Slideshow image

May 10 - 12, 2010

We are in Day 3 of riding bicycles and we are just now able to provide an update on our trip. We are currently in Covington, Washington- about 50 miles south-east of Seattle. The past few days have been an adjustment, to say the least. The Lord has been good to provide abundantly, however. Monday morning we left our house at 4:30 for the Indianapolis airport where we flew to Seattle with a layover in Houston. From Seattle we were given a ride to La Vogue bike shop in Hoquiam where our bikes were assembled for us and some extra accessories added. Terry at the bike shop made a generous donation towards our trip for YFC. We then got a ride 20 miles to Ocean Shores where we placed our rear wheels in the Pacific Ocean and at around 5:30 pm started for Maine. The weather this day was cool (in the 50's), but overall it was a beautiful day. Within these first few miles we were starting to realize we were not in Indiana anymore! The giant evergreen trees towered over us as we rode through the forest. By the time we got to our motel in Hoquiam, we were extremely tired from the plane rides and then biking all in one day.

Yesterday was pretty great. The weather was beautiful and everyone we came in contact with was helpful and generous. The first thing we did this day was stop by the bike shop to get final adjustments made. Then we left Hoquiam around 10:30 am. One lady before we got to Olympia heard about our mission and donated $10. We rode on many back roads and state roads. The town of Olympia was extremely quaint. There were murals on the sides of buildings, modern-looking fountains, boats on the bay. This evening was a huge blessing. We ate a delicious dinner with a gentleman named Steve and his daughter Alexandria. Then we went to their church for a meeting, at which time we explained our mission with YFC. They then gave us individual donations towards YFC. After this, Don and Linda Backman from the church took us home and provided lodging for the night. They were extremely hospitable and Don is a pro golfer.

Today was a bit of a challenge. We left Lacey around 8:45 am and rode through more evergreen-tree territory for the first 20 miles or so. We rode through the town of Yelm, ate at McDonalds, and then up through the southern towns of Tacoma. Overall, the weather was the same as it had been the last 2 days, however, the traffic in the city slowed us down quite a bit. Also, there have been some gruelling steep and windy hills leading up to where we are staying. We are now in Covington, which is almost straight east of Tacoma, in the home of some very generous folks, both of whom have lived in Indiana. Next

Day 4 (May 13), 2010

This morning Susan and Jerry fixed us a wonderful, eggs-bacon-toast-fruit breakfast. Jerry helped us map our route for the day and printed off some maps for us that got us where we needed to go. We left their home in Covington around 8:45 am. As we rode north we rode around Tiger Mountain as we were experiencing more hills.

We rode to a bike shop in Issaquah to fix Garri Jr's rear wheel which had become very wobbly for some reason (we thought about getting the wheel fixed in "Spokane"). We each ate a slice of pizza at a little pizza place there (great energy food??). Coming out of Issaquah we took I90 (lawful in this part of the state) for the remainder of the day (15 miles or so). The hills were becoming increasingly intense and long. We could see in the distance many snow-capped mountains. Tomorrow is going to be quite a challenge. We finished today in North Bend, WA after about 37 miles total.

May 14, 2010

Snoqualmie Pass

Today was quite a marathon. We woke up at 6:00 am and got an early start. Breakfast this morning was at "Rock-o's" on the east side of North Bend. It was a nice little place- the only place open at 7:00 am. There were a couple older men there- one of which had lived through the great depression. Folks in his day worked for $1.00 per day during a time when he bought a model T for $15. Another man in the store was a logger- a logger of fir trees. One time he had transported one single tree- in four separate tractor trailer truck loads.

We tried to find the Iron Horse trail in the morning, but instead went with the interstate again (legally, once again). This is where the fun begins. To the peak of Snoqualmie Pass from the bottom was 20 miles of nothing but uphill basically. As we got to the top there was more and more snow on the trees and landscape. It was beautiful. We also had tailwinds and the temperature was just right. We passed one man who was broken down with his truck and boat. When we arrived at the top we ate lunch at Family Pancake house. It was the most amazing food we have had. A ski lodge was just across the street.

When we headed back down the pass, we ran into some interstate construction that became a little tricky. On the side of the road was a wallet with its contents scattered for about 100 yards down the highway. Garri Jr. picked up what he could find- not much cash was around it, but a lot of other work IDs and other things. We got to Cle Elum around 5:00. When we got a snack at Burger King, there was the guy who was broken down on the side of the road earlier. We talked for a bit.

After Cle Elum, the terrain changed a lot. Instead of evergreens and snow it began to look more like sand, clay, rocks, and scraggly little plants, but we rode along SR 10 which had a majestic river flowing along it. We are also still in awe of the mountains.

We arrived at Ellensburg around 8:00 after about 80 miles of riding and are staying with a very nice gentleman named Larry.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The terrain around Moses Lake

This morning Larry fed us a great breakfast with healthy cereals, blueberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, and other fresh fruit. We left Ellensburg (named after the founder's wife "Ellen") around 9:00 am and headed for Moses Lake. The weather was fairly warm (in the 70s) with hazy skies and winds mostly in our favor. 30 miles down the road we arrived in Vantage. The last 8 miles into town were all downhill following down to the Columbia River. We were hungry and thirsty and ate at the only restaurant within 30 miles- a burger place. There was a guy there who told us about how his life changed when he became a Christian.

We headed across the river and up the grade (3+ miles long) on the other side. We were becoming sweaty and tired and the terrain was becoming increasingly dry and dusty. About 5 miles outside of Moses Lake was George, Washington. Around 7:30 pm we arrived at the Motel 6 at Moses Lake. They have a washer and dryer- we need somewhere to wash our clothes. We called the local police station and they came and picked up the wallet that we had found on the side of the road 2 days ago. We are praying for wisdom on our route over the next week.

May 16, 2010

Ritzville, WA

Baby steps...

This morning we woke up around 10:30 and had a brief church service in our motel room. We then had breakfast at Perkins where we spoke with some teachers travelling home from a convention. We spoke with them about the needs of kids and they were sympathetic towards our cause and gave us $100.

We intended for this to be a short day of riding. We rode further down along I90 and experienced desolation with no convenience stores for 45 miles. We had stocked up on water and food before leaving this moring. There was one rest stop where some kids were selling concessions and we got some lemonade. We are now in Ritzville staying in Tophat Motel off I90. The owners are Christians and gave us about a 20% discount. Thank the Lord for one day at a time.

May 17, 2010

Spokane, WA High Desert We left Ritzville around 9:30 am and headed down I90. We had some headwinds at first. After about 10 miles we were told about a side road off the interstate. We arrived at Sprague where we stocked up on bananas and other fruit. The town appeared to be somewhat destitute; the folks in the town told us that the area had been hurt since the interstate no longer ran through it. Our path today is what the people call high desert. It was a mix of sand, fungi-infested rock and grasslands. We were also experiencing a mix of flat roads and rolling hills. 4 trains passed us in the wilderness hauling various cargo including asphalt. Out in the open range a buck ran out in front of us. One can see the entire length of a freight train in this country. When we got back onto the interstate some evergreen trees started to reappear, but not as big as we had seen in western Washington State. We arrived in Spokane around 5:15 pm after 63 miles. It was a good ride overall today.

