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!


  1. Hey, this trip is shaping you more and more into Jesus - now you're hanging out in places that religious people would disapprove of you being in! Congratulations! You rebel, you. I learned from the best. :) That is, by the way, one of my favorite verses in the Bible (Job 42:5). Congratulations again for picking one of the best verses! I am also glad you made it through North Dakota without being abducted by aliens. I'm assuming your shoes are not flung over a telephone pole back in that state.

  2. Finally, Google is letting me post. YOu would not BELIEVE how much grief it has been trying to post. Molly first tried getting me on. Then Chip, but by then I had forgotten my password. Brilliant, huh? Then I remembered last Fri.

    Anyway, I grab a cup of coffee every morning at 5, then check what you have posted. What a joy it is tracking you three across the northern U.S. Wow! What a more ways than one.

    Sharon Reid

  3. I loved the over-sized steeple also. I thought it
    shows that the church has room for growth. As they grow the building can grow and they want have to add to the steeple. That must have been the long range planning committees thoughts. Glad to see Carrie and Lydia & the grans reached you safely. Have a great ride today and tell Sarah Hello for me when she gets there. You are in our prayers daily.

  4. i think my favorite part about your blog isn't necessarily the bike updates...or the food (which all sounds awesome, by the way)...but the mini Bible lessons at the end! it's also why i feel closer to God when i'm outside...nature pretty much screams His Name!!!

  5. You should have Chuck Carson along to catch some of those MN Walleyes and add some delicious fish to your diet. They should make a movie of the Stiles menagerie traveling from Statham, GA to wherever dad is without mom knowing a thing about it. Seven people in a car making a three day trip. How do you keep those Stiles kids in the car that long!!! Seeing grandma & grandpa must be a powerful motive. If you bottle it, I can sell it.

  6. UGHHHHHHHHH! It's 9:53pm in the East and still no update from Burr!! Will we be able to sleep tonight? Oh, the anticipation is killing us!!