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Bike Riders From Israel on ORT

07/17/17

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks.  I am watering my grass a little bit!!!!!  I know I probably shouldn’t be using the water, but I want to keep it a little bit green and I have to admit it is so fun to watch the birds playing in the water.  Let us hope and pray for rain in this drought stricken area. 

As I have mentioned in previous articles, there are many cyclists riding the OLD RED TRAIL this summer - - - - some for short distances and many from coast to coast.  Allen Tellmann,  of Tellmann’s Market in New Salem, said that about two weeks ago he had 15 riders in the store that were riding for Muscular Dystrophy.  They ride every year from Bar Harbor, Maine to Seattle.  I can’t even think of riding a mile and to think of riding 4,000 miles makes my muscles hurt.

 Last week I had the pleasure and opportunity of visiting with a couple from Israel that Faye Sanders had met.  We gathered at the Muddy River Coffee House to eat and visit.  They left Wilmington, Delaware and will ride to Seattle.  Their entire trip was planned out by Adventure Cycling Association and included the OLD RED TRAIL.  The bike trip was a dream they have had for several years.  They have done some cycling in Switzerland and Slovakia, but never in the US.  They have been to the US two times - - - - one for a choir tour and once for work.  They are a retired couple and she was a music teacher in grades 6-12.  He worked in a German parts company and it was the biggest one in Israel.  They were born in Israel and now live in a Kibbutz (a communal farm/settlement) in northern Israel.  Their diet consists of Mediterranean food - - - lots of vegetables.   In our conversation they indicated that they feel safe in Israel and it is a good life; however, there are a lot of problems.  And some areas are not so safe such as the West Bank.  I asked about the Israeli / Palestinian conflict and then I apologized for maybe not asking the question as it is a sensitive issue.  They said “No” it was a very good question.  We live in New Salem and she told us Salem means “Peace”.   When we meet each other we say “Hello” and they say “Shalom” and this is the most important word in Israel and means peace.  In 1948, people came from all over the world to settle in Israel.  They were told to only speak Hebrew even if they came from Germany, Russia, France, or wherever.  Now they learn English in 2nd grade and their native language is Hebrew.   On this trip they ride about 50-75 miles each day.  The distance depends on rain, wind, heat and the distance between towns.  They sleep in motels and sometimes will use their tent. The evening after I visited with them, they were staying at the Roof Top Inn in Glen Ullin. The packs they carry on their bikes are each 80 pounds.  The couple have three children and are well educated.  When they arrive on the West Coast they will sightsee for a short time and then fly to Los Angeles to meet some friends before they fly back to Israel.  One interesting tad-bit……….she said they have trains in Israel too, but they do not blow the whistles as loud as in the US !!!!!!  It was a delight for me to visit with them.  They are enjoying the United States and hope to return.

Question????  How long does it take for a glass bottle to decompose in the environment?  1 million years !!!!       Plastic beverage bottles?  600 years!!!!!    Aluminum can?  450 years!!!!!       Foam plastic cup?  80 years!!!!!     Plastic bag?  20-230 years!!!!   This should really make us think if we ever throw out a can or bottle in the ditch or anywhere.  Last week on a cooler evening I made my third pick up this summer of garbage in the ditch of Highway 31 fro DFC to Tesoro on  Interstate 31.  I picked up two white kitchen bags and one large brown garbage bag of cans, bottles (including a couple whiskey bottles), plastic bags, shoes, rags, towels, paper, hundreds of candy wrappers and gum wrappers, etc. etc.  It really kind of made me sad to think this was the third time and I know I didn’t get nearly all the garbage.  If you ever are looking for an evening walk, just take a bag and do a short end of of highways, streets, or wherever.   I am not an environmentalist as such, but I do not like to see the garbage scattered on our beautiful earth.  Let’s all protect our land for us and generations to come.

Until next time, Be Well, Do Good Works, and see you on the OLD RED TRAIL.

Delores Klusmann