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 77 [Greenville, MS – Warfield Point Campground, MS]

MONDAY, AUGUST 16, 2010

After our second night in Firehouse #1, we woke up to meet our third crew:

Crew 3

(Willie Duke on the far right from the 2nd team we met is a holdover on to this team.) We also met Fire Marshall Henning who knew somebody down at channel 15, and they sent video journalist and weatherman Zac Schweizer to do a story on us that ran on channel 15 newscasts tonight and tomorrow. (Some of you may have seen it online….unfortunately, by the time we had internet access and time to look for it, we couldn’t find it! Some people also told us that they saw the story on TV.)

And before we left we met Fire Chief Lee Jordan, who is the person Mrs. Carlon Williams called on Saturday night to see if we could stay here at the fire station. Thank you, Chief Jordan!

Fire Chief Lee Jordan

Earline also had to get her last picture in WITH a fire truck….doesn’t she look cute??!!!

Fire Truck ladder1 and Earline

After interviewing with Zac, we ask the firemen what was a good place to eat….we figured THEY would know! They sent us to “Buck’s place” to get a good meal….and boy, was it good! Simple, but enough variety that Earline and I ordered totally different meals, and were both pleasantly surprised by the quality and good taste of our meals. This is ranking now up in the TOP FIVE of “eatin’ places” that we have experienced this summer.

Bucks Place store front

Bucks place with Earline

Here’s Earline with Buck, as well as a photo of Mrs. Buck….don’t know which of you is doing the majority of the cooking, but it was truly good, and you are to be commended!

Buck and Earline

Mrs Buck

After talking with some more folks outside of Buck’s, we headed over to the William Alexander Percy Memorial Library here in Greenville. Earline stayed and worked on the internet, while I went up to UPS to retrieve my replacement Blackberry….YEA!

William Alexander Percy Memorial library

UPS was only a few miles away, so I scooted up there, but when I got there, the sign said ONLY open from 9am to 10am and 5pm to 6pm……what??!! That won’t work….it’s only about 1pm, and we need to be on the road!…..Lord, please help me out here…..what would Benaiah do? [see 2 Samuel 23:20-23]

I am NOT leaving, or waiting until 5pm…..there MUST be somebody here. I triked around the building a couple times. I tried every door around the place……found one! I went in, and found 2 people inside. Just a little office area, and once I explained my story, they didn’t kick me out….yea! AND…they had my phone….I switched the simm and data cards, plugged it in, and YES!, it works.

I put the old phone in the box (okay, ominous music….click here) WITHOUT realizing that all of my contacts were NOT on the simm card or the media card, but in the phone ITSELF……ACK!!) So, I [unknowingly] happily shipped off the old phone, new phone in hand…..but at least I DO have my phone back (Google Maps included, and that IS a good thing!) (I won’t complain.)

Went back to the library, but Earline was having trouble with the internet. I quickly (okay, not too quickly…..actually about an hour’s worth of troubleshooting) discovered that THEIR internet was the culprit, and one staff person admitted that they had been having lots of problems lately with their internet connection.

SOOOOO……

We decided to head out, and find a place to wash our clothes. (Google Maps to the rescue…..well, okay, not quite….GM directed us to a laundromat not too far off our route, yes, but when we got there, it was closed down! (But we found another one right around the corner.)

HA!

Hmmmm…..there were actually quite a few businesses that we saw that were shut down in Greenville. The people we met were all truly nice, but again, this town is hurting economically….and, hmmmm, looks like I see another casino on the edge off town. Hmmmm (see Day 73 and the discussion about Helena, Arkansas and casinos.)

Tried to catch the video Zac did on the news at the laundromat, but we were watching the wrong channel! Ack! Oh, well.

Met this gentlemen from the car wash next door who had a relative who was Deaf.

Laundromat buddy

FINALLY got on the road towards the NEW BRIDGE that we had heard so much about….it actually JUST opened up LAST WEEK, so again we sensed God’s protection and provision going just ahead of us. From Bob’s book we knew of a campground named Warfield Point just on this side of the river, so we headed there as the sun was going down.

I had a flat tire on the way there…..a tack in the road….but I just pulled it out (and just threw it on the road, for some reason….oops….Earline had to go find it), spun the tire, inflated the tire, it held, and off we went.

Love that Flat Attack stuff! (Maybe I should do an ad….maybe they would be a sponsor!…..Mark, you have their number?)

Got to the campground as it was getting dark – set up quickly, and thanked God for another day (and not many mosquitoes here…..we like it!).

TGG,

jon

Day 75 [Great River Road State Park, MS – Greenville, MS]

SATURDAY, AUGUST 14, 2010

[Again, please excuse our dust as we work around grammatical and technical issues…when we DO get somewhere that has reliable wifi, we will update this blog with correct paragraph spacing and a WHOLE BUNCH of photos (there are already 500 photos here), so check back often!]

Do you realize that there are only about 2 weeks left in our Mission Possible Tour? Hard to believe!

