Sunday, July 27, 2014

Continental Divide

This country is beautiful.  Lets just settle that right now.  From the unexpected pine forests of New Jersey, to the Appalachians, to the hundreds and hundreds of miles of corn and wheat and hay, to the beauty of Lake Shore Park in Chicago, to the unique variety of landscapes found in the Black Hills and Badlands (and even Southern Utah which I went to earlier this summer), and now to the Montana Rockies, and soon to the Columbia River and Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest.  God's creation is so beyond comprehension.  And this is just one stretch across one country.  I can't fathom places all around the world! The Andes! Macchu Picchu! The Swiss Alps! Tuscany! The Fjords of Norway! The tropical ares in southeast Asia! So many places.  It reminds you not only how beautiful our planet is, but how big it is too.  And how big our universe is.  And how big our God is who breathes stars into creation. 

The last two weeks have been a blur of awe inspiring beauty.  After leaving Rapid City, we went straight into the northeast corner of Wyoming.  The people in the small town of Sundance were so generous that they split us into small groups and took us home with them.  We each had our own beds and it was the most divine feeling my back has experienced in 6 long weeks.  It's amazing how when you start living simply, you acknowledge and appreciate the gift of every pleasure you get in life.  Even just a warm shower.

Also in Wyoming we got the chance to see a friend I met in Washington.  He showed us all around his hometown of Sheridan.  The timing was perfect because they were having their Third Thursday Street Festival.  We got to check out all the stalls and the shops running downtown.  The city was beautiful and alive with cowboy culture.  Cowboy boots, saddles, beat up Ford trucks, kids lassoing people in the streets.  That's the cool thing about this trip.  Every day you are in a new city with a slightly different culture.  From the casinos and touristy boardwalk of Atlantic City, to the active and fun communities in Chicago, to the farming towns of the Midwest, not one stop is ever dull of excitement.

We spent the weekend in Billings, Montana.  After spending a very smokey week in Wyoming from the fires in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, the sky finally started to clear over the weekend and we were blessed with a majestic view of the Rockies off in the distance.  It took us only two days to bike to them.  From Harlowton, our group climbed and climbed gradually over the first foothill and then down into where the Missouri River headwaters are near.  And finally leaving Helena, we had our biggest climb of the trip so far.  MacDonald Pass - 6,312 ft, separating the Atlantic Watershed from the Pacific.  It's cool and weird to think that from now on all the creeks and rivers will be flowing into the Columbia River eventually and out to where we are headed in Astoria.  I love climbing up mountains and this mountain pass did not let me down! People often ask what we do when we are biking.  Do we talk? Do we think? Do we eat? well yes. yes. yes.  But I just love when I am out on the road by myself, no other bikers in sight, and I can just sing and hum and whistle away to all my favorite worship songs.  Over the mountains and the sea, Your river runs with love for me, and I will daily lift my hands, and let the Healer set me free.  Could it be any more fitting?

This weekend we are staying at one of my favorite places in this country, Missoula, Montana. Yesterday we were treated with a Celtic Festival going down by the river in downtown.  Live music with bagpipes, fiddles, flutes, and a wide variety of Celtic rock.  And to top it off, I found a place called Scotty's Table and was treated to an amazingly tasty dinner! And what's not better for dessert then to walk over to the famous Big Dipper Ice Cream, wait in line for 30 minutes, and then salivate over some of the best ice cream these taste buds have ever experienced.  We stayed in Missoula when I biked to Colorado Springs 3 years ago and I made a stop at Big Dipper so I couldn't pass it up.  It's just that good.

This next week we will be doing less biking and more helping as we have two build days, one in Kellogg, and one in Lewiston.    And before you know it, we will be biking in to Richland, WA!!!!!

