Day 89 [Hwy. 70/3125, LA – New Orleans, LA]

SATURDAY, AUGUST 28, 2010

Hmmm!

Well…..it turns out that this Mission Possible Tour, Summer of 2010 is the adventure that just keeps on giving!

I get up around 5:45am, but before we can get out tent torn down we experience this:

WET

With all the rain that we’ve run into this summer, one thing we HAVEN’T had to do is tear down in the rain…..until now. The rain has run under the tent [not good], and both sleeping backs have gotten WET. We have to pack a WET top-tarp, and a WET tent, and we’ll just have to wait until tonight to see if we can get dried out at that point.

Earline does one final check to see if The Advocate picked up our story for today’s paper. Nope…..zip, zilch, nada….hmmmm.

(Hey, Honey, what’s the weather forecast??)

Check the Advocate

Apparently the forecast is for a 10 to 20% chance….

….of sunshine.

Oh, oh.

Hey, Earline….here’s one last look at that bridge we went UNDER last night [we can see it, now!]…..sure you don’t want to go over it….just for fun??!!

Highway 70 bridge

Headed east….played on-again-off-again with the rain coats and rain pants. Too hot to keep on, too wet to stay off.

Had a quick little meal of fried catfish (that Cajun coating is too hot for me) and chocolate milk (mixed in with little gasoline pump smell). Hmmm! Ha!

Quick lunch

We’re bucking a very strong east wind today, and it is slowing us down, even with the more streamlined, recumbent position. We are seeing rumble grooves again, but at least it is also with a wide shoulder so we don’t have to fight busy Highway 61 traffic. We’re following 61 instead of the River Road on the advice of several locals….shorter route, and River Road has no shoulder.

Earline has no more cornfields to visit, so she checks out the local sugar cane field:

Sugar cane fields

We can’t believe all the casinos we’re seeing….sad….

Casino 1

We run across a few more admirers who say we’re getting close to New Orleans!

A few more admirers

As we head over the spillway, we’re praying…..God, you MUST have something very special planned for tomorrow. There MUST be a reason for us having to go through this rain to get to the Deaf church in New Orleans. Use us, Lord, to work YOUR will in someone’s life.

Fighting the elements

God MUST have something special planned

The rain lets up finally, and we stop at Burger King for a quick snack.

Stop at Burger King

We FINALLY get to the start of the levee bike trail…..sweet!

Levee bike path start

We’re still getting rained on off-and-on, but it IS nice not having to fight the traffic.

Levee trail

We see huge grain elevators, with augers and pipelines criss-crossing the levee:

HUGE grain elevator

Augers and piplines

One thing that rainy days DO provide is beautiful clouds and rainbows. During our 20 mile run on the levee, the sun goes down, and forms a colorful backdrop for Earline and the trikes:

Levee sunset

We finally come to our exit, and Google Maps takes us on a suggested path that…..well, I might have not suggested it. Some very rough streets….and a couple road blocks that we had to go around.

But we also understand, that 5 years ago, this was ALL flooded after Hurricane Katrina, and under a LOT of water, 3 to 8 foot high. And much of it is still a mess.

We finally made it to the church about 9:15pm, and the Pastor and his wife Barbara greeted us. Sweet couple, and also a powerful testimony about how God brought THEM together. They’ve been married about 13 years.

We set out our wet and damp clothes on the tables, each of us grabbed a sofa, and after a tough 60-mile ride, we slept soundly….VERY soundly.

Table dryer

Separate beds

Thanks, Lord, for seeing that we arrive safely.

TGG,

jon

Day 25 [Cocoa – Orlando, FL]

MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2014

[Distance traveled: 47 miles]

OOOOO….4:30 came EARLY!

Got packed up about 5:30, and then headed over to iHOP….literally only 50 feet from our front door!

Yea!

Hmmmm…..French Toast and scrambled eggs….mmmmm.

