Blessed to be a Blessing

Written by: Stephany Escalante Galindo

Today we rode 58 miles from Bellefonte, PA to Lewisburg, PA. It still blows me away that there are church members who choose to wake up early (sometimes as early as 4:30am) to cook breakfast for a bunch of cyclist going across the country. This morning we had the pleasure of enjoying breakfast thanks to two special ladies from St. John’s Church. We had 2 egg casseroles this morning- one had turkey and the other had wild boar sausage. The son of the cook raises the boars. Funny story, outside the church as we’re getting ready for the devotional, a cyclist was commenting on sausage and the cook says that her son raises the baby boar, then her friend followed up by saying “not anymore, now they’re sausage,” and I couldn’t help but laugh. We took a group photo with our incredible hosts and then started biking east. It wasn’t raining as we moved through the misty mountains. Around 8:40 am and after the 2nd rest stop, we started to feel and see the rain drops trickle down. Our rest stop location was at an Amish store. We laid our bikes next to a post that’s designed to help lasso the horses that pull the buggies. After gearing up we continued to bike down the valley. I took a picture of my Garmin elevation map again because it represented my new definition of “flat in Pennsylvania” since there were no super steep (can’t see the top of the hill) climbs on the screen, just ups and downs (I’m sorry I took you for granted Kansas). Eventually we rode up a medium hill just before mile 40. On our way up we saw 3 individuals on the opposite side of the road. As we passed they clapped and said ‘good job, keep going.’ Rick stopped to chat while Julio and I rode on. The man in orange across the road was running for MS from Los Angeles to New York. He has a rest stop every 5 miles and does an average of 25 miles a day. After 125 miles he passes the baton off to another runner. The last 19 miles had the most rain. I’m considering making a makeshift fender to help with the mud backslash but it might fall off so I’ll deal with the mud and look for a hose once we make it to the next church. While riding Tom passed us on our left twice. I think he’s playing mind games with us since he strolls on by effortlessly. Once we made it to Lewisburg we were greeted by a kind lady who helped shuttle our group of 14 to a wellness center nearby. We had state of the art showers with plenty of pressure and very warm water. It’s never an expectation to have the best of everything on this trip because we’re happy we have a place to stay and a place to clean u. But when it happens like it did today, you just smile big and say thank you because it feels extra great after a heavy and muddy rain. After coming back to the church, we set up our sleeping bags and then walked into town to see what we could find and learn about Lewisburg. I found a used clothes store and the most perfect belt. On Thursday the Presbyterian church makes and shares dinner with the community. Anyone can come and sit down to enjoy a meal made from vegetables sourced locally from the community garden (where anyone can also go and pick any veggie or fruit they need). We met 3 older ladies and shared stories. They asked a lot of questions about The Fuller Center and wanted to have a brochure before they left. I naively thought it was because they were interested in learning more about the Bike Adventure, but a few hours later after the presentation I came to realize that the interest came from need. One lady needed help renovating her trailer home in order to move it to a location that would be better suited for her. I referred her to the nearest local chapter and shared that it could be the start of a new Covenant Partner with the help of a few determined community leaders to establish it as an additional resource. It’s difficult to speak to people who you want to help but you’re on your way out of town the next day. I gave her our information and asked that she follow up without hesitation. I don’t know if I did enough.

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