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  • Simone Lassar

Day 2: CONTINUED and Day 4: The Lake

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

(Don't worry Day 3 has not been forgotten, there will be a blog post for Day 3 up shortly).

Hi everyone, Simone here to finish off the dramatic scene Franklin left us with in our last blog post. Read part 1 of this story here.

To set the scene for you, Franklin is out buying us a new bike rack about an hour away from us while we are biking the lovely Virginia backroads. Maxwell turns to me and says,

"Do those look like storm clouds to you?"

I say with all the confidence in the world, "Eh, I feel like it's fine." It was not fine. We saw lightning flashes about 5 minutes after Maxwell asked about the clouds, and then the rain came. It started torrentially down pouring! Wind! Thunder! Lightning! The works! We stopped biking and huddled together behind a sign advertising the construction company working on the house who's driveway we are standing near.

We call Franklin and say, "Franklin! Come pick us up!" Keep in mind Franklin is about an hour away, and seconds away from finally buying us the new bike rack we so desperately need. He tells us this, and we respond, " Turn around! Pick us up!" Franklin is on the way.

Meanwhile, Sophia has the insight to call Tom from the fire department. The Mineral Fire Department often hosts bicyclists, and it was where we were planning to stay for the night. Tom picks up the phone and Sophia gives him our location. Tom is on the way! In the meantime, a very nice paster stopped for our wet, huddled group on the side of the road, offering us a ride. We turned him down, but after he left we started to regret our choice, weighing the pros and cons of getting into a strangers car or getting soaked. Tom calls us and says, "I'm 30 seconds away!" And there he is, in a fire department branded pick up truck! Our hero!

We put our bikes in the truck bed, hop in the back, and thank Tom so very much for picking us up. Then we remember we need to tell Franklin we've been rescued! We call Franklin, and tell him "Turn around! Get that bike rack after all!" Franklin was a very good sport about all this, and gets to the bike shop about 10 minutes before it closes, picks us up a fancy new bike rack, and the rest is history.

We cooked ourselves a pretty lavish dinner that night (thank you fire department for the kitchen), and met some other bikers stayer there in the "Bike the US for MS" program. Thank you so much to the Mineral Volunteer Fire Department for hosting us!

Day 4: The Lake

Day 4 was our first real rest day! (Spoiler alert we hosted our first Learning Festival on the road on Day 3). For our rest day we slept in to the late hour of 9:00 am, and left our hosts house to run some errands! We picked up groceries (shoutout Costco), picked up a car de-denter (whoops), and Franklin finally found a fanny pack which he had been searching for.

After errands we went to the beach!! (also known as the Chis Greene lake). We feasted on a lunch of tuna and literally everything and anything else on it (pictures below), and played in the water with an orange (they float and we didn't have a ball).

Finally we came home to Andrew's house, a friend of a friend of a friend maybe of another friend of Sophia, who was so generously hosting us along with his other friends Vonnie and Johnathon. It was dumpling night! Members of the church Andrew belongs to came over to his house, and we all learned how to make dumplings. It was so much fun and such good food. Thank you Andrew, Vonnie, Johnathon, and everyone else for your kindness and hospitality this weekend. This trip relies a lot on the kindness of strangers, and we are always so grateful for the generosity others have shown us.

Here are some pictures of the dumpling making and eating festivities! Stay tuned for more updates, when we go back on the road :)

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