One Journey Ends and Another Journey Begins

The road ahead of us on the way to Delaware...Once again, we apologize for the delay in this post. The past couple of weeks have been over-the-top hectic, and we have finally reached a point where things settled down enough to get a blog post written out. We appreciate your patience.

When we last left off, the Storming Jericho crew was getting ready to storm its way into Washington, D.C., which, as you can imagine, is a pretty busy place. Thankfully, a friend of mine (Mike’s) named Courtney had connected us with a former coworker in D.C., so Linds and I had a safe, comfortable place to stay during our time in Washington. The challenge, of course, was getting there.

Lindsie, Mike, and MikeOur journey into D.C. started the morning after our night in South Riding. One of the folks from Christ Church, Mike, had come to pick us up from the townhouse and bring us back out to the church so we could resume our travels. Mike was awesome, and we were thankful we got a chance to meet him, talk with him, and pray with him before we set off down the highway.

Then things got a little rocky. You would think that a major U.S. highway leading into a major metropolitan city like Washington, D.C., would have either a decent shoulder or a nice bike trail alongside the highway. Nope. Just a whole lot of lanes chock full of vehicles. As a result, Linds and I spent most of our morning struggling to find stretches of sidewalk wherever we could find them, or, worse, pushing our carts through the grass alongside the highway. Needless to say, it was a little exhausting.

Lindsie, Scott, and MikeAfter a few hours (and about 8 gallons of sweat) we made our way into the outskirts of D.C., and stopped to grab some lunch. While we were getting situated, we noticed two people walking up to us. That’s not uncommon, because people tend to take an interest in the weirdos wearing highlighter-bright clothes and pushing carts down the highway. What is slightly uncommon is when one of the people walking up to you is someone whose house you stayed at all the way back in Circleville, Utah, several months and several thousand miles ago. But that’s what happened when Scott, who we met back in Utah, walked up and said hello. Scott currently lives in D.C. and he had seen us walking by while he and his friend were driving down the road we were on. Needless to say, our brains almost exploded. It’s amazing how God can make the most random, seemingly-impossible things happen, but to come across Scott again in a major city like D.C. just shows that God always has things lined up long before we can possibly imagine them.

Anyway, we had a good chat with Scott, but we needed to keep making progress if we were going to reach our goal for the day. So onward we pushed, thankful to finally have sidewalks again. We reached a good stopping point, and called Christiana and Caleb, our contacts in D.C. They had gotten in touch with a friend with a truck, so Caleb, Matt, and Suzette, drove out to grab us about 10 miles away from their home and bring us to Caleb and Christiana’s apartment. Once we arrived, we took a deep breath, thankful to have a safe, warm place to stay for the night. Christiana was working late, but she was kind enough to set us up with a delicious meal when we arrived at the apartment, and Lindsie and I did not hesitate to dive into dinner. We enjoyed chatting with Caleb and sipping on some hot apple cider while we prepared for bed. Toward the end of the evening, Christiana arrived home, and we were excited to meet her too. But it was time for bed, and knowing we’d be in D.C. for at least one more night, we decided to get some sleep.

Mike, Lindsie, Matt, Shawn, and AndrewThe next morning, Lindsie and I went out to explore the D.C. area. Although walking all around a major city isn’t exactly the best choice for a “rest day,” we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity no matter what. After getting into the city, we made our way toward Capitol Hill. Christiana works for U.S. Congresswoman Kristi Noem (SD), so she was kind enough to set us up with a tour of the Capitol building. An even bigger surprise came for me (Mike) when two people stepped out of Kristi’s office and I recognized one of them as Matt, a fellow Augustana College alum who was at Augie while I was at Augie. After reintroducing ourselves, Matt and his coworker, Shawn, jumped in on our Capitol tour with us, led by Andrew, one of Congresswoman Noem’s interns. I was just pumped because one of my hopes was to randomly come across someone I knew before starting our walk, and Matt helped me check that one off the list!

