"Enjoy the little things, for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things."
"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.
and my song shall ever be.
is my Savior's love for me.