As I leave Chicago on the Amtrak to San Diego the long-awaited time is here. I find myself in a roller coaster of emotions. I started planning this two years ago, which seemed like a life time ago and now it is here. I am happy, I am excited and on the flip side I am nervous, and I am scare. I am telling myself I got this however, do I really have this. All I know is that I am going to give these 3142 miles 110 percent and I will be doing this for my two sons for you are my inspiration to do this… as I have always told you both, follow your dreams and give it your all. And as they taught me in boot-camp once you start something you always complete it. “You Never Quit” or “Defeat”. I will peddle to St Augustine FL and I will see you all at the end.
I have a few cries over the past few days as I wonder what I have gotten myself into and I am sure I will have more along the way. It is scary knowing that I will be by myself out there and who knows what will happen. However, I am strong, and I will survive. I will do much soul searching as I cycle, and I won’t let you my sons or my brothers and sisters down.
Mar 1, had an interview with KUSI for Good Morning San Diego, you can view this under my Media section.
Mar 2, Well the day has come, and we are on the USS Midway, it brought back tears as I walked up the bow and into the hanger bay onto the flight deck. I had to stop and take it all in. As of 30 years again I was pulling this ship in and out of port in Yokosuka Japan and so proud to do so while I was in the Navy on my tugboat. I wore my tugboat hat and my dog tags along with my fathers which is the only thing I have left from my Navy days. Nick Kimmel was onboard to represent the Gary Sinise Foundation, Nick is a triple amputee from Afghanistan, he fell on a 40-pound IUD and he meet Gary and they built him a RISE home that runs off his cell phone. Ms. Hunter was there to speak on behalf of the San Diego Mayor office. And a I said a few words, I told myself I was not going to cry however, as soon as I looked at my family, yes, I cried, pulled myself together and spoke a few words…. Then rode across the flight deck of the USS Midway and on our way to Ocean Beach to dip our tires and say our final good-byes. And we were off on our journey of the Southern Tier, San Diego CA to St Augustine FL. We had planned on staying in Alpine however, didn’t make it went to Glen View, so we ended up stealth camping by a highway, very noisy however, a great place to put the tent without anyone seeing us.
Mar 3, Glen View to Boulevard CA… After we woke up we hit the road heading to Boulevard, we went up some good hills and down some. I was doing pretty good going over them, the rain and cold started to hit. About 2 and half hours into the ride, I had a seizure that I had never had before, this time my legs gave our and I fell to the ground. I was able to pick myself up and get to cover and called my sister which was staying in San Diego for a few extra days and she and Tom came to get me. We drove the course to see where Martin was at and grabbed the gear off his bike to make it lighter for him going over the mountains. Asked him how he was doing, and he wanted to move on… so we went about 8 miles on and waited for him… he moved on… we went about 8 miles on and then he finally got into the car. It was cold and freezing not to mention the complete incline of the mountain. We went and found us a hotel in Boulevard and went out for dinner.
Mar 4, Boulevard – El Centre CA…. This day was a very good day, we finally made it to the top of the mountains in CA… and then we went down 3000 ft with a 6% incline on a winding road. I was like oh my God. I am surprised I have breaks left on my bike. My hands were glued to the bars, you had to peel them off the bar and my nerves were high. We had to break just to unwind and get the tension off your hands and shoulders. Got us a hotel in El Centre and at 230 was woken up be a lady knocking at the door asking to come in…
Mar 5, El Centre - Glamis CA……This started off a good day, we went through Imperial Dunes, this was some good climbs and all sand. It was fun until trucks came and blowing sand all over. It was beautiful there and fun watching the dun buggies going through the sand. We made it to Glamis around 230 and found a store that closes at 3 so we were able to get lunch there and we knew we were not going to make it to our next stop, so we grabbed a few sandwiches and chips there for dinner. Meet Nalha which was also cycling across the Southern Tier and cycled until it was darker, found a place to stealth camped.
