We’re now at 2,520 miles in our journey across the USA, with about 1,125 left to go.
I’m only 48 miles away from 100,000 miles cycled as an adult, so I should reach that milestone tomorrow. I’m grateful for the chance to celebrate this milestone with the wonderful friends that I’ve made on this trip.
Today we started our day with a delicious breakfast cooked by two women from our host church, the Osceola Christian Church.
At circle-up, Libby gave the Golden Pump award to Breanna Booker. Libby described how much we appreciate the hard work that Breanna puts in behind the scenes, making everything run smoothly.
Jeff Bracken then gave us a wonderful devotion about the Samaritan woman who Jesus met at the well at midday. Jeff drew some intriguing parallels between our experiences these past 5 & ½ weeks and the interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman.
We started riding eastward on US highway 34 on this sunny morning. We were delighted to find that the breeze was from the southwest, meaning that it crossed our faces and cooled us, but also pushed us along on our journey. US 34 is officially designated the Red Bull Highway in honor of the 34th Infantry (Red Bull) Division. According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, this division “holds the distinctions of being the first U.S. division deployed to Europe in World War II, and having spent more days in combat and having taken more enemy-defended hills than any other U.S. Army division in that war.”
In the spirit of this history, near the town of Alba on today’s route we came to a memorial park with a “Welcome Home Soldiers” monument that some of our cyclists and support crew stopped to visit.
It’s hot here today. It’s 94 degrees as I type this at about 7 pm, and the heat index was well above 100 today. We work hard to stay hydrated, and keep a close eye on each other. The cooling breeze really helped today, and with our early start all of the cyclists were finished with their rides by about 1 pm. We’re blessed with the opportunity to sleep on the floor of an air-conditioned church this evening.
Tomorrow’s 83 mile ride will take us to Iowa’s eastern border. We’ll be within a block or two of the Mississippi River before turning back to the west for a few blocks to reach our host church in Burlington.