Thursday, June 25, 2009

Grateful memories

Last night I lie awake in bed, remembering one year ago, when I slept easily (and drugged!) in Duane and Shirley Enquist's home in Fort Collins, CO, recovering from my accident.

While I recovered fully, and suffered only minor abrasions (there's that word!), the Possibility of Worse weighs anew in my mind. I thank God everyday for the location of that rock, that boulder, that kept me from sliding further down the mountain, and I try to be thankful for the guardrail. (I still experience anxiety everytime I see one while biking.) I am thankful for my friends on the trip, for Kevin, for Rich, for the construction worker who drove Matt and I to meet an ambulance.

I am grateful to be alive today, on year later, but really... I am stunned. I am grateful for the rock.

--Emily

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Contact Marcus!! He wants to talk!

I have way too much free time this semester and have decided not to go crazy by keeping in touch with friends from the bike trip, making new ones, and engaging people in the kinds of conversations we had during the trip. It doesn't have to center around biking though. also, a lot of people still ask me how I am adjusting to life after the trip or want to know about my plan to visit the orphanage in Zambia. If you are interested, let me know.

also I am now a member of the Chicago Biking Federation. Check it out at http://www.biketraffic.org/

-Marcus (bored as nails!) Simmons
mailmsimmons1@gmail.com

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Debriefing?

It's been a long, long while. I don't know if anyone reads this anymore, but it has finally come time for me to debrief the trip.
I've been reading a lot, since the trip ended, about living close to the land, living off of the land, living in the rhythms of our earth. As I read the stories of a couple families who lived in this way that so many of our ancestors did, the landscapes of this past summer pass through my head, clicking from one to the next like an old-time slide show. For these images, I am grateful.
Tonight I sat at supper with my father and he mentioned the word "petroglyphs." "We saw petroglyphs!" I exclaimed. "Somewhere in the desert... Nevada, I think. Yes, it was eastern Nevada." (To avoid scandal, only Eric saw the petroglyphs, the rest of us were too lazy to venture further off our route!) And suddenly, I missed the trip.
This summer, I accepted that I am a midwestern-er. And I became proud of that fact. Through the desert, I awoke in the morning and wished I were "somewhere normal, like the midwest." Through the mountains, I wished I were in the midwest. Out east I wondered how people farmed among the hills. Wouldn't it be easier to move to the midwest, where our land is gloriously flat, I wondered. But tonight, snug in my midwest home, I became homesick for the desert. Yes, the desert.
More so, I am homesick for the feeling of dirt pressed hard against the soles of my feet, for the feeling of bedding down in a tent, breathing fresh night air. For the stars in the sky and grass that tickles my tender skin. For the days when the horizon seems so far away, and the days when the sky seems to stop short. For sand and tumbleweeds blowing through eternal open-spaces, and for crops that rise miraculously from rich soil, heeding the warmth of the sun.
Yes, I miss the trip.

Peace,
Emily

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

back to normal life?


Hey Guys. Here is my follow up post:
It has been hard being back on the university campus, but I am adjusting, I guess. I have my days and moments where i really miss being on the bike and being outside on the road. I am currently trying to figure out how to incorporate a lot of the things I have learned on the trip into the "college routine." and it is kind of frustrating, but I'm getting there. I am so glad I did this though and I will remember this for the rest of my life! THanks for all of your prayers and support along the way. Just like we will never know how many lives we touched along the way, you guys have no idea how vital and uplifting your words, prayers and thoughts were. 

My hope now is to raise money to go to Zambia and visit the orphanage and bike factory! So pray for my fund raising efforts. Peace!

-Marcus Simmons
mailmsimmons1@gmail.com

Sunday, August 17, 2008

We Made It!



We did it! 6 friends, 12 weeks, and almost 4,000 miles!

We had a great morning with the Covenant Church in Quincy, MA. They let us share in the service with them and then took us down to the beach, cheering us along all the way. We dipped our tires in the ocean and then went for a triumphant dip.


I hope you'll keep reading the blog in the coming weeks as I'm sure that members of the group (myself included) will use this space to debrief and to continue to discuss the trip and all of the lessons learned. Thanks to all of you who've kept up with the blog and with us. Thanks for all the prayers and encouragement and we hope you'll keep reading here.

with joy,
Matt

Friday, August 15, 2008

SIMMONS

BEST DOUBLE BACON CHEESEBURGERS/BURGERS IN THE USA:
1. Bones Pub and Grub - California
2. Big Tony's Pub - Minnesota
3. Major's Station in Nevada
3. Daryl and Patti Page's Ranch in Nevada
5. Uncle Paul's Moo Burgers - Chicago

WEIRDEST SPOTS I'VE SLEPT:
1. A ditch in Whirlwind Valley in Nevada
2. Behind a building on concrete
3. in a barn
4. on a table
5. in an office

MOST MUSCLE PAIN
1. Butt
2. Butt
3. Thighs
4. Neck

BEST RIDING MUSIC:
1. Eddie Floyd - "Knock on Wood"
2. Erykah Badu - "Soldier"
3. Rachelle Ferrell - "Peace on Earth"
4. Rachelle Ferrell - "Wounds in the Way"
5. Marvin Gaye - "How Sweet it is"
6. Christa Black - "California Sunshine"
7. Dorinda Clark Cole - "So Many Times"

BOOKS I"VE READ
1. Fire Next Time - Baldwin
2. Langston Hughes' Poetry
3. The Secret Life of Bees - Kidd
4. Goin to Meet the Man - Ellison
5. Confessions - Augustine
6. I am America - Colbert
7. Invisible Man- Ellison
8. Buffalo Soldier
9. Madea's Uninhibited Commentary - Perry

- I am sick of clif bars and gatorade and powerade and all "ade" drinks!!!!

THE END

I am on pins and needles and thoughts are running through my head at a dizzying speed. For twelve weeks we've been riding now and the journey has finally come to its end. I have taken in so much between San Francisco and Boston that it will probably take me quite a while to process it. On Sunday night, I fly back to Chicago to spend time with some friends there (who are like family to me) and then I go home to Texas. I am super excited, as I haven't been home since last year. Earlier in the trip, I stated that I wanted to be more excited about my relationship with Christ by the end of the trip and I am excited. I am glad that there are men and women across the country doing what God wants them to do, i am glad that people are sharing with other people. No, we do not hear much of this, or see a lot of this without looking really hard and I suppose that this is the way Christ wanted it. I believe that if the God thing was so easy and popular, people would forget about it all too quickly. This trip is definitely something that I will remember for the rest of my life. I just think that there is so much to process right now, I am a little mentally paralyzed.

And there is one person that I was hoping to have the chance to tell about it, but I won't. This past Sunday, one of my best friends in the world, LaDerrius Christian, was killed back home and it has been hard to come to terms with. We were friends since 8th grade and the one thing I will remember the most is his sense of humor and how we would walk back from football practice "freestyling" and singing rap lyrics. I will surely miss him.

-Marcus