Yesterday I suggested that people were learning how to sleep in. Well that went out the window this morning as rustling began at ten to five in the morning. I crawled out of my tent after pretending to sleep for another 80 minutes at 6:10 and had pretty much missed out on breakfast. Probably 100 people had already been through the breakfast line which was supposed to begin at 6:00 am. I guess the early risers have figured out how to get breakfast themselves from the pantry.
I was feeling physically energetic and charged up but mentally blasted flat as a pancake this morning and figured I’d ride by myself for the morning and try and group up at lunch time. I hopped aboard my bike around 7:20 am and rolled out of town. The wind wasn’t really for me or against me, the pavement was acceptable and the grade was ever so slightly downhill, a few hundred feet over the first 40 kilometers. After leaving town I held the pace around 38 to 40 kph for the first hour and rolled up to a local dairy farm who was hosting us for milk and a tour having turned the “fresh legs” into burning ones and turned the “mentally drained” in the other direction. God watches out for us!
The stop at the dairy was followed up by a stop at the Reformed Church of America in Twin Falls Idaho. They had subs, ice cream, more milk and watermelon. We then headed out to check out Shoshone Falls which is a pretty impressive (photos in Week 3 gallery) and then wrapped up the final 50 kilometers of the day. Julie told us that there were 10 or 15 people still ahead of us when we stopped to fill water bottles. That certainly wasn’t the case though as afer we passed 6 people and kept pressing onwards we arrived at camp before anyone else. That was a first for me. It’s been within a couple minutes before but never actually first arrivals. Also with me for the last stretch were Eritia and Marc VanOtternen (Michigan).
Wednesday nights around camp are highlighted by a vespers service put on by Hans Doef. They’re quickly becoming a highlight of the week, a few songs,a bit of scripture, some meditations on the theme of the evening and a bit of prayer. This evening the reading was from Isaiah 35 and couldn’t have been more appropriate as we pondered the parts of the creation that we’re traveling through.
The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.
We’re in the middle of a desert this week and without the irrigation we see in the fields every day all there would be is sagebrush. It’s a huge wonder that the desert blooms with the addition of a bit of water (enough so that McCain has a french fry factory here to process all those Idaho Potatoes). Henry drew the parallel that we’re a pretty sorry bunch of dead grass and sagebrush as well without the addition of a little purpose in our lives, that we don’t have anything more going for us than mere desert without Jesus Christ.