All these days start running together.
I often wake up and am not sure where I am. I remember something that happened while I was cycling, but I can’t remember where or what day.
The only days that really stand out are the infamous Day 21, glorious Day 33 and now I have Day 41.
Day 21 was the day that tested us physically, mentally and emotionally near Flaming Gorge, UT. All the elements and the mountains were bearing down on us just like that one mountain in Lord of the Rings. The only thing missing was the snow.
Day 33 was the day on the way to Garden Valley, ID. that we got to see the total eclipse, the beautiful Sawtooth Mountains, the lovely Payette River and a surprise encouraging word from fellow Christians on the way.
Day 41, which was yesterday, was another banner day.
Since the last time I wrote we have changed sag wagon drivers 1.5 times and have been down to two cyclists for more than a week.
I say 1.5 times because Genessa Wright drove in to take over for Pat and John Garrett who finally got to head home after accompanying us from Manila, UT to Grangeville, ID (13 days). They were with us through windy Wyoming and the Idaho desert. They weathered the day that started at 32 degrees Fahrenheit and ended at 97 and toughed it through a couple of campouts that Pat didn’t sign up for, but was a trooper throughout.
Our last full day together they watched us climb an eight-mile 3,000-ft eight percent grade and it wasn’t pretty. They were a great sag wagon tag team.
The .5 right now has to do with the fact that we’ve got new drivers again, but Genessa is still hanging out with us.
She’s not our “official” driver because we’ve got our Canadian drivers with us… because we’re now in Canada.
We made it to Canada.
Day 41 was the day we crossed the border!
On the night of Day 40 we camped at a site less than a mile from the border. We decided we didn’t even want to see it before we were going to cross.
Maybe we were a little nervous. Or maybe we needed time to let it all sink in. I guess 2,300 miles isn’t quite time enough so we took one more night to prepare ourselves for this milestone.
Cynthia was probably the most torn on whether to stay in the Idaho Panhandle or go ahead and cross.
There’s talk that there are more than a few white supremacists in the Idaho Panhandle (Ruby Ridge country) and we were in either beautiful or creepy looking areas depending on your attitude.
Cynthia opted for creepy…maybe because she’s Mexican or maybe because she watched too many crazies-living-in-the-woods movies when she was younger.
But I guess her fear of what might happen at the Canadian border was worse than her fear of gun-toting government-hating preppers (as in preparing for the end of the world).
It’s hard for her to believe a country would just let a Mexican citizen in without any hassle or without any kind of visa requirement.
But on Aug. 29 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time we started cycling slowly toward the border. Even I was a little nervous…or excited…or a little of both. Maybe I was nervous because we had contraband blueberries in our sag wagon. We were ready to give up the apples, but we were going to be sad if we had to part with the blueberries we picked at Susan Carey’s house in Coeur d’Alene. I picked at least two quarts before we headed out Sunday after church.
I bet Susan didn’t even know we picked that much. Her bushes were so loaded.
(An aside here: We had a great meal at Susan’s house Saturday evening with great company (Steve and Patti Smith, and Jill). I’m sorry Don wasn’t there, but he was out conquering the John Muir Trail. Idahoans are extreme that way.)
So I was a little nervous about getting Cynthia and our blueberries into Canada and really excited to finally reach at least the country of our final destination.
There was a bit of a wait because of the cars in front of us so that added to the suspense, but as the minutes ticked by we inched closer to our turn with the border crossing guard.
Then we were called forward.
Nice guy. Good looking. Asked for our passports. Asked where we lived, what we were doing. Told us to have a nice day…and yes, we could take a photo with him. 10:15 a.m.
Oh, but wait, our car.
We sat and sweated a little as Genessa pulled even with border control.
I guess since we told him she was with us, he was ready to give her the green light as long as she had no weapons and nothing she was going to leave in Canada.
We made it into Canada with our blueberries!
Now we just have to finish this ride.