Written by: Diane Bies
Another year on the Natchez Trace…
This is my fifth year in a row riding the Trace with the FCBA in the spring. We stay at mostly the same churches and see mostly the same people and scenery. Why do it again and again you might wonder.
Each year we have a different group of people along for the ride. Yes, some are the same but each year there are new people as well. It is a family reunion with the experienced, return riders and such a great opportunity to meet and recruit some new “Fullerites.” Seeing the church people at each host church is wonderful also as some of them are the familiar faces and others are new.
Each year the weather differs also. Yes, we do have rain most years, but this year we have only had one day of rain and it was on the first day, which means we have had several days of no rain and some beautiful sunshine. Since we are so much later in the year this year, we have also had much warmer weather and the trees and flowers are at a different stage. Everything is really green this year with different wild flowers all along the roadway.
This year has been unique in other ways as well. The trees are all finished blooming, there is honeysuckle growing and roses are in bloom in Mississippi. We are working in Houston, Mississippi on Thursday for our build day at a new covenant partner rather than loading up to work in a town an hour or more away, which means a more productive day for us. We have a new host church to experience on Friday night. These are just a few totally new experiences to behold.
I had a wonderful day of riding mostly alone today. As I pedaled along I thought of all the fun times of the past four years riding along the Trace. I thought of so many close friends and the laughter and stories we shared riding along, sitting around in the evenings, and in the drug store drinking milk shakes and eating ice cream. (Stopping at Pearson’s Rexall Drug store is a tradition now.) I thought of all the photo ops and the spontaneous rest stops on the side of the road. There are too many people to mention who have made this a great ride year after year. Songs have been sung, laughter shared, tears shed, all together with great friends. So much has changed and yet so much is still the same. Wonderful food, daily devotionals, the same great cause of eliminating poverty housing, and the same great goal of spreading the word with those we come into contact with.
I am looking forward to the rest of the week and the many years to come of riding the Trace with the FCBA.