While spending our last few days in Arkansas we were treated with great hospitality and housed by the Grace Baptist Church of Hope, AK and the First Baptist Church of Foreman, AK. We were also amazed at the beautiful country side of lush green farmlands. We came across, several cow farms, Tyson Chicken Farms, goat farms, and a couple longhorn cattle. We also skied by something we decided must be a cross between a rabbit, cow, and camel, and so we called it a racowmel.
We also came across some neat scenery:
Probably may favorite thing from yesterday was this next picture!
OOOOk-lahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain!
When we crossed into Oklahoma, there was no welcome sign other than this road sign. But to our back was the Arkansas welcome sign, so we knew we made it!
Today we woke up to a foggy and extremely humid day outside. As the day went on the temps kept growing with the humidity. No fear though, we were well stocked with water to stay hydrated. However, the chip sealed roads were not the most conducive for skiing very fast. The V2 Aeros were super helpful in dampening the vibrations.
Santi skiing through Oklahoma
Now it’s time to gear up for whatever tomorrow brings!
While on the road this past Saturday in Arkansas we came across several interesting things. We woke up to cooler weather and this sweet little dog that wanted to follow Santi on the ski.
On our way into Camden, AK we were surprised to see their park underwater from a recent flood. On Wednesday, while we were waiting out the storm, Camden, AR got between 6-8 inches of rain! There was even a couple kayaking through the park.
That white dot in the middle distance of the photo is the backboard of a basketball hoop. The photo gives a little reference of how much the park flooded!
After putting in another day in on the road, we decided to take a detour to visit some family and work on trip planning for the next 2,000 miles. We plan to be back to skiing tomorrow. From there it’s full steam ahead towards the Oklahoma border!
We woke up to a beautiful day in Arkansas on Friday. It was between 70-75 degrees with the sun shining. The wind was pretty strong but felt good.
Just before leaving Lake Village. Thank you to the Bell Family!
Skiing along the lake.
Skiing over the Bartholomew Bayou Bridge.
Enjoying the beautiful day!
The roads in Arkansas have been wonderful so far. They have large shoulders and are well paved! We could not ask for anything better to roller-ski on.
Beautiful day and quiet roads!
Saturday we woke up at 5:30 A.M. to get an early start. The temperature when we started was 48 degrees! Hooray for cooler weather. Also, thank you to the First United Methodist Church in Warren for providing us with a place to stay last night! We will get some photos and a further description of the day posted soon!
Santi and I put in our two longest days on the road this week. We have been watching the weather and saw that rain was on its way. Knowing this, we worked really hard to get as close to Lexington, Mississippi as possible before the rain came. We would like to say a big thank you to the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Macon, MS for putting us up in a hotel on our first night in Mississippi.
We rolled into Lexington, MS Tuesday evening after putting in 107 miles on Monday and 92 miles on Tuesday. After two long days, we were overjoyed to make it to Lexington after being greeted by dozens of semi trucks along the way. Mostly, we were really excited to see my good friend (who is more like a sister to me) Barb Klun! Barb is in her first year of the Teach for America program. She teaches 4th grade to 18 students. We had the pleasure of joining her class on Wednesday and telling them about our journey.
While we were there we talked to the kids about goal setting and how to attain their goals. A big goal that many of them have is to go to college. We helped provide them with the steps that must be put into place now to reach their goals in the future. After leaving Miss Klun’s 4th grade class, we put on the skis and tried to get some miles in before the rain came. A big thunder-storm was on its way. This made for a short day of skiing, only about 15 miles. It was nice to have an easy day after the two previous days.
The next morning (Thursday the 22 of March) we awoke to a beautiful cool (65-70) degree weather day! It was wonderful outside for roller-skiing. We were able to cover a lot of ground yesterday and we saw some pretty neat things. Along the way I was able to find another catfish capital. This time in Belzoni, MS! We found some really neat catfish art statues.
Clark Kent/Superman Catfish
Nurse catfish outside of the clinic
We continued on our way and were happy to find some back farm roads with close to no cars. Before we knew it, we were crossing the Mississippi River bridge into Arkansas! Santi was very excited that the bridge had a huge shoulder so he could ski across it.