By the time we finished breakfast it was starting to get light. [As you can see, we actually were put in a handicapped room again, AND there was a ramp right up to the door of our room. How convenient!]

Light at 6,45

Yes, we again were able to fit both the trikes IN our room.

Trikes IN room

So the GOAL today is to MAKE IT HOME!

Earline here multi-tasks, drinking her coffee and posting photos on Facebook:

Earline multitasking

It was pretty cool this morning, maybe mid-to-high 50s, but the weather forecast seemed to indicate that it would warm up fast after the sun came out, and that indeed is what happened.

Gorgeous day….great for triking!

Early start

We came upon our LAST bridge, over the St. John’s River….and there was a truck in the way!

FINAL bridge over the St. Johns River

Turns out there were working on the mechanism that monitors the flow of the river.

Monitoring water flow

And looking over the railing, here is the river they were monitoring:

St Johns River

The St. John’s River, one of the few rivers that flow from South to North in the United States – a few in Wisconsin and Maine, but that’s about it. The St. John’s ends in Jacksonville, FL, where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

The watershed area of the river is very marshy, which explains not having much in the way of service for many miles.

No services

Here we stopped under the Beach [B] Line Expressway to take a break in the shade [getting HOT already, although the breeze stayed fairly cool – a very enjoyable ride!] and have a bite to eat:

Sitting under BLine

After going through most of the Scripture I knew, and all the Fearless Songs, we found other ways to amuse ourselves….like looking at cows and bee hives:

Cows and bees….bees chase cows maybe

Whoa, Bessy! So, did the one cow just get stung, or what??!?!!

Then we saw this tower with all these birds on it….hmmmm.

Tower with birds

But what ARE they?! Let’s take a close look.

Closeup tower with birds

Oh-oh….looks like vultures to me!

[Don’t trike too slow, or they might think you’re a potential meal!]

FINALLY reached the overpass on to Highway 50.

But good news/bad news…..yes, this mean we are over halfway home, and it’s only 11:00am….but the road shoulder through Bithlo was so rough, and only about 36 to 40 inches wide…..rough goin’. And THEN, we ran into THIS:

More CONSTRUCTION

The dreaded CONSTRUCTION zone….

CONSTRUCTION

We even had a few sprinkles on our head, but we quickly prayed against THAT demon! Ha!

FINALLY got past the construction area, and we hit the Lokanotosa Trail that starts at Alafaya and goes behind University High School, the ECON Trail, the Cady Way Trail, and the Dinky Train Trail….a trail of TRAILS!

Ha!

That made the last 15 miles MUCH nicer that the earlier part of the day’s journey.

We even got a little of the FLORIDA change of season leaves that we experienced in Rome, Georgia earlier this year at the WinShape Conference Center.

The ECON Trail goes all the way from Rouse Road to Forsyth Road, for 7 pretty miles.

Florida change of seasons

 

It LOOKS like FALL, doesn’t it??!!

Earline up wooden path on Econ Trail

Jon on ECON Trail

However, with 9.5 miles to go, we stopped in the park to use one of the bathrooms and stretch, and Earline experienced the inability to bend her left knee. This is the same one that has been hurting her the whole trip, and she was in a lot of pain. She had already taken 2-800mg Ibuprofen, and popped two more….she wanted to finish the trip!

After a few minutes she was able to proceed, but we had to go slow, and I did my best to find paths that were mostly flat, clear of any traffic.

We proceeded on Hanging Moss over to Semoran, and caught the Cady Way Trail on the south end, where there is no overpass. We went over through the Fashion Square Mall area, crossed the very busy Highway 50 that we had been on earlier, and jumped on Livingston to take us the rest of the way downtown.

We stopped in at the apartment office to say hi to the staff, and who should appear but our nephew DJ [who took us down to Key West back on the 6th] along with his two kids, Zaria and Isaiah!

Great to see them! And then Melisha showed up with Rashord as well. [Melisha helped check the mail for us all the while we were gone.] What a wonderful surprise to see them all!

