Monday, Mar 11 - We left Marrero (just west of New Orleans) in pouring rain. No choice but to load up bike and drive to Houma, LA. Hope tomorrow's better. Alex really wants to ride.
Tuesday, Mar 12 - Woke up to a beautiful morning. A great day to get back on the road. Alex rode 63 miles today arriving in Franklin, LA. Both of us were quite tired by the time we parked. The road was very rough with lots of debris on the side and very heavy traffic. The local paper, Banner-Tribune, did a story on us along with a picture. We'll hopefully have it on the websitesoon.
Wednesday, Mar 13 - Another beautiful day tofday. Arrived in Abbeville about 1:30 after some harrowing experiences on the road. The road itself was very rough with a great deal of debris on the shoulder. There was so much debris, I wouldn't even drive ity in the RV. The road had such wide cracks that you could lose a bike tire in them. The traffic was also very heavy. Thankfully, the local sherriff let us into the left lane when we needed to make a left turn. Then we went for dinner at a local seafood restaurant called Shucks. If you are ever in the Abbeville area, please try them out. The food and staff were great as well as generous. Thank you David and Rene'.
Thursday, mar 14 - Can you believe it? Another beautiful morning. But the roads were terrible; rough and no shoulders. But motorists were courteous. Alex did 67 miles today with an average speed of about 18 mph. He did complain of sore thigh muscles and pain in his lower right calf and ankle. It appears swollen with some discoloration as if he was bitten by some insect. We'll have to keep an eye on it.
Friday, Mar 15 - Finally out of Louisiana and into Texas. Our GPS really took us on the scenic route today in order to avoid Interstates which does not allow bicycles. So Alex rode for about 75 miles before he was forced to load up the bike because there were only interstates left to get to our destination, Beaumont, TX. It was our longest day yet with an arrival time of 4 pm, at least 2 hrs longer than normal. It was good to stop for the night.
Saturday, Mar 16 - Started out as a beautiful day, good road with wide shoulders. Alex rode for 32 miles before he was forced to load up the bike due to very strong crosswinds. It was difficult to keep the coach on the road with the strong wind gusts. So no way was I letting him ride. It was just too dangerous. And his safety comes first. There were some bad stretches of road, very rough and shoulder's too rough, narrow or too much debris to be safe to ride on. Alex's right ankle still giving him grief. Will ice it tonight to see if that helps.
Sunday, March 17 - Attended church services this morning then came home and had our St. Patrick's Day staple, corned beef and cabbage. Alex is out promoting his ride with the other campers in the park as I write this update.
Some general information regarding out route:
Due to weather conditions and other factors, we have decided to change our northerly route and are now following a more southerly route. We are currently just north of Houston with San Antonio on the horizon. We chose San Antonio because WWP has a satelite office there and we will be able to meet with warriors and talk to them. We'll spend an entire day there with them and hopefully will get some good stories from them. Then on to El Paso, Phoenix, then Las Vegas. We plan on being in Las Vegas on Friday, April 5th and plan on spending week there.
If you have friends or relatives in these areas, please let them know and connect them to our website. We need all the exposure we can get in order to meet our goal. If any of you have any media contact, especially on the national level, please help us out by contacting them and letting them know what we are doing. We thank you all who have been generous in your donations.
Until next week,
Monday, March 4
Woke up to a foggy morning. Only 39 degrees this morning. Our destination is Mobile, AL. It warmed up and Alex made good time. It turned out to be a great day for riding. GPS gave us a scary tour of downtown Mobile as we couldn't go through the tunnels without a police escort. Tried to contact Highway Patrol but was unsuccessful. Channel 10 Fox News had a hard time finding us also but caught up to us Tuesday morning and did some filming and interviews. Don't know when it aired as we cannot access local news only cable networks with our satellite dish. It may be on their website www.fox10tv.com but I haven't seen it yet.
Tuesday, Mar 5 brought us to Gautier, LA. Nice weather but very windy. Only 41 miles today but bucking a good headwind most of the way. RV Park wouldn't give us a discount beyond the Good Sam discount.
Wed Mar 6 got us to Bay St. Louis, LA. We were US 90 most of the way and followed the Gulf Coast. Beautiful road but quite busy and no where to stop on our side of the highway. Noticed many vacant lots with only cement slabs/foundations left from last few hurricanes that went through the area. Also, many stately mansions. Arrived at Bay Hide Away RV Park which is rated #1 in America. They comped our night and had a pot luck dinner for us that night. I guess that's why they're number one. But hard to find. If we didn't have the GPS, we would have missed it.
Thurs Mar 7 - Should have listened to my GPS today. It kept telling me to go to I-10 but I thought I knew better. Alex can't ride on the interstates here so we followed US 90. Well, we came to a bridge that we were overweight. Luckily, I realized it in enough time that I was able to pull of in an area where we could turn around and then we had to load up the bike and drive the last 10 miles to the campground in Slidell where we spent 2 days.
