"Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation (or God's), for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company."
-George Washington, texted to me by Ericka Warren
"She got her looks from her father. He's a plastic surgeon."
-Groucho Marx, texted to me by Ericka Warren
"You ask me if I keep a notebook to record my great ideas. I've only ever had one."
-Albert Einstein, texted to me by Ericka Warren
"When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it happened or not."
-Mark Twain, texted to me by Ericka Warren
"I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination."
-Jimmy Dean, comment from Tracy Thompson
Jonathan and I had to do some sail adjusting today. Winds! All the flags and windsocks were blowing in the wrong direction . . . west! We, of course, were pedaling east. We now have a saying when the winds get strong or the hills get steep (no hills in this part of Ohio): "We're going to Maine!"
Because of the wind, Jonathan and I have become pretty good at drafting. On these windier days we've been riding one mile shifts. Jonathan will ride a mile on the front and I will draft. At the next mile we simply switch positions. It's like pulling for a mile and resting for a mile, pulling for a mile and resting for a mile. It does remind me of an Iditarod Dog Sled Race bumper sticker: "If you're not the lead dog the view never changes." Seriously, it does help it keep our pace higher and stronger and, by switching, the view does change.
Leaving Van Wert this morning we pedaled by The Brumback Library. It was established in 1901 and was the first county library in the United States. Looks like a castle, doesn't it? Add a moat, drawbridge, some banners, and "It's A Small World After All" and it could be an exciting part of Walt Disney World in Orlando!
The whole day was flat and windy. It was a rest day and we planned to pedal about 52 miles. Instead we did 56.9 miles into the wind which made it seem like 100!
Our total mileage now is 2,698 miles through eight states and part of Ohio. A red line from my Sharpie is snaking its way across my U.S. map. I am amazed at how far we've come. It doesn't seem possible. If I had not pedaled all of it I'm not sure I'd believe it.
I suppose our biggest challenge of the whole trip has been the wind. It's totally unpredictable, fickle, and mysterious. It can push you on the back one day and stab you in the back the next. It can lengthen a short day and shorten a long day. One very positive thing I have learned about the wind on this trip: it's making Jonathan and I stronger riders. It is reminding us that our focus should be Maine and not the wind. It also gives us greater joy when we reach our daily destination, knowing we have worked hard and beaten the wind for one more day. If it's between us and Maine, we're going through it! And . . . I still know The Master of The Wind. I thank him for the wind whichever way it's blowing. The strength of the wind is never greater than the strength of my Father.
"Don't you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak. Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait upon the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not grow faint" (Isaiah 40:28b-31).
I'm going to Maine!