And, of course, we HAD to get a selfie with all of us:

Family selfie

After about an hour, we chased them all out, got cleaned up, and then went out to treat ourselves with a bite to eat at 4 Rivers, one of Earline’s favorite bar-b-q places.

Then we went over to the hospital, to have them check on Earline’s knee.

Sitting in waiting office

And there we still sit…..it is 2:09am….and they did an x-ray and an ultra-sound on Earline’s knee, and will probably recommend her to an orthopedic doctor to check further the structure of her knee.

Ooops, the doctor just came in, and said the blood was clean, nothing septic, no infection, so they are going to give her a few meds and crutches, and a recommendation to go to Jewett Orthopedic.

Sports medicine….heh. Just triking over 450 miles in 3 weeks qualifies as sports, don’t ya think??!!?

Time to wrap this up. I will do a summary and “reflections” blog entry in a few days, and my goal is to keep this up at least once a week, so you can stay up on any future MPTs [Earline says 3,000 miles is ENOUGH….Ha!], bike/trike news, and spiritual insights that God gives us.

We love you all! And thank you so much for all your prayers and support!

ONLY through God’s grace….

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 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 15 [Pompano Beach, FL]

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2014

Hmmm.

It is raining this morning, or at least a hard drizzle.

And I REALLY dislike packing up when it’s wet. Means stuff you pack INSIDE your bags is wet. Remember our trip into New Orleans in 2010?

Same idea.

Drizzly day

[See our trikes, under blue cover behind the white fence in the lower right hand corner?]

SOOOOOOO….we have decided to stay in today, take care of some business, some trike repair, and give Earline’s stomach and knee a chance to recuperate. By the way, her stomach is FINE this morning.

Hmmm.

We are grateful.

Tomorrow, then, the goal will be to get packed up early, and be in West Palm tomorrow night, a distance of about 40 miles. Perhaps God will allow us to minister at a church on Sunday in the West Palm area.

Please pray! Thank you!

TGG,

jon

 

Day 14 [North Hollywood – Pompano Beach, FL]

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2014

[Distance traveled: 18 miles]

Happy Thursday!

[By the way, if you want to be on our mailing list, just text GHA on your phone to 42828 to get started. That will then ask you for your e-mail address, and we can get you on the list!]

It was raining when we woke up [ACK!], so we packed for rain, but it DID stop before we got on the road, and we did not have rain all day, so we were grateful.

But the WIND! Ooooooofta!

[Okay, Ric, how am I REALLY supposed to spell it?!]

Riding into the wind all day, so, yes, it was a STRUGGLE.

And then, we turned on the news tonight for our first TV in a couple weeks, and everybody’s talking about government crisis, and school killings, and threats to kill police, and I’m thinking, wow, nothing’s changed…or, actually it is getting worse.

Fearful?

Yes, there is reason to be afraid….EXCEPT:

God has COMMANDED us to NOT be afraid….why? [Hint: FEARLESS Song #1]

As I think about the last words of that song, though, I was thinking….does God “go” with EVERYONE? WHEREVER they go?

And then my thoughts go back to the matter of trust….when my son Torin was very young, and he would jump into my arms from a ways away, he trusted me to catch him. No doubt, no fear, and I always did.

But, if he did not jump, could I catch him?

No.

He HAD to jump….and maybe that’s why God said we should have faith like a child. [Matthew 19:14 in the Amplified version: “But He said, Leave the children alone! Allow the little ones to come to Me, and do not forbid or restrain or hinder them, for of such [as these] is the kingdom of heaven composed.”

So God is THERE, He is available, but we still have to jump. WE have to trust.

And today, we had MUCH evidence of what happens when you trust God….as we left the motel this morning, Earline stopped to give a flyer to the young man who did her nails yesterday, who believed that Buddhism and Christianity were compatible. [No, they are not, 2+2 cannot equal both 4 and 5.]