Lindsie, Christiana, Mike, Caleb, Stephanie, and JasonThe Capitol building tour was really cool and it was fun to get such a unique perspective on the history of our nation’s capital. Once the tour was done, we said goodbye to our South Dakota friends and continued exploring D.C. Lindsie wanted to take photos of just about everything she saw, so we walked all over and gathered quite a collection of pictures as we went. By the end of the day, we were just about wiped out, so we were ready to eat dinner. Thankfully, Christiana and Caleb and their friends Jason and Stephanie were meeting us for dinner at a nearby pizza place. After a great night of tasty food and fun conversation, we made our way back to Caleb and Christiana’s. Sleepiness overtook us quickly, and we all called it a night. And because we weren’t able to get a truck for the next morning, Caleb and Christiana were kind enough to invite us to stay an extra night at their place. We accepted, both because we didn’t know how we’d get back out to resume our walk the next morning, and also because we wanted to see a few more things in D.C. before we moved on.

Aaron and LindsieThe next morning, I woke up feeling pretty terrible for some reason. It definitely made us thankful that we had a place to stay again for the night. And even though I wasn’t feeling great, I didn’t want to send Lindsie out by herself all day in D.C., so we went and explored more of the sights. After a full day of walking and photos, we got to enjoy a pleasant surprise. Lindsie’s good friend Aaron, a fellow South Dakota State Jackrabbit, lives in D.C. now. So we met up with him for lunch, and we (specifically, I) tried to muster up the energy to make it a fun meal. It was awesome catching up with Aaron, but he eventually had to get back to work and we still had more photos to take. And by the end of the day, we were pretty much wiped out.

Although we had plans to grab dinner with the same group we ate with the night before, we unfortunately had to pass. I don’t understand why, but I felt like my body was ready to shut down on me, so we spent our evening resting and preparing to head out the next morning. Also, we had an opportunity to connect with my friend Bryce, but I honestly feared I might throw up on him if he came over, so we had to pass on that chance. I’ll probably regret it forever though. Sorry Bryce.

A beautiful shot from Linds of the Capitol buildingThankfully, after a night of really, really good rest, I felt much better the next morning. And also thankfully, Caleb and Christiana had gotten ahold of another truck, so we were able to drive out to where we had left off three days earlier and pick back up. After saying a sad goodbye and sharing in a goodbye prayer, we set back off toward the beaches of Delaware. But first, we had to go through the rest of D.C. and Maryland.

We walked the rest of the day through Washington, D.C., and we happened to meet some wonderful people as we traveled. One couple we met had Yorkies themselves, and Lindsie noticed a patch on the gentleman, Leonard’s, vest that mentioned being one of the laboring few for Jesus Christ. Lindsie mentioned that she liked the patch, and we realized we were in the company of some very strong Christians. Their kindness and spirit was a boost to our energy level, and we enjoyed praying with them and taking a photo before we moved on.

The best president ever...We were excited to make our way into Maryland as the evening crept toward us. Unfortunately, after contacting every church in the area where we planned to stop, we still didn’t actually have a place to stay that night. And from what we’d heard from people in D.C., where we planned to stop for the night wasn’t exactly an area anyone would recommend camping outdoors, regardless of the weather. So as we desperately tried to line something up, God showed us once again that he still wanted to take care of us.

The under-repair Washington Monumuent

We posted on Facebook that we were struggling to find a place to stay in our general vicinity, and one of my mom’s closest friends, Amy, mentioned that her sister, Emily, lived near where we hoped to stop for the night. Amy, who lives down in Houston, Texas, called her sister, Emily, who lives in Maryland, and asked her to help us out for the night. Much to our relief, Emily said she’d be happy to help. After a pretty miserable day of trying to walk on the sometimes-shoulderless highway, night finally came on in all of its pitch blackness. But right on time, Emily came to rescue us in her minivan, and we headed back to her house for dinner and a fun night of conversation.

When we got to Emily’s, we met her husband, Mike, and their two sons, John and Patrick. They were delightful, and we had a great time chatting with them. John and Patrick were both very inquisitive, and we enjoyed answering their questions and asking them a few of our own. We then ate a delicious dinner, and before we knew it, it was time for bed again. We said goodnight, excited to get up the next morning and continue on our journey. Another reason we were excited was because John was making us his homemade tea to warm us up and prepare us for our walk the next morning. Appropriately-named John’s Tea, it was a special mix of some tasty ingredients (but we don’t want to reveal the secret recipe), so whenever John goes into the tea-making business, you can purchase John’s Tea with a hearty recommendation from the Storming Jericho crew.