May 18, 2010

Coeur d'Alene, ID

Centennial Trail

We are finally through the state of Washington! We left the motel around 9:30 this morning and rode through the city of Spokane. The skies were overcast and after we got through town it started to mist.

On the other side of the town, we stopped at a convenience store where we told the owner why we were riding and they gave us some food for the road and an Idaho state map. By this time it was raining more heavily. Further on down the road we stopped at Storage Solutions, where the owners gave a generous donation of $100 to YFC.

The owners of Storage Solutions gave us some very valuable directions to the Centennial trail that we took for the remaining 20 miles of today. This ride was absolutely beautiful. We were also thrilled to be away from the traffic.

The rain finally subsided and we arrived at Coeur d'Alene, ID around 5:00 pm. This is a very clean and pleasant town that sits on a lake. The owners at the Flamingo Motel here gave us a 50% discount for our cause. We rode about 40 miles today- it was a light day, but tomorrow we will be in a national forest.

May 19, 2010

Coeur d'Alene, ID

Trail

The highlight of today was the 30 miles of northern Idaho former-railroad trail that we followed. We saw some incredible beauty in nature. Pine forests and mountains surrounded us, as well as a river that ran along side us. Now we are at a motel in Wallace, ID and are extremely tired after having rid 56 miles. To start with, this morning we ate at Iron Horse Grill downtown Coeur d'Alene where a couple named Larry and Sherri bought us breakfast. Larry's brother had been a clarinet instructor at Ball State University in Indiana.

When we left Coeur d'Alene we started up a 3-4 mile hill. We had a wonderful view of the lake. At Rose Lake we got off the interstate and started on the trail. We took over 100 pictures. It was a beautiful day with low humidity and temperatures in the 60's.

When we arrived in Wallace we walked over to the Red Stop Restaurant- an entertaining burger joint with more trinkets and "pretties" than Hobby Lobby. The ceiling was covered with license plates from all over the country. The owner Jamie played saxophone and clarinet and in the restaurant was a player piano from about 1905. We "jammed" with Jamie with Garri Jr. on piano, Garri Sr. on harmonica and Jamie on tenor sax. We are about to go to sleep.

May 20, 2010

Lookout Pass

Let it Snow!

We woke up this morning to temperatures in the 30's. When we left the motel it was misting. It continued to mist and lightly rain all morning. Then the riding got intense. We climbed a slight grade for the first 6 miles or so until we came to Mullen, at which time the hill got much steeper. We continued up about a 6% grade for about 5 miles to the top of Lookout Pass. At this point it was snowing. It was extremely cold, although above freezing temperatures. This is the first time we've ever ridden in SNOW until now.

At the top of the pass we crossed over into Montana and we celebrated with lunch at the Montana Grill, off the interstate. This place had stuffed mountain lion, mountain sheep, deer, moose, bear, pheasant, elk, and other game mounted throughout the restaurant. They also served Elk Burgers. When we continued down along the interstate it sprinkled a little, but was clear for the most part. We arrived in St. Regis, MT around 7:00 pm and are staying with Jack Stamm, a bicyclist through warmshowers.org. He lives in a log cabin. His property was surrounded by ponderosa pines, the straightest pine trees we've ever seen. Inside was a fireplace and they created their own electricity for their home.

May 21, 2010

Wilderness

The Stamm's

It was 34 degrees when we awoke this morning. We rode along the Flathead River for the first 30 miles today. It was an Indian reservation in which we met one local man who resented "city trash." At lunch we met a local, elderly, full-blooded Indian who explained to us how the early Indians survived- how they turned their furs inside out when it was cold, how they used to dry meats to preserve them, and how they would hunt and make canoes out of birch bark. This was truly wilderness. We have been told that every type of wildlife roams this area- moose, elk, rattlesnake, mountain lion, grouse, bald eagle, and black bear. In the distance along this route we could see Mission Mountain- a range of magnificent white peaks miles away. It was time for the bears to come out of hibernation. We saw a fat black bear cross the road in front of us at a distance. After lunch we rode another 30 miles to Missoula. It was still fairly cold outside. Before we got to town we met a man who asked about our journey and offered to let us stay at his place. He said "you'll see my picture down the road." Sure enough, down the road was his face as a man who was running for sheriff. Now we are in a motel in Missoula where we now have access to internet! We rode 59 miles today.

May 22, 2010

Drummond, MT

No bull

We left the motel this morning late- around 10:00. The weather was fair with partly cloudy skies, temperatures in the 50's, and we were blessed with a strong tailwind for the first 40 or 50 miles.

We headed down Broadway into Missoula until we came to town where the streets were crowded with a farmer's market and students of University of Montana. We stopped by Adventure Cycling Assn. to have our pictures taken, but they were closed.

From Missoula, we took I90 and found frontage roads, which we took for most of the afternoon. On one frontage road we saw a lot of unusual rock formations and a local dog followed us for a few miles. Also along our route have been western-looking folks with "cowboy hats," some of which have been ranchers. Casinos seem to be a big business around here as well. We continue to tell everyone about our mission to reach youth for Christ. One man today gave us $10 towards our cause. We rode 61 miles today and are now in Drummond, MT where it is raining and cold. Pastor Larry at the Community Church here, whose wife was out "bear hunting" today, is going to have us to speak and play some music tomorrow for the church service. He also said someone from the congregation plays the saw, which we are looking forward to hearing tomorrow.

May 23-24, 2010

Drummond and Deer Lodge, MT

Drummond Community Church Sunday we went to Drummond Community Church, a true mountain-western church experience. Pastor Larry Brown, who provided us with a room at Drummond Motel, gave a great sermon on the "Kiss of Death" that Judas gave to Jesus before his crucifixion. We spoke briefly about YFC and then played Amazing Grace on harmonica and piano. A man at the church told us that in the past he had bicycled 300 miles in one day (fact or fiction?). After church we rested at the motel before riding in Pastor Larry's car about 40 miles to a home set in the midst of some snowy mountains (elev. 6200). They get moose in the back yard and the dad won't let the kids hunt there because it's not enough of a challenge. It started to snow as we rode up a dirt road for 2 or 3 miles. There were about 20 people from the church there. We had a brief discussion, prayer time, and music, accompanied by guitarists and us Garri's on harmonicas. It was a great time. Pastor Larry then took us back to the motel and we had a great night's rest.