Mar 6, Glamis – Quartzsize AZ…. Around 230 – 3 in the morning the winds picked up and we had winds around 25 mph. when we woke up at 6 am we still had high winds and there was no way to ride our bikes with the head winds, so we just started walking. I told Martin I was going to flag down someone and he said no one would stop. Well the first time I flagged a truck, Javier our “road angel” pulled over. He was going the same way were going, Martin tried to give his $20 and he refused it. Javier had asked us if we were hungry and we said yes, so he said he knew of this good Mexican restaurant. We said we would pay and once again, Javier said if we pay he wouldn’t take us to it. He said is all about giving and believes in Karma, give and you shall receive. Thank you, my new friend Javier. I wonder if this is from the times that I have helped others, that it now helping me. There were many hills and make them all, we finally made it into AZ.
Mar 7, Quartzsize – Aguila AZ…. We had a long day, our longest one so far 71 miles to our first Warm showers host Randy and Phyllis however, with much pushing I made it. The roads were very bad, and the shoulders were very rough. We seen a wild donkey and it was watching us.
Mar 8, Aguila – Sun City West AZ …. We had a good day, a very good down hill into Wickenburg and had lunch in McDonalds and we had many people coming up to us to talk to us asking us what we’re doing, where we were going, how it was so far and all kinds of questions. I didn’t think we were every going to be able to leave. We stayed at another Warm showers host and Bill was wonderful.
Mar 9, Sun City West – Phoenix AZ …. We arrived at Phoenix around 12:30 and seen my sons and Stasia there, there were some good strong hugs. I also had an interview with Fox News 10 and was on the news at 5. It was a nice piece. You can view this under my media section.
Mar 10,Phoenix – Rest Day
Mar 11, Phoenix – Mesa AZ …. Left Phoenix, teary eyes along with the rainy morning. With saying goodbye to my sons and I am now cycling as a Solo Cyclist across the Southern Tier. The morning started off good until I hit Mesa and the trolley tracks. I knew I should have walked my bike over those tracks however, I didn’t and yes, I took a spill. I fell, I messed my right leg pretty good and my right foot. However, the show must go on. I keep going slowly to Mesa and made it there. I took a stronger pain killer and iced my knee. Stayed at Warm showers host Gerri and Bill.
Mar 12, Mesa – Clay Pool AZ…. The day started off so good, my knee was painful when I bent it however, I could peddle, and it was good. It was only pain when I pulled it up on my peddle to start. So, as I started to go up this mountain at mile 32, I was determined to make it up, I was on the last leg of it and I moved back on my seat and it moved to the side. I hit my break as I wasn’t going that fast and found that my screw broke in half. I had no seat…. I was do angry, disappointed, sad, I wanted to make that mountain. I called my road side assistance and they came and got me and took me to the next town. I checked into the hotel and there was a Wal-Mart right next to it. I took my bike and seat with the parts and of course they didn’t have the parts however, Tom a Vietnam Veteran the manager of the Toy department paid for a new seat for my bike to get me back on my way. Thank you, Tom, for your service and my new seat.
Mar 13, Clay Pool – Bylas AZ …. Had a very hard day, many rolling hills with a headwind of 15 mph. This was a day I was doubting myself, 51 miles of a headwind and rolling hills. I made it to my Warm showers host Joe and Debbie. And ran into John from England a few times today on the course.
Mar 14, Bylas AZ – Thatcher AZ … Joe and Debbie were very nice host and they gave me a pray book when I left in the morning. This was an easy day, there were some hills and a few headwinds. Pulled into Thatcher and there was a pizza place across the street from the hotel. Pizza seems to be the norm out here however, that is good, and I love it. The days riding seems to be getting easier and easier for me. Nothing major today just a good easy day cycling.
Mar 15, Thatcher AZ – Duncan AZ …. This was a very hilly ride with some very bad shoulders along the way. There were tall weeds growing in it and had to ride in the streets. I just didn’t have it in me and couldn’t get my speed up no matter what I did. Meet up with Nalha and the three Amigo’s again which was very nice to see her again after all these days. We all have been playing leap frog along the route. The winds started picking up along the way and about 8 miles from Duncan the winds were up to 20 mph. Nalha was afraid to ride her bike into town about the last 4 miles, so I told her I would meet her in town. I was waiting for her to get in town and then I had to go find somewhere to use the bathroom and turned the corner and there she was. I was like where did you come from. She said the Sherriff closed the road to cyclist and they were bringing all of us in. I was in a place they could not turn safely to get me and only a few miles from town they let me continue and they brought her in. We ate lunch and dinner with the three Amigo’s for they also got stranded there. We all had a great time.
