Sunday, September 8, 2013

Traveling the land of Dorothy and Toto...

We rode from Goodland, Kansas to Concordia, Missouri today. It was hot, hot, hot!  We only did 465 miles as we had frequent stops to wet down and rehydrate. Mike separates from me tomorrow west of St Louis to head to Evansville, Indiana and his chocolate factory.

I am about 650 miles from home.  I could make it in a day, but might take it a little easy. 

I did not share that on Saturday we were riding with a friend from the Route 66 fund raiser and I watched him have an accident behind me on I-70 in the mountains of Utah. He lost control on a downhill curve and flipped the bike and trailer. I called 911 and ran to take care of him. 

Good news is that he is doing well. He broke some ribs and his shoulder blade. He's a tough 78 year old named Don.  He's in a hospital in Grand Junction, CO.  His Goldwing and trailer were destroyed but he will be ok.  He insisted that we continue home after he was airlifted to the hospital and we were assured that he'd be ok.

God is good, all the time!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Homeward Bound

Melinda made it safely back home yesterday from Las Vegas and is now helping our son and his wife move into their new home.

Mike Libs and I have been riding the last two days, heading east.  We did 540 miles yesterday and 452 miles today - staying in Goodland, KS.

Last night we stayed in Grand Junction, CO.  I-70 from there to Denver is beautiful!  I took only a few pictures has I have to drive.

This was a lunch stop in Vail, CO.

I have 1,042 miles yet to go!

God is good!  All the time!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Day 12 - We made it!!!!

Melinda went all the way!  We have been so blessed!  It's been hot, hot, hot.  Mostly 100-105 F and Melinda has had trouble staying cool, but she's doing great!

We all parked on the pier.
This is our bike.

 Our group was congratulated by the Ambassador for Route 66.
Here is our group of the "All the way Gang"

Back to the hotel in Colton we went and it was hot!  We rested last night and today we start back.  We are riding with Mike Libs from Evansville, Indiana and heading to Las Vegas (no gambling for us!) tonight.  Melinda will fly home from there tomorrow (Friday) and Mike and I will get on the highway to head home.

Thank you for coming with us on this journey.  This has been a tremendous challenge for Melinda, but she stuck with it - determined to make her goal of Santa Monica.  Along the way we saw many old friends and made many new ones.  We have been truly blessed!

Love to all,

Stephen and Melinda

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Day 11 - Barstow to Colton

We rolled out of Barstow this morning and went to the Route 66 Museum there - pretty cool.
We continued west to the Bottle Forest - Melinda really like this place!
Melinda with Elmer the Owner and Artist.
Then on to Colton, but first we stopped at the largest powersports store in the world - Chaparral Motorsports in San Bernardino - 160,000 square feet.  We bought some additional foot pegs to get more comfortable, a beverage holder for me (Steve) and a seat pad for Melinda.  We got to the hotel at 3 PM so Melinda could shower and rest while I gassed up the bike and installed the new accessories.

We enjoyed a great meal courtesy of the Hampton Inn and enjoyed visiting with everyone, some of the wives are getting a bit feisty!
A great day!  Tomorrow we head to Santa Monica Pier!

God is good, all the time!

Love to all,

Stephen and Melinda

Monday, September 2, 2013

Day 10 - Kingman to Barstow

Today began as always, with dedications - but there was only one today and it was to Melinda from me.   Our good friend Bruce got a bit emotional as he read it - many eyes were wet as he shared how Melinda was so terrified of this portion of the Ride (to Oatman through Sitgreaves Pass) in 2008, but when facing Stage 4 Cancer she became fearless and is continuing to remind all of us that no matter how her cancer turns out - "It's all good."  There were many hugs before we left - Melinda is a special part of this "family" and admired by all, but especially loved by me.

The road to Oatman was closed due to wash outs, but we went anyway!

Melinda made it all the way to the top without a problem.  Here is Melinda and me with our special friend Bruce - the person that does the dedications.

We rode down into Oatman and saw and fed the donkeys and ate ice cream!

The donkeys liked Melinda and followed her around.

The road out of Oatman was very bad - we had 3 bikes go down, but no injuries or damage.
This is actually the road in the picture below.
Here we are helping a rider get back up again.
It was really hot - this is a photo of the thermometer on our motorcycle showing 104 degrees!
Melinda was over heating so we broke off from the group and travelled down the Interstate to Barstow to get to the hotel so she could cool off.  She showered and then did some laundry.  We had a wonderful Mexican banquet tonight at the hotel - good food!  Back to the room to get this out and get organized for tomorrow.  This is a far as we made it in 2008  - everything from tomorrow on is new!

Overall Melinda is a trooper and doing well.  The new motorcycle is helping and the sore throat is not getting worse.

God is good, all the time!

Love to all,

Stephen  & Melinda

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Day 9 - Winslow to Kingman, AZ

This morning the group split into two groups - one headed to the Grand Canyon and we headed with a smaller group to look at a large meteor impact site that is now a park.  We picked this as Melinda is still a bit under the weather and this was a much short trip.

The ride was beautiful and the crater was huge!  4000 feet across, 500 feet deep - you could fit 20 foot ball fields in the bottom and seat 2 million people around the walls!
Melinda was not up for the walking tour, but I went.  this is our small group for this tour.  Great people!

After this we headed directly to Flagstaff, Arizona (separated from the group) as Melinda needed to get a blood test done to check her blood thinner medication.  We found the hospital, got the blood draw and headed to meet the group at the Galaxy Diner in Flagstaff - cool place!
From Flagstaff we headed to Seligman, AZ for Ice Cream!

That's Melinda coming out of the rest room at SnowCap!
Downtown Seligman was busy with bikers.
This is Melinda in Angel Delgado's Barbershop chair - although she doesn't need a haircut.  I sat there for a picture in 2008.
We saw this incredible trike with a V8 engine (385 horsepower) and talked to the owner - pretty cool!
That gas tank must be at least 30" wide!  Huge!  But cool!  Lousy gas mileage though!  Our new Goldwing gets 35 MPG while our smaller and less powerful Valkyrie only got in the 20's.  Plus we have lots more room to pack (and buy stuff :( ).  Melinda says we are still going to get a trailer for when we travel with our friends the Braams next year on Route 66 - hey, you've got to keep having goals, right!

We left Seligman and drove straight to Kingman, Arizona allowing us some time for Melinda to do laundry and for me to update these posts.

I think that she is feeling a little better - we are staying in tonight to get some extra rest.  Tomorrow is the big day where we take Old 66 to Oatman - this is the part where Melinda got terrified in 2008 and was unable to continue all the way to Santa Monica Pier - I think (and pray) that this time will be better. Hey - if she can handle Cancer, I think she can do almost anything!

We have been so blessed to have gotten this far!  We continue to meet new friends and strengthen old friendships.  God really is good, all the time!

Love to all, 

Stephen and Melinda