Saturday, September 24, 2016

The morning greeted us us with a gorgeous sunrise followed by breakfast burritos and other power food to send us off for a day of riding. Each morning we meet for devotions and prayer in the parking lot and today we were honored to meet Jeremy Smith, the Track and Field coach at Spring Arbor University. After witnessing our time of devotions and prayer he introduced himself and asked who we were. We told him what doing and why we were riding. What a blessing to meet strangers in a parking lot and yet have the same hearts. 

We made great time today, team rode like the wind. We encountered some hills early in the day but the scenery was worth it. The route took us east out of Ludington and up into Free Soil. A big "thank you" to the lady at the Marathon station in Free Soil for the use of the bathroom. After riding 27 miles first thing in the morning, it was much needed. Thank you for your kindness! (Ah, the things you take for granted). 

Just before Free Soil we came upon a memorial for a police office killed in the line of duty. We had to stop and take in the moment. 

Only one wrong turn (or forgetting to turn and having to loop the riders back on course) . we were hoping they didn't notice but Garry was on to us pretty quick. 

Some highlights of the day were;
1. More great conversations on the rode. The day just flew by.   The SAG team can usually here the riders coming before they can see them. It is so fun to listen to the "rode chatter". 

2. Lunch in Manistee at a beautiful park on the beach. (Sorry to past riders - we don't know how we missed this in the past). 

3. Beautiful sunrise and sunsets.

4. Quick stop at Garry's family cottage for a bathroom break. What a peaceful spot. Oh, and someone may have taken an interesting souvenir. (shhhhhhh...)  
Don't tell Garry...

5. The end of todays route took us out to Ludington State Park. Sunny and 70! Shelley and Cindy decided to race to the water. Off they ran, neck in neck, over the boardwalk only to simultaneously leap off the two foot ledge toward the water and once again, simultaneously face plant into the sand below. We are so sorry we do not have photo record of this hysterical event, but please believe us - hysterical. Upon returning to our bikes in the parking lot a couple asked Shelley, "Are you one of the ladies that took a nose dive into the water?" "Yup, that's me!" - Shelley replied. "We were watching from up above in the pavilion, we couldn't believe you both took the same nose dive!"

5. After the face plants, nose dives - whatever you want to call it, I just call it hysterical; Kelly decided to take a swim, we all waded a little and then headed back to the hotel for dinner. 

Dinner was moo and cluck (or as some call it, steak and chicken). One more walk to the city park for sunset pictures, into town for ice cream and coffee (Staci is the best! She too loves coffee).  We huddled up for a group prayer before sending everyone off to bed. Thank you all for your prayers for safety (we NEVER take those for granted). Prayers are so needed when on the rodes, for protection and physical strength. We are a strong team because we have strong Prayer Partners storming the gates of heaven on our behalf. We feel it! Thank you. 

One more day. See you at the finish line! 

The 2016 Ride4Life Team