Friday, April 9, 2021

Bill is Ready to Ride


Before heading out of the city, he had to see the famous Gum Wall of Pike Place Market, where everyone - or millions of everyones - have placed their used gum in the alleyway. Did someone at any point say, disgusting? 

The journey so far has been eventful. Bill wrote in the first days on the train from Los Angeles to Seattle...

Apr 6, Tues - having coffee in observation car - gorgeous view with Mount Shasta while at the same time saw the only mile marker ‘333’ signifying the presence of the masters. The Pleiadian beings, thought to live inside the mountain in the 4th &5th dimensions, show me I am here as scheduled!!!  That and the babbling brook running alongside the train create quite the view at this moment!!!  Synchronicity abounds.    

Earlier, at the Pismo beach stop, a large farming water hauling truck hit our train - knocked the front end off the truck and busted the radiator - lost all its engine water.  The train inspectors had to come out, inspect the tracks and make sure they were okay. The local sheriff and other authorities were all involved.  We stopped for over an hour.
Then, I met a guy seating behind me on the train, who indicated he had an issue with his train ticket schedule - something about where he goes after Seattle.  Dias, was his name. I saw that he was discussing this with several other people on the train. And as I sat there listening, I had this vivid thought that this guy was going to need a place to sleep tonite as we get into Seattle at 8:30pm.  I told him I have a room already reserved and could offer him to join me.  He helped me get my bike stuff to my room (which I'd had to dismantle in Abq) and we were able to switch to a 2-Queen bedroom, rather than my one King so he could stay for 2 days and get his situation resolved.

He is a religious guy, the Lord instructs him every day, but 

somehow he ended up on this detour - via him wanting

to go Jerusalem!  We had some interesting chats on how

each of us found Jesus in our lives.  Alcohol was my

 experience to find spirituality after 20+ years of drinking.  

His was 10 gunshot wounds in his body!  I guess that 

would get my attention also.  He left this AM with a backpack 

- on foot - heading east - he trusts in the Lord to get him 

somewhere, sometime!!!!

……………..and the beat goes on…………

Yesterday determined my STUFF was way too much and heavy, I sent a 

large USPS box home.  Reality is setting in what is reasonable to carry along & what is too much.  Downsizing to a manageable level, I'll try this out for a few days as I'll be in Seattle.  Day 3 coming up now.  


April 8th 

Moved to the Green Tortoise Hostel @ 2pm today, bottom bunk with the window

open, sunny.  Have a young couple as roomies from Bolivia - both have

master's degrees - 26 & 32 years old - and traveling around the world, kinda. 

They work at the hostel so get free rent.  I get free breakfast in am - coffee available 24/7. 

Had lunch @ pike’s fish market - Athenian - seafood omelet with salmon, cod,

shrimp - yummmooo!!, had to ask for hot sauce though used to it now from NM. 


My room at the Hostel is upstairs, up a long flight of stairs, somebody had to

carry my bike up.  Not going to take it down again till I leave, won’t be traveling

much now here.  This is so miraculous how the kinda people I’m running into. 

Got another day yet tomorrow.  

April 9th 

Last evening in the hostel, my roomies, Barbra & Diego had to take their turn

to make the evening meal for the staff.  Brought me some leftover pizza and

a muffin.  Perks for having awesome roommates.  This hostel is in excellent

condition, clean & well run.  Free breakfast in the am - cereal & bagel - if you

want you can make some eggs yourself.  Took a long walk today to find my

route onto the trails in am - plus, I got some coaching from Kimberly to get

my shit together with the maps she made for me.  My initial idea 3 years ago

was to just get a map and follow it.  But her insight saw it was a lot more

involved & completed.  I need a good navigator for my ventures, thank god!!

So yes, talking to him tonight I could hear that he's ready to move on. Bill has had enough rest in the busy-ness of city life and is ready to have someone help him carry his bike back down 3 flights of stairs to begin his journey for real tomorrow, his first real biking day, where he'll skirt the city along the bay for 8 miles up to a nice Airbnb off of the Burke-Gilman Trail for one night before he'll take the next leg of it the 13 miles North along Lake Washington to Bothell. Safe journey, my love. Thank you all for sending love and great energy his way.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Final Prep

 Last day. Bill and I are quietly enjoying the time together. We packed the bike this morning. I'm pretty impressed wih how it all fit, with a bit of room to spare in most bags. 

I made him ginger cookies. His request for the train.

We'll be heading out before noon tomorrow, Easter Sunday, and stopping for a nice lunch before he catches the train from Albuqurque to Los Angeles overnight and then Los Angeles to Seattle for another 10 hours.

I think we're both a bit spacey now that the time has finally come. Everything has gone so smoothly. Friends have helped in so many ways. The generosity has been very heartwarming. He can leave knowing the love of a whole village comes with him.

After spending three days this week following the trail online and posting more than two hundred links to trails and google maps to our shared Google Doc, to guide his days, I finally awoke this morning with excitement for him instead of free floating anxiety. 

I will be so blessed too and enjoying a bit of fun myself Sunday. After I drop him at the station, I'm going to a Frida exhibit at the Albuquerque museum. An event I've been looking forward to for almost a year. Then I'll stay overnight and do some shopping before picking up flour from the mill Monday on the way home. To a strangly empty home.