And have you seen the video yet of Earline and I from Day 71 at the Tom Sawyer Campground just south of West Memphis, Arkansas? The link to its posting on YouTube can be found right on the top center of the Home Page of this web site (see if you notice the “something” floating down the river behind us as we’re talking!).

Back to the Great River Road State Park….it should be closed.

As we were coming in at midnight last night, a truck pulled beside us on the road inside the dark park, and said we needed to pay $20, or something like that. It was late [and I don’t remember if we even HAD $20, but we said we’d take care of it in the morning.] [Plus we didn’t know who these folks really were!]

Good thing we didn’t, because I don’t really even think the place was open, and SHOULD be closed, at least until there is some major clean-up completed.

The campground is filthy….I won’t belabor the point, but here are some photos, including from the dining and office area which signage says was open daily, but it was locked down and the doors were chained.

Lonely campsite in GRR State Park

Blown light

Torn shower curtain

3 lights out of 18 working

Plateless socket

Busted railing

Chains on door

Appropriately so, even the bugs know this place needs prayer. I saw my first ever praying mantis, and he hung around our campsite almost all morning.

Praying mantis

Had our morning breakfast of Vienna Sausages and Spam….yummm…..

Vienna sausage

[….doesn’t Earline look excited??!!] Left the campsite and checked the main area.

GRR SP pretty place empty1

I mean, as this last picture shows, it is a pretty area…..that’s the Mississippi River way in the background….but even this area around the office was unkept – cobwebs and leaves unswept, sidewalks cluttered….and totally empty. Really left you with a sad, sick feeling.

Has the economy hurt them as well? Is there mismanagement going on here? Not sure….someone later in the day told us that Hurricane Gustav a few years ago had completely flooded out the place, so maybe that’s part of it….or ALL of it.

Just be forewarned….do NOT bother to go to this mess [in less you check first and see if repairs have been done]….

….and WE proceeded to head south towards Greenville [where my phone should be waiting!]….little knowing….

…..what special things God had in mind for our week to come!!

As we left the Great River Road Campground [the ONLY one leaving, ‘cuz no one else was staying there!], we saw a house with some people around 80–100 yards away [maybe the ones from last night?], and we waved good-bye, but we didn’t go any closer.

As we exited the campground, we saw a payment box, so we left one or two dollars in the box along with a “concerned” note about the campground.

Only right to leave SOMETHING, right?

It is HOT again today….we heard 105 was the forecast. Earline and I still have our umbrellas goin’ on.

Under umbrella at GRRSP

We saw our first farm equipment lawn ornament [FILO] that we had seen in several weeks. [I think they need some pointers, tho, from the folks up north!]

Notice the feisty guard dog protecting the FILO!

Lawn ornament cultivator with dog

At a convenience store in the little village of Beulah, and were again talking to many of the patrons of the store, when we met music minister Eldridge Jenkins. Looking for a church to go to tomorrow morning, we asked him what church he recommended in Greenville, and he didn’t hesitate: Zion Baptist Church, apparently one of the churches where he rotates as music minister.

We called the pastor, and after several tries with our on-again-off-again phone service, we were able to get thru. He recommended the Salvation Army as a place to stay (not what we were hoping for….but we were fine with ANYPLACE God led us.)

Yet another beautiful sunset (The heavens reveal His glory!).

Sunset north of Greenville

It was again dark as we pulled into town (but not nearly as late as last night – only about 9pm). We went to the Salvation Army…we had been trying to call them all late afternoon and evening, but no answer.

And now, no one came to the door. Hmmm.

Weird.

Salvation Army in Greenville

We called Pastor back, but it went to his answering machine.

Okay.

Maybe they’ve gone to bed….now what?

Should we find the church and camp out, like we did at Beech Grove in Kentucky?

What other option is there?

Suddenly, they called back. They had been outside, talking to relatives. They were going to come by with their pickup, and transport us to the local Fire Station #1!! (It turns out the pastor’s wife works downtown and called the Fire Chief for us!)

So the Pastor and his wife showed up at the Salvation Army with their big pick-up truck, we loaded our trikes in the back, and they drove us down to the fire station.

They suggested setting up our tent on the grounds, but the guys at the Fire House said we could sleep in the air-conditioned barracks with them. After the experiences we had the last 2 nights, we enthusiastically said YES!

In the fire house

Jon in firehouse washroom

Earline in firehouse

Jon on bunkbed

Great showers, actually very comfortable bunk beds that the guys slid together for us, WIFI connection!!, the AC was CRANKIN’!, and…..VERY COOL ambiance.

Thanks, guys! (Some photos of y’all in tomorrow’s blog!)

And thank you, God, AGAIN for your protection and provision.

TGG,

jon

Day 71 [Tom Sawyer Campground, West Memphis, AK – Co. Rd. 7, AK]

TUESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2010

A new night, a new state, but the same story recently –  we had another very uncomfortably warm night last night. I understand the low was around 85 degrees, after highs that have been running around 105 actual temperature.

As you can see, we were RIGHT on the banks of the Mississippi.