Just a heads up for those wanting to see us or even ride with us, we are coming in to the Tri Cities on August 5th.  Probably doing our final rest stop in Burbank about 10am, and then biking through Pasco along the river and to West Side Church in Richland.  I'm thinking we will be clustered in small groups anywhere from the hours of 10am to noon.  So if anyone wants to come through and cheer a bunch of orange jerseys on you know where to find us.  Let me know if you might be thinking of biking with us along any portion :) The evening of August 5th we are having a presentation at West Side Church at 7pm for anyone that wants to come hear about the reason a bunch of crazy people like me are giving up the luxuries of life and biking across America.  We would love to see you there.  Then on August 6th, we will be leaving probably about 7 am (further notice on that will come as the day approaches) and headed up toward Yakima.  We always have a devotion every morning if anyone wants to send our group off or even bike with us a segment of the morning.  Just facebook me if that would be something you are interested in! I am so excited to see all of you there! Until then keep posted for more and more beautiful pictures as we still have 2 mountain passes to climb!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

He holds it all together.

Today my name was up for writing the Fuller Center Blog.  This is what I wrote in case you don't have access to that blog.  It can be found at --- FULLER CENTER BLOG --- Definitely check it out to see what the other riders are saying each day about our trip.

The last few days have been indescribable.  Any words I attempt to put on a page won’t scratch the surface of what this area of South Dakota has been like.  Yesterday, I witnessed a band of wild horses galloping right next to the road and then veering up and over the hillside.  If you have ever seen Dances With Wolves, imagine that.  Acres of grassland and prairie flowers flowing like purple waves across dry river beds that chisel their way through layers of salmon and white colored sandstone jutting out of the ground in every formation imaginable.  The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Badlands, and Buffalo Gap were the most breathtaking and silently inspiring places to just hear nothing but your breath, your bike chain whirling, and the occasional squeak of my pedal.  It’s amazing how taking away all the cares and all the sounds of life can just leave you speechless before the endless glory of God manifested all around you.

I just had to write a little about yesterday because it left such an impact on my trip.  And not to mention we had the opportunity to check out Mount Rushmore at sunset and see a lighting festival that involved hearing about the history of our nation and the monument. 

Today, me and a few of the other riders, Lydia, Steve, and our van driver Brett, decided to use our “rest” day to go do a local running race.  So in case you are wondering, yes, we are slightly crazy.  But I don’t regret it for a second.  It was the Mystic Mountain 8 mile trail run in the heart of the Black Hills…..and it was gorgeous! We ran amidst peaks and valleys of pine, waded through knee high creeks, and trekked through muddy puddles to fully envelop ourselves in the beauty that is this area. 

Rapid City and the surrounding areas is turning out to be one of my favorite places just because of how much you see everyone out on their bicycles (or their motorcycles, which there are a lot!), or walking through the countless parks, or hanging out and one of the many local swimming pools or hang out spots, or grabbing a drink at one of the many microbreweries and ale houses.  The city is just alive with culture.  I am really glad we were able to spend a day off in this city, and even more glad that we get another one tomorrow. 

That is my favorite thing about this Fuller Center Bike Adventure.  Not only do we get to see these amazing new places, but we get to do them with a family culture that we create with all of the riders, and we get to do it from the seat of a bike.  No sitting in a car, music drowning out nature, air conditioning keeping you comfortable, engines making the terrain seem boring.  Just you, a few other bikers struggling together, the swirl of chains hissing in unison, the smell of flowers, rain, cows, corn, the sounds of horses galloping, dogs barking, wheat rustling, the struggle of every headwind, the beauty of every tailwind, the refreshment of rain, the beauty of every sunset, all of it singing together glorifying God who holds it all together.  Who holds us all together.

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”  Colossians 1:15-20

Monday, July 7, 2014

Trials and Storms.

Man, it has been busy lately.  It doesn't seem like that long ago that I wrote, but it turns out it's been almost 2 weeks! I wrote my last blog from Indiana and now we are in South Dakota!!!! I guess I have a lot to try and remember and catch up on.

