Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hot In Vegas - 100+ degrees

The ride from Salina, Utah to Las Vegas was only 250 miles - but very hot. Good practice for "Death Valley". It was 115 degrees there today.
I'll be going there early Saturday morning. Tomorrow, it is going to be hotter than today, so I'm going to hunker down at the "Motel 6", wash some clothes, stay cool, get rested and get focused on the more difficult parts of the journey that lie ahead.
Today, I met and rode with another "solo" rider, Craig (a retired California State Prison Guard). He was returning home to California from visiting his daughter in Pittsburg, Pa.. Craig was riding a well kept '96 Honda Goldwing. Over coffee, Craig told me of his personal experiences, riding to Alaska - he said: "remember this sound (bhuummmmm....)." "When you hear that (loud) sound, the mosquitos know you are there - and you are their entree!" Craig rode there with some buddies - and decided to ship his motorcycle back home by boat. Craig, it was a pleasure meeting you. Keep the shiny side up - the dirty side down. Say hello to Craig!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day #4 - Colorado & Utah

Logged about 500 miles today. The day began at Brush, Co and finished at Salina, Utah ... I-70, west of Denver was closed due to an accident ......... those darn trucks!
The scenery was awe inspiring - the snow capped mountains; as were the rock formations and canyons in Utah. Tomorrow, on to Vegas. I better get rested up!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I-80 & I 76 - flat and uneventful

Today was a wunderful riding day. Much better than days 1 & 2. Those days were 90 degree days, with thunderstorms and high winds.
Today was cooler (75), until late afternoon, then it got very hot. To say it wasn't windy today would be an understatement - especially the west half of Iowa. There is mile after mile of power-generating windmills. I guess they wouldn't put them where there wasn't any wind...... Da!!
Anyways, I did 600 miles today. I started at De Soto, Iowa, then rode thru Nebraska and shutter-down at Brush, Colorado. My noble stead "Bessy, the 3rd" did a great job.
No pictures today. I'll be glad to get off the Interstates, after Vegas, to enjoy better landscapes.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

This was to be the first major highlight of my journey........ and it surely was! The Cedar Rapids Kernels - now an Anaheim Angels farm team - were playing an afternoon (2pm) "Memorial Day" game vs Quad Cities River Bandits. I identified myself at the ticket booth as a former player from 40 years ago. The "ticket booth lady" went and got her boss and I was given a free ticket and a wonderful tour of the new "Veterans Memorial" ball park - air conditioned box seats and all. Seth Dohrn is the man behind the "history" associated with Cedar Rapids minor pro baseball. He showed me artifacts & memorabilia dating back to the turn of the 20th century. I also saw my name on the 1972 roster - signed a baseball for Seth's collection. I also got to do a live/on air interview during the 6th inning by the radio station who carries the games. I told them, I was probably the worst player to don a Cedar Rapids uniform - that broke the ice. I told about my trip and charities that I was promoting. I must say thanks to Seth and thanks for the memories. You have great passion in what you do and it shows. And "Thank You" Cedar Rapids Kernels. Check out Seth's blog, about my visit  here. Below are pictures of the stadium and one of Seth and I.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Blast-Off was at 8:40 am local time

Several pals; bikers and non-bikers alike, showed up at 8:00 am to witness the journey's start. Some came on big bikes, some not so big (Arden). My wife had coffee and donuts for all.
Three bikers (Steve, Justin & son Bill) rode along with me to Sarnia. There, Brian and Al met us for final farewell and photo.
Thanks to all for the rousing send-off.

Day 1

After leaving behind the guys in Sarnia, the border cross was uneventful other than the rain, and boy did it come down - all the way to Flint MI.. The rain came at such a fast rate, I didn't have time to put on my rain suit. Later on, it got very warm, so I was happy to be a little damp.
I shot some video while going through Chicago. "Memorial Day" weekend is a great time to travel thru Chicago - no construction. At day's end, I had logged just under 1000 kms and made it as far as Princeton, Illinois. A good start. I am motel-ling it tonight at the "Princeton Super 8". Tomorrow, on to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Packing - ohhh!!....... What to take?

Actually, on an adventure of this nature, the packing part is quite easy. #1 You don't have much space, so you pack light ie - 1 shirt, 1 pair of jeans,1 pair of underwear, and so on. Oh yes, and don't forget the deodorant!
#2 You pack for the most challenging part of the journey - in my case the part from British Columbia, Canada to Fairbanks, AK and on up to Prudoe Bay, AK and the Arctic Ocean. There you require things like - cb radio, bear spray, insect net, extra gas can(s), tools, etc.....and some luck with the weather.
Here I am beginning to load.

Monday, May 21, 2012

What beautiful weather we've had for the "May 24" long weekend. Our daughter, Heather has been visiting from Ottawa - giving me last minute inspiration. Son, Bill and wife (Alison) were over for a visit as well - always enjoyable! Heather & husband (Andrew) are expecting - with child, due near the end of my trip. My wife Donna, and I are ecstatically looking forward to our first grandchild's arrival.
Yesterday (Sunday), I had the honor of "throwing out the first pitch" at the London Majors game verses Guelph - and promote the charities of "wunderlust2012", i.e. Childhood, Pancreatic and Prostate Cancer(s). Great game, the Majors won! Many thanks to all who made this possible!

Just (6) six more sleeps; the excitement building! Photos courtesy of Lori & Wayne Brown. Thank You!                                          

Monday, May 7, 2012

In a few weeks, I feel very fortunate to begin fulfilling a life-long dream, "wunderlust2012". In life, to make any goal or dream a reality, requires inspiration. Inspiration to "press-on" when things get "tough"; to "fight the good fight"; to "not drag people down or let nay-sayers drag you down".

Jennifer & Brian Petrie exude these qualities as did Cole, when he was amongst us. I would ask that you take a moment and enrich yourself with "Cole's Journey" in the "Acknowledgements" page of my site. I know that I will draw "strength" from Cole's journey while away - but by "no means" is my journey (in any way) comparable to that of the Petrie's. I must also thank Jennifer and Brian for the kind words and support they've given "wunderlust2012". Thank You!
Although, I am speaking more candidly of "childhood cancer", it by no means diminishes my endorsements of pancreatic and prostate cancer awareness. Thank You.

"All boys" love their trucks, including Cole (shown sitting in a fire truck)!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cousin Ron

Thought a photo of Ron, taken last Friday near Sarnia, Ontario would be good practice for me updating my blog from my cell phone. Ron is an avid motorcyclist and enjoys collecting old bikes. He is also a member of the local "Vintage Motorcycle Club". The photo is of a 1972, Honda 70, he just purchased for restoration.
Just 25 more sleeps till journey begins. I have been busy getting final details of trip planning together. Also, I have been riding a stationary bike for the past two (2) months (10 minutes/day) and have been eating healthier than usual. I must get fit! This trip will certainly tax my health, fortitude and stamina. I had a medical today and as NASA says: "All systems are go, Houston".