Dateline North Star Lodge, Yakima, Wa:
An astounding, wonderful dream-come-true day awaited Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider today. I rarely talk about actual dates, but today is August 26th, 2013 and it is my 89th day on the road for Cancer Ride America. It is also my last day on the road and I will be sleeping in my own bed tonight. Our kitty kats and my lovely wife await my return.
It was agreed that we would meet in Ellensburg, Wa. with the Lodge’s motorcycle club and anyone else who wanted to come and escort me the rest of the way to Yakima. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen this crew! World renowned cancer Docs, VietNam Veterans, war heroes, Doctor’s Assistants, Nurses, and a variety of other professionals, as well as many retirees, all wearing their “do rags” and leathers. All were welcomed, and each were very very much appreciated by Yours Truly.
And of course Mission Control arrived to handle tail-car duties. Leanne, as a Seattle Police Sergeant, was involved in a lot of Presidential escorts and knows the procedures and various “techniques” to keep other traffic from interfering with the package. And as always, she did yeoman’s work today. This video was taken by her dashcam.
We rolled into North Star at around 11:00. Another amazing reception. If there were ten people there applauding and cheering, there were a hundred. I apologize to you, my loyal readers and Cancer Ride America followers. I was so overwhelmed that I teared up and completely forgot to turn on my helmet cam. Perhaps one of the television stations there took some video and I can get it later. I’ll let you know. I was asked to say a few words, and then suddenly the Director of North Star Lodge stepped forward and said they had something for me. I was speechless. Yeah, I know….a very rare occurrence.
Note that they placed little stars at locations around America where I had been. To me, each star represents the Angel Riders. They are holding hands, encircling America with their love, and praying for a cure for cancer. What a wonderful tribute to Terry and all of the Angels, America’s Perimeter Tour – “To The Ends Of America To End Cancer”, and Cancer Ride America. I accept this wonderful accolade on behalf of the hundreds…no…thousands of people around America who made this happen. For you see, Cancer Ride America took on a life of its’ own. I blame the Angel Riders. They obviously had a plan of their own and they with His blessing placed Yours Truly on this wonderful, exciting, and yes, scary path around the Country. I was simply a very small player in a very big play. I’m grateful that I was able to do my part and fulfill the mission. Of course, it did have its’ rewards!
I would also like to offer a tribute to a very special friend. I affectionately call him “WingNut”, and he calls me his “WingMan”. Greg left work to meet me on the first full day of this ride. And he was there for the very last day. He rode in the escort with me and then rode home, making sure I made it safely. What a fantastic guy, and a good friend to Yours Truly.
A little information for those who are interested:
Cancer Ride America as of today has raised right around $12,000.00 for the Memorial Foundation, Yakima!! And donations are still coming in. You, my friends are amazing.
My ending mileage turned out to be a little shy of the 16,000 miles that my mapping software estimated it would be. I came in at 15, 412 miles. My leather butt still thinks it was 16,000 though so you can believe my butt or my odometer. Your call.
My little tent protected me from 4,246 gallons of rain water (at least), 114 degrees, and 68% humidity. While it was uncomfortable at times, I shall always have very fond feelings of the way it took care of me.
My Honda GoldWing performed as expected. No problems, no issues. The ‘Wing simply started up each day, rocked on, and did his work. I didn’t even have to have a new set of tires put on during the trip, and from the looks of them, I’ve got another 3K or so of wear left.
I took no official count, but think I spoke to thousands of people around America about cancer, about Cancer Ride America, and what this effort is all about. I gave out thousands of cards and asked each and every one to simply give a “buck”. This happened at rest areas, in restaurants, on the side of the road, you name it. I had many just reach into their pockets and hand me greenbacks, and many others went to the web site and donated. As often as not they offered their names and a handshake, but declined any recognition for their generosity. Wow.
And that my friends leads me to a personal note. As you know, Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider spent 35 years “on the job”. I am cynical, I (was) of the mind that if you weren’t my friend you were my enemy, and I had pretty much written off society as a whole.
As I write this my heart is full and my life is changed. No longer must I look over my shoulder for the imminent threat. No longer must I assume that if you say hello to me you want something or are forming a plan to harm me. No longer is “everyone” always trying to get something for nothing, working to connive and harm others, or planning the next theft, assault, or robbery.
Yes my friends, I too got something out of America’s Perimeter Tour – “To The Ends Of America To End Cancer”. I got my belief in mankind, and my perspective back. I thank you, America, for that.
For now, safe at home, Yours Truly signs off with:
PS: Keep checking back. Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider will continue to offer details of the ride, fund raising efforts made on its’ behalf, and other details that have not yet been mentioned.