TRIP 2013

Update #25 - October 02
Paris, Texas
Mission Trip 34: 8,166.89 miles (13,067.02 KM)
9,516.62 miles (15,226.59 KM) - Year Total

I wasn't able to make any connections with the disaster relief center in Norman. Currently, I'm on the way to check out the
Cary Christian Center in Cary, Mississippi. They have a volunteer center. I'm about a week away from the center. To get there, I'll be crossing the Mississippi River for the sixth time this year.

September 25 : Moore, OK to Purcell, OK - 40.12 miles (64.19 KM)

I had an okay night. I spent quite a bit of time on the internet trying to find more information if there were still agencies or ministries working in the disaster area. The Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Oklahoma City wasn't doing anything special. This was also the case for the affiliate in Norman. The Fuller Center in Oklahoma City wasn't doing anything either. I found several Rebuild Moore websites but the information was several months old. From what Rev Brusche told me, he thought that the only church that was doing something was the Church Of The Harvest. The information on their website hadn't been updated in about four months. They were supposed to have set up one of their campuses in Norman as a disaster relief center. I tried the phone number but all I got was a recording. I thought that I would try and go there tomorrow morning.

I left the motel around 8:30 AM. I rode through the disaster area. Most of the area that I saw was subdivisions. Along the way, I stopped at several department stores to see if I could find another tent. I found one in the $30 at Walmart. I had one of those tents before I got the REI tent. The REI tent had served it's purpose but it was time to let it go. I fastened the tent on the back of Alice.

I wasn't able to check the possible disaster relief center at the church in Norman. The road including the overpass over the interstate was under construction. The nearest overpass to the South was three miles away. I backtracked the way that I had ridden yesterday. I stopped for some lunch in Norman.

I got on US 77 heading south. A couple of miles down the road I had to change innertubes in the front wheel. I got into Purcell around 4 PM. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. Instead of letting me stay in the church for the night, there was also an offer to get me a room at a motel in the Southern edge of town. Since there was a restaurant at the motel, there was an offer to get me a meal there for tonight.

September 26 : Purcell, OK to Pauls Valley, OK - 23.87 miles (38.19 KM)

I had a somewhat of an off night. There was a spot on my lower lip that hurt throughout the night. It was sun blistered. I didn't get as much sleep as I had hoped to get. After supper at the motel restaurant, I walked over to the nearby Walmart to get a few things. I bought a thicker thornproof innertube that was supposed to have some flat sealant inside. I'm getting kind of tired of fixing the tire because of pinhole leaks from glass shards.

I left the motel around 8:30 AM. The ride South on US 77 was kind of slow because there was a slight headwind. I decided to try and make it an early day when I got to Pauls Valley. The last time that I had a day less than 30 miles was Sunday Sept 15th.

I got into Pauls Valley around 11:45 AM. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. The pastor had gone out for lunch and wouldn't return till around 1:30 PM. I went to the Sonic drive-in next door for some lunch. I went back to the church to wait. I found a spot in some shade. The secretary showed up around 1:15 PM. She called the pastor to see when he was going to come back to the church. Through the phone call, I found out that the pastor didn't want to help me. I rode around town to the other churches to see if there was somebody around. The Presbyterian minister was on vacation. There was nobody at the Methodist church. There was another Baptist church but the minister was away.

Even though it was around 1:40 PM, I decided to head out. I stopped at a motel on the Southern edge of town to get a room. I had to take a second floor room because this was where the non-smoking rooms were.

September 27 : Pauls Valley, OK to Ardmore, OK - 49.16 miles (78.16 KM)

I had a somewhat of an okay night. I left the motel around 7:40 AM. The first obstacle was getting up a hill. Halfway up the hill, I came across a cooler bag that somebody was using as a lunch box. If the bag was better shape outside, I would have kept it. I found a treasure trove of snacks (chips and cookies) inside.

The morning ride went really well even thouggh there was a headwind. I got into Davis around 11:40 AM. I got 23 miles (37 km) in. Right after Davis, I started the ride through the Arbuckle Mountains. The climb to the top of the plateau was okay even though I rode three quarters to the top. The rest of the way to Ardmore went okay.

I got into downtown Ardmore around 3:45 PM. I started to check out the churches. There wasn't anybody at the First Baptist and First Methodist Churches. I didn't find the police station. There were a couple of shelters (Salvation Army). I decided to check out some of the other churches. I found some cars at the St Phillips Epsiscopal Church. The office wasn't really supposed to be open on Fridays but they were expecting a visit from their bishop. The rector was sorry that he was going to have a full house of high school students. Because of this, he had his secretary cut a check from the discretionary fund so that I could get a room at a motel near I-35. Before I left, the rector pulled out his wallet and gave me the cash that was in it.

September 28 : Ardmore, OK to Madill, OK - 29.87 miles (78.16 KM)

I had an okay night. I left the motel around 7:40 AM. The sky was overcast. It looked like it was going to rain in the area. The storms were heading in a Northwesterly direction. I rode back into town and headed South on US 77 before turning East on US 70. The ride to Madill went okay. There were a couple brief bursts of rain.

I got about 24 miles in by noontime. I arrived in downtown Madill around 1 PM. The sky got really dark and it opened up. I stopped at a thrift store and was able to buy a lightweight jacket for $3. I stopped at a McD for lunch. There was a good chance for more rain so I decided to stop at a motel that I had passed coming into town.

