Saturday, August 15, 2015
Sorry folks, but no photographs today. to accompany our drive from Kearney to Boonville, where we will spend the night in a small truck stop with home cook'n.
Has been incredibly hot during daytime, but is downright nippy when the Morning Sun rises. All in all, I am well acclimated to severe desert heat and cold mountain nights.
Today was without any exciting events, but I did chat with a number of fellow travelers and received a gifted Gideon Bible. The Gideon fellow joined me for lunch at McD's, spending 2 hours attempting to eplain the massive number of Biblical Deaths in the Old Testament. He didn't know either.
Religion is a scary subject, so best minimized for the time being. Recent events have, however piqued my interest so as to dig a bit deeper ... such as how come I survived without a scratch, our recent flight with SPIA far out into the Idaho Desert.
Treating myself to a yummy special Ham on Rye sandwich, Potato Salad, and home made Mirangue Pie. Could do better in the food department, but am doing this 2,600 mile trip to reach Dallas with a wee bit of $$ to help make it to SSC Payday on the 3rd of each month. Again, all in all, things are fine. I do have a stippend of Credit Line, if judiciously handled generally sees us through.
Actually, I shared a good bit if my $$ a couple days ago to help 7 California Bound young folks who got "short Sheeted" with their funds attending the Grateful Dead performance in Chicago. I'm sure they will be OK. I receive $$ donations from time to time ( thank you, again ), and am pleased to share with other needy folks as we meet along the byways.
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I'm Sated !
Now for a peaceful sleep inside SPIA .... and do it all again tomorrow. Just barely possible we could reach Dallas by tomorrow evening.
Friday, August 14, 2015
Today has been 12 hours behind the wheel of SPIA, who performed with authority from Laramie, Wyo. to Kearney, Nebraska under a hot Sun. Took lots of rest breakes with a 1.5 hour sleep squeezed in.
We are settled for the night, having enjoyed once again the friendliness and good food of PIZZA HUT.
The above hand bill advertises for Skinny, Wiry under 18 years old, Boys willing to risk death ... preferably Orphaned. It is said Buffalo Bill voluntered for this job ... Pony Express Rider.
Today, I visited one of the last two surviving ORIGINAL Pony Express Stations, both located in Kearney, Nebraska.
One Station is situated in the Kearney City Park and was crowded while I was there.
Pony Express Ironwork proudly displayed among tree branches at the Park entrance.
Pony Express Founders. The Pony Express operated for 18 months between Kearney and Sacramento, California.
The Road To ZION, displayed inside the Station.
1854 Pony Express Station Sign
Visitor Sign In Book.
Present Pony Express Station Manager, Norma, a life long resident and teacher of the area.
BOOK: PONY EXPRESS available in the Station.
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It has come to pass that Sister Carol and I agreed we will curtail my visit to see her in DeKalb, Illinois ... due to time constraints and pocketbook thinness.
SPIA and ME will therefore divert via Kansas City, thence route I-70 and finally I-64. Our destination, DALLAS' Culloden, W. Virginia, actually shares the same tiny piece of land; i.e., I-64 passes next to the driveway of Dallas. Should arrive "Home" by Sunday, in plenty of time to assist Dallas before his knee replacement surgery.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Many times I have passed by the Idaho City of Twin Falls. Last night we stayed the night and took time to drive around town ... to discover one of the world's spectacular river scenes.
The fabled Snake River runs through Twin Falls. featuring two river water falls, a magnificent bridge spanning the even more spectacular CANYON over which EVIL KNIVEL tried - and failed to jump his motorcycle.
All this not a mile from I-84 freeway, and a 5 - minute walk from downtown.
Joining me at the canyon were many Oriental Tourists and Mike and Susan visiting from Minnissota.
LES SCHWAB took SPIA in for an 8:00 AM checkup, discovering out of balance front tires (no counterweights on either wheel) ... which they corrected at no further charge. Regretfully, however, a lessor shimmy is still there when decelerating the car at high speed. We must look a bit further at the next LES ACHWAB.
Magnificent bridge spanning the fearsome Snake River Canyon at Twin Falls.
Monument overlooking the Bridge and Snake River Canyon at Twin Falls, Idaho.
Please say HELLO to MIKE and SUSAN, visiting Twin Falls from their Minnessota home.
Another view of the shear canyon walls ...
...this time with a young visitor standing within a couple inches of the precipice ... and on the OUTSIDE of that huge CRACK about to drop the entire section into the abyss ... girl and all !
