April 25…the journey begins!

April 25.
Sometimes you don’t get to choose the day a journey begins. Sometimes you do. We chose today, April 25, to start Hope and Courage Across America 2011.

We unloaded at Long Beach, California. We wanted to get down to the edge of the Pacific Ocean with our bikes. Darla, Grant, and Chanel were able to walk their bikes over the soft sand to the tideline. I didn’t think I could get mine there but Grant insisted it was possible. I figured if Grant thinks we can do it I shouldn’t discourage him. We got a nice picture. We hope to get a similar picture at the Atlantic Ocean later this summer.We rode twenty-five miles inland along the Los Angeles River Bike Path. HCAA 2011 is on its way!

We chose April 25 for a reason. Thirty-five years ago on April 25 another journey in my life began. Here is a brief excerpt from my book to describe it.

{Once away from the headlights the darkness closed in. I kept climbing, reaching for shrubs and roots to pull me up. I got quite a distance ahead of Tom. I could not hear him but I was sure he would find his way. Finally, I reached level ground and stood up. I felt the gravel under my shoes and then pavement.

I cannot believe I just walked away from a crashed car unharmed.

Sometimes the most dangerous thing we do is walk away unharmed. Every time I did not get hurt, every time I was not caught, I became more confident and more bold. I began to think I could not get hurt and I could not be caught. After all, I was young. I was invincible. The trouble with walking away unharmed is that you never know about next time. In fact, you cannot even be sure about this time.

I walked away from a crashed car unharmed but I didn’t know … I did not know we had hit a power pole. I did not know the cross arms at the top of the pole snapped off. I did not know there were four power lines lying in the road. The lines were not broken. They were not arcing or making any noise. They swung down from the previous pole, across the road, and up to the next pole. The lowest wire was hardly touching the road and the highest one about waist high. I took a few steps forward and my left hand hit one of those wires.

I stumbled and fell on my knees. Electricity will enter your body where you make contact with it. It will leave your body where you make contact with something else. For me, that something else was my knees pressed against the road. Twelve and a half thousand volts came in through my arm, through my body and exploded my knees into the pavement as it exited. It was as if someone had taken a shotgun and blasted my knees from the inside out. They were gone.

If this was a lucky night, the next thing I would have done was fallen backwards away from the wires. However, this was a night when things kept going from bad to worse. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. I fell forward. When I fell forward, I ended up lying across the rest of the wires as they continued to burn the front of my body.} From the book Hope and Courage Across America by Bob Mortimer.

That was April 25, 1976. Two different journeys starting on the same day of the year. The first journey led to the second. I can’t explain why things happen in life. But I do know this.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Trust God in your own circumstances as you follow us from the Pacific to the Atlantic.


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2 Responses to April 25…the journey begins!

  1. Cherrie says:

    Bob, Darla, Grant, Chanel ~
    We will be praying for you that the Lord Jesus will go before you to prepare the way, to go beside you with His peace, to go behind you to continue the good work that He has begun, to go above you with His guidance, to go beneath you with His strength, to surround you with His protection, to continually fill you with His Holy presence. It will be exciting to follow along in the journey to see where, what, who, and how He leads. We know the “why” is for His eternal glory. God’s blessings on you all each moment of the way.
    Love, hugs, & prayers,
    ~ Mark & Cherrie

  2. Bill and Carole Rice says:

    Greetings to the Mortimers’,

    Just got word that you all are at it again. What a family! Carole and I send our blessings to you along with our prayers for a safe and exciting trip. I really admire your courage Bob. It was also a blessing in my life to have worked with you and Donnie. I still do the ocasional VIP and just finished two “Every 15 Minutes” programs at McKenzie HS and Mohawk HS with the Sheriff’s Dept. You guys take care now. We’re looking forward to reports from you along the way.

    We Love you guys
    Bill and Carole

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