Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pedal Day 27 - East!

You know you've been pedaling a long time when:
11.  you see a water tower up the road and immediately know it's 3.72635 miles away.
12.  you use rest areas provided by local power companies!
13.  you use Granny Gears often and aren't ashamed to admit it.
-Barry, Pedal Day 27 

"Rest is the sweet sauce of labor."
-Plutarch, texted to me by Ericka Warren

"Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere."
-G. K. Chesterton, texted to me by Ericka Warren

About forty miles out of Long Prairie, Jonathan and I pedaled over the bridge crossing the Mississippi. We are now EAST of the big river. Where we crossed I wouldn't call it the Mighty Mississippi yet but it is still a very big river! For some reason I feel like being east of the Mississippi is a big thing for us. We have now pedaled right at 1,800 (1,799.71) miles across the United States of America. What a great land! It's great to have family here with us too. We are still in a state of surprise! You can watch a video of Margaret's reaction on Carey Stiles' Facebook. It's fun!
We are now in Milaca and in our motel. We pedaled 78.56 miles through the wind and sunshine today and arrived here around 4:30 this afternoon. 
Minnesota is still neat farmland with manicured yards and very well kept houses and barns. The farms are smaller here than Montana and North Dakota and the farming equipment is also. We've not seen many lakes today but we did pedal over the Swan River, Little Two Rivers, Mississippi River, Platt River, and West Branch Rum River on our way. Makes me think of a joke about the town drunk sharing his testimony in a little church one Sunday morning. He said, "I quit drinking last week . . .  poured all my liquor in the river." After his testimony the choir joyfully sang, "Shall We Gather At The River."
About 2:30 this afternoon Jonathan and I ate lunch at the Full Throttle Bar in Morrill. It seems like we're hitting the bars more and more as we travel. Don't tell my pastor but sometimes they are the only places we can find. Morrill doesn't have a population listed on the map but we know it exists and the Full Throttle Bar may be the only eating establishment in town. Jameson was the only person working and he must have been the barkeeper, waiter, cook, and maintenance. We ordered burgers, onion rings, fries, and ice water. We ate at the bar, enjoyed our food and talked with Jameson about our ride. We are satisfied customers but I hope we weren't the only business Jameson had today! Just so you'll know, horseshoe leagues are now being formed in Morrill! Get in line! It was a fun stop, we left full of good food, and headed back into the wind to Milaca.
I have never ridden in wind like today! After writing about it yesterday I thought, maybe today is a test. I still love and serve "The Master of the Wind" even if it was a test. He's still the Creator and Controller of the universe. He could have changed the wind if he so desired. He didn't. I asked him to but the answer was, "Not today." I'm probably not as thankful for the wind today as I was yesterday but I am thankful for another twenty-four hour gift from the Father. And I am also thankful for the Father.
"I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You ask, 'Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?' It is I. And I was talking about things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me.
"You said, 'Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you and you must answer them.'
"I had heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance" (Job 42:2-6).
So what is that saying to me? Two things:
1. God is God and I am not!
2. God has all the answers and I do not!
Reminds me of a church sign I saw last year: "Follow me God." Shouldn't that have been, "Follow me." -God. Seems like we expect God to just follow us around every day, changing the wind when it gets too strong. Shouldn't we instead simply follow God through the wind?
Follow him!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pedal Day 26 - Surprise!

"No man is big enough to be independent of others." 
-Dr. W.W. Mayo, from Summer Anders' comments

"You have a package at the front desk!"
-Manager at Super 8 Motel, Long Prairie. It wasn't a package, it was our daughter, Carey, with five grandkids and Lydia Parham (one of the family)

Is this National Walk in the Park Saturday? That's pretty much what it seemed like! We began pedaling around 8:00 A.M. and arrived in Long Prairie, 75.16 miles away, a little before 3:00 P.M. The weather was sunny and windy. The roads were good with little to no traffic. Not one eighteen-wheeler passed us today, mainly because we rode on routes that are not even found on the GPS system! And . . . to make the day even better, we only had to pedal 75 miles instead of 89!
Our daughters did a CARE Package for our trip. One of the items in the package was Good-N-Plenty. Good-N-Plenty is a licorice candy covered with a pink or white coating, probably mostly sugar! I poured one box into a Ziplock bag and, to my surprise, there were only two pink candies! I had never seen that before and thought you'd like to see it for yourself. Also, I didn't want you to think that I was on some kind of performance enhancing drug! 
When we pulled out of Thumper Pond (That's really the name!) this morning I knew it would be a day for signs. Speed Limit 18! Where did 18 mph come from?
And then there are the barns! If I stop to take photos of all the interesting barns in Minnesota we will not get out of the state until 2012! Barns are everywhere and with silos as well. It seemed like in North Dakota we saw all grain elevators. Now in Minnesota, its silos!
Around 11 this morning, Jonathan and I stopped at The Dipper Family Diner in Parkers Prairie. The Dipper is a clean little place to sit, relax, and enjoy some good food. Megan took our orders and Jewel (owner and cook) made them into the real thing. Everything was great! The burgers are big, big, big! Everything else was great too. so . . . if you're ever pedaling  (or driving) through Parkers Prairie, stop in The Dipper Family Diner. 

