This year has been difficult for me. I was legally blind in my left eye when I started last years Run For the Wall. I failed my DOT physical in June when I returned to work after the Run. I lost almost 2 months of time getting my left eye fixed, and then another month when I got my right eye fixed.
In January I told Papa Smurf that Merry Starkey (Piccilo) would be available to lead the Communications team, and she did an outstanding job. In May, and it was not until the first Friday in May, I found that I had enough cash saved to at least do 2 days of the Run. I planned to go from Goodland KS to Wentzville, MO.
The Run gets to Goodland on the Saturday a week before Memorial day and to Wentzville the Monday a week before Memorial day. When I was getting ready to leave for Goodland the Stevens Transport Shop called me and told me that my tractor had been hit while it was parked at the Wausau WI Kenworth Dealer. So I delayed my departure and went over to check it out. I was told that it would not be ready till yesterday. Then Yesterday I called to check on the Status of my truck. Originally I was told it was ready, so I left the Run at Lewisburg and headed home. I stopped in Hurricane WV and checked again and found out that it will not be ready until next Wednesday. So now I decided to call everyone and make sure that the assumptions I made earlier were correct. They were not. But I will be getting that corrected. So I am on my way home now, and I will be there tomorrow.
This year was a much better year than last year, I wish I could say that every truck driver we talked to was great, but that is not true, there were a few who were completely against us even being on the road.
To them I say "If you do not want these bikes on the highway, there is a simple solution. Write Congress and tell them to bring all the missing home. They could do it but they do not want to remember." If we the people of Run for the Wall stop, then Congress will forget. Even the minimal news coverage we get, and there was a lot more of it this year, is enough to get people to mention the missing to their elected leaders.
I had a good ride to Goodland, and a good ride to Lewisburg W.V. with every stop being great it is hard to pinpoint the best one. They are all great, but as always the kids at Rainelle, WV are my reward for everything I do.
I am already planning for next year. I may have to find a local job because if I do not I may end up divorced a second time, and no job is worth that. So if I do change jobs, it will be understood that May is mine.
Thanks to OOIDA, and especially Reed Black, for everything they do, and Phlash Phelps of Sirius/XM 60's on 6 he really tallked us up, and that helped a lot. We also had several local radio stations along our route actually read the web page and announce our scheduled stops which helps with trucks and cars.
The route coordinator this year said something that initially angered me, but then after thinking about it I realized that the Comm Team did an outstanding job. he said "What you do does not effect me in any way, I do not hear you, and I do not see any trucks on the highway." The reason for that is that we the Comm Team have communicated with those trucks and have managed for the last 3 years to keep them from even trying to pass the pack. Passing 4 miles of motorcycles that are running from 70 o 90 mph, depending on where they are in the pack, and for some strange reason the bikes going faster are in the middle trying to catch up after someone slowed down, can take up to an hour at 65 mph.
I do not have a lot else to say, the people that do this ride are all great, and I love each and every one of them. I do what I do not for recognition, though that would be nice to have, I do it to keep the people doing this mission safe.
Normally I post every day on the Run, I did not do that this year. I will next year though. But there are three stories that I will tell, they are actually one story with three seperate parts.
When I decided to go on from Wentzville, MO to D.C. I added up all my cash and found that I might be short, but figured I would be able to pull from some saved money and replace it later. When I got to the Hospital at Jefferson Barracks, I forgot my phone, and instead of going in to visit patients I went back to my bike to get my phone because I had told Reed that I would call him with an update. After that call I was putting my phone away and a gentleman walked up to me and one of the Road Guards and asked if we were on this ride. We told him we were, then he asked if we were veterans and we said yes. He said that he was not a veteran. Then he shook the Road Guards hand and thanked him for his service, then he shook my hand and palmed $60.00 into my hand and said make sure someone who needs gas money gets this. Well I may have even posted that part of this story on my FB wall. I was simply shocked, I did not want to take the money but the man insisted and walked away. I told the Road Guard what had just happened and he said do you need it for gas, when I told him I did he said that it had gotten to the right person. Then when I got to Hurricane WV it happened again, this time with $100.00, again I tried to refuse the money, this time I was told by the person who gave it to me "God wants you to have that money and I am not going to argue with God." So I took it. Then again when I got to Charleston WV it happened again, this time it was $20, and again I tried to refuse, but was told not to. Had I been praying for help, no not really, I had thought that because my truck was hit that maybe God had wanted me on the Run, but Wow, I actually have enough to get home, possibley use a motel if the weather gets bad. Thanks you everyone who wanted me there, my only regret is that I did not make it to D.C, this year, but I made it furhter than planned on. I thank God, and all the Riders of Run for the Wall because even though short this was my best Run so Far. Lord please let everyone get home safely.
All in all my mission is accomplished, I rode as far as I could and I kept people safe.