Mar 16, Duncan AZ – Lordsburg NM …. Today was a great day a long incline out of Duncan and I made the whole thing with out stopping and to my surprise at the top was a sign “Welcome to New Mexico,” I shed a few tears and made a few phone calls to the family to tell them I was now in NM. Lunch again was an oatmeal cookie and some mango slices due to no stops in between. Got lost on my way to the hotel and finally made it there.
Mar 17, Lordsburg NM – Akela NM …. Decided I was not going to do the ACA maps and go through the mountains that would take me 3 days and a climb of 10k feet. So, I decided to jump on Interstate 10, the shoulders at first were rocky however, big then about 5 miles down they were perfect… then a wonderful tailwind came, and I was up to 15 – 17 mph pace, what a delight. Then after mile 32, every 10 miles was a rest stop, a gas station or just some place to pull over and take a break. It was a piece of heaven after a few rough days. I made it past were I wanted to stay however, which the tailwinds and the nice shoulder I decided to continue to go on to the next city.
Mar 18, Akela NM – El Paso TX… yes, I made it to TX today. It was a hell of a day cycling…. I left the hotel and I had some good tailwinds however, when I shifted in Las Cruces to go South that 20 – 30 mph tailwind turned to side winds to my right. I had to do everything for 47 miles to keep my bike on the road and not blow in front of a car. I got my 1st flat time a few miles past Las Cruces and a man in his 40’s pulled over and said no woman should change a tire… I was like thank you very much David for helping me out. When I got to El Paso, I had a meltdown, I was beat, the winds were still at 27 mph and the dust was driving me crazy and to add more…. The street I had to go on had no shoulder, no bike lane and the cars started beeping at me. I pulled over and called Martin, crying on the phone I told him “I can’t go on” and I called an Uber to get me and take me the final 8 miles to my hotel that my cousin Steve and Dona had reserved for me. It was so nice of them and hugs to you both, when I got to my room … bubble bath.
Mar 19 and 2o, El Paso TX … Rest day, took my bike to Crazy Cat Cyclery to get my seat back on and a few maintenance items done. And they didn’t charge me for any of the items, thank you very much guys for all your support and love. I later went to Track One restaurant right next to the hotel I was staying at for lunch and I was talking to my waitress on what I was doing. The next thing I knew Ken McDermott came over to my table (the owner) and a retired Air Force gentleman. We started talking about what I was doing and the things that I had been through so far and he told me lunch was on him. Ken was a very nice man and I really enjoyed talking to him, and if you are ever in El Paso go to Track One, the Chopped Steak was very good. – San Elizario… This was a short day of 25 miles, the roads were good and had a great shoulder and tailwind for a change. Once again very close to the Mexican boarder and seen the wall and border patrol was in full effect. I got to David’s Cantu campground where I was going to stay for a few days. I put the tent up, it took me a bit, this was the first time I ever put it up. For Martin normally did this however, after a few times I did get it up correctly. David came home, and we went out for lunch which was very good.
Mar 22 – 24, San Elizario… I am feeling a bit guilty for having so many days off and want to get “On the Road Again.” I toured the town of San Elizario and there is so much history behind this town. Learned about the Salt War and Billy the Kid breaking into the jail to get his friend out of jail. This was the only jail that he ever broke into. On the 24th Clint Fallen Heroes’ had a BBQ for me and I meet many nice people and Lorenzo, he had been following me and he lost his son in Afghanistan. This is how the Clint Fallen Heroes’ started. Also, did a media event for El Paso NBC which is on my media tab, many thanks to NBC and Andra Little.