High and wide MR

Kinda of reminded me of the Army Corp of Engineers Wildcat Landing Campground in southeast Minnesota, DAY 25, with barges being pushed up and down the river, but of course, the River is much bigger here [AND faster, and much higher than normal….people tell us we should be able to see sand bars, but there are none….it’s running bank to bank.]

Huge barge on MR book downriver

Once the mosquitos disappeared at dawn (Earline wants to know….where do they go? She says that maybe we can create something to KEEP them there!) we opened the tent fly and got an hour of at least some sleep.

We liked this Tom Sawyer Campground. Not the fanciest place, but it was only $12 for the night, a 7# bag of ice was $1, cans of soda pop were 50 cents, and laundry was free. We liked it!

Saw some gorgeous scenery this morning – here is a sampling:

Beautiful morning from TSC

Had a breakfast of graham crackers, honey, and peanut butter (sorta yumm…..ah….sorta….well, maybe not) and the last of the fruit from Gayla and Jennifer from Beech Grove MBC.

We received a wonderful e-mail from a lady in Memphis who saw our photo in the Memphis newspaper, The Commercial Appeal. Here’s some of the text of that e-mail:

“I saw the photo in this morning’s edition of the Commercial Appeal. Just last night, I began writing a book about our deaf son who went to heaven just 4 months ago. In writing about his life, I hope to not only memorialize his awesome life, but encourage other parents who are faced with the daunting task of raising a hearing impaired child. Nathan was 37 when he took his life, and we will never be the same. BUT we know he went immediately into the arms of Jesus, instantly into a new and perfect body, equipped with ears that now hear music we cannot imagine. If you are still in the Memphis area, I would love to just meet you or speak on the phone briefly to say, ‘Way to go!’ Have a safe and wonderful journey.”

Awesome! Thank you, God.

I got the idea to try and do a flip video, so we spent about 2 hours trying to set that up, and speak to the camera without make TOO many mistakes. HA! And here it is:

Video clip from Tom Sawyer Campground (you can also find this on the home page of the thewifipedalers.com)

Did our warm-ups and stretching…..yes, this is part of our daily routine. We stretch before heading out every morning – we have found that it makes a significant difference in the energy and power we have the first 30 minutes of our day’s ride.

Stretching at TomSawyer CG

Finally packed up and headed out….got some ice from the office.

Leaving the TSC

It took me about an hour to figure out how to get BACK to the road we were supposed to be on from the campground. Cutting across the south side of West Memphis, we only had to backtrack about 2 miles.

Then stopped at convenience store down the road for a little more ice (and Earline got a Honeybun…she REALLY likes them).

Several people talked to us about the trikes and the Tour. We talked about the Deaf, and various stats….one guy asked to test drive:

Natural rider outside W Memphis convenstore

One lady took pictures [SMILE!]:

Lady taking picture of us

I spent another hour on the phone with T-Mobile and UPS…BOTH of them had policies in place that would NOT allow them to hold a package (my replacement phone) shipped to the UPS store. It was actually T-Mobile that went against their own SOP and called UPS to tell them to hold the package in Greenville for me. Thank you, T-Mobile!

We had a couple other phone calls and e-mails to make, so by the time we left the convenience store, it was almost 4:00pm, and our ice was melted. Ack!!….how do we ever get anywhere?!

Went about 3 miles down the road, and POW!…the back tire blew out!!

I had noticed Sunday that it was looking really worn, but I thought I could get another week out of it. (Yes, Andy, this is the brand new tire that I put on to replace one of the original tires on Day 38, so it only lasted 33 days??!) That was around Albany, Illinois, so…..maybe 800 miles? Hmm!

(Of course, having 500 pounds in my panniers probably isn’t the best thing for the tire, huh…..HA!)

Blow out of tire new from day 35

And after putting new tires on my fronts (after Sunday’s blowout) and Earline’s back tire on Sunday night, I was down to one worn spare. I decided to put the new right front tire on the back of the trike (which seems to be wearing out faster), and put the worn spare back on the front. Whew!

Swapping tires

Finally got going again….by now it’s 5:30.

BARN ART alert!

I would call this BARN ART because of the innovative roofing that allows equipment to be stored next to the barn and out of the rain.

Barn art ALERT plantation

Of course, the implementation of that design requires some maintenance, or the design doesn’t work!

Whoops!….

…..Deduct points for this oversight:

Implementation of innovation

Saw a mother and a group of 4 boys on the side of the rode. Apparently the mother’s grandfather had hit a coyote with the truck 2 nights earlier, and she was showing the boys the decaying coyote. We explained about our trip, and handed out some ASL cards.

(No, I did not get a picture of the coyote…wasn’t much left after 2 sunny days anyway!)

Continued past more playful farm dogs (NOT Earline’s favorite) and I felt led to stop at a house by the side of the road, and ask a gentleman there if we could camp in his yard. It turns out he pastored Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Helena, Arkansas for 10 years. He and his wife, Lord willing, will be celebrating their 60 wedding anniversary in December.

