"Barefoot" Goldwinging
Motorcycling 200,000 Miles Around North America
June 1, 1997 - November, 2002

All Around The Continent!!

Excerpts from the Log of "Barefoot" Goldwinging

The many miles of happenings and pictures will take a while to load.
(Some of the pictures you can right click on and get a larger image)

Becky In The Garden
At Ranch - Late Summer 1997

Gramps and Mom, 1914
Gramp's 1913 Harley

In Barefoot's Office
At Ranch - May 1997

To start at the beginning, by fortuitous circumstances, in September of 1996 I found a 1975 GL1000 Honda Goldwing motorcycle in a barn, a classic, the first of the Goldwings to come to the US. It was equipped with a Vetter fairing, and the asking price was $600...a rare find, rare because it was one I could afford. It only had 14,700 miles on it, which was practically brand new for a Goldwing. The cycle had been dumped 18 years before by the owner. He had warped the front wheel and broke the windshield, and had scared himself enough that he put it away in the barn wet, without draining the gas from the tank or carburetors. Undaunted by any concern for this, I happily shucked out the $600, and hauled it home.

Proceeding to hose the dust, hay and mouse turds off of it, I found the paint and chrome were as new, the saddle leather not even worn. So I took off the front wheel and had it true as new in about 30 minutes using a crescent wrench to adjust the spokes. All well and good. Off to a parts house to order a new windshield, $47, not bad, and it would arrive in 3 days.

Back to the shop, and removed the carburetors, as I knew they would need cleaning. It took 3 days of soaking to even begin to get them apart, the old gas had completely dryed out, gluing the pieces together as if they had been epoxied. Finally getting them and the tank clean and reassembled, the battery charged and mounted and hooked up (I was surprised, but that old battery took a charge after all those years.), fresh gas in the tank, oil drained and new filter and fresh oil in the case, I punched the starter button and it fired in a couple of cranks. Absolutely Marvelous, Almost Miraculous!

I guess set the carbs, not having a special carburetor manometer, got it running better than half, and as it was still winter, put it away in the shop until spring, tinkering with it through the winter on occasion. The owner had lost the title to the bike, so I went through the hassle and paperwork of obtaining the title and getting it transferred, just overjoyed with dealing with bureaucracy, but it was finally done.

The Old '75 Goldwing

In April of 1997, I started inquiring about retiring, and found I could retire in June, so I applied for it. The first check would arrive the second Wednesday of June.

I had an invite to attend the mid-year conference at Padanaram Settlement in Indiana that was going to be held June 4-6, no problem, I would just take off June Ist, on Mother's birthday and the 13th anniversary of the start in 1984 of the Barefoot Canoe Expedition, the Last Furbearing Canoe Expedition from Idaho to New Orleans. I made arrangements to have the retirement check automatically deposited, and I could pick up my funds at the nearest magic money machine wherever I was.. Free at last!!

I took off with a $120 in my pocket and a full tank of gas, my sleeping bag strapped to the sissy bar and the camping gear strapped on the rack, leaving the ranch about 2pm. The first night I arrived at Rocker, Montana about 9pm. The temperature had dropped, and a drizzle started. I went into the Flying J truck stop, which is right at the junction of I-90 and the road to Browns Gulch and the Flume Gulch Ranch where I grew up. I sat in the Flying J swilling coffee, hoping the drizzle would stop .. no such luck ... so, down under the freeway bridge and up on the shelf, spread out the sleeping bag on a sheet of cardboard I found there and sacked out until morning.

That morning I stopped to see my Aunt Doris, mother's sister, in Butte. We had a nice breakfast together, jacked our jaws for a while, and she lent me her Exxon credit card, just in case. Wonderful old gal.. From there up over the old Pipestone Pass road to Whitehall and on toward Bozeman, meeting with one of my highschool buddies that I hadn't seen in 35 years or more, Jerry Herkimer in Reedspoint, then on to Billings and south to Dayton, Wyoming where I had another friend. Just as I came into Dayton, after a beautiful day of riding, it really came down...Waited it out again for about an hour, only to find that Norma was not at home, I spent the night on the top of a picnic table under a canopy there in the city park, alongside the stream that runs through Dayton.

Bright and clear the next morning, I rode all day through Wyoming and way into Nebraska, about a 700 mile day, stopping for the night in an isolated park area near Grand Island, rolling out my tarp and bag on the ground, my normal mode of setting camp..

