We encountered our first miracle on the flight to Seattle. Two on time Northwest Airline flights! For those of you who wondered how we could sit on a small bike seat all the way across the country, we found something less comfortable and smaller. A coach seat on the airline.
The first day was about 50 miles with minimal hills. A good way to get started. We rode a bike path through the city of Seattle for the first 20 miles. We ended up winning the lottery and were on the first day sweep team. That means we had KP duty the first night, breakfast KP the next morning and we were assigned on day 2 to stay in the back and make sure all bikers were ahead of us. There are about 12 people on each sweep team and we can split up the work any way we want. Kitchen clean up did make for a long first day since things are still getting organized.
On day 2, we climbed Stevens Pass which peaks just over 4,000 feet. There were 6 people who were assigned to be the last group of the day. The six of us rode really well together so it was fun riding. The problem was there were some slow riders. We made the top of Stevens Pass at 4:00 PM. We still had 30 miles to ride. We straggled into camp around 6:45 (dinner starts at 6:00). Even though the day was long, the scenery was amazing. Riding in the mountains is fantastic.
On day 3 we climbed another 4,000 foot pass. Another fantastic ride. We are staying in Ellensberg and the temperature in around 100 degrees. We are now in the Washington desert.
I do't think we could have had a better start to the tour.
On the issue of poverty, we had a speaker at the celebration service in Seattle who works with CRWRC in Haiti. In her talk, she informed us that somewhere in the world, a child dies every 3 seconds due to poverty related issues. Take a minute to think about this statistic and let it sink in. Count the seconds a few times...1...2...3 1...2...3 1...2...3. If you really let it sink in, it brings tears to your eyes.