By Brett Safran
This morning, we welcomed the idea of an “easy” 60 mile ride from Texarkana, TX to Idabel, OK. Our new friends at Red Lick First United Methodist Church provided us with a delicious breakfast that included pancakes, sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy, and fresh fruit. They joined us for morning devotions and sent us off with goodie bags loaded with snacks! If anyone from Red Lick UMC is reading this, thank you for welcoming us into your church, feeding us dinner and breakfast, taking care of one of our riders who wasn’t feeling well, and for listening to our stories and sharing your own!
We spent the beginning of the journey in the “Gracious South”, but today felt like a real transition point into the Plains states. The temperature was only in the low 90s for most of the ride and the humidity didn’t seem as bad. The terrain was flat and kind, but the winds weren’t as kind. We enjoyed a tailwind every now and then, but it seemed like more often than not, we were fighting the wind. About two-thirds of the way though our route today, we crossed over the Red River—into Oklahoma! Although we entered a new state, the kindness and generosity of everyone we met has not changed!
Besides crossing into Oklahoma, we hit another milestone today– 1000 miles biked to support the Fuller Center since we departed Savannah! It’s hard to believe that we made it that far, and we’re more than a quarter of the way across the country. Not too long ago, we were a group of strangers, but now it feels like we are a family! I’d like to take this opportunity to give my new “family” a pat on the back. I received news from Americus that the roofing repairs we made to Mae Pearl Denmark’s home on our first FCBA work day passed inspection earlier this week. On the work day, we were forced to “borrow” electricity from a neighbor because the house was in poor condition and the utility company thought it would be unsafe to turn the power back on. After our team of cyclists laid hands on the house, the power company agreed to turn the electricity back on, which will make life much easier for the team of volunteers who will be working there next week. Great job everyone!
Tonight we will be sharing dinner with our new friends at Bypass Church of Christ in Idabel. We’re looking forward to attending their service tonight and joining them for a bonfire! Thank you to everyone at Bypass for your hospitality and generosity!