Day 22 [Wabasso Beach – Melbourne, FL]

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2014

[Distance traveled: 30 miles]

Happy Friday! Yes, we are safely at my sister’s after a rough 30 miles into the wind all day.

Before I get started here, though, a did want to clarify something. I have been using the phrase, “Help make our Mission Possible POSSIBLE!”…..and many of you have contributed to this “Facing Your Fears” Tour in so many ways, through your prayers, through providing us with ice, through opening up your home to us for a place to stay, and MANY other ways.

And we are SO grateful.

But I did want to clarify, though, that when we talk about contributing to our cause, we are talking about funds that go directly to God’s Hands Agency, and we are NOT talking about funds that go toward these Mission POSSIBLE Tours. These trips are underwritten by Earline and myself, and our jab designs business, and are meant to be an ENCOURAGEMENT for those of you working with us in God’s Hands Agency, and the STRUGGLES that we ALL go through in our daily lives.

Any funds that we are asking you for are going towards the operating budget of God’s Hands Agency for the coming calendar year. We have set a goal of $5,000 for this entire next year, and hope to raise that by the end of December. And we are using our “Go Fund Me” website to collect those funds.

Earline has put together an excellent review of some things that God’s Hands Agency has accomplished in the past year, and when you go to the Go Fund Me site, you can read Earline’s thoughts right there, as well as the Scripture verses, the “lyrics” for all 6 of the Fearless songs! There is a link to Go Fund Me web site on the front page of our God’s Hands Agency web site.

Yesterday I mentioned that as the sun was going down, we were at Wabasso Beach, and were trying to find a place to lay down our head for the night.

Unbeknownst to us, there is hardly ANYTHING at Wabasso Beach [except a great little deli], but no place to stay, except at Sebastian Inlet State Park, which was still 7 miles away, or across the bridge over to Highway 1, ALSO about 7 miles away. What to do?

So at OUR speed, we’re still talking about an hour-and-a-half away.

There did seem to be SOMETHING big to our right….so I stopped at the guard gate to ask for advice, and it turned out to be a Disney Resort – what they call Disney Vero Beach Resort. Miss Diane told us about the lack of any facilities close by, but then she said to hold up, and she would check if they had anything available.

Any they did!

ONE room, a studio apartment for the handicapped, was available. It was not cheap, but our AAA membership provided a $40 discount! How about that! So we decided to take it.

Miss Brenda from the Front Desk met us outside, and you can see her picture in yesterday’s blog.

All we really did was sleep [HA!], but we appreciated the nice place to rest.

We took a quick walk in the morning, and this is indeed a beautiful location.

This was the little porch attached to our room.

Earline on DVB porch

The lodge was huge!

Disney Vero Beach resort

They had a beautiful boardwalk right on the Atlantic.

Me looking at ocean

But as we took these pictures we were freezing! It was colder this morning than yesterday!

[One quick boo-clap here…Disney! Shame on you. In the lobby, 20 feet from the entrance to the breakfast area, you have a hot coffee stand, all pretty and smelling good…..BUT!

There are no cups! Where are the cups?

It turns out that the CUPS cost money – 2 bucks or whatever it was – the CUPS cost money! What? You can’t provide free coffee to your guests? BAD public relations. Even Motel 6 provides free coffee…HEH!]

Okay……one interesting note….I use the term often [and too often FEEL it], that we are ALL going back to the dust. And we are….you KNOW we are.

Whether it is the simple 50-year-old motel, OR this big, fancy Disney resort, ALL show signs of going back to the dust. Even here, the knob on the closest door was loose and almost falling off. The shelf beside the bathroom sink had loose wall anchors on the left hand side, and was tipping dangerously, and the screw for the shower was loose, so that the shower head would not hold up at an angle, but flopped forward, pointing the shower spray at the handle [I fixed that…ha!].

EVERYTHING’s going back to the dust.

And didn’t God make that clear to Adam, that Adam would die, and that death, and disease, and deterioration would be brought into the world because of sin?

And that is EXACTLY what we honestly see all around us.

We had our trikes in the room with us – remember, this was a handicapped room, with wide spaces – and took them by elevator down to the basement. [Only way to ride them in and out!]

Yes do fit in elevator

Oh-oh! This guy doesn’t want Earline to leave!

Earline in fake topiary jaws

After a quick bite at the Wabasso deli, we then bundled up and headed north.

Cold morning Earline on A1A

It was COLD….and the wind was blowing pretty strong in our faces. Brrrrr!

Even EARLINE was wearing her jacket to stay warm!

We hadn’t actually gone too far, but who should we see, but Bob and Fifi from Waldo’s at Vero Beach! It was good to see them, and they had a chance to actually try out our trikes. What fun!

Fifi and Bob on trikes

Most of what we saw again today, though, was this…..straight, flat, and a little monotonous [but nicely manicured shoulders….heh!].

Lot of what we saw

There was a place up by the Sebastian Inlet that you could tell was VERY narrow….maybe only a hundred yards across, from Indian River to the Atlantic. Had some nice views of the river here.

Trikes on wide Indian River

Pelicans

Is the lollipop helping you stay warm?….Ha!

Love that lollipop

Then we saw the bridge over Sebastian Inlet…..hmmmm. Doesn’t look like there’s a bike path. Boo! I guess that is why the sign says to “SHARE THE ROAD.”

SI bridge

Here Earline starts her ascent:

Starting ascent

VERY glad we have these full-sized Slow Moving Vehicle signs….very visible, and familiar.

There was quite a bit of traffic, but during a lull, I was able to get this shot from the top of the bridge:

SI SP view from top

This is what the Inlet looks like over the edge of the railing:

View over edge of railing

You can see people enjoying the view on both sides of the Inlet.

Now for the FUN downhill!

Descent

On the way up to Melbourne Beach, we saw these fun signs:

Biggest turkey

Depressed fisherman

And even this “familiar” sign:

MP sign

YES! The mission IS possible!

And then we had the good fortune to meet Daniel at a local convenience store as we spent a few minutes warming up with coffee and hot chocolate.

Daniel

As you can se, Daniel is a “colorful” fella, and I understand he also does photography. Best wishes on YOUR endeavors, Daniel!

By now, the sun is starting to go down, and it is getting even COLDER….we try to add to our clothes without digging too deep in our panniers.

This is what we came up with.

Sleves in my jacket style

Back side

Yes, that is my jacket, and we slid Earline’s legs into the sleeves…..ha! And it worked!

WHATEVER it takes!

My outfit wasn’t much better….had my rain pants available to cut the effects of the wind, and my hooded sweatshirt helped.

Jon at Sunoco station

I think the only problem, really, was just when Earline went into the convenience store to use the restroom, and she forgot that she had on her “outfit.”

Earline wonder pants

Many “looks” and frivolity….ha! [Someone actually called the cops about these two bikes at the Sunoco station and two strange looking folks hanging around them! Ha!]

