"Freedom and responsibility we speak of easily, nearly always without recognition of the iron courage required to make them effective in our lives." j. glenn gray

Saturday, September 12, 2009

9-11 and the End of My Mission, or, Just the Beginning

The last couple of days have carried with them a whole range of emotions. My thoughts wandered from seeing the events of the morning of 11September2001 unfold on the television, to the 343 FDNY Firefighters who paid the ultimate price doing their job, to the brave men and women of our U.S. Military Forces who voluntarily put themselves in harm's way to stop the cowardly and terroristic threats on our Country, to the 4,000+ deaths and 31,000+ wounded in Operation Enduring Freedom, to the some 2,800 deaths in the attack on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and the Shanksville, PA crash site, to the families of all of those who died. I thought of the American outcry on 9-11 and in the weeks following... and I thought of the short memories of Americans as people drove and strolled passed Fire Houses and Ground Zero hardly paying attention except to whatever was driving them for that day... even one New York paper had the exceptional lack of a moral compass as to put the opening of the NFL season on the front page and the 9-11 information and stories beginning on like page 20... Very sad in my eyes, but, that's America, right? I also witnessed a great number of New Yorkers and Americans from around the Country come to Ground Zero to pay their respects and to ponder the events of that fateful day.

I have been in the very capable hands of the FDNY Pipe and Drum Band all weekend. I have met some of the greatest guys I have ever met... true Heroes on the Home front. These guys volunteer for Band detail along with their jobs as Firefighters. And not only did they show me around and teach me some FDNY history and show me the sites, but they took me in and took care of me like one of their own... without hesitation. I am truly honored to have spent the events leading up to as well as those of 9-11 in their company and care.

Today I am fortunate enough to spend one last evening in NYC as I have been invited to the USS Intrepid for the last Band ceremony of the weekend. Tomorrow I will be loading up the U-Haul, thanks to U-Haul and the Wounded Warrior Project, and driving back to Texas with a few days to myself to think about my newly acquired friends, the War on Terror and where I fit in to all of this as an American. I would like to continue this ride annually in the years to come for the ultimate benefit of our Troops. With the continued support of great Americans like those who helped me complete this mission, I'm sure we can make a go of it. ESSAYONS!

Ride On!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Celebrate Our Freedom, Remember Those Who Provide(d) It

Here are a couple of very good clips that I want to share with y'all. The first is a compilation of pics to the song "I'm Proud To Be An American" by Lee Greenwood as a dedication to our Troops. It is a very moving song and coupled with the pics it is a very powerful motivator. I hope that it will bring to the forefront of your thoughts the fine men and women who serve our Country with Courage and Tenacity... our American Service Members.

The second is a return to Patton. It is a modern rendition based upon his famous speech upon entering into battle in WWII. Patton was a great leader and motivator of men. He is also very polarizing... you either love him or you hate him. I hope you enjoy this clip and find in it the motivation and fire to stand tall and back our brave and selfless Troopers who are voluntarily putting themselves in harm's way at this very moment to protect the Freedoms that we all enjoy in this Great Country.

And now that you are motivated, take the time to help Wounded Warrior Project support those Troops injured in battle return home to a great welcome and a good life. Please click HERE to donate to Wounded Warrior Project.

Enjoy the Ride!

I Made It

First off I want to thank all of you who helped get me started by providing equipment and encouragement. I'd also like to thank all the folks who supported me along the way providing lodging, money, food, encouragement and other support. Lastly, but certainly not in the least, I want to thank the New Jersey State Police and the New York Fire Department for getting me safely across those final few miles. Without any one of you at any key moment this entire mission may have not been completed successfully. Thank you all for all of the support!

Yesterday went by so fast and so much happened that it is difficult to put it all straight in my head this morning. I left out of Bensalem, PA and headed for New Brunswick, NJ for a short 43 mile ride and the last day before reaching New York, my final destination. I stopped down the block from the hotel to get some gatorade and ice and spent 40 minutes talking with folks about the mission and the area. After getting rolling again I found that I was entirely within urban environment now and to my pleasure I found that I was still following PA Bike Route E. Folks waved and cheered as I pedaled past and it made me feel pretty good about what I had accomplished.

