Three Texas women, who just graduated from college, are now on the assignment of their young lives.They are biking down the west coast to raise awareness and money to fight human trafficking.
Their trip began in Seattle, Wash. on June 19. They went south to Astoria, Ore. then cut west down Highway 101 to Leggett, Calif., then down the famed Highway 1. They will arrive in San Diego on Thursday.
It's a journey that takes about 45 days.
The hashtag for the trip is #PedalthePacific shared on social media by Grace Pfeffer of Houston and Savannah Lovelace and Sara Belmer of Dallas.
As Grace says, “The whole point of this is to start conversations.”
The girls had seen the tragedy of human trafficking during mission trips. Sara was a teacher in the Dominican Republic, saying, “A lot of my students’ moms were involved with that. I think I saw very first hand of how it affected my students, people I knew and love.”
Their talk turned into action. They are raising money for The Refuge, a shelter for child sex trafficking victims being built in Bastrop.
Sara adds, “It’s definitely a problem if you don't want to see it you don't have to. That's kind of how it is in America.”
Their trip is simple. Savannah says, “We're camping. We all have our own tents strapped to the back of our bikes.”
The adventure has also brought out the best in complete strangers. Some have invited the trio into their homes to spend the night.
Grace remembers a bicycle mechanic who worked on their bikes along the way and even offered a spare bedroom where they rested for two days.
The threesome have seen tremendous sites and met terrific people along the way.
Their message is spreading.
They ran into other bicyclists on the road. Savannah relays one encounter, saying, “’Are you the three girls who are raising awareness about human trafficking?’ ‘Yes!!! How did you know?’ ‘We heard about you guys in Oregon.’”
The mission is working.They had originally hoped to raised $25,000. They are now at $53,000 with a new target of $75,000.
- Average mileage: 40 - 60 miles a day
- Average speed: 12 mph
- Average weight gain: 5 pounds
- Total flat tires: 5
If you would like to donate on their GoFundMe page, visit here.