We have talked a lot in the last week about joy. I truly believe that it takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow. That is life. Continue reading
Written By: By Dan Sheridan
Today we arose to a delicious breakfast provided by John, and elder at the Woodinville Unitarian Universalistic Church. My favorite was a crockpot full of steel-cut oatmeal and raisins. What a wonderful way to start our day!
At our devotion Ryan shared the Rag Man story, written by Walter Wangerin. This always touches our hearts and helps us to understand our mission of changing lives as we cycle across the country.
We started our day with a challenging climb followed by a beautiful downhill. We rounded a curve on a country road and saw beautiful Mt. Rainier in the distance. It was a day of incredible views, which only got more beautiful as the day went on and we drew toward the Cascade Mountains.
After our first snack stop we climbed a long hill, with grades as steep as 13%, followed by a joyous downhill on a curving wooded road. Soon after reaching the bottom we arrived at our second snack stop, which was near a rushing river.
We cycled through the beautiful town of Index and followed the river through the gorgeous Sky Valley until we came to the beautiful town of Skykomish. With incredible generosity, school superintendent Thomas Jay invited us all to his daughter’s 6th birthday party, held at a park a mile from the village. This park is in a valley along the Skykomish River. Thomas, his wife Lena and their older daughter Rebekah teamed up with Jennifer and David Childs, Ashley Church, and Lynne Kelly to make us a delicious picnic dinner.
We are staying in the gym at the school in Skykomish. It’s a gorgeous old building with 60 students making up grades preschool through 12. We heard of the challenges of living in this rugged land, including a school that was flattened by an avalanche (fortunately, on a weekend) and a highway that was washed away soon after Jennifer and David drove across it.
Each time a community takes us in and feeds us, it allows us to devote more money to our mission of giving people a hand up to a simple, decent home. We’ll always be grateful to the kind people who open their hearts to us along our journey.
Dan and ShellyContinue reading
Written by: Steff Zavala
Good evening, blog readers and FCBA crew who are reading this! This morning was a great, overcast day to ride. We started in White Bear Lake, MN after a hearty breakfast of leftovers and recap stories of the day/evening before. I love morning rides. We all tend pull out of the church around the same time and it takes a while for everyone to figure out their pace for the day. That allows for ample time to connect with various individuals as you come up on their left or if you slow to ride with them for a bit.Continue reading
I enjoyed entering Minnesota. I can tell my legs and lungs are strengthening. I was feeling so good I decided to take on the big guy, ” Olee “. Takes a bit of getting used to following the Mississippi while biking in Minnesota. Continue reading
Written by: Ginny Hughes
We finished week four in the capital of ND, Bismarck over the weekend. The Grace Lutheran church welcomed us warmly and provided a bountiful Sunday breakfast. Even though it was a rest day some of us chose to help out with painting the school rooms in the basement as they had had trouble finding volunteers for the task. The first day of week five took us from Bismarck to the little town of Strasburg ND. The crops in this part of the country are corn, sunflowers, soybeans, wheat and I’m sure others. I was told that this is a very rich growing area because of the exceptionally deep topsoil. The welcome we received in Strasburg was over the top. The first thing I noticed was someone yelling to me from the other side of the road. That was Teri, the local newspaper reporter getting pictures for an article about the Fuller Bike Adventure. The mayor had been very generous in arranging for us to stay in a school and to prepare our dinner in the senior center. I’m on dinner team this week and we opted to make a baked potato bar and salad. After dinner arrangements were made for us to be picked up by a school bus and transported to Lawrence Welk's family homestead. The Welk's and others in this area emigrated from Russia after having first moved from Germany to Russia. The homestead is in a beautiful setting on a lake. The barn is bigger than the house. Next we were transported to a large Catholic Church built in the early 20th century and is now on the National register of historic places. Visiting a sod house was next on the agenda, but we were all too tired after a long day of riding. Today was the hardest day of the trip so far. Everyone agreed. We conquered 83 miles with head and cross winds. It was relentless. Temps were in the 80 and it was humid. But it was the winds that did everyone in. I almost gave up at the last rest stop but somehow found a second wind. Once again we arrived into a community that has opened its arms to us. We crossed the South Dakota border and are now in Leola, the rhubarb capitol of the world. We passed high grassy plains with the occasional pond. Bird life was abundant and I loved the smell of the roadside wildflowers. We are thankful to be in a school gym with air conditioning and bellies full after a wonderful meal provided by some of the folks in town. I’m continually amazed at the outpouring of love and support we receive from so many. Tomorrow is the Fourth of July when we will celebrate and reflect upon our many freedoms. And do a bit of biking.
Written by: Erin Smethers
Two months ago, if you asked me what home was I would say my house in Illinois, but after 4 weeks on the road with FCBA home has a whole new meaning. Home is where you know how to work the shower, can flip on the bathroom lights with no random wall slapping, and where you don’t have to pack up your belonging every morning.Continue reading
Written by: Alice Myk
We have completed three weeks of our 10 week adventure. Once I got over the cozy creative sleeping arrangements and laundry duty, the fun finally began! Riding my bicycle everyday is so relaxing. Then, add the beautiful landscape and you have a perfect day!Continue reading