Week Five April 30-May 6 Tucumcari NM-Laverne OK
April 30, Day 23 Rest Day in Tucumcari NM
May 1, Day 24 Tucumcari-Vega TX
May 2, Day 25 Vega-Dalhart TX
3, Day 26 Dalhart TX-Boise City OK
May 4, Day 27 Boise City OK-Hugoton KS
May 5, Day 28 Hugoton--Liberal KS
May 6, Day 29 Liberal-Laverne OK
"Time to say good-bye" to Mandy ... wish I would have been
able to play
Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman's duet for her ... Mandy has been the
most terrific SAGger/rider with us, a real blessing from the Lord. We
couldn't have made it through New Mexico without her!
She left to go East, into Texas, scoping out Route 66 riding for
and SAGging most of our gear to Vega TX, before turning around to head
for Raton NM and Colorado Springs.
Scott and I just kept bare necessities to take on our bikes and the
trailer tomorrow. We went 23 days without having to carry our own gear.
We will pick up SAG help again in Boise City OK, on Day 27, when we meet
up with Brad Musgrove.
A gentleman from Abundant Life Church came to take us to church. One
hour of praise music singing, a short visiting break, then one hour of
preaching on "When you mess up, 'fess up (to God)." That was
followed by an altar call, announcements, then a collection. 2 1/2 hr.
service. It was OK, but not a style of church service with which I feel
totally comfortable. It was very emotional, but not charismatic/pentacostal.
We had lunch at the mission when we got back; not too much to do besides
rest, since we had already done laundry earlier, before church.
The mission has lots of New Testaments, tracts, etc. from the American
Bible Society. I took a copy of "The Only ONE For The ROAD,"
with a silver diesel on a maroon cover.
The director of the mission came by to visit again. Nice man.
Dinner was a chicken, rice, carrots, potatoes, and onion dutch over-type
Tomorrow we change from Mountain to Central time, so we lose an hour.
And it's a fairly long day, too. Maybe 80 miles.
Chapter 4 begins. Thanks to all who hosted us in Lordsburg, Deming, Las
Cruces, Alamogordo, Carrizozo, Corona, Santa Rosa, and Tucumcari.
Pleasant memories of New Mexico, the "Land of Enchantment."
Gray clouds in the sky at sunset. Not sure what tomorrow's weather will
With love and hope, soon to start Biking For The Cure again,
Marie (and Scott)
Time to say good-bye again, as we left La Casa de la Hope. Fond
memories of a great stay, new friends Jesse and Vicki and Bill
Bowman. Great ministry there!
Scott was pulling the BOB trailer we borrowed from Charlotte Reicks.
We each held back the "bare necessities" when Mandy SAGged
the bulk of our gear to Vega, before she returned to Colorado
Springs. Scott graciously put my pannier (saddlebag) on the BOB
trailer, because riding with just one, makes the bike off balance.
We rode the old Route 66, out of Tucumcari, on the S side of the
I-40. Rode through Revuelto and another abandoned town to San Jon
(pronounced San Hone) elev. 4225', a thriving little community.
Scott had his mid-morning lunch at Burger King, while I shopped for
At San Jon, we crossed to the N side of the I-10 and that's when the
crosswinds began. Unrelenting winds. We forged our way to Endee, 40
miles into the ride. We ate our peanut butter sandwiches in an
abandoned cafe, out of the wind.
We had to get on the I-10 for the next segment, but no sign was
prohibiting riding on the Interstate. We crossed into Texas at
Glenrio, now in Central Time, so we lost an hour. We cut through
just a corner of Deaf Smith Co.
We rode maybe 18 miles of I-10, then exited at the Stuckey's. There,
we crossed over to the N side of the I-10 and were back on the
original Route 66 again. passing through Adrian, there was a sign
indicating that Adrian (in Oldham Co.) is the half-way point between
Chicago and Santa Monica on Route 66.