Right next door is the SuperCuts where Earline got her hair trimmed yesterday, and she had a chance to share with the young lady from Michigan and her friend that works at Little Caesars about the power of God to FACE your FEARS.

And the young lady from Michigan was moved to tears, and KNEW that God had sent us to give her that message.

Earline with 2 girls front of Supercuts

As we continued down the road, we came to the Ft. Lauderdale airport.

Ft. Lauderdale airport

And then Earline saw something in the road ahead, that jumped into the woods to our right. What was it?

I did not see it….maybe Earline will share about it on her blog [go to earlineblumhagen.com]

[By the way, Earline is also posting on her Facebook page and GHA’s Facebook page, so maybe you will find the answer THERE! Ha!]

She thinks it might have been two baby cougars playing!

There was MUCH construction going on around the airport, especially on the northeast side between the airport and the Port Everglades.

Trying to find way around FT. L airport

I was studying GoogleMaps to find a way around, and saw a route, but the way was blocked, so I went to ask permission to go thru the construction area.

Let us through!

Let me across

Then, we we finally got through the construction, we ran into THIS!

Do NOT Enter

I don’t see THAT on GoogleMaps!

[I guess you can’t always trust GoogleMaps either….ONLY God!]

So we had to go BACK by the construction we just came through, and wind our way through the front of the Port.

Around the entrance to Port Everglades

Stopped at a Firehouse and got a great turkey sub AND they filled all our containers with ice. Thanks, Firehouse!

Then we continued…..WAIT!

Where’d Earline go?

Oh, oh.

There she is.

We had to stop where?

Brand new store, but the prices were not what she expected. [Well it IS in Ft. Lauderdale!]

NOW we continue.

Up a bridge….let’s kick it in!

Oh-oh, another bridge

Oh, the struggle!

The struggle

Made it!

Made it to the top

And the view from the top was nice.

View of cruise ship from top of bridge

View of boats

View from top

But now, it is time to go DOWNHILL!

Wait!

Out of the way!

On a DOWNHILL, MOVE

Ha!

When we got to the beach, the kite surfers were jumping 30 feet in the air, it was so windy!

Earline at Lauderdale beach

Sometimes the condos would protect us from the strong northeast wind, so we were grateful for that.

We had the chance to share our mission with a young man outside of Hess gas station.

Explaining the mission at gas station

And then more of A1A…..

Toodling down A1AAs it was getting dark, Earline’s knee was really hurting again, and we needed a place to stay. But where?

I checked a couple places along the west side of A1A, but they were just too high, or filled up. Lord, we need a place!

So with Earline praying, I checked out another place, and met Nazih and Gabriel. They were both great! AND they gave us an excellent rate. AGAIN we are grateful.

Nazih is 65, and looks in GREAT shape….says he takes vitamins and works out every day [so he appreciated OUR endeavor!].

Gabriel, it turns out, has a sister who is Deaf! His family adopted her when she was 1 and a half years old or so, and the whole family learned sign language. His sister’s name is Jessica, and she is around 31 years old now, and lives in the Tampa area, and is going to a community college down there.

Then we met Donna, who is temporarily living here at Shores Terrace. She’s 28 years old, and originally from New Jersey. She graciously agreed to drive us across the river to 7-11 so Earline could get some coffee! We had much fun talking with her in her clutch-repaired Mustang, and then we had the “adventure” at 7-11….

….Donna had ordered one of 7-11’s scrumptious hot dogs, you know, all smothered with onions and stuff, and the girl behind the counter was great, fixing food, waiting on folks, making pizza, all by herself!

BUT….she thought that Donna was with this other couple standing beside her, so she gave the hot dog to them! I think they may have been from Europe, possibly, and they graciously accepted the hot dog and started eating it!

Donna was wondering where her hot dog was….and as they were trying to figure it out, we have visual evidence of where the dog went!

Donna in 7-11

[Eating Donna’s hot dog it in the background….see it??!!]