Earline getting dark

By now we had been riding over an hour in the dark, and the traffic on A1A was horrible, VERY busy. We eventually went through some neighborhoods over to the Eau Gallie Causeway bridge, but by this time Jyl and Dennis thought it best if they come pick us up….we were still about 8 miles from their house, and almost none of the roads we had to travel had bike lanes or bike paths….not a good idea at night.

[Is this cheating?…no….it is just another example of other folks helping to make our Mission Possible POSSIBLE!] [And no, for you accountants, I did not include those 8 miles in the total….ha!]

Thankfully, Dennis has a big van that held both the trikes.

Thanks Dennis

Thanks, Lord, for helping us to survive this day….thank you for a place to stay to rest and recuperate.

ONLY through God’s grace,

jon

Day 22 [Prescott, WI – Maiden Rock, WI]

TUESDAY, JUNE 22, 2010

Left the “quarry” at a little after 8am, and WHOO!, what a day!

(Actually, what a lightning show going on right now!! And yes, those clouds continue to get closer!)

This morning we had some pretty strenuous hills….Earline’s leg HAS been feeling a little better – she will still sometimes experience the “shin-splint-like” shooting pains, but not nearly as often, or of the severity she experienced early on.

Now, her legs just ache. (Welcome to the club!) And after today…..hmm! It took us almost 3 hours just to go the first 7 miles!

Here’s Earline in the middle of the climb. (I think she looks kinda cute!…..she is FOCUSED!)

Cool dudess focused

We tried to take pictures of the climbs, but the roads curve a lot, and you really can’t get feel for what it looks like, or how steep it is, with just these n-dimensional photos. (You’ll just have to join us on the NEXT tour!)

Long uphill from Prescott

Long uphill from Prescott2

Long uphill from Prescott3

It was TOUGH!

BUT…..not quite the adventure of this little guy. One of the times we stopped to rest, Earline noticed him dragging his work ACROSS the road….and he dragged (WHATEVER it is he is carrying…..if anyone can figure it out, let us know) ALL the way across the road, through trucks and cars, to the other side.

Ambitious fly ant

Also saw some llamas on our climb…..curious looking animals!

Llamas

Saw ANOTHER manure spreader parked on the front lawn….some kind of manure spreader art? Mmmm. It WAS clean. Hmmm. [As I mentioned in Day 2, I am now calling these FILOs – Farm Implement Lawn Ornament!]

FILO Manure spreader new

Still climbing up the hill……we’re tired, we’re almost out of water, we’re hungry, and we see a sign:

“Food” – “Drink” – “Ice Cream”……WHOA!!!!!!

We had lunch at what is called Nesbitt’s Nursery – truly a cyclist’s OASIS, as it sits just about at the TOP of the ascent up from Prescott.

And guys….it’s a NURSERY! Asked many questions, and got many insights into possible ideas for the DAH Nursery.

Here’s Donna and Leon Nesbitt

Nesbitts owners

Their son, Lee tries out the trike for a spin.

Lee Nesbitt test drive

Check out the plant art on the right closely…..what’s it made of? Manure spreader parts! Son-in-law Sam is apparently the creative genius behind many of the wonderful creations we saw on the premises.

Manure spreader plant

Nesbitts Nursery bye

We went down [whe-e-e-e-e-e-!] the hill inspired and refreshed.

Met Norris and his crew at a local gas station…..they were going pizza tree hunting! (Earline ALMOST believed him!) Norris is the tattoo guy on the left.

Pizza tree hunting

Norris actually learned a fair amount of conversational sign language when he was dating a Deaf girl that piqued his interest. (Knowing the language helps!)

Road up another mile-plus long hill (wow, did you hear that train….WOW, THAT’S LOUD!) and saw this farmer just finishing baling a field of hay (ahead of the 70% rain forcast for tomorrow….make hay while the sun SHINES…..make HASTE when it doesn’t!). Brings back memories for me.

Baling hay in Wisconsin

And THEN we had an almost 2-mile DOWNHILL (now THAT what I’m talking about!)!! 25 to 30 mph, 35 tops. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!

We finally ending up camping in Maiden Rock, in a little city park right on the banks of the Mississippi, a wide area of the river called Lake Pepin….check THIS out:

Fuzzy night shot

Beautiful view, frequent trains to spice up the experience, and a carload of cursing teens enjoying a campfire beside us with slamming hard rock providing a restful ambiance…..ACCKK!

(And the storm clouds in the distance are getting even CLOSER! Continuous lightning…..It’s 1:30am….let me try and get a FEW winks of sleep.)

Blurry lightning

Good night!

TGG,

jon

Day 24 [Melbourne – Cocoa, FL]

Sunday, November 30, 2014

[Distance traveled: 20 miles]

(Having a lot of problems with the Internet tonight, so may not get photos posted until tomorrow night. We are IN Cocoa tonight, and will be leaving before 7am to hopefully be HOME before dark. THANKS for all your prayers!….TGG, jon)

Happy Sunday! Happy Lord’s Day, for all those who might have worshipped in the various churches today.

And WHY worship?

And what exactly IS worship?

Just a couple quick thoughts….

I think of worship as giving thanks. Kinda like celebrating Thanksgiving EVERY Sunday. And there is something special about “corporal” worship, doing it around, and IN the presence of other folks.

Paul says that we should not “forsake the assembling of ourselves together” (folks who are trying to DO right). (Hebrews 10:25)

In Revelation 12:11 it says that satan can be defeated by “the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) and the word of their testimony.”

And for TESTIMONY to work, there has to someone to SAY it, AND someone to HEAR it….right?!’

Right!!

AND 2 Timothy 2:22 says to “Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

So….get yourselves in church AND Sunday School….ESPECIALLY Sunday School.

And why on Sunday?

That is simply in recognition of something no one has ever done before or since….Jesus was cruelly crucified, buried, laid there a couple days, and then ROSE from the DEAD (thus PROVING He was God) on the first day of the week, or Sunday. So THAT’s the day we worship, THAT’s the day we come together and say THANKS.

Now Earline and I happened to take advantage, as some others do, of coming together with some other Believers last night to say thanks, because this morning we wanted to knock 20 miles off our distance between here and Orlando.

So we got our trikes assembled in Jyl and Dennis’s garage early this morning….

Trikes in Lees garage

….and then said our good-byes to Jyl, Dennis, and Riley [she’s the gorgeous one in the brown coat!].

Jyl Dennis Riley pose

It really was a pretty day today, as we headed up Wickham Road.

Beautiful day on Wickham Road

We ended up going right past my mom’s old house, right on the path where she used to take 2-mile morning walks 6 days a week, right up until a couple months before she died.

