Monday, June 3, 2013

Day 12 - Hartwell to Athens

It was a relatively short ride today into Athens, GA with an easy 46 miles. The ride was beautiful with rolling hills. Some were steep enough to make ones quads cry out in indignation. Others, one could cruise right up like a champion in the Tour de France. Well sort of. 

Lunch was provided today by some Bike and Build alumni who happened to live in town. So instead of squished and moldy PB&J sandwiches, which is what we were all expecting to have for lunch, we were treated to pulled pork and potato salad. The south is spoiling us!!!! We sat on the back of a truck bed and ate lunch while laughing at the antics of our fellow teammates. "Yo! Is that a Push-Pop???" cried "Dangerous" Dan as he launched himself off the truck bed eying Kendra's popsicle enviously. We all took turns drinking out of the two liter bottle of Sprite and told stories about the dogs we'd encountered on the road that day. 

We had an unexpected guest join us. Don Motley, one of the earliest influences on Habitat for Humanity's development happened to live in town and stopped by our lunch spot to share some of his wisdom and words of encouragement. It was great to have someone so inspiring show up at our humble lunch spot.

The rest of the ride was literally a blur. Dan, Marcus, Brian, Austin, Josh, and me hammered it hard to come in probably averaging around 19 miles per hour over some big hills. It was intense and my legs were toast afterwards. Burnt toast. 

Showers today were 1.7 miles away from the host which was a long walk for those who did not want to mount their aluminum steeds again. Some tried to hitch hike...

...and were actually successful! Said the driver, "I can take you as far as Florida. That's where I'm going." "How about be YMCA a few blocks away?" said the sweaty Bike and Builders. 

Due to the sudden downpour, walking to the showers was suddenly a very unappealing option for Josh, Amanda, and me so we opted for the hose shower. We put our bathing suits on and lathered ourselves up in the host's backyard. I have never felt cleaner! First hose shower of the summer. But there will be many more the further west we get. 

Kat and the downpour

Tonight we were treated to an AHH-mazing dinner which considered of a pot luck of southern comfort food. The entire church community showed up, each carrying some kind of food or dessert to contribute. I literally did not have enough room on my plate to fit everything I wanted to eat. Like I said, we are spoiled in the south. Polished off my meal with peach cobbler, a brownie, banana bread, and cookies galore. 

The dessert table!!!!

After dinner, we presented Bike and Build's mission and listened to a presentation on the host church and their mission. Finally, we were treated to the local blue grass band who came and played for us at the church. The performance was simply magical. The harmonies were beautiful and right on pitch. We all got up and danced in the aisles. It was another one of those Bike and Build moments. "Bike and Blue Grass!!!"

The band!! Notice the pipe organ in the background. We were threatened with severe punishment for anyone who touched, played, slept on, or even looked funny at the pipe organ. I think we all resisted. 

The band was amazing. We bought a CD and I am so happy about it. 

I'm falling asleep so good night. Here's one last picture of our massage train. 

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