About and hour up the road I stopped in Fairless Hills at a 7-11 for a snack and a Mt Dew. There the owner provided me with a multitude of snacks, a sandwich and water for my efforts. Thank you very much for the support. I also met Craig, a local vendor with a colorful and long history in the area. His dad was a UDT SEAL and he had a number of really awesome stories of his growing up in the area. Craig provided me with an entire box full of snack bags of nuts, 4 bags of beef jerky and a really cool grill lighter that is a miniature M-16! Thank you very much for the support and kind words of encouragement. I wish you the best Craig! I then met an Army Veteran from Iraq who's brother is now serving in Afghanistan. He is attending the local community college under the GI Bill and plans on going on to a university when he finishes.

While at the rest stop I checked my messages and found an urgent message from Woody Groton at Wounded Warrior Project to call Lynda Thomson with the NY Fire Department, which I did. I found out quickly that Lynda is a ball of fire and very, very good at her job. She coordinated with the NJ State Police to have me ferried across NJ to Staten Island, NY because of the insane traffic and concern for my safety and well being. After having pedaled 1,642 miles I was not going to baulk at having a little help from some friends in completing the mission... and what friends to have! In coordinating with Lynda and Sgt Michie of the NJSP we decided that I would meet the State Troopers at the Calhoun Street Bridge on the PA-NJ State Line so I jumped on the TerraTrike for one last run about 14 miles up the road.

At the bridge I was met by Trooper DeJesus and his partner, whose name escapes me and I sincerely apologize (please leave a comment below with your name so I can thank you properly). We loaded the TerraTrike, B.O.B., gear and me into the van and off we went down the NJ Turnpike with lights rolling! What a ride! I found out that Trooper Dejesus had been Army National Guard and ETS'd only because he had been accepted into the NJ State Police Academy, another very important job in the State of New Jersey and the United States. He was very good at his job and I found out later that he and his partner had volunteered to stay after their shift in order to escort me safely across the city. Thanks a bunch, guys! I appreciate the help and support. Keep up the great work and I hope y'all nail the dude in the old truck with all the dope!

The State Troopers handed me off to Lt Rodriguez and Fireman Capecci at the base of the bridge at Staten Island and again I found myself in the capable hands of brave and courageous men. We crossed the bridge and Capecci pointed towards Manhattan and I could see Battery Park and the big hole where the World Trade Center Towers used to stand. We talked of 9-11 and of my mission. They dropped me at the hotel on Ft. Hamilton safe and sound. Thank you very much guys! I feel honored to have met you both. Keep up the great work and be safe out there.

I got checked in and enjoyed a very nice, very long hot shower. Later Lynda and Capecci returned and we went to dinner at a little place down the road in Brooklyn and had blue cheese hamburgers and pecan pie. Lynda hooked me up with Cpt Flaugherty who I will be hanging out with over the next couple of days along with Lynda whom I will accompany to a dinner this evening. It was an awesome day all the way around!

This weekend I will be accompanying NYFD to many events and ceremonies honoring those who gave all on 11 September 2001. It is truly an honor to be in such great company. I will be quite busy I'm sure so keep up with me on Twitter and I will update here as I can. Please keep in your heart and thoughts our Troops who are placing themselves in harm's way for our sake at this very moment. Also, please remember the brave and courageous Firemen who gave everything on 9-11. ESSAYONS!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm honored to be able to accompany Cpt Flaugherty and Lynda Thomson of NYFD to NYFD 9-11 ceremonies & events over the next few days. I will update as possible.
I MADE IT! With some inter-agency help from the NJSP, NYPD and the NYFD I will be ferried safely to Ft. Hamilton. I will participate in 9-11 events with NYFD.

Three More Days!

Ride Map Day 28: Bensalem, PA to New Brunswick, NJ

Today's ride will take us within a stones throw from our final destination, Ground Zero, New York City... the place where this conflict took fire 8 years ago. As I pedal today I will be thinking of the courage and resolve of our Troops who place themselves voluntarily in harm's way on a daily basis to ensure that a similar event does not happen again. I will also be thinking of the thousands of those Troops who have come home with grievous injuries due to that service. We can make a difference in their lives by contributing to Wounded Warrior Project; an organization that has the tools and the experience to assisst these Troops with the transition from the battlefield back to civilian life.

Here is today's route map. It will be a short day at a little over 40 miles. It remains overcast today and I am hoping that I can avoid any rain for at least two more days.