Route past moms house

And we fondly remembered all the times she came to this window and waved good-bye as we drove away:

Sliding glass window where mom waved

We went past some real pretty homes and churches:

Pretty church

But since we weren’t in a hurry, we decided to mostly ride the sidewalks. There ARE pluses and minuses to riding the sidewalks….sometimes they are smooth and wide, and clean….

Sidewalks wide and clean

Sometimes, well, they were not….

Sometimes NOT

Some kind a drainage problem here, it looks like….the water was actually only an inch or two deep, so we went through slowly, something you can only DO with TRIKES!

And then, sometimes, utility companies decide they can use the sidewalk area for their own purposes….

Sidewalk obstacles

The curb drains can be several inches deep between the street and the start of the sidewalk….TOUGH going up and down these with our heavy loads….

Bad curb

But when the bike path is only 18 inches wide, where do you go? Our trikes are 32 inches wide.

18 inch shoulder

Even the bike handles of most BIKES will run somewhere around 21 to 24 inches wide.

Hmmmmm.

We actually got to the motel around 2pm, so we decided to take a walk across the street to a Sam’s that happened to be there. Earline tried out this bike….do you like this better than our trikes, Earline?

Earline tries trike

[Actually, I think she just liked the color! LOL!]

See the trike behind her? It had a price tag of $1500 on it….what!!??!

Upon closer inspection, this was a MOTORZIED trike….HEY, that’s cheating!

Tricycle battery

So….what’s the point? You won’t get any exercise this way! Ha!

Actually, I think Earline wanted to come to Sam’s to get the pizza and soda deal for 2 bucks!

Right?

Really wanted their pizza

Okay, we need to get back to the motel! I did a little repair work on Earline’s trike….found this rear light casing that showed fatigue.

Busted light

I did happen to have a replacement along, so I just switched them out.

Did some other adjustments and tweaking on both the trikes, and we both got to bed by 9pm. Set the alarm for 4:30am….gotta take advantage of the light we have tomorrow.

TGG,

jon

Day 21 [North Ft. Pierce Beach – Wabasso Beach, FL]

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2014 – THANKSGIVING

[Distance traveled:  22 miles]

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Today make gratitude and thankfulness what you give to God. [Remember the discussion from Day 19.]

I am grateful that we had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people today, from Florida, from other parts of the United States, even from other parts of the world!

It is the reason we only did 22 miles today….but I pray that we ALWAYS be flexible to talk to whomever God might put in our path.

And I am especially grateful for the conversation that I had with the girl in the Kentucky Fried Chicken on this past Saturday night [you can read about the conversation on Day 16.]

Because of the frustration I had with that girl, that quote from Peter that I wished I had told her, I was able to use today. Dave, [name changed], one of the many guys I talked to, say he didn’t want to have anything to do with God and Jesus. And immediately, the thought came to me to tell him, to whisper in his ear, “You know that Jesus is not just a fairy tale.”

I said it twice….and Dave heard me.

And I pray that the Spirit of God continues to speak though those words into Dave’s heart, and that his spiritual eyes will be opened to the truth of Jesus. Jesus is THE truth…you can’t get around it. He lived, He died, He rose again….fact of history.

You either accept it, or you ignore it….that’s the only two choices you’ve got.

And for those of you who read this blog who are praying folks, please pray with me that Dave will come to understand God’s truth.

Thanks!

Last night, after the rain stopped, and before it got dark, Earline and I did a little exploring. The wind was still blowing pretty strong, so we were bundled up.

The little motel that we stayed at was called the German American Motel.

GA Motel

Wait! What is that moving in the middle of the picture?

Zooming in….

Raccoon

AHA!

And it looked like somebody actually stuck out a paper plate with munchies on it for him. [OR….someone has just ended up sharing their supper!….ha!]

Earline and I found this sign on the back side of our motel….

Public beach access

So….WHERE’S the entrance?

Here?

Are you sure

Hmmmmmm.

Okay….going in….

Where ends

Where are we????!!!????

Okay….so THIS is where it comes out….

THIS is where it comes out

And a very secluded beach….plus I am sure the cold kept a few folks away.

Earline with dark sea bkgd2

And the northwest sky behind us was also unusually pretty.

Pretty sky at sunset

Now….

…..how do we get back?

Is this the way?

Is this the way back

It was a little hard to tell!

[It was the right way.]

Then we walked over to Sharky’s to get some pizza.

Mmmmm….pizza.

Pizza at Sharkys

Now, here’s where the plot thickens….the camera that I just took all these pictures with, I LEFT beside the salt and pepper box just to the right of the plate with the knife on it.

Yup.

Walked right out of the place without my camera.

Didn’t think about it until this morning, after I had woken up, and was thinking about the pictures in the Public Access woods….hmmmm…..I don’t remember carrying my camera home, and I remembered sitting it on the side of my plate last night.

So, did the staff find it?

Did somebody else take it?

All my pictures from the whole trip are on that camera!

But nope, I decided NOT to worry.

It is a THING….it is just STUFF…..there are other things more important.

I didn’t even tell Earline until AFTER we had packed and prayed together before starting the day.

So we packed up…..I just put the whole thing in God’s hands…..HE knows where the camera is.

Trikes packed and ready to go

This is what the apartment looked like WITHOUT all our stuff scattered everywhere [heh, heh, heh].

GA Motel inside

And it actually cost LESS than all the FL State Parks we stayed in. And we DIDN’T have to set up our tent, and we DIDN’T have to tear it down again, AND we had a private bathroom and shower.

Kinda makes the camping seem a little overrated, don’t ya think??!!

Hmmmm.

We then head over to Sharky’s but….as we kinda figured, it is Thanksgiving so they’re CLOSED!

Ack! Ack!

Well, I had already put the phone number in my phone, so I called them up, thinking maybe if they did find it, they could mail it, maybe?!?

Ring, ring, ring….it rang MANY times, but no automatic answer, no voice-mail, and THEN….

Someone answered!

I told them the situation, and he said, “great, no problem”…..he was IN the cafe!

His name was Derrick, Derrick Rohn, and he was the son of the owner of the cafe that we had met earlier…..we looked around to see if we could find the camera. We found a little package, paper bag inside of a plastic bag, with the words “couple by the AC” on it, or something like that.

And, looking inside….it was the camera! Yea!

“Couple by the AC” meant that it BELONGED to the couple [US] who had been sitting by the AC.

Whew.

Started out our Thanksgiving with a LOT of gratitude, to God, AND to Sharky’s. Thanks, guys!

Sharkys outside

Got some supplies [and FREE Thanksgiving coffee!] at the Cumberland Farms next door, and had the chance to talked with several folks about our Mission POSSIBLE Tours.

A couple of gray-beards guys had already biked from Vero Beach to our location, a distance of about 15 miles, and got a couple goodies from the CF store, and were headed back to VB. Whoa!

Good for them!