Gary, Indiana was unbelievable!  I have never seen anything like it.  The city has gone from 180,000 to barely 80,000.  Entire streets are abandoned.  Businesses are boarded up.  It seemed absolutely hopeless.  The street we were working on was the same street the Jackson 5 grew up on, except now at least 10 of the homes are boarded up, overrun with weeds and trees, and littered with trash and broken glass.  We cleaned up 2 of the houses yards and filled countless blags with bottles, cans, plastic bags, and all sorts of random trash, even a vacuum cleaner.  Coincidentally we were there on the anniversary of Michael Jackson's death so people were lining the corner, driving by, impersonators dancing to blaring music in the middle of the street.  One word. Unforgettable.  I will always remember Gary, Indiana and the resilient hope the Fuller Center partner has there to stick it out and repair the neighborhoods that they grew up in.

After that we spent the weekend just north of Chicago in a smaller community called Waukegan.  The Fuller Center partner there called the Hero Project had just completed their first house and moved in the family and was now purchasing and renovating the second house for a new family.  We were able to go in and help paint and clean up around the house a little bit to prepare them for the work.  They were so passionate about their mission in the North Chicago neighborhood.  It was contagious to be around.  Jerry, our Scottish/Australian rider, and Everett (who love to sing during the ride) were able to join in with the gospel choir for Sunday worship.  It's increible to see how these churches accept us in so quickly and are excited that we can help them.  30 pairs of hands gets a lot of work done fast!

On our off day we were able to ride the train all the way into downtown and check out a lot of the local attractions.  We went to a comedy club that was absolutely hilarious, we saw the "Willis" (Sears) Tower, went to the Jelly Bean, walked down Michigan Ave, went to Navy Pier, and walked along the waterfront of Lake Michigan.  I EVEN FOUND A GHIRADELLI STORE! Possibly the best moment of my life.  Total for the day we walked about 11+ miles that day.  Some off day huh?

But alas all fun things must come to an end.  Segment 4 would be a week like no other.  540 miles in 6 straight days of biking.  The second day was the hardest day I have ever had the experience of biking through.  Rolling hills and headwinds for 80 miles made the day udderly exhausting (We were in wisconsin so forgive my cow pun).  For the week, we did 92, 81, 96, 87, 88, and then 94 miles to finally reach Sioux Falls.  Along the way we were met with many corn fields and smells of manure.  I got to see the Mississippi River for the first time from the ground, Climb through attics and staircases to get to a bell tower of a church to watch the thunder storm (maybe not to bright), watch God one up the 4th of July celebration by sending a thunderstorm to pour rain and give a light display like none other.  Realistically it was a blur.  Bike all morning and afternoon, shower, eat dinner, sleep, bike all morning and afternoon, shower, eat dinner, sleep....over and over.  We were all exhausted and well ready for the rest day in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  We have now biked for 22 days, been in 9 states, and seen rain in 16 of the days. 

Today we biked out of our rest day in Sioux Falls and into no mans land, AKA Parkston, SD.  Just 40 miles of boring, EXTREMELY straight roads through corn fields.  There was an incredible thunder storm that just passed us to the north that treated us with a painting like you could only imagine.  The clouds were waving and twisting and all sorts of paintbrush designs.  In Parkston we were treated by a bunch of the local kids who attend the church.  They were very inquisitive and eager to hang out with us.  One of them asked to race me so I had the chance to race 3 of the kids around the parking lot course.  It was a race for the ages!  Probably the easiest fun I have had thus far on the trip.  Kids have a way of bringing out such simple peace and joy in everyone.

The next two days we have back to back 100+ mile days on some pretty fun terrain as we get closer to our build day on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and eventually another 100 mile day to get to Rapid City, South Dakota.  Hopefully I write again to you sooner this next time but thanks so much for reading along and supporting our trip.  Just a heads up, so far I have only raised enough to get to Billings, MT.  I still need 600 more dollars to finish off my fundraising goal, and officially be able to bike all the way to the Pacific Ocean.  I have a little less than two weeks to get to that goal so if you would like to donate or know more about this organization that I am riding my bike across the country for just ask away! I will post the link to my donation page if you want to give.  Unlike other mission trips where most of the money goes to airfare and residency, 100% of the money all of us bikers raise goes straight to help building and repair costs of all the homes.  Here is the link to the page.  Just click here.  Thank you all so much for your continued support.  Loving getting to show all the pictures and videos to you all as we make this incredible journey.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I am writing this to you alive and well from the beautiful state of Indiana....but first let me tell you a story.  Come back with me as we Journey away from our build day in Aurora, across the state of Ohio, and find out why I think this state had it out for me from the beginning. 

