Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pictures are worth thousands of words

I will let the pictures do most of the talking...


Phil(Chesney), Tom, and Paul chowing down on some dinner. This is right outside the church we pitched a tent love this dude! We stayed at the Chesney's house and they went above and beyond to show us hospitality. Awesome family and I wish we could have gotten to spend more time with them at their place!

Cracker Barrel! We love food.

Jeffry, Phil, and the Bros. Jeffry was able to join us for 3 days and showed phenomenal attitude and effort and made a great addition to the dynamics of the group. He faired pretty well considering he is a Carolina Gamecock.

Climb to the top of he Smokeys and made it into North Carolina!
I am going back to the Smokies one day, that area is just too beautiful to spend just a day there.

What Jeffry missed...

Paul's 'Blue Steel' pose, haha. We found this waterfall defending down Pisgah National forest in NC.

SOUTH CAROLINA!!!!!!!!!!!!!
mmmmmmmm...home sweet home

This was our welcome back to SC. Cool temperatures, downhill, and lots of fog. We have seen so many different types of landscapes but this decent was unlike anything we have ever seen/felt. I think it was a combination the area around Caesars Head and the fog. The fog got so thick in areas that we couldn't see more than 20 feet in front of us.


Ok, so currently we are in Travelers Rest, SC(10ish miles from our home in Greenville!). Our original goal of finishing by the 1st won't be happening, but our new goal is to be finished up with this grand journey by the 4th. We have about 230ish miles or so until the end. This is so surreal.

We got to see the family today too! I can't wait until we can sit down with them for an extended  period of time and really catch up. Seeing Mom, Dad, and Lauren was so so good.

So close. We can feel it.
God has brought us so far, and has sustained us through the thick and thin of this trip. He will continue to sustain us for the days to come and forever more. Thank you Jesus for giving us true life through your sacrifice.

To Him be the Glory,


Monday, July 29, 2013

Then the three became five

As Tommy posted the trio is no more.  We are now not four but five.  It's awesome to see how adding Phil and Jeffrey has really changed the dynamic of our group.  When there were three we would get in spurts of conversations often talking about a verse that we read or playing some verbal game with each other.  And then we would often have times of silence each of us lost in our own world of thoughts and each focused on pounding the mileage.  With the addition of two more tourists we have a slower pace, but have been doing a whole lot more talking.  It's been really enjoyable!

So Sunday, after crashing in the furthest corner of a church, I woke up about 6 to a truck about 15 feet from my tent.  Assuming (correctly) that it was the pastor I knew that we had been found.  Thankfully though the pastor was awesome and assured us that we (David, Tom, Phil, and myself) could come back and camp at his church whenever we were in the area.  YES!  Needless to say we ended up going to their church service.  It kind of reminded me of New Spring in Greenville.  After the service Tom mentioned that he was still hungry from our breakfast.  Literally five seconds after he said that a gentleman, whose name I sadly cannot remember, came up to us and offered to take us out to Cracker Barrel.  Uh HECK YES!  It was glorious.
We ate food

After Cracker Barrel we biked about 8 miles and met up with Jeffrey.  From there we charged ahead and ate second lunch at our all time favorite restaurant.   Subway!  The subway lady was awesome.  She did not like my tuna "Stinky" foot long sub though.  Ha ha

After subway we biked towards a little town called Cookeville.  The bike ride itself was gorgeous.  We are definitely getting close to the Smokies/Appalachian. The hills are getting more hilly, and the views are getting more and more scenic.

Also that reminds me each state has had it's own unique features or things that have stood out to me.  Tennessee for whatever reason I've noticed the freshly cut grass.  I don't know why but I've noticed a pretty big increase in nicely cut lawns.
End tangent.

