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By this Author: brendagerber07

Wichita Falls or Bust

Woke up to two, not one, flat tires

90 °F
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Good day to all of our faithful followers.
We had such a good night's sleep, in spite of the fact that the Indians ended their season last night. Karen was safely picked up by her friends from Fort Worth. We shall miss her and her pictures too. I apologize in advance for the pictures I will be posting ( not much of a photographer - usually leave that to my Ryan, Jenna or Kristen. ) This room had two queens and a pullout sofa so we did not have to set the cot up for Dan. I forgot to ask him if there was a bar in his back all night long. Anyways, the team went out to pump the tires before the morning ride and were met with two flats, one on Colleen's bike and a hole in one of Wynn's that they thought needed to be changed as well. We may have to hit a walmart and pick up a few more tubes! Glad the busts were found before they hit the trail today. Hopefully no more flats today.

I spent the morning cleaning the van, making sandwiches, mapping out a few hotels for the upcoming days and then headed to breakfast. Full service was provided with eggs, waffles, fruit, ect... I also got the ice container filled for the ice chest. Supper planning was next on the list and then a run to Walmart for the needed ingredients. My service light came on to show that "the pony trailer" needed an oil change so I will look to do that while I am in Lubbock.
(Can you believe, waffles in the shape of the state of Texas?)

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The team is back to riding along Rt 82. After a stop in St Jo for water and bathroom, the team and I will connect in the town of Henrietta for lunch. We get to pass through Belcherville which should bring some fun comments... Back later!

So I made the trip down Rt 82...speed limit is 75 down here and there were several times that I was riding the berm so pig trucks could pass me on a double yellow going 80+ mph. Whew, my hands were sweating. But I did get a few pictures off the berm so you could see this part of the drive.

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The riders got about 6 miles outside of Henrietta when they ran out of water, absolutely nothing on this stretch, so I met them at a little roadside rest ( no water, restrooms...but did have shade) we filled up bottles which allowed them to make Henrietta for lunch. We ate at a Shell station. They had a little shady area with a picnic table. I made a little friend too...made me think of Sharia and how fortunate I am to have Bob and Evelyn taking care of her.

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The team decided to forego the afternoon stop with me and I got a couple of pics of them riding through.

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The riders got a taste of their first bike trail today. All concrete and out in the open...not very scenic. The riders rode into the hotel (Holiday Inn Express). They rode 88.3 miles at 14.2 mph in 6 hours and 20 minutes. The riders all agreed that Wynn did a wonderful job navigating the tour off Rt 82 and through the city, onto the bike trail and back through the city to the hotel. Hurrah for Wynn! Tonight we are staying at a nice place with a great view. We're eating a spaghetti skillet meal tonight.

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So now that the Indians have lost, I guess we will try to find the Browns game tonight :)
Tomorrow we have a 110 mile on the slate...we'll see. I told Wynn to utilize the SAG if needed to balance out the miles. The heat is tremendous but our ponies keep pushing. I'm still so proud of them! 1250 total miles have been ridden thus far. That's 47% of our total tour.

Galloping along,
Brenda
(Happy Birthday to Jenna, our daughter-in-law)

Wynn here:

While the application is similar, I don't think that Ecclesiastes 4:12 was written for cyclists. But I think that for Dan, Colleen, and me, the verse has been very true. We all have doubted ourselves at times. With the three of us helping each other, we are stronger than each of us on our own. "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken." We peddle on.

Posted by brendagerber07 14:30 Comments (10)

Veering off 82

Trucks give us no respect

89 °F
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Having 11 days of riding in the books, one might think we would gain confidence...and we have. But this morning we were reminded that not everyone loves to see us on the road. We would once again ask that specific prayer be made for our safety each day. We certainly don't ever want to get cocky or forget who has made this adventure possible for us. Today the roads out of Paris were tight and the trucks were rude and scary, making the first few hours nerve wracking and slow. The team decided to get off Rt 82 for a while and take a smaller parallel route a little south of 82.

Please, Lord God, watch over our riders, Wynn, Colleen and Dan. Help them to be visible to the drivers and give the drivers patience and kindness as they pass our team. Thank you for the safety thus far and help us to praise You through the good and the bad, through the exhilarating and the doldrums. Help them to persevere and accomplish their goal in Your perfect time. In Your name, Amen.

Maybe this video will help get us lighthearted again.

So let's backtrack a little to last night. It was Karen's last evening with us and she picked Chile's as the place to spend Pete and Nancy's special gift to us. What a wonderful meal. Thanks so much for thinking of our riders and blessing us with this meal!

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We did go see the Eiffel Tower in Paris as well and everyone tried to get pictures. Colleen had the winning shot.
Colleen presented Karen with a friendship gift. I will be so glad to see her go but I guess Disney is a good enough reason for me!

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The team got on the road at 7:25am and rode 100 miles at 14 mph and were on the bikes for 7 hours and 10 minutes. Another flat tire, belonging to Dan, kept the team from getting in quicker. They rode through at rush hour in Gainsville and arrived at the Comfort Inn and Suites at 5:15pm. Everyone is sore, especially the back of the arms and necks. Pray that our riders can recover tonight. Wynn came in and immediately hit the floor.