Pastor Cordell and Jon

Pastor Cordell gave us permission to camp, and access to water. Thank you, Lord.

Really muggy again tonight, BUT, we had a breeze! (albeit, artificial)….[Earline says the little Walmart battery-operated fan I got her is the BEST gift she ever received….how ’bout that?!!…..guys, take notes….]

I only had one bar or none of phone service, but I was able to get a text message out to Kevin in Helena thru a warmshowers.org connection. He said yes! Yea! [But it’ll be a long day tomorrow….about 65 miles….pray us thru!]

TGG,

jon

Day 70 [Memphis (Germantown), TN – Tom Sawyer Campground, West Memphis, AK]

MONDAY, AUGUST 9, 2010

We had to get up around 4:00am, because our warmshower.org hosts needed to leave around 7:30.

Kevin and Kathy were great hosts, and got a chance to try the LOADED trikes before we left.

[But why is Earline holding a dog??!!]

Kathy Kevin Earline Jon

Kathy tries trike

Kevin tries loaded trike

Went to the Fedex Office (Kinkos) and got 200 more copies made of the quarter-page handout. The guy suggested we do colored paper for a dollar more, so we picked flourescent yellow!

Quarter page handout

Then we headed to the bike story (remember, Kevin and Kathy’s place is about 15 miles from downtown, so we had a ways to go.) It was really a pretty ride, though, with some scenery like this:

Pretty scenery on way back to downtown

We also saw this…..well, what is it???!! [Free wifi pedalers t-shirt to the first person who gets it right!][Someday!]

Camouflaged cell tower

After some directions corrections, we found the “Peddlers” (hey, they spelled it wrong!) bike shop. We talked to probably a dozen people or more about our Mission Possible Tour while sitting outside the store.

I picked up a couple tubes (a very blessed decision), a couple CO2 cartridges (a way to fix a flat with no pumping), and a mirror to replace the one I busted in the ditch in Kentucky (my “fix-it” wasn’t staying fixed.)

I had called the Memphis newspaper earlier, and a news photographer called back to see where we were so he could get some pictures. We tried to connect our schedules, and he said he would be heading our way.

He caught up with us on Peobody Avenue, and took some notes and some photos. He said it would probably be a stand-alone photo in tomorrow’s paper. [It was…..here’s the link: Commercial Appeal newspaper]

Commercial Appeal photo

As we approached downtown, we found the funeral home that years ago had Dr. King’s body, and we stopped in to visit. Here is R.S. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home chapel where he lay in state for 6 hours:

MLK bier

We met Christine Hill, who lived just down the street from the funeral home when Dr. King was killed. She is now 81 years old, working hard, and looking good!

Christine Hill

Christine Hill and Earline

We triked over to the RIGHT Patterson church…..

Earline explore Patterson church

…..and met the Media Director, Mr. Willie Douglas. He tried HIS hand at recumbent triking!

Media minister of Patterson church

We talked with him a while, and explored some further collaboration concerning ministry to the Deaf of western Tennessee.

Later on we saw this bumper sticker on the way to the bridge…..now THAT will preach [AGAINST that, I mean!]. (Only a fool says is in his heart that there is no God…..Psalms 14 and 53.]

Born ok 1st time

Now….Interstate 55….even though there IS a separated pedestrian path, well, I get the impression they don’t want us to use it! Look at the weeds! (Earline was NOT happy!)

Entering Interstate 55 walkway

North side Interstate 55

And the walkway was full of glass, metal of various shapes and sizes, and even a basketball goal. [Don’t ask me!] [Didn’t think to get a picture of that, with all the other drama!]

Such as it was……here is Bridge #39:

Bridge39

Semi entering 39 MOVE OVER

Crossing 2391

It was VERY noisy with all the truck traffic, and the clanging railing…I thought I’d try a video to give you the full effect:

Here’s the link to the video of our trek over this bridge, with the trucks zooming by just inches away!!

[Turn your speakers WAY UP to get the FULL effect!]

Welcome to state #8! [Earline! Don’t you want to get out and point at this sign? NO??!!….OK.]

Welcome to state 8

After we finished crossing over the bridge, and going thru more 4-foot weeds!!, we STILL had to ride beside all the interstate traffic for 3 MORE MILES….AND we had to pass a weigh station where ALL the trucks were existing, and then re-entering.

Yes, this was a tense part of the trip (which included convincing Earline that we could NOT take Exit 1, but had to wait to get off at Exit 3C)….convincing her was actually probably the HARDEST part of our trip so far. That, and getting past the truck traffic entering and exiting the weigh station, Exit 2…..after getting off at Exit 3C, the route wound us clockwise around UNDER the interstate highway, and there were TWO MRT signs, one taking us west to West Memphis, the other seemingly point east toward the bridge….on dirt!

I didn’t realize this until later, but I think they wanted us to take the SOUTHBOUND side of the bridge, because one of the MRT signs was actually seeming to point to some very hilly, dirt-bike hills under the bridge that I’m guessing tied into the southbound side of the bridge, something we NEVER could have traversed with our weighted down recumbants….we had taken the only option possible for us.

