A Challenging Day

May 15, 2014

Day 3 of my journey began in the rain. Actually it began with Eddie Schieffler’s coffee. It was critical for me to get hyped up on coffee in order to set out in the rain. It was a steady rain — meaning hard rain, and it stayed with me for the entire trip to Lula, MS. As I crossed that rather narrow bridge over the Mississippi River under those conditions I found myself wondering what Sharla was thinking when she agreed to marry me.

The rain diminished on the road to Sardis, but the northerly wind picked up and the hills appeared. It was during that ride that I found a new use for the coffee from the Lula Visitor Center that I had put in my insulated water bottle — I squirted it on my cold fingers.

I was feeling good when I stopped in Sardis. I felt like I had two thirds of the days miles behind me. It was a pleasure to meet my fellow traveller, Lars from the Netherlands, who had ridden a motorcycle from Nicaragua. It was nice to spend some time visiting. That’s also where I met Metcal who worked for his nephew cleaning the convenience store. Metcal announced that he wanted a T-bone steak and a good wife. He also asked me if I could help him pay a ticket he owed in California. I declined the offer. I felt like there was a large storehouse of needs behind that one. And as I continued my ride I found myself dwelling on the difference between troubles and challenges.

My day was filled with challenges and I don’t think I could have dealt with any additional ones. But I’ll take a day full of challenges anytime instead of a bundle of troubles. I had challenges — Metcal had troubles. I have the leisure to take a challenging trip, and I feel very fortunate in that regard. If I had troubles I would be at home trying to figure out how to pay the bills or fix whatever significant life problem was defining my reality.

I’m too tired to document the challenges I faced after Sardis, and I hate that my late arrival in Oxford created anxiety in the hearts of the people I love, but I feel pretty proud of having ridden 90 miles today in the rain and wind and over hill after hill. I also feel exhausted.

I hope you find yourself dealing with more challenges than troubles!


3 Responses to “A Challenging Day”

  1. Todd-Paul Taulbee Says:

    Go, Thompson, go! Praying for you on your journey, both physical and spiritual.

  2. Les White Says:

    Following your journey, Thompson. Awesome stuff.

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