Cycling along the Priest River in the early morning light east of the Town of Newport. The river is named in honor of the Jesuit priests who evangelized the Kalispel Indians and were known by them as "The Blackrobes."
Between the Towns of Priest River and Sandpoint, I met Michele who is from the Lombard region of Italy and is traveling by bike for five months through Canada and the western United States. He will be getting married next year to his beloved Francesca and I told him that we'd keep him in our prayers for a happy and holy marriage.
He was quite surprised to meet a priest cycling across the United States and didn't think that such a thing would happen in Italy (not that it happens very often here either). He believes that priests must be more open and creative in the ways they evangelize, especially among the young.
My shoes are squeezing my toes and have been causing a good deal of pain lately. I discovered that there's a bootmaker in Bonners Ferry and went to see him this afternoon to see if he could help me out. He has a workshop in an old building alongside the county fair grounds that smells of leather and of times long past.
Thad has been making not only cowboy boots but footwear of all types for over a quarter century and has a apprentice who helps him by the name of Heather. As a young man he was part of a evangelization team that traveled throughout the Country preaching the Gospel to any who would listen. He eventually fell in love with the piano player who was part of the music team, married her over forty years ago and settled down to raise a family.
He stretched my shoes and got this traveling priest back on the road.