Enjoy the Ride!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ride Day 27: Newark, DE to Bensalem, PA

Today's ride was really great! Delaware and Pennsylvania are both great States for providing safe and effective bicycle traffic routes. The day started off with a bleak outlook from the Weather Channel, which turned out to be wrong as we didn't get any rain today. The first intersection I came to in Newark was occupied by several motorists who met by accident ;o) The Police Officer on scene came up to me and asked which Engineer unit I was with and said he was an Engineer as well! ESSAYONS, Brother!

I pedaled up HWY2 to Wilmington and arrived in what seemed to be short order. After a stop for snacks I figured on pedaling on through but the locals had other thoughts on that. I ended up stopping I don't know how many times to talk with folks and show off the TerraTrike to kids and adults alike. It was a lot of fun. I also came across a new project being started in Wilmington called the Urban Bicycle Project at 1908 N. Market St. They happened to be out at the time I stopped by but I did get to meet Ian and some of the guys from deco multimedia group, who share the building. These guys were really cool and I really dig what they are trying to accomplish in their community. Check out and for more information. I wish both of you the best in your endeavor... keep up the great work!

From there I pedaled on to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. When I crossed the DE/PA States Line I was pleased that PA picked right up with the lane and I found it to be designated PA Bike Route E, which so far has crossed the entire city of Philly and all the way to Bensalem. The lanes are clearly marked and motorists seem to respect and appreciate them. So, pay close attention to this program Virginia and Texas...

Once into Philly proper I found Philip's sandwich shop just a starin' at me! I made a bee line for the place and told Ray to fix me up a genuine Philly Cheese Steak just the way the locals eat them. Let me tell you... that was the best Philly Cheese Steak I have ever eaten! Philip insisted that the secret is fresh, real beef and slices it himself everyday after finishing up his job in construction. The crew at Philip's was awesome and super friendly. The sandwich hit the spot and down the road I went. Riding down Passyunk Ave to South and around Old Town was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was really, really cool! There were bike everywhere! There were all kinds of people on bikes, messengers on bikes, cops on bikes... I even saw a mailwoman on a bike! And the bikes moved at the same pace as the traffic! It was a beautifully orchestrated mass transit concerto! The streets were narrow and the businesses were colorful and bright and there were people everywhere. It was so cool! People waved and shouted and honked and it was just really, really cool! I wish I had had a helmet camera so that I could watch that again and again. Unfortunately, there was so much going on I didn't dare try to pull out my camera for fear of getting splatted. I was so caught up in the ride and my surroundings that I hooked a right on South Street and came out on Front Street without even seeing Old Town. I did, however, make a stop at Veterans Memorial Park on Spruce and paid my respects. This is an awesome park and the City of Philly did a great job putting it together.

I could have spent many days cruising around downtown Philly. It is such an eclectic city. I love it! But, I had to make some forward progress and so I pedaled on down the road on my nice bike lane. The row housing in Philly is cool... it's like one giant apartment... like a bee hive. Oh, and they should call it the "Philly Stop" not the "California Stop." I had the crap scared out of me a few times before I figured out that that is just the way they drive here. I also got passed by bicyclists while I was waiting at red lights... yup! apparently bikes don't have the same set of traffic rules...

Let's see, bike lane, Philly Cheese Steak, Passyunk Ave., Veterans Memorial Park, housing, Philly Stops... bikes don't... Oh! The people are so cool! They're just like me... loud and obnoxious! To visitors they are nice as can be but, to each other... woo hoo! Horns a honkin', gestures a flyin'... explicatives shouted... and you can tell that they're OK with each other anyway. Nobody's gonna get offended or fly into road rage... it's just the way they are... totally cool! Saul Raisin was right when he said Philly was a cool city...

Well, I'm almost at the end of this great ride. I hope the rain holds off for just a couple more days. For now I'm thankful that I've come safely this far. I'm sure that I've left out something from today that was really cool but, it's late and I'm tired. Enjoy the pics below and, please keep our Troops in your hearts and thoughts as I have done. It is because of Them that this is even possible...

Enjoy the Ride!

Pre-Ride Day 27

Sing it Joe! Yup... I think it's gonna rain today. Forecast calls for showers through Friday in this region. Guess I'll just have to play it by ear so to say...

Giving a shout out to my friends for looking after me and my family... Scott, Colin, Bill, Sharon & Chuck, Art & Anne. Hope everybody has a great day...