Friday Mar 8 - Spent the day in New Orleans, doing some public relations, took a river cruise and walked through the French Quarter. Had a great Cajun dinner at the Gazebo Cafe in the Quarter then drove home. A real full day.
Sat Mar 9 - Did a swamp tour this morning before moving on. Took a boat through the bayous and saw a lot of the local inhabitants of the area like herons, turtles, alligators and the highlight of the tour was when a feral pig and her young came out of the forest. We fed her marshmallows and she swam right up to our boat. The young piglets were so cute. Drove to Marrero on the west side of New Orleans (too dangerous to bike through this area because of traffic and lack of roads that I could drive on with the RV) and almost freaked out when we realized that we were not in the best part of town where our campground was located. It was an older park with mostly permanent residents and they made up for the location. They were very friendly and helpful. No reason to be overly concerned about our safety.
Sunday, March 10 - Went to church today and made some more connections. Lots of military in the ward and they were very accommodating to our requests. Not too many stories yet. But hopefully we will get more.
I have found that many of the vets are quite reticent about talking about some of their experiences. If you know of anyone that would be willing to share their story have them contact me through the guest book here. Part of the reason for this trip is to get their stories told.
Tomorrow, we're off to Houma, LA, about 50 miles down the road. Alex is anxious to get going again. It's nice to take a break but it's also nice to get going again. We'll be in Texas next weekend at which time I will update again.
Don't forget to send this link to all your friends, relatives and acquaintances. We need as much coverage as possible to make this work. New Orleans media was not as friendly as other places. Fox station didn't even answer their phone and Channel 4 didn't return our calls. Their loss.
Till next week....
Sunday, March 3, 2013 11:40 AM
Our kickoff was in St. Augustine on Feb 23rd. Four of Alex's riding buddies joined him at the start and we had 2 motorcycle escorts, Paul and Jasper.
Our first day was into Starke where we spent Sat & Sun. On Monday, we left in the rain for Live Oak. The heavens opened up when we arrived at our destination and it poured all night. I was surprised we could drive out of the park; it had rained so much.
On Tues, Alex rode from Live Oak to Monticello, then on to Chattahoochee the next day. Weather was quite pleasant and he made good mileage. Thursday brought us into Bonifay, then on to Holt, FL. The weather had cooled off some but he still managed to make good time. Sat morning was a shorter trip into Pensacola where we parked at a park right on US 90. No driving out of our way.
We attended church Sunday morning and were invited to have dinner with the Bishop which we gladly accepted. Turns out he and his wife are also former Canadians (from Alberta, no less) and we have a lot in common.
Tomorrow, we'll hit the road again with Mobile, AL as our destination. I'm attaching a few pictures I took showing the rain at Live Oak, some of the flooding along US 90 (they had 11 inches of rain in one day), the flooding at Rivers Edge Resort and of course, his meeting with "Elvis".
I'll do another e-blast next week.
Till then, thanks for the support, prayers,and generous donations.
Alex & Helen
Monday - November 19, 2012
Just about lost our awning over entry door near Hermiston. Wind gust just about took it off. Got really windy the other side of Pendleton and really vicious going up Cabbage Hill. Had to stop and re-secure the awning on large slide. Wind gusts upwards of 50-60 mph. Alexc Had to crawl on top of rig to secure it. Couldn't use a ladder cause wind would have blown it away. He had to crawl, couldn't stand up because wind was so strong. You took 3 steps forward and 2 1/2 back and if it was at your back, you really had to strain not to \get blown over.
Once we got past the flats and more into the mountains, it settled down somewhat but we're stopped now about 30 miles this side of Twin Falls at a rest area. Just too tired to keep motoring and I don't frive at night because of poor night vision. Going to bed early and getting an early start to make up time.
Miss you all already and we barely left.
Till next time
ps: no pics, too windy
Wednesday - November 21, 2012
Although our trip started out windy and cold with wind gusts up to 50-60 mph, we made it safely to Twin Falls the first day. But Tuesday morning's sunrise on I-84 just north of the Utah line made up for the previous day. We got up early and drove all the way to Las Vegas. The roads were clear, the sun was shining and believe it or not, I drove a good portion of the way, including driving through Salt Lake during rush hour traffic. We're parked at the Las Vegas Shooting range on N. Decatur Blvd and it's very quiet out here, at least at night. It might be noisier when the shooters arrive. We'll be here till Monday, when we leave for Florida. We're following our route we plan to take back to get an idea of the terrain and plan the return trip accordingly.
We were thrilled at the response we got from truckers on the highway. Horns were tooted and we got the thumbs up from many drivers. Those banners are getting some attention.
And thanks to all of you who have already donated. We appreciate your generosity and hope you share this website with all your friends.
Saturday, January 5, 2013 11:43 AM
It's been a while since I updated my page but hopefully I'll make up for it now.
