Everyone Needs a Haven

Joey here.  Sometime this afternoon, we crossed into the Central Time zone.

This morning, as we were about to hit the road, Mike spotted our bike and introduced himself.  He and his wife are recumbent riders, from Portland, Oregon.


Mike, a Presbyterian minister, just retired from a military chaplaincy.  He is very supportive of refugee rights.

So is Michael, who stopped to talk after he spotted our Ride sign.


Michael was a roofer.  After he was injured on the job, he started a mowing business.  He and Jeffrey had a great conversation about roofing techniques, the tension between providing a good living for kids and having time to spend with them, and other topics.  After Jeffrey explained some things about the system, Michael told stories of hard-working immigrants he’s known.  He sees what people trying to follow the rules, trying to survive, are up against.  He’s a good man with a big heart.  And Michael has encyclopedic knowledge of local roads.  He told us how to avoid the worst of the traffic and of the hills.

We stopped to watch people salvaging lumber from a barn that blew down a few weeks ago in a likely tornado.


Dewey told Jeffrey some of the history of the barn.  Dewey lived in the area for 50 years and recently moved to Nashville.  He is a doer.

Little Radin is a helper.


Debby (holding our calling card; her friend John is holding the board) was happy to meet us.  She is involved in feeding the local hungry and is very sympathetic to refugees.


Danny, also holding our card, worked at a sawmill until he was disabled.  Now he works with cattle.


Danny, fascinated by our bike, asked Jeffrey about the Rides.  He listened thoughtfully when Jeffrey explained that lawful applicants for asylum can have a lawyer only “at no expense to the government”.  Danny doesn’t like people to go without help.  He himself is careful not to hurt anyone.

We passed through some poor towns.

And we saw nice historic buildings.

The area has a large Amish community.  Here’s a horse by a John Deere behemoth, some men reinforcing a barn damaged by that recent tornado, and a sign in tiny Glendale, KY.

We saw several Amish wagons on the road.  When Jeffrey saw these two particular wagons approach, he pulled over, having seen horses startled by our unusual bicycle.  Yet even when we held still, the lead horses in the first wagon shied at the sight of us.  The teamster quickly got the team under control.  Jeffrey apologized, and got a smile and a wave from the people in both wagons.

Clinton, on his way to work, stopped to talk about refugees.


Jade stopped us to ask whether we’d seen her pregnant German shepherd (we hadn’t), and told Jeffrey about her former job at a local tourist cave, and her current job in a factory producing gourmet sauces.  Like Clinton, she thinks asylum applicants should be provided lawyers if they can’t afford them.  It’s just basic fairness and common sense!


All these wonderful people, the smooth pavements, the courteous motorists, and the beautiful farms we passed . . .

. . . made the heat (86F/30C) and headwinds (16 mph/26 kph) less painful for Jeffrey.  (I wasn’t bothered in my shady pannier.)  Still, he was relieved to find shelter in Cave City.

These concrete “wigwams” were built in 1937.  We don’t regard them as insults to First Nations people.  We regard them as American kitsch that now is old enough to be charming.

It’s wonderful to find a safe place when you need it.  If you doubt that, ask an asylee.

4 thoughts on “Everyone Needs a Haven

  1. So glad to see you back out on the highways of justice, Jeffrey, sharing good cheer with good people.


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