Not Gonna Let ‘Em Catch the Midnight Rider

After we left All Saint’s Church in Farmington, Missouri yesterday afternoon, we continued east, searching for the Mighty Mississippi. We very much enjoyed the hospitality of the Church, which read about our Mission on Erin Kirby’s Blog page, http://ning.com, Riding for Their Lives, and determined to give us succor. As noted yesterday, the opportunity to sit in an air-conditioned space and stretch out meant a great to the 11 of us who have been traveling from Anaheim in an RV meant for 6. We returned to the RV refreshed and ready to see what I consider to be the essence of America, The Mighty Mississippi. As we grew closer, my anticipation grew greater, and I lamented that Kelly O’Connell, our impressive route coordinator, had the absolute pleasure of crossing the Mississippi on her bicycle. In the RV we slowed our progress as we crossed it, and then stop on the Illinois side to marvel at God’s creation. I ran barefoot back over the bridge, soaking in the River’s greatness, watching a train pass underneath, and wishing that I could dive in. Isaac, fearing that I might just jump in, held on to me as I inhaled deeply the air about the River and smiled deeply. I might have been the happiest on the trip at that moment. In Missouri, which we crossed in a remarkable 24 hours, Claryville stands as the sentinel over the Mississippi, while in Illinois Chester, like Argus, guards our greatest River. Chester, the home to Popeye, seems like a great candidate for this task. We took pictures of the River and of the stature of Popeye. If you wish to see pictures from this trip, go to http://ning.com, Riding for Their Lives. Illinois was another “thin” state, so we “crossed through” Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana in one day. While in Illinois, we stopped for burrito dinner while awaiting Carl and Greg to complete their rounds. The RV crossed into Indiana and awaited their finish. Just before 11 in the evening, after learning of the Red Sox first victory in almost a week, I supported Dan as he took over along the southern roads of Indiana. He moved along easily for the first 20 miles until we hit Evansville. There, the byzantine roads confused us, so I started anew a bit north of the city, traveling 18 miles before my shift ended. In Missouri, I had a chorus of tree frogs accompanying my trip. This night it was relatively quiet as I rode along. Then, because Indiana 57 joined I-164, I rode along the highway illegally for three miles. That was not quiet as trucks zoomed past me and caused me to pray as I hadn’t prayed since the night before when I traveled through the Ozark Mountains. At our change, we met a kind police officer in Oakland City, Indiana. He spoke to us of his “Black Sheep” ways, as he was the only police officer in a family of ministers. He warned us, because of the lateness of the hour, to be aware of the late night revelers leaving bars at 2 AM, CDT. Dan rode along in the dark, we the “Black Sheep” of this trip, always traveling at night. Dan and I are the Midnight Riders, the Midnight Ramblers, who silently move us forward while the denizens of the RV soundly sleep away. While listening to the radio, my broadcast was interrupted with a weather warning concerning thunder and lightening. Dan finished his shift to peals of thunder and bolts of lightening. I was about to begin my second and final shift at 3:30 when a tremendous gust of wind, a bellowing sound of thunder, and a spectacular strike of lightening deterred me. So we called the RV and let them know our plan: to wait out the thunder. The thunder has dissipated some, but we now ride through Switzerland County, Indiana on our way to the Queen City, Cincinnati, with rain cooling our way. Tomorrow will be spent crisscrossing Ohio, traveling the Miami bicycle path, traveling through London, around Columbus, just north of Canton, then east toward the Keystone State. We hope to meet congregants from Christ Church, Hudson in Canal Fulton, Ohio. Of course, if it is 1 in the morning (and Dan and I will be riding), the best laid plans of these men and women may not come to fruition. Weather, the main story last week this time, is again a topic, as rain follows us (okay) and thunder and lightening threaten us (not okay). We are still determined to ride into New York City on Tuesday, and we have reconfigured our route to ensure our finish. Rev. Kelly O’Connell, who has done a tremendous job creating our paths, has expertly rerouted us. It is a challenging task to find a route that takes us east, and she has done it with great success. I cannot imagine how much time she has spent with this task, but I do know how pleased I am that she has done such good work. We rider, who have the opportunity to focus on riding and enjoying the scenery, have Kelly to thank for concentrating on the details that make this trip possible. Thank you, Kelly. If you wish to read other persons thoughts try these sites Carl and Greg’s sites: http://carlbikeride.blogspot.com; http://biketrip4erd.blogspot.com ot Gonna Let ‘Em Catch the