This morning Garri Sr. got a really short haircut from Diane the barber in Drummond. She did not charge because we were riding for Youth for Christ. According to the weather channel today, it was almost 90 degrees back home in Anderson, IN and extremely hot around most of the USA, but in Drummond, Montana- it was 40 degrees and rainy all the way to Deer Lodge, where we are staying tonight. The tailwind at the beginning of the day helped us a lot- we averaged about 11 mph on bicycles, which has been above average for this trip. We are now in Deer Lodge staying with the Caleb Burton, the pastor of an Evangelical church in town. It is 6:15 here, and we will likely go to bed soon- we are going to try to climb a huge pass on the other side of Butte tomorrow (continental divide); we have been hearing about snow accumulation there today. It's supposed to be a little warmer tomorrow- we'll see.

May 25, 2010

Whitehall, MT

The Teser's

It has been a long day. We went to bed around 8:00 last night and the sleep has done us some good. Before we left Deer Lodge we ate breakfast at a restaurant there. Garri Sr. was talking with the folks at the table next to us and mentioned our mission that we're on, and they told us they had seen us on the road the day before. When we left the restaurant our server told us that they had bought our breakfast. When we left town we had a bit of a headwind which slowed us down for a while. The weather was a bit warmer than yesterday and it was partly cloudy and not raining, so at least we were not miserable. As we got down the frontage road we came to a dead end, and to keep from having to backtrack, we walked our bikes up a steep hill to Highway 1, and then rode bikes back to the interstate. We finally got to Butte around 4:00, and ate some lunch/dinner. We were surrounded by rocky, snowy mountains. Then came the fun part. We climbed about a 4-mile pass on the other side of Butte up to the Continental Divide at 6200 ft. As we coasted down the other side we saw a family of five on the side of the road running to the road to greet us. It was the Teser's, whom we were to stay with this night in Whitehall. We have never had such a sweet greeting. When we got back to their house they fixed us tacos made with self-hunted elk meat. Their house is self-built and is heated by a single fireplace in the basement. They put another log on the fire out of courtesy for us before we went to bed. Garri Jr. had his picture taken by a coyote skin for the first time ever. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting with this family.

May 26, 2010

Windy Wednesday

When we woke up this morning, our hosts for last night, the Treser's, fixed us pancakes and we visited for a while. They took us down to the filling station with our bikes, we took pictures, then we started down the back road. We came to Montana 2, which goes through the Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park, a beautiful scenic ride through a canyon. Some of the rocks were green or blue with mosses, and there was a large river along side the road.

We continued on back roads which led us to some interesting wildlife. We saw a flock of 8-10 of something that looked like wild goats. Later down the road we did see a group of deer frolicing in a meadow- they really were frolicing. Further down the interstate we saw what appeared to be a group of wild horses. The toughest part of today was a pretty steady headwind that stayed with us all except the middle 20 miles or so of the day. Because of this, it was probably the most tiring day so far. We also were in some heavy traffic with no shoulder immediately after Three Forks. We are now in Bozeman, MT staying with Dan and Claire Abrams in a condo, having just finished a large spaghetti and salad dinner fixed by Claire. We are stuffed and ready for bed.

May 27, 2010

Livingston, MT

Bozeman

After the difficulty of yesterday, we made today shorter- about 30 miles. The Abrams' were excellent hosts- we enjoyed cereal, bananas, coffee and grape juice for breakfast. Pastor Dan educated us on all of the stars that owned property in or near Bozeman- Ted Turner, Harrison Ford, and Peter Fonda. We also discussed his interim pastoring experience at an American Baptist Church there. He also told us about youth ministry in Bozeman- Young Life is a strong ministry here. Bozeman was an incredibly scenic area that was surrounded by distant snow-capped mountains. The beauty of the scenery was dimmed by a relentless headwind. It was about 5 miles out of Bozeman and beside Montana State University.

We continued to have a headwind as we passed between two tall mountains on the interstate. We eventually found a decent frontage road on which Garri Sr. almost stepped on a big brown snake in the grass while we were taking a break. Riding down the frontage road we worked on some scripture memory. Some passages included Phil. 2:13, I Cor. 1:18, II Tim. 1:7, and Prov. 12:25. We continued to quiz each other until we reached the town of Livingston, where we are staying in Country Inn. They gave us a discount. Hopefully we will make it to the other side of Big Timber tomorrow.

May 28, 2010

Part of the Lipperts' collection

Today almost could not have worse weather conditions for bicycling- constant 10-15 mph headwinds, cold, and rainy... all day long. We learned later from a number of sources that Livingston is one of the windiest cities in the world- top 3 in the U.S; often the roads close. When we have a rainy day like this we quote Psalm 118:24.... This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it! Tonight we are in Big Timber, MT staying with Jim and Kathy Lippert. We just enjoyed some homemade pizza, root beer, and cake, and now we are sitting in the living room by a fireplace listening to Garri George Sr.'s Gospel Steel Guitar CD.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The source of the droppings...

The Lippert's fixed us a huge delicious breakfast this morning with eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, OJ, coffee, and more. We enjoyed visiting with them; we were fascinated by a huge bison head in their living room and other game they have hunted for food. After breakfast they took us and our bikes in the truck back to last night's stopping point. When we started out we saw a flock of 10 or 12 antelope running along side of us.

20 miles down the road in Reed Point we met up with some other folks in the Lipperts' church. They loaded our bikes in their truck and drove us up a steep dirt road to the self-made log home of the Larsons' for lunch. They have 4 adopted children, as well as 2 cats, 2 dogs (each 75% wolf), and a host of wild turkeys with their droppings that keep the rattlesnakes away. They fixed us bratwursts and after eating drove us back to the bottom of the hill.

The weather today was completely opposite of yesterday... mild, partly cloudy, and a heavenly tailwind. We rode the first 50 miles with the wind practically pushing us. Our average speed was a record for this trip- about 13 mph. We left around 10:00 this morning and rode 84 miles. We are now staying in Billings, MT with Betty Ferguson.

May 31, 2010

The view above Billings, MT

Yesterday was a great day of rest. Betty treated us like kings. Yesterday we had waffles and fruit for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and a fabulous dinner with pork chops, stuffing, potatoes, carrots, and other good stuff. Betty has a "square" grand piano that Garri Jr. played. It was a restful day altogether. This morning she fixed us an omelet mixture with salsa. After we were "fueled up" we went over to the The Bike Shop in Billings to buy some gloves. They were closed because of Memorial Day, but the owner, Dennis, was doing some paper work and sold us what we needed. We then left town around 11:00 am.

We took Old Hwy 80 on the Crow Indian reservation to Hardin. It was scenic, but was about 50 miles of desolation with no services. We had a pecan-cashew nut mixture for lunch (not much) and ran out of water midway. The mild temperatures kept us from getting dehydrated though. It was altogether a gorgeous day. We arrived in Hardin around 4:00 and grabbed some dinner at the "Purple Cow" Family Restaurant. We continue to share our YFC mission with restaurant servers, motel clerks, and everyone we can. Ready for bed.