American pride at the Vietnam War MemorialEmily drove us out to where we’d left off and we said goodbye, continuing on our path down Highway 50. Or so we’d thought. Unfortunately, we made it about 3 miles before a state trooper pulled us over to let us know that the stretch of Highway 50 we were walking on is actually considered a “controlled access highway,” meaning pedestrians aren’t allowed on it, even in the shoulders. Obviously this was disappointing news, as we had planned to be on Highway 50 for 40-50 more miles. The officer told us we’d need to take a different route a few miles off of Highway 50, so we trudged back the way we’d came about 2 miles in order to get on the exit ramp that would take us to the new road we had to walk. Once we got there, we started walking again. But due to our detour, our route ended up having 4 extra, unplanned miles on it, which made us a little bit sad inside. On the flip side, we knew that was just Satan’s way of trying to get us down and make us quit, and we weren’t about to let him win that battle. So onward we pushed.

Patrick, Emily, Lindsie, Jaeda, John, and Mike

The only other problem is that we didn’t have a place to stay in the next town either. For some reason, we had no luck whatsoever with the churches in that general vicinity of Maryland, and we were starting to grow concerned. Thankfully, John and Amanda from back in Upperville, Virginia, used to live in the Annapolis, Maryland area (where we were heading), and they still had a few connections in the area. They got us in touch with their friend Charlie, and he and his wife, Stephanie, were more than happy to take us in for a night. And even better, their home was right by our route. So after overcoming the obstacles of route changes and added length, we finally made it to Charlie and Stephanie’s. Charlie is a big comic book guy, so he and I had plenty to talk about. But before we got too much into the comic book talk, we realized we needed to get some food. We went out to a fantastic restaurant nearby and got a chance to see some of Annapolis before and after dinner. Then it was bedtime, and we welcomed it with open arms. Or closed eyelids, to be more specific.

Stephanie, Charlie, and Mike

The next morning, we set off again. Only we did so without our carts. As a result of the law not allowing pedestrians on the bridge across the Chesapeake Bay, Linds and I had no other option but to get a ride across the bridge. And since Charlie and Stephanie have a truck, Charlie offered to just drive us and our carts over the bridge whenever we reached it. So we set out, walked all the way to the very edge of the Chesapeake Bay, and then rode over the bridge. Once we were out, we said thanks again to Charlie about 400 times for driving our carts across and then said goodbye. We walked to the edge of the shore on the side we had just reached (to walk as much as was physically possible for us), and then set out toward our next stop.

Dr. Rich, Mike, and Lindsie

That next stop was Queenstown, Maryland. And since we couldn’t happen to find a church willing to take us in in Queenstown either, we ended up staying at one of the hotels in the area. That ended up being ok though, as Lindsie and I were so tired after our busy day of walking that we wouldn’t have been much fun for anyone we might have met at church anyway.

Denton, Maryland, was the next stop on our route. We finally had a church that wanted to take us in, and we were thankful when Dr. Rich from St. Luke’s United Methodist Church welcomed us in. We had a great time chatting with Dr. Rich, and then we went out to eat at a delicious Italian restaurant where the owner, Sal, took fantastic care of us. Sal couldn’t believe that we had walked all the way to his restaurant from San Francisco, California. Adding to his kindness, Sal made us huge cold cut sandwiches to eat for lunch during our walk the next day, and we didn’t object in the slightest. After filling ourselves on Italian food and wonderful conversation, it was time to head back for bed. We only had two more stops on our route after Denton, and then we would reach the end of our journey.

Lindsie, Mike, and Sal

The next morning we set out for Greenwood, Delaware. Pastor Doug from Greenwood United Methodist Church said we were welcome to stay at his church, and we excitedly took him up on the offer. Even though it was a chilly day, we made great time toward Greenwood (mostly because we wanted to get out of the cold), and Pastor Doug was happy to let us in when we arrived. Pretty soon after our arrival, the youth group began pouring in for the Wednesday night youth service. Before we knew it, we were surrounded by dozens of active and excited kids ranging from elementary school age to high school age. Along with a tasty dinner provided by the church, Linds and I had an opportunity to share our story with some of the youth group kids, and we really enjoyed answering their questions and hearing their thoughts on what we were doing.

