With almost 4,000 miles on my husband’s bicycle tires and our travel trailer, we ended our trip across America in Oregon in September. I want to thank everyone who prayed with me along the way and give you our final update.
As a reminder, we started our trip in Florida back in April (2017). We split it into three phases: Phase 1 Florida to Indiana. Phase 2: Indiana to Yellowstone. Phase 3: Yellowstone to Oregon. We ended Phase 1 in our hometown of Westfield, Indiana at the end of May, and then took a 3-week “break” to visit my parents, work on our gardens, throw a baby shower for my daughter and a wedding shower for a soon-to-be-niece, and prepare our beehive for the summer months. It was a busy couple of weeks!
We then took off on June 6 and headed west toward Yellowstone. We arrived there the week of July 6 and stayed through July 11. At that point we headed home to wait on the arrival of our first grandchild due in about 2 weeks. Shortly after we arrived home, my mother’s health rapidly deteriorated and she passed away a day later. It was such a God thing that I was home and able to quickly get there. Her final hours were spent with my dad, all my sisters, and I gathered around her bedside singing and praying her to heaven. It was a beautiful time.
The Juxtaposition of Life and Death
Two weeks later our daughter and son-in-law welcomed into the world our first grandchild, a beautiful baby boy. It was indeed a juxtaposition of life and death, sadness and joy. We say that Great-grandma got to see him first. They met in passing, one coming into this life and the other leaving.
After spending a few weeks enjoying our sweet new arrival, we drove back out to Yellowstone where we resumed our final phase. Throughout the entire trip, every day while I was driving for about 60-80 miles (I only drove as far as my husband could ride his bicycle each day), I would pray for our nation. I prayed for forgiveness, revival, salvation, whatever requests God laid on my heart.
I can’t thank you enough for praying with me. Honestly, I felt like it got harder to pray the closer we were to finishing. I thank God that He gave me the persistence to finish! And I thank you for taking the prayer journey with me. I don’t know what our prayers accomplished on this journey, but God does.
Forest Fires Change our Plans
We had planned on making Portland, Oregon, our ending place, but when we arrived in Bend, Oregon, we were surrounded by forest fires. It was truly terrible. As I drove into Bend, the smoke settled in around me. All the roads to Portland were blocked by fires. After researching alternate routes (there were none that weren’t on fire), we had to call it and head back home. The news was advising people to stay indoors, and even inside our camper with the AC running, we could barely breathe for the smoke. It was dangerous for Mark to be outside riding in it as he had been doing for the last two days.
It was difficult to not be able to make it to Portland (and see my niece who lives there), but the decision was out of our hands at that point. We had an incredible trip, and I am so happy that you helped me pray across the entire country! We did it. THANK YOU!
I’ll leave you with our video we put up on our Kick Up Some Dust website explaining our decision to head home.
Judy Casner says
Hi I enjoyed your emails about your trip. I was wondering did you drive home from Oregon with the trailer and bike? Even that would be a long ride. I have a brother in Seattle. I know how beautiful it is out there. He took our Mom and myself to Banff when we were there. Loved it up there also. Glad you made it back safe and sound. Sorry to hear about Mom. We lost a faithful member at Westfield Friends Saturday morning and we know he is in Heaven. Bob Dennis – he would have been 94 this week. He was loved by everyone. A very Godly man. Love, Judy Casner
Jane VanOsdol says
So good to hear from you again! Thanks for praying with me. I appreciate it!
Yes, you are correct. We drove home from Oregon to Indiana. That would have been too much for Mark to ride back and too long of a time frame. We had to get back to resume working. : ) The west is beautiful, but a much different beauty than what we see here. It was so very arid. I didn’t realize how much of the west is the high desert. I do appreciate Indiana greenery so much more now!
I am sorry to hear about the loss of Bob Dennis. It’s hard to let them go, isn’t it? I hope all is well with you, and thanks for following the trip and praying!
Carol Jewell says
I’m so proud of you both; Mark for making this physically gruelling trip and for you driving that trailer, setting it up and taking it down on your own. Your are both so impressive! Wes and I enjoyed following you along the way!