The pandemic forced cancellation of Texas 4000 Ride last year. But Texas 4000 is coming to Santa Fe in June! This ride is organized by students at the University of Texas to raise funds for cancer research in support of family members of the students, friends and supporters of cancer research, and by several of the students who are survivors themselves. For the past several years, the group has come through Santa Fe for one or two nights on their way to Alaska from Austin, Texas– 4000 miles. They begin about June 1 in Austin and end in Anchorage, Alaska in mid-August. They follow four separate routes to Alaska.

This year, the pandemic issues still are concerns, so this year they only get to Montana, and then turn around to follow different routes back to Austin–still close to 4000 miles. Nearly 100 students will participate this year in four groups. One group heads north up the Mississippi River and then goes east to Washington, D.C. and back to Austin via the Carolinas, Arkansas, and other states. The second heads north along the MIssissippi to the Dakotas and then west to Montana. A third group, the Sierra, goes west through Las Cruces, Tucson , to San Diego and then up the West Coast to Washington and then east to Montana and back to Austin. The Rockies group will pass through Santa Fe, to Denver, Salt Lake City, Yellowstone, and Montana and then return to Austin.

The Rockies group will arrive in Santa Fe on June 15, stay the 16th, and leave for Denver the 17th. In the past years, the SOBs have met the group in Eldorado and then led the Texans to their motel in Santa Fe. We have joined them for dinner at the Las Campanas Country Club hosted by the University of Texas Alumni of Santa Fe. At the dinner, we have split up to fill the tables with several different students with SOB members and spouses/partners and U of Texas Alumni. The students put on a brief program describing their selection from over 1000 students to participate in the ride and their goals. During the dinner, conversations with these upper division and graduate students will renew your own spirits and reinforce your own confidence in the youth that will guide this country in the future. Former students on this ride are now doctors, attorneys, scientists, and business executives. They are selected because of their abilities to converse and engage in conversations.

In the past, one of our members, Frank Battaglia, donated the motel costs for the group in Santa Fe. Frank passed away in November. 2020. Many of us may want to donate some funds to the Texas 4000 to cover their housing costs in Santa Fe in addition to their goals to raise money for cancer research.

Mark your calendars for the arrival of the Texas 4000 on June 15. Look for future postings in the coming days about the plans for participating. So many of our members have stated their enthusiasm to meet the students and engage in conversation with them for a few hours. Having completed a career in higher education, I can tell you that mixing as equals with intelligent, eager, and committed university students is an unforgettable experience. One looks forward to every day at work with students. And this will be how you will feel when the dinner at the Las Campanas Country Club is over. You owe it to yourself to experience the feeling.

Look for more announcements in the coming days at this SOB website. Plan to join in. You can read about and see pictures of the approximate 25 students that will ride with Texas 4000 Rockies Group at the link below:

Submitted by Bill Pollock




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