Anyways, we made it to Cookeville without any mishap.  We found a little park and pitched a tent near the baseball fields.  The next morning we woke up with our tents SOAKED in dew.  We got super dewed on by nature.  In spite of the dew though we got everything ready about ten minutes earlier than i thought we would 8:20.  And then headed on the road with a goal of 90 miles for the day.  The hills for the most part continued to roll and we continued to do the mileage.  It's crazy to think about it but if our map skills are up to par we have less than 500 miles to our final destination CHARLESTON,SC.  WOOHOOO!    We are so close to our final goal, and we all really appreciate your prayers and continual support.  There is so much more I have to say about today (especially about the fact that we are sleeping in a real house and ate a real dinner tonight but both a bowl of ice cream and a pillow are calling my name so for now I'm signing off.
~Paulie G

Victory pose

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The trio is done

Hello everybody!

Well I'm gonna go ahead and warn you, this might be a short one.

Today was a normal day. We woke up, ate breakfast, started biking, and really just kept biking till lunch. We didnt stop too often, just snack,water, and bathroom breaks every so often. We didnt talk too much because there was no shoulder on the road, so it wasn't safe to ride side by side and have a conversation, and it was too busy for us to talk while single file. Anyways, we stopped for lunch in cross plains Tennessee. Yup, for those of you who caught it, Tennessee! We crossed into another state! And a new record to go with it, we were in Kentucky for less than 24 hours, shortest time for traversing a state. (Never mind the fact we crossed through one of the thinnest parts of the state in the most direct way possible, that doesn't matter) 

Anyways, so we stopped for lunch, and kept going toward Gallatin. That was our meeting spot for Phil! Phil Chesney is going to be biking with us for the next 3 days or so to Knoxville! That will be refreshing, it's always fun to have a new personality to hang around for a while. So we got to Gallatin, and picked up groceries and waited for our friend!

Once he arrived, we biked for another 2 miles is to a church where we are spending the night behind the building. Tomorrow, we are gonna wake up, bike a few miles till church, and meet up with one of my friends from high school, Jeffery Giraldo, who is going to bike all the way home with us! So we will go from three to five within a day! But we are excited for the change of pace, the bros are awesome and fun, and so are new people!

Other than that, nothing exciting happened today. We got chased by a few more dogs, saw more beautiful scenery, rolling hills, plantation homes on hill tops, cows, corn. You know, all the fun stuff. And that was about it, oh! except for at lunch, right as we were about to leave, what felt like the whole town came in to the BBQ place we were at and started asking questions and wondering about our bikes and such. So we have the whole story about 10 times and got to tell people about our dad and the foundation and the work they do and how awesome the trip has been, so that was a lot of fun. And it was cool to see how amazed the people were that we met.

Which reminds me of one more story, (i promise, today wasn't a super exciting day, just a normal one, but there are always fun parts to everyday and here are the stories) anyways while we were waiting for Phil, a cashier from the save a lot, started asking  us questions about the bikes and stuff and was sooo skeptical that we were telling the truth. She just would not believe us, and when Phil rolled up, she started questioning him too, I can't really explain it well, but it was real fun to listen to her disbelief of our story.

And now pictures!

Paul and I at the border

Some scenery

And the cashier grilling Phil and David. You can't see their faces too well, but it's the best I could do. The cashier is on the left, Phil in the middle, and Dave on the right. Ahe just would not believe our story.

And that's all folks! Till next time, peace!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Tugboatin Along

Y'all, we are so close. We are currently in Hopkinsville, KY! So crazy. We have almost traveled across the country on bicycles. That is pretty surreal to me.

We haven't been able to fully process all that has happened so far. How far we have come, our experiences, where we have grown, etc. I don't think we will until a good bit after the trip. As we now have less than two weeks left in the trip some of our conversation has been about life after the trip. But we will save that for another post because we still have more days left on the journey!

Well yesterday we didn't do a lot of talking in the morning. we didnt get good rest and when this happens we just get the miles in until lunchtime. After we eat lunch we take a gooood nap. So we did this, but this time when Tom woke up he was real cold, had a slight fever and headache. We had already gotten 50 miles in and we didn't really want to mess with it so we got a motel to rest up for the rest of the day. The lack of sleep and constant physical exercise finally caught up to us. 

We saw a huge change today in our mood and energy getting just short of 100 miles in. We talked too! Haha, yeah it went a lot better today for sure. 