It actually turned out to be a really pretty day today. Yes, the breeze was fairly strong in our face, but it had warmed up nicely from the night before where it got into the 40s, and by the time we hit the road, I would say it was upper 60s….GREAT for triking!

There also was a bike lane almost the entire way today, and fairly new asphalt, so it made for a very pleasant ride.

Sunny north on A1A

Fairly typical A1A today

There was more development than we saw Tuesday, but it was not like all the HIGH-RISE condos south of Palm Beach….these were mostly housing developments where there appeared to be a lot of single family homes only one or two stories tall, or were in the process of being rezoned and marketed. Earline had to check one out….

Earline exploring development

There were a few beachside homes in this area….this one’s lawn was immaculate!

Beach house with immaculate lawn

Some of the entrances to the various developments were colorful and beautifully landscaped. Here were some gorgeous flowers at an entrance:

Lots of housing developments

Even caught a Monarch Butterfly enjoying the flowers:

Monarch

There were not too many services along the way, but we did find a few State and County Parks…

…..wait….I just….I must…..

…..let me photobomb this selfie:

Photobomb this selfie

There…..all better now.

We happened to go past the Navy Seal Museum [Torin, did you know anything about this? We thought about you when we saw it.]

Jon by Navy Seal Museum

And we DID find a few 7-11’s that were open along the way.

Did you know Earline LOVES Slurpees?

This is one of my favorite pictures of Earline, and it has actually been a scene that has been repeated several times over the course of the past 3 weeks:  Slurpee in one hand, and the phone for texting in the other.

Earline on trike in Vero

Ha!

When we got to Vero Beach, we asked one of the workers in 7-11 to recommend places to eat. He told us to go to Waldo’s.

Waldos entrance

Interesting place!

Originally started by a kind of eccentric guy in the 1920s, Waldo Sexton, and apparently the construction was done without any blueprints or building plans….so some of the angles and edges of the facility do not quite square up….ha!

They WERE open, but Earline and I knew that we could not eat heavy for the road, so we ordered one entree and split it between the two of us.

Perusing the menu.

Checking menu at Waldos

It was at Waldo’s that we met Bob and Fifi from Puerto Rico….we enjoyed the time with them! Bob is 75 and actually does a lot of biking himself to this day. He has been a world-class motocross biker….some SERIOUS biking! [Bob, did I get that right? Please correct me if I’m wrong!] [I try….ha!]

Bob and Fifi

Of course, Earline HAD to get a selfie with Fifi!

Selfie time with Fifi and Earline

As we were leaving Waldo’s we had the chance to talk with several other people….Lee is the owner or the manager of Waldo’s itself, and we had some interesting discussion about sign language. Lee’s sister also works for Clark Schools for the Deaf.

Jon and Lee talking about sign language

As we were leaving Vero Beach, we saw these giant turtles that somebody designed, and Earline thought they were cute:

With giant turtle in Vero

Getting late, and because of all the talking we’ve been doing [plus we were riding INTO the wind!], it didn’t look like we were going to make the San Sebastian Inlet State Park. The sun goes down so early now!

We finally ran across an establishment in Wabasso Beach that has some Disney connections, and they had ONE room available. The next closest thing for a place to stay was an hour, hour-and-half away, and Earline was really feeling tired, so we stopped for the night.

A very special thanks to Diane and Brenda who helped MAKE the connections so we could stay for the night. Say “hello” to Brenda!

Earline and Brenda

It was already getting dark….and we got kinda lost….oh, well.

Jon lost at Disney resort

Eventually we FOUND our way, and settled in for the night. And we are grateful.

Thanks, God, for this day….and I mean it…..and not just THANKSGIVING, but EVERY day should start and end with a grateful heart. [See Philippians 2:5-11]

TGG,

jon

Day 17 [North Palm Beach, FL]

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014

[Distance traveled; 2 miles]

When we woke up this morning, we asked God to help us find church, so I googled “church” around our location, and found Lighthouse Baptist Church just a mile away. We quickly got ready….

….[see, now this is A TRUE SERVANT’S heart….ironing my clothes for me before church]….

Doing whatever it takes

….and had a quick continental breakfast in the motel lobby, and headed to church.

Heading to church

Arriving at Lighthouse

We started to leave our trikes out front, but I got the idea that it might rain, so we brought them inside the gate, and under a roof.

Trikes at Lighthouse

And the church was an excellent one!

Welcome to Lighthouse

Sunday School was small, but lively, and there was real depth of understanding about the Word evident from many in attendance. We especially appreciated Miss Sue, and her leadership of the class. God is pleased! YES!

And the worship service was a little different than what we were used to….not really a sermon, per se, and that might be because of the nature of THIS service.

Dr. Mike Butzberger is the Pastor, and he was all over the Word, and even helped lead the music with two other ladies.

Worship team

This service in particular was their Sunday-before-Thanksgiving, their annual “giving thanks to God” service. Pastor Mike showed the verse, John 1:16 where it says: “We have all benefited from the rich blessings he brought to us—blessing upon blessing heaped upon us!”

And then Psalm 22:22: “I will praise you to all my brothers; I will stand up before the congregation and testify of the wonderful things you have done.”

There was a microphone set up at the front of the church, and people would come up and share giving reasons for thanking God….although I think only one round was intended, there ended up being 4 rounds, as the kids got involved, and it almost became a little competition to see who could give the most thanks.

THAT loosened up some of the adults, and as time went on, more folks came forward to share.

Pastor then shared some tidbits in between all this, and the service flowed nicely.

Afterwards Earline got a selfie with Ola and Linda.

Earline, Ola, and Linda

Pray for Linda….she and her husband are taking care of a very sick son-in-law, who has a cyst on his stomach that they are trying to dry up, and in the meantime he has lost over 40 pounds….no eating or drinking for a while until the doctors can get this cyst closed up.

We met Jason and his wife, Kathy, who has a pretty voice and is part of the Praise Team. Jason’s mom, Jane, is also a cyclist, and often goes 10 miles a day. Alright!

Kathy, Jason, and Jane

And Jason encouraged Earline with YOLO [you only live once], and therefore you CAN conquer your fears, because fear, like life, is fleeting.

Jon got in a quick picture with Dr. B and his wife:

Pastor Mike and his wife

And immediately after we took this picture, we noticed it was RAINING outside!

Ack!

We did not bring ANY rain gear. But I really think God had a plan in mind, because we were NOT interested in riding in the rain, and GOD wanted us to hang around a little longer.

Turns out that Jeannie was waiting outside [but UNDER the roof] to talk to Earline, because she sensed that Earline had been sent here to this service today to talk specifically to her. We had a good chat, and I had a chance to let Michael try out the trike.

Jeannie and her son Michael

And after we finished talking with Jeannie and Michael….the rain stopped!