A few miles past Adrian, we stopped at an abandoned gas station, and
called our hosts on the cell phone. Scott started talking to some
folks who had stopped. Turns out they were tourists, from the Czech
Republic (got that, Carmen). Pieter's a photographer for the
European edition of Esquire, and was shooting pictures of two
cowboys. Scott is a "wannabe" cowboy, so we went over to
see what was going on. We met Ty and Toby, handsome young cowboys.
They even let Scott sit on one of their horses, but told him to be
careful in his Spandex when he climbed over the barbed wire fence.
They were so polite, then even called Scott "sir" when he
was about the same age, or younger, than themselves. The Czechs were
headed W on Route 66, so I gave them my business card from the ride,
and added the names of our friends Peg Robertson and Roger LaBare,
from Oatman AZ, and encouraged them to stop there and look up Peg
and Roger. (See Peg, I'm promoting Oatman for you! Oatman is a great
little "wild West town" in Arizona, but
Back to the present, we continued the long ride into Vega. When we
finally got to Donnie and Melanie's ranch, we had ridden 83 miles, a
new record for this trip. It took 8 hrs. 38 min. Were we ever glad
to get in from the wind!
Dinnertime gave us a chance to visit with our hosts. Donnie is a
County Judge for Oldham Co. and quite active in the community. He
had a meeting about 1/2 way to Dalhart (at Boys Ranch) so he said
he'd SAG the gear and then make sure it got to the Pastor in
Dalhart. Melanie works as a secretary at an Ag station closer to
Amarillo. High School sweethearts, soon to be married 30 years. 2
daughters, one grandson 9 months old. Delightful Texans, complete
with accents! Donnie helped organize the Promise Keepers "cross
across America," the Texas panhandle leg; that was the year of
the million man march.
Tired, a bit achy, but happy to be in Texas. There is more
here, more green, less brown, and wildflowers galore along the
Just two days in Texas, then into and out of Oklahoma, on the way to
Still Biking For The Cure, creating awareness, and getting
donations along the way.
Marie (and Scott) from the "Mother Road" in Vega TX
A touch from the Lord, one year later ...
"Slept in" (but not really, because of the time change),
and left our wonderful hosts Judge Donnie and Melanie Allred. We
rode out to Hwy 385, which is runs from the Canadian border to the
Mexican border. It is a route I am considering riding next year as
"Border War Against HD" (Charlotte, it's the Hwy which is
in the brochure I gave you).
The scenery was great; wildflowers of many
varieties and hues, verdant fields with cattle. But once the sun
came out, so did the wind. We rode up and down many hills "The
Breaks" and across the Canadian River, and up past Cal Farley's
Boys Ranch. It's a ranch for troubled youth, close to 300, a self
contained community where food is grown, processed, cattle are
raised, processed, etc.
Finally we reached Channing, a small town
of about 300. Scott had already arrived and was eating "the
Daily Special" (pork chop, mashed potatoes, corn, and salad)
when I arrived, tired and windblown.
After I ordered, I was looking out the
window and saw an 18 wheeler from Coolige
KS, where the BG's, Ron, and I had ridden through on last year's
ride, along Hwy. 50 and the Santa Fe Trail. Charlotte had sung the
BG song in the Pink Coyote Cafe. I figured out who the driver of the
truck was, and asked him if he'd ever eaten in the Pink Coyote. He
said about twice a week! I told him of last year's ride, and gave
him a brochure to give to Barbara, one of the owners. We were pretty
beat after 38 miles of hills and a headwind, so I asked the trucker
what he was hauling. An answer to prayer - his trailer was empty,
except for a little bit of remains from the alfalfa hay he'd hauled,
to Farwell TX (I think). So ... I asked Scott what he thought about
a SAG, and he said it'd be OK. So I asked the trucker if he was
going to Dalhart, and he said "Yes," just what we needed!.
Just as we were going outside to load the
bikes, my attention was drawn to a community bulletin board. An
article with a photo of a young cowboy was posted. I looked and read
more closely, and my heart rose to my throat. It was Colby Jay
Goodwin, who used to carpool with our sons Kevin and Justin, and
Dino and Adonia Clathis, back in the early 1980's, Grand Junction
Scanning the article, I found out he
sustained massive head injuries in a rodeo event accident, and died
in late October 1999. He was buried in Channing, where his widow Amy
and infant son Gunner are now living, on Amy's father's
It was Day 25 of last year's ride where
"Encounter at Pawnee Rock" took place. E-mail me if you
want to know that story, and I'll have Ron send it to you. It's a
story of a touch from the Lord on Day 25, too.