Wish I had gotten a picture of those signs, but I did not….but I DID get a video of Earline’s, ah, “composure” after getting off the interstate…..it is on the Mission Possible 2010 DVD. [You HAVE to check it out!]

Interesting.

[While updating this entry, I DID find a photo from 2013 on the saltedhash.brydon.net blog…this IS indeed the MRT sign that points to the SOUTH side of the bridge, which with our recumbents, would have unfortunately, been a worse experience than the NORTH side….so we did alright.]

MRT sign southwest side of bridge

Followed the road into West Memphis, and got a couple snacks at a convenience store. Took the left turn on 8th street, which at the time seemed odd, because there was a light at the next block at 9th street. However, the 8th Street turn is correct, because a mile down the road, only 8th street continues south over the railroad tracks.

We saw this signage on a church on 8th street:

NEW St Paul MBC in WM

THEN, just a few blocks down, on the same side of the street, we saw THIS church, and their signage:

OLD St Paul MBC in WM

OLD St Paul MBC sign close up

Now you KNOW that there has to be a story behind these two churches! (I’d like to have been a fly on the wall at THAT meeting!!)

Eighth street brings you right to the entrance off Tom Sawyer Campground. Now this was not the fanciest campground that we went to this summer, but it was one of our favorites.

Why?

It grounds were clean and they had pretty tight security. It was a pretty spot right on the banks of the Mississippi. The bathrooms and showers were easily accessible, clean, AND air conditioned. And the laundry was FREE (we definitely took advantage of that!)

Pam Clarke was helping out in the office. She was a hoot, and was fun to talk to. (So these critters were caught IN the campground??!!…..hmmmm)

Pam Clark and Earline BY CRITTERS

Her son Hezekiah (Shane) got to try out one of the trikes:

Hezekiah Shane tries trike

By now he is back in Afghanistan, with about 4 months of service left…..pray for him! (Psalm 91 would be a good place to start.)

Even got a nice photo of the both of us coming into camp:

TSC Earline and Jon

Here are some photos of our camp site, as well as some of the scenery as the sun went down (warning….the mosquitoes REALLY come out at sunset at this place – worst attack we had all summer. Just remember to be in your tent or RV BEFORE the sun goes down….HA!)

Camping spot in TomSawyer

Sunset at Tom Sawyer campground

Studying some Word.

Studying at sunset

After saying goodbye to new friends in Memphis, and surviving the harrowing bridge into Arkansas, we are ready to continue our journey south tomorrow morning.

Through God’s Grace,

jon

Day 61 [Twente School Road/Hwy 3, IL – Hwy 1203, KY]

SATURDAY, JULY 31, 2010

The mosquitoes are dead and we aren’t, so we survived the night. (And we’ve agreed to use the bug bomb only when we AREN’T in the tent….ha!)

I got up around 5:15 as it was just getting light, and noticed what I had not seen last night….literally dozens of garden spiders above our heads, hanging from various support beams of the wooden poles holding up the pavilion roof. Some small, some pretty good sized.

Now spiders kind of freak me out, and I had been doing some pretty intense praying before I noticed them, dangling from their webs. My first thought was, “look at all the danger just over our heads, and how God protected us.” My next thought was, “Wait! Don’t spiders eat mosquitoes? Maybe this was a good thing!”

Alexander pavilion

What I have a question about, though, is something hopefully one of YOU will be able to answer:  after we packed up our things and started to leave, I rode around in the pavilion looking for the spiders to show Earline, and I could not find one!

Huh?!

When it gets light, or hot, do they hide? Where did they go? (Sounds like a special for “Wild Kingdom” or “Animal Planet.”)

We headed out from yet another hospitable (unbeknownest to them) church grounds.

Alexander church sign church pavilion

Alexander church sign

We appreciate it!

And we always leave a thank-you note and a WiFi Pedaler flyer to let them know we were there. We also always try to leave wherever we stay “a little better” than it was when we came.

Like bending back the tumbler plate on “mom’s” guest bedroom door so the door would close easily, fixing someone else’s toilet flapper so water didn’t waste, or here, picking up the pieces of a broken glass bottle that someone had dropped on the northwest corner of the pavilion.

WIFI TIP – Resolve to leave each place better than when you found it! Good habit.

We rode past the Horseshoe Lake camping area that Bob talking about in the Bicycling Guide. It really is a pretty area.

Horseshoe campground area

This also gave Earline a chance to act out Psalm 91:13 (look it up):

Psalm 91 try out

One thing we did notice, is that there didn’t seem to be as much standing water here. Along the Mississippi, yes, because the river is so high….but a couple miles away from the river, like this Horseshoe Lake area….dry.

BARN ART alert! (This certainly must be in memory of SOME barn’s passing.)

Barn art barn mailbox

We learned later in Cairo (pronounced like “Carol” without the “L”), that this area hasn’t had hardly any rain in nearly 2 months! We saw cornfields with browning roots and curled up leaves. What a difference a few miles makes!