In the near distance one may still see the jump - off - ramp used by Evil Knivel in his failed attempt to fly (jump his motorcycle) over the Snake River Canyon.
Leaving I-84, we begin the long climb up and over the Rocky Mountains on I-80 - which runs coast to coast from San Francisco to New York City.
We find clear and instant topographical change as we ascend the steep I-80 Freeway.
Nearing the Original LITTLE AMERICA Resort, the mountains flatten out , except for numerous impressive river canyons and long reaches of desert emptiness. Over every hill there seems to be some sort of advanced chemical or power plant. Oh, Yes, SAM, SPIA and ME have walked and rolled over the Rocky Mountains no less than six times. Truly inspiring !
Hundreds of wooden man made fences stand out on hillside middleground next to our I-80 Freeway. These fences restrain and divert winter snows from drifting over our I-80 Freeway. A new design has been introduced this year to fight this seasonal battle.
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SPIA and ME have stopped for the night at a truck stop in the large town of LARAME, Wyoming. We are nearing the half way point of our journey from Bellingham to West Virginia.
Sincerely apologize for not being available to give Suzy's Daughter, Sally Ann a ride back to West Virginia. Was looking forward to help her out. Hopefully next time.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
After a peaceful sleep inside SPIA at Prosser, Washington, drove from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM, crossing part of Washington State; crossing ALL of Oregon State and 3 / 4 of Idaho State on I-84 ... finally coming to rest at the town of Twin Falls.
Have chosen Twin Falls as there is a LES SCHWAB Tire Company located there (here). After our accident, LES SCHWAB (in Bellingham) replaced SPIA's Front Struts checking the associated tires (for balance, etc.) and other related running gear.
Today, SPIA developed a "shimmy", which if untended will surely cause tires to wear out, and cause potential failure elsewhere.
In the morning, will be first in line at Twin Falls LES SCHWAB to have the entire assembly checked to verify the work done in Bellingham and correct it if necessary before continuing on to West Virginia.
Rested many times during today's drive, which has been just the way we like it: un eventful.
Thank you for the kind comments from Bellingham and Culloden.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Impossible but true that for two months I have been helping Bob Young move into his new (old) home and removing the jungle outside.
Have twisted Bob's arm to allow me to clear away his half-acre of jungle that has overgrown the entire place with berry vines, ivy, and just plain weeds ... some 20 feet or more tall.
Clean up came to an end this morning exactly when my West Virginia friend, Dallas asked me to return to CULLEDON by the 21st when he under goes full knee replacement. I have been with Dallas, you see, since September 2014 helping fight his way through worsening Diabetis.
In lieu of walking so much, seems I am spending much more time helping folks. For example, Bob Young invited me to hang out at his new (old) home as he moved in. I kept busy helping the actual move in...AND spent a few weeks clearing away his "jungle". I previously spent 8 months helping folks recover from Hurricane IRENE - devestation of Outer Banks, North Carolina.
Of course, I NEVER accept remuneration (payment - of any kind) for my meagre efforts.
I have enjoyed a fulfilled life of plenty. As a 80 - plus year old man, I have chosen to Stop to smell the roses AND help others where I am permitted.
My Host Bob only minutes out of eye surgery. Bob received much improved sight while I was allowed to take some weight-lifting tasks off his hands.
Bob is now much improved and has agreed that I should be on my way to give Dallas a hand.
I actually attempted to drive to West Virginia a week ago, but an automobile accident cut that effort short. Having survived that accident (see prior blog), I am again on my way driving to West Virginia.
The Oregon Scenery in the following images is from m prior effort to reach West Virginia.
Scene from Immigrant Pass some 15 miles South of Pendelton Oregon.
Each morning Bob Young is visited by up to four wild deer. This young lady is sometimes stretched out full asleep as I go about my jungle clean up not more than 15 feet away.
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Am at McD in Prosser, Washington, which is open 24 / 7. Unusual are the eight electrical outlets for Wi-Fi folks. Many such electrical outlets are not available at McD ...Wi-Fi, yes, but not electrical outet.
Tomorrow it is early to rise heading to connect up with I-80 just outside Salt Lake City for our continued drive to West Virginia.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Yesterday morning, Bob exclaimed that SPIA had an exhaust leak
Yesterday, SPIA received new engine exhaust system parts to replace the broken tail pipe and small muffler, both severely damaged from an apparent (unknown) collision pushing the tail pipe clear into the innerds of the muffler.
