by Scottie Duclos
The last few days have been indescribable. Any words I attempt to put on a page won’t scratch the surface of what this area of South Dakota has been like. Yesterday, I witnessed a band of wild horses galloping right next to the road and then veering up and over the hillside. If you have ever seen Dances With Wolves, imagine that. Acres of grassland and prairie flowers flowing like purple waves across dry river beds that chisel their way through layers of salmon and white colored sandstone jutting out of the ground in every formation imaginable. The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Badlands, and Buffalo Gap were the most breathtaking and silently inspiring places to just hear nothing but your breath, your bike chain whirling, and the occasional squeak of my pedal. It’s amazing how taking away all the cares and all the sounds of life can just leave you speechless before the endless glory of God manifested all around you.
Today, a few of the other riders, Lydia and Steve, our van driver Brett, and I decided to use our “rest” day to go do a local running race. So in case you are wondering, yes, we are slightly crazy. But I don’t regret it for a second. It was the Mystic Mountain 8 mile trail run in the heart of the Black Hills…..and it was gorgeous! We ran amidst peaks and valleys of pine, waded through knee high creeks, and trekked through muddy puddles to fully envelop ourselves in the beauty that is this area.
Rapid City, along with the surrounding areas, is turning out to be one of my favorite places just because of how much you see everyone out on their bicycles (or their motorcycles, which there are a lot!), or walking through the countless parks, or hanging out at one of the many local swimming pools or hang out spots, or grabbing a drink at one of the many microbreweries and ale houses. The city is just alive with culture. I am really glad we were able to spend a day off in this city, and even more glad that we get another one tomorrow.
That is my favorite thing about this Fuller Center Bike Adventure. Not only do we get to see these amazing new places, but we get to do them with a family culture that we create with all of the riders, and we get to do it from the seat of a bike. No sitting in a car, music drowning out nature, air conditioning keeping you comfortable, engines making the terrain seem boring. Just you, a few other bikers struggling together, the swirl of chains hissing in unison, the smell of flowers, rain, cows, corn, the sounds of horses galloping, dogs barking, wheat rustling, the struggle of every headwind, the beauty of every tailwind, the refreshment of rain, the beauty of every sunset, all of it singing together, glorifying God who holds it all together. Who holds us all together.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” Colossians 1:15-20