Sharing the Good News of the Cross of Jesus Christ

Supporting Missions Around the World, Bicycling 5000 Miles Across America

Mapping the Journey, One Pedal At A Time

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 42

After packing up and eating breakfast at the Comfort Suites in Salem, Virginia; we were on the road back to our ending spot from yesterday.  The temperature was a cool 72 degrees under partly cloudy and hazy skies on US Hwy 460.  Russ was on the road at 7:50 where the road narrowed to 1 lane for construction, but the traffic was delayed by traffic lights and he sailed through quickly to where the road widened once again. 
One of the first church signs I saw this morning was before I even had the camera out, it said:
"Aspire to inspire before you expire"
I loved that!

I was ready with the camera for the next sign. Also, very true and set the tone for the day!
 Salem traffic was busy, but friendly. No shoulder, but there were 2 and 3 lanes for most of the city.
 The sky was becoming more overcast, we could see rain in the distance, but not a drop fell on us.  We enjoyed a shoulder for a short while.
 After 22 miles, we took a break at the Blue Ridge Church of the Brethren parking lot. 
After the break when we returned to the road, the shoulder was a thing of the past.
Even though the traffic was heavy on this busy US Hwy 460, people were very friendly, in fact, we probably had the most "happy honks" and waves in one day!  Making that fact even more interesting, most of the honking came from the oncoming traffic across the grassy median!  The cross of Christ is like a magnet, it draws people to it.  Every time I heard a honk, it made me smile - GLORY TO GOD!  This picture also attempts to show some of the challenging incline Russ dealt with today, however, pictures of hills never do them justice!
 The beautiful Stars & Stripes, I LOVE the USA!  We live in a beautiful country!

Today did not disappoint us, we saw some interesting street signs! 
First, there seemed to be an animal theme.

 We didn't have time to go down this lane!

Some businesses have interesting ways to advertise...

Don't you love the welding guy?  He looks so happy!

More church signs...
Always a good reminder.
 This was not a church sign, but it!!!
 Thought provoking...and true!

Today was a comfortable day, the high temperature was in the mid 80's and we had a pleasant cloud cover.  As we traveled into Lynchburg, the road was busy but we had a shoulder until we ended on road construction where the top of the pavement was chopped off, even on the shoulder.  I was praying Russ didn't get a flat!  We stopped after about a mile of construction, Russ had reached his 60 miles today.  Where we get back on the road in the morning, we THINK (hope & pray!) the construction was ending.
We stopped for lunch at Golden Corral, Russ LOVES to fill up on the veggies there!  As we were coming in to sit down, Lois and Mary came over to meet us, they had seen the cross and were very supportive.  What sweet encouragers they were!  Once again, it's a blessing to meet other Christians.
After that, it was on to the Quality Inn to relax, check out the pool and watch more Olympics. 

As we cross Virginia, the traffic seems to be getting heavier.  Today was a "pray without ceasing" kind of day, but not really anxiety filled. (thanks to your prayers!)  Sometimes I purposely don't look in the rear view mirror, I don't want to spend my time worrying about how many or how fast vehicles are coming, or if they see us.   I have to trust God with what's behind me and focus on Russ & the road ahead.  God continues to impress that upon my heart, "TRUST IN ME".  I have no control over others or what's going on around us, but I can focus my heart and mind on trusting God.  That's not only true on the road, but in our lives.  Sometimes we get wrapped up in worrying about what others are doing, or not doing, what they are think or what we expect from them.  I'm sure God would rather us focus on Him and He will take care of the rest.  

Tomorrow we travel US 460 once again from Lynchburg to Burkeville.  Please pray for good shoulders and a safe road.  We appreciate your kind words, encouragement and prayers.  Blessings to you!  Until tomorrow,
Russ & Carol  

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 41 of riding!

