We’re very thankful that the boys are well again. And we are doubly thankful that we parents have been able to dodge the icky germs. So, alas, we were able to get back on track yesterday (Friday, May 12) from where we left off at the Patrick Henry YMCA in Ashland. From there we rode a brutally hilly and hot 38 miles to Mineral. There was one hill, in particular, that snuck up on us. It was so steep that even in the lowest gear, we were going slow enough that I couldn’t keep our balance, and we succumbed to having to stop and push our bike up the rest of the hill. At some point, I was literally praying for a place to get a Gatorade because I was so tired of drinking water. And about 5 miles later we came across a convenience store that was not even on our map. Whew! That was the best tasting and refreshing bottle of Gatorade I ever remember consuming.
We had the most delightful welcome when we reached our destination: the sweet Edwards family cheering us on, having written multiple messages on the road and driveway at the home of their dear friends where we were staying. I was so physically, mentally, and emotionally drained and glad to see them that I got a bit choked up on our approach.
The Edwards’ provided a scrumptious meal for us that evening: pot roast, mashed potatoes, veggies, biscuits, salad, and fried apples. And our sweet hosts, the Read’s, made an ice cream cake that was so delicious! Speaking of the Read’s... wow! What incredible hospitality! They had very comfortable accommodations and showers and air conditioning!! But best of all, we thoroughly enjoyed meeting the Read’s and getting to know them a bit. In addition to using their many gifts and life experiences, they truly love as Jesus and are eager to share their resources, time, energy, and lives with others. They are in the midst of fundraising to begin building a large house that will serve folks who are homeless in Mineral and need a transitional place to live while building life skills. (www.journeyhomemineral.org). It is so inspiring to see (just in the short time of becoming acquainted with them) how committed this couple is to loving and serving people in whatever circumstance God has placed them. (They have also served on the Christian Medical and Dental Association and have mentored doctors in their marriages and family life in the highly demanding realm of practicing medicine.)
Because of our physically demanding day yesterday, the 90 degree heat today, and out of respect to our poor legs, we decided to ride only 10 miles today to the actual town of Mineral. We’re staying at one of the “biker-only” campsites on the route, which happens to be behind the firehouse in Mineral. The firemen here have been so welcoming! As if biking wasn’t enough, we played frisbee, football, and then soccer on the big field with our new friends (Lauren and Walker), who we just met today at the firehouse. They, too, are biking the TransAmerica Trail, and what a blessing to have made their acquaintance! They have freely played with us, listened intently to whatever the boys have talked to them about, and shared ideas with us.
Tomorrow our plan is to ride 30 miles to Palmyra. Thanks for reading our blog.