Made it home

Well, BLOG-followers, I made it back to DJ, the kitties, and Rags, the dog at 3:39 AM this morning.

I decided I did not want to worry about the vulnerability of the truck in another motel parking lot again…the damage to the driver’s side door made locking the doors an exercise in futility, and the damage to the steering column made it possible for anyone with a screw driver to become the truck’s new “owner.”  So, a few hours after leaving Nebraska, I decided to go for broke, so-to-speak, and drive the rest of the way (1151 miles) straight through (18 hours) stopping only for diesel.

Not an altogether pleasant experience, but, fortunately, an uneventful one.

And, to those charitable individuals who generously pledged $/mile to White Cane for my participation in the 2010 SCR, I say, Thank You Very Much, and You Got Off Easy.

It may be a different situation in 2012.


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Half-way home

I had another uneventful, 500 mile day, and arrived in North Platte, Nebraska late this afternoon.

The rally team finished their next-to-last run today, staying in Lake Placid, NY.  Tomorrow is their final day, and will terminate in Portland, ME.

All things being equal, I’d rather be in Lake Placid than Nebraska…nothing against Nebraska, of course.


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On the way home!

The Canadian Police found the truck about 125 miles NW of Grand Forks, BC (where we were staying Thursday night, and where it was stolen from early Friday morning.  The RCMP did not release the truck as a crime scene until Tuesday.

We rented a car and went to the Ford dealership in Kelowna where it had been released.

The thief (or thieves) stole everything of value: ramps, tools, tie-downs, ALL OF MY SNACKS, dress clothing on a hanger that was intended for the final night celebration in Portland…everything of any value in the truck was stolen, except for spare tires for my scooter.

The damage to the truck is pitiful: a hole was punched in the driver’s door that somehow allowed the door to be unlocked; two holes were punched in the leather, middle front seat; and lastly, the ignition switched was punched out.  The vandalism damage could have been much worse!

The truck is drivable…no mechanical problems.

On Wednesday, we decided that it would be impractical to try to catch up with the rally in Lake Placid, NY, ~2700 miles to the east, so that I might be able to run the final day. Given that, Bill, Jr. made airline reservations from Boise, Idaho back to Virgina, and we drove there yesterday, and he is back home with his girls.

This morning, I left Boise, heading east, and I got as far as Rock Springs, Wyoming (~500 miles).  Tomorrow, I will do more of the same.

The truck is much lighter now, and all my goodies are gone!

Thanks for your comments…I found it difficult to concentrate with this nonsense.


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This is the day to remember the wretchedness brought to us nine years ago.  The remembrance is sufficiently miserable, and no other “dumping” should be allowed.


We’ve had no further response from the RCMP. Local time here is ~4:30 AM.  We will try again in a couple of hours.  My sincere hope is that there not have been too many white F350s bearing Tennessee tags stolen and abandoned, and that the constable who I collared yesterday morning in the motel parking lot, was not BSing me.

Thanks, friends, for all of your thoughts.

Bill and Bill, Jr.

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It’s still stolen!

We pretty much sat on our respective butts all day, disappointingly as all of the SCR riders left this morning.  About midday, I met an RCMP constable in the motel parking lot, and he said that they may have found the truck in some outpost 150 miles north of here…he did think that the vehicle had TN plates, but that it was now a crime scene, and the local law was waiting to see if anyone showed up, and that they may be able to put me and Bill on a Greyhound bus up to this outpost.

All of that fizzled out, and we (me and Bill) have taken turns with cussing (me) and demonstrations of faith (Bill, the younger).  I know that all of you have used up your “green stamps in prayer” for us, and we are still hoping for a meaningful (I want my TRUCK) resolution.

Thanks to everyone.  BTW, this place is so beautiful…sort of makes the human condition (recently witnessed) so incredibly pathetic and grandiose, all at the same time.  Go figure…I may go take some pictures, while I wait for the RCMP.


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The F350 has been stolen

The 2010 Rally has left Grand Forks, BC without us a little while ago.

Sometime early this morning between 2:00 AM (Starr went to the truck for oil) and 6:30 AM (I went to where the truck had been for clothing) someone stole my truck.  We have filed a police report with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police earlier, and we are trying to rationalize a solution to this dilemma.

Finishing the rally is out of the question, now.  We will stay in this hotel at least until tomorrow, and hope to have thought through a solution by then.

To say that we are disappointed is an outrageous understatement.  Our concern, obviously, is to develop a recovery plan to get ourselves, my scooter, and the stuff we took to the hotel room last night, back to our respective homes.

Will write again, when I can say something meaningful.

Thanks to all of you have followed us for this brief sojourn, and your thoughtful comments.


