TRIP 2006

Update #15 - June 11th
Colorado Springs, Colorado
2889 miles ( 4623 KM) since March 27th,
3381 miles ( 5409 KM) since Jan 01st

I can't believe that the trip west for me is finally over. I got into Colorado Springs late Friday (June 09) afternoon. I was really bushed when I got to my friend's house since I had traveled around 48 miles (26 of those miles were along dirt and stone roads) and had gained almost 2000 feet in elevation. I'm around 6500 feet above sea level right now and I'm not exerting myself to avoid getting altitude sickness.

Just west of me is the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. I won't be crossing the Rockies this year. The last time was back in 2003 when I came through here in mid-July (July 11). I was traveling eastward from the Pacific Northwest.

There's an interesting story on how I first met my friend, Vic, who I'm staying with.

We first met thirteen years ago. I was just starting out on my mission trip across the country not really knowing where I was I really going or needed to be doing. I had just been out for about a week from Santa Monica, California (I had left the Santa Monica Pier and the Pacific Ocean around noon-time on March 27th, 1993,) and I was heading towards the Grand Canyon and then on to the East Coast.

About an hour before we met on April 1st, 1993, I had been riding along the shoulder of the I-15 between Barstow and Ludlow, California heading East. I had noticed a military convoy heading East on what could have been an old road about a quarter of a mile south of the interstate. After riding maybe two or three miles down the interstate from the last interchange, a state trooper stopped me and told me that I couldn't be on the interstate since there was a frontage road. He had me walk back to the interchange that I had passed to get on the frontage road.

The frontage road was in pretty bad shape with a lot of potholes. I was getting concerned that I might have to camp out in the desert some place. Heading East on the frontage road, I was surprised at finding a lot of remains of military food packets (MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat)). These were probably from the military convoy that I had seen several hours ago. I stopped to pick up everything that I could find like packets of jelly or peanut butter, flat bread, etc. because I wanted to supplement my food supply.

About five miles down the road from the interchange, I met up with a soldier guarding a humvee and trailer. It was late in the afternoon. The trailer had a flat tire and the soldier was waiting for somebody to come with a new tire. We talked for about fifteen minutes and I joked with him about finding all the thrown away parts of the MRE's. The soldier (Vic, I don't think that I caught his name at the time) asked me if I had ever seen a whole MRE packet before. I told him no.

Vic opened one of the humvee doors and pulled out four MRE packets. He told me that he had a case of them and that he wanted to give the ones that he had in his hands to me. He also gave me three water activated heaters. The soldier (Vic) gave me some large bottles of water. After fastening the MRE packets and the water onto the bike, we talked for maybe five more minutes before I headed off.

About five miles down the road, I stopped to pitch camp amongst some Joshua Tree cactus. It was something else to have a hot meal in the middle of the desert. This was the first hot meal that I had in about a week. I had always wanted to write a letter or send a card to really thank the soldier but I didn't have his name or address.

Our second meeting happened on July 12 of 2003. I was on my last real trip from coast to coast. The friends that I was going to stay with here in Colorado Springs were out of town so I had found some more lodging through a program that I'm involved with called "Warm Showers". Warm Showers is an international association of cyclists who offer to host other cyclists who are traveling through their area. I got connected with the Galvins who are next door neighbors to Vic.

The morning of July 12th, Vic came over to visit with the Galvins. Mrs. Galvin introduced me to Vic and started to tell Vic who I was and what I was doing. Vic started to tell us that he had a chance encounter with another cyclist when he was in the California desert on maneuvers back in 1993. It really surprised Vic when I told him that I was the cyclist and I shared with him details of our meeting and about the MRE's he gave me and the water and how he had a flat tire.

We've kept in contact via email and phone the past three years. I was trying to get here to see him again last year but the Spring weather last year forced me to change my plans. Vic has been really helpful to me. He has come to my rescue several times when he has offered to pay for some much needed bicycle repairs. The last time was just a few weeks ago when I needed to get a new rear wheel after the rim had cracked in McPherson, Kansas. Vic has gone way-above what was called for in keeping my ministry going.

I know that I said in my last update I was going to tell what had happened across Kansas but I thought that this was more special. The only thing of note that had happened in Kansas was having some money stolen from me while I was staying at a so-called Christian shelter in Garden City, Kansas on June 04th. The recumbent and all of my gear had been stored in the front room out in open. The men's bedroom was down in the basement. There was no room downstairs for all of my gear.

At the shelter, there was another guy who was one of the grandsons of the lady who was running the shelter. The grandson was in his early 20'. He was still there when we had to go to the bedrooms around 10 p.m. I had hidden in one of the pannier (bike bag)pockets some extra money ($40, that I was keeping for another emergency. This was some of the money that I had received in McPherson, Kansas). I had checked on it that morning before leaving Dodge City, KS. I didn't think about it when I was at the shelter because I thought that it would be safe. I was the first one upstairs the next morning. When I got to the place where I was going to stay at in Syracuse, Kansas about 53 miles away, I noticed that things were out of place in my pannier pockets. It didn't take long to find the money missing.

There was no way that the money could have fallen out between Dodge City and Syracuse. Someone had to physically go into the pocket to get it. There was really no way for me to prove that the lady's grandson had actually done it but he was he only person that could have done it. This was the third time that I had been robbed at a shelter. Financially, this was a big blow to me but it will work out in the end as it always does.

I'll be with Vic till the 14th. I was hoping to take the 15th off also since this is my 50th birthday. It's hard to believe that I'll be a half century old. A lot of people who I meet tell me that I'm in my mid to late-30s.

From Colorado Springs, I'll be riding to Denver to visit with some friends there. At Denver, I'll be starting my trip back across the country to Rochester, New York and Darien, Connecticut. I've got some planned stops in Nebraska and Iowa.

I'll try and post and update as often as I can if my plans change. The next update should be posted between June 18th and 25th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



All Written Material unless specified is by Rev. Johannes Myors
No part may be reproduced without prior permission by Rev. Myors.
(Main Graphics, Logos, Photos, and Text restricted use)

Copyright: 1998 to present