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Day 153---6/3/12

Posted by Athena Papadopoulos on June 3, 2012 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (0)
Today was just plain wonderful. What can beat spending time at church and sitting under the teaching of God's word? Nothing is what I'm thinking. Anyway I also got a chance to visit the Salton Sea today. It's supposively the 2nd largest salt lake other than the dead sea. I think it may also qualify as the smelliest. There was definitely a particular smell that lingered in my sinuses. It's an experience everyone should have but probably not repeat. Tomorrow I head up the very steep mountain and as of now I'm looking forward to a biking partner that plans on joining me bright and early in the morning. Goodnight everyone!

Day 152---6/2/12

Posted by Athena Papadopoulos on June 2, 2012 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (2)
It has been really hard lately to even sleep past 5am in the morning. I guess the whole sun being up at 5am has been throwing me off. And probably the anticipation of knowing that I'll have to wake up before then to get started before the heat wrecks my sleep too. I just have this feeling that at some point I'm just going to crash and not wake up for a day. It is nice though experiencing the world before most others are awake. I'm very happy that God made me a morning person. So today I was up early to get my ride in. Around the Borrego Springs area there are these interesting metal sculptures of animals and dinosaurs. They're just randomly scattered out in the desert and you kind of have to do a double take when you see one. It does make the sights a bit more interesting though. Other than that it was a pretty cool morning temperature wise and thankfully along with that no tire blowouts today. Tomorrow is Sunday and Yay! That means a FULL day o rest and church. I'll just leave a verse with you today. "So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth." - 1 Corinthians 3:7 I just thought that was a great verse and lesson to continually remind ourselves of. That this life really is not about us and we need God for EVERYTHING. And in the context of the gospel...God is the orchestrator of it all. We are just the vessels he chooses to use. Think about that.

Day 151---6/1/12

Posted by Athena Papadopoulos on June 2, 2012 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (1)
Happy first day of June! It was definitely one for the books for me. The day that my tires decided to become bombs. Seriously! I have never seen tires do what they did today. I blame the heat. Someone said something about the heat increasing the air in the tires making them explode. I guess there's no other way of explaining it. Anyway...the desert is a desolate and hot place to get stranded. But thank God for wonderful people who rescued me. I am completely blessed.

Day 150---5/31/12

Posted by Athena Papadopoulos on May 31, 2012 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (2)
150 days!!! Pretty monumental I think and I'm so close to being done it's unbelievable. Just one more mountain range to cross...a daunting range I've heard. But I guess I'll have to see for myself and compare them to the ones in Arizona and New Mexico. I'll try not to discourage myself before I get there though. Today was kind of a relaxing day. I definitely didn't have to travel as long as normal and after yesterday it felt amazing. The heat not so much though. 111 degrees! That's a bit much for me. Aparently it was only 66 degrees in San Diego today. All the more reason to press on. Pray for my strength tomorrow. It's going to be another long day and those mountain are coming up soon.

Day 149---5/30/12

Posted by Athena Papadopoulos on May 31, 2012 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (1)
Phone service is back! I've decided to not depend on it...it never turns out okay. Anyway...today was probably my longest ride yet and hottest day to go along with it. But God definitely provided me with the strength to make it through. I am yet again sunburned but that's normal. Today I got to ride through the imperial sand dunes. It really reminded me of Napoleon Dynamite. Anyone else get that? It just looked like a ton of beach and no water, which was the downer considering how hot it was. And God has completely blessed me yet again. I was originally going to stay the night in the church building...but I met a lady tonight at church who invited me to her home. Yay! God is so Good!

Day 147---5/28/12

Posted by Athena Papadopoulos on May 28, 2012 at 11:10 PM Comments comments (2)

So the day has finally arrived...I've made it to California!!! I can't even explain the feeling I felt crossing that state line. There was a certain feeling I had when I crossed over into my first state, the state of Alabama...but this was so different. Almost a feeling of contentment, like I've finished or something. Which I well know that this journey is not over yet. But Wow! I'm here. The moment I've been waiting for this whole trip...to be literally across the United States. What better day than on memorial day too, right?

 

It really was a beautiful day too. It's actually funny that I'm calling 94 degrees beautiful, but after over 100 degree days, you would understand too. The last point before crossing into California was to cross the Colorodo River. That sure was a sight to see. WATER!!! Seriously, it was a wonderful sight. I was surprised at how clear the water looked too. I think I was expecting something a little more murky. I also got cheered on by the man at the 'Port of Entry' crossing the state line, he said "Whoo! Your in first place!" I just had to laugh and it made me smile. It must be odd to see a bike come through there though.

 

So onward I go into California with the best body gaurd around on my side, God. People around me keep trying to put doubts in my head about how dangerous and desolate the land is ahead of me. But you know what? I have this peace about doing what I'm doing. I'm not afraid. Just like every other part of the journey was in the plan of God. So is the path ahead of me. God is not suprised...and I'm going to trust he has it all worked out already. So I'm pressing on!