The 7-11 hostess finally figured it out, and quickly made another hot dog for Donna, and the couple sheepishly figured out that yes, they had to pay for the extra food they were given.

Much laughter ensued. Ha!

BUt, the real wonder, is that Earline had a chance to share with Donna when we got back to the motel, that with God ALL things are possible, and that she does NOT have to fear, because for those who trust Him, He PROMISES to help them, and strengthen them, WHEREVER they go!

And Donna knew that his was a message just for her.

So know….KNOW that YOUR prayers are being answered.

Continue to pray for Earline’s strength….not only her knee, but her abdomen as well. Not sure if it is her stomach, or what. She had acute pain last night, but was able to find a position in bed that minimized the pain. We did a little research on-line, and found that pancreatitis seemed to best match her symptoms.

But now this morning, she has no pain. So we’re not sure.

We will keep an eye on it, and ask you to pray for wisdom, as well as healing and strength.

We DO KNOW that God is able….and we ask that He continue to bless EACH day.

TGG,

jon

 

Day 13 [North Hollywood, FL]

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2014

[Distance traveled: 2 miles]

A day to rest Earline’s leg, and a day to do some repairs, and a day to get laundry done. Yea!

When we came in last night it was dark and still drizzling….[okay maybe it was not THAT bad, but some of you up north DO have MUCH snow….be careful!]….

Jon arriving at Kenwood

But this morning we could see better the cute little courtyard here at the Kenwood Motel.

Kenwood courtyard

And in the far right corner of the photo, you can see the washer and dryer. So convenient! Thanks, God.

The room also worked out great for us, because they were nice and big, AND both trikes fit thru the door. That is a BIG plus…otherwise we would have to dismantle the panniers, which is fairly easy on Earline’s trike, but on mine, so so much.

Inside room

[I made sure that I wiped off the tires with a rag before we brought them into the room….we want to be courteous and GRATEFUL for a gift like this room.]

[And honestly, we did not watch a minute of TV….too much to DO!]

Real cool this morning, in the mid 50s, but the forecast is for close to 70 degrees tomorrow, so we’re good!

Tonight we had the opportunity to minister at Elder Elaine’s church, the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church here in North Hollywood where Elder Connail Johnson is the Pastor. [Another plus of the motel is that it was only a mile to the church, so add just 2 miles to our distance traveled. Ha!]

It was a cute little church, and the people were very warm and hospitable. We sensed a spirit of deep love for the Lord, and were impressed with how many young men boldly expressed their love for God. One of the ladies created this beautiful Thanksgiving wreath:

Thanksgiving wreath

When the first young man spoke at the beginning of the service, I had a hard time hearing what he was saying. It might have because of the music they were playing during his talk. Probably my fault, because I am involved in the music ministry at Iglesia Gracia de Dios in Orlando, and one side of my brain was trying to hear the Word, and the other side was saying, “oh, listen to that transition, oh, that was a nice melody, oh, did they just modulate there?, oh, they need to pull pack the mids on that section, and up the highs, oh, that was a nice harmony, oh….etc., etc. ACK!”

They did eventually turn the music down, and that helped….whew!

The young men in the back were able to pull up our blog and put it on the screen in the front of the church. I had never seen that done before with our blog…great!

NHMBC screen

Earline and I then shared a little about our ministry to the Deaf, and why we do these Mission POSSIBLE Tours. Earline also talked a little about Facing Your Fears, including getting your hair trimmed at Supercuts. Sometimes things don’t turn out like we hope….I will let HER explain!

And finally, I taught the congregation Joshua 1:9, the first of the FEARLESS songs. They did great!

Pastor Johnson was home sick tonight, so please pray for his health! Elder Elaine gave Earline the opportunity to interpret the message, then, from Eugenia Bonds, who we found out after the service has a Deaf daughter in Orlando! Small world!