Earline, Michael, and Jeannie

In fact, it must have stopped a little earlier, because by the time we unlocked our trikes and said our goodbyes, even the roads were dry!

[LOVE those heavenly coincidences!]

AGAIN, we are grateful.

This afternoon washed clothes, got caught up on the blog, and watched an interesting documentary on TV about Banksy art in New York City while chowing down on some Papa Johns pizza. Mmm-mmm.

Through God’s grace,

jon

Day 16 [Pompano Beach – North Palm Beach, FL]

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2014

[Distance traveled: 43 miles]

The alarm went at 6:00, so we got up and started to pack, even though it was still dark. As it started to get light, I check the clouds, and did not look good – they were dark and moving fast.

Clouds moving dark and fast

BUT!

I went down to check the trikes, and the ground was dry. It was VERY windy, and you could taste the salt in the air….BUT the ground was dry.

Even though there had been some water from the day before on the trikes [and on the shuffleboard court!], the wind, damp as it was, had blown the surfaces dry.

DRY under trikes

And I imagined that maybe this is what the Israelites experienced, as the winds blew the ground dry under the Gulf of Aqaba, the arm of the Red Sea that they crossed over as they fled the Egyptians. Very windy, taste of salt in the air, but still walking on DRY ground.

I also wanted to mention here, that some of you will remember….I SPECIFICALLY asked that you pray and ask God that we not have to pack wet this morning. [See yesterday’s blog.]

And your prayers were ANSWERED!

Remember, in Psalm 37 it says that God DELIGHTS in the details of our lives. The DETAILS.

In the Sermon on the Mount in Chapter 6 of Matthew, Jesus says that “every detail” of the law will remain in place until its purpose is achieved. I like that translation, but even better, I like in the King James version where it says “jot” and “tittle.”

What is THAT?!

Matthew wrote his book in Greek, but the Greek word translated “jot” refers to the smallest word in the Hebrew language, yodh. It is just a little, tiny mark.

And then “tittle,” or “keraia” in the Greek, refers to just the tiny little hook on the end of the letters in Hebrew and Aramaic. Like a serif on a font in the English language. Just the tiny little, curvy hook at the very end of the letter.

In God’s Word, God’s law, He is SO DETAILED that even the little hooks at the ends of the letters that make the words are important to Him! And think about it, as the Creator of EVERYTHING, wouldn’t He HAVE to know how everything is put together?!

That is the kind of detail about you and me that He is interested in….that He DELIGHTS in.

So KNOW that this morning, YOUR prayers WERE answered. Sometimes God says “no,” sometimes He says “wait,” but what we DO know is that He IS able. [See Daniel 3:16-18]

[And we are grateful when He says YES!]

We got all packed up, still not raining on top, although we prepared for it by waterproofing our bags and pulling out our rain suits. [We didn’t asked Him to not have it rain at all…ha!]

As we were packing Ron stopped by, and we had a chance to talk to him about how God helps us face our fears.

Jon and Ron

So as we started north on A1A, Earline prayed for coffee, and there it was! She’s getting good at this….ha!

Praying for coffee

Meanwhile, I had a nice conversation with Patrick, an avid biker himself, a Christian who is concerned about the environment.

Patrick from Pompeno Beach

Earline continued to enjoy her coffee and cream cheese bagel….mmm, mmm.

Hey, wait! Where’s mine?

Hmmmm.

Cream cheese bagel

As we were getting ready to leave, Sean and his dad, Kevin, stopped by and asked good questions about our mission [and we promised to put their picture on the blog….here it is!]:

Sean and dad Kevin

Finally got headed down the road again, but it was starting to drizzle, and then the drizzle got harder, and finally I said, we have to pull to the side and cover up our side bags, and put on our rain gear [that we picked up in Hollywood at the K-Mart.]

I think they worked out pretty good. Earline HAD to take a selfie, which I caught her doing:

Confirm Earline selfie

And here it is:

Earline rain gear selfie

HA!

Picked up a couple goodies at the Deerfield Beach 7-11, and they permitted us to fill up our little round thermos with ice [it holds about 2 lbs of ice for a whole day]. [Thanks. 7-11, you were a life-saver!]

Leaving 7-11 in rain suits

It was not REAL hot today….the winds helped keep us cool, but the WINDS were so strong from the East, not quite in our face, but many times it whipped around the buildings to be in our face for a minute or two. And even when hitting us from the side, it made for slow going. And the winds were whipping the waves so hard, that even when it wasn’t raining, you could feel the salt water spray from the winds.

Not hard but miserable

Here’s Earline modeling her rain gear:

Earline modeling rain gear

But the rain suits WERE hot….and finally the rain calmed down a little, and we said, “THAT’S ENOUGH!” and took them off, after we made a little stop at the Atlantic Dunes Park.

Rain coats off

I have also discovered that I can substitute turkey for SPAM when making my spam/peanut butter/cheese/graham cracker delights. Whoa! I think it’s even BETTER than the SPAM!

What!!! It’s good!

GC sandwiches

It is hard to describe the day we had….even with the rain not coming down on top, there was a constant roar from the wind and the waves, very loud, and there was always the wind pushing us to the side, or even from the front. It DID make for pretty waves. [Lifeguard flag was red.]

Atlantic Dunes County Park view waves

STRONG winds

Notices how all the trees are bending to the right, the west.

I figure that the winds probably slowed us down 2 to 3 miles per hour.

For the most part, drivers were respectful of us. The speed limit here on A1A is only 35 mph, and there were a lot of signs along the way emphasizing laws specifically for cyclists.

3 foot clearance

Sometimes we WERE blocked from the wind by large trees, or beautiful homes, and there were plenty of those. Because we go slower on the trikes, we were able to get a pretty good look into some of the driveways. Some pretty amazing wealth was on display.

Beautiful home 1

Beautiful home 2

Didn’t really see many churches, though….maybe one or two.

Hmmmm.

Many homes DID have Christmas decorations up already:

Time for Christmas

Finally got into the Palm Beach area, and saw some more beautifully landscaped areas.

Jon and landscaping in PB

Earline thru PB road

In “downtown” Palm Beach, it was like Park Avenue on steroids, if you know what I mean. Lots of fancy stores with names I couldn’t pronounce, and we saw more than one Rolls Royce, Bentley, and Lamborghini.

Dntn PB

And yes, they had their Christmas tree up already:

XTree in PB

Earline, would you like one of these under your tree at Christmas?

Yachts for xmas

Oh, my!!

It was after 5pm by this point, and we still had to cross over to West Palm Beach.

Jon looking at PB,WPB bridge

We weren’t sure where to stay, and we really wanted to have a good church to go to tomorrow.

We started to head out of town on Highway 1, and we saw several small “mom and pop” motels, but the area looked really “busy,” if you know what I mean. Lots of people walking the streets, hanging out.

We stopped to get something to eat at a Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the consensus in there seemed to be that we go further north to find a place to stay.

