California Dreamin’

July 7, 2012 in Ramblings

This is my amazing trek from Yuma AZ to El Centro CA!

I woke up at 7:00AM at the Travel Lodge in Yuma Wednesday morning. I inspected my bike and found a HUGE nail jammed in the trailer tire. I was debating whether or not I could make it to CA with the damaged tire. The punctured trailer tire was bothering me so I decided to try to get it fixed before I left Yuma. I called Liberty MotorSports in Yuma at 9:00AM when they opened. To my surprise, they had the tire in stock! (3.50 X 8.00)

I arrived at 10:30AM and was greeted warmly by the entire staff…what a great bunch of people! While I was there, I asked them if they could do an oil change, and change the rear tire (Tim gave me a like-new OEM Kenda). I asked them if they could work with me on the price of everything because obviously, it was a charity ride.

They replaced the rear tire, swapped out the front tire, and changed my oil as requested. They finished everything by 1PM…when I went to pay they said “No charge, it’s on us”. Wow…what an awesome group of people.

So it’s 1PM and I am just hitting the road…kind of a late start but the bike maintenance was necessary. I started out on RT 8 and rolled into California. Seeing the “Welcome to California” sign was a really big deal to me. I can’t believe I made it from Pittsburgh, PA to California on a 49CC scooter.

I am REALLY excited about my journey through CA. I am not sure what to expect and the unknown is exciting to me.

I was on RT8 and came up on a sign that prohibited motor driven cycles from continuing on RT 8. My nice short trip just became complicated and LONG. I called Frank and we had to figure out a new route. My 68 mile journey turned into a 130 mile journey through a deserted, barren desert. To be honest, I was feeling a little scared…I turned off the highway and what I saw was an old straight 2 lane highway cut through a very deserted, barren area. It was 2PM and HOT (102F).

I was not prepared for this trek…I did not have enough water and had no idea how much gas I had in my Ruck. I trudged forward apprehensively…

I never realized that such a barren wasteland could be so BEAUTIFUL. WOW! What was even more exiting was the barren sand dunes I stumbled across. Almost indescribable. The dunes were a smooth, pristine tan color…carved and swirled by the wind…they almost look “creamy”…and the scale…they were so huge that they almost looked fake…like you were looking at a surreal painting. At one point, I looked around in a 360 at the dunes and I got goosebumps from head to toe. The scale of it was more than I could comprehend.

By this time, my eyes, nose, and mouth were clogged with a talcum powder fine sand (note to self – check air filter on Ruck as soon as possible). My eyes were dry and gritty and it was getting hard to breath. I drove through the desert for several hours and out of nowhere came upon farmer’s fields full of green crops. What!?!? Giant sand dunes and barren desert then green fields…with no transition!?! One second I am in the desert…the next second I am in fertile green farm land…was I hallucinating?!? …lol…was this a desert oasis or mirage?!? …lol…lol. How strange…

Journey Begins!

April 17, 2012 in Charity, Speaking

Apologies for the silence but I have not had wifi access for a few days. I actually left on Sunday April 15th…about a week behind schedule. We ran into some issues with the cart and it slowed things down.

I had breakfast with my family early Sunday morning. Then I rode over to my starting point. I tracked down the man that molested me via the Internet and chose to start (and end) my ride in front of the retirement hi-rise in which he lives. Symbolically, this was very important to me. I had or have no plans to confront him…I just want to start and end my ride there.

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I rode about 150 miles on Sunday and found a small quaint place to camp in Elkins West Virginia. The name of it was Pegasus Campground. The owners Mark and Bonnie were awesome…extremely kind and friendly. Because it is “pre” camping season, I was the only one there. I had 40 acres to myself!

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Mark and Bonnie

They had a giant stage in the center of the campground and I asked if I could set my tent up on the stage and sleep there. It was so cool sleeping on such a big stage overlooking the campground. The stage was at least 15 ft off the ground so it almost felt like camping in a tree house.

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I slept really well till 3:30am when I heard a bunch of howling and I purposefully stayed up till sunrise then fell back asleep. It spooked me…but in the morning Mark said that it was “just” some packs of wild coyotes. :shock:

I made some special t-shirts for the ride. Each day I can ride for someone different:
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I was back on the road by 1 pm and around 4pm I pulled into a gas station to fill up. As I was pulling in I heard a “pop”. My trailer tire hit a pothole pulling in and it pinched the inner tube, causing it to go flat. Andrew the attendant, took the wheel off and patched it. He was an extremely nice guy and did not charge me a dime. How nice.
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I spent most of the day climbing huge mountain ranges and it really slowed me down. At times I was going less than 10 MPH! The scenery was breathtaking and at 10 MPH I was able to see all of it in great detail!

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I was behind schedule so I jumped into a dollar store and bought some little Vienna sausages in a can and some trail mix. That was dinner. BTW – WOW are those sausages BAD! they taste like soggy hotdogs. They actually tasted SO bad, I was laughing out loud as I was eating them. I washed them down with some trail mix and was back on the road. I was on 250 East towards Richmond and stopped in a small town about an hour past Montery VA. I was driving down the street and ran into a bunch of scooter guys! I asked them where I could find a cheap campground and one of the scooter guys, Teddy, offered to let me set up my tent in his back yard!! He even had wifi for me to do my updates…so I am in my tent in Teddy’s back yard right now, updating my blog. I am going to be back on the road by 6:30am because I HAVE to be in Myrtle Beach by April 19th to participate in a candle light vigil for the Horry County Crisis Center.
Teddy and his family:
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So that was day one! I will try to post tomorrow evening if I have wifi!