My pic with the SC State Police!

May 7, 2012 in Ramblings

OK…HUGE HUGE UPDATES WITH LOTS OF PICS!!!

Apologies for the delayed updates. Internet access has been a bit sketchy here in Charleston…that, coupled with the bike’s engine issues has made it a challenge to sit down and update the blog. I am trying to figure out the WordPress app for my phone. That should make blogging much easier.

As you may know (despite the mechanical issues with the bike), I rode from Myrtle Beach to Charleston SC
to meet up with some guys from totalruckus.com …we planned on tearing into the bike again to try to fix it. I connected with Will and Josh in Charleston on Thursday 5-03-12.

I rode around for a short while when Will was at work on Thurday. I rode that day for “ALEX”.

Josh and Will worked on my bike for a while Thursday night…Here’s a few pics of my Master Tech’s at work:

After Will left, Josh and I decided to kill the LAST CAN OF VIENNA SAUSAGES! YEAH!!!!!

He insisted that we eat them on spicy crackers with GRAPE JELLY….UGH. Josh is not my friend.
Actually, the jelly and crackers killed the taste of the pink slimy meat…lol…thanks Josh.

A pic of Will and his wife Melissa from the previous night. They make a great couple…both of them are extremely good people…very kind and very generous. (and Melissa is a REALLY good cook!!!)

I stayed at Josh’s Thursday night. We got up early Friday morning, met up with Ricky, went out for breakfast then out for a ride downtown. We were at Denny’s for breakfast.

This is a little upsetting but I want to share it with you because in the end it was wonderful. Our waitress looked at me and said “Thank you…I was molested by my father as a young girl. Thank you for what you are doing. You are my hero”. Ricky, Josh, and I were all shocked by her admission. I felt so horrible and I did not know what to say. When we were leaving, I walked up to her and gave her a huge hug. Hugging other survivors of child sexual abuse is awesome…that hug creates a direct connection to the heart. She whispered in my ear “You are my Hero”. I was choking back emotion.

We stopped by an auto parts store to buy some tape on our way into town. A man in his early 50′s approached us and started asking questions about the journey. He said “My daughter was molested”…and he was overcome with emotion and turned his back to us. He collected himself and finished his conversation. It is very sad when people tell me their stories but I am very very happy to be the one they share it with.

This is Josh, myself, and Ricky Downtown on our Rucks:

For those of you who don’t know Josh, he is extremely outgoing and has a bold personality. He insisted that we get our picture taken in front of the “Pineapple” …apparently an important symbol in Charleston…lol. Well, you’re really not allowed to do that. The pineapple is only accessible for people walking…motor vehicles are not permitted in that area. SO Josh shuts off his engine and proceeds to push his bike towards the pineapple. Ricky and I just looked at each other. Josh yells “C’mon!”. So we shrug our shoulders, shut off our bikes and start pushing them towards Josh. There was a big heavy metal sign in the way and Josh did not want it in the picture so he just dragged it out of the way. Ricky and I were just looking at each other like “were gonna end up in jail”.

THEN A COP SHOWED UP. We tried to explain but he was not amused. I thought about asking him for a picture…but this particular cop looked like he was having a bad day so we apologized again and got out of there.

I missed my COP PIC and was disappointed. Then, we left the city and Ricky split up from Josh and I…we were on out way back to Josh’s house and I got my wish. I was driving and noticed that I lost Josh. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw him along the road…with flashing lights.

The Charleston police do not like it when you modify your Ruck. Josh walked away with two presents:

THANK YOU JOSH FOR MY PICTURE WITH THE NICE POLICE OFFICER!

On Friday, I rode for “Tina”

Better Food than Vienna Sausages (?)

April 26, 2012 in Food

More camp cuisine…lol.

Penne pasta…edible but far from delicious What is this tan muck?

I have to learn how to cook or I am going to starve…lol. Maybe a nice person from Starbucks corporate is reading this and will give me a Starbucks card so I can just walk in and buy “real” food…lol. Someone please help…I think I’ve lost about 10 pounds already…lol…

Vienna Sausages Part II

April 24, 2012 in Food

OK, so I have about 3 cans of Vienna sausages left. I can’t eat them straight out of the can. They’re awful. So I tried to disguise the taste by making “beans and weenies”. See YouTube video below:

I was able to choke down most of the pot

I started thinking “So what are Vienna sausages actually made of”? I began reading the back of the can.
This was the funny part…the can says “Vienna Sausages are BURSTING with flavor”…WOO HOO HOO…that is hilarious…yes, they are bursting with flavor…but not necessarily a flavor you can stomach.

I read the ingredients and the first ingredient was “mechanically separated chicken”. What? What is mechanically separated chicken? This definition is NOT for the faint of heart:

Mechanically separated meat (MSM), mechanically recovered/reclaimed meat (MRM), mechanically deboned meat (MDM), or pink slime when made from beef, and white slime when made from chicken is a paste-like meat product produced by forcing beef, pork, turkey or chicken under high pressure through a sieve or similar device to separate the bone from the edible meat tissue. For the production of chicken and turkey MSM, most of the time, breast carcasses are used as they still contain parts of breast meat.