I ask the girl that waited on us, Vanessa, who had been working there about 2 months, if she knew a good place to go to church. She said she really didn’t go to church.

And I didn’t know what to say.

But as I thought about it, I DID think of an appropriate response in that situation….I thought it might work well to use what Peter said in 2 Peter 1:16. He said, “we’re not making up clever stories, we’re not telling fairy tales when we talk about Jesus…”

He should know….he was THERE, right??!!

If somebody says that they don’t go to church, simply ask, “You DO know that Jesus is not a fairy tale, right?”, and see how they respond.

And then be prepared to give a “good defense” of what you know to be true.

We proceeded north, then, on A1A, out of West Palm Beach, in the dark. We suddenly heard some loud music coming from our right, and they were apparently having some kind of seafood festival along the beach.

Unfortunately, the winds were still so vicious, that there weren’t many people there. But there WERE enough to engage in some lively conversation with many who were interested in our trikes and our mission.

To the man on the bench who stuck some cash in my hand for God’s Hands Agency: “No, there was not a 50 dollar bill in the bills you gave me. Ha! BUT, thank you for sincerely, and I mean that, for helping us to be an encouragement among the Deaf, Youth, and Families.”

Some of the folks at the festival told us that there were several motels just up the road ahead….but we discovered, yet again, that “just a little ways up the road” in a car is NOT the same as “just a little ways up the road” on a TRIKE!!

Even a cop pulled beside us and said that there was motel just a “tenth of a mile” up ahead.

Heh.

Distance challenged.

But FINALLY, a half mile later, we DID run across a Super8 Motel, and no question, we WERE stopping. Total distance, 43 miles, and Earline’s leg was killing her! [She said she is going to tell stories to her grandkids of how she triked hundreds of miles, and got shot in her leg, and pulled the bullets out with her teeth, and dragged her shot leg another 100 miles just to give a child a fresh cup of water….HA!]

I’ll take care of her, and we just ask you to continue to pray for her left knee, that it continue to get stronger, and that He will CONTINUE to guide us, and protect us under the shadow of His wing.

Good night!

TGG,

jon

Day 11 [Homestead – Miami, FL]

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2014

[Distance traveled: 31 miles]

Happy Monday!

The South Dade County Trail starts just behind the RaceTrak at the corner of Hwy 1 and Card Sound Road. From there it continues for some 30 miles all the way to downtown Miami, and that was the route we traveled today.

Sometimes it was just some pavement beside the bus lanes….

BUSway

Sometimes it was woodsy, like in the University of Miami area….

Wooded area trail

Sometimes it was over a wooden bridge….

Earline on wooden bridge

Sometimes over a cement bridge….

Earline on busway bridge

Sometimes UNDER an elevated train bridge….

Earline under L-Train

Sometimes over a metal bridge….

Over a bridge

….and, of course, that meant being able to come DOWN from a metal bridge!

Earline going down bridge

WHEEEEEEEE!

Sometimes it went behind a bus station….

Bus station

Sometimes it went THROUGH a bus station….

THRU bus station

….so basically, a lot of bridges and busses today.

BUSway near downtown

There was even a drawbidge downtown, at the END of the South Dade Trail.

Drawbridge

One GREAT THING the trail did, was go past a SubStation.

SubStation

Earline had GREAT things to say about their Philly cheese-steaks! Mmmm-mmmm!

Philly cheesesteak

They sit right on the bike trail, at the corner of Flagler and Campbell, just north of Homestead. Check ‘em out!

In the SubStation we also had a chance to meet Kevin and Karina. They were both respectful and well-spoken, and we thought very highly of them. They WILL BOTH be in our prayers and thoughts as Kevin plans on joining the Army soon.

Kevin and Karina

One thing that DID concern us today, though, was the number of homeless people that we saw, almost always older men, just sitting, or sleeping in a variety of places. We actually saw one guy talking a leak at the back of one of the bus stops as we rode by.

Ugh.

No wonder many of the bus stops reeked of urine as we rode past.

Miami has got a PROBLEM.

Now we understand that EVERYBODY has a story, or as our niece Coco puts it, everyone has a STRUGGLE. And today, riding on the trail, we saw many examples of The Days of Our Struggle:

Guys sleeping along the Trail…

Guy laying down struggle

White guys approaching cars with cup in hand…

White guy can in hand struggle

Black guys approaching cars with cup in hand….

Black guy can in hand struggle

Or even a makeshift homeless campground, anchored with shopping carts, in the parking garage of the Dadeland Mall….

Makeshift campground at Dade mall

Oh, the STRUGGLE, the STRUGGLE!

Even Philippians 1:30 says:

“We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.”

FEARLESS Song #1 says: “Have I not commanded you be strong and of good courage??!!”

Commanded!

Beat the struggle! You can do it!

Through God’s grace,

jon

Day 10 [Key Largo – Homestead, FL]

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2014

[Distance traveled: 25 miles]

Had a really good night’s sleep at King’s Kamp, and the weather is almost perfect….light breeze, and maybe 75, 80 degrees.

As we were packing, a small C-Class RV pulled up beside us, and it was a young couple from Switzerland! They were in the U.S. for about 3 weeks, and are on their way to Key West.

Earline and Regula had a chance to talk for a while. Regula’s first language is German, so I sprechened a little Deutsch with her. We found out she is a Christian, and an Emergency Room nurse in Switzerland. When we left, we had a chance to have little prayer time with Regula, for their travels and ours.

Regula from Switzerland

After leaving the camp, we went next door to a little eating place called Evelyn’s of Key Largo. What a friendly little restaurant! For those of you familiar with Mr. Quick in Orlando, it was kind of like a fancy Mr. Quick, with a Spanish/Mexican/Keys flavor. [We love Mt. Quick!]

The food was scrumptious, and after we finished eating, one of the waitresses helped Earline fill our water bottles and small igloo with ice. How nice and thoughtful of them! For those of you who read my blog yesterday about customer service….THIS is what I was talking about. THIS is customer service, and we love it! Evelyn’s in Key Largo, about Mile Marker 104, on the north side of the road. Go there, and tell them the Wifi Pedalers sent you!

Headed out of town with bellys full, and fresh ice, and stopped to take a picture of the “You Are Leaving” sign.

Earline take picture of sign

So what exactly does the sign say? Check it out…

Key Largo sign

Oh, NOOOOOOOOOO! Back to reality!!!!!

Ha!

Here’s Earline officially leaving the Keys….you made it! [Only 375 miles to go….whoa!]

Officially leaving the Keys

But we hadn’t even gotten to the first big hill, when….thump, thump!

What?

Did I run over something?

There were some grates along the side of the road, next to the turquoise-painted walls [did you notice?….turquoise – I guess it is a Keys thing].