We went past the National Cemetery in Mound City, and saw the gravestones of many unknown soldiers who lost their lives in defense of freedom.

Gate of Mound City Nat Cem

Graves at Mound City

They had some verses from a poem by Theodore O’Hara on plaques lining the sides of the driveway. Some of these same verses are on display at Arlington National Cemetery outside of Washington, D.C. Here’s one:

1 of 7 plaques of poem by Theodore O Hara

Also saw this interesting sign from The War Department, Adjutant General’s Office in Washington, dated September 1, 1875, that among other things stated:

“Information having been received of the desecration of soldier’s graves by picnic parties in a National Cemetery, and by vending refreshments therein, it is hereby ordered that hereafter no such practices shall be allowed….”

Vending refreshments??!

Refreshments rule sign

After we left the cemetery, we stopped to rest a minute….it is HOT!

Leaving Illinois cemetery

Later, we passed by this place that was……watering logs? Whatever for? Anybody have any ideas about this?

Watering logs

We finally made it into Cairo….(pause for photo-op)…southernmost town in Illinois….

Welcome to Cairo

….through a tunnel under an overhead road….[hmmm….looks a little unkept]

Under Cairo tunnel

….and headed for what we were TOLD were 2 great bar-b-que places. Stopped at Mac’s on the north side….and left. The “spirit’ of the place just did not seem right….and it was empty….not a good sign. They only had pork, so Earline begged hypertension and we left gracefully. (They did let us get some ice water, so thank you, Mack’s!)

Leaving Macs

Then we stopped by a sign that said Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, and met a member who recommended Schemmwell’s. Here’s 2 sistas in the Lord:

Mount Moriah

Cairo is a very depressing place. One of locals gave us some history….what had been a bustling town of 28,000 is now barely 2,000. We saw many boarded up homes, broken-windowed buildings.

Apparently racial tension was a large factor.

And then there was a mayor who put them millions of dollars in debt which they haven’t recovered from. We were told even the POLICE CARS were repossessed.

We saw one 2-story building burning, gutted out, with yellow police tape around it, and smoke STILL coming from rubble in the center of the ash pile. (I should have gotten some pictures of this, but I was so shocked at the…..the devastation, that I was kind of embarrassed to take a picture of this mess.

We did stop at Schemmwells, and got some sliced bar-b-qued beef….

Inside Schemwells

…Earline and I didn’t want to eat too heavy because of our triking, so we split an entree and each got two sides. It was….how shall I say it….very disappointing.

The place wasn’t much bigger than a Waffle House. There were only 4 customers in there when we got there, and 1 when we left (granted, it was 3 in the afternoon).

But the spirit of excellence was lost somewhere. Our server was pleasant enough, but we had to request her to come clear off the table. When the phone rang, she seemed upset that it was ringing, and that she had to answer it.

The portions were served on styrofoam, and were minuscule. Each of us got a half slice of bread with 2 little strips of beef on it. Together the sandwiches would have barely made a kid’s meal at Subway, and this meal cost us over 9 dollars. (and we drank only water.)

Say something nice!……..okay, well, the sweet sauce they gave me in a bottle was good.

I think the spirit of the town has put a damper on everything here, though.

Pray for them….Cairo, Illinois.

Since we had no T-Mobile phone service in town, we called the local police and asked for police escort across the bridge. (Apparently someone from FLORIDA donated them some cars.) They seemed reluctant, but agreed to help us.

We headed down to the very southern tip of Illinois. The bridge to the right went to Missouri, the bridge (our bridge) to the left went to Kentucky.

Bridges sign

Bridge #37.5 to the right:

Bridge we didnt take

Here we are, waiting for our police escort:

Waiting for the po po

Bridge #38 to Kentucky:

Bridge38

Making the climb on 38

Looking to the right from the bridge, just past the barge, you can the see the Ohio River we are going over, where it runs into the Mississippi River coming in from the right:

Barge under Cairo to KY bridge

How many more bridges over the MR? Three that I know of, but we’ll see. We had 1 or 2 more ferry rides planned, but those might not be in operation, as we found out up at St. Genevieve, Missouri.

As we were going across the bridge, it started to rain!

Ack!

Can’t stop here to put on rain gear. We prayed it didn’t get too heavy….and by the time we got across (long bridge – like the Chain of Rocks bridge) the officer was gone….not sure where he turned around. HAD to have been the little side road of the northeast side of the bridge….we think. Anyway, no picture of him except this.

Cairo police escort

THANKS AGAIN Cairo police for help making this Mission Possible Tour POSSIBLE!

It was starting to rain hard now….Welcome to Kentucky! State number 6!

(Notice the narrow shoulder and rumble grooves? ACK!)

Welcome to Kentucky rain

…..ON with the rain gear….mile later, rain stopped….OOO, this is hot; off with the rain gear. Whoops! It’s starting to rain again. On with the rain gear….WAIT! It’s stopping! Off with the rain gear….(what kinda mess??!!…HA!)