Over the Mississippi!
We made it to our 5th State!
When we arrived to Arkansas, we were welcomed by the Bell family and treated to a delicious Chinese dinner! Thank you for your wonderful hospitality and kindness!
Today we are working on the best route through Arkansas on our way to the Lone Star State.
We spent the last few days in Selma, AL resting up and fixing some gear. Today we skied through the last few towns in Alabama and made our way towards Mississippi. We were able to get an earlier start today and had a nice breeze to keep us cool.
Santi fixing the breaks.
Those of you wondering, yes the mess follows him wherever he goes. The hatchet, hmmmm not to sure why that is there.
While dropping off information at churches I found out that we were going through the catfish capital of Alabama.
We saw this on our way out of Alabama
After a long 10 hour day of roller-skiing we can now say that we have made it to Mississippi!
We made it!!!!!
So it was time for a childhood favorite that is only sold in the south.
Blue Bell Ice Cream MMMMMM......
Santi and I both roller skied over several bridges today. This one was particularly lovely.
Skiing over the bridge
View from skiing over a bridge
After crossing into Mississippi we learned that the roads are a little different from Wisconsin (with the exception of lovely Jellen Rd.) However Santi was able to find an alternate route.
Tomorrows goal is to make it to Lexington, MS to visit my friend Barb!
The past few days Santi and I stayed in Prattville, AL. On Friday the 16th, we put in a short day, just 20 miles. Then we headed to Montgomery to visit churches and spread the word about our journey.
Montgomery First Baptist Church
We also were able to stop and see the capital!
Capital of Alabama!
We left Prattville today (St. Patrick’s Day) and made our way to Selma, AL. We arrived just in time for Church. After the service we were invited to a St. Patrick’s Day dinner celebration put on by the Church Council. We were treated to a delicious split pea soup and cornbread meal.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!
Our new friend Levi
We hope ya’ll had a great St.Patrick’s Day and may the luck of the Irish be with you!
We have made it to Alabama! The past few days have been very busy and exciting. Our last day in Georgia we stayed in the town of Talbotton with the Emery’s. They treated us to a wonderful dinner and breakfast before we headed out to complete our second state.
Our last day in Georgia.
After hitting the road we also hit our first 80+ degrees day! We crossed the border at West Point, Alabama. Yesterday we met and stayed with the Gorman Family in Auburn, AL. Mr. Gorman is not pictured because he was out buying groceries and a very generous gift for us. We really enjoyed meeting and getting to spend some time with the Gorman family. We also learned that Kathleen (Far right in picture) walked across the U.S.A last summer and plans on doing it again this summer to promote Pro Life. You can follow her at www.crossroadswalk.org
(Left-Right) Santi, Carolyn, Rebecca, Theresa, Kathlene
Also, while we were in Auburn we got to see the beautiful Auburn University Campus.
After hitting the road again today, we made it just outside of Prattville, AL. Today’s heat was a bit of a struggle since it was 85 degrees plus humidity. Being just out of ski season, we are not quite used to the heat yet. On the bright side, Santi and I are getting our daily dose of vitamin D!
While being out on back roads, we sometimes see some pretty neat things. I have to share this because this little guy was so sweet. It was as if he knew every time I took a picture of him, because he would stop and pose for me.
We are now trying to re-hydrate on water, orange juice, and some good southern sweet tea!
Here are a few pictures from the road the past few days:
Another dirt road. Thank you V2 for awesome skis!
After making the 90 mile pull to Dublin, GA we decided to take Sunday as a rest day. We attended church at the Immaculate Conception church and were able to meet many wonderful people and talk to them about our journey. We also greatly appreciate their generosity for putting us up in a hotel when we arrived. On Sunday we met and stayed with a wonderful couple, Terri and Joe. Santi and I caught up on some internet work and Terri and Joe treated us o a delicious turkey dinner! We also met their friend Karen and played the card game 3-13. As usual, Santi won. I am pretty sure he has beginners luck with card games. We were also introduced to Jim and Maresa. They joined us for ice cream and we enjoyed great conversation about differences in word terminology growing up in the north and the south. For example putting your books up means putting them away, or would you like a pop or would you like a coke? We got a good laugh about our experiences going from the north to the south and the south to the north.