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Our hotel is very nice and once again we were able to get a room with two queens and a pull out couch. We ask for ground floor rooms when we can.

While driving along the route today there was such a variety of things to see...take a picture tour with us...

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The riders coming up the hill was impressive

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We also saw some in Unimpressive things like this little old woman driving on the berm.

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No wonder the guys chose to get off Rt 82 at Honey Grove

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We met up with the team and fed the customary lunch of sandwiches, chips and cookies. We tried to find some Allen wrenches at the nearest Home Depot to fix Colleen's water bottle carrier. We'll work on it more tonight.

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We ate in front of the courthouse under a big shade tree in Sherman. It was a beautiful lawn.

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We also saw a sign for my Mom...

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We found fun sights too, like these alpacas and horse farms. I think the ponies felt right at home along these ranching roads.

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I'm going to end up showing you our good luck grasshopper that met us at our hotel. I want to thank God for bringing the team through a long, hard day. He provided safety through the construction and the traffic and the busy roads. Here's hoping we recover well, sleep good and have the energy to do another successful ride tomorrow. Keep those prayers going...
Riding along,
Brenda

Dan here: We had a tough day today. The first 22 miles was on a very rough shoulder. Many trucks were whizzing by at 70 mph so the road was not an option. Luckily Wynn found a road that paralleled Rt 82, which was smoother and had less traffic, however it did have many hills. We also had a strong crosswind so it was rough going for the entire day. It was one of the harder days this far, but as we have heard many times from riders who have done this kind of trip, you just get used to time in the saddle and you just do it! Even though I had yet another rare tire flat, the trade off is, I feel stronger every day we ride...so that is just a little bother.

One more little sideline...Colleen woke with a stiff back that was very painful. Dan said, " I thought our age might catch up with us, but I didn't think it would be you, Colleen'"

Posted by brendagerber07 17:01 Comments (7)

Day 11 of our Pony Ride

We are one complete day ahead

84 °F
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Hello readers,
The ponies were quite frisky today and decided to finish the day by riding all the way into Paris, TX. That means that they are a whole day ahead of schedule. What beasts they are! They are riding straight to the hotel, which is so much easier on all of us in the morning. We are staying at a beautiful Holiday Inn Express tonight so no telling what those riders will try to accomplish tomorrow. Today's ride was 107 miles at 15.7 mph. The riders were in the saddle for 6 hours and 53 minutes. The riders took advantage of a stiff tailwind in the afternoon. Keep those prayers coming so the winds will continue to be at their backs.

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We had such a lovely evening with Mike and Tracey. They were such gracious hosts and provided a quick breakfast for us too. The guys spent the evening watching Mon night football, which was a treat. I would like to include a recipe for Tracey's Harvest Cake ( my name for it) I'll also include a picture or two of their beautiful home, all decorated for Halloween.

Tracey's Harvest Cake
Ingredients:
29 oz can of pumpkin
12 oz evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 box spice cake
1 1/2 c chopped pecans
2 sticks butter

Mix 1st 6 ingredients until blended. Pour into 9x13 pan, lined with wax paper. Sprinkle the cake mix over the pumpkin mixture., then sprinkle chopped pecan pieces over cake and press in lightly. Pour melted butter over all and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Let cool and turn out on a tray to cool completely.

Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz cool whip
Mix all together and frost cooled cake. Enjoy. ( sounds great for Thanksgiving!)

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We started riding back on our favorite Rt 82, 20 miles east of Texarkana. I left the riders off in the same mosquito field and I'll tell you, they got on their bikes in record time. We passed into Texas, the Lone Star State with the six flags flying over Texas. And we all know that everything is bigger in Texas.

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After working their way through Texarkana, we met the riders for lunch at a DQ in DeKalb ( pronounced Duh Cab) We want to share a couple of stories with you. Dan met a man at the first watering hole that asked him, " howoldchu?" Dan had to ask him three times before he realized that he was asking him "How old are you?" When Dan replied that he was 67' the man said, " you need to have your head examined. I'm 69 and I'd never attempt this." Then Karen and I met an older couple coming out of DQ that asked us where we were from and what we were up to. The woman said that she had been to Ashtabula when there was snow on the ground. Didn't seem too fond of snow!

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The state of Texas has ranches and greenery and nice wide berms.

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We rode through Detroit and Blossom before reaching Paris.

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We saw some strange things along the way.

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We continue to move onward. Tonight we plan to eat at Chilis and find that Eiffel Tower with the red cowboy hat.

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So ride on, my friends...
Brenda

From Colleen:
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In view of today's government shutdown, we found this outhouse on the side of the road in The great state of Texas.. Top tier says "politicians" bottom tier says "voters".

( and that's what happens when we let the riders take over the blog's photography!)

Posted by brendagerber07 14:50 Comments (6)

Where's Waldo?

Camels,and zebras and buffaloes , oh my!

