We began this week just over the Vermont/Massachusetts border. Brack and Beth showed up last Sunday night bringing new life to the crew as well as a pacer for 3 days! The week started out big with 49 miles on Monday, followed by 43 and 44. I was happy with these numbers as once again there were some really difficult sections through these parts. It was really nice to have a pacer though. As Brack left on Thursday morning, I still managed a 46 mile day with no pacer. Unfortunately Friday was rough. It was one of those days that everything seemed to go wrong from the beginning of the day. We started out the day driving to the wrong place, and didn’t get started until 7:30 or so. The wheels continued to fall off, but with a nap around 1:00 I managed to get 30 in for the day. I came back, got some great rest, and was ready for a big day on Saturday. Saturday began with a fairly difficult section much like the day before, but flattened out after 15 miles. 48 miles on Saturday, brought us to a 261 mile week.
So now you know the numbers for the week, let me tell you what really happened behind the scenes :) Last Sunday night, I got up around 2 am to get a snack. Ryan was up which was really weird. He let me know that his hard drive crashed with over 2 weeks worth of footage. Well, this set the tone for the week. I rarely saw Ryan for the next few days, which really weighed on me heavily. This weighed on me so much that it was a huge part of the meltdown on Friday. Ryan had been my primary crew to this point, and change to routine is typically not good when attempting something of this magnitude.
Let’s fast forward to Saturday night… When I decided to call it a day after 48 miles we headed back to the campground for dinner. Everyone was acting weird and Ryan said he had something to tell me. He told me that not only had he been working on recovering footage, but also looking at the budget. With a shaky voice, he told me we were out of money. Not only that, but it was gonna take $10,000 to make it back to GA. With such a large crew, and staying in campgrounds every night. The total daily cost is over $300 per day. This was a punch in the gut. I mean, we need $10,000 tomorrow or we have to go home? Are you kidding me? Is this really how it ends? I have had so many thoughts go through my head. Could God be sending us home? Could he provide that much money in 1 day? The only option we have is to surrender to whatever God decides. We all decided to sleep on it.
I got up this morning, and Beth and I headed to Mcdonalds for my weekly Sunday morning breakfast binge. I wrote an email to our supporters and let them know the situation. I was very clear that I believe whatever happens happens, and God is in control of it all. I had already come to terms with the fact that God may not provide the money and had to trust if this is the case than it is his will. We went back to the campsite and everyone else wanted to go eat. Beth and I decided to go with them and eat again, obviously :) Sitting and eating kinda felt like the last supper. We have been on this incredible journey, but it very well may be coming to an end. When we were leaving the restaurant around 1:00 I got a text from a great friend asking me to call him, he was one I had sent the email to. I called him and what he said was unbelievable. He told me that he had talked with his wife, and that God has blessed them recently with some bonus checks at work. They have $5,000 they want to give us. He told me just don’t stop. I was speechless for the next couple hours. What seemed impossible was now a little more manageable. God obviously doesn’t want us to quit. I came home and took a nap, then woke up to 2 emails. One of them was someone giving us $900, and the other was one of my best friends telling me he has some to give us too, just not sure how much.
The biggest question I have pondered this week is this “Why is finishing the trail so important?” To that I have no answer, I just know it is. I know God continues to provide what we need to press on. So, that is what we are going to do. We are gonna keep moving forward and begging the Lord to make himself known through this journey. And you know what, that’s exactly what he’s gonna do. In a million years I would have never thought this journey would have played out like this. I never thought we would have spent nearly $10,000 fixing vehicles and RVs and such. All I know is God is in control. The same God who created the universe and all that is in it has called us to this journey and planned out every step. That is a comforting thought. Thank you guys for following this journey. I can’t wait to let you know what happens this coming week.
26 days: 858 miles