Earline interp Eugenia Bonds

Earline was interpreting for two Deaf ladies [I remember Cora on the right from our Deaf revival last year at Mt. Sinai], and Ernest on the front row, who is learning sign language.

Cora, Ernest and one other deaf lady

After the service, some of the folks had an opportunity to sit down in the trikes and test them out. Here’s Daniel, who loves the Lord, and got married only about 4 MONTHS ago. [Earline, we HAVE to tell them about the GORGEOUS Winshape marriage retreat center up in Mt. Berry, GA. See Day -2.]

Daniel testing trike

Pastor’s wife, “Lady J” WAS at the service, and took a picture with Earline.

Earline and Lady J

Earline, [OF COURSE! Ha!], got a selfie with Elder Elaine and Lady J:

Selfie with EE,EB, and Lady J

But not to be outdone, I ALSO got a selfie with Elder Elaine!

Jon and EE selfie

We are grateful for the opportunity to share our story, and how EACH of us has a special part in the body of Christ where we can thrive and be useful in building up HIS Kingdom.

Only 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 2 [Key West, FL]

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2014

[Distance traveled: 22 miles]

Today’s the day it worked out for us to officially take our trikes to downtown Key West, and road testing them in town before we head northeast next Monday or Tuesday. It is really wonderful weather down here right now – this is definitely a good time for cycling in Florida.

Which reminds me, that next Sunday is the annual Horrible Hundred out in Clermont that I will be missing again this year….ack! Maybe next year. I am sure that Sugarloaf Mountain will still be there!

Sugarloaf-Mtn-NW-slope-with-clouds

It was a little “scatter-brained” prepping for the ride….it really had been a long while since we had ridden together, maybe 6 months, and we weren’t quite sure where everything was that we packed on Thursday morning! That takes a few weeks to remember which pocket has which item! Ha.

Here is Earline focused in the morning….what do you think about her “bling” baseball cap?! [I really am not sure WHAT to think!]

Earline focused and ready to ride

We did our usual A-B-C check [Air in our tires, Brakes working okay, and Chain lubed and running free], plus some stretching of our muscles, and prayer time.

BEAUTIFUL day today. Did you now that there are almost 1700 islands in the Florida Keys? And about a hundred of those are connected by the bridges of Highway 1, or what is called the Overseas Highway. And how many bridges?

I was pretty surprised when I heard this.

The number of bridges connecting those islands is EXACTLY the same number of bridges that we went over during the 2010 Mission POSSIBLE Tour.

Do you remember the number? [I’ll tell you at the END of this blog entry.]

[Smile.]

There is a separate bike path we are told that goes all the way into downtown Key West. But then, we ran across THIS sign:

Bike Lane ends

What??!!?

Now, where do we go?

Hmmmm.

Well, we stayed on the same side of the road, and about 300 feet ahead, we ran into another sign:

Bike Lane begins

So I guess the interruption was “temporary.”

We went past the Naval Air Station that I mentioned to you yesterday. I fact, this morning  I was able to record one of the jets taking off….and let me make sure to point out, this is recorded INSIDE the apartment!

 

Here’s a picture of the entrance:

Front of Naval Air Station

We soon then came across our first long stretch of water….bridge looks a little skinny, but it turned out to be a good 4 foot wide, a lot better than the 36-inch wide draw bridge that we had a tangle with back in 2011. Read about THAT here!

This is called the Boca Chica Channel, channels being the water that separates the islands.

Boca Chica Channel

Once into Key West proper, we rode along Roosevelt Boulevard on the north side of the island….the road had been recently upgraded, and it was a very pretty drive.

Earline along north side of island2

Key West is a VERY bike-friendly town, and it was a little comforting to us to see all the bicycles everywhere….they may outnumber the cars!

Headed to Mallory Square

And the cars did seem to show deference to the various bikes, trikes, and mopeds.

Trouble with the MOPEDS, though, is that there are more things that can go wrong with them…like the ENGINE. But never fear, we saw the Moped Hospital!