Monday we woke up to a wonderful pancake breakfast, packed up and hit the road. Yesterday gave us a bit of trouble because we kept hitting dirt roads, and busy roads that required slower double poling and getting off the road for trucks. Fortunately, we made it in before the rain! Yesterday we put in about 50 miles in about the same time it took us to do the 90 miles on Saturday!
Thank you Joe and Terri for your wonderful hospitality, and let today’s adventure begin!
Yesterday started out a little rough because we kept hitting dirt roads. So it was time to run. But not too long after, we found some great roller skiing roads. It was an overcast day and rain was in the forecast. Luckily it was only a spring shower and thanks to our friends at New Moon and our fellow Moonie Marcia, Santi was ready for the weather!
We hit a little rain.
The rest of the day turned out great for roller skiing. Also, we completed our first state (South Carolina) and entered Georgia! However just before the Georgia state line Santi had to make a decision, turn around and back track on a trail that did not cross the river or climb down to the highway. Well, those of you that know Santi probably know what he decided to do. You can check it out with the video that follows. But here was the after-math.
After making it the 50 miles to Sylvania we were welcomed with open arms to Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church. When we arrived they were holding a Friday Fish Fry to raise money for the Boy Scouts and the towns free clinic for the uninsured. We were treated to the delicious southern fish fry by a new friend we made. We got a good taste of southern cooking with grits and hush puppies.
We also met Bubba and Diane who were very kind and welcomed us to their beautiful home to stay for the night. There we met their sweet dog Aysa.
Our new friends Bubba and Diane!
We woke up to a beautiful morning and were greeted by their roosters, goats and donkey. Then it was off to another day of beautiful roller skiing! Our goal for today was 90 miles! Thanks to a wonderful breakfast and beautiful day we accomplished that goal and made it safely to Dublin, Georgia. Along the way we had great roads and made some new friends!
I don’t even know were to begin with all the events from today. The best way to describe it is a blessing. We woke up at 4:40 and started skiing at 5:30 A.M. to get a busy section completed. After that it was time to nap and prepare for the rest of the day. We had a little trouble figuring out what roads would be best. Thanks to a friend we were pointed in the right direction. The roads from then on were great for roller skiing.
Skiing by a Southern Plantation.
Along the way we found a southern swamp!
Skiing by a southern swamp
After skiing down this road for a while I gave the tag off to Santi. It was around 1:30 and we hit some 77 degrees weather.
Santi staying protected from the sun!
Later on I received a phone call back from the Varnville First Baptist Church. They wanted to put us up for the night at a hotel. Both Santi and I were overwhelmed with joy from their kindness. We want to say a big thank you to them!
Santi continued skiing along as I stopped by the churches along the way. As I was dropping information off at churches I came across the Sand Hill Baptist Church. As I was about to slide information about our journey under the door I was welcomed by the wonderful Skinner Family. I was greeted by George his wife Heather and their children. They were very interested in roller skiing and our trip. They invited us to dinner with them at a delicious Mexican restaurant. Before we met them for dinner we had to tackle a busy road. So it was on with the running shoes.
When life gives you lemons, don't try to make orange juice! Likewise when we get to busy, possibly dangerous roads, we use the running legs God gave us.
Hello Varnville! Following in Forrest Gumps foot steps! (Parts of Forest Gump were filmed here!)
Skiing into town.
It was not to long before we could switch back to roller skis and Santi finished us up for the day by skiing in to the town of Hampton on the sidewalks. After looking back on the day Santi and I figure we made it about 55-60 miles. Not long after making it in safely we were again greeted by the Skinner family and treated to dinner and Grocery’s!!! Thank you again to the wonderful Skinner Family for your kindness and generosity!
Thank you again to all who pray, support, and think about us on this journey. God Bless!