The manager just called and told us we had a package at the front desk. Margaret went out there and I could hear her shock and surprise. When she came back to the room, behind her were Carey, Chris, Ryan, Trey, Drew, Maddie, and Lydia. What a surprise! Carey told me, "Dad, we won't see you in Maine! We're seeing you now! Surprise!" Some package! 

Let me finish this and get with the crew. We've been pedaling for some time now and I've decided that things have changed about my riding. I'm thinking differently now. I've decided that you know you've been pedaling a long time when:
1.  you look at the speedometer and odometer two or three times a day instead of two or three times a minute.
2.  you ride by roadkill and don't hold your breath.
3.  you don't care whether you're going uphill or downhill as long as you're going forward.
4.  you know what kind of vehicle, make, model, weight, and the number of tires it has by the sound it makes coming up behind you.
5.  you pedal by houses and call, "Here doggy, doggy."
6.  your tan goes from mid-ankle to mid-thigh, wrist to somewhere on your biceps, and from your neck to mid-way up your forehead!
7.  you look forward to uphills so you don't have to sit as much.
8.  the amount of miles you have traveled is not as important as the amount of miles you have to go.
9.  you use chain lube for sun-screen.
10.  you hear the Weather Channel forecast high winds and think, "Get over it! Will ya?" We've learned how to deal with the winds. Know they are coming, stop complaining, put your head down, pedal, and say, "I'm going to Maine and you're not stopping me!"

One ship drives east and one ship drives west
By the self-same wind that blows;
Yet the set of the sails and not the gale
Determines the way they go.

"Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had" (Philippians 2:5).
It's all about attitude!


Friday, May 29, 2009

Pedal Day 25 - Green!

"Love is a better teacher than duty."
-Albert Einstein, texted to me by Ericka Warren

"You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth."
-Michael Shane Ash

"A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read."
-Mark Twain, texted to me by Ericka Warren

Ottertail, Minnesota is where we are this evening. We just pigged out at a Taco Buffet here and I am full! I really should have said Jonathan and I pigged out. Margaret was a perfect lady and didn't embarrass us like we did her!
We pedaled 81.9 miles today through rolling hills, lots of wind, a thunder storm, sunshine, farmland, and about seventeen of the 10,000 lakes Minnesota has to offer! Even with the rain, it was a beautiful day.
There sure is a lot of green in Minnesota. It's like each state has been very different and green was the first thing that struck me when we came into the state. The trees are much greener than North Dakota. Green is growing in the fields already and it's working the fields as well. This is John Deere country. Nothing runs like a deere! I have a Farmall H, which is red, and I see only small spots of red out here from time to time. So for those of you who give me a hard time about the color of my tractor, this is your place to be. It's green country! But no matter what color the tractors are, I am still standing in awe of the farm equipment and the bigness of it! It is very, very big stuff!
As we pedaled today we saw shoes and boots on fence posts. We also saw shoes attached to telephone or power poles. I'm not sure what's going on with that but I am going to ask someone. I wonder if it's just a midwestern version of the basketball shoes over the power lines!
We also saw a steeple on a chapel and I think the steeple may be on steroids. BIG steeple, tiny chapel. I'm not sure if it's a memorial type of building or what. It is in a cemetery. That's another mystery.
We pedaled through Cormorant (pop. 60) and ate lunch at the Roadhouse Bar & Grill. We also pedaled through Edwards (pop. 4, according to the sign in Ye Old School House Bar & Grill). Jonathan and I found safe harbor at Ye Old School House during the thunder storm that caught us off guard. We bought two root beers from the bar: they were on tap.
Our favorite stop for the day was Pelican Rapids (pop. 1,886). We pulled into town, parked our bikes next to the Explorer when a man came up to us and asked about the Georgia tags. We told him about our ride and talked for about twenty minutes. We soon learned that we were talking with Mr. Arlan Stangeland. Arlan was a Republican congressman from Minnesota (of course) who served from 1977 to 1991. I told him that it seems like congressmen today just seem to lack common sense and asked him what he thought. He told me, "They not only lack common sense but they are power hungry and greedy. Most of them are very rich too. They look out for themselves." I told him that it's not everyday we get to talk to a congressman and thanked him for his time. He said, "That's okay, I just love being with people." After we talked we shook hands and he hopped into his pick-up truck and slowly drove away. I feel like we met a celebrity!
The rest of our stay at Pelican Rapids was spent on the deck of Riverside Coffee, along the Pelican River, in the sunshine, trying to be lazy! It sure worked for me.
It's been a great day. Full of variety, full of the unexpected, full of surprises. God does that. He surprises us from day to day. He always has and he always will. But he does it in his time!
"But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children" (Galatians 4:4). That was a surprise!
"And this is his plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ -- everything in heaven and on earth" (Ephesians 1:10). That will be a surprise too! 
At the right time . . .

