Dateline Somewhere In North Dakota: Holy Crap. I’m back in West Texas! Other than only being in the high 90’s and no cactus, that is. North Dakota is mile after mile after mile after mile of rolling hills and flat prairies. Just like Texas. But I digress.
It’s Saturday evening and Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider is thoroughly enjoying sitting at my picnic table next to my campfire and reading “Travels With Charley” written by John Steinbeck. Steinbeck describes his meanderings around America while talking with the locals and rediscovering our country. As I read, he talked about Sundays, and how he always tried to find a church to attend. He finds himself hearing a fire and brimstone pastor who speaks of “Hell as an expert”.
Welllll, Yours Truly couldn’t resist. I turned and headed up the long, straight gravel road and found the Tunbridge Lutheran Church. Built in 1915 (according to the cornerstone I discovered) and abandoned sometime since. It is beginning to fall apart. The paint is peeling and cracking, the siding rotten in places, some glass is broken, and the steeple is falling apart.
But, Yours Truly was sure he was being watched from that little window. That would be confirmed later in the morning. Read On.
I found that the door was unlocked and curiosity got the better of me. And boy am I glad it did. What a discovery! I found old books, a pedal organ, an old piano, and many other antiques and curiosities. Check out this Bible Primer. Note the date.
And above all, I could worship and pray in private. Just the way I like it.
After spending time in the Sanctuary I went downstairs to see what I might find there. Amazing! The dishes are still there, and the coal fired heating appeared to be just waiting to be pressed once again into service.
I was taking my photographs when suddenly I heard a loud thumping noise come from the Sanctuary, directly above my head. I jumped and darn near hit my head on the ceiling! Now, I had parked my ‘Wing out front and left the door ajar when I went in. So I assumed someone had come to see just what the heck I was up to. I went back upstairs and found no one. However, I did see that the dust was disturbed at the end of one of the pews, where someone had apparently set down. I stepped outside. Still no one around, no dust from a departing vehicle, no nothing. I went back in, just a little scared. I know that at least one of the congregation had joined me. I could feel it. Maybe it was that “Fire-And-Brimstone” Reverend! I worshipped peacefully, left an offering with a thank you note written on it, and returned to my ride. As I walked quietly away, I’m sure the curtain in that little window moved.
Meanwhile, back on the ranch…or rather the campground, Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider must digress once again. There I was, taking pictures of a beautiful sunset, standing dead in the middle of the road to get the right angle, when up comes this golf cart behind me. Now, Yours Truly has had many, many close calls on the ‘Wing, especially in Florida and New York, where I found the drivers to be very aggressive and unconscious at the same time. A very dangerous combination. But to get taken out by a golf cart in North Dakota?? That just doesn’t fit with my agenda at all! So I turned to step aside and found it loaded with kids, and mom of course.
And there, standing in the middle of that dusty dirt road, having damn near been run over by a golf cart, I met the lovely Kim and her passel of charges. We talked awhile and she headed out, promising to return with a donation to Cancer Ride America. So there I was, sitting back at my table reading Steinbeck, and she and her gang pulls up and hands me 70 bucks! Kim explained it wasn’t just from her, but did not offer further info. I gather that she ran around the campground with her tin cup out! Once again, Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider found himself overwhelmed with the generosity and kindness on display.
I’ve not yet mentioned Jackie, my “camp neighbor” who also donated. Kim and Jackie, you are very special ladies. I thank you, America’s Perimeter Tour – “To The Ends Of America To End Cancer” thanks you, and the many people this money will help thank you.