Moped Hospital

We eventually found Mallory Square….and we saw these two “colorful” characters. They were being pretty rowdy, one was very drunk, it seemed, and like it describes in Proverbs 23:29-35, he is probably really hurting right now!

2 guys at Mallory Square

Right next to Mallory Square, we did NOT see this last night, so it must have come in during the night, the Disney Cruise ship “Wonder.” It is HUGE, about 50% bigger than even Noah’s Ark!

Disney Cruise ship

It was real pretty down by the pier and the Key West Aquarium. There WAS signage that said bicycles were not allowed, but I saw lots of bikes on the pier, I saw a sign that said don’t lock your bikes here along the fence, AND there was even a place on the pier to rent bikes! So I’m not sure WHO to believe….hmmmm!

Jon on pier

I did some repair work on my trike, and we hung around for a while, looking for folks to engage in conversation, but no one approached us, except for a few kids who weren’t afraid to express their enthusiasm and say, “Nice bike!”

We later ran across an area that had some historical significance…it was called the “Southern White House.” Apparently several U.S. presidents have used it as vacation or second kind of “command center.”

We also saw this sign [I circled what caught my eye]:

Convent sign

Wait, wait, wait, what….what did you say?

Holy NAMES?!

Nope, no-no-no-no. Psalm 111:6-9 says that:

“He has shown HIS great power to HIS people by giving them the lands of other nations. 

ALL He does is just and good, and ALL His commandments are trustworthy.They are forever true, to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity. 

HE has paid a full ransom for HIS people. HE has guaranteed HIS covenant with them forever.

What a holy, awe-inspiring name HE has!”

Oops! No Mary here!

And Peter CLEARLY states in Acts 4:12:

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.

That should clear up ANY confusion!

Finally headed back to Coppitt Key, and again rode past the Salt Pond Keys on Roosevelt Boulevard.

North Roosevelt Blvd in Key West

Also on the way home, we saw a couple jets circle over us, and descend to land….LOUD! And I got a picture of one of them:

Jet fighter landing

Final mileage total today — 22 miles.

Oh, and we did stop one more place….I was able to engage a couple people in conversation for almost AN HOUR outside of a Ross clothing store….because, yes, Earline was IN the store buying a few white things that she forgot to bring to counter the heat of the sun on hot days like today!

Hour front of Ross

Sigh.

ONLY thru God’s grace,

jon

[Oh, and by the way, there were 42 bridges over the Mississippi River on our 2010 Mission POSSIBLE Tour, EXACTLY the same number that we will be crossing in the Florida Keys. Of course, we will be crossing other bridges later, like the Venetian Causeway from Miami to Miami Beach, so we’ll do MORE than 42 this trip!]

Day -1 [Orlando, FL] 2014 MPT

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2014

Well, everybody is still buzzing about the election returns from last night, but much as I would love to sit and prognosticate, I have trikes to prep!

I’ve got Earline’s trike finished, mostly work that needed to be done on her tires and side bag bar, and now I’m working on mine:

Trikes with panniers

Remember, this is a different trike for me, so I am having to do some modifying as I go. One thing I discovered with the new trike rack from Catrike that they just released a few months ago for this model, is that it doesn’t have the thoughtfulness of design that the ICE Trike rack on Earline’s trike has. Take a look:

Earline’s rack has bars that extend down along the side of the rear wheel, preventing the pannier from getting too close to the wheel.

Earline trike rack

Sadly, my new rack does not have the long descenders:

Notice bottom of side bar

Notice where the bottom of my rack ends, and how the bag is almost touching the wheel. Sigh. I am going to have to take the time to deal with this.

Ended up with this idea/solution: taking some PVC thick pipe, about 16 inches long, and adding it to the existing frame.

