Friday, August 21, 2009

Team Jackson Goes Methodist

Thursday August 20

It rained and then it rained some more overnight. Good thing we have a tent! We all slept pretty soundly even though there had been some subtle and not so subtle warnings about bears that had been causing problems. We figured, hey, these are just small black bears and they don’t want to eat us. We figured correct. The bears never showed up even though we had some food in our tent! That’s what I call looking for trouble. The rain subsided before the sun rose and shortly after dawn the clouds parted enough to get a glimpse of the sun.

We packed up all of our stuff including the soaking wet tent and tarps, and were on our way out of the campground at Breaks by 8:15. Our breakfast would be consumed in the community of Haysi Virginia. This short ride of only 10 miles took over an hour as there was a great big hill between us and Haysi and we had to push the bikes up the hill. These hills are unforgiving. Every day there are more and more of these boogers. Our breakfast today was Subway $5 footlong subs. We shared 2 ham n cheese subs and some pop and a couple of cookies. A breakfast for champions (or bike pushers)! We pedaled away from Haysi towards our ultimate destination for the day, Rosedale Virginia. Before we get to Rosedale though we pass through several smaller communtiies including Birchleaf, Bee, Davenport, Council, and finally Honaker. We had a late lunch in Honaker and ran into the cyclist that I met last night in the rain outside the restaurant in Elkhorn City. Lewis sat down across from Kendal and kept him amused while he finished the rest of his lunch. If any of you would like to visit a paralell blog, here is his website:

I haven’t checked it out so I can’t be held responsible for what you might find. But he seemed like a decent bloke.

We left Honaker with only a 6 mile ride remaining to get us to Rosedale. A quick stop on the edge of Honaker to pick up some provisions at the dollar store ended up costing Lewis a couple hunks of skin on his knee as he tripped in the parking lot while running with flip flops on. He was instantly in tears as a huge goose egg formed on his damaged knee. Donna comforted Lewis like only a mother can do. He was certain that both his walking days and pedaling days were over. I guess that meant we would have to camp in this parking lot until he had recovered. I volunteered to set up the tent at the dollar store but Donna made sure that everyone was thinking along the same lines. The hostel we had hoped to stay at would be far superior to any dollar store parking lot. I mean come on, we’re not talking Walmart here! His wounds were treated and he gingerly got to his feet. Initially it would be a test to see if walking would be possible. Of course I knew it would but he was not so sure. After walking up the first hill (at an extremely leisurely pace) he decided that he would now be ready to try and ride the bike. Of course I knew he would be able to sit on the bike seat but he wasn’t so sure. After sitting on the seat for 15 minutes while I pedaled on (muc h like he has done for about 4000 miles now) he realized that yes he could sit on the bike seat. Just a couple minutes later he came to the realization that he could actually pedal with his good leg! He came to all of these conclusions without any help or pressure from anyone. What a little man. The ride to Rosedale ended up taking a lot more time than we expected but this would be an easy day of only 45 miles. The hostel I mentioned previously is actually another church. We pulled into the Methodist Church just about 5:00. We found the side door to be unlocked so we went in. We found a church lady (Barbara) upstairs who was cleaning windows. She gave us a quick summary of what they had to offer and suggested we sleep in the Sanctuary as more thunderstorms are forecast for tonight.

Donna and I have been very busy since then. The first task to be taken care of was to get the tent and tarps dried out as well as the sleeping bags. Then the dirty and wet clothes that we are hauling around needed to be washed and hung out. Then it was time to prepare a snack that would serve as our dinner. Now we are taking care of our personal needs. Donna has already cleaned up and it’s my turn shortly. Lewis is outside running and jumping just like he never broke his knee just a couple hours ago. The Boy Scout group from the church had a meeting here tonight and one of the scouts brought his little brother along. He’s been playing non-stop for the last 2 hours. Good thing we don’t count on him to help out. Tomorrow and the next day are likewise going to be spent in the sanctity of other churches. We are liking Virginia for the generosity of their churches. It almost makes up for the Appalachians!

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