Lisa surprised me and called Saturday. I didn't expect to hear from them until today. They have had a lot of fun in Canada and have been welcomed warmly by the churches in the area. The scenery and roads sound nice. The weather has been humid, but Lisa said, not all that hot. With the shorter riding days, they have been taking time to do some fun things along the road. One of the fellow riders sent me a picture, but I think it is on the other computer. I will see if I can add it later. I really like the one on Len's site where they are at the driving range. Bob is right next to Lisa...he is the only one wearing a helmet. As my brother Dan so wonderfully wrote in the journal we found after he died... "Bob is a very wise person". Bob took Lisa to the driving range...ONCE...there is a reason there was never another visit. Anyways, they were planning to take a shuttle to the Niagara Falls area for the evening
But Lisa also talked about the "different" flavor that the tour has taken on. Don't get me wrong, she was not complaining, just commenting. The days are shorter with multiple prearranged stops. Although the stops have been nice, some are occurring every 7 miles. What happened to the 25 mile stretches between SAGs? She misses stopping at the local parks, cafes and grocery stores and having people ask about the tour. The people at the prearranged stops all know about the tour and have already shown interest and support in so many different ways. The other day they intentionally went to a cafe for lunch just so that they could talk to people about the tour. They ended up meeting some people who they could talk to about the tour its purpose. I am not sure if Bob and Lisa gave them Shifting Gears devotional books or if they had gotten them somewhere else, but these people wanted them to sign their copies of the book :) It reminds me how difficult it can be to witness in a predominantly christian community. Everybody seems to "know" and it is nothing new to them...it's nice, but it doesn't seem like you make a difference. Sometimes one might need to intentionally go outside the community to share the good news.
Meals are "different". They have only eaten a couple of meals out of the truck...the "newbies" really don't have the experience of the 2 week rotation of meals, helping prepare them, washing your dishes in gray water, packing lunches repetitively...
Many people are being billeted (hosted) at night. New riders make the comment that it feels so good to sleep in a regular bed...after 3 nights in a tent. Try it after 7 weeks in a tent....then it feels REALLY good. People who have been on the tour for 4 days getting haircuts, massages, and pedicures at night...it's nice, but would feel better if you had been on a bike for 7 weeks. Once again, don't get me wrong, those people certainly "deserve" the treats, it just seems you would be able to enjoy them more if you have been without for a longer period of time.
Bob and Lisa have sweep again today. Since they have an extra turn (just the way the schedule worked out with the number of teams and the number of days), it was decided to give them an easier day to do it rather than the second to the last day of the tour. They also have another border crossing back into the USA. Since it is an organized streamlined process, everyone needs to be at the crossing together...that also helps get people up and on the road on time.
It's hard to believe that Kari and I leave on Thursday to "take them home". We are going to be glad to be together again...longterm, but it will be an adjustment for all to "home life", and outside demands. Please pray as the participants, support staff, and our family adjust to the "routine" again.