We’re looking for that ‘groove’. The nice one you fall in to when things are planned well and there’s no expectation for disaster.

Ha Ha Ha! Ok. So I’ll be the first to admit we knew it would be an emotional rollercoaster ride for a few days. The Send-Off Celebration was SO emotional (and AWESOME), that it’s taken a bit to come down from. Almost a year in the making, this journey of Zach’s finally began yesterday with over 100 friends and family helping to cheer Zach on, Mayor Jeff Lehman, Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown, MP Alex Nuttall, our friends from RVH, Rock 95, KoolFM, so many friends and family all showed up to run with Zach and wave good bye as he set off to raise funds an awareness for Youth Mental Health.

And a special guest showed up to – one of Zach’s biggest inspirations – Annaleise Carr (google her and you’ll find out why!). She had such beautiful things to say about her journey and Zach’s journey – and she helped Zach move through the emotions of the day. Thanks to all of our volunteers and emcee’s by the way! They helped us announce that Zach has officially passed his $50,000 goal – before he even left!

For those that know Zach, you know he had to slip away for a few minutes in the RV – he’s struggling with the attention his journey is receiving. I read a quote from a lady yesterday (thanks for ALL of the messages everyone!) who said she ‘appreciates his quiet demeanor – it made her feel as thought he was doing all of this for the RIGHT reasons, that his actions really ARE speaking louder than words’. It made me feel better to see people weren’t expecting him to perform. Don’t get me wrong, Zach is a super funny, outgoing kid who will talk to anyone, until you bring a camera near (this is due to ONE bad experience a few months ago). We’re slowly repairing his outlook and trying to convince him that EVERYONE is simply proud and interested in his story. This will be Zach’s challenge!

Day ONE continued extremely well. After we said goodbye to everyone, we set off along the  5/6th Sideroad, down to Ridge Road and all the way to Hawkstone. Zach finished in about 1.5 hours – and this only empowered him to believe that he really COULD finish this journey.

Day TWO went just as well! We were out to Hawkstone by 9:15 and in Orillia just before 11. We even had one lady who lived in Boston bike by, turn around and catch up for a picture with Zach. We finished the afternoon with a swim down at Tudhope Park in Orillia, a picnic lunch then home for some more packing.

Hardwood Ski & Bike invited us out for some ice cream in the evening. Zach saw the gentleman with the camera as we drove up and froze for a few minutes, but worked through it and ended up having a very fun time playing human foosball, eating ice cream and biking around the trails and in the stunt park. Thank you to the reporter at CTV for being super gentle with him, he ended up trusting you.

We are truly grateful for the way this story is unfolding and for the support. Zach really doesn’t have to say much to make an impact.

Day 1 – Zach has completed Day 1’s journey. Shout out to Fix Auto and Roberts Complete Auto Care – his DAY 1 SPONSORS!

Day 1 – They’re off!

Zach and the Barrie Fire & Emergency Services team with their GIANT cheque!

Day 1 – Zach placing his sign in the ground to show where he stops and starts the next day.

Day 1 – Zach and the Barrie Fire & Emergency Services team with their GIANT cheque!

Day 1 – Zach with Natalie Harris & Arif Kahn – thank you for the donation Arif!

Day 1 – Zach and his inspiration, Annaleise Carr.

Day 1 – Zach with Mayor Jeff Lehman and his family.

Day 2 – Zach and Louise from Hardwood Ski & Bike hamming it up after a long day!

Day 2 – We think this will be a normal occurrence 😉

Day 2 – Zach and some of the Hardwood team.