May 26, 2011 - Day 11
Written By Viking
Our day began in Georgia and is ending in Mississippi. In between was a great experience. However, there is something that is heavy on my mind that I will write about first. As we pulled off the road to get our picture with the Mississippi state sign this evening, Wilberforce began emitting another unfamiliar and discomforting whine. We made is another 30 miles or so to Corinth, where one of the first buildings we saw was a magnanimous Honda dealer. So, we will be going there first thing in the morning to receive a diagnostic evaluation. I have some speculations as to the problem, but I will not reveal my mechanical ignorance just yet.
I've owned Wilberforce a week short of a year now, and it pains me to see her struggling like she has been the past few days. Brady and I have been seeing what God can do with these scooters, and we don't want some mechanical problems to hinder that. But check it out, God is good. All the time.
We were extremely grateful to have been spared from the thunderstorms that rolled through Tennessee and Georgia (and Most of America) last night. We headed to a coffee shop this morning to do some reading, writing, and make a plan of attack for the further storms we saw rolling our way. Just after 8am we decided that we should make a break for Huntsville, Alabama, which was maybe a 3 hour ride away. We didn't want to be trapped by storms for a whole day, and we saw a window in the fronts. The ride was beautiful. We saw some great views and rode some fun roads. Any time that the song 'Dueling Banjos' (youtube it) pops into my head because of a road, it's a good road. We stopped for fuel just east of Huntsville, and after looking at the looming black clouds and examining the radar, we donned full rain gear. What's left of it, anyway. There's only so much that duct tape can fix. The rain gear was a good idea, as we were met with our hardest rain of the trip. The thunderstorm only lasted 10 minutes or so, but it was enough to get us pretty well saturated.
As we made our way through Huntsville it was discovered that I had popped my tire a while back and was losing air. This was the spare tire that was put on less than 24 hours earlier. So, we plugged it, were blessed with free air at an oil change, and continued on, pressing west to avoid further rain. We decided to find lunch in Athens, AL. This would turn out to be one of the better decisions of the trip. (the tire is leaking air, though, so it will need to be addressed soon..)
I've been noticing that this style of travel does not allow for much prior planning. As a result, many, many decisions must be made on the fly. When to get up, when to leave for the day, what route to take, how long to ride, when to stop to explore an abandoned house, when to get gas, where to eat, and the most stressful of all, where to sleep. We really don't want to be arrested for sleeping somewhere we shouldn't, but we also don't want to pay to sleep. Well anyway, we've been praying that God would very clearly direct our paths.
We saw nothing on the main road of Athens, but downtowns have been good to us, so we headed there. We saw some nice looking eateries. I pointed out a deli to Brady, but decided to turn the other direction. We parked, but both agreed that the deli looked and sounded better. We parked out front and were ripping off our rain suits (quite literally, as Brady ripped his coat in half. Again.) when a lady walked out and asked if we were eating there. We were a little befuddled, but expressed our desire to enjoy a bite to eat. The lady said, "Good. It's on the house." We hadn't even been inside yet!!
If you ever are within a days drive of Athens, Alabama, you should make a detour to the Wildwood Deli in downtown Athens. Here, check them out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/theWildwoodDeli
Or, you can look at their website at http://www.wildwooddeli.com/
Their food is wonderful, but their staff is amazing. We also had some wonderful conversations with the other customers, and an all around fantastic experience. I would go on, but it's getting late. Which reminds me, we passed into the Central Time Zone today. Whee. Athens was great, Brady and I were blessed beyond words, and we even prayed together in the deli! How great is that?! God is good.
Today was really a fun day of riding. It didn't seem long, but we covered several hundred miles. There was one moment that nearly gave us both a heart attack. We keep a close eye on the traffic behind us, and at this moment we were on a downhill stretch, and two semis were bearing down on us, probably one-hundred yards behind or so. Well all of a sudden Brady and I heard a horn go off that sounded like it was 2 inches from our ears. Talking afterward, we both thought some semi was screaming down on us and not stopping. After our hearts stopped beating, we saw a train flying past us through some trees, and connected the train whistle with the noise. Just a small example of being the bottom of the food chain on America's roadways.
Aside from that, there was lots of singing southern songs, 'racing' up and down hills, and spitting water from our camel baks at each other. No moms, no other cars were around at the time. Today was also an unprecedented day for waving. We waved wildly at anyone who would even remotely look our way, and some even waved first! We also passed our fourth car for the trip, a tractor. We're keeping track.
Time to wrap up. We ate at a Sonic this evening. I'm pretty anti-fast-food, but we decided a Sonic needed to be experienced on this trip. In-N-Out will be the other fast food concession of the trip.
We were looking for a place to hide.. er.. camp near the Honda dealer, and we found a church with a huge lawn. Long story short, we were unable to get a hold of a pastor or anyone to clear us to sleep on the lawn, but someone at the church had some family that has graciously blessed us with a pool house to sleep in.
I don't want to make this sound all humdrum and regular for you. This is HUGE! This is the fifth night in a row that we have been given a place to sleep! I figured on 3 or four times for the trip, but this has been an incredible blessing. I've really only shared a few of the more poignant blessings with you, and that is just from one day.
We hope that you are excited to see how God is providing for Brady and I on our trip. We hope that you are encouraged to read about these things and that your faith is strengthened by our testimony to his faithfulness. Ours certainly is. We pray that it will prompt others to be emboldened to take courageous and faithful steps, trusting God for our daily bread.
If you are interested, an article was recently published in the New York Times about a raid on a brothel in India by IJM, the organization Brady and I visited earlier in our trip.
This isn't meant to be an afterthought.. this is the best news of the entire blog. Praise the Lord.
I will not boast in anything; no gifts, no power, no wisdom. But I will boast in Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection.