And it Begins!

GillesCard copy.jpg

The Gilles family will be traveling in for the next 9 weeks across the U.S. as Tom shares the hope of Jesus with 6th -12th grade students, partnering with Air1’s Dare to Dream program.  Thank you all for your prayers and offerings that have made this all possible! 

And it begins!! 


Thank you so much for joining us on this journey!  We so appreciate each and everyone of you and feel blessed to have your encouragement and support.  After much thought and researching, we finally decided on renting a RV for this trip.  After securing a rental thru Road Bear RV last week, we picked big Bertha up Monday morning (October 1st) and were thrilled to find that our rig had been up graded to a 24’ leprechaun coachman with the specific layout Shannon had been praying about (and a bonus pop out feature not even on that wish list!).   Feeling very blessed.    

After some wild packing and much bed bouncing (by the children and someone else, I won’t say who) we hit the road around 1pm.  In Vacaville, Ca we heard our 1st “When will we be there?” Prompting a lovely discussion about how there really wont be an answer for that question this trip so lets swap it for “Where are we?” (we’ll let you know how that goes -ha).  Climbing up over, and back down the sierras we did our road schooling, bad choice (who knew all the gloriously straight road just waiting for us after Reno!).  Nevada’s steady highways helped me organize the RV kitchen, Wells was covered in smelly markers by Fernley, first gas fill up in Lovelock, had The Greatest Showman soundtrack memorized by Winnemucca, second Gas fill up in Wells (we just had to!). Kids asleep shorty after.  Seven hundred and seven miles under our belt and Salt Lake City on the horizon....


Tuesday Oct 2
Good morning Echo Resavor, Utah! We spent our first night at a beautiful Utah Vista reststop amongst the slumbering semi’s.   Tom drove us an impressive 744 miles yesterday in our 1st day’s push to get to Milwalkee WI.  Kids did great still giddy over big Bertha and all her room to bounce about.  Highlights from day 2 on the road were breakfast tamallis in Evanston, WY, great window washing service at every gas station, riding dinosaurs and bears in Nebraska, and more smelly marker coverage.  


Wednesday Oct 3rd found us waking just shy of Des Moines, Iowa in a lovely reststop amongst corn fields (so surprising!).  If you need a Motorhome driver ... I know a guy.  Tom had gotten us 995 miles closer to Milwalkee the day before while I danced a jig in the back of big Bertha juggling the kids.


Day 3 highlights included a scenic dip into Des Moines, IA to find delicious coffee.  The detour provided an impromptu history/geography lesson on the states capital building, which coincidentally shares a stree with delicious coffee.


With only 364 miles to go, the day seemed a breeze, road schooling, counting corn fields and trains that melded into green grasses and lakes as we found our way thru Iowa and into Illinois.  Three tolls later (your welcome Illinois for all our coins) we crossed the mighty Mississippi with a cheer; M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I!, Tom and I reliving Jr-high gym class (anyone else?).  Two and 1/2 hours later Big Bertha pulled into her Milwalkee resting spot just in time for dinner at Tom’s folks home.  

2126 miles, 8 states, 7 gas stations, 3 kids, 2 over night rest-stops,  1 jig dancin mama, and 1 rockstar big Bertha drivin papa all in 51 hours.

We will spend the weekend here enjoying family and friends as we celebrate Tom’s brothers wedding.  Sunday morning big Bertha will be on the move again as we head southeast to High Point, NC where Tom will do 10 assemblies with the Dare to Dream team. 


Please pray for our safe travel and that God would ready the hearts of all who will hear His message this coming week.


Thank you again for joining us!  We look forward to connecting next week with stories of how God is moving.


Love from the Gilles Family