Monday, April 28, 2014

Day 1.

What a way to begin!  The weather was perfect - a little cool in the morning and a slight breeze but a beautiful day for riding!  Riders included Pops, Mom, Shannon, Tom Casey, Phillip Casey and Carl Ames.  Dad and Carl did awesome.  Mom completed her longest ride yet on the tandem with Shannon.

I don't have any pictures for ya because I was taking video and didn't see anything that really caught my eye.  The scenery is incredible - everything is green.  A color this AZ guy isn't real use to.

About 11 miles in we crossed the Alex Frazer bridge - it was sweet.  I took, what I hope is good, video of us riding across it.

Thanks to Allison for helping guides us through Canada and all her work on setting up the start of our Ride.  Thanks to Kelly for providing us the route from YVR to the border.

The border crossing went smooth.  They didn't make anyone unpack the vehicles.  Ok, the bikes did get separated from the SAGs but the craziest thing happened.  The bikers found a nice place to chill and all of a sudden Rachel drives by.  Then, about 30 minutes later, while we are eating pizza, Jer H drives by.  We finished are pizza, Thanks Tom!, and headed to Bellingham.

Oh yeah, we had another passerby stop and donate to the cause.  He passed us while we were stopped for a snack in Canada.  He turned around, rolled down his window, handed Rachel some money and said "Thanks for what you are doing.  My Dad had PD."  It is moments like this that encourage me to keep going.  Not that Dad isn't enough of a reason, but when a stranger approaches you and says Thanks for what you are doing because my relative has/had PD, the encouragement is humbling and empowering.

Today - I rode for Dad.  The man is incredible.  He has a bum knee, damaged ribs and PD and still road well beyond exhaustion.  Thanks Dad for being a role model of perseverance.  Kudos to you for an amazing day of riding.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Road Trip!

Well, once again Mr Jerry Hogg and I are on the open road with a bunch of bikes and supplies.  This time is different.  First, Dad and Carl are with us which is awesome.  They keep us jumping.  Second, we are in separate trucks as their is no Mother Ship and we do miss her.  But we also realize there is a reason we are driving two smaller vehicles.  We aren't sure why yet, but we know there is a good reason.

On Thursday we drove from Phoenix to the metropolis of Jackpot,  Nevada.  We made it all the way to Wikieup, AZ before we had our first "encounter".  Mom had made cinnamon rolls for us to have for breakfast.  We stopped at the Shell station and were sitting around the table enjoying the rolls when a lady walks up and asks if we are the guys from POPs Ride.  We are like, "Yes we are"  She tells us they had been following us for a few miles, saw our signs, looked us up online to learn more about us.  You see, her Dad has PD.  She made a donation, liked us on Facebook and shared it will her friends and family.  WOW.  How cool!

Thanks to Spectrum Graphics for the signs!  If you need some sweet vinyl decals, a vehicle wrap or some HD Signs - give Jared a call at Spectrum and tell them you are friends of POPs.  Tell them thanks for supporting us.

We ended the day in beautiful Jackpot where the restaurants close at 9pm.  We had driven for 12 hours, lost an hour because we moved to MDT and then ended up eating at Pizza Hut.  Yes - we violated one of my travel rules - No Chains.  But we had no options and we were hungry.

Today, we had another good travel day.  We drove from Jackpot to Yakima, WA.  We met some friends of Carl's in Twin Falls, ID for breakfast and got to see their 5 week old baby girl Grace.  Good times.  The day's drive was shorter than expected so we drove down to see the Twin Falls on the Snake River.  As we were heading to the interstate and driving across the Snake, we saw about six people getting ready to parachute off the bridge.  Jer H and I were on the same page and we pulled over quick to watch.  I have a video on my phone and will load it when possible.  These guys are truly crazy.

Then we drove.  We finally decided to grab lunch in Ontario, OR.  I was looking through the GPS for a non-chain restaurant and found one called Hog Rock Cafe.  Since Jer's last name is Hogg, I thought this would be a nice surprise for him.  But, we couldn't find the place.  Gertrude said we had arrived but Dad and I couldn't see the cafe.  We turned around and pulled into Matsy's.  I figured this was a safe bet as there were a lot of local cars.  We sat down and ordered.  We had real hamburgers - real meaning real beef that was handmade into a patty.  As we were eating, our waitress stopped by and asked if the truck with the bikes was ours.  We said yes, she said cool.  After we were done eating, she brought us our check and told us two of the meals were on them because the Owner's Mom had PD.  WOW - another PD connection because of the signs.  I wonder how many more connections will be made because of the signs?  As we were heading to the trucks, the cafe staff was outside and thanked us again for what we are doing.  They thanked us!

Most don't know the struggles we have faced planning this ride.  This has challenged me in many ways and forced me to be patient and have faith.  Many "random" people have reassured me (us) that "it will all work out."  When you are a planner, "winging it" is a bit of a challenge.  Just about two weeks ago I was looking for one last driver.  We are still working on lodging for about four nights but we have faith something will happen.  Even if it is a clear night sleeping on the beach. :O

Once again, I am being shown how many good people are still out there.  No matter what you read or hear about - there are a lot of good people out there - in the U.S. AND in Canada!

Thanks again to everyone who is following and praying for us.  We will do our best to be good ambassadors for the Parkinson's Community.

Tomorrow - POPs goes International as we head into Canada.

To sum up the last two days - Random Acts of Kindness Do Exist.  Be prepared for them and be amazed.

Good Night All.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Just Checkin'

Just checkin' to make sure this links to everything.

One week from today, I will be in Phoenix and we will be finalizing the packing.  Then, Thursday morning at 6am - Dad, aka POPs, Carl, Jerry H and I head out for Jackpot, NV.  It will be a long day but I'm sure it will be filled with laughs and fun.

So far, the journey of planning for this ride has been so different from the 2011 Ride I'm not sure they can even be compared.  I'm excited to see what will unfold in the next few weeks.  Yes - and also a little nervous.

Well, I should sign off and finish a few other tasks before heading to bed.

Can't believe we are about ready to head out on another ride…another adventure.  Excited to be doing this with Dad, Mom and Shannon.

Good Night All.