Glorious Scenery and Incredible Kindness

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

No turning back

Written by: Zach Rundell

 

Last Friday I woke up at 5:30 a.m. just like any other morning. As I was midway through my routine, I had a revelation: for the first time, in nearly two weeks, I wasn’t sore. My legs didn’t ache and my back wasn’t stiff. Then, I thought about all of the mileage I had ridden so far. We had biked nearly 700 miles through three states. It was the first time on this trip that I felt I had the strength and mental fortitude to finish the long haul to Portland, Maine.

I did not possess this confidence when I arrived in Astoria, Oregon. When I met the crew and saw my fellow riders I was very discouraged. I was told that my bike was too heavy and my tires were too big, and I wondered if I really had what it takes to ride more than 3,000 miles this summer. I reflected on all of the challenges, big and small, that I had given up on when things got hard. I carried this self-doubt along with me for 700 miles. My Friday morning revelation was more important than you might realize; it was the moment that I decided this would not be another dream I talk myself out of.

My newfound confidence was immediately challenged when I stepped outside with my bike. We had a 60+ mile trek ahead and it was pouring rain. It was as if God himself was pushing us away from Missoula, Montana. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating and it was only sprinkling, but any amount of rain for 60 miles of riding is too much rain.

Then, I gritted my teeth and buckled in. Four and a half hours later, with a lot of help from my new friends, I was able to roll up to the church in Missoula.

This isn’t easy, but with the support of Fuller Center’s awesome support crew and my fellow riders, I know I will be able to push through these next eight weeks.

 

P.S. will someone please mail Scott and Bob some of those breathe right anti-snoring strips...