Again, a nice warm day, riding the rest of Nebraska, across the corner of Iowa into Missouri and across to Hannibal. I have always been a fan of Mark Twain, being sort of a cross between Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn myself. Toured the town, met some friends whom I had never met before, and found a place behind a bush to sack out.

On across Illinois and into Indiana the next day, getting rained off the road just as I got into Indiana for about a half hour, sitting it out under a big oak tree. Back on the road and into Padanaram Settlement about 5 in the afternoon...with about $7 left. Now mind you, I have been riding across country on the last 2000 miles of rubber left on the original 22 year old tires that came on the bike, and the road into Padanaram is a loose gravel down hill grade of about 6% for about a half mile, and I am down to hen-skin on the rear tire...spooooooky....but I made it.

Hollered up Mike Boone, a friend I met on the Internet, emailing each other about our common Constitutional concerns for the nation.. and we put a big HUG on each other... I spent 10 days at Padanaram, a most wonderful, peaceful, rustic and spiritual community, where people are learning and living the true values of life. I would recommend that anyone in search of spiritual fulfillment, and a yearning for a peaceful, productive, serene life style, visit the good folks at Padanaram. All are welcome there, asking only that you come in peace, and having partaken, shall leave in peace and in love, with an understanding of the true values in life, of the value of each man and woman to all others in our world.. we can learn to live in peace and cooperation in all things. . It is truly holy ground.

The Parthenon at Padanaram

While at Padanaram, I met with my half-sister, Jody Ennis, for the first time in 45 years. She and her friend, and soon to be husband, Marvin Howell, came down from Kokomo where she lives and met with me for an afternoon. We have been quite close over the internet ever since.

My little sister Jody
and her daughters

Lake Lodge at Padanaram
where Mike Boone lives

Mike Boone - He is uglier
and meaner than I

My check finally hitting the bank, I went into the nearest community with a motorcycle shop, hied myself over to the nearest magic money machine, and bought a new set of skins for the bike, long overdue, and absolutely necessary to continue the trip. I left out of Padanaram, wending my way across Ohio, making phone contact with an other Internet friend, KyBob in Kentucky, crossing into Kentucky as I passed through Cincinnati, then on to meet with more Internet friends, Laura and her husband at Glen Easton, near Wheeling, W. VA. Now that is ridge-runner country, 100 plus switchback turns in about 11 miles of road to get to the little community they live in.... nice country...stayed with them a day.

Dr. Bob & Anne Smith's Home
855 Ardmore Ave., Akron Ohio

North and a little west to Akron, Ohio, for a visit to Dr. Bob Smith's home, I visited with Sue Windows, Dr. Bob's daughter, a very delightful lady. Ray, an archivist, had made the arrangement to visit with her. Sue had just had a couple of skin cancers removed that day, but that didn't slow her down. We looked through a stack of old photo albums dating from before June 10, 1935, loads of pictures of the oldtimers. We took her to dinner and then back home. I went to a meeting at the King's School Group, the #1 group, and had the opportunity to speak, a real privilege for me. After the meeting I took off into the night for about 75 miles towards Pennsylvania looking for a place to camp. I finally found a field to camp in alongside a fence row and a line of trees...

Now that was an experience, I came awake after midnight, looking into the business end of a shotgun, the farmer had let his dog out, the dog started barking, the farmer having had some thefts of equipment recently figured "they" were at it again. When he found out what I was doing there, he invited me in for coffee, it seems all my friends are coffee drinkers, always have a pot on, and some rolls and donuts. We must have talked for 3 hours, until almost daybreak. I went back out to my camp, sacked out for another 3 hours.

From there in the next few days I moved on across Pennsylvania, up through New York and the Adirondacks to East Dorset, Vermont and Bill Wilson's birthplace. From there St. Johnsbury, Vermont and the birthplace of Dr. Bob Smith. Dr. Bob and I have the same birthday, August 8, he preceding me by 54 years.