One of my buddies on totalruckus.com described the taste as “metallic bland gritty bologne tube nastiness”.
I could not have said it better myself…lol.

And just in case you missed “Vienna Sausages Part I”:

Horry County Rape Crisis Center Candle Light Vigil

April 22, 2012 in Speaking

First, a few links…A local news channel did a story on the Horry County Rape Crisis Center Candle Light Vigil. I was a speaker for this event and I was interviewed by the reporter:

Also, I bought six cans of Vienna Sausages. I need to go through this journey as thrifty as possible and the Vienna Sausages are about 50 cents a can. Cheap protein, right? Well…

Julia’s Story

April 20, 2012 in Speaking

So I get up at 5:30AM and I am back on the road. I reached Myrtle Beach around 11am. I was speaking at a candle light vigil service at the Horry County Rape Crisis Center around 6pm. I got a well-deserved shower then set up my tent. I walked down to the camp laundromat and washed a load of clothes. I started talking to a lady named Linda. I told her what I was doing and she was shocked. She said “What can I do”? “Do you need anything”? I said “some hot food would be great”. She gave me $20 and sent me over to the camp restaurant. I had a hot ham and cheese sandwich…and it tasted awesome. Wow, do you appreciate real, hot food when you are living off of canned Vienna sausages and Ramen noodles…lol.
So I headed over to the vigil and met up with my counselor, (Tina, you ROCK).
I met a girl named Julia there and she spoke at the vigil. She is an absolutely amazing young woman. I asked her permission to talk about her in my blogging. She agreed. She went through “an abusive situation”, instead of letting that destroy her, she sought counseling and did things to help other people. She did missionary work in Honduras. She said the kids there were terribly terribly poor but they were happy kids. She said that if those little kids could be happy, then she certainly could be too. She also worked with terminally ill children who knew they were dying…but many of them were happy to be with their family and live out there limited days. She said again that if they could be happy, then she could too.
Julia, you inspire me because our stories are very similar…and if you can be happy then I can be happy too!

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My counselor Tina

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I am sitting at a Steak and Shake writing this…it’s after mid-night and I’m really tired…so more tomorrow!!

Keychain of Hope

April 18, 2012 in Charity

Here is a pic of my friend Jimmy and I wiring up the trailer at 1a.m. in the freezing cold, the night before I left:
ImageDinner last night in my tent. Damn…still no matches. Cold Spaghetti-O’s. (still better than those awful Vienna Sausages!)
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Today I woke up in Teddy’s back yard at 6:15AM. Teddy and I headed over to Sheetz for some coffee. We hung out for a while and he got me back out on Rt 250E.
Before I left Sheetz, he took a photo of the other shirt I had made:
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Needless to say, by lunchtime I was STARVING. (canned pasta for dinner and coffee for breakfast doesn’t go very far) With no place to stop and cook, I had to go to Wendy’s. That hamburger tasted like a t-bone steak…lol.
I finished eating and asked the lady sitting across from me if I was near Richmond VA. She said it was about 10 min down the road. We started talking and I told her about my journey. Her name was Anna and her adorable 4 year old son’s name was John. She paused and said, “Here, I have something for you”. She reached into her purse and took out her keys…attached to the keys was a beautiful keychain of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She said, “Here, I would like you to have this” and she took it off the keychain and handed it to me. To be honest, I was fighting back emotion…the keychain was beautiful. I told her that the bottom point of my heart shaped journey was the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. She said, “See, it was meant to be”.
Here is a photo of Anna and John:
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A photo of the keychain:
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THEN – a few minutes later, a lady walked over to my table, look at me and said “God Bless You” and laid down a 20 dollar bill and walked away. I was barely able to thank her and she was gone. What an emotional afternoon. This is only day three and I am at a loss for words. All jokes aside, someone needs to create an emoticon of a smily guy crying cuz I’m gonna be using it A LOT.
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Afterwards, I was riding through Richmond with my yellow shirt on and people were waving, giving thumbs-up and honking like crazy (honking in support…not because I was impeding traffic…lol) I had my thumb on my horn the entire way through Richmond…honking back!
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I could not find a campground nearby because I was in the middle of a large town…so no wilderness camping either…so I had to break down and get a cheap hotel room:
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Is this legal? lol

Dinner:
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I bought SIX CANS of those DAMN awful Vienna Sausages…so five more days of little soggy hotdogs…lol…

AS FOR MY ROUTE:
I am in Petersburg VA right now on RT 301. I need the easiest, quickest, safest way to get to Myrtle Beach. I need to stay on two lane highways if possible. I have to be in MB by Thur afternoon at the latest or I could miss the Candle Light Vigil at the Crisis Center. BTW – all are welcome if you live near MB!
If any of you are along my route, I’d love to connect and get some lunch or dinner!!
It is 9:30 PM and I am beat! I am headed to bed but I promise I will answer all of your posts and PM’s in the next day or so…I can barely keep my eyes open…lol.
Looking forward to another great day tomorrow!
Tom