We crossed from Illinois into Kentucky via Tugboat over the Ohio river
, got chased by speedy rabid dogs(maybe not rabid but definitely speedy), and Tom is feeling loads better...
Haha I promise he is.

Coming up we have a few more friends joining us. Tomorrow my good friend from college will join us and make it through Tennessee. Can't wait! And then Sunday we will have A guy from Toms high school I have never met named Jeffery join us for the remainder of the journey. Looking forward to the new company!

Loving this trip.
Joy and peace,

P.S. for all you Brian Regan fans out there we ran into this and had to share...
"Shouldn't that read 'Road Closed'" 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I have a feeling we aren't in Kansas anymore Todo

So I realized the other day that when I blogged about leaving Kansas I never typed in the Wizard of Oz quote.  Better late than never.  In addition to not being in Kansas anymore we are also out of Missouri.  After the Arch we ended up in Belleville, over 100 miles from where we started that morning.  I would consider that a successful day!  The next morning was a slightly different story.  We didn't actually get going until after 1:30.  Oops!  But I do have a good reason for this.  You see my phone split in half the other day, and I had to get a new one.  Walmart was the closest store so I bike over there and explored in hopes of a new phone.

After an hour of food shopping and phone choosing I got in line.  Unfortunately I happened to get in the slowest line in the store (not even joking I was second in line and it still took 30 minutes). I was able to meet Dave and Tom at Jimmy Johns for lunch.  Even though it may have taken a while I emerged victorious!

New phone awe yea!

 By the time we left lunch it was about 1:30.  We had hoped to get at least 80 miles in yesterday, but we had never left so late. Lo and behold we made it completing about 85 miles.  What!

I have no idea how this kind of thing happens.  Had we started at 8:30, our usual time, we may have been able to make 15 more miles.  It always just seems to work out that way.

After biking all afternoon we ended up in Murphysboro.  There was supposed to be a campsite there, however, when we got to the spot it was closed down.  So since we couldn't find an actual campground we made up our own;)
Here's a picture from the outside.
And the inside

Stealth camping at its finest.  A little muddy a little damp but perfectly hidden.  

Today we will hopefully get around 90 miles, a Laundromat, and a sweet nap.  I'm really hoping for that last one especially.  
If not that's ok it's all part of the trip.  More later,  until then here's a few pics.

David's laser face

And his double fisting

The card that tells me I'm number one!

And us in the arch

~Paul G

Also stat update:
Number of dog chasings: 2 
Number of persons being chased: 1 (I'll let you guess who ;)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The gateway to the west!

Hello world!

Well, it was a full day, let me tell you!

It started off in the city park of Hermann, nothing too exciting yet. we got some breakfast and headed out on route 100 E, what we perceived to be the shortest and fastest route. While it was the shortest, it was probably not the fastest, we hit lots of big hills. Now none said a grade, but if I had to guess, we were climbing and descending 8-12% grades for about 30 miles, while the downhill is fun, the uphill is grueling! We eventually have up on route 100 and hit the Katy trial. A big bike route that is flat, but gravel and a scenic/longer route which is why we avoided it to begin with. We took the trail for its flatness, and were planning on getting off near I-61 that would connect us with chesterfield airport road. But before we got there, it turns out there is construction going on that blocked the bike trail that crossed the Missouri River.

Hmmm we couldn't cross via the bridge because it was an interstate and we would be squashed, so we spent about 30 minutes trying to find a way across, talking with people, and looking around for other possibilities. We ended up heading for a hotel that might shuttle us across the river, but as we pulled in, a man with a truck stopped us and said we could throw our bikes in and he'd take us across! Can you say God send! Man we didn't even ask him, he just put that out there, he didnt know our frustration or exhaustion, he just offered!

So we made it across to chesterfield airport road, the spot where the next part of the day would begin. This is where we would hop on the mentrobus, which took us to the mentrolink (city train) where we would bike to the gateway arch. Yea. Quite the chain to make it to the landmark.