On into New Hampshire on my way to China, Maine, to meet with internet FIR buddy India K. The way we connected up was one of those "God Deals". I was riding into the China area. India was going the other direction, saw this old man and a motorcycle with a coffee pot and thermos hanging on the back and just knew it was me. She honked me down and we had a great big hug right there in the middle of the highway. We arrived at her home, spent the night talking, finally putting it down late. The next day we went to her home group meeting. To open the meeting, her sponsor Jocelyn, another FIR, sang Amazing Grace a cappella, absolutely beautiful and spiritually inspiring. I gave India a 5 year medallion, one of my old ones. The next morning, a beautiful balmy morning, while sitting in the garage with the door open, I read one of my favorite inspiration books, Illusions, to India. The spiritual connection was made. I stayed two nights with India and her husband Bruce and their miniature poodle Shadow, a jet propelled pooch if there ever was one. We had a lovely time.

India K. - I certainly didn't mind putting
a {{{BIG FIR HUG}}} on this beautiful Lady.

As my family branch originated in Aroostook County in northern Maine, I rode north to see if I could find the beginnings of my roots. The oldest Hardison farmhouse near Caribou is still there, dating from the early 1700s, although it is in another family now. I met with Waldo, the patriarch in Maine, who lives just a half block from the family cemetery in Caribou. There I was able to take pictures of the gravestones back to my fifth great-grandfather, who, I am told, founded Caribou, and as Colonel of the Maine militia established the boundary between Maine and New Brunswick. In talking with Waldo, he told me there has been no record found of the Hardisons in Europe. We know that they originated on these shores settled on Hog Island off the coast of Maine. Finding runic stones there, it may be suspect that the Hardisons may have originated in Greenland or Iceland, arriving here in the late 1400's with the collapse of the Greenland Norse colonies. ??? Maybe??? Who knows? That is a long way back in history or non-history, if you will. I am told we do have a King's Court record for one Stephen A. Hardison, the earliest progenitor we know in Maine in the mid to late 1600s. The charges were rum-boozing, associating with shady characters of ill repute and refusing to go to church. Oh, Well!!! So what is new????

Hardison Museum
near Caribou, Maine

6th G'Pa's

Original Hardison Farmhouse - 1700s
A tree is growing thru the roof

On up to Fort Kent, just so I could say I had been in the northeasternmost corner of the US, and over into New Brunswick, Canada, coming back down and into Maine at Houlton, returning to China, and staying one more night with India and Bruce.

Going south on I-95, I dropped off the big road in Massachusetts to go out through Concord and Lexington and wandered around Walden's Pond, Battle Road, and some of the historic old buildings in the area. I had visited the area in 1980, and have a definite déja vu affinity for that locale.

On down the road to West Haven, Connecticut to visit with Richard Green, another researcher in Constitutional History and the author of "The Original Thirteenth Amendment: Titles of Nobility and Honour, An Essay ", staying with him for a night and part of the next day.

From there I took the back roads of Connecticut to Danbury and out across the back roads of New York, as I did not want to go anywhere close to "The City", I had already been there and done that years ago, and I had not lost anything there....

The portions of upstate New York that I went through were as beautiful and rural as anywhere in the nation. It is too bad that many people's impression of New York State is that of the megalopolis, the crowding, the crime, the dirt, the filth and an uncaring dog-eat-dog attitude of the urban dwellers. It simply isn't true, and even in the cities I found caring people, but no where near the extent of the conservative, ethical and moral, loving, caring and giving attitude I found amongst people who have not lost contact with the earth and the soil. This was true everywhere on my journeys throughout North America, in the US, Canada and Mexico. The more people have contact with nature, the earth and the soil, the more loving, caring, giving and honestly concerned they are, more aware of and in tune with that transcendental power of the cosmos, that we ascribe to God the Creator.

I traveled through New York, catching the corner of New Jersey, then down the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River to just above Philadelphia. I spent a whole day there going through the historic monuments at Constitution Square. I was terribly aware of the loss of insight and knowledge of our Nation's history and the freedoms with which our founders endowed us, and which we have failed to diligently protect. To the extent that we have failed to protect them is the measure of our peoples' and our nation's slide into moral and ethical decay. It appalls and dismays me that so many are no longer willing to even make the effort to understand those basic rights and freedoms, and to defend them with their Lives, their Fortunes and their sacred Honor, as did our founders with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Instead, I see people in Urbania, WalMartians to the max, consumed with greed, corruption, and unconcern for their fellows. They have lost sight of the big picture, have lost sight of the fact that we are to TRUST GOD and LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS, NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.... and let the devil take the hindmost.

