Fog! Everything is dripping wet, get out as fast as possible without breakfast, riding with flashlights, not even early Sunday Morning churchgoers on Hway 130 South, everything grey. That was how I got into Davenport two and a half hours late and just as I crossed the city limits, the sun broke through the fog, timidly at first but getting stronger. I met my warmshowers host Ann at Centennial Park and we decided to have a little breakfast in a restaurant she regularly visits. We talked about cycling tours, she had wonderful stories, one of which was about the Glacier National Park Park's Road Going to the Sun - that road I personally could not enjoy because of the ongoing fires ...
When she and her friends reached the starting point of that long climb at West Glacier it was already 3 pm and they had to decide whether or not to go up. The middle top section was closed to cars on the 20th of June due to snow but cyclists were allowed to pass. When they reached the first gate that blocked the cars it was possible to squeeze through the rock on the one side and the gate's pole and when they reched top it was already getting dark. They quickly took their pictures nd went on to the second gate. This time, however, there was no space to squeeze the bikes through on the mountain side so they had to find some other way to cross the locked gate. The only way was to lift the bikes around the gate post on the precipice side of the mountain - hopefully without falling down, or dropping a bike down that cliff! So they inched one bike after another around that post without really seeing anything. Ann said that it would have been even more terrifying in daylight! So, finally they rode down in complete darkness that wonderful road which in daytime presents one of the most magnificent views imaginable ...
Ann, who took me into her house as a warmshowers host, manages a non-profit social project in Daventon which has been caring for underpriviledged children between 6 and 18 years of age since 1974. On the wall there is a photograph with Mother Theresa in front of this very building - a picture that was taken in 1976. Ann's energy and intelligence is palpable throughout the cosy old building in which up to 40 kids are helped to deal not only with school issues and homework but are given a haven against the different every-day problems they have to live with. The description on their website describes the organizations' aims better than I can: http://www.projectrenewal.net
Main building of "Project Renewal" in Davenport
Home and Office of "Project Renewal" in Davenport
"Project Renewal" - a highly effective philanthropic institution in Davenport, IA
Mother Theresa on Davenport at "Project Renewal" in 1976