The contact with the trucker was no
coincidence, either. He's a Christian, who does outreach with the
Gideons, besides his truck driving and wheat farming. He was just
the person that the Lord provided. (ABEFC folks, the prayer request
was answered in a mighty way.)
The miles flew by, with FLAT, green farming
land on both sides of the Hwy. Soon we
arrived in Dalhart, where he dropped us off at the Shamrock Truck
Stop. A wonderful encounter again!
Scott and I rode to the post office, then
to look for a big cowboy belt buckle for Scott (unsuccessful), then
rode to the Lakeview Methodist Church, where we were greeted by
Pastor John Baird, a former serious bicyclist! He's married to Mimi,
who's from Persia. He met her 20 some years ago while attending the
Univ. of Houston. She was an exchange student in a PhD program.
Since we got into Dalhart so early, I was
able to get caught up on the daily messages. I also made a phone
call to the HDSA Chapter President in Oklahoma, and found out that
apparently the van support vehicle "all across Oklahoma"
has evaporated and it's ONE day,-from Oklahoma City to Okemah,
birthplace of Woody Guthrie. Pray for SAG!
Love, Marie (& Scott)
With the time change and being so close to
the Mountain Time Zone, the sun doesn't
come up until about 6:45 am. Rev. John Baird, our host and former
bicycle hard core rider, accompanied us about 2.5 miles, before he
returned to the parsonage and we rode north on Hwy 385. A mist
hovered above the fields until the sun burned it off. Hwy 385 is
undergoing widening and re-surfacing. We were able to ride on the
"wrong" side of the highway, the W side, which had
periodic barriers to prevent vehicular traffic. While we were riding
along there, one of the trucks servicing that area stopped to refill
our water bottles. Thanks to Jett and his co-worker.
Our last infamous Texas "picnic
area" (not rest area, since there were no bathrooms or running
water, only shelters) afforded a place to take a break. We passed
about 4 of these picnic areas, but nary a rest area. Texas would do
well to follow the example of Arizona (ex. Texas Canyon) and New
Mexico (Las Cruces).
Across the state line into Oklahoma -
"Native America." Our 5th state! The scenery didn't change
much: farms irrigated with movable above ground mechanisms. Cattle
grazing; when they'd spot us rolling along, they'd run away!
No litle towns between Dalhart and Boise
City. Pretty flat, too. We had a slight tailwind which aided us,
since for the first time in BFTC2K we were riding with al our gear.
Scott pulled his gear on the BOB trailer Charlotte Reicks loaned,
and I had all my panniers (saddlebags) hung on my bike.
We rolled into Boise City, and spotted a
Methodist church. We stopped, and inquired if they could help with
accommodations. The pastor was busy, so church secretary Kim told us
to come back in an hour. We rode to Pizza Hut, had a great lunch of
pizza and salad, then rode back to the church. Kim was gone, but the
United Methodist Women's group was meeting (catch that, Jeanette),
and they told us to ride to the sheriff's office in the Cimarron Co.
Courthouse. They would issue us a voucher for a night at the
The Courthouse is in the middle of a
traffic circle, kind of like the circle in Fruita CO (but without
the dinosaur) a neat brick building, so classic. Many highways come
together in Boise City, including Hwy 287, which goes to Denver CO.
Colorado Springs is less than 300 miles from here!
The dispatcher, Jo, issued us a
"transient" voucher from the Ministerial Association. We
had a nice visit about our ride and HD. On the way to the Longhorn
Motel, we stopped to look for a cowboy belt buckle for Scott. The
proprietor is also the Mayor. Didn't get the buckle then, but later
on, Craig showed up with a buckle he GAVE to Scott! Got our room.