The Liberty Bell
(I am not the only thing

Pennsylvania State House, 1732-1753
Now Known as Independence Hall

The Liberty Bell
that is cracked.)
From Philadelphia, I traveled down through Maryland, camping out for a weekend with a sober motorcycle group at Croom, Maryland...a grand time was had by all as we shared our experiences....I skirted D.C. going down US301 into Virginia, and spent 3 days touring battlefield memorials, and especially the homes of Jefferson at Monticello, Madison at Montpelier, and Monroe at Ashlawn...truly inspiring....to join with them over the centuries in their thoughts and their accomplishments as freemen.

Mr. Jefferson's Home

The Drive at Montpelier
Mr. Madison's Home

Peacock at Ashlawn
Mr. Monroe's Home

On through the beauty of Virginia, I had one memorable experience, in addition to all the historical settings. I was running late, snapped a gorgeous sunset, and after dark started looking for a place to camp, took a side road, wound up on a ridge and in the back of a country graveyard. I particularly like graveyards to camp in, the grassy parts are usually mowed, and nobody bothers you at night, and if they did wander in and I was snoring, they wouldn't stay long. I had just bedded down at the back of the cemetery, was looking up at the stars and the hickory trees, when all of a sudden a bagillion fireflies turned on their lanterns. I lay there in awe for about a half hour and then as suddenly as they had turned on, they turned off...more gorgeous than a Disneyland parade by far.

Virginia Sunset

Stephanie and Tesoro
Then down into the Carolinas through the Appalachians ducking into Tennessee and Georgia. I traveled across to Birmingham to meet with Stephanie and to see her horse Tesoro, an excellent Paso Fino two year old gelding, that she was in the process of training.

From there it was south to Ozark and Camp Rucker where I had spent some time while in the service, across the bottom of Alabama to Brewton, the childhood home of my first wife Lorrie, and on to Mobile, where I had met her in 1954. I found a lady who had the same name in the Mobile phone book, figured it might be her, but it wasn't. It was a little 95 year old woman, who doubted that she had ever been my wife.

On to New Orleans. As I crossed Lake Pontchartrain from Slidell, I thought I would call Nancy S. to see if she was still there. I had met her 13 years before at the completion of the Barefoot Expedition. I called her and asked where she lived, got back on the bike and showed up there. It totally surprised her as she thought I was calling from Idaho. I stayed with her about a week, meeting a lot of old friends in the New Orleans area across on the west bank in Gretna.

Leaving out of New Orleans, I visited with Gus and Genie L. in Donaldsonville, whom I had met and stayed with on the trip down river, staying the night with them. Then on across I10 to Lake Charles, locating Central Elementary School where I began my scholastic career in 1938. I also located the lot where our house had stood. It had burned down years before.

Central Elementary School
The Cycle on the walk

The Neighbor's in Lake Charles
Our home was at the end of the walk
On to Houston and up to Austin, staying the night with Brenda Lee, then diagonally up through Texas to Lubbock and on to Clovis, New Mexico, where I had the motorcycle tuned right. I had been tinkering with the carbs, guess setting them and I was really losing fuel mileage...I had them badly out of wack.

Up through New Mexico and over Raton Pass to the Denver area and Evergreen, Colorado, where I gave a 6 month medallion to Betsy C.. I stayed with Betsy and her family, Jim, and the boys Ben and Jess for 3 days. I went with them on a family outing up over some 11000 foot high passes into mining country. A wonderful family exploring trip. I even found a piece of gold ore on an old tailing pile.

From Evergreen, where on the way out I passed by a herd of about 25 elk grazing alongside the road, I headed north and west across the Rockies through Steamboat Springs to Craig and on north into Wyoming. The weather had turned to a cold drizzle, and in Rawlins I stopped and bought myself an extra heavy sweatshirt, continuing on to Casper and friends, spending a day and a half there. I had graduated from Natrona County High School and Casper Junior College before going into the service.

At Story, I met my very best highschool buddy, Jack Thomas, whom I had not seen since we entered the service together in 1952. We sat and reminisced for a few hours. Jack had a major stroke that retired him from the Casper police force about 10 years previously, but he is doing well, about 85% recovered.