The end is in sight!

After things settled down, Linds and I went to bed. It was getting harder and harder to fall asleep knowing how close we were to the end, but walking 18 miles a day still manages to wear you out, no matter how excited you might be. We set out the next morning for Milton, Delaware, the last place we’d need to spend the night. The Associate Pastor at Grace Church in Milton, Pastor David, said we could stay in the sunroom of the parsonage, which was currently being renovated. We thought that sounded just about perfect, and we started booking our way there. Along our way to Milton, we ran into a woman named Serinda who manages the American Discovery Trail in Delaware. Serinda was excited to meet us, as she tries to meet any on-foot travelers coming through her area. We didn’t have much time to chat when we met her at the gas station on our way to Milton, but we invited her to come hang out when we reached Grace Church, and she accepted our offer.

The Greenwood United Methodist crew

A little while after we reached the church and got set up, Serinda arrived, excited to talk with us and hear some stories. We were equally excited to hear some of hers. As the evening went on, we had another thing to be excited about—our parents were almost to Delaware! Lindsie’s mom and dad, Tim and Lyn, were driving out with my mom, Paula, to come pick us up on the beach the following day. And the timing was going to work out that they’d actually be able to pick us up in Milton that night and take us to the hotel so we could spend the night with them. So when they pulled up around 8:00 that night, we said some emotional hellos and loaded up most of our gear into the van. We left one cart with a few things still in it in the parsonage so we could get it in the morning and keep on walking from there.

Jaeda, Mike, and Pastor David

We’d be lying if we said it was easy to fall asleep that night. Our goal…the beach of the Atlantic ocean, was one more day’s walk away from us. It was so close we could taste it. But eventually we got some sleep, and the next morning brought the same jitters of anticipation. We got dropped off with our stuff and set out down the road. We only had 16 miles to go, and we couldn’t wait.

We made great time, thanks to some nice shoulders in Delaware and some nice sidewalks as we got closer to Dewey Beach. Along the way, we ran into two very familiar faces—Lindsie’s mom’s cousin, Nancy, and her daughter, Deanna. You may not remember, but Nancy and Deanna had actually met up with us not once, but TWICE already on this journey (the first time was in Davis, CA, and the second time was in the desert of Nevada), and we were more than happy—though not exactly surprised—to see them again!

Lindsie, Serinda, and Mike

As we pushed on, the beach got closer and closer. Along the way, we got to connect with Ron from the local newspaper, the Cape Gazette. Ron was doing a story for the paper on our journey, which we’ll post a link to a little lower in the post. And then, before we knew it, we were only a few miles away. Both of our moms came to join us in our walk for the last mile and a half or so, and eventually the entire crew—me, Lindsie, Jaeda, Tim, Lyn, Paula, Nancy, and Deanna—were walking the final steps onto the beach. The moment had finally arrived.

Our family together on the beach...As we stepped into the water, we were both overcome with emotion. It took nearly 17 total months (11 and ½ of walking time, plus 5 months off for winter) and we pushed our bodies to walk around 3,600 miles on foot, but it was worth every step of the way to see how God provided for us and took care of us as we traveled. Words truly can’t describe how we felt as we hit that water and knew our journey—at least, this part of our journey—was finally over.

We’ll try to have another follow-up post soon that gives a little more detail on that last day, as well as our future plans from here on out, both personally and from a Storming Jericho perspective, but we wanted to finally get you all caught up now that our journey is officially “over.”

17 months later...

Thanks so much for reading, and, like I said, we’ll have another post up soon. We can’t say how thankful we are for everyone’s help as we traveled across this great country. We were blessed in every sense of the word. And like the title of this post suggests, even though we’ve hit the beach and our walk is over, the next journey of our lives is just beginning. And we can’ t wait.

Thanks again, and we’ll be back with more soon!

-Mike, Lindsie, and Jaeda

P.S. – To read Ron’s awesome story in the Cape Gazette, click here!

