Sunday, May 25, 2008

And they're off..

The Wanderlust riders officially started their ride yesterday morning, May 26th. Over the weekend they toured more of New Orleans, including the desolated Lower 9th ward and clocked over 25 miles.

During the bike tour of the city they went into the neighborhood where Becky lived while in seminary and gave birth to 2 of her 3 children. She said the neighborhoods was very hit or miss, some houses were fine, other were totally destroyed. Much of NOLA was like that.. huge areas where there are no longer any houses, and you can see old foundations but little else.

She said that the Lower 9th ward is just desolate. They were covered in 18 feet of water, and it is now just a valley of sand, and old foundations. The gov’t came in and declared the houses uninhabitable and has begun to tear down what is left of the houses,now allowing anyone to rebuild. There is a really wonderful grassroots organization called Common Ground and they are making sure that whole blocks are not being decimated. They want to make sure that homes are being saved and that people who want to return to the area have a place to live and re-build.

As of Monday evening, Becky reports that:

We are in Bay St Louis, Mississippi staying at the Bay Episcopal Mission. We biked 60 miles today and I'm feeling great so far. The mission has provided us with a warm meal, Quanset huts with air conditioning (!), and bunk beds. It's nice to not have to camp out after our first day of biking!

On the ride today one person had a flat tire, and we are all a little sunburned despite our best efforts. Overall though, everyone is doing well and the ride went really smoothly. We started out in New Orleans and were able to see some of the Katrina devastation both in the lower 9th ward and along the route to Bay St. Louis. We also rode through a swampy area that had beautiful wildlife!

Along the way some firefighters provided us with ice and water, which was greatly appreciated considering the heat and humidity. Tomorrow we will be biking 50 miles, and I am excited to spend another day on the road with the phenomenal women on this trip!


Hear Becky talk about the trip so far & the firefighters!Gabcast! 2000 Miles for Justice! #2 - outside of new orleans, some great firefighters!

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