On north the few miles to Dayton visiting a number of the historical monuments on the way. At Dayton I met with Norma Nichols with whom I have been doing business for the last 10 years. I stayed with her for 3 days, discussing business and enjoying the beautiful Sheridan-Dayton area of Wyoming, going out to the famous IXL Ranch and meeting with some of the famous artists and sculptors in the area. One, Mike Flanagan, had just finished a life-size bronze of a bull buffalo. It was absolutely magnificent, to be part of a panorama of animals native to Wyoming that will be the centerpiece of a presentation by the city of Dayton. Mike has a page on the web, Spirit of the West, which shows pictures of his work.

From Dayton I crossed the Big Horn Mountains through Burgess Junction, (they have a new visitor center there that is really worth looking at) on into Powell and north to Red Lodge, Montana, doubling back over Bear Tooth Pass into Yellowstone Park. Halfway up the pass it started to rain and by the time I reached the top at 11,000 feet it was snowing, not hard but COLD, down to the first stop a few miles, a hot cup of coffee and a real case of the shivers for a half hour.....The pass had only been open about 2 weeks when I came over...There were still many feet of snow alongside the road, but it was melting fast..

Down through the park to Mammoth Hot Springs and north to Gardiner, Livingston, and I-90. Just before Whitehall after dark, I waited out a thunder and lightning storm, that was crackling with all the furies for about 2 hours. When the rain let up, it was back on the road to the top of Homestake Pass. There I turned into the road that leads to the old Homestake Mining Ghost town. I made camp about 2 miles in under some big fir trees. In the morning I rode into Butte, about 20 miles. I returned my aunt's credit card, paid her for what I had used. I never really had to use it, but it was damned convenient at times. Stayed the night, returning home to the ranch at Post Falls the next day. In all the trip covered about 12000 miles in 1 1/2 months, staying with friends or camping out all the way.

I spent the rest of the summer going on campouts every weekend, into Montana at Troy and Libby, to British Columbia at Castlegar and Revelstoke, a number in Idaho, a Powwow at Inchelium, Washington, and another in Montana.

Come fall, October 11th, I received an invite from Brian March to be part of a seminar in Houston the 16th on the Missing Original 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Back on the road again about 1:00 the afternoon the 12th, hightailing it south. I went straight down US 95, staying the first night in a motel in Cambridge, Idaho. It was freezing by the time I stopped. Then on down 95 through Oregon and into Nevada stopping in Hawthorne and another motel in the middle of a rainstorm so bad I couldn't see. Out of there the next morning, and through Las Vegas like a whirlwind, across Hoover Dam and into Arizona on US 93. Riding hot and heavy through the night, I stopped finally to get some rest in a picnic kiosk at a roadside rest. I flopped the sleeping bag down, rolled up in a tarp, and slept for about 2 hours.

As I was running real tight for time, I was back on the road, pointed in the right direction and on automatic pilot. New Mexico and across Texas to Houston was just a blur. I arrived in Houston in a miserable heavy drizzle about 6 in the evening, found a motel within blocks of the seminar location and sacked out for a good nights rest. The drizzle was continuing in the morning, but no problem, made it to the seminar, did my thing and was out of there in a few hours.

The rain had let up, so I headed east on I-10 to New Orleans, riding straight through into the night, arriving way after dark the 16th. I had made it to Nancy's and a HOT TUB BATH. Damn but it gets cold and damp at night down in that area. I had made about 2200 miles in 4 days. I spent a couple of weeks in New Orleans, meeting with old friends and some new friends from the internet. Nancy and I rode down to Houma, stopped at the Houma club for coffee and a meeting, and I was asked to return the next night as a speaker, which came off well.

Leaving New Orleans, I then headed out back west, going down along the Gulf coast through bayou country to Brownsville, Texas. There I visited with old friends Hank G. and Bob J. for a couple of days.

I had figured to go on into Mexico but decided against it. From there it was a long ride up the Rio Grande valley to I-10 and across to California, paying very close attention to the weather stations, staying below and outside the weather front coming down from Canada. One night I camped in a roadside picnic area, and the next morning the battery was down, the first indication that it was about ready to give out. An oilfield toolpusher stopped to use his cell phone, and when I explained my problem, called over to the drilling rig for one of the hands to come over and give me a jump start. One of God's heaven sent blessings.