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Day 1 route

On this GOOGLE MAP, and all of the maps on the days to follow, you may use the + and – marks in the upper left hand corner to expand/contract the map view, and the arrow cursor indicators to shift left/right/up/down for more detail.

We managed to arrive safely, in Grand Forks, BC at about 10:30 PM.  Because Bill is driving a support vehicle, we spent about three hours on the side of the highway, providing moral support and an extra hand or two while Starreem made some extensive repairs to her machine.  The piston seized up, and she disassembled the engine, and had sufficient spare parts to replace the piston and cylinder head.

Of the four segments today, I tied for first place (shortest time) with another rider on the third segment.  Well folks, I am cold and tired, so it is off to sleep.  Riders will gather in the morning at 6:45 for a pep talk, I guess.

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Ready, sort of, in Vancouver

Lions awake. There are plenty of opportunities yet unexplored by Dayton! I saw evidence
on the way up herel

A day off in Vancouver. There’s plenty to do. Like find the starting line, buffing scratches, get gas, buff scratches, get the machines off the truck, buff scratches…I’ve been told they’ll buff out (had to think for
a moment about why it was hypenated there, but then I stepped backward…really, put the laptop on the nightstand and looked at the word…hyphenated…and I thought, “This looks good!”

Well, I have to get a move on, to beat my son to the bath…he’s still asleep.  More later, if scooterists permit.

Billy, hanging out, in Vancouver

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Vancouver, British Columbia

IT IS HERE…we have made it. I found my son, my driver, in the SEA-TAC airport complex!

I stayed “close by” last night (Ellensburg, WA) so I would not have to worry too much about traffic, and it was a nice journey (118 miles), even though I kept thinking, “Boy, I’m glad this isn’t snow…I’d never get up this mountain.” (Snoqualmie Pass). It was raining, heavily, but, the traffic kept trucking. Near SEA-TAC, I had to ignore Mr GARMIN again…and we had developed such a “strong bond” since St. Louis…when it kept prompting me to, “Turn here, please,” and then, “TURN HERE, NOW!”

Anyway, I made it to SEA-TAC (Seattle-Tacoma Airport) in rush hour traffic, only to discover (a wee bit late) that the clearance into the parking area for arrivals was 6′-8″. Neither good or bad news in and of itself…the roof of my truck was only 6′-6″ but, the visor on my scooter, as it turned out, topped out at 7′-0″. I removed the visor when I got to the roof of the parking garage, well ahead of Bill, Jr’s arrival time, and knowledgeable people have told me that those scratches may “buff out.”

We have Starr with us now (she is from Raleigh, NC, and is the owner of the other machine in the back of my truck with a height less than the cab…so no problem there!).  Anyway, another two, uneventful hours in the north-bound, early rush hour traffic out of Seattle, and we presented ourselves, and equipment, to a very pleasant fellow at the customs control point into Canada.  He wanted none of our cookies, and we were on our way again.

And finally, in another half-hour we were here…281 miles today, and 2913 miles since Dayton. It is good to see Bill, Jr. again. It has been a while.

More tomorrow…it is an easy day. I have to crash with my son, buff my windshield, and get gas.


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Ellensburg, Washington

Left Missoula, MT in the fog this morning, and the further west I drove, the brighter it seemed.

Western WyomingAfter snaking upward again, through steep-forested slopes, I was on the outside of several trucks struggling up the incline, when at the top of the mountain, the road (still I-90) curved around to the right, as gently as possible for a 75mph highway, and dead ahead, was a bright blue sign on the precipice of a deep, forested valley that read WELCOME TO IDAHO.   The trip across Idaho on I-90 did not last long that far north, but it was never-endingly pleasant…the pine trees only stopped intermittently for a building here and there along the interstate.

Further along I-90, into Washington, the road busied again after Spokane…but, it is a sunny, warm Labor Day weekend.  Near the end of the day’s travel, 30 miles to the east of Ellensburg, there was a scenic overlook for the Gorge Amphitheatre.

Gorge AmphitheatreI was ahead of schedule, so I stopped to take a picture to share on the blog.  According to the informative plaque, the far side of the Columbia River “pool” is the result of a geologic uplift of volcanic basalt (or something like that) and this phenomenon, like so many others, has to have a place on the list of things that make me feel trivial, in the grand scheme of natural things.  Anyway, after a brief respite in the gusty wind conditions, the route continued down I-90 and crossed the Columbia River a few miles to the left from this picture, then up the other side into a windmill farm with scores of whirring sentinels that were generating electricity from the same gusts that blew me about on the other side of then chasm.

This was a really, really nice day.  Tomorrow is extra special:  I will pick up my SUPPORT DRIVER for the first-ever, Lions White Cane Scooter Cannonball Rally, William Jr., in Seattle when he arrives from Norfolk.

Now, however, it is time to do laundry…bummer.


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