On Quest to Raise $1 Million for Veterans-Related Charities, Rob Jones Makes M.V. Pit Stop
MOUNTAIN VILLAGE – On an October morning in Bar Harbor, Me., Rob Jones began his historic cycling-cross-country fundraiser that will wrap up in San Diego, Calif., with his brother, Steve Miller, pulling up the rear with a support wagon.
With 3,379 miles under his belt, and many more to go, Jones’ journey is already impressive. The U.S. Marine, wounded on a tour in Afghanistan, wears prosthetic legs.
Five months in to the ambitious journey, Jones and Miller came through Telluride Monday en route to Lizard Head Pass, now on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains.
Reflecting on his journey thus far, Jones said, “finishing the Rocky Mountains is a highlight, as were the Appalachians.”
Redeployed to Afghanistan in 2010, Jones was injured by an explosive device that sent him home with injuries resulting in an above-the-knee amputation on his right leg, and a through-knee amputation on his left knee.
Over the course of his recovery, Jones took his rehabilitation as a challenge himself. He relearned upright cycling, running and rowing; upon his honorable discharged from the Marine Corps in December 2011, Jones moved to Florida and began training to row in the 2012 Paralympics.
The hard work paid off. “I brought home a bronze medal in our event,” he said.
Having met the challenges of the Paralympic Games, Jones continued his goal to push himself by cycling across the country.
“It’s a way of having an adventure and challenging myself,” he said. “This is something I do to make sure I’m growing myself as a person.”
Jones is cycling through the U.S. to raise $1 million dollars for three veterans-related charities: the Semper Fi Fund, the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes and Ride2Recovery. So far, he has raised more than $91,000.
Traveling through New England, the Midwest and now the Rockies, Jones is consistently honored by the support from the nation’s communities.
“The appreciation I’ve received from folks has been a huge highlight on this journey,” he said. “People will gather in town to see us go through. I’ve had receptions hosted for me, Facebook messages, emails, that kind of stuff.”
Mountain Village’s Peaks Resort and Spa General Manager David Ciani heard Jones planned to visit Telluride, and offered Jones and his team free overnight lodging.
“The Peaks is proud to be a part of Rob’s incredible journey and testament to the human spirit, and we wish him the best on his way to San Diego,” said Ciani.
In support to Jones’ journey, Ciani donated free lodging to Jones and his brother, Steve. Follow his journey and/or donate by visiting http://www.robjonesjourney.com/.