Solution

Just one heavy duty 3/4 inch, I think it is, and cut it to the length you need, with the edges filed and rounded so as not to cut:

Pipe end

Then I wrapped the entire pipe with gaffers tape:

Wrapped with tape

Finished wrap

And then attached it to the existing frame:

Attached to rack

Voila! Now it will keep the bottom of the bag from brushing up against the moving tire.

So now to finish prepping my tires.

Jon trike on side

It turns out, I had an ADVENTURE trying to prep the tires on my trike…I WANTED to put some Flat Attack goop in my tires like I put in Earline’s. If you want more info on Flat Attack, you’ll have to go back to our 2010 blog, and read about the instances where Flat Attack SAVED us! Yes! [Love that stuff!]

Flat Attack goop

BUT….when I tried to install it on MY tires like I did Earline’s, I realized that the tool included in with the Flat Attack for removing the valve cores of the tubes so that you can pour the stuff INTO the tube…well, the tool doesn’t work on my PRESTA valves. Grrr.

Presta valve

NOW what do I do?

Well, I TRIED to remove the valve manually myself with a pliers and a vice grip, but that did not seem to work, and I ended up busting the valve of two tubes!

Ack!

So, I called up Orange Cycle which is only a few miles north of where I live, and YES, they have a tool for removing the Presta valve core.

YEA!

BUT THEN…..my goodness, how does it work??!!

Presta vavle tool

So, MORE research online….and I see some photos and some videos, [it seems that the long silver piece is an extender for guys with wide BIKE rims. The actual TOOL is the little black piece.] but I cannot seem to get it to work! I cannot see how the little black tool accomplishes the REMOVING of the valve core….I doesn’t seem to attach in any way, shape, or form to my Presta valve? Hmmmm!

So, MORE research…and I discover that there are Presta valve tubes that do NOT have removable cores. In fact, one guy said that MOST Presta valve tubes do NOT have removable cores. What??!!? Only Continental tubes had them, that he knew of.

ACK!

So all this work and time, and I STILL cannot put any Flat Attack goop in my tires.

Sigh.

[This is one of those, ‘okay….praise God in all situations….yeah, right….hmmm…..okay…..grrrrrr……all right…..praise the Lord…..hmmmm….sigh adventures’]

[Ha!]

[Okay, maybe I don’t even feel like ‘Ha-ing’….bleh!] [See Psalm 77:9-14]

So I put the tire back on the rim….THEN it turns out I noticed that I had put it on backwards. [Yes, normally the tread is only supposed to go one specific direction….I forgot about that. And I had it ALL the way on, so I had to take it ALL the way off, flip it, and then put it back ALL the way on again!]

Whew!

Now, I know, some of you are probably bored silly with this stuff, if you have even got this far in this day’s blog at all. BUT, I wanted to give you at least one detailed experience at what it takes to maintain and fix these trikes, so that they can be reliable and safe vehicles for us to ride. And now I just heard my “Cuckoo Cow Clock” strike 12, and I am STILL not finished packing.

Sometimes I do not know how these Mission Possible Tours POSSIBLY get done!

Gonna catch a few hours a sleep, and then get up and finish packing, and get ready to head to down to Key West.

Lesson in all this? One thing that comes to mind is that there are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many details required at even getting these trikes up and running, and I know that our bodies are INFINITELY more complex and detailed than these trikes, and YET, God enthusiastically promises in Psalm 37 that He: “delights in EVERY detail of the lives of the godly!” Wow!

I don’t know how He does that…but then, He’s GOD, and I am NOT! Ha!

Good night. Thanks, God, for YOUR help and protection.

Because it is ONLY thru YOUR grace that we thrive and persist,

jon

[WOW….just as I entered my name, my computer CRASHED….it has been acting a little squirrelly the last week or so. Really, I thought I lost everything, and that it would take ANOTHER hour and a half to recreate it, but then I just hit “Edit draft” at the top, and it came back. Why, I don’t know, but I AM TRULY grateful. TRULY.

So, the moral of the story, Save, SAVE, SAVE!]

Good night!