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pedal Day 24 - MINNESOTA

"A person's words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook."
-Proverbs 18:4

"Pedal up a tilted flat for me."
-Lesley Osborn-Scott

"I think the water's wetter this year . . . and the dirt's dirtier . . . and the snakes are closer to the ground!"
-Donnie Brown, philosopher, motivational speaker, actor, and just a well-rounded person.

We made it to Minnesota - Land of 10,000 lakes! Yipee!
Today was a good, windy day. We had wind in all directions but it does not seem to matter any more . . . we just pedal toward Maine! We still serve and love the Master of the Wind!
We have now pedaled a total of 1,562 miles and only ridden across four states. The good news is three of those four states are the longest states: Washington was 383 miles, Montana was 666 miles, and North Dakota was 421 miles. Idaho was only 92 miles with all but seven miles being uphill! Today's ride from Hope, North Dakota to Moorhead, Minnesota was only 71.4 miles.
Our ride today was headwinds and tailwinds, high traffic and no traffic, no shoulder and wide shoulder, and towns and cities (Fargo, ND and Moorhead, MN). We pulled out of Cooperstown at 6:35 A.M. Cooperstown is a "Main Street U.S.A." type of town. It's clean and the folks there are very friendly. Our visit with Richard Olson at Westside Motel was quiet and refreshing.
After we pulled out it didn't take me long to discover that I had forgotten to put my water bottles on my bike. That's not a good thing since we did ride in some warmer temperatures than before. That was no problem though, I kept thinking that I'd buy some bottled water along the way, after all, we were going through a number of small towns. In Page (pop. 265) there was one Cenex service station and it was closed, Erie (pop. 80) we were greeted by two friendly black labs but no place to get a drink, Argusville (pop. 118) only a bar that we could find and I wasn't looking for that kind of water, and finally Harwood (pop. 590). Jonathan and I went off our route and into town looking for a restaurant. We didn't find a restaurant but we did find the municipal building and met Sherry. When we asked her about places to eat she told us there was a bar that sold burgers up on the next street and there was a Cenex station that sold pan pizzas, drinks, etc. We talked with Sherry about our trip to Maine. While we were talking she asked, "Would you like a bottle of water?" It was like Christmas time for me! We sat and talked and when Jonathan and I left the municipal building all I needed was a trash can for my very empty water bottle. We did go to Cenex and we did get personal pan pizzas but the water was the best boost of my day. Thank you Sherry!
Along the way as we finished riding North Dakota I did get some photos of farms. I am impressed that the farms are so neat and clean. I also could not resist and took a few more old barn photos. Even though everything is so flat along our route the ride was very scenic with all the agricultural equipment, farms, barns, grain elevators, farm animals, and very special small communities.
I sure enjoyed my bottle of ice cold water today but when I got to the motel I was thirsty again. When Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink in John 4, she was surprised because the Jews refused to have anything to do with Samaritans. She didn't know who she was talking to and Jesus said to her, "If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water" (v. 10).
Later, in the course of the conversation, Jesus said, "People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water." referring to the well, "But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life" (v. 13-14).
While Jonathan and I were riding today we spoke a little about revival. He asked me, "What do you think it would take for America to experience revival today?" 
My response was quick because we really don't have to think too long about it, "For God's people to get right with him." 2 Chronicles 7:14, God's formula for revival, begins with, "If MY PEOPLE . . ." We have stopped the flow. Instead of being perpetual springs of living water we have let ourselves become little squirts of tradition, religion, and business-as-usual. People are thirsty.
I heard about the town drunk getting saved. One of the townspeople who knew him teased him and said, "Heard you got saved last week. Do you really think you'll quit drinking?" To which the man replied, "Oh, no, I've not quit drinking, just changed fountains!"
Let's not be reservoirs.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pedal Day 23 - Agriculture.

