Pastor Melissa Melnick reads from a book of poems written by her late son, Chris Stanley, at St. John's Lutheran Church in Rock Island, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. Melick was a guest preacher while on a journey from her home congregation in Richfield, Minnesota, along the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. She plans to guest preach each Sunday along the way on her trip.
Pastor Melissa Melnick looks out over the Mississippi River from Credit Island while riding alongside one of her longtime friends, Luis Alberto Banzer of Minneapolis, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. Melnick’s eldest son, Chris, was just weeks from a post-graduation bike ride to the Gulf Coast when he was swept into the Mississippi River on April 25, 2017. Anxiously awaiting a call, a knock on the door — anything — Melnick vowed to either ride alongside Chris in celebration or on her own in his memory.
Pastor Melissa Melnick and Luis Alberto Banzer of Minneapolis stop for a rest on the side of Highway 22 meeting with volunteer driver for the day, Brian Ohana of Minneapolis, in Fairport, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018.
Members of St. John's Lutheran Church in Rock Island place their hands on Pastor Melissa Melnick and are lead in a blessing of her and her journey by Pastor Stacie Fidlar, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018.
A tattoo of a drawing done by her late son, Chris Stanley, is seen on Pastor Melissa Melnick's arm as she records a video update for her Facebook page upon arrival in Muscatine, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. The drawing was a reference to a Bible story in which Jesus calms the storm, and became a symbol for Melnick and several of Chris' friends in the days he was missing.
Pastor Melissa Melnick leaves Rock Island crossing the Talbot Memorial Bridge to Davenport to continue along the Mississippi River Bike Trail, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018.