Monday, September 22, 2008


Of today’s 86 miles, the first 75 were hills. Up and down. Up and down. There were many beautiful vistas winding along the tops of ridges between valleys. After starting near Dodgeville we passed through Mineral Point, Darlington, Shulsburg, Galena and Hanover IL before ending at the Mississippi Palisades State Park near Savannah.

More significant than the ride were the memories associated with this region. After graduate school, my first employment 28 years ago was in Darlington. I was the Lafayette County Coordinator of Services for Developmentally Disabled Adults or some such title. The building in which I worked no longer exists and neither does the agency which has been absorbed by some others. It wasn’t a good job. But this is where we adopted our daughter, Rachel. A co-worker connected us to her birth mom and the rest is history. We lived in Darlington just 18 months before I joined Pine Rest. It’s as though God put us there to adopt Rachel and then opened another door. Mary and I both remarked on the many core memories and formative experiences we have connected to the town and area. God was good to us then as he continues to be now.

The ride from Galena to Savannah is also full of memories, but they aren’t as important, just fun. These are bicycling related. The Tour of the Mississippi River Valley (TOMRV) is an annual two day ride in June that goes from Davenport to Dubuque and back again. It uses different roads each way so the first day is 104 miles and the second day is 86. I’ve ridden it 12 or 13 times along with about 1,300 of my closest friends. Actually, I’ve ridden it with Don, Ron, Mary and my nephew Dustin. Tonight’s camp site is a SAG stop on TOMRV. I’m strongly considering riding it again next summer, so if any of you want to join me for a strenuous, picturesque ride along and up and down the bluffs of the Mississippi, let me know.

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