Midnight Rider After we left All Saint’s Church in Farmington, Missouri yesterday afternoon, we continued east, searching for the Mighty Mississippi. We very much enjoyed the hospitality of the Church, which read about our Mission on Erin Kirby’s Blog page, http://ning.com, Riding for Their Lives, and determined to give us succor. As noted yesterday, the opportunity to sit in an air-conditioned space and stretch out meant a great to the 11 of us who have been traveling from Anaheim in an RV meant for 6. We returned to the RV refreshed and ready to see what I consider to be the essence of America, The Mighty Mississippi. As we grew closer, my anticipation grew greater, and I lamented that Kelly O’Connell, our impressive route coordinator, had the absolute pleasure of crossing the Mississippi on her bicycle. In the RV we slowed our progress as we crossed it, and then stop on the Illinois side to marvel at God’s creation. I ran barefoot back over the bridge, soaking in the River’s greatness, watching a train pass underneath, and wishing that I could dive in. Isaac, fearing that I might just jump in, held on to me as I inhaled deeply the air about the River and smiled deeply. I might have been the happiest on the trip at that moment. In Missouri, which we crossed in a remarkable 24 hours, Claryville stands as the sentinel over the Mississippi, while in Illinois Chester, like Argus, guards our greatest River. Chester, the home to Popeye, seems like a great candidate for this task. We took pictures of the River and of the stature of Popeye. If you wish to see pictures from this trip, go to http://ning.com, Riding for Their Lives. Illinois was another “thin” state, so we “crossed through” Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana in one day. While in Illinois, we stopped for burrito dinner while awaiting Carl and Greg to complete their rounds. The RV crossed into Indiana and awaited their finish. Just before 11 in the evening, after learning of the Red Sox first victory in almost a week, I supported Dan as he took over along the southern roads of Indiana. He moved along easily for the first 20 miles until we hit Evansville. There, the byzantine roads confused us, so I started anew a bit north of the city, traveling 18 miles before my shift ended. In Missouri, I had a chorus of tree frogs accompanying my trip. This night it was relatively quiet as I rode along. Then, because Indiana 57 joined I-164, I rode along the highway illegally for three miles. That was not quiet as trucks zoomed past me and caused me to pray as I hadn’t prayed since the night before when I traveled through the Ozark Mountains. At our change, we met a kind police officer in Oakland City, Indiana. He spoke to us of his “Black Sheep” ways, as he was the only police officer in a family of ministers. He warned us, because of the lateness of the hour, to be aware of the late night revelers leaving bars at 2 AM, CDT. Dan rode along in the dark, we the “Black Sheep” of this trip, always traveling at night. Dan and I are the Midnight Riders, the Midnight Ramblers, who silently move us forward while the denizens of the RV soundly sleep away. While listening to the radio, my broadcast was interrupted with a weather warning concerning thunder and lightening. Dan finished his shift to peals of thunder and bolts of lightening. I was about to begin my second and final shift at 3:30 when a tremendous gust of wind, a bellowing sound of thunder, and a spectacular strike of lightening deterred me. So we called the RV and let them know our plan: to wait out the thunder. The thunder has dissipated some, but we now ride through Switzerland County, Indiana on our way to the Queen City, Cincinnati, with rain cooling our way. Tomorrow will be spent crisscrossing Ohio, traveling the Miami bicycle path, traveling through London, around Columbus, just north of Canton, then east toward the Keystone State. We hope to meet congregants from Christ Church, Hudson in Canal Fulton, Ohio. Of course, if it is 1 in the morning (and Dan and I will be riding), the best laid plans of these men and women may not come to fruition. Weather, the main story last week this time, is again a topic, as rain follows us (okay) and thunder and lightening threaten us (not okay). We are still determined to ride into New York City on Tuesday, and we have reconfigured our route to ensure our finish. Rev. Kelly O’Connell, who has done a tremendous job creating our paths, has expertly rerouted us. It is a challenging task to find a route that takes us east, and she has done it with great success. I cannot imagine how much time she has spent with this task, but I do know how pleased I am that she has done such good work. We rider, who have the opportunity to focus on riding and enjoying the scenery, have Kelly to thank for concentrating on the details that make this trip possible. Thank you, Kelly. If you wish to read other persons thoughts try these sites Carl and Greg’s sites: http://carlbikeride.blogspot.com; http://biketrip4erd.blogspot.com

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