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Dear Mr. and Mrs. Morgenstern,

It was really good to talk with both of you last month and share a few thoughts. I plan to share a little more about my amazing friendship with your daughter via this letter, to let you know what a significant role she has played in my life and surely many others. Feel free to relay any memories or stories with family and friends.

It was late summer of 1994, while working as a tour leader for Backroads Bicycle Touring Company that I met Nancy. I clearly remember being in the grocery store shopping for the guests—and I had never seen such a specific list of special requests—and what was this “kosher” thing all about? It was right then that my education on the Jewish faith began. During this nine-day bicycle tour of Bryce, Zion, and Grand Canyon National Parks, Nancy and I started a lasting friendship. Intrigued by the different lifestyles each other led, but finding common ground on the important things in life: family, friends, goals, and the caring outside of one’s own little world. I recall how impressed I was that she never swayed from her dietary restrictions or went out with the rest of the people on her day of rest. One day in particular stands out that is a good example of her physical and mental toughness. The group was riding 110 miles from Bryce Canyon to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Having been on a bicycle only a handful of times prior to the trip, this day seemed a little lengthy, but, of course, she persevered. I ended up following her in the van with the headlights lighting her way as she pedaled through the darkness and soon reached camp. She would return to New York with a new love of cycling.

That winter I found myself in Aspen, Colorado, for the ski season. Nancy and I had kept in touch and her love for skiing and the mountains would bring her out west numerous times. Often she would come with her very good friend, Nicole. And so it went: I would meet more of Nancy’s friends and she would meet more of mine. She worked hard at becoming a better skier and also showed many times her outstanding work ethic. Nancy would often be calling Tzell Travel while on vacation to make sure everything was going smoothly and all was taken care of. It was always a pleasure meeting Nancy’s friends and meeting members of your family on your visit to Snowmass Village. Anyone ready for a run down the Wall?
The hospitality we showed Nancy and her friends was bestowed upon Jeremy and me when we went to visit the Big Apple. You’ll find some pictures of us in Central Park and on the streets of New York. We did it all, from Wall Street to second-row seats at the Astor Place for “Blue Man Group.” Nancy always made time for the people that were important in her life, and treated them like gold.

I believe it was the summer of 1996 that Nancy called me at work and said, “Can you go to Alaska in three weeks?” I said, “I’ll quit my job if I have to.” Nancy said, “I have the tickets from my boss, can you take care of the details and get all the camping gear together?” I said “Not a problem.” Next thing you know, we are on our way to Alaska. We rented a car, drove all night, and by early morning we were at the Denali National Park. The first night camping, the entire Alaska Range came out from behind a shroud of clouds to reveal massive amounts of rock and ice, all under a magnificent pink hue. At that point we knew it would be a great trip. After that we spent three days south of Anchorage at Kenai Fjords National Park. This is where the glaciers meet the water and we enjoyed more wildlife and went sea kayaking.

From these early memories to her most recent visit this summer, we all watched her blossom into a confident cyclist, who loved being on her bike. We would spend time talking about riding, racing, and training issues; her interest just kept growing. Three summers ago she came out with her bike. We rode hard and kept each other smiling and laughing her whole visit. Often our conversations drifted into other life issues: morality, religion, family, friends, and people of romantic interest. No matter what I wanted to talk about, she would lend an optimistic ear and give me her honest opinion. When she needed an outlet, I would be there for her, the things you can rely on with a great friendship.

I think her passion for outdoor activities and her growing number of friends here in Colorado allowed her to consider this a second home. Everyone that met Nancy found her interesting and enjoyed her company; many of my friends still inquire about her. I hope to stay in touch with friends and family and visit with everyone when I come out to the East Coast again. Please remember that you are all welcome to visit Colorado and you will be looked after. As parents, you brought into this world and raised a wonderful woman that I can say I am proud to be friends with.

Much Love,
Robby Morey

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Acknowledgments Introduction Testimonies Photo Gallery 1 Reflections from Nancy's Mother