Monday, June 1, 2009

Pedal Day 28 - Valuable.

"He's so slow it takes him an hour and a half to watch "60 Minutes."
-Ray Finger

"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much."
-Helen Keller

"You can't turn back the clock but you can wind it up again!"
-Bonnie Prudden

We pedaled 49.25 miles from Milaca to Harris. Today certainly was a people day and we sure met some fun, very nice, and very interesting people.
We met John at the Phoenix Hotel and Banquet Center where we stayed last night. He was working in the parking lot and we talked with him about what the hotel was before it was a hotel. He told us it was the school building in Milaca, grades K through 12! Now it is an apartment building, hotel, fitness center, banquet and conference center, and Pizza Hut. It even has a BMX bike track inside where the gym used to be. He said the school was built in 1915, remodeled and enlarged several times, and he purchased it in 1994 (I think). Right now he has it booked for class reunions because the people who went to school there want to return to their old school building again! The rooms here are the biggest rooms we've had on the whole trip. Inexpensive too . . . $69.00! John is a visionary, that's for sure.
We've seen some fun signs along the way but today we had two that may top the list. One sign was Minnesota's "Adopt A Highway" sign and the folks who adopted that mile of highway were "Friends of Booger!" My favorite was the "Farm Fresh Eggs by Kids, $1.75." Wow, that's cheaper than eggs from chickens, isn't it? We could probably get them free from our grandkids but they aren't laying yet!
Down the road around lunch time Jonathan and I stopped by the only restaurant we saw in Grandy: The Brass Rail. When we walked into The Brass Rail, two men at one of the tables said, "Where are ya from?" Of course we got into a lengthy and fun discussion about the ride. We probably talked with them for about twenty minutes. As they were leaving one of them said he would join us on our ride but his bike has a motor. 
Our waitress at The Brass Rail, Bonnie Hiljus, was fun to talk with and took care of us in royal fashion. She was a fine example of Minnesota hospitality. The owner, Donna Biggins, came over and talked with us about the history of the restaurant and showed us some photos of a camper that came through the front of the restaurant ten years ago. Nobody was hurt badly but The Brass Rail was closed for two months. Donna's been the owner for forty years. The sign out front proclaims "World Famous Chicken." The chicken was very good but Donna said, "I never asked the guy to put that on the sign. He just did and I told him I didn't ask for that and I'm not paying for it!" She is a real fun lady who owns a 1972 red Chrysler convertible with around 60,000 original miles. She still drives it with the top down. She was headed home to let the cat and dog out, take a nap, and head to Stark. Tonight is Bingo Night in Stark and the pot is $2,000. I hope she wins it. Long live the Bonnie Biggins kind!
Jonathan and I did stop in Stark (pop. 100) and while we were taking a break Jonathan asked me, "Next time we're at a bike shop remind me that I need two water bottle cages." I told him I could do that. We hopped on our bikes with about five miles to go to our destination for the day not knowing when we'd get to a bike shop . . . for sure there wouldn't be any out here! Fifty yards down the road, hanging under a mailbox, is the sign, "Bicycle Repairs Parts & Sales." We looked at one another, laughed, pushed our bikes down the driveway, and met Tom Connolly, bike mechanic and owner and his brother Shawn. I reminded Jonathan about the water bottle cages and he now has two new ones on his bike. God does supply all of our needs, doesn't he? Even in the middle of nowhere!
We arrived in Harris, where we met Margaret and Sarah. Sarah flew into Minneapolis today and went to the Mall of America with the crew. Margaret, Sarah, Carey, Lydia, Chris, Ryan, Trey, Drew, and Maddie had a great time there, especially the kids because there is a whole amusement park there. Of course the shoppers had fun too!
While waiting for Margaret and Sarah to pick us up in Harris I met David Roth, a Christian who is absolutely enthusiastic about Jesus. I noticed when he walked up to us that his watch band was a W. W. J. D. bracelet. We talked for about twenty minutes, prayed together, and he headed to a granddaughter's ball game. He and his wife, Dorothy, are planning on moving to Harris because it is centrally located between his eight grandchildren. He is retired from teaching elementary school but at 72 is still going strong for the Lord.
Finally, we get to our motel in Hinckley and it's time to go out for supper. So where do we take Sarah for her first supper after arriving in Minnesota? Taco Bell! She was looking forward to eating at the "mom & pop" type places where we've been eating all along the way. Sorry Sarah, maybe next time! The good part about eating at Taco Bell was its location: it was located directly in front of Kettle River Carving Company where we met Dennis Roghair, three times world champion chainsaw artist. He came away from working on a large eagle sculpture to patiently let all eleven of us sample different kinds of fudge. We did buy some! He was the icing on the cake for our stay in Minnesota today.
When I think back over today, people made it what it was. I'm sure you already know this, people are very important to God. "God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
"Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other" (1 John 4:9-11).
Love God, love people.


  1. I am so glad Sarah made it safe. I know you are all in a little bit of heaven right now. Hope you have a great ride today. Tell everyone I said

  2. Barry, I'm loving the daily "devotional" that I get from your blog. I do hope you will continue everyday once you get back to good ol' Statham, G-A! Love you.