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things."
-Susan Bogardus

"If you're going through hell, keep pedaling."
-Sir Winston Churchill, texted to me by Ericka Warren

We pedaled 64.46 miles today and reached the town of Hope. We are staying again at Westside Motel in Cooperstown. Westside Motel is owned by Richard & Nila Olson who live next door. The signs in the front office say much about the Olsons and their motel. The motel is old but very clean and inexpensive. Our room for two nights was $83.85! We have enjoyed our time here and anytime we can stay somewhere two nights in a row is a time-saving luxury for the three of us.
We are now sixty-five miles from Minnesota. By the way, we found a Minnesota license plate yesterday so we're ahead in the license plate search. For those of you who enjoy worthless trivia, our license plate tally is: one Washington, four Montana, one North Dakota, one Minnesota, one Wyoming, One Oregon, one Oklahoma, and one Saskatchewan. Just thought you'd want to know!
The ride today was with much less wind which equaled much less work. There was very little traffic as well. All of today, maybe all of North Dakota, is agricultural. Farming is big stuff out here. I'm talking about the equipment! Talking to two men at an ice cream shop this afternoon, we talked a bit about farming, ducks, rain, wind, and tractors. They told us that the tractors used for farming these fields run in the $200,000 to $300,000 range. Just for one tractor! I paid $1,200 for my Farmall H and thought that was a lot of money! And the equipment is larger than the tractors!
I do want to clarify something about North Dakota and the farms. The farms are all very neatly manicured and extremely clean. I will take some photos tomorrow so you will see what we see. I love, for some reason, the abandoned houses and barns so you see a lot of photos of them. In fact, I took more photos today. But . . . I want you to know that all of North Dakota is not abandoned farms. The farms are big and beautiful!
Right now, because of the weather, the farmers are behind in their planting. The fields are full of mammoth machinery preparing the soil and putting seed in place. We just ate supper and the restaurant was close to empty. The waitress told us that the farmers would be in later. "Right now," she said, "they are in the fields planting."
Margaret was at the local laundromat today and started talking to a lady there who was very fascinated about our bike ride. After their discussion, she handed Margaret some money for the trip, hugged her, and asked if it would be all right if her prayer group, meeting at 4:30 today, prayed for us and our ride. I did not get to meet this dear little lady but hearing about her is another of those God moments we've experienced along the way.
Overwhelmed is probably the one word describing this whole ride. I am overwhelmed by the people of America. I am overwhelmed by the beauty of God's creation in America. I am overwhelmed when I look at my United States map and see how far the red line has stretched since leaving Anacortes, Washington. I am overwhelmed that we'll be in Minnesota tomorrow. I am overwhelmed by the comments and prayers from folks all over the country. I am overwhelmed by God's love, goodness, mercy, and grace.

I stand amazed in the presence
of Jesus, the Nazarene
and wonder how He could love me
a sinner, condemned unclean.

How marvelous
how wonderful
and my song shall ever be.
How marvelous
how wonderful
is my Savior's love for me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pedal Day 22 - Rules!

"It is just when you are weakest (or the most tired in your case) that God can use you most."
-Megan "Nutmeg" Wilson

"A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice."
-Bill Cosby, texted to me by Ericka Warren

