We are finally halfway to our destination.
Today we crossed the 1,300-mile mark on a windswept wild portion of Wyoming on our way from Diamondville, WY to Montpelier, ID (75 miles).
Yesterday was the halfway point on the calendar since it was Day 25, but we had a day off Saturday and spent Sunday morning with the brothers and sisters at Bridger Valley Baptist Church so we hit the halfway on the calendar before we hit it on the road.
Let me just say that we looked forward to our day off Saturday almost as much as we’re looking forward to reaching Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.
We had been on the road nine days straight, had ridden approximately 500 miles and crossed over three passes, including Day 21 from Dinosaur, CO to somewhere near the Flaming Gorge in a corner of Utah. The last bit was a 4,000-foot climb with 5- to 8-percent grades and 10 switchbacks over a four-mile portion of the climb. The rest of that last 20 miles was uphill too and against probably a 20-mile-per-hour north wind.
That ride included one bike flat, one car flat (at a place called Windy Point, so you can imagine how enjoyable that was) and one meltdown.
We found a campsite in the National Forest and had just enough time to build a fire, set up our tents and cook some dinner before the rain with lightning and thunder sent us to the car for cover.
We finally got out around midnight and went to our tents.
Anything after that would have been easy by comparison, but the next day was truly glorious. We hadn’t realized that we were so near the top and that the next day would be more like rolling hills through the National Forest. Besides that, we had the road to ourselves for a long stretch because of a roadblock down the mountain.
We saw incredible views that were “awesome in the religious sense” as Paul would say.
Even so, even after seeing the Flaming Gorge en route, we were still happy that the 44-mile ride was over when we rolled into Manila, UT because that meant we were one day away from rest.
Day 22 from Manila, UT to Lyman, WY (55 miles) went by pretty easily as well even though we lost a rider and changed sag wagons and drivers.
For the first time in the trip we were down to only two riders. Paul Friese left us. Our driver Tiffanie Wynn had to go home as well. We are so thankful for their participation.
Since Friday our sag wagon team has been John and Pat Garrett who so graciously volunteered to drive out and sag for us over the next 10 days.
Friday afternoon, after making it to Lyman and leaving our bikes at the church we drove to Salt Lake City and picked up another rider. Kevin McGeehee will be with us for a week and we’re already thankful for his presence.
He came to pull.
After a sweet time with the folks from Bridger Valley Baptist Church yesterday we started the trip anew and it was a windy afternoon ride of 38 miles to get us to Diamondville. We rode in 20- to 30-mile-per-hour headwinds and crosswinds.
Today we rode 75 miles to Montpelier and at times it was just as windy.
But Kevin has been up front the whole way breaking the worst of it.
As I look back on the first 25 days it seems as if God has given us just what we can handle week by week.
I would have thrown the bike down in despair if I had faced the windy uphills I faced on Day 21, but the first week I got flat roads and the wind at my back. About the time I was getting used to that, the climbing started.
That was hard, but by the third big climb, the one I wasn’t sure I was going to survive, I had enough behind me to just make it to the top.
We have a theme song on this ride. Part of the chorus says, “On the mountaintop I will bow my life to the one who put me there…”
Since God’s grace has gotten us this far, I’m sure he’ll get us to Red Deer. He doesn’t promise to make it easy, he just promises to give us what we need for the day.
His mercies are new every morning.