There’s a single cockroach on the floor of the last motel room I stayed in. I didn’t discover the scavenger until the wee hours of the morning. After saying a short prayer over the disgusting critter, I softly stepped on him and kicked his flattened corpse into the corner of the bathroom. A proper burial; covering his lifeless body with my once scratchy, now damp bath towel.
To get from Sierra Blanca to Van Horn, it’s a thirty mile hand numbing bike ride on chip seal asphalt through the sun-seared desert. I’m a risk taker so I avoided the lumpy road by hopping on the eighty mile an hour interstate instead and pedaled my ass off; risking a ticket if Poncherelo were to stop me.
I took a break underneath the only overpass on this stretch…and there I stretched. Checking Facebook I discovered that John aka “Rudolph” who works for GoFundMe had made a $1000 contribution to my account. What an incredible gift.
I’m completely awe struck by the generosity of so many people who have been supporting Jo and I on this mission: to share the the vision I’ve been given for Operation Elf Box. A $1000 is a lot of money. And $5 is a lot of money too, especially when you don’t have it. I know all to well what that’s like.
This got me thinking about Carlos. He’s the man I met in front of a mini-mart in Safford Arizona who handed me a wrinkled up five dollar bill, telling me that he didn’t have much but that he wanted me to take it.
Since I left Bend Oregon, allowing the Spirit to lead me, I’ve experienced so much love and kindness. I’ve never been this humbled. And there are so many others too who are giving to me graciously and I can’t help but to imagine that some of them are stretching themselves in the process. For all of this I’m grateful.
On another note, there is so much crap scattered in the brush on the side of roadway. If I had the interest and the capacity to carry them all, I could have the most amazing hub cap collection ever known to man.
At the McDonalds in Van Horn I ordered a lunch that even a seven foot tall lumber jack would struggle finishing. But I did with ease.
I had planned on riding another forty miles into a town called Valentine where there are no services and no potential Valentines. The long stretch of road is dry and human-less. I zipped down the main drag through Van Horn thinking I would grab some boxed macaroni from the dollar store and head off into the arid Texas desert to camp. But then I stopped at the city park and some kids started playing with Jo.
They had a lot of questions for me. Where do I sleep, what do I eat, what size are Jo’s shoes, etc. They weren’t going to leave me alone until I showed them my camp stove and lit the fire for them. And so of course, I did. And I broke out my Outdoor Ukulele and had them singing “if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands…”.
From a shady park bench I did some Googling and called the local KOA. They want twenty five smackaroonies to set up my tent on their dirt. So I phoned Barbara at the Southern Star RV Park. She seemed to already know who I was, mentioning that she had read about me on the inter-web somewhere in the last few days. Barbara invited me to stay complimentary. I coasted one block down Main Street and introduced myself. She gave a tour of the place, showing me wear to lay my head.
Right now I’m next door at the Cattle Company. Although Missiouri is a long ways off, a plate of what’s promised to be St Louis baby back ribs was just slid under my nose. After demolishing this dinner I’ll be laying under the stars amidst a grid of happy campers and then head out early in the morning for a seventy (s)mile bike ride anticipating more miracles ahead.