Downhill to Holbrook!

Written by: Dan Sheridan

On this Monday morning we had our longest ride to date. After enjoying a Sunday of sightseeing in beautiful Flagstaff, we left behind the friendly Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran church and began a 50 mile downhill, dropping 2,000 feet with a brisk tailwind. We had a snack stop at an intriguing roadside rest, with buildings that perfectly suited the ridges and mesas in the area. Huge red boulders were piled in the rest area, but signs warned us to beware of poisonous snakes and insects. This cycling dream was interrupted only by flat tires, as our tires picked up small pieces of wire from shredded steel belt radial tires. We persevered, stopping to do some “Standin’ on the corner in Winslow, Arizona”, as the line goes in the song “Take It Easy” (written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey).

The last 40 miles of our 92 mile journey were flatter, but our delightful tailwind mostly continued, interrupted by an occasional headwind when the freeway turned south. We cycled into Holbrook, where our hosts at St. George Episcopal church had lunch waiting for us. They also made a delicious dinner, with homemade rice, watermelon, and enchiladas. For dessert, they gave us freezer pops. After dinner, Nadine shared about our mission of ending poverty housing, and we learned about the special challenges that folks in their area have. We very much enjoyed interacting with our hosts.

A block from the church, the Native American youth of the Holbrook summer dance group were performing traditional dances while wearing tribal regalia. It was fascinating to watch. Soon the narrator asked each dancer to select an audience member to dance with them. A very shy 11 year old girl asked me to dance with her and I agreed. She showed me the dance moves, and helped me to not mess up too badly. It was a memorable day, putting us more in touch with our mission of ending poverty housing. Our simple living on this journey has helped us to appreciate the importance of simple, decent housing.

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