So we made it to the bus stop, however, we discovered that the busses could only carried 2 bikes. Unlike the 3 we thought it could carry based on the website. So we split for a bit, Dave and Paul got about an hour ahead of me while I waited for the next bus.

To make a long story shorter, we all made it to the arch with minimal disruption. And man! That thing is amazing! Super tall, we couldn't even fit it all in a single picture. We rode up the arch and took pictures and saw everything, it's pretty cool, but in all honesty, it was cooler from the outside than the inside. It is so high! Looking at it was pretty cool. After we did the whole tourist thing, we got back on the metrolink and rode it to where we are currently spending the night, super 8 hotel! Going into the arch, we all said it, we can feel the exhaustion setting in and desire for a bed. It's a certain kinda tired, but we all know when it's time.

So really, that's a simplified version of today, but is was all good. Now it's time for rest. So goodnight, and enjoy your sleep!


The Arch

The view  straight down from inside of the arch

And the view out (that's wriggly stadium, a game was being played)

And us at the base of the arch

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sweating Similarly to Sunny/Soggy Southern Weather

Some Southern characteristics:
-Hearing crickets/cicadas both day and night.
-Constantly sweating...even when you don't deserve it.
-Hearing someone use the word "y'all" in a sentence.

As we traveled through the oddly named state of Missouri, it sure does feel like home in South Carolina as we were greeted by all these characteristics today. Especially sweating, it was so humid here haha.

Just after getting through Jefferson City we connected to part of the Lewis and Clark route today. Pretty cool! It's called the Katy bike trail and its over 150 miles long. We took this route for a little bit which had some light gravel and shade. But eventually caved in and just went on the highway that paralleled the bike trail. haha. It wasn't heavily used at all and we hardly cared about the couple of cars that honked at us. We have been on much worse roads, and it sped up our mileage by a decent amount.

Other than that, nothing extraordinary happened today. We biked over rolling hills, through the city and onto the flat bike trail. Here we have been surrounded by, yep you guessed it...corn! And cows. We like yelling at cows. We now form stampedes of cows through our ridiculous yelling haha. Talent at its finest.

A few more random stats:

Fast food of of the trip: Subway.....We. Nom. On. Some. Subway. 

Quickest bike problem fix: Paul's chain trick....his chain falls off while riding and without getting off the bike he puts the chain back on. Using his shoe.  It's amazing. 

My body is tired and in need of rest. So for now, that is all. I can't thank you guys enough for keeping up with our blog. It's been cool for us to share it with y'all.

Much love,

Charging through the Katy trail!

Back on the map (almost)

We have officially finish with Kansas!  Yay, state number six done and only about a thousand miles to go.  At this point we are about forty miles from Jefferson City and if all goes according to plan we should be hitting up St. Louis by Tuesday.  That means we would cross a full state in less than a week!  

Two days ago we had the great privilege   of bike with THE MARK LASSITEERRR.  The man decided to bike with us, and boy did he bike.  Not only did he bike with a fixed gear (a bike with only one gear and pedals that rotate at the same speed as the the wheel). He dominated some of the only hills in Kansas AND he biked 70 miles.  What a savage! 

After parting ways we made it into the Missouri (woohoo), and began to look for a place to sleep.  A little while later we found a perfect place completely hidden away from the road.
We hid in the woods which was gear, save for the copious amounts of poison ivy that I'm hoping none of us touched. 
This is my haha I'm not itching yet face.

This morning we set off about 7:15ish in hopes of going to church forty miles away.  Unfortunately though I must confess I was slow today and we didn't make a service.  So we biked on.  For lunch we stayed at Cole Camp and ate some superb BBQ at the Red Herring.  

Once we were all satiated from the meal we headed over to a Lutheran church.  The dude there totally welcomed us in, and gave us an air conditioned place to nap and recuperate.   It was awesome!

Now, we are sitting/laying on the back of what I think is a Mennonite church.  

A special thanks to everyone who is praying for us. It really is making a difference on our trip.


Mark pumping us up.  "I can ride my bike with no handlebars"

It's as big as it looks...