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TRIP 2002

Update #20 - April 15th
Parkman, Ohio - 3,853 miles (6165 KM)



Riding between Mt. Gilead and Parkman went okay. The hardest part was finding a bicycle friendly route through Akron. It was really tricky. Generally, I had for the most part good shoulders to ride along.

The weather was good. Temperature wise it was probably the warmest in weeks. Average temperature was in the sixties. I was actually able to get out of my rainsuit.

For six nights, I stayed with friends in Mt. Gilead. I didn't do much but rest. I was able to get caught up with some minor bicycle maintenance. I also spent a night with some close friends in Copley. They have a young daughter who I am sort of like an uncle to her. I haven't seen her in two years. I was really amazed at how tall she looks. She is almost four years old but she looks like she is around six years old. My friend Stephen looked sort of funny to me because he got contacts.

In West Salem, I stayed at the First Methodist Church. I was happy to see all of the ministries there which included a food pantry, G.E.D. program, and a literacy program. For the past four nights including tonight, I've been staying at the Congregational Church in Parkman in the Youth Room. I stopped here Friday night to see if I could find shelter from some bad thunderstorms that were coming into the area and I've been waiting for the last three days for the weather to change. It rained almost all day Saturday and Sunday. This evening, the county that I'm in was under a tornado warning. We got some pea and marble size hail out of the storm and some rain. The major part of the storm tracked north of where I am.

I haven't been twiddling my fingers here. This weekend was pretty busy at the church. Saturday night, there was a musical benefit to raise money to support a teenage boy in Africa through Compassion International. The acts were really great from dance, singing groups, The Minute Waltz on piano, electric violin, and a group of Scottish Highlanders with bagpipe and drum. There was also a strange hillbilly character (the church pastor in costume) from West Virginia who played banjo and harmonica. Sunday afternoon, there was an open house at the church to dedicate the new portion of the church and the new sanctuary. There was an a great dedication.

Along with the above activities at the church, I was a service to the church by designing a website. The pastor had wanted a site for the last four years but they could not afford it. I got it up and running in time for the dedication ceremony. I probably spent around twenty-eight hours on it. I had to make the website simple enough so that there church staff could update it. The site is still around fourty pages. I also launched it by submitting it to around one hundred search engines (both Christian and secular). This was the third website that I set up for a ministry other than my own since 1999.

The weather should be fine for me to head out tomorrow morning. I will be riding north through Amish country in Northeast to Ashtabula and then head east along the shore of Lake Erie through Pennsylvania to Buffalo, New York. From Buffalo, I will be riding to Niagara Falls and then along the lake shore to the St. Lawrence Seaway to Plattsburg, NY and then to Burlington, Vermont. From Burlington, I will be making my way across Northern Vermont and New Hampshire, and then across Central Maine to Belfast which is on the Atlantic Ocean. I hope to be in Belfast in three or four weeks.




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