Mar 25, San Elizario – Fort Hancock… This was a good day, David rode with me to Clint to show me the Clint Veterans Wall and after this I was heading south to Fort Hancock. I wanted to get there early for were going to be getting some more good winds in the 30 mph in the afternoon from the SE and was not looking forward to fighting sidewinds again. I didn’t make it in before they started however, I was only in them for about an hour, so not that bad today. I took a shower and went across the street for lunch/dinner. Fort Hancock is another very small town with really nothing there, I have gone through so many of these.
Mar 26, Fort Hancock – Van Horn… I got up in the morning and went across the street for breakfast, I was talking to this Border Patrol officer in there and then I went to pay for my breakfast and the waitress told me he had paid for my breakfast. Thank you to the Border Patrol officer that paid for my lunch. I jumped on interstate 10 and the wind Gods were on my side and I had a great tailwind for a change. I had a few bad spots with some good hills however, overall a great day. I found a wallet on the side of the Hwy and picked it up and figured I would call the local police department when I got into Van Horn. I got to the hotel and checked in, I was talking to the front lady as I was checking in and told her what I was doing and the next thing a lady in the lobby was giving me a $5.oo bill. I got into my room and about 1o minutes later there was a knock at my door, I was like who is this, I answered the door and there was an envelope handed to me that said “To Tracy, thank you for your service and we support you!!! Quality Inn and there was a $20 bill inside. Then it was around 10 pm and they called me and said someone brought something to the front office for me, I went up there and in a bag was 4 tide pods, some dryer sheets and $5 in quarters for my laundry. To the person that dropped this off at the office, “thank you” This is why I continue my journey.
Mar 27, Van Horn – Alpine… This was a very bad day, I had side winds of 30 plus mph. I seen the Prada store display and tumbleweed blowing all over. At about mile 45 the sheriff came and told me a bad storm was coming and there was no way I would be making it into town and ask if I wanted a ride in. He didn’t want me out on the roads with the storm rolling in and the higher winds. He had already rescued Troy a few miles back. I went to the hotel and my knees are killing me from fighting the winds all day.
Mar 28, Alpine – Marathon… this was a pretty good day, just a short ride which is good from yesterday disaster. My legs, knees and arms are still sore from fighting the winds all day. I got to my B&B and this was a wonderful site, very colorful and lovely site. Nothing I had ever seen before, I got in my room and took a shower and off to find lunch, found a little place that was closing in 45 minutes and got me some lunch. When you get into these little towns there isn’t much and you are on their schedules. I ordered me some Chicken fried steak and it was very good.
Mar 29, Marathon – Sanderson… this was another good day did a 55 miler and felt pretty good. I was riding along the road and heard a very weird noise, I kind of scared me so I stopped my bike to see what it was, and it was 5 while hogs, they call them Javilina. Three of them ran off as soon as I stopped my bike on the side of the road and two others just got behind some bush. I waited for them to come out for me to get some pictures of them. I yelled at them “what are you going to come and get me?” I got chased by another dog, I am getting so tired of them. And I had some good down hills and it felt good for a change.
Mar 30, Sanderson – Del Rio… This was a very bad day, I had three seizures today, had my share of walking up hills. On my 3rd seizure, Betty and Joe this older couple in a winnebago pulled over to see if I was okay, I told Betty that I was having a seizure and it will pass soon. She asked me where I was heading to and I told her Comstock and she said that I was going to get in and they were going to take me to Del Rio, there were no medical facility in Comstock and in case I needed it Del Rio would have it. I told her I would be okay, and she said, “listen to your grandma!” I was able to see Nalha, Jason and the 2 Amigos.
Mar 31, Del Rio – Camp Wood… today started off a great day, I was going 31 miles to Brackettville however, when I got there the hotel had no openings so guess what, I ate lunch there and … yes you guessed it right… I got on my bike and peddled on to the next city which was Camp Wood another 33 miles away down this hilly, winds were against me, and once again back in the Texas Hill Country. I should have listen to Nalha and took her way. Mentally this is getting very challenging to me and hard being the only one out here on the road. It is days like this to where I find myself breaking down, crying and getting discouraged in myself and what I am doing.