On off again Earline rain gear

Mississippi river rain

Eventually it did stop….and we got to Wycliffle, Kentucky. We met the John Kinder family from Cape Girardeau. John said he used to play tennis with “mom’s” son, Matt. Small world! HA!

Thanks for your encouraging words that you sent through the web site, John! Yes, Psalms 121 and 91 are turning out to be big hits with us this summer.

Looked for a place to camp in town, but nothing looked acceptable or safe (guide us, Lord!). Here’s the bridge we just crossed from the Wycliffe river front.

Bridge we just crossed from Cairo to Wycliffe KY

We saw a big cross through the trees, and thought there might be a church just south of town.

We had 2 four-legged guides follow (guide?) us from down by the river front.

2 friends from riverfront

Earline thought they were going to get run over, and they almost did a couple times, once by a semi that burned MUCH rubber to avoid them.

Finally were able to find the cross, and realize it was just….a cross. On a scenic overlook.

Interesting story…..(Link to the cross at Wycliffe, Kentucky).

Famous Fort Jefferson cross

Cross trikes silouette

It was about an hour before sunset. There were some great views from up on this hill:

Barge from cross scenic view

Scenic sunset from cross

We decided to move on. We rode past this factory…..

Factory amongst woods

….continuing thru some dense woods….

Thick woods

….saw a sign for a Beech Grove Missionary Baptist Church, and……THERE IT WAS, between a cornfield and a soybean field. We decided to camp under a tree on the north side of the church.

(So, let’s see….is this a Black congregation or a White congregation?….we’ll see.) (Either way, we figure we’ve got it covered! Ha!)

We found a faucet on the side of the building, so we were able to take sponge baths. We figured that if someone stopped to ask us what we were doing……we would tell them we were just a little early for church!

Thank you, Lord, for a place to camp, for bringing us safely through the day.

TGG,

jon

Day 60 [Cape Girardeau, MO – Twente School Road/Hwy 3, IL]

FRIDAY, JULY 30, 2010

Wow…hard to believe it’s been 2 months already…only 1 month to go, and less than 990 miles to go.

We said a prayerful good-bye to “mom” today…she had made us eggs this morning (and she milked the cow….MILK) (ha), and I had a chance to get caught up-to-date on the blog this morning.

Squeeze Earline mom

(By the way, for those of you who are new to the blog here, unlike last night at “mom’s” house, many times we do not have WIFI to do the daily blog….but I was able to set it up so that I can e-mail text to the blog from my Blackberry, and I just add pictures later. What I HAVEN’T been able to figure out, though, is how to leave spaces between the paragraphs so that it does not look like one run-on sentence. I have tried space bar spaces, periods, alt-spaces…..nothing has worked. Tonight I am simply trying to put a (P) where a blank line should go. We’ll see if THAT works.)

(It didn’t.)

(By the way #2….tonight we don’t even have phone service, so this blog won’t go out until I have bars in the morning.)

(“Mom”….this is why we didn’t call you tonight…we have no phone service where we’re at.)

(Sure are a lot of parentheses here, huh?!!)

((((((((((yup!)))))))))))

After we left mom’s, we happened to be going right past the SE Missourian, so we stopped in to see if they wanted a story on us…not really, it seems. Like Earline said, you throw the seed on the ground, and some grows, some doesn’t.

We met a fellow cyclist at the library. (Earline had to pee-pee.) David gave us his “I’m big, I’m bad, and I ride a bike” pose:

David at library in CG

We saw this wonderful, elaborate painting on the side a building along Broadway [yes, this is ACTUALLY painted on the building….I did NOT add this in Photoshop]:

2 story Bible verse

We stopped by the floodwall to look at the mural we heard so much about…we really enjoyed the artists’ work….interesting!

Start of flood wall mural

We met Gary and Clodine Metje, who were also looking at the high water on the outside of the floodwall. They just celebrated their 55 wedding anniversary.

Gary Clodine and Earline

You can see how the water is lapping at the bottom of the outside of the flood wall. The river is HIGH!

Outside of floodwall

Stopped and had lunch at a shady shelter at the south end of the mural. Talked to Cyndi, and encouraged her “in the Word.” What we learned later, is that Cyndi had lost one of her patients earlier that day…..thank you God for allowing us to be an inspiration!

Headed across the Mississippi River, back one more time to Illinois, over the Bill Emerson bridge. (Pssst….see the Mormons on their bicycles just ahead of us?!) (We sometimes need to explain to folks that we are NOT Mormon!)

Bridge #37:

Mormons on bridge

Crossing BE bridge

Bridge37

Entering Illinois on Bridge 37

Saw this neat beam of sunlight streaming through the clouds.

Beam of light

The water is high, and running fast, and the swamps on either side of Highway 3 were looking full. Then it started to rain, as we came upon a flagman and single-laning for traffic. He let us go on ahead as the rain started to pour down. We went maybe a few hundred yards when….TA-DAH….we noticed a camping sign to the right…and a pavilion!