We arrived in Palatka, FL on Dec 1st and within a week Alex was out riding. We were fortunate enough to meet a gentleman in our church that had ridden from Astoria, OR back to St. Augustine, FL 6 years ago who was a part of an avid group of cyclists. They have taken upon themselves the task of helping him train for his cross country ride. So, they have been out almost every day with rides from about 30 miles to over 70. So he's getting quite a workout.
The weather has been very pleasant here, only a couple of nights near or below freezing but days have been at least in the 60's with a couple of days near 80.
We are introducing a new feature to our website. As you are probably aware, an undertaking of this magnitude takes a lot of planning besides the expense of it all. So we have decided to open a online store where you may purchase T-shirts, original needlework art (some of it colllectible, llimited editions) and other items as we go along. Prices will be reasonable and will inlcude shipping. Please help us finance our endeavor by visiting the online store.
We have a target date of Feb 16th for our kickoff in St. Augustine. We are in the process of fixing a staging area with the city and hope to have a great turnout. There will probably be a few locals that will ride the first day (about 50 miles). Visit the website often and keep up with our progress. It will be updated on a regular basis. I will try to include as many pictures as possible too.
If any of you are veterans with a story to tell or know of anyone who might want to share their stories, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. This ride is for you; to recognize your service and sacrifice for our great nation.
Till next time,
May you all have a Happy & Prosperous New Year!!!
Saturday, February 23, 2013
The day has finally arrived! Alex started his ride this morning with 4 of his riding buddies. Started out OK but had a minor incidenty when one of the riders crashed. Thankfully, there was no traffic coming. The ride continued, with First Coast News filming along the way. Check out their website http://www.firstcoastnews.com/ to see what aired. The riding buddies traveled about the first 5 miles then went on a different route which was ok by Alex. His motorcycle escort stayed with us all the way to Stark, FL, about 55 miles away and I followed with the motorhome doing about 14 miles an hour. Can you believe how tired you can get just driving 15 miles per hour? So we were both happy to get to the Stark KOA where will spend the weekend. go to church and just rest up for Monday. Live Oak, FL, about 75 miles down the road is our next destination for Monday. We expect to be in Pensacola by Saturday and spend the weekend there. Stay tuned for our next update and don't forget to tell your friends and relatives about the ride. We appreciate your support. --
Sunday, March 3, 2013 11:25 AM
We arrived in Pensacola at the Leisure Lake RV Resort about 2:30 in the afternoon. We had a late start as the people at Rivers Edge RV Park in Holtm FL insisted on having a meet & greet with us Sat morning befor we left. It was sunny but bitterly cold. Temperatures dipped to below freezing anfd there was frost on the windshield and ground.
On Monday, we left Starke in the rain; not too heavy but enough to make the ride miserable for Alex. But he dressed up, pulled on a poncho and we took off. It drizzled off and on for the entire ride but the heavens opened up when we arrived at our destination in Live Oak. It poured like I've never seen it rain before. We had to shout at each other to be heard over the din on the roof. We missed kareoke that night because of the pouring rain and when we woke up in the morning, it was still raining. I took a picture through the windshield and it was very obvious.
We left in the rain and drove about 5 miles at which time Alex unloaded his bike and started riding again. The rain had tapered off and the sun was trying to shine. Within a few miles, the sun was out, the day was warming up and we rode to Monticello, just east of Tallahassee.
The next day, Tuesday, we rode through Tallahassee (where Alex met "Elvis" and had his picture taken with him. We rode to another RV park just out of Chattahoochee and spent the night there. Had a great pizza and wings there at the on site restaurant.
On Wed, we left Chattahoochee behind and rode to Bonifay. Our park also had an on-site restaurant and they have the best food in town. Many locals go there. If you're ever in Bonifay, check out the Mustang Grill. It's worth it!
Alex had some problems with his bike on Wednesday. We had had the chain replaced in Palatka at the local bicycle shop but it appears it was not of the same quality as the one replaced. For one thing, its rusting and it keeps falling off. Hopefully, it will hold up until we get to Vegas where we will probably have to replace it again.
Thursday had us on the road gain only the weather had taken aturn for the worse. No it didn't rain but boy was it cold. So Alex dressed up warmly and pedalled on. We arrived at Rivers Edge RV Park in Holt, FL and got comfortable and warm. As stated at the begining, the staff and other campers were most hospitable.
Will attend church tomorrow and update again next Sat. Have completed 400 miles so far.
Please share our sebsite http://www.joinalex.com/ with your friends and family and have them share it too. It is only with your help and support that the word will get out and we will reach our objective.
Thank you all.
Finally, I have internet access again and can communicate. When we left San Antonio on Sat morning (Mar 23), we expected that e would have a good signal. Little did we know. We were basically without a decent signal to transfer data from San Antonio to El Paso. So you will get 2 weeks worth of updates.