We had an amazing build day in Aurora helping out 5 different houses.  I was able to go to Pam's house and we went to town on all that she needed!  After a slow start and a "broken" power washer, we finally were able to chip, seal, and wash the outside of the house...,clean out, scrape, power wash, and blow dry the garage..., change the water heater, install cabinets, and paint almost the entire outside of the house.  You can see some pre/mid/post pictures of her house below. 

Aurora was an amazing town and I even got the chance to go out and see How To Train Your Dragon 2 since there was a movie theater near by.  But alas, all good things must come to an end.  The next day we biked a short, "easy" 30 miles into Cleveland.   Except I got a flat tire, and decided that my wheel was looking mighty thin anyway, so I got a new's only the beginning.  In Cleveland, a large group of us were able to walk downtown and check out the rock and roll museum as well as the acclaimed Lake Erie (which people here say is just like the's not).  Before walking back, we checked out a local bar to watch the Fifa World Cup.  And luckily we did because a GIANT storm rolled through and we were stuck in the bar for 2 hours.  But hey, it was soccer time, so who's complaining.  

The next day we were off to Sandusky, the great home of the Cedar Point Amusement Park.  Well we were off to a start least.  Not to say we finished.  It was a very wet day.  The rain didn't stop the entire bike ride.  About mile 40, me and the group I was riding with hit a wet overpass frost expander and took a bit of a tumble.  A few of our bikes, including mine, took some pretty decent damage.  One had his handle bar bent in, and then me and another guy had our derailleurs bent and unusable.  None of the local bike shops were able to fix my bike so I had to take the next day off on our way into Toledo.  It was hard wanting to bike all way across the country and being forced to ride in the van for the day.  I will make it up somehow.  I am sure I will get lost somewhere.  I have 90 miles to make up.  I did get a good 4 mile run in on our way to Toledo so I guess it's 86 now.  

Toledo was an experience! The people who helped us there created an unforgettable weekend for us.  We helped an elderly couple on Saturday do all the stuff around their house that they were incapable of doing such as painting, and cleaning the entire yard (like 25 bags of yard work).  The owners of the home were so incredible grateful.  We brought the wife to tears as she thanked us.  They even gave us shirts! I was excited about that.  I like shirts.  The newspaper, a couple of news stations, one of the heads of the city department, and all of the family and friends of the couple came out to support, help, and interview us.  I felt like everyone in Toledo knew about us as we traveled around in the town.  The most incredible part was that Joyce, our host, treated us to a sunset river boat excursion...and it did not disappoint!  Would you just look at it! Would ya!

So my bike has a new hanger, a new derailleur, a new chain, and I am ready to go finally! I bike my way out of Toledo only to find that my bike tire was pretty wobbly....but nothing to worry about. right? wrong.  I kept up a blazing pace for the first 60 miles (a pace that beat my bike segment of my half iron man by 40 minutes.) But right as I left the last rest stop and got under way my back tire locked up against the brake and I took a skidding tumble.  I don't know how it happened or what caused it but my back tire was toast after that, along with my right leg.  Luckily the bike shop right down the road had me a new rim in no time, a new leg not so much.  Ohio just couldn't let me cross the border of Indiana without one last goodbye.

Today was a wet 65 mile day into South Bend, Indiana, but I completed the whole ride....without falling! And what a beautiful rainy day it was.  We passed by rush hour traffic in amish country.  A whole 20 horse and buggys trotted by us.  Things were getting crazy on the back roads of Indiana.  You got to watch out for those horses!

