Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Days 77, 78, & 79 - The Home Strech!

Nov 16-18, 2014 : We honestly can not believe this trip is so close to coming to an end! We realized today that this time next week the ride will be complete and we will be on our way back home!! CJ is VERY disappointed that we are not closer to the goal he set of $100,000 raised for the National Children's Cancer Society. Mostly we have been disappointed that even though CJ has done a really good job of giving glory to GOD in interviews both in print media and on TV news, many Christians have not been willing to give to support this cause. Some have told us that it's because this ride is not for a "Christian organization".  Although the NCCS is not an official "Christian" organization we can't help but believe what they are doing is absolutely Christ-like! In Matthew chapter 25 Jesus says, "Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me".  The awesome folks at the NCCS are helping children and their families who are dealing with cancer treatments and the aftermath of cancer, we believe these children certainly fall in the "least of these" category and therefore, ANYTHING we or another organization does for them, is ultimately glorifying the ONE who MADE these sweet children! Will YOU help us do something for JESUS by giving to the NCCS to benefit these kids?!? You can give now at www.lovefar.org

The beginning of this week has been fairly uneventful and at the same time we have been VERY busy so forgive the lack of posting. On Sunday it was a beautiful warm day, so Sunday (11/16- Day 77) afternoon CJ and Craig decided to ride instead of taking the whole day off. We knew that the weather forecast for Monday and Tuesday was not favorable for riding so they figured it was a good idea to go ahead and get some miles in while it was so nice out. Even though they didn't get started until almost 1:00, they rode from Rocky's Campground outside of Perry, FL to River Run Campground outside of Branford, FL a total of 58.2 miles before it got dark! We are thankful to both of these campgrounds for donating our stay!

The boys were SOOOO excited to get to our stopping point on Sunday night because they had heard that their NANA and GRANNY we coming!! Around 7:30pm, Nana and Granny both arrived and the hug fest began! These boys have SURE missed their grandmas!! Nana and Granny are going to follow along and hang with us for the rest of the trip. 

On Monday (11/17 -Day 78) the forecast was for 90% chance of rain beginning at 10am so we didn't think we'd be able to ride much, if at all, however when we woke up the weather was still great. The guys got ready quickly and by 8:30 we were out on the road pedaling. We decided to just ride until it started raining and see how far we made it. Turns out we made it all the way to the planned stop in Hampton, FL (just south of Starke) just about noon. The black clouds followed us all day but only once did it barely drizzle. Ken, Granny's friend, also rode about 17 miles with us.
When we pulled into the gas station where we finished for the day, within 3 minutes the wind whipped up and the rain was pouring! It was a huge storm with real thunder and lightening!!
One of the local cyclists, Janeece, met us at the gas station and gave us some REAL farm fresh eggs and gave CJ an AWESOME Gainesville Cycling Club jersey!! We all enjoyed hearing her own story of how she is a cancer survivor and rides her bike now. We look forward to riding with her on Thursday. 

Today, Tuesday (11/18 -Day 79) was forcasted to be COLD and WINDY...and they were correct! The high here today was in the LOW 50's and the wind blew all day. We decided to take TODAY as a break day, and we are all glad!!! Hampton where we stopped yesterday is about 25 minutes from Gainesville, FL. One of Kenadi's friends is attending college at the University of Florida and volunteers in the football recruiting office. She found out we were so nearby and offered to take CJ and Kenadi on a tour of the campus and to see the UF Gators stadium. Of course, CJ loved that!
The little boys hung out with Nana and Granny and played on the "granny gadgets" (ipad, tablet, phone, etc.) most of the day. Katie had a chance to do some laundry and grocery shopping for the rest of this trip! It was very nice to have a down day!
Tomorrow we plan to start back at the place we left off in Hampton, FL. It's not going to be warm tomorrow but hopefully the wind won't be too bad. We are planning to start at noon at the intersection of hwy 18 and 301 and ride into Palatka. About half of the route is paved rails to trails so the little boys, Ken, and Granny are all planning to ride some of the way. We are also expecting some local cyclists. Also tomorrow THE QUEEN LATIFAH SHOW is highlighting this trip at the end of their show!! WE can't wait to see how THAT turns out!! We are praying that MANY MANY people will see and be moved to give to help us help the kids with the NCCS!  It's an exciting day to come!!
It's honestly amazing the think that we are now officially less than 100 miles from the end of this trek!

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