7/21 – 7/23: Joplin, MO
Host: Byers Avenue United Methodist Church
The sweepstakes for today’s ride is to make a music video, and Kristin, Ella V, Amanda, and I do just that. We pick up a couple cliché songs to sing and we film scenes as the day progresses.
Another big topic of debate today is determining the type of farm animal mounted on a roadside roof. We are certain that it is male; however, its exact species is quite questionable. The debate is never settled despite quality photographic evidence.
We then get to enjoy two quality build days in the great town of Joplin, which provides us with one of the best rooftop bars we encounter the entire trip to date. Also, at the Habitat build sites in Joplin we have the pleasure and the privilege of meeting Matt McGee, the Christian music all-star. Thanks to our previous build site, we are armed with posters and pictures with which to tease McGee.
7/24: Vinita, OK
Host: Vinita First United Methodist Church
Van day. I am at lunch all day to the point where it feels like I have at least three lunches. Some of our riders label this day as the “Best Day Ever” because the pace is slow, the stops are plentiful, and the lunch stop is awesome. The last group of riders to pass through lunch bust out the guitar and we start singing Christmas songs because Christmas in July is coming soon.
7/25 – 7/26: Tulsa, OK
Host: First Presbyterian Church – The Powerhouse
On the ride into Tulsa, we cross the halfway mark for the trip. Sam and Kristin chalk the area full of our names and celebratory messages for making it this far. Funnily, they actually chalk the wrong area because they slightly misread the day’s cue sheet. Nonetheless, it is still close to the right spot and we celebrate over the markings with dance, song, and general merriment.
Fortunately and unfortunately, our build day in Tulsa is cancelled. This gives us a day off to explore the city and rest. There was some rain (as this was the reason for the build’s cancellation), but we have a great time regardless. On our second evening in Tulsa, we celebrate Christmas in July with a gift exchange, cake, and a burning fire projected on the wall.
7/27: Chandler, OK
Host: First United Methodist Church, 122 W 10th Street
This day was full of fun stops from whether those be saving turtles, eating a second brunch at a train-themed diner, stopping at a restaurant that inspired characters in Pixar’s Cars, or just generally enjoying the atmosphere that surrounds Route 66. The day is then made complete when the evening’s entertainment includes a local Chandler Rodeo complete with kids chasing goats, bull riding, and all sorts of horse-riding competitions. Overall, this is a fun Oklahoma day.