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You Just Never Know . . .

Cowan – Sewanee Tennessee has many Adventures and many stories happening across the state every day. You just never know who you’ll meet or what they may be doing. Just recently Middle Tennessee or more specifically, Manchester, Coffee County, hosted the 2006 edition of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. With 80,000 tickets sold this 3 day event has been awarded the ‘World’s Largest Music Festival.’ Being the 5th year of the festival the usual traffic tie-ups with lines backed up for miles didn’t happen. State and local officials seem to have gotten a handle on how to best deal with the traffic from 80,000+ of your closest friends all headed to 3 days of music and fun. Congratulations to all involved in making this years festival a rousing success.

But that’s not what we’re gathered here to discuss.

Because sometimes you just never know who you’ll meet or where their Tennessee Adventure™ is leading them.

Take last Wednesday for example. Jayne is helping her friend in Cowan and she sees a young man on a bicycle twice, in two different stores buying water and other things and storing them in the saddle bags on his bicycle. The second time she saw him she had to go up and strike up a conversation with him to find out more. As it turned out he had his own unique story to tell.

photo by JayneHis name is Chris Payne. As you can tell from the photos he is a young man of 22 that is obviously doing some serious riding on a day that the temperature reached the upper 90’s with some fairly high humidity levels too. Hearing his story Jayne called me and I was able to meet with him briefly ‘On Top Of The Rock’, at the intersection of Hwys 41A and 136.

You just never know. You see, Chris’s adventure began June 1st in Denver, Colorado! As a psychology major he will graduate this coming fall from the Colorado State University in Fort Collins and then attend Seminary to get his Masters Degree in counseling.

As a self professed ‘people person’ Chris has undertaken this journey for a number of reasons. He told me he had the following reasons in mind when he started:
  • See Friends
  • Travel and Get Fit
  • To Enjoy the Peace & Quiet of biking through Mid-America
  • To help raise money for a Building at his church in Fort Collins, Colorado, the Mountain View Community Church.

He has kept a blog @ www.crazyguyonabike.com/trainjumper of his thoughts and trials and experiences as he made his journey. You should check it out.

While traveling 60 to 70 miles on most days Chris was able to put in 5 days of at least 100 miles! Anyone who has done any bike riding knows that is not an easy thing to accomplish! Especially while battling wind, rain and the occasional idiot with too little to do. His mention of being ‘bombed’ while in Missouri is something that should make everyone in the Show Me state shake their heads and offer a prayer of forgiveness for such foolish acts.

It's been a few days now since Chris reached the first milestone of his adventure, Chattanooga, TN. In about 4 weeks he will make his way on to Savanah, GA to finish his adventure and then catch a plane home. I spoke with him about his experiences and any changes he may have seen in himself. "I have always been a people person and enjoyed talking with people and simply observing how people react in different situations. This experience has given me a greater insight into the people that make up this great nation." Chris went on to say, "With a very few exceptions, I was offered hospitality and friendship all during my journey."

I had hoped to be able to speak with someone at Chris's church about his adventure and his desire to give something to his church and community but was unable to have anyone return my calls. You can visit the churches web site @ www.mvcchurch.org

photo by JayneAll donations that Chris receives will be divided equally between the Mountain View Community Church and the Alpha Center, also located in Fort Collins. Chris volunteers there and believes they do a great job of helping the community. You can visit the Alpha Center online @ www.thealphacenter.org.

So, there you have it. Just another day in Tennessee and another example of how everyone can get out and have their own "Tennessee Adventure™".

ACDSee 7
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