Sunday, August 12, 2007


We're at the 83 mile marker on Hwy 12, 85 miles into the journey. Today we managed 38 miles with a doozey of a side wind--up to 50 mph we think, and consistently over 25 mph. We had to split those 38 miles into two segments, with a nap in the camper in between. Tomorrow things should turn around, though, and we expect a tail wind will help push us into to Gascoyne, ND.

Only three times have I wondered if we're crazy for doing this--at one low point during today's struggle with the wind, and twice yesterday as I looked down and saw my feet pedaling around and around. This really is one pedal stroke closer to the monastery at a time. And each of the three of us has to do it on her own. Sort of. We support and encourage each other, but no one else can make those pedals go around for any of us. At the same time, we're definitely in this together--we can only go as fast as the slowest, tiredest, sorest, crankiest one among us can go during any given stretch. Rather like life in general, and like life in a monastery, but perhaps amplified.

Not only the biking but the camping is encouraging us to stretch and bond as a family--to communicate our needs and desires clearly, to be willing to adjust and adapt plans (and relinquish the security of any definite plan beyond the hour or possibly the day), to find more than an average day's amount of mercy, and to remember to laugh at the silly stuff--again, amplified lessons for life post pilgrimage. May we keep these lessons close.


schuhchm said...

Dear Harts,

Be assured that as you peddle your way across the Dakotas, I am thinking of you frequently. I can see those bike wheels spinning. My prayer is that the winds calm down, the roads are straight and not hilly, the sun does not scorch the beautiful Hart ladies, and the rains hold off. You are in my daily thoughts and prayers. Keep peddlin'! Love, D.

Lisa R said...

Yes, may the weather not cause you too many delays or heartarch. The trip I can understand to be a very bonding time for all of you, and how much closer you will be to one another when you reach the Monastery.Peace to all of you along with daily prayers.

Jessie said...

Hello Stephanie--

I'm a junior at St. Ben's and was told about your amazing pilgrimage...may God bless and keep you as you make your way closer and closer to the monastery! We'll be waiting for you! :)

Peace and prayers,
Jessie J.

john hanson said...

sattelite radar has detected
a very suspicious trio
peddling bikes across the prairie

with high speed digital video
redux resourcing we can make
a positive identification

alert HLS and TSA and FBI and
national g cia and and state and local authorities (which may be impossible if you think about it too long)

these are difficult times
and nobody i mean nobody can be trusted
so get a read on those yahoos
this could be trouble

roger that sattelite XC7R210
hskkkgllllcccckkktt (that's static)

Sister Vicky said...

Hi Stephanie,
What a wonderful pilgrimmage! I hope you are blessed with favorable weather--the Dakotas are mighty windy! I just professed perpetual vows as a Presentation Sister--religious life & community life have been a great adventure for me.
Please know you are most welcome at Presentation Convent in Aberdeen if you & your travelling companions would like a meal or a bed & shower on your journey. Just show up at our door & ask for me. Many blessings, Sr. Vicky

Lisa R said...

Hi Stephanie and family,
Happy Feast day on this July 15.
I will keep you in special prayers at Eucharist today. I do hope things are going well or better then planned after the wind of your last blog note.

Deena said...

Hey, Steph!

I'm so grateful you've welcomed us along on your journey! Thank you for that. One of my favorite songs written by Amy Saliers and sung by the Indigo Girls (Amy Ray is the other half of the duo) popped into my head as I caught up to you through your blog. The chorus of Watershed is:

Up on a watershed
Standing at the fork in the road
You can stand there and agonize
Til your agony's your heaviest load
You never fly as the crow flies
Gets used to a country mile
When your learning to face the path at your pace every choice is worth your while

I send you strength and vision and clarity.


Lisa R said...

steph, hi.. this is Marlene Meierhofer. I can't get mine to work so Lisa said I could write on hers. sure have been thinking of you and praying for you. today I read the article that will be in the Catholic Spirit. what a journey... I'm sure you are traveling with and in the Spirit.
may all go well for you and all your family. I look forward to your arrival here at the monastery. Love & prayers. mm

Bill Kauffmann said...

Hi Stephanie! This morning I was wonderfully surprised to see your photo on the front page of The Catholic Spirit and read the great article on the back page. I put a copy in the lunch room at Search Institute. I didn't realize you were going to embark on this bike ride...what a great idea! God bless you on the journey and thanks again for taking time for a "coffee break" on your last day of work here. Maybe we'll see you at Ladysmith Black Mombazo concert at the BAC in September. Bill Kauffmann.

Kay Hong said...

Hi, Stephanie---missing you! and thinking of one of those "God works in mysterious ways" events, things have unfolded this week with my becoming (yesterday!) the legal guardian of my 6-yr-old greeat-nephew, Zachary---he comes to live with me tomorrow! So beginning my own pilgrimage into community life, in a different way....he and i will come to visit you at st. ben's, definitely!
best to you as you travel with your family---

Patrick said...

Dear Steph,

In recommending you to Saint Benedict's, I said this: "Steph would be Exhibit A in the case I would make for persons committed to living a Christian life. And I say this because she has a healthy suspicion of things that are 'Christiany.' There is no made-up piety in her. I suspect that she will illustrate one of the truths about Benedictine life that Kathleen Norris noticed and wrote about—monastics aren’t infatuated with God-talk, they know God well enough not to have to make the case all the time. The Christianity of some Christians wears out other people (including other Christians). Steph is the sort of Christian who inspires others to join her in the adventure."

Your blog has a deceptive simplicity, like clear water into which you can see very deep. What you say about the "slowest, tiredest, sorest, crankiest," and adjusting and adapting plans and laughing at the silly stuff, and how these are like life and the monstery, display a Benedictine wisdom that I have come to appreciate in so many of the women who will be your Sisters. I see some wonderful affinities between you at age 27 and S. Jeremy Hall, she of "a hermit's love affair with a noisy, crowded, and complicated world," at age 89.

All best, God bless, and love,

Quilla said...

Interesting to know.