On into California, visiting with my old friend Sam Hardy in Desert Hot Springs for a couple of hours. After Casey and I had returned from the Barefoot Canoe Expedition in 1985, we gave the canoe to Sam and the kids he was sheltering and guiding at Turnoff, a half way house for kids recovering from drugs and booze. Sam is long retired now, as age has had its toll, but otherwise he is doing just fine.

I left out of Desert Hot Springs only to run into another blinding rain storm in the night as I climbed up through the pass to Yucca Valley. I was dried out by the time I made it to Victorville, where I stayed with my Internet Buddy, Rico and his wife for the night.

As I was still riding with the weather, I went over Tehachapi pass to Bakersfield, where I waited out a squall. Then up I5 to get outside the cold front, over to Santa Cruz to see if I could meet with Lori, no luck, then north to Santa Rosa, spending the night with Rob D.

I continued up the coast through the redwoods, and into Grants Pass, staying the night there in a cheap motel. It was getting downright cold at night so I had to forego camping out.

I stayed the next night with my old sailing partner, John Cafferty and his wife Mollie at Gresham, then on into Washington and toward home. Going through the Columbia Gorge headed east, the crosswinds were so bad that one of the side covers on the bike was blown off. The winds had to be in the 80s. I had to replace the battery at Kennewick, when I stopped for a hamburger and coffee. When I went to restart the bike the battery had given up the ghost.

I was only delayed about an hour and a half, finding a replacement battery at a Schucks Auto Parts about 6 blocks away, but that was enough to put me after dark when I reached Ritzville, WA. There I encountered freezing fog. Run 15 miles scraping the shield, stop and warm up, scrape it good, ride another 15 and repeat, until Sunset Hill west of Spokane and the night turned warm again for the last 20 miles home. I pulled in the drive, headed up to the barn, and almost dumped the bike 3 times in the last 100 yards on little ice spots, the only ones I encountered on the trip, but I had made it home safe and sound.

With winter, I buttoned up things around the ranch, worked at spiffing up the bike, replacing parts putting a set of boxes on it. I had bought another bike for parts that was fairly well equipped, boxes and fairing, spending $450 for it, as somewhere in my travels I had popped a seal on a rear shock. By January I had the bike ready to head out in the spring.

In February Nancy from New Orleans wangled a round trip plane ticket through her daughter's company. They had an excess of frequent flyers credits and she visited with me here at the ranch for a couple of weeks. We took a trip over to the Mission Valley and the Flathead-Glacier area that warm weekend, visiting with my friends Bearman and Fawn Child Woman, seeing buffalo, mountain goats and mountain sheep along the way. Nancy turned out to be a natural "Motorcycle Momma". I had discussed the possibility that I would travel to Alaska in the summer.

Nancy aka Maw Nan
The Top of Lookout Pass
on way to the Flathead

Barefoot aka Windwalker
Lookout Pass - 4800 Feet
at Idaho/Montana Border

Bighorn Ewes
Clarks Fork River - Hwy 200
Near Plains, Montana

Look Close
Bighorn Sheep in field
Clarks Fork River - Hwy 200

The Mission Range of Montana
Just south of Glacier Park
Photo from near Dixon, Montana

St. Ignatius Mission
The Original Cabin - 1854
Kootenai/Salish Reservation

Returning from Montana, it snowed the next day, putting down a few inches in the fields and on the mountain. I took Nancy up to the upper cabin to see the view from up high. I had to chain up to make the 6 miles, with drifts still on the shade side of the mountain. Most of the snow was gone on the sun side, except under the trees. The old pickup decided to be stubborn and not start when we were ready to start back down. But it was pretty and nice up there. Worth the trip.

Lineshack on Big Rock Mountain

Snowing on the Outhouse

Old Man on the Mountain

Maw Nan and Barefoot

The Old Jeep Pickup - Stalled Once More

Just a Skiff of Snow in the Field

In March I was contacted by a friend in Southern California to be the keynote speaker at the 25th anniversary of the Orange Friendship Club. I was one of the first new members after the club opened. So, the first jaunt of the year was south the first of April, down US95, through Winnemucca, Nevada, meeting and staying overnight with Gary N. and his wife Janet. Gary mentioned that my tires were getting low on tread, but I figured I had a safe couple of thousand left on them.

