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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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Day 20 of riding

This morning we could leave directly from the Days Inn in Lamar, Colorado to head east on US Hwy 50 after breakfast at 6:30.  The skies were clear, it was 76 degrees with a light wind from the southeast.  The traffic was light, in fact, we were passed by only four cars in the first 40 minutes!  I especially LOVE the first couple hours of the day because it is cool enough to have the windows down and we not only see the sites, we hear and smell the world around us.  This morning we heard meadowlarks with their distinctive call, roosters crowing, crickets chirping and leaves blowing in the wind.  Maybe I shouldn't be so happy about the leaves blowing...I'll get to that later! The song running through my mind this morning was:
All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small
All things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.
Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings.

We are surrounded by so much beauty!  One of the highlights of the day was crossing into Kansas!  I want to put this picture first so it will be our thumbnail.

Before we got there, we took a break in Grenada, CO around 8 o'clock.  We got on the tandem bike and headed out for the 15 or so miles to the Colorado/Kansas border.  The wind I mentioned earlier...well, it was continuing to get stronger - by this time 20-30 mph.  After riding the 40 some miles yesterday my legs weren't really very happy about pedalling as hard as they were having to against the ALMOST headwind!  For the 15 miles I rode with Russ it felt like we were climbing a hill the whole time with the wind gusting and wobbling us now and then, too.  The wind can be your friend, but it can certainly be your enemy as well!  We pedalled into the last rest area in Colorado, I was hoping to ride into Kansas, but my legs were so tired I felt tremendous relief when we turned into the rest area and I got off the bike!
At the rest area we met Garland, he and his wife live in Washington state and were traveling west after being near Washington, D.C. visiting National Parks around the country.  They were about to visit their 300th park! We had a wonderful visit, Garland was an interesting kind of guy that you feel a kinship with right away.  He gave us a generous donation and we gave him a t-shirt...wear it with pride, Garland!  It was a pleasure meeting you!  It's so interesting that we were heading in opposite directions, had similar biking interests and we manage to stop at the same tiny rest stop at the same time.  Thank you, God for your timing!
It was a nice little rest area, we sat at the picnic table for a snack.

We put the tandem away and Russ headed out again on his own.  The Kansas border was less than 1 mile away so we stopped and took the picture I posted at the top. 
We saw some beautiful farmland today:

The wheat had been harvested, the stubble cut and raked, ready for the straw to be baled.
 Lots of nice fields of corn.
 We saw LARGE rectangular bales being loaded with this truck that rushed around the field, the loader on the front lifted the bale over the cab on to the conveyor looking thing that moved it down to the bottom.  He was just picking up his second bale, so I'm not sure what happened after that filled...Russ was pedalling on so we couldn't sit around watching!
There were some hills on the road today, but much was flat with a view that seemed to go on forever!
The roads were great today, WIDE shoulders - it was like having our own lane!  It was time to fill the van with gas in  Syracuse, KS where I also filled our water jugs again, too.  We were going through a lot of water today, by now it was over 100 degrees.  We ate some lunch/snack in a parking lot with shade. 
An hour later we were near Kendall where we changed back to Central Standard Time.

With the wide roads, mostly flat landscape you would expect that we would have just zoomed along.  The wind, as I mentioned before, was our enemy!  By afternoon, the wind was probably 35-40 mph from the S SE.  At times the wind was pushing at about "1:30 to 2:00" positionally toward Russ.  At times it was pushing from the side (3:00 position) but we could see the gusts wobbling Russ.  It was a struggle on level roads, uphill climbs and going downhill as well.  I took a couple of pictures trying to show how strong the wind was, but they don't do it justice.

 Bags caught on a fence and the flag was whipping in the wind.
Following Russ today as he fought with the wind, I prayed that the wind would change direction, that it would subside, that Russ would have the strength to endure it. I thought about how I wish I could block the wind for him or push him along somehow.  I had experienced a lower velocity of the wind this morning and I KNEW it was a struggle, uncomfortable and frustrating; I could identify.  Then I began to think about how we see those we know and love face challenges, adversity and pain. Maybe challenges of health, relationships, finances, loss, security, etc. We can often identify with the challenges those we know and love are facing, but we are helpless to remove the challenge. Each day Gene and I are the "support team", helping Russ have the things he needs to ride.  Getting him set for the day, praying with and for him, getting him snacks, water, towel, clean his glasses, get him a chair.  We can do all those things, but we can't pedal for him.  The same is true in life, we can support, encourage, pray and meet needs for those we love facing challenges, even though we cannot remove or bear the difficulty.  God is truly the one we can rely on to give us the strength we need for us make it through struggles and give support and encouragement to those around us who need their "support team".   Thanks for being our support team and holding us up in prayer!

Russ rode 80 miles today pushing his way into Lakin.  We are staying in Garden City, KS tonight at the Comfort Inn.  We will drive back to Lakin in the morning and hope to reach Dodge City tomorrow.  Please pray for the wind to be at our back tomorrow!  We'd better get some sleep, we've lost an hour today...hopefully we can jump out of bed bright and early in the morning!
Blessings to you!  Until tomorrow,
Russ & Carol

1 comment:

  1. Our prayers have been with you each day. It's amazing how far you have traveled already



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