When I ran over one of those grates, apparently it knocked my tire pump loose, and that’s what I bumped against. Earline picked it up, and it looks like it survived any damage, and I had to reattach it.

Fixing loose pump

NOW we can go over the big hill.

Biggest bridge

When we got to the top, I stuck up my camera to the side and took this picture. [Earline, this is what you didn’t didn’t want to look at….see what you’re missing??!!??] [This is a higher-rez picture.]

Higher rez look over bridge

Then we had fun coming DOWN this hill…got up to 30 MPH going down. WHEEEE!

But that was it pretty much it….over 20 miles of a mostly straight, boring road, and….WAIT!

What does that sign say?

Crocodile crossing

Okay, so let me figure this out.

[Uncle Dan, maybe you can help me with this one.]

First of all, the Florida Department of Transportation wants us to know that there MAY be crocodiles trying to cross the road for the next 6 miles.

Okay, question 1….WHY in the world are they trying to cross the road?

Okay, question 2….if I DO see one trying to cross the road, is there something I am supposed to do?

[This seems especially significant for those of us ON A BICYCLE, OR TRICYCLE, don’t you think??!!?]

Okay, question 3….if I DO see one, and it starts to chase me, can I fight back? This seems to me to be an important fact that I should have figured out BEFORE I actually see one trying to cross the road!

Comments or suggestions are appreciated!

[Isn’t this Mission POSSIBLE Tour called FACING YOUR FEARS? I guess I did not understand that meant I would have to face…a CROCODILE!] [I think song #3 is probably the best song for this situation: “I (God) will help you, I will uphold you with My victorious right hand!”….especially if it is high above the jaws of some ornery crocodile!]

By the way, we did NOT see any crocodiles.

Whew!

So, OTHERWISE, it is basically just a straight shot north, and Earline got a nice picture of the skies.

Facinating clouds in hwy 1

By the way, we had to be careful NOT to drink too much water….there are NO services for this stretch through the swamp…no trees to hide behind, no cornfields….you just have got to hold it!

Whew!

There were some rumble grooves along the side, but for the most part they were within 3 feet of the outside white line of the right lane, and then there would be another 4 to 5 feet of blacktop surface OUTSIDE the rumble grooves for us to ride on. So mostly a smooth ride, and this was also very beneficial for Earline and her knee…it got sore again today, but it was almost 10 miles before it really started to bother her.

She does seem to be getting stronger each day. Thanks God!

FINALLY we arrived at the RaceTrak across from Card Sound Road. YES!

We did look for a church to go to a Sunday night service. Found one not too far away, the new Branches United Methodist Church.

But, alas, apparently they do not have a Sunday evening service.

We then stopped at a Bike Hostel we saw just off the bike trail coming from the Keys. They have got quite a set-up their courtyard…impressive! Even a flowing waterfall that you can drink and swim in! [I hear it IS a little chilly, however! Think warm thoughts.]

Hostel

Bike hostel in Homestead

Thanks, Bonnie, for taking the time to show us around! [I hope I remembered your name right!]

She and Earline, of course, HAD to take a selfie:

Bonnie at Bike Hostel

Alas, they didn’t have any private rooms available, so we found somewhere else close by to stay.

One final thought….and this is from “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers.

He writes:

“It’s one thing to go through a crisis grandly, yet quite another to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, and no one paying even the remotest attention to us. To do even the most humbling tasks to the glory of God takes the Almighty God Incarnate working in us. The true test of a saint’s life is not successfulness but faithfulness on the human level of life.”

….”even the most humbling tasks”….

Our routine these days means unpacking and packing the tent, or gathering up scraps of trash, or Earline helping hold the hand pump still while I pump up the air mattress, or rubbing down Earline’s knee, or putting Cortizone on that mosquito bite that the other person just cannot quite reach…

….ALL these tasks should be done to the glory of God. ALL.

What are some humbling tasks that YOU do? What are you doing where there is “no one paying even the remotest attention to”….THAT is “the true test of a saint’s life.”

May all YOUR tasks today be done in “faithfulness” with gratitude and thanks to God.

“God…working in us.”

Thanks again to ALL of you for your prayers and support.

TGG,

jon

Day 7 [Little Crawl Key – Long Key]

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2014

[Distance traveled: 13 miles]

Happy Thursday!

After setting up in the dark last night, and I’ll admit, not having a very good attitude about it, and then having to grumble my way through a cold shower, and THEN losing about an hour’s work trying to blog with my phone’s tiny screen…..I don’t know why God gave me a good night’s sleep, but He did.

I got up shortly after the sun did….oooo, wet! HEAVY dew last night. We were about 70 yards from the ocean, and I walked around some trees to the left, and found a little alcove with a picnic bench. There I stood and just watched the wind rippling the waves a little, and I sang “How Great Thou Art” to God….just between me and Him.

The WORDS to that song….I mean, it STARTS OUT:

“O, Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hands have made. I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder; Thy power throughout the universe displayed.”

Down here in the Keys, you don’t find many city lights, and the starry sky has been spectacular. Earline said she had never seen stars like this. I told her that I grew up with stars like this.

I remember the night at Bahia Honda….you could easily see the Milky Way. And when the moon came out, even though it was only half visible [“first quarter” for you astronomical types], it was SO bright that you could even read by it.

And how interesting that, as postulated by the book and DVD Privileged Planet, the ONE PLACE in the universe that we know of that has human beings that can admire and appreciate a beautifully designed and coordinated system of stars and moons, and planets, just “happens” to be situated in a VERY unique location in our galaxy, not obstructed by a dense galactic core of stars, or enveloped by clouds of gases; instead the Earth is positioned PERFECTLY where the entirety of the universe is laid out before our seeing eyes IN ALMOST ALL DIRECTIONS, to look, and to contemplate, and to wonder.

Folks, folks, folks….a tornado in a junkyard does NOT make a jumbo jet. Anyone who has ever been raised on a farm, or biked across the country, KNOWS that things just naturally break, and rust, and fall apart. Anyone who has aged beyond 40 or 50 knows that their body is breaking down, it is going back to the dust.

Evolution is such a sneaky word…natural evolution, things changing or adapting, yes, we can see that, but evolution from a rock to a living cell, from an ape to a man, evolution that adds information to something and becomes something more complex, has NEVER been shown to occur, and is a damnable lie.

Any modern-day cellular biologist knows it, any astronomer with half a brain knows it, and if we just open our eyes to the BEAUTY of the world around us….well, we should know it, too.

Our educational system will be so ashamed one day, by the foolishness that they have allowed to be promoted.

In Romans 1, verse 20, Paul makes it pretty clear: “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have NO EXCUSE for not knowing God.”

After letting the sun dry the dew off our tent, we slowly got packed up. While packing, we met a nice couple from Vancouver, Canada. Gary and Linda, who are celebrating their 40th anniversary, and have canoe races and running adventures with their 4 sons.