Day 146---5/27/12

Posted by Athena Papadopoulos on May 27, 2012 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (1)
"Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what the day may bring." - Proverbs 27:1 Is it still boasting if I am just beyond excited? I have been dreaming about tomorrow for the past several months and it is finally within reach. The day that I enter CALIFORNIA! Wow...it still seams like a dream or mirage or something. I know I can't get too ahead of myself though because the day has a way of directing itself. I really can't wait though. Today was a wonderful day of rest. Fellowshiping with the body of Christ is always a plus. It's been really neat to get a glimpse of the different church atmospheres across the US. They are really all so different. Even those of the same denominations...you just can't put church in a box I guess. And I sure did get rest today...a nice long afternoon nap. Maybe too long. I really hope I can sleep tonight. I've got a challenging week ahead but I know the God who has brought me this far will empower me to the end. I don't doubt it one bit.

Day 145---5/26/12

Posted by Athena Papadopoulos on May 26, 2012 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)
It always seems like everything crazy and worth sharing on my blog happens whenever I don't have phone service...so I don't get to share. But I really feel like yesterdays adventure is worth sharing today. First of all...a little background info is needed. I am officially back on a bike. If you remember from my last blog, I mentioned that my foot was almost impossible to stand on, let alone attempt to walk or run. Well, I had some wonderful people lend me a bike and carrier...so I am well on my way again, just not exactly how I had planned. Okay, so now to yesterday. The morning didn't start out so great. I woke up ready to get started early, only to find that I had two flat tires. Okay...well that's fixable. So I got started later than planned only to be faced with 25-30 mph headwinds. I was starting to wonder what I was getting myself into. About 7 miles down the road my tire went flat again. Oh no! I patched it and continued...only it went flat again. This happened 4 more times until I realized the valve of my tube was leaking...not ok. But duck tape fixes everything right? Well, it did for about 5 more miles and then I was out of luck. No spare tubes and the nearest town 13 miles away. I just started hobbling my way down the road asking God what he was trying to teach me. I made it about 2 miles when a truck pulling a trailor drove up and stopped ahead. I was thinking in my head, "Oh no, it's probably just some weirdos going to ask if I need a ride." Boy was I mistaken! Two guys got out and asked if I had a flat. Well, DUH! So I just asked if they had any extra bike tubes...get ready for a God moment. They opened up the back of their trailor, which happened to be full of bikes and bike equipment. WHAT?!? Didn't see that one coming. They went on to tell me that they were the support crew of a man who was biking and running across the US and had started in NY. He and another guy showed up moments later on their bikes and they all not only fixed my tire but gave me an extra tube and tuned up my bike. God is crazy amazing isn't he?!? The man doing this is Jason Lester, a disabled athlete and it's through Nike. Or you can just visit nikebetterworld.com. Seriously they were the best answer to prayer ever. Okay...now onto today. I was joined for my first 28 miles today by a hardcore 70 year old man. He had lots of great biking advice and also confirmed that I was going to die. Hopefully he meant at a ripe old age. It was great company though. And he was my wind blocker, riding ahead of me. Anyway, I'm almost to California! Monday is the day. I really can't believe it.

Day 142---5/23/12

Posted by Athena Papadopoulos on May 24, 2012 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (1)

Following the will of God is tough sometimes. I've been in this stage of trying to figure out exactly what God is trying to tell me...and he certainly is telling me a lot by the weird things that are going on inside my body. My foot has been giving me a lot of issues and today was hard, very VERY hard. I know I have to listen to how my body reacts to certain things, but my brain just wants to continue despite the pain. My body decided otherwise today though. There was no choice whatsoever in the matter. Basically, I am having trouble even standing at this point. Not too great.

 

I have the opportunity to go back to being on bike, which I am so reluctant to do. God knows I would love to continue on foot...but I know that's my flesh doing the talking. I need to listen to what God is telling me and I guess being on foot is not what he has for me at this point. He has made that very clear. It's just been really hard this past week to accept that. I keep going back in time and wondering if I made the right descision in the first place giving up the bike. But I honestly did feel at the time that I was doing the right thing. The youth pastor and his wife here in Wickenburg have offered to give me their bike so I can continue in A LOT less pain. Praise God for his provision. Just pray for complete healing in my foot, not sure what's going on there...and of course my attitude going back to the bike. And that I would be sensitive to the guiding of God. Even when it's tough.

Day 141---5/22/12

Posted by Athena Papadopoulos on May 22, 2012 at 11:45 PM Comments comments (0)
Today was hard...really hard. I guess I knew it was going to be tough. But the great thing about it all is that I know God didn't give me more than I could handle. It was enough to wear me out and make me question my sanity, but God was definitely my strength. Right off the bat my foot was feeling pretty great. I walked for about 2 hours with very minimal pain...but then it really kicked in. I just had to park myself on the side of the road for a few moments and just pray. I kept telling God that if he wants me to keep going he was going to have to make the pain subside because there was no way I could continue with the way it was feeling. So I stood up to continue and guess what? Most of the pain had gone away...not all, but enough that I could continue. I think todays trek was 21 miles total...but it took 9 hours! Yeah I know thats super slow, but you try walking that far on a bum foot. It did get pretty warm though...it was supposed to be 108 degrees today and I don't know if it got that warm...but it sure felt that way. God gave me enough strength to make it to my destination...but now my foot is killing me. I just need a lot of prayer. I have no doubts that God can take away the pain again tomorrow, but then again he can do as he wishes.

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