The morning was a cool 67 degrees under partly cloudy skies as we packed up our things at Comfort Inn in Wytheville, Virginia.  After breakfast, Russ took some time to work on his bike a bit.  The gizmo (I'm sure there's a technical name for me, it's just a gizmo!) that changes the chain from the 3 big front gears wasn't working quite right, so Russ did some adjusting.  We were on our way down the road just after 8:00 am.  We rode beside interstate 81 for awhile on bike road 76, also called East Lee Hwy.  We were a bit unsure about what roads to take, we came to a turn where I thought we were on the right road, but actually we had committed to the on-ramp to the freeway! The road we were supposed to be on was just over the fence, Russ easily back-tracked, we drove on and met with him at the next exit.  I am SO thankful for my iPhone and the map application, for days like today - it's a lifesaver!
We came across a church sign early on that I thought was very appropriate!
We took a break in Wade's Supermarket parking lot in Dublin, Virginia shortly after turning back on US Hwy 11.  Back to our familiar highway!  Shortly thereafter, we came into Radford.
We were beginning to wonder if Virginia had any paved shoulders.  We experienced this bike lane for a short time and were thankful for it!
 Some road names are quite interesting, today I snapped a couple of them.  One I didn't get a photo of was "Kitten Lane"!
 I felt like this sign really describes our trip well!
Our next break was at Burger King in Christianburg at 11:15 after riding about 40 miles.

Of all the billboards we have seen on the entire trip,
this one wins the prize for the best and is my FAVORITE!!!

We were up and down on a few hills, mostly we see the mountains in the distance.
Is this beautiful, or what??

I couldn't resist taking a picture of this beautiful farm.

I'm a firm believer in LAUGHTER, to me, it's a gift from God!

More beautiful scenery.  We were blessed for part of the day to have 4 lane roads, just a gravel shoulder, but at least people could pass safely.
 This pickup slowed to take pictures of the van/trailer/cross and drove beside Russ to get his picture!
Today we had a couple of "firsts" for the trip...the blue car pictured below had passed us earlier, later drove up from behind slowly and CLOSELY beside me to hand me a generous donation as we followed Russ down the road!  Our first donation "on the fly"!  Thank you!  You blessed us!
 Another first was an anonymous comment on the blog from someone who saw us on the road today. They wrote, "I passed you today in Radford, VA....wanted to say what an awesome thing you are doing and sending lots of luck on the rest of your journey! God bless you!" God bless YOU, my friend, you have NO IDEA how encouraging that is! 

Nearing the end of our day, we saw these signs...we were on our way to Salem, Virginia where we are spending the night at Comfort Suites.
Shortly after taking this picture, Russ pulled over - he had a flat on the front tire!  He said it was flat for about a mile, but there was nowhere to pull off!  He quickly switched out the tire and we were back on the road for 2 and 1/2 miles to reach his 60 miles for the day.

After checking into the motel, we cooled off in the pool and bubbled in the hot tub.  Russ worked on his bike this afternoon in his "bike shop" in the parking lot fixing the flat and working on the "gizmo" again! 
 While he was working, we met Angela.  She works in the adjacent building, saw the blog address on our sign and checked it out, then came out to meet us! She and her husband are cyclists. Angela also gave a generous donation and blessed us with encouragement. Thank you, Angela! 
This evening, I did a bit of laundry so we can make it through the rest of the trip.  While hanging out by the laundry room and taking things back to the van, I met more nice people.  God is always blessing us with people, curious, friendly, helpful and encouraging.  God continues to answer our daily prayer that the cross will bring curiosity, hope and encouragement to those who see it. To God be the Glory! 
Tomorrow we plan to be to Lynchburg by the end of the day.  The ride across Virginia is proving to be beautiful as well as encouraging with many friendly waves, honks and thumbs up as we travel.  Thank you again for your prayers and words of encouragement, they mean so much to us!
Until tomorrow,
Russ & Carol

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A day of Worship and rest

We woke to a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning, enjoyed breakfast and headed off to church at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Wytheville, Virginia.  We attended the contemporary service at 8:40 where the praise team led us in meaningful worship. Pastor Rae Mullins welcomed us warmly and delivered an inspiring message.  Before and after the service we enjoyed visiting with Pastor Rae, also a cyclist!  Amazing how God has led us to churches with cyclist pastors! 

 Russ and Pastor Rae.

 Crosses and stained glass in the church.