June 1, 2010

Garri Jr is glad to be in Wyoming

Well, we have officially entered our 4th state, Wyoming. Today we have seen Fort Custer, we have seen a cow cross the road (he got loose), we were passed by freight train after freight train, and we memorized a lot of scripture (including I Cor. 1:18, Prov. 29:11, Phil. 4:8, and Mark 12:30). In Lodge Grass we talked to a cop at a stop sign who heard about Youth for Christ and made a personal donation.

The weather today was beautiful, in the 60's, with a brief afternoon shower. We arrived in Ranchester around 8:00 pm after 72 total miles. We ate a bowl of soup for dinner and the owners bought us dinner and the restaurant servers made small donations. Such gifts as these have not been asked for- people have given out of their own free will. In fact, we have not asked for money on this trip at all. It is 10:00 here and we going to bed..

June 2, 2010

Garri Jr. with Gen. Custard

A couple firsts for this trip: 1) we saw a jackrabbit on the side of the road and 2) we climbed the steepest mile+ hill on this trip at an 8% grade. It was the first rainless day for a while. Overall it was a gorgeous day, probably around 70 degrees, but with headwinds. We slept in until about 8:45 this morning and rode 14 miles before breakfast in Sheridan. We rode by the Big Horn Mountains before entering into Buffalo at 6:30. We have done our laundry here at the Wyo Motel and are done for the day.

June 3, 2010

Today we set an all-time record for bicycling- we rode 70 miles with no services, except for one public rest stop. We were somewhat aware of what we would be in for, so we bought some $2.50 sandwiches from a gas station, stocked up on water, and hit the road around 10:00 am. We were very blessed with a good tailwind for the first 20 miles. At times we were riding 20-25 mph. About 40 miles down the road the chain popped out below Garri Sr.'s derailleur, but the problem seemed to be fixed by tightening a screw that had come loose. We saw several antelope and plenty of dead deer scattered throughout these bumpy-mountain, red-clay, bushy lands. It rained off and on for the last 20 miles. We arrived in Gillette around 7:00 and are staying with Gerry Morel, a rancher/ real estate agent from a Presbyterian Church here. He fixed us an incredible pot roast for dinner.

June 4, 2010

The Miller's

This has been a good day overall, but still desolate- one rest stop within 60 miles. Gerry got us started with a good breakfast with the best pancakes in the world, sausage, eggs, and coffee. Gerry filled us in on the thriving mining industries in Gillette. When we were on the road we passed a giant coal mine in which one could see coal far into the ground. It was quite impressive. Also on our ride we saw an antelope caught on the interstate-side of the fence; it was trying to find a way back, but was stuck by the interstate. Overall we were still a little tired from the day before, but made fairly good time. It threatened rain, and when we got to our destination it came a thunderstorm, after which displayed two full rainbows in the front yard... absolutely beautiful. Tonight we are staying with Melvin and Rose Miller in Sundance. Us two Garri's played harmonicas for them, and their three dogs howled and yawned at the sounds. The Miller's fixed us the perfect meal to end our biking for the day: beef, carrots, salad, potatoes, and a delicious bread pudding.

June 5, 2010

South Dakota!

The Millers fixed us a perfect biking breakfast of eggs and pancakes. At the table we discussed church and Youth for Christ. They educated us on wildlife in the area as well. Mountain lions in that area are somewhat common- they roam a radius of about 400 sq. miles. They also told us about how they have killed 27 rattlesnakes that have been on their property in recent years, one of which had attacked their poodle. When we left Sundance, the weather was beautiful and not too hot or cold, and continued to be so all day. We had some great tailwinds and made great time- we had a record average of 13 mph for the day (53 miles) total. We crossed over into South Dakota, rode through the Black Hills, and are now in Sturgis, SD, a hub for motorcycle rallies.

June 6, 2010

Jamie Johring/ Garri Sr./ Tina Johring

Today was a short day- 33 miles. We got about 11-12 hrs. of sleep last night and are going to rest some more today. We had church in the motel room this morning, read out of Proverbs, and prayed before we left. We are now in Rapid City and are staying with Mark and Tina Johring.

June 7, 2010

Garri's at Mt. Rushmore

Yesterday was amazing.... Tina Johring, with whom we stayed last night took us to Mt Rushmore. It was a fascinating experience and my dad and I (Garri Jr) played "the Star Spangled Banner" on our harmonicas at the monument. Tina also fixed us a sumptuous steak dinner (huge steaks) and their dog Charlie was longing for a piece of it. Their cat "John the Baptist" kept us entertained- she did everything except quote scripture (yes- it is a female Christian cat). This morning we got some cereal and left the house around 9:00 am. It was fairly cool (60 degrees) and cloudy. We rode the interstate most of the day because we had no other choice. We were looking for a convenience store (there were 2 gas stations on our whole 55 mile-route) and we stumbled upon a military museum with artillery, uniforms, tanks, and other WWI and WWII weapons from the US, Prussia, and Germany.

Besides being desolate, today we had a strong crosswind which turned into a headwind by the end of the day, making it increasingly challenging, along with a rather large 6-miles incline riding into Wall. We are now here in Wall, SD (population 818), a "tourist" town with the Badlands in view just to the south. When we got here, our hosts for the night gave us directions to VBS at their church, where we ate a dinner of sloppy joe's, apples, carrots, and cookies. Dave and Arla Olson put us up in a spacious, new, comfortable guest house, and we are looking forward to a long night's sleep....

June 8, 2010

The Olson's and Garri Jr.

This has been a record-breaking day for us. We rode 86 miles, the highest mileage so far this trip. Also we averaged 13.5 mph, also a record for a single day on this trip. We rode the first 42 miles only stopping for a break one time- an all-time record for us for any bike trip. We were extremely blessed with winds to our backs 90% of the time and we had good roads. This was also the only town with a motel nearby. We are now in Murdo, SD, in Sioux Motel.

There have been a number of other blessings that have come our way today. Before we left Wall, Arla fixed us waffles and a special sausage. Dave then drove us to the edge of the badlands, where there has apparently been filming for sci-fi movies because of its Mars-like appearance. As you approach the edge of the badlands from Wall, you see a ledge drop off of 30 feet or so, that surrounds the badlands. At one time this ledge confined cattle and helped ranchers keep cows from getting loose. After we left this scene, Dave drove us back to town, where we picked up our bikes from the United Methodist Church where we had left them from the night before. Then we were on our own again. We took one more tourist stop at Wall Drug store and then were on our way down the interstate.

To add to our blessings, upon arriving in Murdo around 5:30 (now 6:30 due to time change), a man in the adjacent room named Randy had seen us several miles back and inquired about our purpose for our biking. When we told him about our mission for YFC and gave us $17. We took his address to send him a receipt, and he came back later with a refund receipt from the motel since he right then had paid for our room.