September 29 : Madill, OK to Madill, OK - 01.86 miles (02.98 KM)

I had an okay night. I left the motel around 8:40 AM. I rode to the First Baptist Church. They had a 9 AM service. The sanctuary was contemporary and it was stage-showish. The drummer was a young boy. They had communion. Instead of doing the regular way, they used pre-packaged juice and wafers. The packaging was really hard to open. It was so hard that the pastor and the deacons a hard time.

The minister has only been there two months. The pastor was a bit hesistant when I asked if there was anyplace where I could spend the rest of the day. He told me that the church had a couple of apartments but he wasn't sure what the condition of them were. There was one apartment open that had bare concrete floors and a couch. The problem was that there was problems with the plumbing. I didn't want to risk it.

It was around 10:50 AM when I left the church. I rode around the downtown area and found the First United Methodist Church. The service had actually started around 10 AM so I got there during the last couple minutes of the sermon. I saw the pastor burn up a dollar bill. Afterwards, the pastor was really friendly towards me. He told me that they had an arrangement with the motel that I stayed at last night. He wrote out a voucher for the room. Before I left the church, the pastor took me to the church's small food pantry and made me a bag to take along.

September 30 : Madill, OK to Whitesboro, TX - 37.71 miles (60.34 KM)

I had an okay night. I left the motel around 7:50 AM. The ride South to the state line went okay. There was some rough roads. I got into Texas around 11:00 AM. The roads were a lot better in Texas. By noon, I had ridden 28 miles (45 km) . I stopped at a gas station about 8 miles (13 km) out of Whitesboro for some lunch.

I got into Whitesboro around 2 PM. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. An offer to get me a room at the Victorian Inn North of town was made through the Ministerial Association.

October 01 : Whitesboro, TX to Bonham, TX - 53.85 miles (86.18 KM)

I had an okay night. I left the motel around 7:50 AM. The ride East to Sherman went okay. I got on US 82 which was a divided 4 lane highway. I rode into the downtown area of Sherman. I had a hard time finding TX 56 going East to Bonham. I had to ask a police officer for directions. The ride East went okay even though there were some places where the shoulder was slipping away from the main section of the highway. It looks like the roadway surface wasn't done correctly. I still got 28 miles (45 km) in by noon time.

I got into downtown Bonham around 3 PM. I had a hard time connecting with a minister. The Presbyterian minister who was in his office didn't want to talk with me. He had his secretary pass me off to the First Baptist Church. They were between ministers at the First Baptist Church. The secretary gave me directions to the First United Methodist Church. The office had closed at 3 PM and I got to the church at around 4 PM. There was some people at the Family Life Center but they didn't want to give me either the pastor's name or phone number. There were a couple more churches that I checked but there was nobody around them. The office of the First Christian church had closed at noon.

I went over to the police station to see if somebody knew of a local minister. The lady at the counter gave me a list of the church phone numbers with secondary contact numbers. One of the numbers was for the parsonage of the Methodist Church. I talked to the lady minister but she said that she couldn't help me. I was given a contact number for the First Christian Church. The number was for the janitor. He gave me the cell phone number for the pastor. Rev Rick Edwards told me that he would meet me at his church. He offered me the use of the church nursery because it had it's own bathroom. He told me that he would go home and make me a couple of sandwiches and bring them to me but instead he went out to the KFC and got me a chicken dinner with two sides. He also slipped me $5. There was a group of ladies meeting at the church and they gave him a bag of snacks for me and also $8.

I'm going to be riding to Paris, TX tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll be able to connect with a church there because of their mid-week services.

October 02 : Bonham, TX to Paris, TX - 45.87 miles (73.39 KM)

I had an okay night at the church. I left the motel around 7:30 AM. The ride East to Honey Grove went okay but the shoulder was really rough in places. About a mile out of Honey Grove, three cyclists stopped me. They were on tour fro Savannah, GA going West to San Diego, CA. They were older people and they were riding bare bikes. They had another person providing sag support. I stopped for a break at a gas station in Honey Grove.

Once passed Honey Grove, the road got a lot better. TX 56 connected with US 82 about seven miles (11 km) East of Honey Grove. I got about 30 miles (48 km) in by noon time.

I got into downtown Paris around 1:45 PM. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. I talked with one of the pastors. He was heading out but he told me that if I couldn't connect with another minister by 3:30 PM I should come back and he would try and help me. I checked out the other churches in the downtown area. The rector at the Episcopal Church didn't have time to talk with me because he was getting ready for a meeting with some of the church members. I checked out the Presbyterian Church but there was nobody around. I rode over to the First United Methodist Church. I talked with the youth director. She told me that the pastor was brand new and he was in meetings the rest of the afternoon. She suggested that I contact Calvary Methodist Church on the Eastern edge of the city. I was able to use one of the church phones. I talked with Rev Dean. He was pretty friendly. He told me to come over and he would see what he could do for me.

It was about a fifteen minute ride to the church. The pastor was pretty friendly. He offered to get me a room at a motel that I had passed. There was going to be a family meal at 5 PM and he would pay for my meal. I stayed in the youth pastor's room until the meal. After the meal, the pastor introduced me and I got to say a few words.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between October 09th and October 16th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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