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West Bend woman returns from bike tour across Alaska

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WEST BEND (WITI) -- Nearly 900 miles in 22 days with just the clothes on her back and the few bags her bike could carry.

"Nothing was set up ahead of time so it's all kind of fly by the seat of your pants but it's so rewarding," says Judy Steffes.

Steffes was inspired to go on a bike tour across Alaska to help people like her father Al, who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

"She's very generous and it's something that we couldn't do. So we're very happy," says Al.

She averaged 30 to 50 miles per day taking in every moment of her adventure.

"You've got to live your life now while you can because you just never know what's going to happen tomorrow, that really helped keep me going," says Steffes.

Steffes slept on the floors of churches and schools, she was also taken in by some locals.

She struck up a conversation with one person after noticing a cheesehead and Packers flag hanging from their mailbox post.

"He went to New Holstein High School and I said my father was born in Saint Cloud he went to New Holstein High School, can I sleep on your garage floor," says Steffes.

During her trip, Steffes raised about $19,000.

The money is going to Cedar Community, where Steffes' father lives, for programming at a new memory care facility for people with Alzheimer's.

Ground was broken for the building in May and it will be completed in the Summer of 2014.

"I said you put your heart and soul into every mile that you made because you believe in something. We believe in what she's doing and we believe in what we're doing," says Tracey MacGregor.

For now, Steffes says she needs to catch her breath but another bike tour is in the works for next year.

Steffes' trip wasn't over when she landed at Mitchell International from Alaska.

She biked 44 miles from the airport to her home in West Bend.

For more information on Steffes, visit her blog by CLICKING HERE.

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