Tariq reflects on Day 4

Today was day five of our ten day journey through the United States farm system aka Ohio.  We  began our crawl through the big farm that is Ohio at Zion Lutheran Church which by my account is the best church EVER.  Yesterday they gave us an awesome meal, magnificent fireworks (much better than any fireworks New York has to offer), and to top it off, when our poorly constructed tents got destroyed by a 15 minute downpour, that appears to only have hit West Jefferson, they let us sleep in the church. (Thanks to everyone for all of there hospitality).

Moving on, we woke up this morning to a Hurricane Katrina sized set back.  The destroyed tents that we had put out on the church lawn to dry were, much to our dismay, still drenched.  Anyway, after trying to clean up the wreckage we continued on to the second stage of our morning which is the repacking and making breakfast portion.  That’s where my downslide and the downslide of those in my tent began.  When packing your blue bag (bag with everything in it) you must pack these things.

1. Your clothes: no matter how much you bring you must pack it ALL

2. Your toiletries: Soap, toothpaste, toothbrush

3. And finally your camping gear: sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and your equipment whatever that may be.

Note: you must pack everything dry or wet regardless of if it fits in your bag.

Me and my fellow tent-mates failed to complete this list therefore leaving one of our chaperones without a place to sleep tonight.  See we THOUGHT we had packed all of our tent gear and as we found out tonight didn’t.  But I digress.  My morning got of to an especially inauspicious start as while I was getting dressed it appeared that I had lost a shoe, yes just one.   Those who knew of my prior camping history know that this wasn’t my first time losing one shoe while camping thus spreading laughs throughout my friends on the trip.  In other words while I frantically looked for my shoe the six other boys laughed hysterically while Satan(aka Rachel) nagged them about doing there assigned jobs.

After the huge cinniman pancake breakfast, we proceeded to load up the van and begin our adventure from West Jefferson 37 miles to land of the oh so intimidating Battling Bishops of Ohio Wesleyan (If you thought that name was intimidating just compare it to Ohio State’s mascot or the University of Michigan’s mascot, oh I mean letter).

Now to be frank with you the ride today was a cake walk compared to the 60 miles we did yesterday.  Everyone did great except for a close friend of mine, that friend’s name is Left Pedal.  While riding through the farms that separate West Jefferson from Ohio Wesleyan, Left Pedal who was already battling a huge crack through it’s middle took a turn for the worst and proceeded to crack some more and finally gave in to gravity and fell off.  This being as sad as it may be left me to pedal with the duck taped spindle of my bike.  To be completely honest, this wasn’t all that bad, but the pedal had to be replaced and it was with a metal pedal from  Chuck.  It was a metal pedal with a hook for your foot and I’ll never forget it as was the cause for my demise later on in the day.

As the day progressed we moved like an child actor in a Disney channel movie though each corn field and finally we arrived at lunch.  After the usual making of sandwiches and jokes,  we got a word from Joaquin.  He told us, almost like a Vince Lombardi pep talk, about how narrow and busy the roads were and how we had to stay on the right and out of the way until we reached our destination.  These instructions were followed to the T by everyone and it seemed we were going to make it without any crashes until IT happened, and by it I mean the slot on my petal gave out.  As we were turning around to turn on to a road we’d missed, the screw that kept my petal slot attached gave way under the extreme pressure of my gigantic super-sized leg. As I pushed down on the petal one more time to get my first push of momentum, the slot moved and my foot came squirting out of  the slot and I ate the pavement.  However, I got up and continued the 10 feet to where the rest of the group was now waiting and we continued on to Ohio Wesleyan where we got a tour and lived happily ever after.

P.S: My twenty dollar Tanzanian walking stick, which I got at the Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati broke and is now in object heaven mocking me with the rest of my broken stuff.

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