Through the Mountains and Beyond

The road ahead of us...We sort of left you hanging on our last post, just as we were preparing to climb our way up a couple of mountains into Aurora, West Virginia. Needless to say, pushing our way up two extremely steep mountain summits in one day was not exactly our idea of fun. But the only way to get to our destination was to climb, so that’s what we decided to do.

After a few miles feature hills of various size, we reached the base of our first hurdle (really tall hurdle, mind you), Laurel Mountain. After saying a prayer that God would provide us with the energy we needed to make it up the mountain, we set off. And even though we know how much God has provided for us on this journey, we were still slightly surprised at just how much energy He filled us with. Although it wasn’t easy, we made it all the way to the top of Laurel Mountain and said a prayer of thanks at the top.

Fact: 9% grades aren't fun for anyone, walker or driver...After making our way downhill and traveling a few more miles, we were at the base of our next climb, Cheat Mountain. And we weren’t exactly excited. It was already getting late, and we still had seven miles to reach our destination, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Aurora. We started laboring up the 9% grade, stopping for rest breaks pretty consistently, but before we knew it, time had caught up to us. It was getting dark and we still had five total miles to go, and at least three of them were uphill. Realizing we weren’t going to arrive before 8:00 p.m., we decided to make a call to our contacts in Aurora, Dave and Fran. We asked if they might be willing to take our carts up ahead for us so we could walk without the weight of the carts. Much to our joy and gratitude, they said they’d be happy to do that.

After Dave and Fran rescued us we still had five miles to walk, but we knew we’d now be cruising without our carts. Well…as fast as you can cruise walking up a 9% grade. Within a couple of hours, we had reached the top, walked along the ridge to Aurora, and arrived at the church around 6:45 p.m. We walked into the parsonage behind the church, where we’d be staying for the night, and found a warm pellet stove blazing, an entire meal waiting for us along with an apple pie dessert and homemade cookies, and a large air mattress to sleep on for the night. We were almost overwhelmed with thankfulness.

The delightful St. Paul's Lutheran Church crew in Aurora, WVAfter enjoying our meal and warming up by the fire, we were ready to sleep. A 21-mile day that included two large mountains and a few other small hills would be enough to wipe just about anybody out, and we were certainly done for the day. And thankfully, the folks at St. Paul’s offered to let us stay an extra day and night to recover from our exhaustion. We accepted the offer with gratitude.

The next morning we enjoyed a delicious breakfast with Fran and Dave, attended a church service at St. Paul’s, and had a chance to meet several people from the congregation as well, including Darla, who had been our original contact at St. Paul’s several days before. One of the congregation members, Cindy, offered to let us use her wi-fi hotspot, which was a bonus blessing, as we had quite a few internet things to do. Thanks to a lot of much-needed rest, our little Storming Jericho trio had a lovely Sunday afternoon. Then, around 4:00 p.m., Fran and Dave picked us up to take us around the area to see the beautiful sights up in the mountains. As we looked out over tree-covered mountaintops and soaked in the leaves with all of their different colors, we were reminded of the amazing, awe-inspiring things God has created on this earth. It is truly incredible. After driving for about an hour and a half, we were all ready to grab some dinner. Dave and Fran took us to an awesome lodge and we packed our stomachs full of food. After that, it was time to head home again and get sleep. Even though we had climbed up and over two gigantic mountains, we still had plenty of walking left to do in the mountains themselves.

A sweet panorama of the West Virginia mountaintops...

The next day we made our way toward Mt. Storm, West Virginia. It was a nice walk. Even though there were some tough stretches, not having giant mountains to climb made it a little bit more comfortable. And thanks to the folks at the Methodist Church in Mt. Storm, we had a hotel to stay in when we arrived. We got to the hotel in pretty good time, got a good night of sleep, and were excited to keep on making progress toward Delaware.

Mike, Elaine, and Pastor DanOur next stop was New Creek, West Virginia, where Pastor Dan from the Rees Chapel United Methodist Church had offered to take care of us for the night. Although we thought we would be staying at the church that night, Pastor Dan informed us that they wanted to put us up at the nearby Keyser Inn, and we didn’t want to turn down that offer. After buying us some dinner and dropping us off at the hotel, Pastor Dan said goodnight and said he’d be back to pick us up and return us to the church in the morning. Needless to say, Linds, Jaeda, and I slept like rocks that night.

