Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pedal Day 9 - Junk.

At 8:00 A.M. we rolled out of Lookout Pass and headed east on I-90. The traffic was next to nothing and the truckers were very kind. Almost every trucker took his or her big rig over into the left lane to go by us. We pedaled for 75.57 miles on I-90 and had a wild assortment of weather beginning with sleet. On top of Lookout Pass it was still sleeting, maybe from yesterday. Who knows? We met Margaret at several stops along the way and then she left us for a while to find a motel and a campground. We met again at exit 75 (Alberton), put our bikes on the racks and headed for warm showers and hot food.
During the ride we had sleet, wind, sunshine, a little rain, and one small blizzard. At one time Jonathan and I were even pedaling along around eighteen to twenty miles an hour, not working hard at all, and being escorted by a mighty moving tailwind. Reminded me of the passage in Psalm 104:1-3, 
"Praise the Lord, I tell myself; O Lord my God, how great you are! You are robed with honor and majesty; you are dressed in a robe of light. You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens; you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds. You make the clouds your chariots; you ride upon the wings of the wind."
While we were enjoying the winds Jonathan said, "Oh my goodness, look behind us." The wind had not only been blowing us eastward but it had been blowing a snow storm right up the road behind us. Somehow the snowstorm was moving faster than we were and we were soon in the middle of a mini-white-out! How cool (not a pun) is that? From sunshine to white-out. Weather changes like that remind me of living in Florida.
I have decided that I want a license plate from every state we cross. They can be found along the highways so Jonathan and I have taken the challenge to find one tag from each of the fifteen states we'll cross. Today we found an Oregon tag and a Washington tag. (Now we are not going back to ride through the state of Oregon just because we found a tag. No offense Oregon but you are not on the route.) After a while I realized that we could ride across the whole country doing nothing but looking for license plates. Can you imagine us arriving in Maine and the only highlight of this trip being fifteen beat-up license plates? How tragic would that be? We would miss the snow, the sunshine, the mountains, the plains and fields ahead. We would miss the barns, farms, and tractors. We would miss towns and cities. We would miss some really great people! But we might have our junky license plates that will most likely adorn my chicken house walls. Good grief!
Some people are like that though. They go all through life and all they see is the junk. They never look up to see the sky. The never feel the sunshine on their faces. They never look up to see people. No, they just look for junk. You know who they are. They're the people who don't like the kids and the dog next door. They don't like the way everybody else drives. The music is always too loud and she can't sing anyway. They complain about waiting in line at the grocery and parking too far from the front door. They never say hi and certainly won't smile. They never say hi! They think the whole world stinks! They collect junk! And one day they'll die and all they will have to show for their lives is junk!
Someone said this (I don't know who but it wasn't a junk collector), "Memory is a wonderful treasure chest for those who know how to pack it right!" I'll find my license plates. Yep, with Jonathan's help we'll have the fifteen tags in Maine. But I'm not going to miss the sky and all that goes with it. In fact, along with a live Weather Channel today, we saw one moose, one bald eagle, and one osprey. The eagle was soaring overhead where it belongs. I may have missed a license plate but I saw the eagle.
We can think about and look for junk for the rest of our lives or we can look around and let the Creator pack our treasure chests. It's our choice.
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
"And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise . . . and the God of peace will be with you" (Philippians 4:6-9).


  1. Whew! We were getting worried! So happy to see you are back online. We are like junkies who can't wait for our next "fix" as we read your blogs! We have been telling you for over 20 YEARS that you need to write a book! Surely, with all these great blogs and memories from "The Shettel Shuttle Across America," you can write TWO great books now! Do they sing "Happy Birthday" to Margaret in all the restaurants you are stopping in as they used to with our youth in the 80s? By the way, John Michael drove to school ALONE for the first time today and Jules has her ACL surgery tomorrow. Marjorie Hunt is flying down from DC to babysit Jules. Much love & prayers! May today be sunny, safe and BLESSED for you guys!!

  2. There is no JUNK in your trunk! I really enjoyed my mini sermon when I woke up this morning. Thanks! Hope you guys are having a great time. Love love love the blog and pictures. I almost feel like I'm with you except for the riding the bike part, the sleet, the wind, etc. Hope you collect lots of license plates and I will see you in a couple of weeks. Can't wait to see you!

  3. The part about people never looking up to the sky reminded me of Michael J. Fox's book "Always Looking Up." He said it was a short man joke. haha! Have fun on the ride and I can't wait to see you again. Hopefully sooner than later!

  4. First, I am offended by Carly's comment above. Please delete it from your blog immediately before I contact Lord Obama's Hate Crime Division and have your blog censored. Second, weather changes like that also remind me of Florida. They remind me that living in Florida was awesome and it was always warm and the beach was five minutes away and there were never any snowstorms. Sucka! We figured you had no internet connection when you didn't post yesterday, so get Margaret on that so we avoid any more future unpleasantries.

  5. Now Todd, let's not be "short" on our sense of humor bro. ;-)

  6. honey(todd) everyone knows that a snow shower for BLS is like a refreshing slap in the face. places with sand and sun are wasted on..... someone. Names have been deleted to protect the guilty.
    And to BLS, i don't think you can keep Oregon unless you go back and ride it. Rules are rules.

  7. B,M,&J,
    I was really going through withdrawals when I went to the blog yesterday(May 12)and there was nothing. I checked once in the a.m. and twice in the p.m. I was sad when I got in bed and prayed everyone was O.K.
    When I got to afterschool care I logged on and played catch up. Two days in one. My fix was satisfied.Thanks for all the pictures and commentaries. It is definitely the highlight of my day.
    You are all in my prayers daily. Be safe and keep sharing so we can be with you during this amazing journey.
    With love that grows,in Him, The Barracuda Queen

  8. Barry and Margaret. I am loving the pictures and reading your "blogspot". Is that the right word for this????? Margaret, I want to hear from you, too. What'a day like? And Barry, you make me wish I were with you, reallly!!!!!! Happy trails, and God's blessings continued. Love ya'll, Judy Carter. And I DON'T know how to put a picture on this thing.

  9. Barry & Margaret,

    Philippians 4:6 was Kathryn Anne's Bible verse for school this week. Now you both know that she is my free spirit! Usually when I start working on a verse with her, I say a line, and she repeats it. So I said, "Do not worry about anything..." and she said "Nope!".

    There was a long pause, and I looked over at the sweetest little grin on the planet. And I said, "Sweetie, that's the verse, 'do not worry about anything'." It dawned on her that those were the words she was supposed to repeat and she giggled and giggled, but it dawned on me that I wish I had her perspective on life more often!

    Thanks for the best devotional I've ever read in my life. It is living and breathing because it is based on God's Word, and I feel privileged to know the author personally. Will you sign my copy when you get home???

    Praying for all of you and missing you too!

  10. Barry, Margaret and Jonathan,
    I say ditto to Amy's comments. I look forward to reading your blog, what a blessing and awesome adventure. (Margaret remember when we use to ride bikes!!)

    I would be just like Jonathan, as you witness God's miraculous creation. It is awesome and I stand in awe as I'm sure you do too.There are so many beautiful places I've yet to see, I'm sure Montana is gorgeous!! I think I'd like to see it with Margaret though!!

    Stay safe and know you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Always, Cheryl