And that's it.  Tomorrow we bike to Gary, Indiana and will get the chance to help out in the neighborhood that Michael Jackson grew up in.  And apparently, according to Kristina (who is sitting next to me and told me to add her in), it will be the anniversary of Michael's death.   And then after that we will spend the weekend in Chicago!!!!!! Super excited about that.  So until then....

its just the open road

Monday, June 16, 2014


Almost every day since Philadelphia it has rained on us.  In fact, some days it hailed on us.  But I will get to that.  After helping out in Philadelphia and touring the downtown area, we had to trek out on our first 100 mile day into the heart of Pennsylvania.  To the heart of the chocolate world to be exact.  We rode all the way to Hershey, PA.  Most of the trail out of Philadelphia was a sweet hard packed gravel trail along rivers and through enchanted forests.  I got to ride with an amazing returning rider named Dan, and even though we got lost and ended up in someone’s private driveway, I would say the day ended up a success.  At Hershey they allowed us to spray off our muddy, nasty bikes with a hose, and once we were showered and ready, they took us to Chocolate World to tour their attraction.  Unfortunately, we didn’t end up going to where any of the roller coasters are…so now I will just have to come back, but it was still a fun place to be singing with the dairy cows.  Like literally, the cows sang on the tour ride. 

From Hershey, we rode into historic Gettysburg.  After our chore team got done with everyone’s laundry, I was able to go explore the town and the battle memorial.  Me and my new, awesome friends Dani and KP, went on an exploration for ice cream…..which was unsuccessful, but then ended walking over to the memorial and experiencing all of the rich Civil War history these areas have.  But of course, on the way back, we got hit by a torrential downpour and ended up walking back into the church looking like we just decided to jump into a lake.  Definitely gonna remember that day.  That seems to be a theme.  There are a lot of memorable moments. 

After Gettysburg, we began our climb into the mountains of the Appalachians.  We climbed 3 pretty major passes (which I’ll be honest, I didn’t think existed in this mountain range) and totaled just over 7,000 feet of climbing by the time we crawled into Everett, PA.  There wasn’t much to do in Everett but that didn’t stop me.  I went exploring with another new friend, Kristina (another theme haha, there a lot of new friends each day, we are becoming family.)  We found a sketchy bridge that was being worked on and only open to pedestrians - oh and was traversing flooding waters….from all the rain that we’ve been biking through.  We also found a cool golf course and watched people golf, pretending we were announcers and giving everyone names.  Our personal favorite was Derry.  Which was a mix between Dave and Jerry because we couldn’t agree which one best suited him. 

Leaving Everett, we headed for Mount Pleasant.  What a beautiful day it was.  We rode over the Laurel Highlands to beautiful partly cloudy skies.  Of course the word highlands doesn’t come without climbing.  We totaled another 6,600 feet of climbing over many many rolling hills, before finally descending a 4 mile, 7% grade hill.  Always the best part!  Quite possibly the only reason to even climb up the hills in the first place.  BUT we weren’t so lucky as to dodge the rain all day.  On the last hill, 5 miles out from the church, we got hailed on.  IT POURED! It poured so hard my arms hurt going down the hill as we looked for shelter.  My windshield wipers on my bike helmet didn’t appear to be working as I did my best to dodge holes, sticks, and other bikers going 30 mph down the hill.  But alas, we found a gas station, ran in, and lo and behold found a happy, and very dry, Gerry (who is our Scottish/Australian rider) huddled inside.   He apparently is more wise than us and ducked for cover before the storm comes.  Genius. 

From the very pleasant Mount Pleasant, we finally headed to our rest day near Pittsburgh.  And for once, it didn’t rain.  In fact it was beautiful! Pittsburgh couldn’t have advertised itself better to us.  I loved it! We got to bike across cool bridges, on amazing bike trails, through brick downtown streets, and by Heinz Field and PNC Park.  Pictures were had.  We spent our evening and our rest day in Rochester, PA, about 30 miles NW of Pittsburgh.  Had the chance to go swimming, to walk around town, and to experience the fine local dining….at Dairy Queen. 