We raced for that, and waited out the rain. It poured for a good 30 – 40 minutes. Earline was singing some old hymns, and I got some neat photos (remember to thank God in ALL situations!) (see Hosea 6:6)

Singing in the little pavilion

Jon in the little pavilion

Silhouette Earline

I saw this tugboat pushing a barge downriver….and with the current so strong, boy, was he bookin’!!

Barge thru rain

(It is raining again right now as I write this at about 10:00pm….but we’re nice and dry. I’ll explain.)

When the rain stopped, as we left the little pavilion we discovered was that this was the town of Thebes, and we headed south. The little map at the shelter said we weren’t too far from the Horseshoe Campground, so that’s where we intended to spend the night.

As we continued on Hwy 3, the water on the hot asphalt was creating clouds of steam that created kind of an eerily pretty scene.

Steam on road

By now though, we could hear thunder behind us, and some tremendous lightning. ANOTHER storm!

The storm was coming closer and closer. It looked like we were not going to be able to outrun it. I could see a wall of rain maybe 200 yards behind us.

I stopped to tell Earline to put her rain gear back on, when we noticed a large pavilion to the left, next to a Baptist Church. We raced for that pavilion as it started to rain, and lightning, and more rain….(shelter in a storm).

By now it is only about an hour before dark, and as the rain continued for a bit, we decided to camp right there. There was a house right next to some playground equipment, next to the pavilion, but no one answered the door. (So who DO you ask?)

There were Christmas decorations by the front door, and lots of bird poop under a snowman wind chime….it looked like the house hadn’t been occupied for a while.

We set up the tent, and since we couldn’t stake the tent down, we tried putting each trike on either side, and attached the tent tarp to the stake behind the spokes….and it worked pretty well. It kept the side walls pulled out, creating more room in tent.

Tent set up by Baptist church

We had a little supper (Earline slaved over it all day – and we both agreed it was good!) (Ha!)

Supper is served

The rain has been off and on all evening, but we’re nice and dry….(now if we can just find this mosquito that’s been bothering us all night) (Earlline! Don’t spray that BUG BOMB while we’re IN here!….let me deal with this….good night!)

Through God’s Grace,

jon

Day ZERO [Camp Itasca, MN – Lake Itasca State Park, MN]

MAY 31, 2010

B-R-R-R-R-R-R!

Heard it was 37 degrees last night! [A little COOL for these FLORIDA folks!]

But we were able to hook the sleeping bags together, and Earline’s power surges kept me warm. (HA!)

The day warmed up quickly, though, and we went to the Headwaters of the Mississippi and took pictures.

On the way into the park we actually crossed another bridge over the MR (more like a culvert)….courtesy of the detailed website of ALL the Mississippi River bridges by John Weeks, here is our Bridge #2:

Bridge02
We followed the paths down to the Headwaters, and dipped our rear wheels in the water…..It’s official!

Earline put in wheels at headwaters

Earline dipping trike2

Jon dipping his trike
I understand dragon flies eat mosquitoes, and on this particular day there were LOTS, I mean THOUSANDS of dragon flies, and I would think, some VERY skittish mosquitoes (see one dragon fly in motion right in front of my right arm).

Here is the two of us in front of the OFFICIAL SIGN [with the creepy guy who kept staring at us right behind it….ha].

Jon and Earline front of the MR headwaters sign
Earline decided she needed to play in the rocks a little bit more…..HA!

Earline on Headwaters rocks

Earline on Headwaters rocks2
There were lots of people at the park today. [Remember, it IS Memorial Day!]

The trikes drew a lot of curious questions (as we had hoped), and we used the opportunity to explain the Mission, to encourage others in THEIR dreams, and make dozens of new friends. We even handed out some I-Love-You sign language stickers.

Handing out ILY stickers at headwaters
There were SO MANY warm and friendly people we met today – it was heart-warming. Here’s Eli, with his parents, Mitch and Catie:

Young family at Itasca
As soon as I get a chance, I will put together a book of photos of many of the people that we had chance to meet and have conversation with. Stay tuned!

We even had a chance to walk (ride?….not really) on the VERY FIRST OFFICIAL “bridge” across the Mississippi River [our Bridge #3]:

Lake Itasca and 1st bridge 3 for us
Okay….so I TRIED to “ride” it…..ha!

1st bridge log over MR
Who says Earline is afraid of bridges??!!

Who says shes afraid of bridges
One final photo on the FIRST BRIDGE over the Mississippi River:

Bridge 3 final photo
After leaving the Headwaters area, we went across THIS wooden bridge, our Bridge #4:

Bridge04
Leaving the park we ALMOST got rained on coming up the hill.

Road coming out of Itasca State Park
The rain went around to the north, however…safe for NOW! [Little did we know!]

We had a chance to finally get this internet connection working, so we can send along a few photos here. The Map My Ride application should hopefully be working tomorrow also, as we test it for the first time.

We plan to be up early to head on up to Bemidji – Day 1 is TOMORROW!

Thanks God, for guiding and protecting us. WE APPRECIATE IT MUCH!

TGG,

jon