The Burlington Cafe crew...

Morning came too soon, but we were still motivated to keep making progress, so we said thanks to Pastor Dan and his wife, Elaine, and set off down the road toward Romney, West Virginia. Our trip to Romney was another long one—22.5 miles, to be exact. Thankfully, Burlington was along the way to Romney, and we stopped in to grab some lunch at the Burlington Café. After sharing a little bit about our journey while we ate some incredibly tasty burgers, the folks at the café paid for our lunch, and we were extra thankful for that. It’s not every day you get a fantastic, juicy hamburger on the house. On top of that, a friendly couple named Dave and Mary Kay stopped to talk to us for a minute, and they gave us some freshly-made apple butter to take with us on the final stretch of our journey. And if you didn’t know, apple butter is delicious.

Cindy, Darla, Jaeda, Mike, and LindsieAnyway, after eating our meal and after pushing all day long, we were excited to run into Cindy and Darla from Aurora, who were kind enough to drop off Gatorades and candy bars for us on their way home from meetings farther east. It was a blessing to see them, and the Gatorades made it even better, because a 22.5 mile day makes you pretty thirsty. After that, we finally pulled into the church in Romney. Unfortunately, the pastor at Romney First United Methodist was unavailable, but Reverend Richard Hogg from Burlington had connected us with another church member named Sandy. Sandy and her husband, Paul, wanted to host us for the night, and we didn’t turn that down. So Sandy met us at the church, and one of the church elders, Ted, also happened to be waiting for us. Along with giving us some chocolate from a bunch of different countries, Ted showed us around the church a little bit, pointing out the history—mainly the gorgeous stained-glass window that was designed by a gentleman who had done work painting in the Sistine Chapel during his career—and then we said a prayer together and the Storming Jericho crew made its way to Sandy’s.

A ridiculously detailed (and beautiful) stained glass window from the Romney United Methodist ChurchOnce we were there, we had a fantastic meal with Sandy and her husband, Paul. We had a great conversation, and closed out the evening singing a bunch of classic Christian songs while Paul rocked out on his guitar. It was a unique and memorable evening, for sure.

The next day brought a cold front and rain, and an unfortunate pattern we’ve discovered with cold fronts and rain is that they tend to give Lindsie migraines. So when Lindsie woke up with her head throbbing and the rain falling outside, we knew we might be in trouble. Thankfully, Sandy and Paul are wonderful people, and they said it would be ok for us if we took a rest day at their house. Obviously, this was great news. Linds and I spent most of the day checking things off of our overdue-to-do list, and Lindsie also squeezed in a little bit of a nap as well. Then it was time for another tasty dinner, and before we knew it, it was time for bed again.

Mike, Ted, and Lindsie

Traveling the next morning was going to be rough. And that was putting it mildly. Even though we were out of the “mountains,” we had a full day of walking with four major hills we had to go up and over. But, as usual, God came through in the clutch by blessing us with Ted. Using his truck, Ted drove us and our carts ahead of us to Capon Bridge, West Virginia, so we wouldn’t have to push both carts up and over those hills we weren’t looking forward to. After dropping off one of our carts with Pastor Chris (from Capon Bridge First United Methodist Church) and emptying out most of the other one, Ted brought us back to Romney and we said a goodbye prayer and picked up where we had left off walking a few days before.

Sandy, Paul, Mike, and LindsieThe hills were much more manageable with one light cart, and we made incredible time to Capon Bridge. And even though we were definitely worn out when we arrived, we walked in to a delicious-smelling kitchen and some very comfortable chairs—as far as we’re concerned, that’s a fantastic combination. We had a great conversation with Pastor Chris, and after eating all kinds of good food and desserts, we took showers and called it a night. We had walked 22 miles with four hills, after all.

Pastor Chris and Mike

The next morning, Pastor Chris took up where Ted had left off, and offered to drive one of our carts to us a few miles down the road. The first 7 or 8 miles of our day would be spent walking with almost no shoulder, so he figured we could walk with one cart, and he’d drop off the second once we had a shoulder again. It was a perfect plan, and we were thankful he thought of it. We made great progress down the road, and once he dropped off the other cart and we said goodbye, we just kept on moving. That day we crossed from West Virginia into Virginia, and our first stop in Virginia was Winchester.