We arrived in San Antonio Tuesday, Mar 19 and planned to stay for 4 days. There is a Wounded Warrior Project satellite office there and we believed that we would have access to ome of the warriors. However, there was a misunderstanding in the Jacksonville office and we were basically mislead as far as what we could accomplish. We were denied access to the warriors and no effort was made to grant us that. I understand the problems some of them would have talking to complete strangers but I do believe that we and they should have at least the opportunity to make that decision and not have it made for us. So we took the time to have Alex's Achilles tendon heal so that he could continue riding without pain. He also went to a local Urgent Care Center where the doctor (who happened to be a veteran), looked at it, gave him some medications and told him how to take care of it. Then he proceeded to comp the bill.
We left San Antonio on Sat heading for Uvalde, TX where we spent the night. Has a scare on the highway when a truck coming onto the road wasn't paying attention and we couldn't get over because of traffic and we came within a couple of inches of colliding.
In Uvalde, TX, we spent the night at MTZ RV park for 2 nights. A no frills park with nothing extra at all but it was comped and staff very accommodating. We had lunch at the Oasis Outback restaurant and the management comped that when they realized what we were doing. Sure a lot of good and generous people here in Texas.
Our next stop was Del Rio on the Mexican border. One thing we noticed was the dry river beds we crossed. Only the Pecos river had any water in it. They are in a stage 4-5 drought here and water is a very precious commodity. We talked to ranchers who have sold off all their herds because they had no pasture or feed for them. We loaded the bike and drove a few miles because we weren't comfortable driving that slow so close to the border. Saw a lot of border patrol vehicles and passed through an immigration inspection station.
Alex's ankle still giving him problems.
We spent the next night in Sanderson where we met a couple from Pennsylvania. Mike and Pam Rose. Mike is also biking across the States but only for his own pleassure but he joined Alex the next day for a ride to Marathon. Not a lot happening. If you think driving across Texas can be long and boring (1 to 2 days) at regular highway speeds, then try it on a bicycle aat an average of 15 mph and following in an RV at that same speed.
We spent Thursday night in Marfa, TX, a town know for its mystery lights; recorder as early as the 1880's. It was an uphill climb from Marathon to Marfa. We met some bikers heading in the opposite direction. Apparently there was a large group og cyclists heading to St. Sugustine from San Diego.
Friday night saw us in Van Horn right on I-10. A very nice KOA with great staff and on on-site restaurant. The campground owner was also the cook and he made a fantastic dinner for us then promptly comped it. Some very generous people here in Texas and we are most appreciative. Alex also took some time to fix his front tire. It had a slow leak and when he checked it out, he found a small thorn in it.
Arrive in El Paso today and the traffic is just wild here. We're staying at Mission RV Park and they have a hot tub. Guess where we'll be tonight. Stocked up on groceries for the next week and did my laundry. Best investment we ever made was to get the washer/dryer combo for the RV. I may do smaller loads but the convenience is unbeatable.
Phylis, the manager here at Mission RV Park is the nicest lady. This would be a great place to spend the winter months. They have an indoor pool open year round as well as the hot tub and the rtes are very reasonable. Something to think about.
Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. We will attend church then have a nice light dinner at home. We thought about going out to eat but decided against it. Then Monday, we're on the road again. And guess what? We will finally shake the dust of Texas and into New Mexixico. Now don't get me wrong. Texas was a wonderful experience but after 2 weeks and many miles of sagebrush, cactus and other desert plants, it will be nice to at least see the same in another state.
We are well, the weather is holding, no major problems. All is well. May you all have a Happy Easter and we look forward to hearing from you. Don't forget to share this website with all your friends and relatives. We can only succeed if the word gets out across the country.
It's been an uneventful week this week. We drove from El Paso, TX to Lordsburg, NM because it was interstate with no accommodating roads to use otherwise. We did have some problems when an air hose burst just as we passed into New Mexico. We were able to get off the road at a rest area almost immediately and wait for emergency road service provided by the Good Sam club. We were very fortunate the hose didn't burst as we were descending a very steep hill just prior to. That would have dynamited our brakes and only the good Lord knows where we would have ended up. So after about 4 hours and $170.00 later, we were on the road again. As I mentioned earlier, we drove and I'm glad we did. Alex's safety comes first. The shoulders were very rough and the traffic very swift with many big rigs. So it was probably a blessing in disguise that he couldn't ride the interstate. However, once we reached Lordsburg, we were on US 70 into Arizona. Alex road from Lordsburg to Duncan where we were going to overnight but the RV park we had made arrangements to stay at was so small we couldn't even get in with the coach let alone try and pull the car behind plus Duncan is so small and there was nothing really there so we decided it was only another 35 miles to Safford and he could do that and still get there at a reasonable hour. So he did 78 miles that day.
