August 18, 2014
As we crested the top of our last mountain and saw a glimpse of Haystack Rock in the distance, we knew we were on the home stretch! August 18th around 5pm we made it to the Pacific Coast!! The 5,200 mile journey across the country, from the coast of Virginia to Cannon Beach, Oregon was finally coming to an end! We made it!! What a feeling of joy, happiness, and disbelief, that this four month adventure was coming to a close.
The bike trip was such an amazing experience, as we saw breathtaking sights and met fabulous people with stories and excitement to share. Of course there were both physical and mental challenges along the way, and we couldn’t have made it without the countless individuals and churches on the road. We want to thank each of you for your support on the trip – whether it was providing a place for us to stay, food, messages of encouragement, prayers, or sharing your story and knowledge. We truly feel blessed and inspired!
We have learned many things on this trip, and have so much to reflect on what we have encountered along this bike journey. Here goes some of the ideas we have been working on, in our brains, that we have experienced throughout our trip and would love to share with you!
- People are created to be kind and loving- at least that is all we experienced on our bike trip. People went to the extreme measures of stopping on the side of the road and giving us gatorade, bananas and even hosting us (and giving us really good food)! Folks would even stop just to make sure we were ok, ask if we needed money, food or directions to keep going. So my friends, meet your neighbors and strangers! Look up when you are walking or biking, wave and smile!
- Biking is a great thing! It continues to be super fun for us. Though biking long distances like we did is exciting and fun, the most sustainable and doable thing for all of us is to commute locally around your neighborhood and even to work! There are so many benefits to riding your bike! Here are some of them: make new friends, stay fit, decrease oil consumption, get to work for free, save money and most importantly it’s fun!
- The Church. Often times we are disappointed in how the church functions, or how the church treats one another, and sometimes the world. We have a long history of being unkind to the least of these. But throughout our bike journey, we have found hope in the various churches we have encountered, through welcoming us into their congregation, offering us food and even letting us sleep at their church. Though the church continues to struggle and debate on topics within, we are glad that many churches have become more open to sharing honestly. We will continue to seek love through all our struggles, as we are the church and we are the hope!
- As anything you do in life, there are risks, but with them come opportunity. For us it has become more evident (though shaped throughout our lives), that it is important to take on wise thought-out risks. This risk we took across the country, has helped us (and maybe you) find folks who love us (strangers) and their neighbors! If we choose to stay at home in our comfortable places, we miss out on such a challenge as this and miss out on what our fellow friends are wanting to share with us. We encourage you all to take on adventures that are wise risks that will challenge and inspire others to live into the revolutionary way of Jesus-the way of peace, love and forgiveness!
As for the two of us, Rebekah will be moving to the Everett, Washington to be near family and to start her nursing career, with hopes to go to grad school for public health. Be on the lookout because one day she still hopes to bike to Bolivia! Chelsea is returning to Elgin, Illinois where she will continue to work with Brethren Volunteer Service for a few months, before starting her next adventure. In the near future she hopes to help start an intentional community and is toying with different options to keep exploring and learning from this awesome world we live in.
So, as poet Wendell Berry wrote in his manifesto-we will leave you with some of his words,
So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world.
Blessings on your journey!
Chelsea Goss & Rebekah Maldonado-Nofziger
Chelsea’s email: email@example.com
Rebekah’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. May the rain fall soft upon your fields, until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of God’s hand” ― Irish Blessings