After riding our bikes for over a day and a half through Phoenix, Helen and I ended our thirteenth day on the road from San Diego in Superior, Arizona. That dayís ride of fifty miles from Mesa had not been without challenges. After a series of flat tires for the past week, I had a tire literally come apart about 10 miles east of Apache Junction. All the other flats had been repaired with a new tube. This was much more serious. Fortunately, I was prepared with a new tire and dumped the old one in a trash can.
The rest of that day was a climb over a mountain pass and then it was uphill to the old copper mining town of Superior. Since the following day was Good Friday, we got out the map to see what was ahead and where we wanted to spend Easter. There were several towns on our route east, but we made the decision to make Good Friday a short ride to Globe and planned to stay there through Easter.
The thirty mile ride to Globe was one of the more difficult days of our entire cross-country adventure. Right from the start we were riding into a strong wind and going up a mountain. To make it even tougher, within a half mile of our start we had to ride uphill through a narrow, quarter mile tunnel with no shoulder. It was dark in the tunnel and we had to pedal hard to get out before a car came up behind us. Talk about stress!
The climb that day was so steep it became a hiking/biking day. We finally made it to the mountain top, and then had a hair-raising ride down to Globe passing several old mines and huge piles of green and white tailings left over from the processing of the mined ore.
We spent Saturday resting, cleaning our bikes, visiting an abandoned Indian pueblo, and looking in the yellow pages for a church. Maranatha Baptist Church was not far from our motel and the pastor, Blake Lasslett, was there when we called to find out the time of their service. We decided that Maranatha Baptist would be our church for Easter.
The next morning the Maranatha Baptist congregation welcomed us with open arms. A pot-luck dinner at a ranch was planned for after the Easter service and Helen and I were invited. When we explained our transportation situation, Larry and Mary Toner invited us to ride out with them in their van.
The dinner was a wonderful time of fellowship and we were made to feel very special. The love of these Christian brothers and sisters for a couple of strangers who pedaled their bikes to Globe from San Diego was a truly heart-warming experience. The thing we all had in common was our love for Jesus Christ and what He did for us on that first Easter. Having just that in common was all that mattered and made us not strangers but a part of their family they hadnít known until that day. This was one of the best Easterís ever and the joy of that day carried us along on the long ride ahead as we pedaled out the next morning heading east across the San Carlos Apache Reservation.