Daily Archives: July 18, 2009

Jeannie is in Mitchell, SD- Meeting lots of folks – Next Sioux Falls, SD and the meet and greet with the Military on Sunday!

Picture from bamacycle.com- Mile is riding with Jeannie

Picture from bamacycle.com- Mike is riding with Jeannie

Pic from bamacycles.com

Pic from bamacycles.com

July 17, 2009

Hello to everyone out there, OLT, family, friends, and everyone following the blog.

This has been a remarkable day, just an absolute blast.  What a change from yesterday for me when I was feeling so sick and not feeling well and had such a hard day.  I got to bed at 8:30 last night, slept all the way through until 6 o’clock, had a really good night’s sleep which I really needed.  I was ready and well.  We went over to our breakfast spot that he had set up for this morning, which was over at the Anchor Grill in Chamberlain.  They had a great breakfast for us and I met some really cool people named Dick and Jane Walker.  Believe it or not, they’re looking to possibly move to Londonderry, NH, which is just a couple of towns over from me in Bedford.  So I told them all about the school system, the sports, how great they are, they’re always beating us in Bedford.  I told them it’s only 45 minutes to Boston and they’ve got the mountains for skiing, and they have teenagers, so I really told them they’ve got to come to Londonderry.  And since their names are Dick and Jane, I teased them and told them, “Hey, you know, take care of Spot.”  We had a good time.  I gave them my OLT card and they said they would definitely look it up online and pledge, which is awesome.

Then we started the ride.  Great weather, we started off around 60 this morning, and we did not hit hot weather again today, it just went up to like 78 maybe.  Beautiful, perfect weather.  We still can’t get over how perfect the weather is.   The ride was just a nice, smooth ride.  At the beginning I rode with different riders, sometimes I was with Garth and Ray and Dave, and sometimes I was by myself, sometimes just meeting up with different people in passing.  I met one guy, Dave, who is leaving us in Sioux Falls.  He’s a really nice man who was with us for this one leg of the trip.  It was the first time that I had a good chat with him about his family and his daughter.  He was wonderful to talk with.  Then we met up at the SAG stop, we only had one SAG today at the 35-mile mark.  There was an AZ Corner store, which I guess the people are from New Jersey and I heard the story that they came out to help one of their relatives build some churches and they ended up staying in the town of White Lake, in that area.  They liked it so much that they’ve stayed for 23 years.  They have an awesome little corner store there.

We moved on and we were in the town of Mt. Vernon at 57 miles.  I had to stop to go to the bathroom and we went into a nice little store there.  We met two little kids, one little girl’s name was Macy and her brother.  I got a picture of them on Macy’s little bike that you’ll see once I get the pictures out for you.  I told her that this is the way we started, just on our little bikes when we were kids.  I got a picture with them and they were just sweethearts.  I gave them my card for them to take home to their parents to take a look at the OLT website.  It was really sweet to meet them.

Then we got into Mitchell.  It was only a 70-mile day today, which was nice and easy.  When we got into Mitchell, I ended up being with Paul and a couple of other people, so we went into town, into the business district.  We found a wonderful café that had delicious sandwiches, it was like a health food store with delicious coleslaw.  I got a pesto grilled sandwich with different kinds of cheeses with delicious coleslaw.  On the outside of that store, which was really fun, I met up with three people who are here from Minnesota and lo and behold, one of the people, Matthew, is going to be in the rodeo tonight, which is really cool.  I guess this is a big rodeo in Mitchell, and he’s going to be riding one of the bulls.  So I told him, “I’m coming!”  I’m going to the rodeo tonight.  We got a taxi from the motel here and we’re going to go over about 8 o’clock and stay at the rodeo for probably about an hour or so.  I hope I get to see Matthew riding his bull.  We saw a car go by from Canada, I mean people come from all over to this rodeo, I guess it’s a really cool rodeo.  I can’t wait to see it.  I’ve never been to a rodeo before.  And hey, honey, this is for Raymond, I know we’ve seen them on TV but I’m going to go to one live, I can’t wait!

