Nancy just made me a lot of coffee. She manages Three Sisters Lodging, a campground with cabins a half mile southwest of downtown Camp Wood. The property boarders the river and is a magnificent place to make home for a night.
I was arriving before dark this time, meeting her when I registered. Jo and I then found a grassy circle where I tossed out our tent.
Under the pavilion a celebration is taking place. Maddy is three years old and is the only young one here. She’s all dolled up for the Easter Bunny. As I set up camp I watched her frolicking with Dad, madly-laughing, blowing bubbles in the wind, acting childish. It puts a smile on my face.
I join the group, bringing my Outdoor Ukulele along, being introduced to the six or seven upon arriving only to forget their names seconds later. But I didn’t forget what they offered me for supper; deviled eggs, smoked sausage, bacon wrapped cream cheese stuffed jalapeño poppers and a cake someone’s wife had made.
At one thirty in the afternoon yesterday, I wrapped up my morning and pedaled out of Fort Clark Springs. A gentle voiced man waived his hand out the window of his pickup as he slowly passed us going in the opposite direction, saying, “be safe, have a nice trip”.
I hit the drive-thru convenience store, gathering my daily provisions; corn nuts, peanut butter crackers, granola bars and Gatorade. I was setting out to enjoy a fifty eight mile bike ride through the base of the Texas Hill Country.
The highway that I’m traveling is notorious for having mammoth sized rattle snakes stretched across it. We don’t see a fang.
Instead we see one old dozer, two boarder patrol agents, three sheep, four civilian cars, five deer, a half dozen cows grazing, and a partridge type fowl sitting on a wire near a field of wildflowers.
There’s was no music coming through my headphones, instead, just me and the chatter in my brain, and Jo running beside me. I ponder for awhile on how my thoughts propel me, calling me to action. I hear that voice inside of my head saying, “do this” or “don’t do that”. As I’ve grown spiritually I’ve become better at listening to my Creator, responding to my calling, fulfilling my purpose. I’m doing that now.
Then my thoughts randomly shift as I stare over my handlebars. I think about how there’s a certain number of people driving up behind me that think I’m towing a baby in a trailer. When I was stopped by the Safford Police in Arizona, the officer said he suspected to see an infant until Jo reared his cute lil face from the wagon. If Jo’s running beside me, perhaps some may think I have both, a border collie and a baby.
I’m not sure exactly how far we have traveled in total, but I’ve been told I’m close to being half way across the United States, if I’m not there already. That’s about 1600 (s)miles. With each rotation of my pedals, I’ve become physically and mentally stronger, becoming prepared for the road ahead.
The vision I’ve been given for Operation Elf Box I share at every opportunity, expressing the mission and vision with passion. I picture us coming together and creating a brighter Christmas for even more children in more cities throughout the country; adding to the state of Oregon, ‘free toy stores’ in, Salinas California, Prescott Arizona, Las Cruces New Mexico and in Alpine Texas.
I’m reminded of The Little Engine that Could, a story about optimism and hard work.
If you think you can, or if you think you can’t, either way, you’re right. ~ Henry Ford
I think we can…