June 9, 2010

Probably the most notable thing today was the pheasants that flew away as we rode by. There are many ponds to the side of the road and lots of turtles and other water life. This morning we got up around 8:15, ate breakfast at a local cafe, and had lunch in Vivian. The weather overall was great today; it was just cool enough and no rain, although the winds were somewhat against us. The interstate led us here to Kennebec, SD, where we arrived at 5:00 pm. The folks here tell us that west of the Missouri River is "short grass" territory with cowboys and ranchers; apparently tomorrow we will be in "tall grass" territory with farmers instead. We will see.

June 10, 2010

When we first walked outside this morning we thought that we would be riding in stormy, windy weather. Instead, it turned out to be beautiful. We are finally into some warmer weather; this was yet another day when we did not have to wear jackets. Again today we have seen a lot of pheasants, deer, and tall grass. We rode about 52 miles and are now in Kimball, SD staying with John and Jill Ekstrum. When we first got to town, some other folks from the church bought us dinner and then showed us their church and showed us around town. Apparently the old Presbyterian church is now a hunting lodge. In the morning we are going to visit the tractor museum.

June 11, 2010

Tractor Museum: some of their John Deere collection

Last night was an adventure in our sleep. A storm raged outside until around 12:30 am, with 60 mph winds and constant lightning. When we awoke this morning Mrs. Ekstein fixed us french toast. Then she took us back to the Carman's, and Mrs. Carman started on our laundry, while Mrs. Eksteine dropped us off at the tractor museum in Kimball where they have countless John Deere tractors and many other brands. We then picked up our laundry, said our goodbyes, and left Kimball around 11:00. The weather today was very warm; the humidity is increasing rapidly as we move east as well, making it very uncomfortable at times. We rode 52 miles to Mitchell today. It is 7:15 and we are going to bed.

June 12, 2010

Mark and Ashley at Falls Park, Sioux Falls, IA

What a day. We went to bed around 7:30 last night and awoke around 7:30 this morning (we needed all 12 hrs). We stalled for a couple hours this morning in hopes the rain would quit. It never did, so we rode in intermittent misty rain for about the first 25 miles or so. Overall it was a very long and tiring day. We didn't start until around 11:00 am, and we arrived at our destination in Sioux Falls for the night around 9:30 pm. It was overcast and threatened rain all day and the wind was from the north and north-east (not favorable). 75 miles today. One place where we ate this afternoon had large animals from a taxidermist including, stuffed cows, a giraffe, bobcats, as well as the usual elk and deer. Otherwise, today was rather uneventful. There seemed to be a lot of flooding happening throughout South Dakota- the rivers were very high and fields looked like ponds. Tonight we are staying with Mark (youth pastor) and his wife Ashley (music director) Bonnema from a Presbyterian church here in Sioux Falls. We are planning to attend services in the morning.

June 14, 2010

Iowa!

We rode about 60 miles today from Sioux Falls, SD to Sibley, IA. It rained for the first 17 miles then a little throughout the day. The wind was against us all day and we had some narrow roads with traffic. Needless to say, we are tired. This weekend has been great fun. Sat. and Sun. nights we stayed with Mark, Ashley, Cooper, and Kalvin Bonnemas (Cooper and Kalvin are their dogs, one of which had a very low IQ and high enthusiasm according to owners, but still held our interest). Sunday we visited Westminster Presbyterian Church where Mark works with the youth and Ashley directs music. In the afternoon we visited Falls Park, where the river was extremely high and the falls were beautiful. Ashley and Mark also fed us well... we had chicken for lunch, salmon for dinner, and then egg bake this morning for breakfast. It was a great time of fellowship. Then this morning we were back on the road again.... We left Sioux Falls around 9:00 and ate a modest lunch in Larchwood, our first town in Iowa. We have been noticing the many assortments of barns, pig farms, and seemingly infinite corn fields in Iowa. It is VERY flat.

the farmlands never end...

June 15, 2010

"Highest Point in Iowa" See Garri Jr. on top

Since we've been in Iowa, a few things have really stood out. One, it is generally flat. Second, the barns and farms are fascinating. But the toughest part for us bicyclists has been the lack of shoulder on the side of the road. The shoulders that do exist are gravel. Every road, no matter how seldom traveled, has big trucks, partly due to the farming, pig, cattle, and other rural industries. Today one farmer stopped in his truck to find out if we needed help and he told us that he was a Lutheran and a strong believer in Jesus. He then proceeded to tell us that we were standing in front of the highest point in Iowa... or it was until someone shaved 5 feet of gravel off the top. In addition, it had been an Indian lookout at one point in history. The wind farms we have passed today have been never-ending; we have literally passed hundreds of giant windmills- a sight similar to one in one of the first 3 Star Wars films when up close. The weather today was much, much better. We had tailwinds for the first time in a week or so. The temperature was perfect and it was a little overcast. We rode 77 miles and are now in a motel in Emmetsburg.

Daily we have people ask us where we have come from and where we are going. We take every such opportunity to tell folks what we are doing with Youth for Christ.

Dirt Roads and Corn Rows

June 16

We are finding more and more that Iowa primarily consists of corn fields, soybean fields, pig confinements, and gigantic wind farms. The roads are cut out in 1-mile grids, many of which are dirt and gravel. We took some of those dirt & gravel roads for about 20 miles of today, and the first 8 miles of yesterday. They are slow, but much safer than the big highway with no shoulder. The people around here have been very nice. We have received good directions and told many people about Christ and Youth for Christ. Tonight the Lord has blessed us through a United Methodist Church here in town; the folks have paid for our motel room and our breakfast in the morning. We rode 66 miles today and could not have asked for better weather. The sky was a clear blue for the first time in probably weeks.

June 17, 2010

All day today has felt like a storm was brewing. From beginning to end we had a 30-40 mph crosswind/ headwind which caused our day to be very slow. It was a record average low speed... 8 mph. When the wind was to our side it almost made our jaws flap. Towards the end of the day the western sky looked dark- there were also tornado watches. We tried to ride faster but the wind was blowing too hard against us.

We rode about 10 miles today again on dirt-n-gravel roads. On one of these roads was a rather large snapping turtle. As he snapped at us we snapped a picture of him. He was as big as the top of a football helmet.

The ride before lunch was very enjoyable. We rode through the Clear Lake community, with miles and miles of boats and beautiful homes. We saw several bi-planes overhead. The wind was blowing the lake air our way and it smelled wonderful.

Lunch time was also a good time. A gentleman at the table near us was telling us his story of having adopted 4 children- all siblings. The 10-yr-old girl with him, Skyler, was one of them. We took one opportunity to tell her about Jesus and her need of him. Overall, it has been a slow and tiring day. It seemed like we had to earn every mile. Tonight we are in Charles City, IA. We rode about 56 miles and arrived here around 8:00 pm.

Hurry up and wait

June 18, 2010

you might be a redneck if...