Just down the road from this restaurant was the Corn Palace, which is absolutely amazing.  It goes back to the early 1900s when they built it.  Every year they change the design and the theme on the outside of this corn palace.  They make it out of corn.  We went in and saw the little movie about it, and I bought the movie to bring home.  I also bought the movie on Crazy Horse and Mt. Rushmore so I can show it to any of you back home who want to see it.  This Corn Palace is just amazing.  It goes way back with presidents.  When President Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, for you Bedford High School students out there, more about the Homestead Act of people getting that free land when they came across into South Dakota for free land and started up their lives here.  They have all kinds of history about this Corn Palace, it’s really fascinating.  You’ll have to look it up online and find out about it.  We had a blast inside there.  We saw the movie, got a picture with one of the characters, Cornelius, that was really good.  We talked to some really nice people, this couple, and gave them my card.  Lo and behold, they gave me their card.  Their names are Ed and Rachel Barnhart, and they live in Wenatchee, WA.  They have been in their motorhome for six years, amazing.  Traveling around, meeting people, obviously hearing the love of the Lord.  At the bottom of their card it says Esther 4:14, which I know that Scripture, “for such a time as this.”  I’ve gone to different women’s retreats and things that have been titled, “For Such A Time As This” from Esther.  She’s a fabulous woman in Biblical times, and if any of you don’t know the book of Esther in the Bible, you might want to get a Bible and read it.  She’s a fascinating woman.  There aren’t many women in the Bible that have a book of the Bible, so that’s pretty fascinating within itself.  But they were wonderful people, and if you want to go on their website, it’s www.edandracheltravel.com, and their email is barnharted@aol.com.  You can go on their website and find out about them.  We blessed each other, gave each other hugs and I just couldn’t get over these people who are kind of coming out of the network all over the world here that I’m meeting who are sisters and brothers in the Lord.  I’m just kind of amazed at how I’ve met people across this country who are just all doing really good things.  It’s just really fascinating to me.  People in stores, people in their little teeny country shops, people in these tourist spots, it’s wonderful.  Whenever I tell people and give them the card for Operation Life Transformed and say that I’m fundraising for families in all the military branches, for our troops that are deployed and for their families who are home training for medical transcription, and also to help the caregivers for our wounded, you can tell it always touches their hearts and they just say, this is so good that you’re doing this for them.  Just know that people really do care, I just want to keep on getting that word out to you and telling you that they really do care that you people are out there fighting for our country, and your families are out there, so just know that.  So even at the Corn Palace I met some wonderful people.

So we got to our hotel here in Mitchell and we had our rap time for them to go over our trip for tomorrow.  But the interesting thing is, right after rap, a few of us, Doc and Gill and Paul and me rode our bikes down about a mile and half to a cool store that probably a lot of you have heard about, it’s a sporting goods store called Cabela’s.   It was really fun.  I talked to the sales ladies there and I bought some shorts, which are really cute, and a top, and I actually wore them out of the store.  I carried my other clothes out and I wore these because they’re really comfortable.  I just needed a change of pace from the clothes I’ve been wearing, got some different colors.  I got some pictures of the ladies there, and I gave them the OLT card, and I ordered a credit card, which gave me $15 off on everything.  I got me a free hat for my boys, hey boys, I got you a hat from there.  And I got a little toolkit for me, which has all the little tools in it, a little jackknife, a little flashlight thing and a bunch of stuff all compacted into one.  It’s pink, which is really fun.  I had a great time there.  I almost forgot my credit card, the lady had to come out and give it to me, so I got a picture with her.  I had a really fun time there and talked to a lot of people about us riding across America and gave them the OLT card.

We’re looking forward to going into our rest day city, which tomorrow again we only have 72 miles.  We’re going into Sioux Falls.  We have a few climbs but not too bad.  So far my body is holding up really good.  I have a little twinge in my right knee, so I’m kind of being really careful with my right knee.  It’s nothing that’s hurting me, I’m just going to be really careful and take good care of that.   I can’t wait to get into Sioux Falls and go to church on Sunday, since our rest day falls on a Sunday, so I’m very much looking forward to going to church.  I have Raymond looking into a good church for me to go to.  And at 12:30 I will be meeting some military families, I’ll be telling you about that.  I think it’s Channel 13 in Sioux Falls that will be covering us, I’m really looking forward to that.  And just having some down time, rest time with some of my team.  I’ll probably hopefully have dinner with all of them from America By Bicycle.

So blessings to all of you from here at Mitchell.  I will be reporting what the rodeo is like, so that’ll be very exciting.  God bless all of you, take care, and God bless America.

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One Last Ride Before Day Off In Sioux Falls, Manicure, Pedicure, Massage, Ode To Woman-Hood – July 18 2009 –

Hello to everyone out there!  It’s Day 27, Saturday, July 18, and we went 72 miles today.   We rode from Mitchell to Sioux Falls, SD.  It was a beautiful ride today, the weather again was picture perfect, the roads were mostly smooth, which was very, very nice.  I just had a really strong ride today.  We could have taken it easy, but I decided to go a little faster, get out in the morning.  We got to sleep in a little bit this morning, we didn’t have breakfast until around 7 and we didn’t load the truck until 7:30.  So I got right out at 7:30, I was all ready to go, and rode on for a while by myself, with people in front of me and behind me, just enjoyed the peaceful morning.  Then probably around 18 miles or so I met up with my friend Ann and rode along with her until we got to the SAG stop at mile 40, so we probably rode together for 20-some odd miles.  I was delighted to be with her when we got to the SAG stop, because she had great surprise awaiting her.  Her husband and three of her four children met her as a surprise at the SAG stop, which was just out in the middle of nowhere, which is where we usually have our SAG stops in South Dakota, just along the side of the road near a little country store.  So I got to see her be totally surprised, it was really sweet.  It was nice meeting them and I got a picture.  It was just really fun.