Enjoy the Ride!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ride Map Day 27: Newark, DE to Bensalem, PA

Many, many thanks to my dear friend, Scott without whom I would not be in Newark, Delaware right now... in fact, I'd probably be roadkill on a Virginia roadway! Still, I enjoyed getting to ride shotgun through the Virginia countryside with the top off of the jeep. I still got to be closer to the countryside than buzzing along with the AC on and the radio up. It was very enjoyable and I really liked being able to visit with my good friend again. I will be returning to Dahlgren on my way back to Texas for some more steamed oysters and story telling.

Here we are with only about 130 miles left to pedal. Theresa is happy that I am safe and was able to catch back up to my schedule. I also just got a text message from my friend Jessica Benson, Latseen's wife. She said it sounded like so little miles after all I've done so far... I really had to think about that one. The days have seemed to just flow together. If I had not have been keeping this journal I don't think I could separate the days and tell one from another.

Although I have been living rather simply and with only one goal in sight, it has still been a lot of work. Physically pedaling everyday was only part of the mission. I've also had to deal with the stress of traffic and various roadway conditions and safety buffers. Then I have had to continually check and re-check the daily routes and make sure they will be safe and passable along with transferring the data to my GPS and putting a copy here for y'all to follow. On a daily basis I have to find lodging that is close enough to the route to be feasible; 15 miles to a campground in a car sounds reasonable but that's and hour and a half ride by fully loaded TerraTrike! After arriving at the days end I take care of making camp, personal hygiene and dinner then spend about an hour updating the blog. Many nights I haven't gotten to sleep until passed midnight only to wake at 0600hrs to begin it all again. I am, in no way whatsoever complaining. This has been the trip of a lifetime. I have met some truly great people, many of whom are Veterans. I've seen some beautiful parts of our great Country and with some effort I've managed to bring some well-deserved awareness to Wounded Warrior Project. Additionally, what I have managed over just a few short weeks is nothing compared to what our Troopers are dealing with on a daily basis for multiple deployments lasting as long as fifteen months. They are in my heart and thoughts every single day. Thank you for what you do and thank you for what you have done... you know who you are.

My ultimate goal is to have made a positive impact toward the lives of our returning Warriors, especially those with grievous injuries, and to help them be able to make a smoother transition from the battlefield back to civilian life. Though their lives will never, ever be the same again, I hope that it can and will be long, healthy, enjoyable and prosperous. From my experience, Wounded Warrior Project is well equipped to make an impact on a large scale and by helping them, I am reaching my goal. I hope that you will help me support Wounded Warrior Project by taking the time to make a donation HERE.

Soon I will be looking, for the first time, at the remains of where and why this conflict started. I remember clearly where I was when the attack first started. I remember distinctly that hollow gut feeling followed by a feeling of urgency to run towards the attack... to do my part. I wasn't able to participate in our defense or the cleanup after the destruction (although I am proud of having worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who were there to provide the leadership in that mission, at the time). I am certain that on this 9-11 I will be filled with many emotions but, I think pride will be the most prominent. Not pride in myself or pride in that I have accomplished my goal but, rather, pride in the Men and Women who made it possible for me to undertake this mission in the first place; the courageous Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Coastguardsmen of these United States. Without the blanket of Freedom they provide none of this would have been possible. Thanks, guys! You know who you are...

Enjoy the Ride!

Ride Day 26: Troutville, VA to Lynchburg, VA

Yesterday's ride was the best yet in the State of Virginia. The route not only had a nice shoulder for the duration but I had good weather and some beautiful scenery around the southern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I also met some really nice folks along the way and I wish them the best. Thank you for your support.

Given that I had only 5 more days to reach my ultimate goal of Ground Zero by 9-11, I began to feel a bit anxious. I kept a steady pace and bearing knowing that one way or another the mission would be completed successfully. One thing that began to weigh heavy on my mind was the condition of my legs. While I enjoyed my day of rest and felt much better getting underway on Friday, my legs were still not completely recuperated. As I began climbing again around the Blue Ridge my legs simply did not want to cooperate. I could turn the pedals over but not with any amount of strength. I found myself being very thankful for the 10" gearing on the TerraTrike. While my morale was extremely high, I could not do anything about the condition of my legs.

My very good friend, Scott Gainer, lives and works in Dahlgren, VA just south of DC. Scott was in League City to see me off on 12 August while on vacation. First thing in the morning I called Scott and left a message that I was nearing his part of the Country and could use a little help catching up to my ride schedule. To my surprise and great relief, Scott had been following my progress on the blog and had already departed Dahlgren in an effort to intercept me and check on my progress. When we finally made contact, Scott was already in Charlottesville, VA only a few miles down the road... by Texas standards.

