Kari and I, along with my parents, are on our way home after a wonderful visit. I will try to share a few details of visit in Northwest Iowa.
We arrived in Sioux Center on Saturday night after a ferry ride across the lake and like a billion mile drive to Northwest Iowa. We stayed with my Uncle Willie and Aunt Joyce Heynen (my mom's sister). We did the "relative thing" on Sunday and I had a great chance to catch up with cousins and kids and grand kids of my cousins. Kari got to experience High School Sunday night "hanging out" and "crusing" in Sioux Center Iowa with her second cousin, Jackson. Hmmm, I don't think I've gotten all the details yet although I know she had some offers to go for motorcycle rides...
On Monday we got up early and went in search of Walter's SAG stop. Walter is a wonderful man who is driving a very big RV as a SAG vehicle and he sets out chairs, 50 gallons of water, puts out his awning and sits there providing assistance to the cyclists as they trickle by over the next 4-5 hours. We found him about 10 miles south of Decatur, Nebraska. Bob and Lisa (and Len) arrived soon after we got there. It was so good to see them! Doug Lutke took some great photos. As soon as I get them from you I will put them up. There is a brief newspaper article and picture at: http://www.midwestmessenger.com/articles/2008/08/06/burt_county/sports/sport02.txt
Bob and Lisa moved on and we stayed behind to watch the rest of the cyclists come through.
Next we hopped in a different SAG with Betsy Fox, the tour's nurse, and Art Smit. We were quickly introduced to a the role of SAG driver and nurse. Just before we joined her she had to deal with the first moving vehicle vs cyclist accident. The cyclist was able to continue riding, but my understanding is that not much will hold this cyclist back from riding her bike. Betsy is doing a wonderful job and I wonder why I passed up this great opportunity.
We also had the opportunity to take Len Riemersma's camera for the day....Kari and I had a little fun with it. For more details and some good pictures check out his August 4 blog at:
Len is the lead chaplain on the tour and an "old" friend of mine who frequently rides with Bob and Lisa. He maintains a great website/blog and is worth following.
Bob and Lisa were glad to see us, but had another tough riding into the wind. Bob says he doesn't even check directions anymore, instead "if in doubt, turn into the wind". They got to Sioux City mid afternoon, got cleaned up. We arrived soon after, they showed around camp and met a lot of the cyclists and staff. We took them out for dinner and made it back in time for the evening peleton meeting. These are meetings they have every night where they make announcements, keep necessary stats (flat tires and falls), share areas on concern, places they saw God, discuss the plans for the next day, get the weather report, and spend some time in prayer. After a stop at the Dairy Queen my parents, Kari and I returned to Sioux Center for the night.
Tuesday Kari, Dad and I headed over to Dordt College to await the cyclist's arrival. Bob and Lisa got an early start and arrived #2 and 3 for the day. We were hoping to spend as much time as possible together in the afternoon. They had a good day of riding with a nice stop at the CRC in Ireton for smoothies and root beer floats. Dordt did a very nice job of welcoming and hosting the cyclists. The only problem with arriving early is that you need to unload the gear truck. We were able to head over for lunch at my Aunt's house then spent the rest of the afternoon back at Dordt swimming, relaxing , catching up and meeting people. Supper was provided by Pizza Ranch and Dordt College, then over to the Celebration Service. It was a very nice service and neat ministry fair. I didn't take a lot of time at the ministry fair because there was a cyclist who needed the sutures taken out of is face. The cyclist took a fall last week and they were ready to come out. I took out as many as I could find...I hope I got them all. Kari and I were then allowed to stay at Dordt with Bob and Lisa due to my work on the Steering Committee. It was so much fun to see the work, planning, and praying that we did over the past year to year and a half in action these past 36 hours.
The ride for today had the highest mileage of the trip. So Bob and Lisa were anxious to get to bed early and get a break of dawn start. We were up at 5:15AM, and they were on the road at 6:30AM after packing their lunches, prepping their bikes, eating breakfast, packing their gear, waiting out a rain shower, finding their fellow riders for the day, and saying our "good-byes".
I got a call at 3:15PM, they finished their 114 mile day. WOW, I expected that call closer to 7PM. They had a great ride even with a little rain! Tomorrow is another 113 mile day and Friday a 100 mile day. Lots of miles in 3 days. Please pray for Lisa's knee and continued safety.
Kari and I plan to arrive home tomorrow evening along with my parents. We will be heading out to camp yet that night. We get to see Bob and Lisa again in about 10 days...Yeah!
Sorry about the long post... just had so much to tell you. Is it OK if I tell you how proud I am of Bob, Lisa, and the other Sea to Sea cyclists? They are doing an amazing job of getting the word out and collecting funds (currently 1.9 million dollars) for poverty while participating in a pretty grueling trip.
Thanks for checking...