Topping over a hill behind a line of cars south of Carson City, I blew a rear tire, don't know what I hit in the road. Thank God I was following those cars, I rode it down from about 65mph to about 5mph when the rear tire snaked and down I went. Neither the bike nor myself sustained much damage. I had a little road rash on my left elbow that didn't bleed at all. The bike had a bent and scuffed case guard, having done just exactly what it was supposed to do. I pushed it over to the side of the road, got the wheel off, stashed my gear behind a sage brush, and got up on the road with my thumb out back towards Carson City. The first vehicle was a pickup loaded with tires. The fellow gave me a ride to the Honda dealers. They were just closing, but said they would have it mounted by 9:30 the next morning. I asked where a cheap motel was. Right across the street. I got a room, a shower and my elbow tended to, making a bandage out of a sock top, met some more friends I had never met before later that night, got in bed about 11:30, woke at 8:30, had breakfast and walked across the highway to the Honda shop. The tire was more than the money I had in my pocket, so where is a bank? My bank was just a hundred yards away. Back to the shop, paid the man, and out to the highway with thumb out. A pickup and trailer turned the corner, giving me a ride all the way back to the bike.

Thirty minutes later I was running south again...

Going over Monitor Pass into California, I ran into a little bit of snow, just a skiff, but it was cold. Then down, down, into the valley to Bishop. From Bishop to Cajon Pass and down into San Bernardino I was riding in terribly buffeting cross winds coming down into the desert from the Sierras. Most unpleasant. It would make my helmet jump about two inches off my head, nearly strangling me at times.

I made it on into Orange, spending the weekend there with friends, Marilyn (RooDeeDo) and Don and their twins, with Joe R, and with Larry W. I visited with my daughter Susan and her husband John for an afternoon in Santa Ana. Rico came down from Victorville for the anniversary meeting. I spoke Saturday night and was received well. In the course of the weekend, I renewed friendships dating back 24 plus years with at least 75 people who frequented or were members of the club when I first joined

With Rico at the
Friendship Club
2191 Orange-Olive Road

Rob D.
My FIR buddy
Founder of Friends In Recovery

Sara V.P.
FIR Photo

Daughter Susan and
her husband John

Monday, I left out of the Los Angeles area, headed up the coast, stopping at nearly every motorcycle shop trying to find a left side mirror that had been broken when I dumped the cycle in Nevada. In the afternoon I stopped at the Ventura Club for coffee, and met the bounciest, funnest, little chica, Maricela H., a real joy of a person. Then on up to Goleta, where I stayed the night with Trish K.. Trish rebandaged my elbow, dousing it with Bacitracin or something. It still looked nasty, but was healing well. And she is a good cook. We had a nice chat that evening and her spare bed was real welcome.

The next day I headed on up the coast, stopping in Santa Maria at a cycle shop to see if I could find a mirror. The shop is owned by an ex-employee when I was plant manager and chief engineer of RTC. Jeff Lloyd now has a very successful Honda shop, but specializes in restoration of old English motorcycles. He had a mirror and replacement case guards, giving me a real break on the price. $40 for new case guards and mirror, and the bike was back intact in just minutes.

From there up 101 and over to Santa Cruz to see if one more time I could locate and spend some time with Lori D., another Internet friend. Again, no luck, so on through the night up Hwy 1 to San Francisco, across the Golden Gate in a fog, and into Santa Rosa, where I wore out the night in an all night café.

Meeting again with Rob D. for a short time, I turned east from Santa Rosa. I rode to Sacramento, then up the Feather River country into Quincy, staying with Sara V.P. and her son Ben, then on up I5 through Oregon, again spending a little time with John and Mollie.

Crossing the Columbia, I went on to Longview, Wa and spent a night with Harv and Ellen Jones. They have some real cute youngsters. The next morning I was planning on going north to the Seattle area, but there was a threatening rainstorm ahead about the time I reached the US12 - I-5 junction. The better part of valor said I had best head west across White Pass into Yakima, and through Ellensburg and Vantage toward home.

Shortly after I returned home, Maw Nan called me, asking if I still planned on going to Alaska and if I was, could she go along. Her daughter could arrange another round-trip ticket. I would be delighted to have Nancy along for a traveling partner.

North to Alaska!!!

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Placed on the Web April 12, 1999
Three mighty important things, Pardn'r LOVE And PEACE and RIDING IN THE WIND