Apr 1, Camp Wood – Vanderpool… Happy Easter… Wow, what to say about today. Today another bad day, total hills, curves, no shoulder, bad roads…. I am on what they call the “Three Twisted Sisters” on Hwy 337. This is no joke of a road in the heart of the Texas Hill country. I walked 4 hills, for a total of about 5 miles. I really don’t know how much more I have left in me. I cried, I yelled, I cursed, I wanted to just give up… but I keep on walking up. And I know I still have a long way to go until I finish, and I have every means of doing so. I got to my lodge for the evening, I walked in and had a meltdown, cried and went into the bathroom and there was a claw foot bathtub with lavender bath salts. I was in heaven for a moment, I filled it up with hot water and took a long hot bath. After this I had my Easter dinner, a ham sandwich and a dill pickle I brought from the gas station that morning. You learn to grab food in the morning for in the day you never know what you will find and luckily, I did for there was no place to eat there. I went to bed early and then there was a knock at my door, for I had no cell phone service and my family was concerned for no one had heard from me all day. It was the owner of the lodge checking to see if I go there, she called Martin to let him know I made it.
Apr 2, Vanderpool – Kerrville… Lori brought me breakfast in the morning, thank you it was wonderful, and the smoothie was the bomb… she then took me over the first 7 miles out for there was 2 massive hills that I would have just walked and then she let me out. The rest of the ride was rolling hills to Medina to Kerrville. She told me to eat at Camp Verde and have the meatloaf, which I did, and it was very good, I talked to my son there and had a lovely lunch.
Apr 3, Kerrville – Fredericksburg… this was a short day, it drizzled all day, I seen three armadillos however, they were all on the side of the road dead, also seen my 1st long horn steer. I was able to get my bike into the bike store to get fixed. My front breaks have been messed up since the Three Twisted Sister, and they replaced my chain. So, the bike is good to continue forward to St Augustine. I visited the National Museum of the Pacific War, this was a nice museum and if you are in town an must visit! Also, starting to see the blue bonnets and they are beautiful.
Apr 4, Fredericksburg – Johnson City… Great day, the wind God was on my side… yes behind me pushing me, and it felt good for a change. There were once again lots of rolling hills and about 68 degrees. Came across a sign when I got to Johnson City that said “Home of Lyndon B Johnson” didn’t know that one, just a little history. More and more blue bonnets.
Apr 5, Johnson City – Austin… Good weather day, tailwinds however, had to walk 2 hills hey this is the joy of them. Either you can do them or not… if you can’t the option is walking up them, the show much go on and you must continue. Getting into Austin was a bit nerve racking however, I am seeing this in most bigger cities. This was a great day, Sue the owner of McDonalds in my hometown donated $2,420 that brought me to my goal of $25,000. I want to thank you Sue for your generous donation and for letting me achieve my goal. I hear you also told my sister to bring me home from Austin… sorry I need to continue my journey.
Apr 6 – 9 Austin – Rest Days… my sister Rhonda and Tom are flying in from Illinois and my nieces Darriona and Daijonna and are coming in from Houston to visit me.
On the 9th Rhonda drove me to Silsbee to get me back on track. It was so nice to see family and meant so much to me to have her fly down to see me. Love you sis, and she tried her hardest to have me fly back… I must finish this to the end. Once I start I must finish. I know you understand. See you soon.
Apr 10, Silsbee – De Ridder LA…. It was a great ride, it is so nice to be on flat grounds… well all, I made it to Louisiana. I am right across the border and I found my “Welcome to Texas” sign so I had to go to the other side of the road to get a photo of this. Funny how I got the Welcome to Texas and Welcome to Louisiana with the river separation them both. When I came into Texas I was on the bike path and there was no sign, I was pretty upset however, very happy to find this one and capture the photo. I was chased by 3 dogs today, I am really starting to hate dogs with a passion these days.
Apr 11, De Ridder – Kinder…. It was a great ride once again, I stopped for a chocolate milk and ran into Nahla, my friend from the UK. I was so happy to see her again. When you make friends out here it is nice to see that they are still going and going strong. We rode the next 25 miles together and see continued to the next city for the night. She told me that the 3 amigos were only 1 now and that Carey was the only one left. I was sorry to hear this news. The scenery was pretty much the same as the rest of the days… still trying to find an armadillo all I am finding are ones hit by cars. Seen some crawfish fields which was neat looking how they flood the land and place traps.
