What a strange feeling now that I have accomplished reaching my destination after 2,153 miles of traveling by bicycle. I’ve had a sense of mission. A sense of reaching a goal I’ve set for myself. A path. Now it’s all gone. It’s like reaching the top of the mountain and not having anywhere else to go. A void. Yes, I know I still have a much bigger goal ahead of me and that will come soon enough, but this feeling is the empty space between paragraphs. Something I’ve never paid that much attention to in the past. Something I’ve taken for granted because it seemed so minute. The feeling is neither positive or negative, just strange and unfamiliar. Perhaps it’s because I’ve never challenged myself in this way before or perhaps it’s because it’s all so open to me now. A very strange feeling indeed.
Another strange feeling I’ve had is seeing my first coyote. While in High Point I found a place where I could lay my head down for the night. It was near the woods but not in them. Just as I was getting ready to remove the bungee cords that hold my sleeping bag in place, I noticed a dark silhouette moving about fifty feet away from me. At first I thought it was a larger than usual feral cat. As I strained to see better in the darkness it started looking more like a dog and I resolved for myself that’s what this creature was. He noticed me and would move quickly from spot to spot but not away from me. We both stood there looking at each other for a few minutes. I took my headlight from the quick disconnect on my handlebars and aimed it him. His eyes reflected the light back. It wasn’t enough light to illuminate him so I could see for sure what it was but I was more interested in trying to scare him off.
Since he didn’t approach me I felt he would be no danger and continued to reach for the bungee cord again. That’s when he let out a very loud, raspy sounding growl. Not like the romantic sounds you hear in movies. That’s when I realized it was not a dog at all. That’s when I realized I was probably not welcome to stay where I was. I put the light back on my handlebars and grabbed my air horn. I slowly got back on my bike and rode around and away from him. I kept my eye on him and hoped he wouldn’t charge me from the bushes that were starting to come between us as I turned to go back the way I came. He didn’t come after me and it’s a damn good thing because I was ready with my dog tested air horn and my roll of toilet paper.
My visit at Victory Junction was awesome and enlighting. Sammie Barkley was an excellent guide and gave me a tour of the camp on a beautiful sunny day. Camp was in session and I saw many of the children in groups going about their activities around the many centers on site. Interacting with the kids is not allowed while in session for privacy and security reasons. It’s a very colorful place with fun looking buildings donated by many of the NASCAR drivers and sponsors of some of the race teams.
As I approached VJ on my bike I saw the big water tower that looks like the hot air balloon on the VJ logo. It rose up above the horizon and the trees as I crested the hill leading to the entrance. When I reached the main entrance my odometer read 2,153 miles.
I will write more about my visit in the next few days but for now I need to plan where I go next and leave this beautiful Bed & Breakfast where I spent the night thanks to owner Alice Brunner and her son, Daniel of Hill Top Bed & Breakfast in Randleman. It was a very pleasant and very comfortable stay in this two story historic home. It holds 5 bedroom suites complete with their own bath and/or shower. Out back is a separate spacious honeymoon suite for couples. I highly recommend Hill Top Bed & Breakfast for anyone wanting to stay within 100 miles of Randleman! God bless you Alice and Daniel.
When I started my trip I packed two pairs of jeans. Sizes 36 and 34. Last night I wore the size 34 for the first time and they fit just a little loose on me. I haven’t been on a scale in a while but I’m sure I’m somewhere between 165 lbs. and 170 lbs. Down from 192 lbs.
I’d like to say a special thank you to Dan Hodgson and his team- Kristian, Kim and Tracy of Acknowledging Christ Through Service (A.C.T.S) a ministry of Home to Home in High Point who approached me and asked if I would like a sandwich and chips. Dan and his team scour the streets looking for the homeless and people in need so as to lend them a helping hand.
Dan was adamant in making sure I had everything he could help me with and I think I put him to the test. After giving me a sandwich, chips, cookies and a bottle of cold water, he continued to grill me about my needs. I told him I needed to replace my balding back tire on the bike, thinking this request would choke him. Not a chance! He hooked me up with Spinz Bicycle Shop in High Point. Dan tried to absorb the cost of the tire for me but his friend, R.P. Hughes at Spinz, refused to take any money from Dan and covered the cost of the tire and service for us.
I left High Point with such a feeling of gratitude and humbleness that I cannot thank Dan and his team enough, not only for what they did for me, but also for what they do for their community. Special thanks to Dan and his team and R.P. Hughes for their kindness, generosity and caring nature. High Point is very lucky to have people like this living in thier town.