Days 32 & 33: Build days in Bartlesville, OK! I spent both days working on building a new warehouse for the Habitat affiliate. We put up trusses and those of us who would carry the trusses over to where they needed to be would be called “truss team”. Someone would call out “truss team, assemble!” (like in the movie Anchorman) and we would run over to the trusses, pick it up together, and haul it up to the Bartlesville Habitat leader and two of our riders who were up on ladders. They set them up and the warehouse really started to come together!
We weren’t too happy with our days spent working there because we weren’t given enough do. Many of the tasks they gave to us were quick jobs, and when we were done they wouldn’t have the next task ready for us to work on yet… Which led to a lot of time wasted sitting around. The team of Habitat leaders were all nice, but they didn’t do a very good job of utilizing all of us at the worksite.
We did get to take a quick tour of the town. Because the buffalo is a sacred animal to the Native Americans that lived in the area, they had many buffalo statues all over town:
There was a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (who I had never heard of before):
It was nice to stay in Bartlesville for a few days. It’s really exhausting to constantly be on the move, so getting to settle in for a bit is relaxing and rejuvenating! Host sites usually have great food and games for us to play. They served us delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and they had a ping pong table, which the boys LOVE:
Overall, Bartlesville was very good to us. The church members threw us a picnic on our last night there and we frequented the local Braum’s, which is a mid-west fast food/ice cream restaurant that serves HUGE waffle cones with a tower of ice cream for $2!!! It’s likely that this is the best thing about the mid-west.
Day 34: Meg and I rode sweep! We had great conversation as we cruised through beautiful country roads. About 30 miles into the ride, Meg was telling me a story, and I interrupted her to say “Meg, we are LITERALLY in the middle of nowhere right now”. It was the most middle-of-nowhere that I’d ever been, and I had to express that feeling out loud.
It was nothing but the one road we were on and green pastures surrounding us for what seemed like days. It felt like we had left civilization forever. Even though it was pretty at first, Meg and I agreed that it got boring and monotonous pretty quickly. All of our teammates disagreed and later talked about how beautiful the ride was. To each his own, I suppose. We met up with a two-time B&B alumni in Ponca City named Bryan who told us that the pastures we rode through were only green because of the large amount of rain they had just gotten. Usually these fields were yellow-brown. I guess we should have been more grateful for the greenness.
We got to go to a lake!! It was called the Kaw Lake and it was just outside of Ponca City. It was so much fun to meet up with our teammates and swim around with them, cooling off after a hot day. Since we’ve been in the mid-west, where trees are few and far between, the amount of shade has decreased substantially, so we’re always hot in the sun.
I love sweep days where we get to meet up with people and we don’t feel so isolated from the rest of the group. That was exactly what this day was!!