 Stained glass where the Contemporary service took place.
 Stained glass in the Traditional sanctuary.

 The altar area in the sanctuary.
Coming into Virginia, we realize how much history is around us.  Roots of our founding fathers are all around us.  This church has been around for nearly 200 years.

After church, Russ rode from the west to east side of town just to keep from getting stiff.  It was a beautiful morning, clear and 74 degrees at 10:30 am.  We had some photo opportunities coming through town.

Russ riding by the office supply store.

Sometimes in Kindergarten we used BIG that's what you call a GIANT pencil!

As we made our way back to our motel on the east side of town,
 riding on the 2 way feeder got you CLOSE to the freeway!

As we travel across this beautiful country of ours, some of the lyrics of the song
"My Country Tis of Thee" come to mind:

My country tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrim's pride!
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring!
My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love.
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture fills
Like that above.
I do love the rocks and rills, the woods and templed hills; seeing it all fills my heart with pride and joy for God's beautiful creation in our country.  We are so thankful to be able to experience it one mile at a time.  Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement!
Until tomorrow,
Russ & Carol

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Day 40 of riding!

The morning was cool, clear and beautiful as we drove away from the Travelodge in Bristol, Tennessee to drive back to our "spot" in Bristol, Virginia.  Russ was on the bike by 7:30 am, with a fabulous temperature of 67 degrees!  As we headed out of Bristol on US Hwy 11 North, the road narrowed quickly to 2 lanes with no shoulder.  Thankfully, since it was Saturday, the traffic was fairly light.  Virginia is quite beautiful with its hills, valleys, lots of trees and grassy pastures.
After about an hour and 16 miles, we stopped in Lowe's parking lot for a break in Abingdon, VA.  Abingdon was an interesting town with many old buildings that were beautiful.  We saw some historical markers with dates in the 1700's...amazing!  Looks like an fascinating place to take some time to check it out.  This is the courthouse.
The quilt blocks on the barns always interest me!
 As we traveled down the highway, many times it parallelled the freeway, we also crossed it going over and under it several times.
We took a break after another 15 miles at 10:00 in front of the Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church in Chilhowie.  Not sure how they came up with that name, maybe Howie needed to "chill"!  By this time it was a comfortable 77 degrees.
One of the beautiful old houses in Chilhowie.
 Tree covered mountain, glad to be going around it!
We took another break in Marion, VA at McDonald's just after 11:00 after another 15 miles.  While we traveled along today, we began to wonder if the governor had declared it "yard-sale day" in Virginia.  I'm sure we saw close to 100 yard sales!  We didn't stop to shop, but many of them had some very nice looking things.

The day ended just outside of Wytheville at Apple House Road.  We drove to our Comfort Inn motel and of course, cooled off in the pool.  We spent the afternoon and evening watching the Olympics.  This evening, we looked out our window and saw at least 30 horses grazing on the hill behind us.

Today was no different than other days, we saw some interesting signs.  An auto repair shop had the sign, "Smiles are free".  A hair salon with the name "Explosive Hair"...not sure I'd go get my hair done there! 

Here are some church signs we saw:
Amen to that! He answers prayer every day!

My personal favorite for the day:
Even though most of the day was on a two lane road with a shoulder, it was non stressful and safe due to many of you removing our burdens on your knees by lifting us up in your prayers.  We appreciate your encouragement and prayers more than you will ever know.  One week from today we SHOULD be arriving at Cape Henry in Virginia Beach.  To God be the GLORY!!!  40 days of riding...unbelievable, isn't it?  I guess not, because with God ALL things are possible!  Pray for Russ as he makes final decisions on the route to take from here.  As we rest tonight, we look forward to a day of WORSHIP tomorrow! 
Until then, blessings to you!
Russ and Carol


The CrossNAmerica trip is First to be a witness of the significance of the Cross of Jesus Christ and Its Foundational Influence Upon This Nation. Its Even the Glue That Holds Us Together. "LAMININ"

Secondly we are raising pledges per mile or single pledges to support any of the five mission organizations listed on this blog or any other worthy Christian mission effort around the world, locally or globally.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18