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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day and Day 19

We were up early and enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the Best Western in Walsburg, Colorado. Since Russ rode about 10 miles beyond where we stayed, we drove back to the spot we stopped yesterday.  Now that we have come down out of the mountains, we took out the TANDEM bike!  We were on the road just after 6:30 am, the sky was blue with a few wispy clouds, it was a comfortable 70 degrees.  We looked back to the west to appreciate our last views of the Rocky Mountains.
We rode on Colorado Hwy 10 east, it had no shoulder but the traffic was sparse so we felt safe.  The first 10 miles or so we were up and down over a few hills, it was a challenge for me since I hadn't been on the bike since the day we got to the Grand Canyon!  Then we had several miles of fact, some of the downhills made me a little nervous. When you coast over 40 mph, it's a little scary - to me anyway!  We stopped at 9 am after riding 42 miles, the temperature was 86 degrees by that time.  We had traveled over quite a lot of "cowboy" country again. 

Russ was back on his own bike and I was back in the driver's seat.  We saw a great deal of different surroundings today.  We went through scrubby wasteland, ranch land, pasture ground, farmland...we saw a lot!
We saw fields of alfalfa.
 Some fields covered with newly baled hay from the fields of alfalfa...smells SO good!
 Some fields of corn...
There were animals along the way today, too.  First we saw some kind of deer type animals (sounds technical, doesn't it?) running off after we startled them.  We also saw some road kill, the normal deer, birds,skunks, ground squirrels, etc. but today a porcupine was lying in a heap on the side of the road! That was a new one to me!  We saw lots of horses, cows, calves, even  some sheep.  They usually have that same reaction to the bike, they stare in shock as he goes by.  But today, Russ started some stampedes!  Russ didn't even notice, but Gene & I had a good laugh!

We took a break at McDonald's this morning in La Junta where we met Jerry, Elaine & Sophia in the parking lot.  When we were finishing a roadside break earlier, they had slowed and pulled over to make sure we were alright.  We had a nice visit with them and they made a generous donation to our cause.  Inside, we met Dorothy, Kathy and her granddaughter; we also had a nice visit.  When I told them Russ was a pastor, Dorothy gave me a hug and said we were kindred spirits, she was married to a pastor, too!  She also gave us a generous donation.  They were very sweet ladies that blessed us as well.  God is so good to bring encouragement at just the right time!

In La Junta, we turned onto US Hwy 50 which will take us into and across some of Kansas. For about 8 miles it was four lane with a wide shoulder.  Even after the road narrowed to two lanes, we still had a nice wide shoulder for the rest of the day.

As we headed down the highway, at one point we paralleled railroad tracks.  Along the tracks were telephone poles that didn't look like the normal lower case "t" shape.  They looked more like a row of crosses, how cool is that?

As we made our way into Las Animas, we came across a sign I had NEVER seen before, I'm not really sure what it means!
Look out, your head is about to explode?  You'll be having a bad hair day?
We have weird vibes in this town?
I'm guessing there were loud noises nearby or something...but I had a good laugh!

We came into Las Animas, evidently Kit Carson lived there!
 We saw a pretty church steeple with beautiful cross.
 We took a break in the shady park by the Bent County sheriff's office. 
By this time it was over 100 degrees.  We appreciated the shade!
 As we rode toward Lamar, we could see they were in need of some rain.  By now it was 104 degrees according to the thermometer in the van, the bike's temperature topped at 111 degrees. 
There was a strong hot wind blowing sometimes from the side, sometimes a tailwind and as we turned to come into Lamar, it was a headwind.

We arrived at DaysInn in Lamar just before 4 pm.  Russ had ridden over 120 miles today! We just have 30 some miles left of Colorado.  My legs were aching and I just rode 42 miles, I was SO thankful for the pool and hot tub tonight!

Today when we faced some challenging hills on the tandem bike, I decided to show you what I see as we ride.  When I'm bent over behind Russ, Phillipians 4:13 is right in my face.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 
It's really great motivation!
Our nephew, Tim Francis, designed and printed the many colors of jerseys for Russ at his shop,
D & T Shirtified in Fremont, Nebraska.  Aren't they cool?  Thanks, Tim!

As we drove along today, I reflected on the fact that it was Independence Day and how blessed we are for the freedoms we have and take for granted.  "America the Beautiful" was rolling around in my mind and I thought about how many of the word pictures of the song we have seen.  We've definitely seen the spacious skies, amber waves of grain, the purple mountain majesties and the fruited plains. "America, America, God shed his grace on thee..."  we've felt that more than anything else - God's grace.  As this holiday draws to a close, I pray you feel blessed by freedom and by God's grace.
Thank you for the encouragement and prayers! Blessings to you, until tomorrow,
Russ & Carol

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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