I wake up early and go to a morning devotion lead by a fellow they call Padre. He is a long-time employee of LifeWay, the owners of Ridgecrest. He is a well-spoken man, who has a knack for clearly tying scripture to real life. He urges us to tithe our time. By this he means that we should take 10% -- the Biblical tithe -- of our time getting ready for the day's activities to devote to God. If it takes an hour to prepare for the day, take 10% -- 6 minutes -- to study God's word in the Bible and pray. Seems like an easy-to-do thing -- only 6 minutes before work. We all could do that, to get the day started off right.
I wander into the main building and add a pushpin to the map to indicate where home is.
Breakfast continues the sequence of great meals, with bacon and scrambled eggs and fresh fruit. Yum. What a way to start out a beautiful day!
I prowl around amongst the bikes again for a little while and spot a tent set up by a guy who does pinstriping by hand, Kirby's Signs of Danville, KY.
|Photo by Rally to Ridgecrest.|
Some bikes are decked out in patriotic decor. This one is ridden by a member of the FaithRiders.
I spot the cross, high on the hill behind the conference center.
The weather is cool but not cold. I have hooked up with a group of about twelve bikes and we are headed to Hot Springs North Carolina for lunch. That is a large group, and I don't like that, but I tag along anyway. The route to Hot Springs is freeway and bland two lane roads.
We stop to eat at the Smoky Mountain Diner, a pretty good place where a lot of motorcyclists stop for the same reason as we have today -- to use the bathroom...oh, and eat. Before we go in, I spot a little yellow dirt bike in the carport of the house next door to the restaurant. While we are eating, I hear the buzz of a small engine. Sure enough a little tyke has cranked up his bike and is touring his back yard.
NO TRESPASSING sign on that steep hill is aimed at him. If he hasn't tried to climb it yet, I'll bet it has been on his mind.
Soon, he notices that I am taking his picture, and he starts hamming it up.
We finish up lunch, and head back to the bikes. NC-209 and NC-63 are both very twisty in places, and the group is going slow. We could have enjoyed a little more spirited ride, but maybe that will come on another day.
Here is the route, 134 miles:
View Larger Map of Route to Hot Springs
We return to the conference center and head to a seminar. I have picked one put on by Dan Daugherty, a former Marine, cop, and now lawyer His topic is Gun Safety and Motorcycle Carry Considerations. The room is filled to capacity with standing room only. That speaks to the interest in our second amendment right to bear arms.
Later, after supper, we again gather for some song and to hear the speaker, Tommy Bowden, former head coach of Clemson University football. He speaks of the acronym C.A.R.D.S., standing for Commitment, Accountability, Responsibility, Discipline, and Sacrifice. These attributes can be used in coaching, but also apply to real life. These are some things a Christian should do to truly become God's hands.
Afterward, we chew the fat some more, and soon enough go back to our rooms for some rest. The rooms are as good as any hotel, but there is one thing missing. On purpose. A television. There is no sense coming to a place like this to sit in front of the tube. There are places to go, things to see, sermons to be heard, and knees to be bent.
My roommate, Danny isn't back by the time I have fallen asleep -- about five minutes after I hit the pillow, I estimate. Had I known where he had gone, I would have worried -- and prayed. He and another fellow started out toward Marion, NC and from there up NC-80 to the Parkway. (That is the road I turned off on from the Parkway yesterday on my way here.) In the dark of evening.
Remember that 80 is very twisty. Missing a curve could be serious. At night, there is the possibility of animals on the highway. The next morning, Danny said it was one of the most incredible evenings he had spent in his life. The road on the way up was illuminated by the powerful driving lights of the other guy's touring bike ahead of him, but the striking thing, he says, was the incredible quiet and beauty of the sky up on the Parkway. They had prayer at this place a little closer to God, then navigated back to the camp and to bed. Safely.
Thank you, God, for their safety and for the day's activities.
More to come soon. Keep watching.
Links to related postings:
Rally to Ridgecrest, 2013 -- Day 1
Freedom is Never Free! -- Rally to Ridgecrest, 2011, Part I
Rally to Ridgecrest, 2013 -- Day 2
Rally to Ridgecrest, 2013 -- Days 3 and 4
Freedom is Never Free! -- Rally to Ridgecrest, 2011, Part II
Rally to Ridgecrest Facebook Page
Memorial Day 2010 Weekend Rally
Memorial Day 2010 Weekend Rally, Part II, The Ride Up
Memorial Day 2010 Weekend Rally, Part III, Saturday
Memorial Day 2010 Weekend Rally, Part IV, Sunday and the Ride Home.