Gary and Linda

As you can see in Linda’s hand, we have been passing out dozens and dozens of our quarter-page info cards and tracts, just letting everyone know that “With God, ALL things are possible!”

We finally got underway around 11am (Why does it take us so long to pack?!). One reason is that we were looking for a couple items that we could not find.

We lost a tent stake….could not find it. I am guessing that we maybe left it in the Bahia Honda campground. And my sunglasses that wrap around my existing glasses….where are they?

You can see the closely cropped area where our tent was, in the background. Hard to miss anything there!

Where we camped

Can’t find them. We checked at the bathhouse of “cold shower” fame, as well as at the registration cabin where we first checked in, but nothing there either.

Hmmmm.

Earline is really hurting this morning, so we are taking our time.

Leaving CHSP

You can see the barrels that we had to do some navigating around….it seems as if the final design is going to be something like this: eight-foot shoulders with rumble grooves and bumpers between the traffic and the bike lane. We like this!

8-foot shoulder

Wait!

Something moving!

What is it??!!?

Yes, we have seen a few of these iguanas along the way, sometimes sunning ON the path, but this is the first that I was able to snatch a picture of it. Let me make this picture big so that Earline can see it clearly! [She says she does NOT want to see it! Ha!]

Iguana

Saw this DEAD END sign, but one of the locals said the bike path goes all the way across the bridge. So we took his advice, and it did! Nice to have a separated path.

Dead End not

It was so pretty today. And we saw a lot of cyclists, too. Most of them headed the other direction.

Cyclist

You could see miles and miles of blue water and skies!

Here’s a higher rez photo of the views we saw today.

Beautiful horizon

We stopped at a pretty spot and got some more photos, with Earline and her knee wrap.

Pretty spot by shore

Knee wrap by shore

We went over the Long Key bridge which was pretty long – maybe 2 miles – but it DID have a separated path for cyclists and pedestrians, especially fishermen. Not nearly as hair-raising as the 7-mile bridge.

Long Key bridge

Even saw some fish being caught!

Fish being caught

Speaking of fish “biting,” the mosquitoes and “no-see-ums” have been biting, too! Not too bad, thanks to the cooler weather and some mosquito control we saw.

Mosquito control

Finally made it ten miles, and with Earline’s knee still hurting, we pulled in early at the Long Key State Park. We liked this park, and we had a spot right next to the ocean (and the bath house so that Earline did not have to walk too far, thanks to our Park Ranger from Christmas, FL!).

And as we were setting up, we made new friends with James and Paula from Virginia.

Paula and James from VA

Here’s a sneak peek of tomorrow’s sunrise from our campsite….some SPECTACULAR shots of God’s handiwork.

Sneak peek

And as I had earlier watched the moon come up over the far horizon, I happened to catch a shooting star go a good long ways, from east to west, across maybe 45° of the horizon. Wow.

Thanks, God.

ONLY through God’s grace,

jon

Day 6 [Bahia Honda Key – Little Crawl Key]

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2014

[Distance traveled: 21 miles]

Tonight we are at Curry Hammock State Park on Little Crawl Key.

Here was our campsite at Bahia Honda State Park:

Campsite at Bahia

There were some very FAT pigeons that looked a little TOO tame….

Fat pigeons

…so I tested them, to se if they’d been “trained” to go after food….I took a few small rocks by the table…

Tiny rocks

….and tossed them in the middle of pigeons. Yowzer! Mass hysteria!

Mass hysteria

SOMEBODY’s been feeding these birds. So now you know – if anyone ever calls you “bird-brained”, do NOT take it as a compliment! Ha!

The beach and the grounds really WERE beautiful at Bahia Honda.

Bahia beach

Bahia grounds

South facing campsites

They even had a little cafe on property, and Ora and Rhonda made us some great sandwiches to eat and take with us [with  little help from “BatMan!”]

Ora, BatMan, and Rhonda

OKAY!

Now it’s time to tackle the 7-MILER!

And it didn’t take too long to reach the start of it….here’s Earline’s first view of the bridge:

Earline shoots photo of 7-mile bridge

Here’s what she saw….one mile to go!

One mile to go

And at the start:

At the start

No potty breaks for the next 7 miles!

The beginning….the shoulder was not too bad, maybe 5, 5-and-a-half feet. But I should mention here….one thing I had been trying to figure out, is….where was the picture taken of the bridge that we have on our flyers, and on the front of the GodsHandsAgency.com site, as well as the front of the WiFiPedalers.com site?

Well, I have since learned that the bridge really has three parts:

1) the west end

2) the “hump” that lets ships pass under the bridge

3) and the east end.

But the two ends are NOT equal.

The west end is almost 5 miles long, while the east end is only about 2 miles long. And because of the curve of the bridge, I realized that the picture was taken from north of the east end of the bridge, looking back at the bridge, in a west, southwesterly direction, as if you were pointed at Key West.

In that photo, you really don’t see ANY of the 5-mile southwest stretch of the bridge!

That is why at the start of the bridge, headed east, you really can barely see the hump at the far end.

Along the 5-mile beginning

After we had a gone a couple miles, we stopped and took a couple pictures…..a lot of water out there! Are we halfway yet?

Whew are we halfway

Approaching the hump:

Approach the hump

For the next three pictures, where Earline is climbing the hump, at the very top, and then descending the hump, I am going to insert them here at a larger size, for those of you with BIG screens. It may look the same size as the other photos here, but you should be able to click on the photo itself, and bring up a much larger and clearer version of the photo.

Here are 3 higher resolution photos of Earline at the top of the 7-Mile Bridge:

Earline climbing hump

Earline at top of hump

Down the hump

I am grateful that we had no storms or high winds on our trip over the bridge, or any flat tires!

When we got to the other end, it was time to celebrate!

With God’s help, and only by His grace, I did this!

With Gods help I did this

Slurpee reward time!

Slurpee

Well, after all the excitement today, Earline’s knee was REALLY starting to bother her, similar to what she experienced the first few days of the 2010 Mission Possible Tour. We ran across a Walgreens in Marathon Key, and picked up a wrap for Earline’s knee to help support it. We decided to limit our day to only about 20 miles, and camp at the Curry Hammock State Park.

Actually “decided” is probably not the right word, because by the time we got to CHSP, it was only about 20 minutes before sunset (when the park closes). The park ranger told us they had a grassy area where we could pitch our tent, beside a man from Canada on bicycle, and two girls from Minnesota also traveling by bicycle to Key West.

So Earline hobbled around on her wrapped knee, we struggled to get the tent set up in the dark….

Headlight

….and then the hot water in the men’s shower was not working.

Ack!!!!

BUT….

FEARS FACED, and FEARS CONQUERED….now we have to take care of that knee, because we still have over 400 miles to go!

Only through God’s grace,

jon