The storms were with us all through the night last night. This morning we learned that there had been tornados north of us- 2 towns devestated and at least 2 people had died. When we awoke this morning, the skies were clear, but as we ate breakfast the clouds moved in and it started to rain. We waited around in Charles City until around noon to see if the rain would stop. While waiting we spoke with one farmer who told us about the farming industry in the area. The soil apparently goes down 5 feet into the ground before hitting rock- one of the reasons Iowa is such good farmland.

After about an hour of waiting, we decided then to ride in the rain and it sprinkled until we got to New Hampton (23 miles). Along the way, we stopped for a burger in Ionia, where we told 2 ladies we were riding for YFC and they gave us $20 toward our cause. When we got to New Hampton, we stopped for a snack at the Quik Star mart and waited for the rain to stop. Then it started to lightning and we again waited for the storm to blow over. After about 45 minutes we gave up and decided to stay in town for the night. When we arrived at the Motel 8 here, someone had taken care of our motel bill. There was no name and it sure seems miraculous to us. across the Mississippi State #7, 2010

We left New Hampton early this morning- around 8:45. The skies were clear, not a cloud in the sky. The wind was to our backs; we had good, flat roads, at least for a while. Several days ago we mentioned that it's flat in Iowa; we had not seen all of it yet! These rolling hills reminded us so much of Kentucky and Tennessee.

We are beginning to see other signs that we are near Wisconsin- for instance, we are seeing more dairy cattle. We had some lunch in West Union and then ate dessert with Gay and Fran Bowden. The strawberry shortcake was "berry" amazing. They sent us away with some directions for the next state of WI, and then we rode in more hills, including 12 miles of dirt and gravel (a shortcut). We rode through Gunder, where Garri Jr had a famous "Gunderburger", which is a whole pound of beef (delicious).

Then... around 8:30, we finally crossed the Mississippi. And now we are in Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. We are taking tomorrow off since it's Sunday (and Father's Day). Garri Jr might have to take his dad out for some health food tomorrow.

Rolling through the rolling hills of Wisconsin

A Wisconsin farm

Yesterday we had a great day of rest- for Father's Day, Prairie Du Chien was alive with a fur trader's festival Rendezvous. We decided to walk down to the river where the sale was taking place. One townperson called it a "junk sale." Although it was a "fur trading" festival, there was a whole lot of other "stuff" for sale like collectibles, bottles, old comic books, etc. Today was quite a ride. For the first 15 miles or so we were climbing out of the Mississippi River valley. The weather today was overcast, but very nice weather for biking. The farms in Wisconsin are beautiful. The rolling hills through the farmland, and the smells of plants (and manure) was a lot like Kentucky and Tennessee. It was also very humid. When we got to Dodgeville today, we stopped at a convenience store for a break. The moment we parked our bikes it started to rain and eventually it was pouring. We ate a snack and thought about staying in Dodgeville for the night, but after about 20-30 minutes the sun came out along with a full rainbow. Then we mustered up the courage to ride another 22 miles into Mt. Horeb, WI, where it immediately started pouring rain when we arrived. God was good today, that's all we can say. We rode 81 miles total. Tonight we are staying with John and Sue Retzlaff who attend a United Methodist Church in town. We just had some peaches and blueberries and it is time for bed.

Through Madison, WI

The Knapp's

Today has been a long 55 miles. The Retzlaff's this morning fixed us eggs, bacon, and toast. When we left, we rode towards the highway only to find no way of accessing it via a ramp, even though it was a state highway instead of an interstate. This cost us a few miles starting out. The fun part of the ride today was riding through Madison. We have never seen so many bicyclists in one city- literally hundreds of cyclists on the whole bicycle transportation system throughout Madison. There are even "street signs" especially for cyclists. One thing that concerned us was some print on the side of a bus which read something like: "America is not founded on the Christian religion." We have been pondering this statement throughout the day. One Bible passage that keeps such a statement in perspective is Colossians 2:8- "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

After we got through Madison, we accessed a Military State trail. The trees on either side formed a canopy under which we pedaled. The mosquitoes were out of control, however, and almost ate us alive (gotta get some bug spray tomorrow). This trail took us the rest of the way to Lake Mills, where we are staying tonight with the Knapp's. Being with the Knapp's has been a blast. I (Garri Jr.) even got to swim in the lake behind the house. After our taking showers, they fixed us bratwursts. Then we spent the rest of the evening playing harmonicas, telling jokes (almost all Garri Sr.'s), talking, and being in awe of Jason Knapp's artwork, and other artwork throughout the house.

To Milwaukee

Harley Davidson's mother was once a member here Staying with the Knapp's was a fun time of fellowship. They fixed us breakfast with bacon, eggs and cinnamon "twists" this morning and we told more stories and Garri Sr told more jokes. We left Lake Mills around 9:30. We took the Drummin State Military trail for the first 35 miles or so, which was a beautiful ride through the woods on a rails-to-trails style path, mostly gravel, but eventually paved. On the path, we saw lots of chipmunks, frogs, and we almost got eaten by mosquitoes, gnats and biting flies again. At one point, Garri Sr. looked over to the right and saw a farm with a bunch of reindeer. They stayed very still until we started taking pictures of them. And it's not even Christmas.

The last 20 miles into Milwaukee was marked by heavy traffic. We took SR 18 all the way into town from Waukesha. The road took us all the way close to the lakefront, to Calvary Presbyterian Church where we are camping out for the night on thick foam pads. One of the stained glass windows in this church was in memory of a former member- Mrs. Davidson, Harley Davidson's mother. Tomorrow, Lord willing, we will be taking the Lake Express ferry across Lake Michigan.

Across Lake Michigan

The Lake Express We thought about taking paddle boats across Lake Michigan, but the water was too cold (yeah right...). We left the church in Milwaukee, WI around 10:30 this morning and rode about 5 miles to the ferry dock, where the Lake Express was waiting to take us to Muskegon, MI. While we were loading our bicycles with the motorcyclists, Garri Sr. would say, "I'm gonna get one of these with a motor on it when I grow up."

On the ferry, we sat with a young family of five from Michigan. The father had been regularly involved in Campus Life in high school and now he is walking proof of the positive difference that Jesus and Youth for Christ/ Campus Life can have in a young person's future. His children were all musicians and we discussed music. Before we parted he handed us $100 for ECI Youth for Christ.

When we rolled off the ferry, we took some pictures of Lake Michigan, and then high tailed it to a bike shop. The shop checked our tire pressure, chains, brakes and derailleurs, and sent us on our way. We then rode another 17 miles or so to Coopersville, Michigan, where we are staying for the night.