Whew! What a day! Wind, wind wind and more wind. There were times today when I just wanted to stop and yell "WIND STOP!" as loud as I could. I even considered lying in the middle of the road and offering myself as a sacrifice to the god of the eighteen wheelers. Common sense prevailed and I came to my senses so I just pedaled into the wind. 
Our plans were to pedal ninety miles into Cooperstown but we made only sixty-six. We are staying at the Westside Motel (unit 4) in Cooperstown this evening and will return to today's stopping point in the morning to resume our ride. Maybe the wind will be more considerate tomorrow and my thoughts more sane.
We have become watchers of flags and windsocks. They are the best indicators of wind direction. Today they were blowing the opposite direction of our ride. That's not good. Some of the time we could only pedal five to seven miles per hour. We did manage, right after a turn to the south, to get a little tailwind for about thirteen miles but that was it. During that time we could do seventeen and eighteen miles per hour without even trying hard. The wind certainly makes a big difference and can change plans in the blink of an eye!
To make the day somewhat easier I started thinking about rules I am using as I ride across the U.S.A. I was thinking about doing ten so I could use a cool title such as "The Ten Commandments of Cross-country Cycling" but I don't think I have that many. I'll see how many I get and then give the rules an appropriate title.
Rule No. 1 - Don't ride on windy days unless it's absolutely necessary and the wind is at your back! With a headwind you get tired very quickly and it's easier for dogs to catch you. Always have someone with you who rides slower than you because dogs usually get the last person! That brings me to the next rule.
Rule No. 2 - It's better to ride with friends. I have had some very good rides by myself but it's always good to ride with a friend or two. "Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better reward for their labor" (Ecclesiastes 4:9).
Rule No. 3 - Use common sense! I legally have the right to one lane of that highway. Vehicles coming behind me are required, by law, to pass me in another lane! I also have the right as an United States Air Force veteran to be buried in a national cemetery! Those are my rights. Common sense tells me if I'm not ready for "Taps" and a little American flag upon my grave that I'd be a whole lot safer, and smarter, riding on the shoulder as far right as possible. I do that! Drivers appreciate it and . . . no "Taps."
Rule No. 4 - What I do as a cyclist is a reflection of every other cyclist on the road. If I'm a jerk or do dumb stuff, it's going to make things worse for every other person who pedals a bike on the highways. Sure I can demand my rights, run stop signs, forget to signal, and make some folks mad. They'll pass by, blow the horn, maybe yell something like #%**@!*X, or even throw something at me . . . but what's going to happen when they get up the road and they're still in a rage, and they see another guy on a bike! They may do to him what they wished they had done to me! The way I ride will make riding easier or harder for the other guys.
Rule No. 5 - Don't miss what you're going through only to get where you're going to! I am always fascinated watching The Tour of France each July. Wow, Lance and those guys blitz through some of the most incredible scenery in Europe but do they ever really see it? Jonathan and I have our goals every day. Some days we make them, some days we don't. We do, however, still take time for photographs, snacks, breaks, and "Look over there!" 
Rule No. 6 - Check your equipment every day. Check your tires, chain, pedals, extra tires and tubes, air pump, water bottles, snacks, and tools. Be prepared!
Rule No. 7 - Pedal smarter, not harder. That's why they put granny-gears on bikes. Use them for the big climbs and windy days. Forget being tough . . . be wise!
Rule No. 8 - Don't forget people. People will be the big memories of your ride. 
Today we met Brandon in Harvey. He was just laid off from his job with the railroad and was going to take his hazardous materials exam that would allow him to apply for another job driving a truck. He pulled up and asked us where we were going. We told him and from there the discussion went to his love for anything with two wheels and the collection he has. He rides a mountain bike, doesn't need a road bike because he lives out in the country. Really friendly guy.
At a rest area outside of Sykeston we met a truck driver and talked about the wind (of course) and the unseasonal cool temperatures North Dakota was having. He is a member of an Evangelical Free Church in Fargo and two of his favorite teachers are Chuck Swindoll and John Maxwell. When we told him we were going to Cooperstown he told us that he had worked on a youth church camp over there. I didn't even get his name but I sure am glad there are men like that wheeling those big rigs down our highways.
Dan Webber called me today and had prayer with me and for me. He's not a new friend but his call and time in prayer will be one of the big memories of my ride.
I guess I only have "The Eight Commandments" but I know more will come as we travel. There are a lot more than ten anyway and most are more serious than some of mine. But rules are important. They've been around since, "Don't eat from that tree," to "Speed Limit 70." We've got them and always will. Some are good and some lack common sense but they're still rules.
The Jewish church leaders had over six hundred rules they enforced. When asked which of these was the most important, Jesus answered, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments" (Matthew 22:37-40).
The apostle Paul in Philippians 2:3b said, "Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself."
Wow, these are rules we can live by! Maybe they are a bit tougher than the six hundred because they cover the six hundred . . . and my eight biking commandments as well!
Pedal on!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pedal Day 21 - Closer.