Apr 12, Kinder – Opelousas…. This was another good day, wonderful shoulders the whole way. I never seen so much road kills though, I guess with the nice big shoulders they decided to use it also, mostly snakes and big ass frogs, I never seen them that big. Meet up with Carey and road into Opelousas together. I was chased by 2 dogs again today, not happy and used my horn on them, it seems to get them to back off. So, it is working so far.
Apr 13, Opelousas – Baton Rouge… Road with Carey today, it is nice to have a riding partner and someone to talk to on the road instead of myself. The shoulders went from bad to worse and to none. There was a huge bridge in Krutz Springs that we had to get a ride across, there was road construction and no shoulder. It was 2.3 miles long and too dangerous to cross, so this nice man at the gas station took us across. We got on our way and then we got to the Mississippi River and stopped at the gas station right before the bridge and was told it was illegal to cross on our bikes. Once again, no shoulder and there are cops watching the bridge. The lady at the gas station knew Tim with a pick up and he drove us over… I could see why it was closed to bikes… once we were on the other side he stopped and let us out. We then were on our way to Baton Rouge, we had to stay the night for major storms were on the way Sunday and really needed a rest day anyway.
Apr 14, Baton Rouge – Rest Day
Apr 15, Baton Rouge – Covington…. When I left Baton Rouge I was going to take the interstate 10 to interstate 12, since I had a good tailwind and I knew interstates had big shoulders, I seen a police officer and asked him if I could ride on the shoulder and he looked it up on his computer in his car and stated “yes, I don’t see anything that has that you cannot, you have a helmet, flashing light and over 12” your bike is considered a vehicle. So, I got on the Interstate 10, it was very harry at times for there were many off and on ramps however once I got onto 12 I knew they would be less and few. I was about 12 miles into my ride and I reached for my water bottle and the siren came on and scared the crap out of me, Yes, I was getting pulled over by the police. Officer Walker from the Baton Rouge Police Department pulled me over, someone called it in that there was a female cyclist on the Interstate. He told me it was illegal to ride my bike on the interstate… I told him I asked the police by my hotel and he told me I could. He said he was going to give me a ride off and we put my bags in his car, he then went to put my bike on his front rail, I was like how we are going to secure it…. He didn’t have anything…. Then he told me, ride it to the next exit (2 miles down) and I will follow you on your side with my lights flashing…. Thank you, Officer Walker! He was a very polite young man. After this I was back on Hwy 190, I was chased by a pack of 4 big dogs… not again.
Apr 16, Covington – Gulfport MS…. Yes, I made it to Mississippi, when I see the sign I shredded a few tears just like the other “Welcome” signs. Today was a good day, took the Tammany Trail, seen lots of rivers, bayou’s, started going over bridges (not liking them). Went past the NASA Stennis Space Center Buffer Zone which was cool. And was now on the Gulf and riding along the beaches. There was one bridge Bay Saint Louis Bridge was very long, 2.1 miles and high.
Apr 17, Gulfport – Bayau La Batre AL…. Yes, I said Alabama, today was a pretty ride along to gulf beach. Went across another big bride, the Biloxi Bay Bride, wow this one is 1.6 miles long and had one hell of a climb. Stopped at the Mississippi Vietnam Memorial which was very nice. Went across the Pascagoula Bridge which was twice as high as the Biloxi Bay Bridge.
Apr 18, Bayau La Batre – Gulf Shores… Went over another bridge… not liking these too much, this was the Dauphin Island Bridge, 3 miles long with a very nice climb on it. Took the ferry over to Fort Morgan. Was chased by 2 more dogs today and with the hot and humidity this was a short day with only 42. 7 miles.