We spent 2 days in Safford while he rested up as his ankle was still bothering him. Safford was much larger with much more to interest us. We stayed at Lexington Pines Resort which is a 55+ park. We met a couple there who also had an Alfa motorhome and spent sometime with them. It was suggested that perhaps if Alex shortened his stroke on the bike, he might not aggravate his Achilles tendon. He did that and it seems to have done the trick. He's almost pain free now.
Leaving Safford on Apr 4 Thursday morning, we traveled US 70 to Globe, AZ a historical mining town with many interesting sites. Along the way, we passed through the San Carlos Apache Reservation where a car with 3 Apache sisters flagged us down. They wanted to make a donation as well as have their picture taken with Alex. So we obliged. The road was narrow and winding most of the way with some pretty good grades to climb but Alex managed quite well. He did 77 miles that day.Thursday morning, we traveled US 70 to Globe, AZ a historical mining town with many interesting sites. Along the way, we passed through the San Carlos Apache Reservation where a car with 3 Apache sisters flagged us down. They wanted to make a donation as well as have their picture taken with Alex. So we obliged. The road was narrow and winding most of the way with some pretty good grades to climb but Alex managed quite well. He did 77 miles that day. Arriving in Globe, we parked at the Gila County RV Park, a no frills park. We just had 30 amp service and water but no sewer. But they do have a batting range here. What the park lacked in amenities, they made up in friendliness. The owner, Lois was very helpful as far as history and information regarding the area. We in turn were able to help her out a little when Alex helped her drain her hot water tank. We stopped here mainly because we knew we had a clear satellite signal and this being General Conference weekend, we definitely didn't want to miss that. We comfortably watch all the sessions in the comfort of our coach. In between sessions, Alex went for a walk and when he returned he called me out to see the javalinas (wild pigs). They were only about 15-20 feet from the coach in the brush behind us. I took some pictures but its hard to see the pigs.
A couple of bikers came in but because there are no showers here, they decided to go to a motel for the night. Speaking of showers, we had a husband and wife team from Folsom, CA stop in here a couple of nights ago. They were tenting it so also had need of showers. Because we had no sewer hookup, we didn't want to fill up our grey water tank while we were here because it would be a hassle to dump. But we did offer them the use of our outdoor shower which they gladly accepted. Seems they have done that before. We have been blessed by people's generosity and we pay it forward whenever we can.
It's now Apr 7 Sunday evening and tomorrow, Alex is on the road again. We plan on being in Apache Junction Tuesday night and will be stopping there for 2 days. If you have any friends or relatives there, let them know we're coming. We'll be at the Mesa-Apache Junction KOA Tuesday and Wednesday nights. We plan on hitting Las Vegas on April 17th. Our friend Gale is organizing some rides and rallies there as well. Hopefully, he will also get the media on board as that is the only way we will meet our goal. If you know anyone there, please let them know. I should have the details in next week's update as to where and when for those who are interested. We look forward to spending a little time in Las Vegas. Having lived there for 16 years, we have a lot of friends and memories to connect with.
Until next week, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
Left Globe Monday morning, April 8 with some wind and an uphill climb. Wind gusts got stronger as we traveled towards Apache Junction. After about 15 miles, gusts were so bad it was unsafe to ride any longer. Alex was either going to be blown over the guardrail into the canyon below or into traffic. Plus, he was stopped cold even though it was a downhill grade. On top of that, we hit a bad dust storm just before Apache Junction. On arriving at the KOA, we found that my bike had been torn off its moorings and was dragging behind. If it hadn't been for a cable lock on it, the wind would have taken it away completely. Surprisingly, there was no damage to either the car or the bike. Wednesday was spent at the Mesa Temple for some spiritual rejuvenation. What a beautiful temple and so peaceful. We were ready and raring to go again on Thursday. Thursday morning April 11 had us on local channel 3 TV (ABC) live. That's a first for us. Usually, they tape it and play it later. Then we traveled to the capital for our photo op with Gov. Jan Brewer. We spent about 10 minutes with her. What a gracious lady! We finally were able to leave about 11:30 and drove (freeways) to Hwy 74 where Alex started his ride to Wickenburg. We camped that night at a tiny RV park with no frills at all. We could barely get into it; it was so small but the price was right. Free! From Wickenburg, Alex rode to Wikieup. Along the way, I was stopped by the Highway Patrol and issued a warning only. Apparently, this officer didn't feel it was safe for me to be following Alex so closely. This was a first in over 2000 miles we had traveled from Florida. Most officers we met or that passed us, gave us a thumbs up. So we decided to play leap frog. I would park and wait about 1/2 hour then catch up to him, pass him and find another safe place to pull off and park. We did this all the way to Wikieup where we spent the night in another no frills park but nice and clean. Saturday morning April 13 saw Alex on the road again to Kingman. He could only ride on US 93 and had to load the bike when he got to I-40, We rode into town and are parked in the Kingman KOA, a nice park with a hot tub. Guess where we spent the afternoon.
