By Brett Safran
It’s hard to believe we’ll be arriving in Vancouver tomorrow. Although the ride is winding down, the scenery has been getting better with every mile! We pedaled away from Marblemount this morning following the Skagit River toward Bellingham. The morning air was frigid and dense fog hung along the base of the mountains. The river was the cleanest shade of turquoise blue, and the mountains were adorned with pine trees. As the miles passed, the sun began to peek out from behind the mountains, burning off the fog and chasing away the chilly air. We had our first rest stop at the Mount Baker Presbyterian Church, hosted by 2012 FCBA riders Sher and Tom Ross. They shared all kinds of treats with us—everything from pastries to chicken salad. Thanks so much for the great rest stop!
The terrain today was flat, compared to yesterday, with some rolling hills. The roads were cloaked in a canopy of trees. We came to appreciate the shade as the day warmed up. By about mile 55 we could smell the scent of saltwater! We were reaching the Bellingham Bay, off the Pacific coast. The last 10 miles to the church were a cyclist’s dream! We rode along the coastline, ascending to overlooks, and then descending close to the water again, zig-zagging through the forest.
Our gracious hosts at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Bellingham shared an awesome meal of spaghetti, garlic bread, and greens with us for dinner. Sue Pratt stopped by to visit us and brought ice cream for dessert! After dinner and a quick team meeting, Alex read from the gospel about Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. Ben, Nate, and Steve joined Alex to take turns washing the feet of each rider. It was a moving and humbling experience to see such an act of love. It reminded us that just as Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve, we set out on this journey to serve those in need of decent housing, and to serve one another. After each person’s feet were washed, the people who did the washing prayed for the person whose feet they washed. Foot washing seems like an appropriate way to commemorate the end of the ride, since our feet and legs carried us across this country.
These past few days, and the whole ride in general, have been awesome! Yesterday I got to celebrate my birthday by biking across the North Cascades, along the Columbia River. That’s an experience I won’t forget any time soon! Thanks to the rest of the team for showing me some birthday love last night by sharing ice cream and singing “Happy Birthday”! The talent show was great too!