Apr 19, Gulf Shores – Gulf Breeze FL… Oh yes, I passed that “Welcome to Florida” sign and I was teary eyed. I can’t believe I have seen all 8 Welcome to ----California State Line, Welcome to Arizona, Welcome to New Mexico, Welcome to Texas, Welcome to Mississippi, Welcome to Louisiana, Welcome to Alabama, Welcome to Florida… I fricken made it. I biked across 7 states and I have 1 more to get through. Today was a good day, I went over 3 more bridges
Apr 20, Gulf Breeze to Miramar Beach… Went over 4 more bridges, and 2 of these didn’t have any shoulders, it was a bit scary and I know the cars were not liking it for I wasn’t going any faster then 4.8 mph going up on the climb. Sorry for this however, you really should put a shoulder on the bridge. Had a good head wind today which is not uncommon this whole trip I have had a head or side wind. I am getting closer and closer to end of my journey.
Apr 21, Miramar Beach – Panama City… I decided to take another scenic route on Hwy 30A and go along the coast and see the white sand, lily ponds, and rich homes on the lake front. Ran into 8 miles of road construction… what a nightmare. Went across the Hathaway Bridge which is a 6-mile bridge, how fun it was, just when you thought you were off the bridge it curved and started again. However, I liked this one for there was no big climb in it. Made it to Panama City and there was a nail place right next to my hotel… Mani and Pedi time (nice to pamper myself) after 48 days on the road, However, I can’t wait to get home and see Diana.
Apr 21, Panama City… Rest Day – Storms coming in today
Cross Country Cycle 4 Vets
I grew up in New Lenox, IL, went to Providence and after school I joined the U.S. Navy, and served for 4 years. After bootcamp in Orlando, FL my first duty station was Yokosuka, Japan aboard the USS Kittanning. I also served at Coronado, CA, working with the Navy Seal Team. I was then a Navy spouse for 15 years.
I also come from a very long line of military veterans. Just to mention a few, a 4th great-grandfather in the Revolutionary War, a 2nd great-grandfather in the Civil War, an uncle in WWII at Imo Jima, an uncle shot down over France during WWII only to be MIA in the Korean War, and my father being in the Navy on the USS Courtney.
Now for my next chapter in my life, I will be cycling across the United States with Martin. We started biking a few years ago in which we will be making this journey together and will face many challenges while riding across from San Diego CA, to St Augustine, FL. Mostly that big mountain range getting out of CA.
Although I’m no longer in uniform, I still want to express my support for my fellow veterans and 1st Responders. I feel that once you have served in uniform, you are always in uniform. You take that oath for life. I would do it all over again if I had too with no hesitation.
A big “thank you” to the Navy for letting us start our journey aboard the Midway, since my Navy journey started waking up next to you in Japan when I was stationed on the USS Kittanning. We will start with a few tunes by the Navy Southwest Ceremonial Band and then be guided through the streets of San Diego by the San Diego Police Historical Association to Ocean Beach Park to dip our tires in the Pacific Ocean, and then off we go on the start of our journey to Florida. As we arrive in St Augustine, we will be guided in by the AmVets Freedom Riders to end our journey by dipping our tires in the Atlantic at St Augustine Beach on May 3rd.
On March 2nd, 2018, Martin and I will begin our Cross Country Cycle 4 Vets journey. The trip will take us over 3142 of our great country, from San Diego, CA to St Augustine, FL. All money raised goes to support my fellow veterans and 1st Responders through the Gary Sinise Foundation. We will be starting our journey from the flight deck of the U.S.S. Midway. This ship has special memories of my Navy days in Yokosuka, Japan
Martin and I felt we needed to do something to support our veterans. We wanted to find any way to help them with the challenges that some undoubtedly face today. This is our way of shining a light, and letting them know that they are appreciated for all they do for us… for their sacrifices and unwavering commitment to our Nation.
We would like to thank all our sponsors, endorsements, and everyone that has donated to Cross Country Cycle 4 Vets in support of the Gary Sinise Foundation. Let’s keep those donations coming so we can exceed our goal of $25,000.
Donations can be made on our website: CrossCountryCycle4Vets
Follow us on Facebook / Instagram: crosscountrycycle4vets
Journey from San Diego CA to St Augustine FL