Today we reached the state line. It was everything we had expected...and yet a bittersweet moment. The beginning of the end. We've reached the end of our journey and now all we have left is to drive home.
Today we finished the last 70+ miles. The biking part of it was the same as always. This time though the atmosphere was different. Everyone was excited, anticipating the moment that we would get off the bike and straddle the state line. When it came, the smiles didn't seem to fade; the cameras kept taking pictures; and the storm kindly held off for us. We realized that the dream that we had months ago finally became a reality. The crazy mission that people told us was ridiculous became our achievement.
856 miles...few people can say that they have been a part of a team that biked that distance in eight days. I can say that. We can say that. We've made a lot of memories doing this, and I can honestly say that I am proud to be a part of this group. I want to thank them and I want to thank you.
So thank y'all for your support...your prayers...and your belief in us and our goal to bike across the state. Pictures to come still...hang tight with me until then!
Wind- It was definitely tough today. We had the wind in our faces about half the time and blowing across us the other half of the time.
Hills- We were going up and down hills just about the entire time...talk about some tired muscles!
Car problems- Dr. Patterson's car died twice today. We finally decided that it was the alternator and got it fixed at a local mechanic's garage in Mt. Vernon. Thanks be to God that it went out today on an easy day rather than earlier in the trip!
Snake- Today Reba and I experience yet another snake experience. It was a small grey one on the road as we were walking back to our cabins tonight. After an almost meltdown from her, I finally dragged her past it on the other side of the road ;)
Fishing- There are a number of lakes here at Double S Ranch where we are staying and JT wasted no time in throwing out a line and fishing. Soon the rest of the boys joined him and they caught a number of fish- including a catfish. Pictures to come!
Smores- We are wrapping up the night by roasting smores. Eating marshmallows, Hershey bars, and graham crackers while sitting in lawn chairs out on the dock over the edge of the lake at sunset...nothing gets better than this!
Well y'all...one more day! We will reach Texarkana tomorrow! More to come then....
With a trip like this, you would think that it would take mostly endurance and being in great physical condition. You're right. It does take a lot of that; but in comparison with heart, physical condition only makes up about 10%.
You see it takes heart to commit to a huge project like this and follow through with it.
It takes heart to wake up every morning early and try to prepare yourself for another day on the bike.
It takes heart to push through the muscles burning and cramping, lungs screaming for air, and the soreness and tightness that sets in after a day or two.
It takes heart to overcome the fear of riding along the highway on the shoulder with cars whizzing by you at speeds up to 70 mph.
It takes heart to get on the bike and ride when you're biking into or facing 20-30 mph winds that threaten to take you out and push you back.
It takes heart to bike up hill after hill after hill and not quit.
It takes heart.
This is a fun adventure. We are making lots of memories. But the credit first has to go to God's blessings and then to the heart of this team. A coach once told me that you should have a heart so big that no one can hold it in their hand..no one can measure the size of your heart. The heart of this team is huge. It is immeasurable. For eight people of different backgrounds, majors, and ages to come together as one unit and spur one another on to achieve one common goal is unbelievable. It reveals one very important thing- the immeasurable heart of this team...my team.
You never know who you will meet when you bike across the state.
Last night around 10, KTAB News Abilene featured our bike team's story complete with interviews with Dr. Patterson and Rebekah. Today we met several people at different stops that we made along the way who had seen the story on the news and recognized us!
Not only that...while eating lunch at a picnic table rest stop along the highway, we met a wonderful couple who were driving from Florida to Alaska to vacation there and see friends along the way. They took pictures of us and asked if we would mind if they posted those pictures to their blog!
In addition, we stopped at a little ice cream, soda, and gift shop in Jacksboro and all of us got ice cream floats. The ladies who worked there were so sweet and genuinely interested in our trip. Several of us got blue tongues from the Krazy Kolor ice cream that we ate....which the ladies thought was quite funny (as they had tried to warn us that would happen).
Then, when we arrived at our hotel in Graham, we met a couple of HSU alumni who were there for their kids' dance performance and seemed excited for us about our adventure.
Wow the amazing people that God allowed to cross our path just on this one ten day trip! Now with almost six hundred miles done and just about two hundred and fifty to go, we are on the home stretch! Next stop- Mckinney (my home city)!