Today we made the trip into our third state, Ohio.  Me and Dani swept, which basically means we ride at the back and make sure everyone makes it (which apparently we are terrible at, as two riders got lost and got to the first rest station behind us).  But we were able to make the most of the day by taking a bunch of crazy pictures and even throwing our bikes into the lake and jumping in.  Ok that last part didn’t happen but we did put our feet in the lake.  There were only a couple short spurts of rain but other than that, the day went alright.  Right now, I am getting the chance to spend some time alone in a park across the street from our church as I write this, enjoying the soft breeze and the sun reflecting colors off the giant storm clouds in the distance.  I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend the evening before our build day tomorrow as we help out in Aurora, OH. 

You know, it’s funny, rainy days always will come.  Even when you think the sunny days will never end, the rainy days inevitably appear in the distance.  Things happen unexpectedly.  People hurt your feelings, family breaks your heart, your possessions get destroyed.  You can be in a large group of people and still feel like you are alone.  You can be going along smoothly and still lose everything.  Things don’t always go as planned.  Life isn’t always sunny.  Even just now a storm rolled in on me and I had to evacuate the park for shelter.  But God is greater than a storm.  He can calm the seas.  He can get you to walk on water.  All you have to do is call out to Him, to keep your eyes on Him.  And then all of a sudden, no matter what is going on all around you, doesn't seem to matter.  All that matters our the eyes of your beloved savior guiding you out of the boat and leading you on a seemingly impossible journey.  So if there is any thing I have learned from these days of storms and rain, it’s that life is gonna throw waves at you.  People aren’t always going to treat you like you want to be treated.  You are going to get overwhelmed by storms that attack you in a rush.  But when it’s all said and done, its funny how much it all doesn’t even come close to comparing to staring down the eyes of the Man who died for you and wrapping your arms around Him with a love that’s greater than the biggest storm life can throw at you.  So when sadness comes, when anger comes, when frustration comes…even when happiness comes, go to God.  Just go to God.  The storm will pass. 

Thank you all so much for keeping involved with all that we are doing along the way.  I am very excited to tell you about the couple of build days we have coming up as those tend to be some of my favorite parts.  But until that time comes, arrivederci. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Heal all that is broken

What an exciting and crazy first few days it has been! After arriving in Philadelphia on late Wednesday night, we packed up and drove to Atlantic City where we stayed at the Long Term Recovery Group Center for housing relief after Hurricane Sandy.  Spent most of the first evening exploring the Monopoly inspiring streets and the boardwalk along the clustered shops and casinos.  Probably the best place to a pop a sqaut and people watch that I have ever experienced.

After we had all been orientated, Friday we took a quick practice ride along the boardwalk down to Lucy the Elephant.  Apparently she's like the worlds biggest elephant or something.  She's not real.  Just a giant tour/room/thing that you can climb up into.  But the fun didn't end with Lucy.  The entire rest of the day, we worked at one of the local housing sites helping them finish a house for a single dad who lost his house.  As a group, we accomplished putting up sheet rock in some rooms, spackling and sanding in others, and even started painting the rooms for him by the end of the day.  My lungs were littered with dust and debris but it was all so worth it.

Saturday was officially the first day of the trip.  We were headed to Tabernacle, NJ but first things first, we had to bike to the beach for the traditional back tire dip into the ocean and our kick off devotion and prayer.  We got some crazy awesome sunrise pictures and then we spun our pedals and got our tires off the sand and onto the asphalt headed for Tabernacle. You never quite realize what a 3,600 mile journey is gonna feel like until you sit your butt on the seat and realize what you are about to trek out on.

We slowly grew acquainted with our new family, learning their strengths and weaknesses, their pace and style, their quirks.  It is always the most exciting part of the trip making a new bond with so many people along the way that you can friends for years after from all across the country...and even the world.  We have one guy on our trip who is from Scotland, but lives in Australia, and I'll just say it, the guy cracks me up.  He is awesome.