We attended church with our friends here, Ben and Genene Stradling. Ben and Alex worked together when we lived in Las Vegas. Then they kindly invited us to have Sunday dinner with them which we gratefully accepted. We spent a lovely afternoon with them reminiscing.
We will be spending Monday and Tuesday here in Kingman doing some maintenance work on the RV and the bike. Wednesday morning, bright and early will see us on the road to Las Vegas where we intend to arrive at about 3:30 for a rally at Sam's Town RV Park on Boulder Hwy between 3:30 and 5 pm. Hope to see some of you there. Let your friends know. I have attached a copy of the press release which is posted on the HOME Page with all the info on it and a contact number.
Until Las Vegas
17 April, Left Kingman, AZ Wednesday morning under windy conditions. Drove about 20 miles before Alex could unload his bike and ride again. Although there was a fairly strong crosswind, he was able to ride safely on wide and fairly smooth shoulders. Just before Hoover Dam, we loaded up the bike again as it is too dangerous to cross the bridge on a bike. We drove to Railroad Pass where we met up with Gale Craythorn who was his escort into Las Vegas. Gale has been very active in organizing events in Las Vegas for us. We arrived at Sam's Town parking lot on Boulder Hwy about 3:45 where Fox 5 News crew was waiting for us as well as some supporters. We did not have the crowd we were anticipating as Sam's Town changed the location on us and we didn't have a chance to let our supporters know so our reception wasn't as large as was expected. The interviews took about 45 minutes for the couple of minutes of actual coverage on the news. Fox 5 came out again at about 9:30 that night to do some live shots from our location in the park. Needless to say, we were thrilled with all the publicity they elicited for the cause. The news coverage resulted in many folks in the park coming over to our coach and donating. We also received a call from a viewer who saw the newscast and wanted to ride with Alex. So they made arrangements to ride the River Mountain Loop out of Henderson, a very scenic but somewhat strenuous ride. The Blue Diamond ride was postponed until Saturday, the 27th due to a conflicting ride at the same time over the same course. Anyone in the area who wishes to join Alex and Gale on the 27th just needs to show up on Paseo Park on west Charleston at 7 am with the ride starting at 8am. A minimum $20 donation for the cause would be much appreciated. Water and snacks will be provided for all riders.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday were quiet otherwise with our friend June Evans taking us out to dinner at Sam's Town buffet; prime rib and seafood. And many of you know how much we love crab legs!
Saturday we went to the Las Vegas Temple with our friends, Terrie & David Knell. Again a rejuvenation of the spirit. Sunday took us to sacrament meeting at our old ward where we touched base with many friends. It is so nice to be remembered by so many even though we've been gone 6 years. We had dinner again with June at the Olive Garden. The portions were so large, we ended up taking enough home for 2 more meals. But the food was delicious. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and Alex going about the rv park meeting new people and talking about his ride.
One of the best aspects of this journey is the caliber of people we meet. Pretty well everyone we met was very supportive and many were generous as well. Their contributions are always welcome.
If anyone wants a commemorative T-shirt, they should get them as soon as possible as we only have a ,limited number and will not be ordering anymore. They come in sizes large, x-large, xx-large with a few mediums remaining. A $30 donation gets you a commemorative T-shirt.
Also we appreciate those of you who pass this on to their friends and relatives. The more exposure we get, the more funds we can raise. You can help us do that. We are very grateful to those who have already donated and we hope the donations will continue.
We will be in Las Vegas until the 29th when we depart start the final legs of our journey. We hope to have a few riders join us for the first day at least. Anyone is welcome to join at any point in the ride and for whatever time or distance they are comfortable with. If anyone is interested, contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to put Alex's Ride on the subject line.
Until next week,
28 April, Can you believe it? It's been 100 degrees the last 2 days. Time to head out of Dodge!
Monday saw us taking care of mundane housekeeping chores and some shopping. We also made some appointments for interviews later in the week.
On Tuesday, we met with Keith Rodgers and his photographer from the Las Vegas Review Journal. Had a great interview and it appeared on the front page of the second section. There is also video available from the interview on the paper's website www.reviewjournal.com.
Wednesday saw us meeting with Pete Griffen from Fox News Channel, the national network. If all goes well, we will finally get national coverage which will help with donations. Not sure when it will air or if it will be picked up by others. Sure hope so.
We had a great time on Thursday when we met at the USO at McCarran Airport. We had a tour of the premises and met the director and some of the volunteers which keep this facility going 24/7. Some of the people involved with our PR in the area were assembled there as well. Many thanks to them for all their efforts in making our stay in Las Vegas a success. The efforts of the USO in making life easier for our troops really opened our eyes. In fact, we are very seriously considering another ride next year, just not as long, to benefit the USO. Friday saw us getting ready for the Saturday ride from Paseos Park in West Las Vegas to Blue Diamond, a distance of about 30 miles round trip, give or take. Smith's kindly donated the oranges and bananas for the ride with Dunkin' donuts providing the Munchkins. A very big thank you to them.
