For the first time in more than a month, Joe De Scala took his bike out for a joyride, wearing flip-flops instead of his typical cycling cleats.
"It is certainly an awesome feeling to be home," he said, riding along the Port Angeles waterfront.
It's a much-deserved respite for De Scala, after a physical and spiritual odyssey that took him places he'd never been before.
"It got physically exhausting," he said.
Over the past month, De Scala touched all four corners of Washington state on a mission to help heal broken hearts.
He traveled 1376 miles–1126 by bike, 118 in a kayak and 132 miles on foot.
The recent death of a close cousin who left behind a wife and five kids inspired the journey.
De Scala wore a crucifix with his cousin's ashes inside to keep that inspiration close to his heart.
"As I was running and biking it kept tapping on my chest," said De Scala. "It was a constant reminder of what I was doing and who I was doing it for."
De Scala is a pastor at Mended Ministries in Port Angeles. Along his travels he prayed with people, helping heal their hearts broken from loss and loneliness.
He spent five days sick with exhaustion, fighting 30 mph head winds, and 106-degree heat.
De Scala lost 10 pounds, bringing his already compact frame down to a sinewy 137 lbs.
He gained, however, $10,000 in contribution to be donated to local organizations that will help widows, orphans, and foster kids, in honor of his cousin.
The greatest reward for De Scala, however, came when the trip was over. He wrote a letter saying, "I'm so touched at what you did for the community."
"She was so happy it was gonna help our community. She kind of curled up on my lap and cried for a while. It was pretty phenomenal," the pastor said.
De Scala said he couldn't have done it without his wife Kayla who drove the support vehicle -- carrying food, drinks as well as their 9 and 12-year-old kids.
"We made sure it was a bonding experience, so there were no electronics," said De Scala. "The kids were absolutely great."
That, alone, is perhaps a sign of true "Divine intervention."
De Scala hopes to put together teams to circle states around the northwest and perhaps even the country.
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