Last evening we pulled into Christ Church in Hackensack, New Jersey and thoroughly enjoyed the gracious hospitality of the church and its people. Everywhere we have been in this nation we have experienced an outpouring of kindness and generosity: in California’s Mojave Desert, Daniel ran out of water as he was riding in 100 degree weather. He smartly took shelter beneath a bush instead of pressing forward. A family saw him, stopped, offered him water, and allowed him to continue forward; while I was riding in 100 plus weather in Nevada, a lovely Latino family stopped, told me of the Bishop’s plight—flat tire—and offered me cool, cool water to drink; in Overton, Nevada, when we tried to pay for our extra stay at the RV park, the manager refused, sending us on our way; in Kansas, when we were stopped waiting for Isaac and Mark to complete their shift, a concerned young man stopped behind us and asked with great concern how he could help us; in Farmington, Missouri, Father Peter Van Horn and his wife, Beverley, opened All Saints to us and allowed us to relax in a beautiful new space;
And, at a number of convenience stores where we stopped we met delightful men and women who wished us Godspeed. Police officers, curious about our traveling, stopped us, asked us what we were doing, then supported us once they heard—even the one who pulled me over while I was supporting Daniel’s ride through Ohio. And here, in Hackensack, we have had cool water to drink, warm water for showers, comfortable mattresses for rest, and kind church members for conversation. In sum, we have met incredibly kind people, happy and eager to share their world with us.
After arriving at Christ Church, we set off for our first meal together—all 11 of us at the same time. We ventured to Casual Habana Café where the owner Benny served us delicious Cuban food. Benny was very kind, serving us basil lemonade and all sorts of Cuban foods. Rt. Rev. Mark provided entertainment with assorted card tricks which amazed us.
Now, as we prepare to leave Christ Church, we expect to arrive at 815 2nd Avenue in New York City. Kelly drove the 16 mile route last night and told us that it will be hilly—more than we expect.