Of course, I got back on after a little while, and just rode the rest of the day kind of on my own, which was just kind of sweet.  I just trucked along at a pretty fast clip, probably 18 to 20 mph.  I wanted to get into Sioux Falls because I had an appointment for a massage and I had the possibility of fitting in a pedicure-manicure.  I was really trying to fit that in today if I could, because my hands and feet from over 4 weeks or so really could use a little touchup, as you can imagine!  So I did get in on time, about 12:50, and I had a taxi waiting for me.  I went and had a wonderful time at this really cool place called A Day of Indulgence, which is exactly what it was.  There was a great massage therapist named Barb, she was really great and very knowledgeable and just really good.  It was wonderful to have my pedicure-manicure, felt great.  I came back and met up with the team at 4:45 for our rap session.  We had to say goodbye to a few people who were just doing one leg.  Some of the people were kind of doing across America piecemeal each year, they do a different leg until they’ve finished doing across America.  So we said goodbye to some of them.  There was one person, Paul, who’s going to be leaving us now, but he’s going to join up with us again towards the end, because he did all the other parts last year.  So this year he’s just doing the sections he didn’t do before.  So he will have ridden across America in two years.  Sadly, we said goodbye to all of them for now, then we all went over and got something to eat together as a group, which was fun. 

We got back and talked to some of Ann’s family and people who were milling around the lounge area of this hotel, just visiting.  Obviously we’ve all kind of become little relatives of each other, riding together and seeing each other, it’s just really been good.

So we’re all really looking forward to having tomorrow off, which will be good.  I’m looking forward to going to church tomorrow, and then get picked up and go over and meet some of the people in the military, which will be great, and possibly their families, I’m not sure how many of them will be there.  I think it’s Channel 13 that will be there to interview me and interview them as well.  We should have a really good time, I’m very much looking forward to that.  For the afternoon, they have a jazz festival going on down here in Sioux Falls, over by the park, so I’m really looking forward to going to that, because I love jazz.  That will probably be the extent of the day, then just getting ready for the next day, Monday, when we will be leaving around 7 in the morning for Worthington, MN.  So tomorrow will be our last day in South Dakota.  I can’t believe we’ll be going into our fifth state out of ten.  That’s pretty cool.

0717rodeo_bareback1I want to tell you about the rodeo I went to last night, it was a blast!  About ten of us got a ride over to the rodeo, it was about three or four miles away from our hotel.  The whole stadium was filled.  It was just like on TV but it was for real.  They rode the bucking broncos, to see how long they could stay on, and calf roping where they lasso them and tie them up. Some buffalo came out, which was really cool.  We saw a really fast horse that was kind of from the Pony Express breed of horse that was riding so fast, I couldn’t believe it.  Then it was really cute, they had little kids age four through seven riding sheep.  The woman who sat behind us, her granddaughter Anna was in it, and we were all kind of rooting for her.  And sure enough, her granddaughter won!  She was five years old.  She came out kind of on the side, we never thought she’d stay on, but she stayed on the longest of all of them.  It was really cute. 0717rodeo_tie

We had to leave at 9:30 to get back to our hotel by 10.  That doesn’t really sound too late for any of you for summertime, I’m sure, but just knowing that we had to get up and ride, and I wanted to make sure I could ride in strong because I wanted to get in for that appointment.  I got to bed about 11 and got up at 5.  I’m so glad I went to a rodeo in South Dakota; I guess Mitchell is known for this big rodeo, it was a pretty big deal.  People came from Canada and from all over to come to this rodeo and be in it.  So it was very, very exciting to see my first rodeo!

I hope you all are enjoying this weekend in July.  We are extremely fortunate that bad weather has always gone before us, so we have still not hit really bad weather.  Again, riding in and having a safe day and a good weather day, we couldn’t be more blessed, and we’re very, very thankful.  I’m not taking that lightly, it’s really an incredible blessing every single day.

It’s about 8:45 my time.  I’m probably not going to go to the festival tonight, I’m probably just going to rest up tonight and enjoy the festival tomorrow afternoon and evening. 

I say love to you all, I hope you’re all doing well.  God bless you, and God bless America!

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Filed under Free Computer Classes, Military, Military Spouse, Military Spouse Schalorships, Ride Across America, Uncategorized