands
    The hands of Brothers in Arms
    That will be United
    From shore to ocean shore
    With a Smile as Their Flag is placed
    In Silent Tribute
    And a sharp Salute
    I believe
    They are watching over their Brother in Arms

    • Bob Kohler Says:

      Hi From one flag carrier to another

      It’s great what you’re doing. I carry two 3X5 flags in my runs. I have two heroes on my bib that died in Iraq. Their pictures give my inspiration. I know the families which makes it an honor to do that little thing for them.

      One flag for each mile is an awesome task. I know you will do it. Judy Alpert here in Irvine CA keeps us up to date on your daily blogs.

      Keep up the good work

      Sincerely
      Bob Kohler aka flag man

  8. Jeff Sweet Says:

    Thank you for letting me share the road with you for a few miles north of Rawlins. My bicycle ride was great Sunday morning and I too enjoy watching the habits and movements of the antelope that populate the prairie. I enjoyed our time together and you are certainly and inspiration to all of us to “do more”.

    Happy Trails, Jeff

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