Friday, 9 August 2013

Home Sweet Home

Well, true to form the last four days on the way to Ontario have been a blur of activity. Monday we rode just over 100 km into Sleep Hollow State Park in Laingsburg MI. We apparently stayed at this park on the '08 tour, but I didn't remember that. I've learned that I have the uncanny ability to remember things I have never done and not remember things that I should!

We met for prayer Monday morning before leaving Calvin College and were asked to leave staggered so as not to overwhelm the immediate roads. I rode for the day with Amanda and John. Oddly the day seemed to fly by as we practiced our bike acrobatics. John and I successfully managed a superman move and Amanda became our devoted photographer.

Arriving in the campground, we found beautiful fire pits so we spent most of the afternoon around a campfire eating more and more food. By the time supper rolled around I had already eaten my fair share but forced myself to eat yet another meal because I knew that I would still be hungry the next morning.

Tuesday was yet another day closer to Canada and I could not wait! Everyone I talked to was pumped for our travels over the St. Clair River. We rode 122 km into Imlay City and every familiar landmark just made me more and more excited. It rained most of the day. My feet squished in the puddles in my shoes and my chamois (butt padding) resembled - and felt like- what I would imagine a full diaper would feel like. We journeyed through the city of Flint and yet again witnessed the poverty that we are trying so hard to eradicate. I rode with Danita, a wonderful friend from the state of New York, and we experienced yet another flat. Thankfully I have had only one flat, but Danita and I had a fun time trying to get a tiny piece of aluminum out of her tire. After a bit of prodding, ingenuity and help from fellow cyclists, we were back on the road again.

We spent our evening at Imlay City High School and, after a bit of waiting, we were allowed to sleep in their hallways. The next morning John and I had planned to leave very early to get to Marine City well before the cut off time. It turns out that this was a great idea as we were well ahead of other cyclists as well as the storm that was looming on the horizon. With the wind pushing us, and the pressure of avoiding getting wet driving us along, we made good time. But inevitably the storm broke with all its fury and we stopped to put on all our glorious rain gear. The next 30 kilometers of riding were accompanied by rain. We rode through a dangerous construction area where I nearly fell and continued on our merry way to Marine City.

The excitement for Canada continued to rise in my throat, particularly as I saw snatches of the Canadian shoreline across the River. Oh the excitement!! We got to Marine City by 10 am and were first in line for the ferry. For the next couple of hours we dried out in the bright sun and I strained my eyes looking for glimpses of my family across the border.

It has rained a lot these last days and I was praying hard for good weather to welcome us to Canadian soil. Well, when we landed in Canada the weather was perfect, the wind had even switched around to become a tail wind! And the people there in Sombra to welcome us! I was near to tears to see my church family all out to welcome us in.

Our stay in Sarnia will be the talk of the tour for the next weeks and I cannot describe all the comments that I have received thanking us and appreciating the welcome of the Sarnia community. The cyclists have been so blessed and I cannot thank you enough. Well, Canada has not disappointed. The welcome we have had on these soils has been phenomenal and we have been truly blessed.

Below is a link to a video Sea to Sea made featuring yours truly. I think they did a fantastic job. Enjoy! And thanks again!

1 comment:

  1. It was great meeting you today. I've enjoyed following your travels through your blogs - and, of course, pictures. Keep it up!