TRIP 2006

Update #31 - November 10th
Seminole, Texas
8,913 miles ( 14,260 KM) since March 27th,
9,404 miles ( 15,046 KM) since Jan 01st

The trip across Texas is almost over. This is my last night in Texas. Tomorrow, I've got a 30 mile ride to Hobbs, New Mexico. When I cross into New Mexico, I'll be passing into the Mountain Time Zone again.

I've been quite fortunate in not having all of the flat tires I normally get while crossing through Texas. This is because I changed my route. Usually between San Antonio and El Paso, I ride along the interstate, which is legal. This year since I was just south of the Dallas area I changed my route so that I would cross in a more NW direction towards Hobbs, New Mexico. The last time I was in the Hobbs, New Mexico area was over thirty years ago during my very first trip across the country in 1986.

Over all my reception here in Texas has been okay. I made some good friends with pastors along the way. Most of the nights, I've been hosted by either the First Baptist or United Methodist Churches. Last Wednesday was one of those nights. I had traveled around 80 miles between Colorado City and Ackerly. I got into Ackerly way after dusk. It was fortunate for me that I was able to locate the First Baptist Church. They were having a potluck and a business meeting instead of a prayer service. Rev. McMorris was really friendly. Rev. McMorris gave me the chance to give my testimony and talk about my ministry before the business meeting. This was the 47th church I was able to speak at during this year's mission trip. Towards the end of the business meeting, one of the gentlemen present suggested that a love offering be taken up for me. I was surprised that it came to almost $220. Afterwards, I got permission to stay in the church for the night.

My reception here in Seminole was just the opposite. I had ridden almost 45 miles from Lamesa. I got into Seminole around 2 p.m. I stopped at the First Baptist Church to see if I could connect with the minister. There wasn't anybody at the United Methodist Church. The secretary at the First Baptist Church seemed to be friendly. When I told her who I was and what I was doing, she told me that the pastor was in meetings. I was hoping that maybe I could wait to talk to the pastor but she told me that the church policy was to have me go to the police station and see if I could get connected with the ministerial alliance.

I wasn't really looking forward to go to the police station. This means that I would have to turn in my identification card, have them do a background check on me to make sure that I don't have a criminal record, and then I would sit around and wait to see if somebody with the ministerial association could be contacted, and then they would make a decision on whether they would help me out or not. Going through this is always demeaning. It makes me feel like I am a criminal or a transient.

All I was looking for is maybe permission to camp out in a church classroom for the night. Because of having the extra money because of the love offering, I opted to go ahead and get a motel room for the night. I was hoping to maybe keep hold of the money if I had any emergencies to deal with in New Mexico and Arizona. There are no towns between Seminole, Texas and Hobbs, New Mexico and it was already too late for me to make any attempt to get to Hobbs before dark.

Since I already knew where the police station was (I went passed it on my way into town), I didn't wait for the secretary to give me directions. I guess my quickness in leaving the church office caused some concern with the secretary since she must have called the police. When I didn't show up at the police station, they must have put a bulletin out on me. As I was checking into one of the town's motels, not one but five police officers came into the motel office to check me out. I had to turn in my identification card for their background check anyway. This was so demeaning when this happened in front of the motel managers.

Hopefully, I will have a better reception with any ministers that I meet in New Mexico. I estimate that I've got less than a thousand miles to ride to San Diego, California.

I'll try and post and update as often as I can if my plans change. The next update should be posted between November 17th and November 24th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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