Our guys met at Paseos Park at 7:30 am with the ride beginning at 8 am. Although we were small in numbers, the enthusiasm made up for it. It turns out there was another ride along the same route (again), a Tour for theCure and many of the riders that would have ridden with us were already registered with the Tour. But they still donated to our cause as well so I guess we were both winners there.
I got a real kick out of one of the young riders on the other tour. Apparently he had seen the TV coverage and was thrilled to meet Alex. His comment was that "he hopes when he gets old that he was in good enough shape to be riding a bike at 70." We had a couple more riders join us a little further on the ride which was nice.
Saturday evening saw us at our old ward for a BBQ. Met with old friends and spoke about the ride. Today, we attended sacrament meeting, had lunch at IHOP with our friend June, then came home to start getting ready for tomorrow. We will be leaving Las Vegas on the next leg of our journey with Mesquite, NV our destination, a distance of about 89 miles. This will be the longest day so far.
The reception we have received here as been great. We met a lot of our friends and collected donations. We are very grateful for all the support we have received and hope that it will continue.
Until next wee, somewhere in Utah....
5 May, Alex left Las Vegas with Gale Craythorn about 8:30 Monday morning. Gale has done an excellent job of organizing in Las Vegas for us.Alex left Las Vegas with Gale Craythorn about 8:30 Monday morning. Gale has done an excellent job of organizing in Las Vegas for us.Alex left Las Vegas with Gale Craythorn about 8:30 Monday morning. Gale has done an excellent job of organizing in Las Vegas for us.
The destination was Mesquite, NV and started out with Gale getting a flat tire. He repaired that and kept on riding to the exit to Valley of Fire where we stopped to take a break and to fix the tube. When Gale put a little more air in the new tube, it blew out, was not repairable. The old tube had so many holes in it that it also was not repairable.
So a call was made to Sherry, Gale's wife to pick up a couple of tubes and meet us. Alex pulled out our lawn chairs and the guys relaxed for a couple of hours in the 90 degree weather but under the awing for shade.
Meanwhile, Gale's son-in-law, Harvey Thomas, left Las Vegas and arrived about the same time as Sherry.
On the road again, things went fine until Alex got a flat tire, his first since he started. Harvey had it changed in no time and they were on their way again.
Arrived in Mesquite around 5 pm, our latest arrival yet. Went out to dinner that night as no one felt like cooking, me least of all. Everyone went back to Las Vegas after except us of course.
Next morning, we left Mesquite heading for St. George. We planned on riding on Hwy 91 through Santa Clara to avoid riding the Virgin River Gorge. That didn't happen. About 5-6 miles into 91, the road was closed and we had to turn around, go back to I-15, load up the bike and drive to St. George. Turns out there had been a land slide and the road was closed for about a week. Spent 2 days in St. George. Took in some of the sights and celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary there. Wednesday saw us take in a session at the St. George Temple. Thursday morning we loaded up the bike and drove to Colorado City, unloaded the bike, then Alex rode. We did this because we were unable to ride on I-15 in Utah, were 5 inches too high to get through the tunnel at Zion Nat. Park. So were went via Kanab, UT. Also the road between St. George and Colorado City, AZ was very narrow, very busy,, very steep and winding with no shoulders. Too dangerous to ride. Alex rode to Kanab even though he was bucking some fierce cross winds.
After Kanab, he rode to the junction of 89 and 14 where we took to a gravel road to get to our campsite. Although it was only 2 miles of gravel, the road was basically one lane, very hilly and winding. Arrived at the campground in this beautiful valley but had about 1/2 inch of dust on the car. WE were allowed to wash the car and back of the rig but needless to say, Alex drove the coach and I drove the car out the next morning. Still some dust on the vehicles but you could tell the car was white.
Arrived in Panguitch about 1 pm and camped at the local KOA, a small but pretty nice park. Owners were very accommodating and helpful.
Attended sacrament meeting this morning. Chapel was within walking distance but we drove because weather not to nice for walking.
Tomorrow we're off again to Circleville. Hope weather clears up and wind dies down otherwise it won't be much fun for Alex
Till next week
News Update by Helen
May 8, 2013
To All our Followers:
I have been asked by several people as well as media how much we have collected to date. I would like to clarify the donation page that appears when you click on the "donate now". This direct link to Wounded Warrior Project only reflects donations made on line. It does not include checks made out to Wounded Warrior project, cash donations and donations for services provided. Unfortunately, there is no way we can post these on that page so the amounts you see posted there are only the amounts donated on line to that site. I wish this was different as we would like to include ll donations on this page, but after much back and forth with WWP, we realized that we would have to keep track of donations ourselves When the ride is over and we add everything up, then we'll know how much we raised.
