Back Where My Idea Started

Chadron State Park

by Betsy Finley

 This whole journey started this past June from an idea from a book while vacationing at Chadron State Park.  Well, I’ve biked back to that place and I must say the fall colors are spectacular.  I didn’t expect to find anyone other than a few employees in the park, but I guess there are still people out there who enjoy fall camping.  And they were all so friendly inviting me to dine with them.  As tempting as that was, I was too exhausted to accept the numerous invites.  

Instead, I rented one of the cabins so I could sleep in a real bed.  It was a nice break from the sleeping bag.  That night I sat out on the porch and listened to the wind blowing through the trees.  The peace and tranquility was like Heaven on earth.

As the evening’s chill settled in I went inside and planned the next leg of my journey in the comfort of a heated cabin.  Tomorrow I’ll be backtracking back into town to start my trip to the Black Hills.  I’m excited to be heading there.  I’ve gone through the Black Hills many times, but never on a bike.  I plan on stopping at Crazy Horse Memorial, Mount Rushmore, Reptile Gardens, and maybe Bear Country.  Well, maybe I won’t do Bear Country since I’m on a bike.  I don’t feel like becoming the bears’ lunch.

After spending about an hour on my trip ticket I ate supper then got ready for bed.  As I lay in my bed I thought about where I had started this trip, where I was headed, but mostly I thought about how thankful I was for all that God has given to me.  

I’ve ridden 506 miles since June 18th which works out to be about 3.56 miles per day.  I guess that’s not a lot of miles per day, but it is 3.56 miles more than I was doing when I started this imaginary journey.  Okay, it wasn’t up and down hills like I would have been doing on a real trip, but I’ve still ridden farther than I’ve ever ridden before.  It feels good to have biked back to where this whole idea was born.  And the memory of that night is still crystal clear in my memory.  I believe God touched upon me that night while lying in the bed in that cabin.  And the benefits of this journey continue to grow.  I can’t say enough how this biking trip has changed my attitude with so many things in my real life.  

My biking has also started influencing others to start some form of exercise.  My sister has begun biking in her own way and I’ve had a few co-workers say they are thinking about doing the same.  Now maybe I can’t take credit for them starting an exercise routine, but in my heart I feel I did touch upon them.  It’s a good feeling knowing that this imaginary ride of mine has influenced some to start exercising.  

I’m thankful I kept my heart open to God’s powerful word and allowed His blessings to touch upon my life.  I pray that we all continue to allow God into our hearts, our souls, and our minds each and every day.  May God bless you all and let’s keep “Going the Distance.”


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