Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pedal Day 49 - VERMONT!

"Before you criticize someone, walk a while in his shoes. That way if he gets angry, he'll be a mile away and barefoot."
-Anonymous, from the home of Doug, Cindy, Keith, and cousin Matthew

We are now at the home of Doug, Cindy, and Keith Dunkelberger in Bradford, Vermont. Their home is 220 years old and was used as part of The Underground Railroad. They have completely restored the house to something that belongs in Northern Living magazine. We are staying here for the evening and right now (11:10 P.M.) we are sitting around the kitchen table talking. I am being somewhat unsociable doing this post but know that it has to be done or I'll be in big trouble. Tomorrow I will put photos of this house on the blog. You'll enjoy them. By the way, Cindy is the sister of Kathy who works with Sarah in Dr. George's office in Athens.
Bradford, Vermont is, for you geographically in tune folks, the home of the first world globe! Also, Vermont is the only state in the union that has no billboards! Let's hear it for Vermont!
Our ride today totaled 76.11 miles. The wind was the same as always but we've only got three more days to put up with it. Wind wasn't the only challenge though . . . let me tell you something you probably already know . . . Vermont is not flat. We knew that the Adirondacks would be a challenge but . . . welcome to The Green Mountain State of Vermont! Whew! We are finished with them now and the only mountains between us and the Atlantic are the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We'll be in New Hampshire tomorrow and I'll give you a White Mountain report then.
Right now I feel like we are in some kind of a space mission program. In Washington we had Chris and Debby Weldon giving us instructions and directions. They handed us off to Beavercreek Central to be guided by Jim, Margaret's brother. He still keeps an eye on our progress and route. Now we are under the directions of our son-in-law, Barry Milliner, who is landing us in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. We are right on course and should make our touch down on Saturday as planned.
We know that we have a higher authority guiding us. Today I was reminded of the importance of following his guidance. When Jonathan and I pedaled into Vermont we were immediately impressed with the highway before us. We passed from construction to four lanes of smooth concrete with shoulders wide and clean. As we pedaled by a sheriff sitting in his car we were reminded that law enforcement is always there for our protection.
About four miles into Vermont a motorcycle rider pulled up beside Jonathan and said, "You know it's illegal to ride on here!" We did not know and since it is not an interstate, thought he was wrong. When we came into the state there were no signs prohibiting bikes or anything else so we kept pedaling. There was lots of traffic but that didn't bother us because of the wide shoulder. At the next exit we looked for signs prohibiting bikes but saw none as we passed by. Just to be sure, because I didn't want to ride on Route 4 if it was illegal, we pulled off at the next exit and saw the sign prohibiting bikes, walkers, non-motorized vehicles, etc. Looking at the map we decided we would take Route 4A that runs parallel to the four lane. Route 4A is two lane, shady, not bad for riding, fairly flat, with almost no traffic. Maybe we pedaled a mile or two more but what we gained was far better.
Okay, you ask, what's your point? As part of my devotional this morning I read Romans 13:1a, "Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there." Sure, I would have rather stayed on the newer, smoother Route 4 but legally that couldn't be. Route 4A was better for us anyway!
"I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11).
Take the right road!


  1. Barry,
    I've thought about you and Jonathon many times the last few days. As I told you earlier our son was married by the Champlain Lake on Tues. As we were traveling around the area I could not help but wnder how you were going to cycle over all those mountains.
    I also thought about you when we toured the Ben and Jerry's ice cream factory in Vermont. The chocolate peanut-butter swirl was pretty good.
    I pray that God will bless you,Jonathon and Margerat as you complete your ride and that he will make that ride a little easier.
    I'll miss the blogs everyday also and I've been telling many people abput the guy I went to school with, who is cycling across the U.S.
    God's speed.

  2. Barry and crew,
    You have made my Spring/Summer an adventure! I am so proud of what you are doing, and that I can say I know you. There are so many people who would "conquer" a trip like this and wouldn't take time to analyze the process, much less share thoughts and pictures with friends--and supporters! Thank you for enjoying "the ride", for being Christ to the people you meet, and for challenging all of us along the way. This has to have been incredible for you all. Margaret, I hope that is true for you, too?! A few years ago, I followed the daily blog of Darius Goes West, logging on each morning before work to laugh and cry over the new adventures those guys had each day. And now I have your blog. Can't wait to see what new virtual adventures may be ahead as someone else shares their journey somewhere. It should now be a requirement for daily blogging by missions teams! Hang in there for the last little bit. Hope those White Mtns. are just molehills! Love you guys!

  3. WOW! Look at how much you have accomplished! Can we have an updated picture of that Red Sharpie line drawn across the U.S.? You have (almost) ridden your bikes across an entire country--a big country! Very impressive! Keep pedaling hard. Love you!

  4. I must post one last comment before you dip your front wheels in the Atlantic ocean. Before you left to go west I really didn't give you a 1 in 10 chance of making the cross country trip of nearly 4300 miles. If you had packed it in somewhere in Idaho you would have been my hero forever.

    It really takes perseverance to put on your bike pants facing 70+ miles in wind, rain & hills pedaling. You have made all us who call ourselves your friends, extremely proud for the privilege. Thanks!!

  5. Another follower added. Your trip is almost over.
    The exciement is building as you ner your goal. Thanks for sharing your amazing adventure with
    all of us. Be safe and remember you are being prayed for today.