Resting and Re-evaluating

 Look at the flowers that Avery picked at a campground. We enjoyed them at our dinner table that evening. 

Look at the flowers that Avery picked at a campground. We enjoyed them at our dinner table that evening. 

Over the last two days or so of riding, we parents have both felt like the hills are more difficult than they should be. We realize that we never signed up for easy, but it has felt harder than it should be. So that has led us to the conclusions that: 1- we need to rest our legs and let our muscles build (I think we’ve been breaking down our muscles without letting them build.  For those biology people out there: too much catabolism, not enough analobism!); and 2- yet again, we need to re-evaluate our belongings and try to whittle down the weight even more. We are thankful that we had already planned to meet up with Jerry’s parents at about this time. So instead of just meeting them in a through town, they came and picked us up (with all our gear and bikes, too), and have brought us back to their “part-time home” in Meadows of Dan, VA, for a couple of days. What great timing! We do believe that God orchestrates our lives, whether big or small, and even those things we do not yet understand completely. It’s not only a comfort, but also we are sometimes able to see God’s hand (in hindsight if we notice).

While re-evaluating and reflecting, we have realized how much we both are not only competitive, but also like to “play by the rules,” if you will. These two qualities have come up in our decisions about doing various things that seem to us like “cheating,” such as allowing people to take our gear over a mountain so that we can concentrate on the hard-enough task of pedaling. And now we are faced with the decision of potentially cutting off some miles- for many reasons. We are considering such factors as the time lost from illness and rain, the lower physical endurance of children, and the time and miles we have before us. Then, we have reminded ourselves of our overall goal for our biking adventure. We are not doing this to earn any medal or prove anything to anyone. But rather, we have embarked on this endeavor to share an adventure together as a family, make memories, set and achieve challenging goals, enjoy nature that we often take for granted, meet and interact with interesting people, help raise awareness and funds for ECHO in their fight against worldwide hunger, build life skills together, trust God to protect and guide us, and much more. So, when we remind ourselves of this perspective, it becomes less important that we cover every single mile of the official route. We say this as a half apology to those of you who- like us- find fulfillment in “playing by the rules.” So, FYI, we are heavily leaning toward cutting off some miles this week. And the desire to be complete and cover every single mile is something that we may just need to let go of, in light of our overall purpose and “for the good of the team.”

 The boys having a blast playing in the river near our campsite. 

The boys having a blast playing in the river near our campsite. 

 While passing through Lexington, we got our ice cream fix with 50-cent Frosty’s at Wendy’s. Yum!

While passing through Lexington, we got our ice cream fix with 50-cent Frosty’s at Wendy’s. Yum!

 This is the pavilion in Buchanan (part of a fairground-type of park) where we weathered a storm while we cooked our dinner, then ended up camping, too. So thankful for the firemen who gave us their blessing to use it!

This is the pavilion in Buchanan (part of a fairground-type of park) where we weathered a storm while we cooked our dinner, then ended up camping, too. So thankful for the firemen who gave us their blessing to use it!

 We couldn’t believe this kind man, Chad, and his two sons. He noticed us weathering a storm in our tent (while he was working at the Botetourt County sports complex where we were camping). He left, and the storm passed, but he returned with Bojangles chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes, and sweet tea. We hadn’t even had a conversation with him at that point! He just thought we might not have a way to get dinner. Amazing!! Is it too cheesy to call him our “Boj-angel”? 

We couldn’t believe this kind man, Chad, and his two sons. He noticed us weathering a storm in our tent (while he was working at the Botetourt County sports complex where we were camping). He left, and the storm passed, but he returned with Bojangles chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes, and sweet tea. We hadn’t even had a conversation with him at that point! He just thought we might not have a way to get dinner. Amazing!! Is it too cheesy to call him our “Boj-angel”? 

 After weathering the crazy storm from our tent in the field of the sports complex, we saw another storm system coming our way, so we moved all of our things to this maintenance shed we found on the property. We felt much more secure here, and we enjoyed the Bojangles chicken under this shelter, too!

After weathering the crazy storm from our tent in the field of the sports complex, we saw another storm system coming our way, so we moved all of our things to this maintenance shed we found on the property. We felt much more secure here, and we enjoyed the Bojangles chicken under this shelter, too!

We aren’t exactly sure where we will re-start our journey after our two-day rest, but we hope we will resume with gear that is several pounds lighter after re-evaluating. Until then...