I had stopped in Bedford to have lunch around 1400hrs and while there made contact with Scott. We decided that since I was at a good rest stop and he just down the road that I would stay put and await his arrival. Scott arrived within an hour and we dropped the top on his jeep, strapped the TerraTrike to the sport bar and headed down the road to Dahlgren. En route Scott told me that he had been a bit worried about me traveling along Virginia roadways by bicycle, well, tricycle. He explained what I had already experienced in that Virginia does not build roads with cyclists in mind, nor do they build roads with any consistency to when they construct shoulders; shoulders come and go with no rhyme or reason appearing and disappearing along the same roadway. Additionally, the closer I got to the East Coast the traffic flow increased exponentially.

As we drove along the route that I had chosen to ride I immediately thought, "wow, if I were in any other situation I would never choose to ride along these thoroughfares." I also thought, "it's dangerous in a vehicle let alone on a recumbent bicycle." Just outside of Fredericksburg we were taken aback as we passed a happened-within-minutes-ago motorcycle accident where the bike, or pieces of the bike were plastered up against a guardrail and some motorists were beginning to clamber down the embankment to the river in an apparent attempt to reach the rider. We made it safely to Scott's residence after stopping at Tim's for some steamed oysters and fish tacos and I had no problem drifting off to sleep on the couch.

This morning we are double checking the route maps and settling on a place where Scott can drop me off so that I can avoid DC and Baltimore holiday traffic and be able to make NYC on time. I feel much better about being able to successfully complete this mission. Thank you all for your support. Thank you, Scotty, for looking out for me and helping me make the end goal.

Enjoy the Ride!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

It's also "Love your Husband Day"

This is the longest time Jack and I have been apart in twelve years and I miss him terribly. I can’t imagine him being gone for months at a time like our soldiers have to be from their wives and husbands. At times it must be lonely and worrisome not being able to see or talk to their loved one, but it must also be joyous when they can. It’s another sacrifice our soldiers make to ensure we all live free. So I want to not only thank our soldiers, but their wives and husbands for their sacrifices of that time without their loved ones. It’s a high price they all pay for our freedom.

So here’s my request of everyone today. Call, email, text or whatever means you have, but tell someone special in your life that you love them. Even if you say it everyday take the time now to stop them, look them in the eye and tell them how you feel. You’d be amazed at the response and how it will make you feel.

Jack even though you are far away know that I love you now and forever…..

For My Wife, I Love You.

It's Sunday... "Love Your Wife Day"

While I love my wife everyday sometimes with our children and hectic schedules time often slips past so quickly that I wonder if I really took the time to make sure she knows it. So, I put a reminder on my schedule and Sunday is our day... a day for just the two of us to enjoy each other's company and express our love for each other. I really like Sundays... I love you, Theresa.

I couldn't find a clean studio copy of Slaid Cleaves "Flowered Dresses" but here is a live version. I know how you like this song... See you soon!

Ride Map Day 25: Troutville, VA to Lynchburg, VA

Well, I figured out how to avoid the climb over the Blue Ridge Mountains via either Blue Ridge Parkway at Buena Vista or Rockfish Gap at Waynesboro... Roanoke is situated at the Southern tip of the Blue Ridge so I'm going to cut around the bottom and head over to Lynchburg via Bedford. It's about 50 miles but then it will be a straight shot up to DC along 29... at least I hope so. I don't reckon traffic could be any worse than some that I have already experienced, at least until I get closer to DC.

I'm running a few days behind my schedule to arrive on 9-11 at Ground Zero. I wish I wouldn't have had to take that last rest day but, I really couldn't go on without having taken a day off. My morale is high and I am confident in my ability to complete this mission but for the time schedule. Being resourceful is an Army characteristics that will come in handy here. I need to find some folks who can ferry me up and across DC to make up some valuable time. Perhaps if I could get someone to contact any VFW's or American Legions etc and see if any of the guys that have pickup trucks would like to do a fire drill by ferrying me from station to station. It's hard to arrange these things in a timely manner while having to pedal throughout the day to make my daily destination... and by the time I get there it's late in the afternoon/evening and hard to establish contact with anybody. You can reach me at 281-734-1703 via text or call. I also get email on my PDA at though I cannot send email from my PDA anymore for some unknown reason (that part quit working back in Louisiana). Thanks for the help!