This discovery changed the apparent cause of our Saturday accident with SPIA. It now appears that I did NOT fall asleep while driving, but more likely was OVERCOME by SPIA exhaust gasses, causing me to momentarily pass out, losing control of SPIA. A similar "incident" happened on the freeway approaching Minneapolis, Minnesota some 4 weeks ago...and, I numerous times since, fought losing consciousness while driving.
... and Yes, I have for more than 1.5 years, experienced a growing general weakness and lethargic condition. I contributed this degredation to ..."an old man perhaps overdoing...walking too far ... working too hard ... or becoming effected by increasing care taking responsibilities or growing concern for the care and safety of others.
My personal Doctor has taken this new information ... being overcome by Carbon Monoxide ... as serious and has ordered new bloods tests which I will take tomorrow (Friday) at 12:30 pm (noon)... this to verify no Carbon Monoxide remains in my blood.
About the new STRUTS ??? They will be installed tomorrow morning. This task will return SPIA to known full operational condition.
The recent events, including a botched drive to YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, has incurred costs exceeding $1,000.00. LES SCHWAB (provider of the new STRUTS) has gratiously extended monthly terms which is very much appreciated. THANK YOU !
Bob is settling nicely into his new home . receiving LOTS of visitors. I am very pleased for him, and have loaned many special paintings and some furniture pieces to fill out the comfort and beauty of his home.
Tomorrow SPIA and ME will be packed, ready to continue our Walk and Ride. More than one has asked me to stay. Will take a VERY special lady to pull that off ... but why not ?
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Talking to DALLAS back home in CULLODEN, both he and CAROL are doing well; doing OK for the time being says Dallas. So, no immediate rush for me to return on their score.
My "Dancing" lady has left West Virginia with Claude; so, that relationship has been resolved. I am very pleased for her as she has fought for their acceptence for a long time. Must accept it, Suzie. We care for her no less.
One more hurdle (tomorrow's Carbon Monoxide Blood Test) to vault; then my mind and body will be fully healed ready for any and all eventualities.
LISBON to BEIJING walk is becoming a high priority.
We Shall See.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
HAVE SOME INTERESTING PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE PAST WEEK OR SO. IN LIEU OF IMAGES, MUCH NEWER HARD INFORMATION WILL BE SHARED HERE.
ME: I have received a rather complete battery of medical tests initiated by my Primary Doctor, SHIRGILL, who has been monitoring my health as I walk America the past 3 years or so.
Test results of TODAY: in all aspects, my body test results are fully and completely NORMAL.
SPIA received a good battering in the accident of Saturday last ... and has emerged with NO physical damage.
IMMEDIATE STEPS TAKEN:
SPIA and I have received in depth tests and inspections ... ALL of which have concluded NO injury or DAMAGE.
SPIA shock absorbers are being replaced after wear and tear of some 275,000 miles on the vehicle...at a cost of $625.00.
This morning I gave Bob a ride to the hospital for some not-so-minor surgury.. Bob immediately exclaimed that SPIA had an exhaust leak. Though I could not smell any Carbon Monoxide, I had been feeling blase' and disoriented for some months. During my drive to Washington State, I fell asleep while driving in Minnessota, barely avoiding an accident. LAST SATURDAY, DRIVING TO YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, I AGAIN FELT SOMEWHAT OUT OF SORTS and was fighting to stay awake when I fell asleep. crashing SPIA.
Today Sister Carol tells me that she was on the phone with me when I said I could not stay awake. She said to pull off the road and STOP !
I remember telling Carol I was looking for a wide spot to pull off the road. Carol says the phone went "dead"... was concerned but was afraid to call back or check this blog... and has not done so waiting for me to contact her today, her 73rd birthday.
It appears I was talking to Carol ...went to sleep in mid conversation, and lost control of SPIA for a split second ...recovering with SPIA airborne.
From that moment I was fully cognizant of and in control of the vehicle guiding her through the incident to a successful stop some eighth of a mile out in the desert.
Motor in neutral and still running I looked back at the highway thru a huge cloud of dust. No less than eight vehicles were passing by, making no effort to stop to help me.
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Four hours after the accident, sitting next to DANIELLE in Mc Donalds at West Yellowstone, I went into shock ... recovering normality this morning, some 36 hours and 700 miles distant.
Bob has kindly invited us to hang out for a bit.