June 25 & 26, 2010

Military State Trail through Wisconsin

Last night we could not update our blog because we had no internet. Before we left Coopersville yesterday morning, Garri Sr. realized his gloves were missing, so we purchased some today in Owosso. About 10 miles east of Coopersville, it started to be evident that a tornado had twisted trees, taken houses, and done other damage to one block. Overall, yesterday was fairly long and dragged out. We rode through the north suburbs of Grand Rapids which lasted probably 15 or 20 miles. The bike trails as we got east of town were paved and very nice. We got lost at one point, however, and rode about 4 miles out of the way (google maps told us wrong). The rest of the day we were out in the "sticks" all the way to St. Johns. The town of Ionia was doing construction and we kept having to find detours. Then the motel at which we stayed was another 2 miles off our route.... We got there around 10:00 pm after being on the road 12 hours... 84 miles total.

Today was a bit lighter, although we did ride through really poorly paved roads with no shoulder and lots of traffic when we got to south Flint. We slept in and left St. Johns around noon today. We rode about 54 miles. The weather has been pretty nice lately.

Canada!

Yesterday we left Grand Blanc around 7:30 am. We rode 13 miles before breakfast to the first restaurant that was open- the pancakes were the best we?ve ever had (buttermilk pancake mix from Denmark). The roads were difficult all day because the pavement was rough, the shoulders were all gravel, there was traffic on every paved road, and there were hills on top of that. It even came a shower for about 20 minutes. All of the hills in the United States are not in Tennessee (haha). The tailwinds helped us out though, and we rode 76 miles. We arrived around 6:30 in Marine City, Michigan and Pastor Denny Irish and his wife provided us a wonderful meal at the Riviera on the river, as well as a comfy motel room. We slept great. The highlight of today, other than crossing the Canadian border, was the absolutely gorgeous weather. It was in the 60?s, clear skies, and perfect. After breakfast, we took the Marine City ferry and over into Ontario, Canada. We rode at a fairly good rate because the wind was to our backs. The roads were not nearly as busy as they had been in Michigan, which made a very pleasant ride. We rode 76 miles and now we are in London, Ontario staying with Pastor Terry Ingram of a Presbyterian church here. He has prepared us pizza and we are now sitting around the table talking.

June 30, 2010

Across the Thames River and into London... Ontario that is

This morning Pastor Terry fixed us eggs, bacon, toast, and coffee for breakfast. After we said our goodbyes, we rode through the town of London which turned out to be about 10 miles through. The main road was fairly dangerous with no paved shoulder and big trucks, so we sought an alternate route. Doing so cost us about 5 or 6 miles and we rode on a lot of gravel. Otherwise, the weather was very nice- it was cool, maybe 16 or 17 degrees "Celsius" (I think). The Canadian money here is identified by color ($20 is purple I think) and looks like play money to us. Today we rode about 65 miles and are staying in Brantford, Ontario. Tomorrow is "Canada Day"- we'll see what will happen....

Niagra Falls for Canada Day

Niagra Falls... on the border

Well, we are now back in the USA! A lot has happened since we left Brantford, Ontario this morning. First of all, it was a fairly cool morning. The weather today has been mostly beautiful and we had a tailwind and good roads. We have been entertained by the folks in Canada. They say "eh?", for example, "That's a long way to ride, eh?". . Today was "Canada Day" so the "Star Spangled Banner" on harmonicas didn't go over so well. The roads had increasing amounts of traffic as we rode towards Niagra Falls. We came to a "draw bridge" which lifted the bridge in front of us for a cargo carrier to pass through. One chain link on the bridge was the size of a man's shoe- too big to be a bicycle chain.

The falls were incredible- and we couldn't have had better weather to view them. The streets on the Canadian side were packed with people, partly because of Canada Day. We then crossed over into the US border, got our money converted, and now I (Garri Jr) am sitting in a laundromat in Niagra Falls, New York. It has been a long day.

New York

Can this hillbilly survive the Empire State? (with harmonica in mouth)

So we have no wireless Internet here, so I (Garri Jr) am updating from my iPhone! The last 2 days have been different . Yesterday we were extremely tired from lack of sleep (we were up until midnight doing laundry) and only rode 48 miles. Today, on the other hand, we were energized and rode 50 miles before noon lunch (a record for us) and we finished the day at 71 miles. New York has defintely been a pleasant change in road conditions. For the first time in 3 states and 1 province, we are not struggling to find a road with a decent shoulder to ride on. It has been amazing. In addition, there are not as many big trucks passing by us.

Last night was a challenge finding an inexpensive place nearby to stay. We went to about 5 or 6 different places and finally found a spot with a great little diner called "Scooter's" across the street. I had sweet potatoe fries (a first for me) and this morning for breakfast, Garri Sr had grits finally for the first time on the trip. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous lately and we are sure it's been largey due to everyone's prayers. We are extremely thankful for all the prayers and support!

July 4th, 2010

Garri Sr. is enjoying the view at the lake at Geneva, NY

Well, we are still shaking off the new habit of converting kilometers into miles in Canada, but I overall New York has been an enjoyable state. every time we've seen an American Flag, we've been glad it's been blowing east! And today, as we celebrate America's independence, we have been riding along amber waves of grain. This morning we had our own church service in our motel room with Charles Stanley on the tv. We also worked some more on scripture memory (currently working on Psalm 150). Today was a scorcher of a 4th. It was in the 90's and we remember what it was like about 2500 miles ago in the Rockies when we were chilled to the bone. We stopped for a light dinner tonight at Syracuse's Dinasour BBQ. We sat with some folks that we discussed the trip with. One lady was from New York City. Today we rode a total of 62 miles- the biggest Sunday of riding so far. And today, the 4th of July, we have officially reached 3000 miles on the odometer.

Heat Wave...

100 degrees in Perth, NY

We have been so often blessed with cool weather... until yesterday. When riding through Syracuse, a man on a porch called to us "you guys are crazy," to which Garri Sr. responded, "I don't think it's going to snow today!" Of course we have been taking precautions and taking frequent rests. This morning we emptied a gallon of water within about 2 hours. A bank sign in Perth read 100 degrees; the heat index was 104 degrees. Garri Sr. believes this to be the hottest weather he has ever experienced on an out-of-state bicycle trip. New York has been a beautiful state to ride through, the farms have been abundant, and the lake in Geneva a couple days ago was gorgeous. At the same time, the hills have become more demanding, making the heat even more miserable.

Yesterday we left East Syracuse around 9:00 am. We got through Utica and stayed in Mohawk. Breakfast was bittersweet. The food was perfect, but it was obvious the gentlemen in the restaurant needed to get to know the Lord. We left the restaurant on bicycles around 7:00 am and it was already hot. Later we had lunch in Johnstown at Vince's Pizza and Pasta. It was a lot of food for minimal money and the servers were very nice. Later we rode through the town of Perth and Garri Sr. asked someone at the store, "Do people here have nice 'perth'-onalities??" He's pretty corny.

Tonight we are in Milton. We rode 64 miles today and 62 yesterday.

