Yesterday we rode from Illinois, through Indiana, and into Michigan. Illiana Christian High School put on a delicious breakfast for us. After packing up and getting dressed while half-awake, I filled up on pancakes, fruit and eggs. I had joined Adam, Julie, Ryan, Shannon, and Marc for breakfast. Once my stomach reached the "over-full" point I made my lunch and joined Adam -my riding buddy for the day- on the road. We had 141 kilometres to ride and over 99 turns to make to get to Benton Harbor, MI... it was nice to have a co-rider to help avoid missing a turn.
The majority of our ride was on bike trails or residential roads. After Tuesday's wet and rainy weather and Wednesday's misty and cool weather, Thursday's sunny weather was a delightful experience! The roads we wet and sprayed up onto our nicely cleaned bikes, but that didn't matter. The sun was shining and life was great. The winds even cooperated and a tailwind accompanied us all the way to Benton Harbor. Adam explained that Benton Harbor is divided from St. Joe's by a river and has historically been also been a racial divide. The intense racism of decades past still exists there sadly, and the poverty was obvious. Because we biked through St. Joe's to get to Benton Harbor, I got to see an almost night and day change in the housing landscape- rich condos to rundown buildings. Lighthouse Ministries, a CRC and RCA ministry, welcomed Sea to Sea with open arms. We were housed in a beautiful and historic church building complete with secret hallways and dark corners- the perfect child's hide-and-seek place. A house of peace amidst bankrupcy, poverty, broken down buildings and windows.
|Stumbled upon a "Welcome to Michigan" sign spraypainted onto the road so we jimmy-rigged a stand out of our bikes to take a picture.|
|Rachel, Adam, Mike, Zach and Marc|
|Prayer time for the Cyclists|
|This is what you get when there are limited showers- some opt to bathe in Lake Michigan!|
I left camp this morning with the understanding that we had a 30% chance of rain. Well, two kilometers from camp, the skies opened and for the next 96 kilometers the heavens rained down upon us. So much for the 30% chance of rain. I made a major mistake in wearing a sleeveless jersey this morning. I brought no coat or arm warmers and consequently was struggling with freezing fingers... among other body parts. Within minutes of the rain starting I was soaked. And I remained soaked all day. Here I must thank our SAG volunteers from the bottom of my heart. They literally give the clothes of their backs for us. Carrie, my newest hero, gave me her raincoat at SAG 1. If not for her I would have been drenched, cold and perhaps sick right now. So thank you Carrie!
Wayne, Rod and I safely made it to Holland where Hope College is graciously allowing us to use their dorms. A hot shower, clean clothes and a hoodie make a big difference in my comfort level!
Well, tomorrow we journey to "Jerusalem." Complete with peloton and celebration service, our stay in Grand Rapids promises to be a fun, exciting and busy time. For those of you reading from Ontario, we are now five days from crossing!
Harvey, the man to took a spill on Wednesday, is back on route today. He has a goose egg on his head, gash on his chin and broken handlebars. God is good. I thank God for his protection!