Showers and catching up on journals and E-mail were most of the
afternoon, since we checked in about 3:00 pm. I managed to take a
We talked to Brad Musgrove, who will be
riding with us tomorrow, confirmed the route, SAG, etc. Last year,
Brad rode with the BG's and me from Lakin to Dodge City KS.
Long ride tomorrow, over 80 miles, but it
will be SAGged by a friend of Brad's. Glad
to be in Oklahoma. The days and miles are flying by. We've gone over
1200 miles now.
Tired, ready for a good night's rest,
anticipating a fun ride tomorrow, with Brad and another cyclist from
Faithfully from the road, still Biking For
The Cure, your Road Warriors for HD,
Marie and Scott
This morning, if anyone would have told me that I was going to
ride my first
(and possibly only "century") I would have told that
person "In your
dreams!" But truth is stranger than fiction ... read on!
Scott and I left Boise City in the dark, but experienced an awesome
as we headed East, Scott pulling the BOB trailer, and me with my
The sun came up so quickly, a red-orange glowing orb.
Soon Brad Musgrove, Mack Hudson and SAG driver Tad passed us on the
road, parked up ahead, and started unloading Brad's and Mack's
bikes. Brad rode with the BG's and me on last year's ride, from
Lakin KS to Dodge City KS.
Mack is a biking friend of Brad's, a retired gentleman in his 60's,
quite an accomplished rider (like Brad.)
It was great riding as a foursome. A few miles into the ride, Brad
Scott the opportunity to ride his ultra lightweight Trek 5200, and
took him up on it. Scott rode really fast, while Brad rode Scott's
touring bike, which probably weighed 4X as much. Scott really
male companionship; that was one reason why the ride was routed what
appeared to be "out of the way."
We didn't ride much on Hwy 56; we avoided it wherever we could. We
took some back roads into Keyes, where we ate at Grany's Restaurant,
Scott's favorite kind of place, a typical roadside diner/cafe. Scott
needs to eat a lot,
maybe 6 meals a day.
We rode over 50 miles before lunch, through farming country. Lots of
Mack lives right along Hwy 56, just over the Kansas border from
Elkhart. His lovely wife Thyra had prepared a wonderful lunch, and
reporter from the newspaper was there for pictures and an informal
We rode Hwy 56 into Rolla KS, which had a sign boasting "Rolla
- 7 exits"
and another sign depicting the "West Kansas Wind Guage."
Distributed quite a
few brochures to folks at the convenience store, including a police
From Rolla we headed N, with a tailwind, but had to turn E to
wind was out of the SE and it made riding difficult. Part way along,
roving reporter from the Hugoton newspaper met us and took photos.
along we met another of Brad and Mack's biking buddies, Lloyd. Scott
really enjoying riding Brad's bike and the "male bonding."
That made me
Finally arrived at Brad's home, and we had ridden 92 miles! Brad and
had been suggesting we ride another 8 miles, to make 100. We
not? May be our only opportunity. So after a little rest at Brad's,
us about 8 miles S of town, so we could ride back with a tailwind.
did, and that's how we rode 100 miles!
Tomorrow is a short riding day. Heading to Liberal KS.
Details of the Oklahoma leg of the ride are falling into place,
the hard work of Bob Mikes, the OK HDSA Chapter Pres. He's
everything for us. Looks like there will be some good media
coverage, plus a
spaghetti dinner fundraiser at the Heartland Care Center in Edmond.
Yours ready to find "the yellow brick road" in Liberal KS,
Still raising awareness and funds for HD,
Marie (and Scott)
P.S. by Ron
Marie has attempted many times to send us the missing entry for Day
it seems to just disappear in Cyberland. I will send it on as soon
as we can figure out a way to get it to me.
"Follow the yellow brick road ... We're off to see the
Wizard, the wonderful
Wizard of Oz" ...
