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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

July 14, 2007      Miles 17      Total miles 4114      Ended at: Yorktown, Virginia


I have absolutely nothing profound to say about my trip. I wasn't trying to find myself or any of that stuff. It was simply something I wanted to do for many years and now it has been done. I used to have a poster which said, "The race is not always to the winner, but to those who refuse to quit." So it is with a trip like mine. It isn't necessarily a testament of strength so much as it is determination. I knew the moment I left the coast of Oregon, I would not stop until I reached the coast of Virginia. The one thing I never allowed myself was to think negative thoughts along the way. On any given day, there could be miles and miles of grueling mountain climbs, winds in my face, numb hands and feet from the cold in the high country out west, or the searing sun radiating on my skin. I had wonderful travel partners ... my mom and dad who I talked to a lot on my trip. My father has been gone for nearly twenty years and Mom for four. My children were a great inspiration to me as they were always encouraging. My son, Perry, called me while I was in Colorado and told me how proud he was and that if I didn't pedal another stroke, he could not be more proud. Things like that gave me great strength. I received email every single day from people I didn't know who encouraged me. I would often laugh because each and every time I had a crisis, someone would pop up in the middle of nowhere to lend a hand. Have no doubt about this trip, it was dangerous. Very dangerous. I had many people saying prayers for me and it is so apprecdiated. My cousin, Jeff, sent me frequent scriptures to run through my mind as I was on the bike for such long stretches. Oh, my wife ... what a dear! She encouraged me, she made me laugh, she would berate me when she thought she knew better than I. Ha! She was always there for me and sent me things as I needed them and took care of all the chores at home that I normally do. I had asked my brother and five sisters to hold off on their daily dose of emails but they would each slip one in, now and then, just to let me know how much they supported everything I was doing.

My ride ended at the Yorktown Victory Monument which symbolizes the American/French alliance during the Revolutionary War. I was met here by my wife, Tanya, and my nephew Kent Welch, his wife Diane, and their son, Jack. It was such a nice greeting to end a wonderful ride. Diane gave me a big bag which was full of letters and emails of congratulations. I loved every single one.

We all went to Kent and Diane's house where Tanya and I spent the night. Diane is a fabulous cook and grilled pork chops outside, fixed fresh salad from her garden, macaroni, hot bread, and squash. It was so good.

This picture was taken at breakfast.

We could have never asked for better hosts than Kent and Diane. We hated to leave their great company but it was time to hit the road.

I thank everybody who kept up with me as I crossed the country. I never expected so many would follow along and it has been fun for me to hear from all of you.

Ol' Blue, Old Glory, and me at Yorktown, Virginia. What about Ol' Blue? He carried me faithfully through ten states, many mountain ranges, rain, sleet, and snow without a hitch. What a great ride!

Total mileage from Florence, Oregon to Yorktown, Virginia.