Day 2 (Sun) – Bullfrogs & Bunnies

(Written from our Sunday, July 26 Day 2 notes – after we returned home)

We checked out of our ‘luxury’ accommodations – as Larry threaded the key & the remote control under the glass pane, an invisible hand snatched them on the other side. Freaky.

It was Sunday, so we wanted to visit one of the churches I had found along our route.  The closest one that we could reach by service time was Olympia Foursquare Church, aka Church of Living Water – after visiting their website I was really looking forward to it.  We changed clothes at a gas station, wishing that we had had an opportunity to shower the night before (but not doing so because we were unwilling to bring any of our luggage into that room).

Before we went to the service, we pulled over at a pleasant Park-N-Ride lot and did what we SHOULD have done yesterday – we read our Bibles and said our prayers, with all confidence that this would be a better day.  If not, we would certainly be in a better frame of mind to deal with any setbacks.

The Church of Living Water and its people did not disappoint – we were welcomed SO warmly that I felt comfortable telling them about Soles4Hope. We met several people at the Get Connected table before the service started, and they were very encouraging about our mission.

After all the discouragement of Day 1, I have to say that the sermon was so appropriate to our circumstances that I had to fight tears. The pastor spoke often about fighting our ‘giants’ from a position of victory, rather than defeat. He also talked about the difference between a GOOD idea and a GOD idea.  And not surprisingly, he mentioned how we sometimes get in a hurry to start our day and forget to thank God for every breath – much as we did yesterday… At the end, he asked, “What journey has God called you to take”?

We had begun to think that maybe God was telling us to abandon this whole idea – but then again, perhaps He was just testing our mettle in some small way – because yesterday’s disappointments will probably be tiny compared to the challenges to come when (or if) I actually begin this journey next year.

Before we left the church, Susan (one of those we met before service) prayed with us, and it really boosted our spirits.  We felt refreshed and confident in the miles ahead. I will never forget this morning and its significance in bolstering my faith in this journey!

There were several significant routing decisions to be made in southern Washington. I could take the coastal route which was scenic and more open – but many miles longer. and included a tunnel. Or a more direct route inland – much shorter, but walking in more wooded, higher-elevation areas.  For this scouting trip, we chose the inland options, but I might want to re-think this later, as the coastal routes didn’t FEEL as isolated.

The other daunting prospect in this section is the Astoria bridge – 4 miles long, with a ‘Sunshine Skyway’-type ascent/descent toward the end.  Bicycles are allowed, but pedestrians are not. I may have to bike this – or I could take my chances ‘walking’ my bike.  A California Highway Patrolman I talked to later in the trip indicated that a person walking a bike is considered to be a dismounted cyclist, NOT a pedestrian, but I’m not sure what Oregon/Washington rules are on this.  I’ll need to do a little more research and thinking on this, because it’ll be an issue in other areas of the journey as well. I recently read a blog about the Astoria bridge where a guy on a jogging trek around the world chose to jog across the bridge, only to encounter a law enforcement stop. The officer heard his explanation and proceeded to give him a ‘blue-light’ escort across the bridge, and good wishes for the rest of his journey.  I have faith that this will be my experience with our men/women in uniform on my own trip.

The day was not without other challenges, though.  I had all of my maps on my iPad, and I wasn’t able to access them through my Verizon data plan.  I couldn’t even access my account to see how much data I had left.  After a long visit to a Verizon store, and 2 lengthy tries on the phone where it seemed we were making progress (only to have the calls dropped) we finally called it a night at Pleasant Valley RV Resort & Campground near Tillamook, OR – where we did have wi-fi to review tomorrow’s route.

The campground had dozens of cute pet bunnies hopping around, and we were serenaded all night by bullfrogs, which was actually rather pleasant, considering our ‘urban adventure’ last night.

We made up a little time today, and are only about 60 miles behind schedule.

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