82 °F
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Arkansas on Rt 82 for 5 hours and 50 mins. They rode 90.4 miles at an average speed of 15.5. What a Monday! So as Wynn said, a hard day on the bike is better than a good day at the office...sorry, Neil! Not much to see as we went along? Well Karen and I saw things off the road that the team missed. Even though they had a large shoulder, the road was quite rough and there was a fair amount of traffic too. Their eyes were trained to the ground. So we try to show some of the things that they went past on the route. And yes, we did go through Waldo, Arkansas.

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The thing that really made us smile was a field that appeared out of nowhere...we have seen mirages as we have travelled along; something I don't think I'd ever seen. I looked over and thought I saw a camel...and indeed, I really had.

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And we saw a perfect sign for Dan and his "Mango" ointment.

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We saw some bridges again and the ever present RR crossings and water towers. Our water stop was at a little roadside park.

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Today's route took us through Magnolia, where we ate lunch and then through Waldo and Stamps, where we had water breaks. We ended up finishing our tour today in the middle of a farmers field about 20 miles east of Texarkana. We stopped in the middle of a mosquito nest. I never saw so many mosquitoes before...and many of them ended up in our van. Here is the team riding in

We loaded into the van and headed into Texarkana. We met at the courthouse that holds both the Texas and Arkansas governments. We took pictures straddling the two state lines. We met our Warm Showers host and hostesses, Mike and Tracy. What a wonderful couple. So hospitable and they have a wonderful dog named Holly. They got their dog at Christmas also. We are being treated to a lasagna dinner. Everyone is through the shower and the second load of laundry is underway. We are sitting around in a comfortable living room, sharing war stories. Our host is an ironman competitor and his wife is a marathon runner. What a nice break in the schedule for all of us. (I will put up a few pics tomorrow of Mike and Tracy) and I will try to share the recipe for tonight's dessert. Oh....was it ever yummy!

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So I am closing off early tonight so I can visit. (Dan is in the garage, changing his second flat tire. Glad it happened here and not on the road in the morning.)

Riding on....tomorrow we will be writing from Texas (Paris)
Brenda

From Colleen: Hi folks, Colleen here. I thought I would share a little with you this evening. When we start our days riding, sometimes it's hard to wrap my brain around completing all the mileage that is ahead. But I set my mind on the first 20 and before you know it were at second breakfast and thinking about the lunch stop where typically we are 50 miles or more, then it's smooth sailing on in to where we finish. Each day is so different and brings new vistas and horizons. Today we are blessed to be hosted by a wonderful couple in their beautiful home. I get to sleep in a bed all alone in my own room tonight, I will sleep like a log. I cannot tell you how much your support and words of encouragement mean to all of us. I am ever mindful that being able to participate in an adventure such as this is a tremendous privilege.

Posted by brendagerber07 17:23 Comments (8)

Hello Arkansas

Fourth state entered on Pony Ride 2013

rain 72 °F
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Sunday morning, 7:24 am and the ponies are on the road again. There is rain in the forecast, but everyone is hoping that the rain will hold off at least until the ponies are safely across the Greenville Bridge. The welcome center to the city of Greenville was shaped liked an old steamship, complete with catfish for Colleen.
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What an awesome sight to see the spires of the expansion posts rising into the air. The rain held off and the riders safely crossed into Mississippi.

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So goodbye Mississippi

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And hello Arkansas

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What a change from rolling hills and cotton fields to flat highways through farmland. We did get to see beautiful Lake Chicot along the way before heading into Montrose.

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Karen and I got everything packed up and supper in the skillet before heading to meet the riders for lunch in Hamburg, AR. (Which was the hometown of Scottie Pippen.) We had a very sweet gal at the Exxon station that allowed us to eat lunch inside.

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This gave the riders a break from the rain. The riders got back on the road and headed to Crossett. We will be riding on Rt 82 for the next few days...so follow along on your atlases. In Crossett, we found a Mc Donald's that had good WiFi so Karen and I hung out there for the afternoon, updating pics and videos. The team came through and decided to go ahead to Strong, AR where we picked them up at a small Baptist Church. The ponies felt fine today and were able to ride through the Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge. The team got into "Bridge Formation" as they went up and over the Ouachita River.

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The berm of the road is nice and wide which makes the riding so much better. The team finished the day at 100 miles on the nose. average was 15.3 with 6 hours and 32 minutes in the saddle. We are staying at a Country Inn and Suites and it is a winner; only a little over a hundred a night and all 5 of us can fit in (with Dan's cot.) I can't wait for tomorrow night and our first stop at a warm showers.

Wynn will leave us with his thoughts this evening.
Thanks for riding along with us....
Brenda

We wanted to give a couple of shout outs. First, to Greg Orlowski, for allowing Dan to borrow his cot. It allows us to stay in a suites tonight and enjoy the amenities. Second, Larry Best, you will be glad to know that today we were calling out road hazards as 'derbis'. Larry, we think you know what that will mean. All is well. Thank you all for your comments. Wynn

Posted by brendagerber07 11:48 Comments (8)

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