"God is the perfect poet."
-Robert Browning

"News flash, Rob, God is the perfect EVERYTHING!"
-Ericka Warren

Today was rainy, flat, windy, flat, straight, windy, rainy, straight, windy, flat, rainy, straight, windy, windy, windy! Did I mention windy? Today was the most boring ride of the 1,364 miles we've pedaled thus far! Now don't get me wrong, especially if you should be a North Dakota resident! The scenery was not boring. The people were not boring. The ducks were not boring. The courteous drivers were not boring. The trains were not boring. The RIDE was boring. The ride is our part of the day, the pedaling and the mechanics of the whole thing. We could see for miles and miles and all we saw was straight! We would get excited when we saw a little turn in the road miles ahead. "Jonathan! Look up ahead, we're going to turn right!"
It really was a good day however! We pedaled 78.74 miles from Minot to Harvey and it was not the best of weather! Harvey was our goal anyway, so we are happy about today! No matter how we look at it, we're 78 miles closer to our goal!
This morning we pedaled out of Minot with absolutely no traffic probably because it was raining and Memorial Day. That was fine with us because we had the roads to ourselves. Before departing Minot we had to stop and get a photo of a fence around a Minot salvage yard made entirely of old wheels. I wonder how long it took to weld all those wheels together!
Twenty-two miles later we arrived in Velva with a welcome sign that boasts 1300 Friendly People. We didn't meet 1300 but we met two. If the two we met are representative of the 1298 we did not meet then I would say Velva is a very friendly place.
At the Cenex station in Velva, we met Delores and Diana who served in the ice cream shop and restaurant located inside. Until today I had never heard of a breakfast pizza but there is such a thing. Diana made a personal pan breakfast pizza for me topped with eggs, beef, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and cheese. Delicious and warm! It was great!
Delores and I talked about the bike ride, dogs, old barns, and our final destination - Bar Harbor, Maine. She said, "I'd like to go to Maine but hate to think about the drive in a car, not to mention on a bike!" We had a good time at Cenex and Delores and Diana sure made our day with their encouragement and hospitality. If you ladies are reading this, THANK YOU!
Along the rest of the route we did pass some old barns and I think Delores is right. I took some photos anyway. We did see a church that is for sale. I think it would be a great project to make a church building, like the one we saw, into a home. I would even keep the cross on the steeple.
When we finally made it to Harvey we met Margaret at the Little Mart Car Wash where Jonathan and I washed our bikes. I also saw a dinosaur lurking next to the car wash and had to get a photo for Ryan Stiles, one of our grandsons. Rhino is a Dino fan so, Rhino, this Dino is for you bud!
We just ate supper at the Hi-Way Drive-In Restaurant next door. It advertises "Fastest Service Around - Home Of The Big Z." I have no idea what The Big Z is but the service was good and the food was too. Of course after pedaling all day I could eat the straw wrappers and say, "Wow, that was great!"
We are now at Carrington Inn & Suites in Carrington. Tomorrow morning we'll have to go back to Harvey to begin pedaling and we may shoot for Cooperstown. We are looking at arriving in Minnesota sometime Thursday. We are getting closer! Closer to Minnesota, closer to Sarah, closer to the Mississippi River, closer to Maine, closer to Carey and the grandcrew, and closer to home.
A lot has happened today for it to be such a boring ride.I guess when I look back over the ride it wasn't that boring after all. It all depends on my focus. If all I look at is the rain, wind, and straight road, then boring defines it exactly. But when I look at 78.74 miles closer, welded wheels, Delores and Diana, a breakfast pan pizza, Dino, ice cream cones, washing our bikes, pedaling, straw wrappers, old barns, and a church for sale, the day becomes special and more meaningful. All of those little things made for a very big and different day. 
You know what? Life is made up of little things. Most of us never deal with the big stuff. We live lives of little things that, when pieced together, paint our life portraits. It's kind of like those big posters you can buy at the mall. The ones that are made up of hundreds of little pictures. We can look at all the individual little pictures close up and we can also back up and look at one big picture made up of all the little pictures we thought were insignificant! But they mattered! They really did.
We cannot always choose the way a day goes but we can choose to insert into that day little bits of goodness, kindness, laughter, purpose, joy, hospitality, and love. Little things like that can make even the worst of days better when we step back and take a good look at the whole day. Embrace the little things for these are the building blocks of life.
In Luke 16:1-12, Jesus told a story about a shrewd manager who, even though he was a "dishonest rascal," was very good at dealing with little things. After telling the story Jesus said, "Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won't be faithful in large ones" (v.10a). 
Want to change your days? Change the minutes and hours of your days.