More Heat

Saratoga Springs

About 2,200 miles ago we stayed in Whitehall. Well, we're there again, only this time it is Whitehall, New York rather than Montana (Thank you again, James and Gretta for some sweet memories). The heat has caused our days to be slow. We left early again this morning, around 6:30, and ate breakfast in Saratoga Springs. We stopped for water and Gatorade about every 5 miles. Many of these towns in New York have a lot of history and beautiful old buildings. Hudson Falls was one such town. Today we stopped a bit short- at 48 miles. We are now sitting in the Budget Inn listening to a teacher who is preaching on the faith passages that we have been memorizing (Heb. 11:6- "...without faith it is impossible to please Him...", Rom. 10:17, and Rom. 5:1).

New York to Vermont

Rutland, VT

As they say in the film White Christmas, "It must be beautiful this time of year in Vermont- all that snow...." We're sure it's white with snow and beautiful here in December, but in July this year, it's 100 degrees! In general, Vermont is a gorgeous state- about 70 miles across on Rte 4. The mountains here are shaped like the Appalachians. Coniferous and deciduous trees inhabit them, and a light fog covers them. A fast-moving creek followed us most of our route today and at one point I, Garri Jr., beat the heat and went for a swim in it. Quechee Gorge was a scary sight to ride over- a straight drop down almost as far as one can see. The highlight of the day may have been the Rockwell museum. Here was the history of Norman Rockwell, the great painter of American life during the early 20th century. Even with all the beautiful scenery, this was still a long and tiring day. We were on the road 12 hours thanks to a huge, 6-mile long hill and the heat. We rode 71 miles total and are in Hartford, not far from New Hampshire.

The Home Stretch...

Garri Sr. has lost most of his "bump" on this trip!

A lot has happened the last 2 days. We have been in 3 states, stayed in 2 homes (including tonight), and have been in some great restaurants/ gas stations. Last night we stayed at Lake Winnipesaukee, where the film "What About Bob?" takes place (a favorite around the George home). Right now we are just inside Maine and are praising the Lord that we are nearing the end.

We left Hartford, VT yesterday very early (6:00-ish). We took a gravel trail for about 15 miles into Canaan. The "Canaanites" all had funny accents. One man gave us directions; he said, "turn left at the PAAHK." A park never sounded so funny. We have been through some memorable places today and yesterday. The Grafton Country Store in New Hampshire was an oasis in the heat. When we arrived in Meredith, NH around 6:00 pm, we ate at a famous pizza place- "Zacky's Pizzeria," who has critically acclaimed dessert pizzas and excellent Hawaiian Pizza. We also tried some of their Gifford's ice cream here; it has won international competitions. Today in Maine we rode through Cornish. Garri Sr. said he felt very at home here (he's corny). Last night Charlie Chatterton was our host. He is an 84-year old expert toy maker, whose creations have ended up on the desks of governors, executives, and in numerous museums. He has made hundreds of spin tops by hand and at one time owned 4,000 teddy bears. He gave us an extensive tour of Meredith and his church. Earlier today was a little tough. It rained for the first few hours and many of the roads were filled with traffic and hills. There are times we can sense someone is praying for us. The other day in Vermont, the mountains and heat became much more tolerable after it clouded over.

Tonight we are staying with Dan Wautel, who attends a Congregational Church in Limington, ME. He works in Portland, ME, which means we must be getting close to our destination! Tomorrow we plan to attend his church. We rode 56 miles yesterday and 59 today.

July 11- a wonderful day of rest, 2010

The Bosse family

This has been a wonderful, restful day. We are staying with Dan Wautel from the Congregational Church here in Limington. Garri Jr.'s bed is the most comfortable bed he has ever slept in. This morning, after feeding on some Dunkin' Donuts from another church member, we attended Dan's church. Pastor Leonard gave an excellent sermon. After church another family took us home for lunch. Brian and Jane Bosse and family treated us like kings... first with the HUGE meal. First, we wet our appetite with an exquisite salad. Then, it was moose meat. And then for the first time ever, Garri and Garri had lobster. It was amazing. Then they took us to the beach where we hunted for hermit crabs. There they bought a box of fries and when we got home we at ice cream, cookies, and chocolate-covered strawberries. What a wonderful day of rest. When we got back to Dan's we had the best sleep in a long time.

Garri and Garri with their Maine lobsters

First lobsters

July 12th... The End!, 2010

The Atlantic!

Praise ye the LORD! Psalm 150 is a passage we have worked on memorizing on this trip. And now we are praising the Lord because we are officially done with the Bicycle Across America 2010 trip!

We arrived at the Atlantic at Pine Point Beach just south of Portland at 12:30 pm today. The trip has been one incredible experience and we thank God for His protection and provision. If we were to list everyone who has helped with this trip, it would be pages full. One huge blessing on this trip is that we have had not ONE SINGLE FLAT TIRE. This is in contrast to the 13 flats that we had in the 2008 trip that was only 3,000 (this trip was 3,400). For bikers: this year we used Michelin Kevlar-lined tires, a thick lining, and extra-thick tubes inside. We would like to thank Greg at Bicycle Depot in Anderson for setting us up with these and for being very reasonable and great to work with. Above all, we would like to thank our Lord Jesus Christ, and everyone who has supported this trip through prayers and finances. Many times on this trip we were able to sense that someone was praying for us. Also we would like to thank First Presbyterian Church in Anderson for making arrangements for lodging each night. The trip would not have been possible without you. Thanks again to everyone that made this trip possible. Ultimately, our prayer is that the trip will be another step towards reaching young people for Jesus.

Front tires in the Atlantic!

Our Stay with the Patterson's

The Patterson's and Garri and Garri Upon arriving at the ocean shore, we decided against riding bikes all the way back to Indiana (haha). Instead, we stuck around for a few days and flew home out of Portland Wednesday. We owe a world of thanks to the folks at Orthodox Presbyterian Church in South Portland, especially Pastor Danny Patterson and his family, for taking us in for the two nights, showing us the grand city of Portland, and driving us to the airport on Wednesday. We would also like to thank a church member, Jonathan Eiten, for picking us up at the ocean and taking us to the Patterson's house. Mr. Eiten is a nationally and internationally known painter and recently made an appearance on the show "The Chef's Kitchen." Our stay with the Patterson's was unforgettable. It was very restful (we slept on the 3rd floor with AC). When we weren't resting their 4 boys (all 10 and younger) and 2-yr-old girl kept us endlessly entertained with video games, trampoline, and just their sweet personalities. Mrs. Skye Patterson fixed us numerous delicious meals (including breakfast burritos which were amazing!). Danny himself on Tuesday treated us to a cruise along the coast, showing us the many lighthouses along the Portland coast, as well forts, and wildlife such as seals. On Tuesday we (the Garri's) went for a short "bike ride." Our bikes felt extremely light without all of our luggage on them. It was a huge blessing staying with this dear family. Now our bicycles have been shipped back home from the bike shop in Portland and we are awaiting their arrival later this week. We just can't wait to get started riding again!..(fact or fiction?)

More of Maine...