Here is today's route map... Enjoy the Ride!

Ride Day 25: Pulaski, VA to Troutville, VA

Thanks to Kayla & Verna at the Pulaski Motel for the kind words and with help sending off a package to my residence. I certainly enjoyed my much needed rest at the Pulaski Motel and I thank the Patels for letting me stay 1 night free of charge.

I left the motel and rounded the corner only to see the trestle that I had come across 2 days earlier... I couldn't help but laugh at myself. My confidence and morale restored I hooked a right on Lowman's Ferry Road and climbed a short hill than eased on down the backside all the way to the river, which was about 3.5 miles. It was so pretty at the river crossing, and there happened to be a little store there so I stopped for some gatorade and a couple of pictures. That's when I had a little conversation with a man and a boy whom I had passed 3 times on the road. See, their truck kept stalling and they would have to wait for it to start again so they could pass me only to have it stall again. They had been trying to get home since early that morning from Christiansburg. At any rate, they informed me that I had chosen the long way around and it was riddled with hard climbs and lots of blind curves. They informed me that Old Route 100 wasn't a deadend as appeared on the map and that I could link back up with HWY11 at Dublin. They both agreed that would be a much better route and I couldn't help but agree. To my luck, and surprise, there were a man and his wife with a pickup that wasn't full of work equipment, atv's or fishing gear who graciously offered to haul me and my rig back up the 3.5-mile hill. They were very nice folks and I appreciate the ride. They dropped me at the corner right by the Pulaski Motel... so, here it is now closing on 1100hrs and I'm right back where I started! Phew! That took some self inspiration to get passed.

After that little SNAFU I was on my way and it was truly a beautiful day. I had a tailwind and traffic was relatively light for a holiday weekend; just a few fishermen hauling their boats to the river. I made Dublin in no time and was in much better spirits after a sandwich, a snickers & a pepsi. At the 3rd light I found HWY11 right where it was supposed to be so I hooked a right and boogied on down the road. After a couple of miles, with my confidence returning I began to sing "Ragged Ol' Flag" by the late, great Johnny Cash. In fact, if you click on the title of this blog entry you'll get to see a great little youtube production by a Navy Pilot of "Ragged Ol' Flag." I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

From Dublin to Radford it was litterally all uphill but that much I had grown used to in the last week or so. Radford was a pretty little college town and they were gearing up for some sort of festival. From Radford to Christiansburg it was more climbing but the roadway was new and there was a bit of a shoulder. At Christiansburg I stopped for a coke and to refill my gatorade and the gentleman behind the counter said I had the tough part whooped and it was all downhill to Roanoke. I smiled and said that I had heard that one before to which he replied that he was serious. He said that I had made the summit of Christiansburg Mountain and Roanoke was in the valley below. That, my friends, was like hearing music from the heavens! And he wasn't ribbing me either... I didn't touch a pedal for over 15 miles! Then there were only a few little hills but it was either flat or downhill and I had a tailwind the entire time. It just doesn't get any better than that!

The traffic in Roanoke was pretty much non-existent given the experiences I had had thus far in my journey. I pedalled on through town on Texas Street and found my way without incident up 117 back to HWY11 and at Troutville found the Travel Lodge exactly where it was supposed to be as well. All was good. I checked in and while stashing my gear I noticed the clock... It read 1741hrs and I figured that somebody must have reset it. I double checked my clock and, well, what do ya know! Even with my little escapade down to the river I still made the 60 miles and in record time! Now I was really happy! I took a shower and did my laundry in the sink then headed across the parking lot for a Mc Donalds... That's when I saw the Taco Bell across the street and couldn't help thinking that it couldn't be going this well... I thought, "watch, I'm gonna get hit by a bus crossing the street to Taco Bell!" But, I managed to get some dinner and cross the street twice without a hitch. After eating my body shut down pretty quick and I was off to bed by 1900hrs.

I tried to take some pictures yesterday, but I'm afraid that they will not do justice to the absolutely beautiful countryside I saw. Coming off the Appalachian Mountains was a real treat. The air was perfumed with the scent of wild flowers and the sun was warm on my face. The breeze was at my back and traffic was light enough that I could really enjoy the view without worrying too much about getting flattened. I hope you enjoy the pictures below. If you click on the viewer it will take you to webshots where you can read the picture captions I added and see them without being cropped to fit the viewer.

Enjoy the Ride!