After our "century" ride yesterday, we rewarded ourselves
by sleeping in
until 5:30 am. Short day planned, 35 miles. Brad rode with us to
rode his friend Lloyd's bike, and Scott rode Brad's Trek 5200.
heavy dew/mist and wind, we rolled along, albeit slowly (at least
Seat-weary from yesterday, plus sidewind for 22 miles, and headwind
miles. Some of the irrigation sprinklers we saw in this farm country
1/2 mile long! Brad's dear wife Pam SAGged our gear to Liberal,
where we are
being hosted by Grace Lutheran Church.
After lunch at Wendy's, Scott and I went separate ways. I went to
"The Land of Oz," with Dorothy's House, the yellow brick
road, etc. while
Scott went to investigate the Liberal Air Museum.
"The Land of Oz" has 'Dorothy's House.' It is similar to
what Dorothy, Uncle
Henry, and Auntie Em would have lived in, but it was moved there
miles away. Furnished in the early 1900's vintage, it brings back
memories of the days of ice boxes, hoosier cabinets, chamber pots,
without closets. The "Yellow Brick Road" has large cement
engraved names; even former President Ronald and Nancy Reagan have a
block; they're only $65! The Land of Oz has a large building with
"The Wizard of Oz" story, something like a Disneyland
"It's a Small World" ride, without
the water, boats, and high technology. Three trivia questions. What
Dorothy's (and Uncle Henry's and Auntie Em's) last name, how old was
Garland when the movie was made, and what other famous movie was
made that same year on the MGM studios? Send me your answers, and if
you're right, you'll win a prize!
After touring "The Land of Oz,"I rode over to the Air
Museum. Scott had
already returned to the Lutheran Church, so I looked around, being
tourist. Close to 100 planes are on display, making it the 4th
airplane display in the USA. (Dede, I think your Ron would really
place!) Besides the planes, there were displays about Amelia
was from Atchison KS) and the history of hot air ballooning (Barb
you'd have enjoyed that!)
I returned to the church at 5:00 pm. Scott went home with Kent
Congregation President, and I went home with Daniel Fick and his two
children, Beau (5) and Shelisa (almost 2). Daniel's wife Sherry
from a Special Ed Olympics event in Great Bend KS just as dinner was
After dinner, we went in the back yard, and played a little baseball
Daniel and Sherry Fick used to teach in Kim, CO. Daniel's a 5th
teacher and Sherry works in high school with the Special Ed
kids. Nice young family.
Hard to believe that we have completed a full 4 weeks of BFTC2K.
Daily our thoughts and prayers are with so many of you. I hope
Hunt-Dis is doing OK. I have been in touch with Bob Mikes of the
Chapter of HDSA, and he is facilitating SAG, media, coordinating
Oklahoma Bicycle Club, entourage escorts, etc.
With love from the road,
Your Road Warriors for HD,
Marie (and Scott)
Liberal is just inside the Kansas state line, so within 4 miles
we were back
in the OK panhandle, that 34 mile wide. 167 mile long strip called
Land." It was our second time in Oklahoma this trup, since we
Boise City 3 days ago. The panhandle area has 3 counties: Cimarron,
and Beaver Counties. This is where thr outlaws holed up, where the
Strip Land Rush"was in 1893. Oklahoma only became a state in
Today's ride was through farm country the whole time. Verdant
pastures, some cattle.
Carried our own gear for 56 miles. We called our hosts Merle and
Swineford, and they came out to relieve us of our gear between
Gate. Bless them; it made the riding so much easier w/o being laden
Gate stands for "Gateway to the Panhandle," the first
village inside Beaver
76 mile ride. Arrived in Laverne, home of Miss America 1967 Jane
main street is named in her honor. Big arch across the main street.
hosts are lovely folks, the Swinefords. Merle was involved in the
Bicentennial Wagon train that went from Oklahoma to Valley Forge PA
in 1976. Barbara was in the Air Force in the early 50's. She's now
Governor for the Lions in this area.
Steaks for dinner, plus salad and bread, pie with frozen yogurt on
Also showed the Generation 2000 HDSA video.
Got word from Bob Mikes, HDSA Oklahoma Chapter Pres., that he has
lined up some SAG for us across Oklahoma! Praise God!
Know that this message is shorter, but I want to try to get caught
With love from the weary Road Warriors,
Marie (and Scott)