The first ride was a little exciting.  Multiple groups ended up getting lost and I ended up doing 10 more miles than I should have.  But, hey, what's a 70 mile day to kick off the start of the bike adventure.  The Lord of Life Lutheran Church just outside of Tabernacle overwhelmed us with love and hospitality.  We were immediately met with philly cheesesteaks upon our arrival, and then on top of that we were told later we would be driven to a member's house and have a bonfire with s'mores and a huge BBQ!  Never have we had so much amazing food on this trip before.  I thought I would lose weight on this trip... Jokes on me.

I slept on a bean bag that night.  Oh man, it was great.  You wouldn't think it would be but I have loved curling up in small spaces and letting my feet dangle over the edge ever since my grandma's green swivel chair when I was little.  We were able to attend church there the next day which was very different from what I am used to but it's all good.  It's fun to see different styles of churches and how they function.  We were treated to more hoagie sandwiches after church and then began our quick 30 mile ride to North Philly.

Shane Claiborne, author and activist in the Kensington area of Philadelphia, was our host for the two nights we stayed there.  The movement they have going on in the community is incredible.  They are transforming the abandoned, run down houses of the area and getting people back into affordable houses.  The community here, although urban, run down, and littered, has such a heart and character.  The kids were biking in the alley ways and coming up to us smiling and living life... not behind a game console, but really getting out and playing.  I loved it.

Today we helped them move offices a few blocks to their new location and transferred their beds and intern housing over to the old office.  Unfortunately that means we have no mattresses tonight and all our rooms are filled with cabinets, books, and tables, but we will make due.  Hopefully it won't affect our 100 mile day tomorrow too much.

To wrap it all up, the front door of Shane's organization, The Simple Way, summarized our amazing mission and prayer not only on this trip, but in life, in everything.  "Heal all the is broken.  In our hearts.  In our streets.  In our world.

Amen. "

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Portland International Airport

I am a bit of an airport snob. Ask those that know me well and have traveled with me. I always try and travel to as much of the airport as possible. See it's food, it's view, it's layout, it's convenience, it's security. I've been able to see terrible airports like O'hare, Spokane, and most of LAX (although they did have some cool food places), and I have seen great airports like Denver, the terminal part of Seattle, and Vancouver, B.C.. But my all time favorite airport has always been Portland International Airport. There is seriously nothing wrong with this airport. Whoever engineered the layout and design of this airport deserves a gold star. From the light rail that stops at the terminal and goes downtown, to the entrance that is efficiently always flowing, to the restaurants and shops before you enter security and the many after as well, to the free wifi (you hear that Atlanta, FREE), to the views of the surrounding forested areas and of Mt Hood (on a non cloudy day). There is a reason it is voted the #1 airport in America. I enjoy ranking all the airports I have been to. I am just weird like that. I embrace it. 

All that to say, that is where I am right now. Headed to Philadelphia via Salt Lake City. And you know what that means. The Fuller Center Bike Adventure 2014 from Atlantic City, NJ, to Astoria, OR, is on it's way. In just one hour I will be flying out of here to explore America and to begin spreading the mission to eliminate poverty housing to as many people, places, and churches as possible. I feel like I keep pestering people, but if you would still like to donate to that mission, you can still support my trip by helping me reach my 3,600 dollar goal. Just go to and click the donate button in the top right. I would pretty much love you forever, as well as whichever house that money goes to build. I am 1,000 dollars shy of reaching that goal and could use every drop you can afford. 

I will keep updated writings and photos along the way on this blog as I journey, so make sure to stay tuned. I am so stoked at all of the support everyone has been giving me. It feels like you will be traveling right there along with me. But of course, you wont be, because it's 3,600 miles haha. Again, I am a little crazy. 

So bring on the bike, and the miles, and the friends, and the sleeping on thermarests across church floors, and the sweat, and the paint and tools and whatever else needs to be done to the houses, and the mountains, and the cities, and the collapsing off your bike on to the grass after riding 1oo miles in crazy weather. Just bring it all on. It's go time.