Saturday, May 26, 2007

End of an Odyssey

Hello Friends and Family:

I'm a bit negligent in wrapping up my
communications from the field. Arrived home in Ramsey
Wednesday night and have been chillin ever since. Got
a little work done today but nothing of consequence.

Here's the end of a long tale: I believe I left
off in St. Augustine. There I met Julie and Matt at
the A1A BrewPub. Julie tried to talk me into
accompanying them on a ghost tour, but I opted for an
early night to bed (along with the tour record three
beers I consumed with them). Great kids from Florida's
west coast. Pics of the bartenders from our afternoon
together were an attempt to catch some ghostly orbs
for Julie. We know they were there, just didn't show

Left St. Augustine on Saturday morning, the 19th.
I hope that's right, as many dates have tended to
blend. Stopped for lunch that day in Flagler Beach.
Great shore town if you want to avoid the typical
tacky boardwalk beach. Arrived in Daytona later that
day and made it an unintended stay.

In early afternoon, still plenty of time to
continue south, I pulled into the only shade I could
find to drink, check my disobedient tire and take a
brief rest. While sitting on a bench to the right of
the somewhat pretentious Hawaiian Resort entrance, my
counterpart on the left bench engaged me in a
conversation. Seems he (Lt. Alex Moody) had recently
returned from his second tour in Iraq with the 10th
Mountain Div Reserves. Ian had been in the 10th
Mountain, so Alex was surprised to find another human
being who knew where Watertown and Sackets Harbor are.

Alex is still a mystery to me in my "People Tour",
and this is why. He had fallen asleep on the beach.
He assumed his wallet had slipped from his pocket, for
when he woke it was gone. No cards, no military
papers, no money. Friends were supposedly on their
way north from Ft. Lauderdale to rescue. I "insisted"
on buying him a drink (no really, it was my idea)
which ended up to be several for him and several beers
and chips for me. I also met a couple from Tennessee
who had had too much sun and too much refreshment.
"In appreciation" for my generosity, Alex talked me
into going to dinner with him, them, and his friends,
later -- much later, like 9:30.

Well, by 10:00, starving, I walked outside to
unsuccessfully find food, prepared a peanut butter and
raisin sandwich, and went to bed. In the morning I
called the cell phone number he had given me. "Voice
Mailbox full". The front desk had no Moody or Mooly
or other Moor registered. Really weird because he
provided so many facts about things I knew to be so.
I even reversed checked his phone number, and that
matched. No, he didn't ask for money or talk me into
investing or providing my SS#. Still curious and plan
to "Track him down" in Albany (area).

I still had about 70 miles to Ian and Michelle's,
so I informed them that I'd break it into two short,
easy days and arrive Tuesday. Bikers: you know you
can't stop once you're on a roll, so at 40ish miles I
decided to go all the way. I did stop at a bar on
Merritt Island and called Ian. His military
personality doesn't handle surprises as well as my
scattered self does, but he rushed home.

I haven't seen the photos yet. Plan to go to
Snapfish right now, but he and Michelle were outside
the house with Henry and cameras and balloons and a
winners tape for me to break. Victory party pics
included a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a bottle
of Champagne shook and sprayed at me. It was soooo
terrific. I also received a USA jersey and a
"Discovery Channel - Credit Lyonnaisse, Maillot Jaune
(Tour de France Yellow Jersey for you four wheelers).
It was so touching that my son rewarded my effort and
appreciated the accomplishment.

The last person on my "People Tour" is Chuck Web,
the politically sharpest waiter I've ever met. We
were between lunch and dinner at the Macaroni Grill in
the Orlando Airport, and he made the time to really
discuss the state of this absurd war and our absurd
administration. I guess Chuck was placed there to
take me back to reality.

Oh yes. And my delicious grandson Henry (13 mos)
is so beautiful and so amazing. Hope there's a photo
in blogspot or Snapfish for you to see him. Except
Michelle and Ian are convinced that his runny nose is
teething. Well, I'm not teething, but I've had a sore
throat and runny nose since Tuesday night. Henry's
first childhood passalong.

All in all, with a slight computer correction, I
judge 1330 miles over 24 riding days. That mileage
number is a bit false because on my four "days off" I
usually rode around to see the sites. A great
bus-man's holiday. Thanks for your interest. I loved
knowing that you were following me.

Love to all,

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Album complete

As I type this, I am uploading to the Snapfish album an additional 135+ photos Jim left on our hard drive. I also took quite a few of him crossing the finish line at our house, which I am also in the process of uploading.

So check back later today or tonight, for the final & complete album. Unfortunately, they are no longer in chronological order. There are just too many for me to sort through now and try to get them in order. Perhaps Jim might want to conquer that beast ~ or just leave them as is.

I hope you enjoy the photos!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Album updated

I uploaded a ton more photos to the Snapfish album, so be sure to check them out!

The Eagle has Landed

Around 4 o'clock this afternoon, Ian called from work to say that he had just gotten off the phone with his father...and, much to our surprise, Jim was just down the street!!!!

Ian flew home from work with a couple of bottles of champagne (one to drink and one to pour over Jim's head!), along with a big bunch of flowers...and, after setting up the finish line, he got out the special order jerseys and the camera. We stood outside and waited until we saw Grandpa Jim come around the corner and then we rolled the camera. We were able to catch Jim's finish on video, along with lots of still photos. I'll have to do some uploading so all can enjoy.

Jim looks amazing. Full of sunshine and great stories. Some really great stories!!!!! Will post more later...but he is here and is safe and is very excited. We are very proud of him!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Photo Album Updated

I uploaded over twenty new photos, from Jim's journey, to the Snapfish album ~ be sure to check it out.

I have about ten more e-mails from Jim, mostly of photos that he's sent. Tomorrow I will work on uploading those and adding any additional e-mail updates he may have sent me. Check back tomorrow / tomorrow night.

May 19 Update

Update from Jim, sent on May 19:

Decided to stay one more day.  Sun, sand, nice
historical town and sand. Using my day off to ride my
bike. Duhh.

Went to the beach this morning and eventually had
to dig out my beach towel. Wind is really kicking up
the surf and blowing the beach into every pore of my
skin. Guess I picked the wrong day to go to the
beach. Showered and found a grocery store to catch up
on my fruits and veggies.

Tomorrow am I'll head south again, hoping to reach Ian &
Michelle's by Tuesday evening.

At the St Augustine Library on Rt 1, but forgot my
wire, so no pics. Yesterday I was able to do Ian's
trick and insert my camera chip into the hostel
computer. NG here

Congratulations Nico. Now the hard work begins for



May 18 Update

Update from Jim, sent on May 18:

Writing from the Pirate Haus Hostel in St Augustine.
Arrived 3ish after 59 miles from Amelia Island.
I had a great ale from a micro brewery after a hot
shower. St Augustine is interesting to walk around.
Great buildings large and small and all old.

Amazing tail wind today, 18, 19 mph. It's so easy
to fly, I'm constantly tempted to continue to raise my
gearing and fly faster, but that does require a
little extra effort, and I have to keep reminding
myself that this is supposed to be fun. Still having
tire trouble. Got another new tube in Jacksonville.
I'll change it tonight, but there's a problem in the
rear that I can't diagnose. Fortunately it's a slow
leak, so a repump every eight miles or so got me here.

Nice bike shop in Jacksonville gave me a tube. I'll
supply his name next email for incorporation into the
blog. He said it was pay forward for all the help he
got on tour.

Unable to send photos here. I'll try the library.

Love to all,