Thank you all for understanding and thank you all for your generous donations...
I can't believe I forgot to update last week. I guess I'm just losing track of the days so I'll make up both weeks this week.
After leaving Panguitch, Alex rode to Marysvale through Circleville, UT. We passed by Butch Cassidy's home just before Circleville. The road was quite hilly and winding but had a decent shoulder. We had some minor showers about 6 miles out of Marysvale but no significant rain. Tuesday morning, Alex left Marysvale and got on a bike path along Hwy 89 and rode all the way to Joseph, UT, most of it downhill.. We spent the afternoon driving over to Cove Fort, a Mormon historical site about 20 miles away at the junction of I-70 and I-15. It's been totally restored and is a great place to spend a few hours and learn the history of it. The drive down and back was beautiful too with many different rock formations in view. The day ended up very cold and windy and Alex was very glad he wasn't riding. We spend part of Wednesday in Richfield replenishing our fridge and getting a few maintenance parts for our rig. Light drizzle all day. Thursday saw us riding to Salina, UT with a light drizzle. Alex had a light poncho on but had to remove it and change all his clothes as he was soaked through, not by rain but by perspiration. Our GPS screwed up and we had a difficult time finding the RV park. It had us going in the opposite direction. But we finally found it. Friday found us in Manti, UT where we stopped for the weekend. We woke up to sunshine and Alex had a very nice ride that day. We camped at the Temple View RV park adjacent to the Manti Temple. Alex went hiking and after that we went to the hot tub. Sure felt good.
Saturday we went and did a session at the Temple, then went sightseeing around Manti. Went to the local museum which is a restored stone house with lots of period furniture, tools, appliances and clothing as well as several pieces of horse drawn farming equipment. Later we went for a short hike overlooking the Temple grounds. We saw a herd of about 8-10 deer gamboling across the meadow, then settling down in a ravine under cover of some willow trees. Then we went hot tubbing again.
Sunday saw us going to church at the local Tabernacle. We met some wonderful people there and were invited by Mike and Amy Dennis to have dinner with them which we graciously accepted. I brought some salmon which we grilled and shared with them. Later, Mike gave us a tour of one of the local canyons and the history associated with it. About 5 miles up the canyon, Mike realized we were out of gas. So we turned around and coasted all the way back to his house. I'm grateful we didn't have to walk as it was very hot that day. Later that evening, we went on another hike with them. What a wonderful couple. We had beautiful weather all the time we were in Manti.
On Monday, we left in beautiful weather. The road was narrow and very winding so we played leap frog again; I would park off the road for about 1/2 hour then catch up to Alex and find another place safe to park. We did this to Hwy 6 where we loaded up the bike because it wasn't safe to ride in the heavy traffic and drove to our destination near Provo, UT, the East Bay RV park. Friends of ours from the Moonriver RV park in Richland, WA, Dale & Cindy were also parked there. We had a real nice visit with them Monday night and Dale prepared a awesome BBQ dinner on Tuesday. Then he proceed to give us enough BBQ'd meat to last us a week. It was so tasty, we couldn't refuse. Anyone who has ever tasted his smoked/grilled meat knows what I'm talking about. Wednesday saw us driving to the Salt Lake KOA, mainly because of heavy traffic and unsafe conditions. Thursday we spent touring Temple Square and surrounding area. We hadn't been there in at least 15 years and there were a lot of changes. The most impressive building was the Conference Center, the largest non-sporting center in the world. The seating capacity was 21,000 with no columns to hinder the view of the stage. The total area is 1.4 million square ft with a 4 acre roof garden area, with large trees, flowers and other plants of the area. Awesome!!! We also attended an organ recital at the Salt Lake Tabernacle with organist Richard L. Elliott.
Friday say me under the weather . Probably too much sun the day before and I do not do heat and sun well. So most of the day was spent just taking it easy.
We woke up to rain Saturday morning. We waited awhile hoping it would clear up. It didn't. So the bike was loaded and we drove to Layton, UT. It was still raining so we decided to go for a drive to Antelope Island out in the Salt Lake. We drove over on a causeway, and went to the visitor center for some information and a short video presentation. Then we drove to the Garr Ranch. Along the way, we saw several herds of bison and one pronghorn antelope. The ranch was quite interesting with all the old equipment, the original ranch house, bunkhouse and other buildings from the earlier days. The sun cam out for a while but it started raining again.
Today, Sunday, we went to church hoping to see our friends Rod and Kayla Hamilton but they were out of town. But as usual, we met some great people. This afternoon, we spent watching shows on our DVR as our satellite signal is blocked by a huge tree. The sun comes and goes, with some real heavy showers in between. Sure hopes it clears up enough for Alex to ride tomorrow. He doesn't like it when he can't ride.
Thanks for your patience and I will try to make sure I update again next weekend.
Until then, God Bless