We had originally made plans with one church in town, but because of some events they had going on, the pastor referred us to a different church, Montague Avenue United Methodist Church. There, Pastor Andy and his wife, Regina, were waiting to welcome us inside. We should mention that Winchester is a very cool city, particularly the parts we walked through on our way to the church. Anyway, Pastor Andy and Regina wanted to take us out to eat, and we were ready to dive in when we heard the magic words—Golden Corral. When you’ve walked 20+ miles in a day, an endless buffet of food just seems to set the mouth to watering.

Lindsie, Regina, and Pastor Andy

We loaded up on food, then headed back to their house for a quick shower. The whole night was extremely fun, but we were certainly wiped out by the end of it. We headed back to the church, set up for the night, and slept like rocks. Rocks that were very full of food.

The next morning we set out again, this time heading toward Upperville, Virginia, where Pastor John, one of the pastors at the ridiculously beautiful Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, was going to put us up for the night. The day was a little chilly and the sky got dark even earlier than usual thanks to the clouds, but we still made it in decent time and were thankful to arrive at our destination. As I mentioned before, the church was beautiful. The reason? The church was built to resemble a 12th century church complex, like something straight out of Robin Hood. So that was awesome. Also awesome was the well heated living area we were able to use for the night.

The Trinity Episcopal Church crew in Upperville

That night, John and his wife, Amanda, took us out to eat at a nearby restaurant, and we were joined by Ed and Margaret, and their two sons, Charles and Robbie. The food was delicious, and the conversation was even better. But after a very fun evening, Linds and I were ready for bed. We said goodnight, and woke up the next morning ready to go. Sort of. We thought we were ready to go. But after only seven miles, we knew the day was going to be more difficult than we were ready for. We called John and asked if his church might be willing to put up with us for one more night. Thankfully they were, and he was kind enough to come pick us up in the church van to bring us back. And after a full day of uneventful rest and a full night of sleep, John’s kindness continued the next morning when he dropped us back off where he’d picked us up the day before. We continued on, much better rested and much more prepared to tackle the open road.

Zita and MikeOur next stop on the journey was South Riding, Virginia. We were blessed to have a contact there, Pastor Becky from Christ Church, who was flexible enough to deal with our constant changes in schedule. Unfortunately, she got sick the day before we arrived in South Riding, so we were never able to meet her in person. But she was still willing to let us spend the night in the church’s townhouse, which had a shower, a kitchen, a washer and dryer, a bed, and anything else we really could have hoped for as far as comforts go on a cross-country journey. In order to get there, we left our stuff at the church and got a ride to the townhouse from Zita, one of the congregation members who was nice enough to help us. After she showed us around, Zita headed home. In order to make us as comfortable as possible, Pastor Becky ordered a pizza for us for dinner. So we were full, clean, warm, and beyond content, which was a huge blessing.

More of nature's beauty...The next morning, it was time for some chaos—heading into Washington, D.C. And even though we’re much, much farther along in our journey than this post gets to, we need to get something posted sooner than later. We’re almost finished with the walk overall to be honest, but you’ll have to endure the suspense until we can get the next post up. Hopefully the next post is ready soon!

Thanks again for the continued prayers and support. These last few weeks have been as challenging as any, and it’s the prayers and words of encouragement that have helped get us through. We are appreciative beyond explanation. God bless!

-Mike, Lindsie, and Jaeda

Checking In From Our Nation’s Capital

Hey everyone! Just wanted to apologize for the delay in getting the blog updated. The last week or so has been hectic and crazy (in a good way), so we haven’t had a TON of free time to get the a new update posted.

That being said, here’s a photo of the beautiful sky we saw as we made our way toward Washington, D.C. last night. Just wanted to give you a quick update that we are ok, share some of God’s incredible artistry skills, and let you know that a more detailed blog post should be coming soon. Thanks for your patience!

God has some pretty solid skill with a paintbrush...

-Mike, Lindsie, and Jaeda