And the adventure begins.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Setting up the tent


It is the 9th of March, 26 days til he leaves. A bright green tent is set up in our small living room. In it are a blown-up mat, a red North Face sleeping bag and a compact light hangs from the hook dangling from its ceiling. Bill has left for the gym. When he returns we will reverse pack together. He has never set up a tent in his 79-year life, until today. He had a nudge from Spirit to set it up with me, just in case. He’d planned to leave it in its wrappings and come home with it still pristinely folded, unused. Apparently. His Higher Power tells him things in the middle of the night. I guess, put up the tent, was last night’s message.

It is all the most very lightweight stuff you can imagine. A 3-pound tent, an even lighter sleeping bag and roll, A bright red rain jacket that our son-in-law Nick showed us rolls up into a pocket. We’ve been gathering. Bill always thinking it will be too much. He will use the backpack we took on our month-long train trip to Canada thirteen years ago, a rare old thing that still looks in perfect condition. A new pannier set that straddles the back tire and holds waterproofed valuables, two insulated side packs that look like lunch boxes and will be lunch boxes and anything boxes, A beautiful North Face pullover I found on heavy discount at the men’s department in Dillard’s. A splurge he wouldn’t have let me make had he been there. Since I bought it, he rarely takes it off and may never take off the whole time he’s gone. It will be summer, so maybe during the day.

He got his second vaccine this afternoon. So that’s done. Check.

He says every so often, I’m ready to go now.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Bill is in the paper.

Thanks to Bill's friend, Judith Ross, manager of our local gym - aptly named House of Pain - there is an article about Bill in our local newspaper, the Sierra County Sentinal. A whole page. The article is wonderfully written and it is my understanding the Sentinel would now, after seeing her talent, hire Judith to write articles for them anytime she'd like. She has brought Bill to 'the Spotlight' of local fame.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

The Map


In the map above, the path presents itself a bit too tiny for words but gives the country a sweeping view of what 4200 miles looks like. 

Bill and I spent the good part of the other day pouring over the maps. Maps of every variety. Paper and interactive mostly. In the interactive map, found here, we zoomed way in to walk ourselves over what turned out to be about the 1st 800 miles, laboriously - yet excitedly - highlighting the paper maps of Washington state, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and stopping at Nebraska as we ran out state maps. Without the GPS of a smartphone (don't even try folks, he refuses) the comfort of a paper map, cut into odd pieces that will get trashed as he goes, feels best to us both. And the fact that the trails are not all completed made following connecting routes on a map a bit more serious.

When Bill lands in Seattle he'll be going west to La Push, who knew it was still 150 miles west to the ocean? Well, we did, but now we're even more knowledgeable. And then the trails zigzagging through the city of Seattle look epic. If you love to bike, it looks like this is your town. I was getting quite jealous until he left the city and it looked like soon the terrain would become mountainous. 

After we were done, I felt kind of exhausted but Bill was elated, and even with him being a bit overwhelmed, he seemed more ready than ever.

My first impulse is to plan every mile for him but he has specifically relieved me of that, insisting that there is always someone to ask and it will work out. And of course, he's right.

Today we go to get his 1st vaccination. So off we go. 

Thank you all for caring about him.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Thank you Morningstar Outfitters!

Bill's bike is in the shop here in town. Morning Star Outfitters, which has recently begun selling and servicing bicycles, so check them out if you want to get your bike back in shape.

Contact them here.

They rent them as well. I nice tourist town perk to tell our guests.

And nice ones too, like this sweet Cannondale...

So on hearing about the new bike section down there, Bill began wondering if they’d be willing to sponsor him in any way and went down to ask them. He talked to Jasper, and after giving it some consideration, they were very generous and offered a nice credit towards servicing and a discount for any purchases towards the trip also. Quite a nice help as he still needed a tune-up and some brake work.

My daughter June went down with Bill to take some pictures so we could let everyone know about their generosity. Here's the bike technician, Will, in the repair area.

We're so grateful, Morningstar. Your kindness is felt.

Soon Bill will happily have his bike back and will be back out on the road.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

How the dream began

   My husband Bill has always been brave, much braver than I. So when I asked him what might still be on his bucket list, as I did a year ago, I should have known to be ready for anything.

    The discussion began something like, "So Bill, I've been traveling so much the last four years, I was just wondering, if you could do anything, anything in the world, what would it be?" 

To which he responded, "Well, I'm turning 80 in a couple of years, I think I'd like to take that new Rails-to-Trails path and bike across the country... when I'm 80." I'd be lying if I said my eyebrows didn't rise a little, but only briefly. The conversation that followed was the seeds of this journey. We would save up what we could so there was a small purse of gold. As CFO, that part was my job. An arbitrary amount of $8000 was thrown out there. CFO goal, check.

[For any additional funds we can muster through sponsorship or if you'd like to help, we're creating a GoFundMe page. I'll link to it when it's up. Thank you already, friends from the gym!]

So earlier this winter, while considering our financial picture and Bill's astrological outlook for 2021 (which by the way, looked pretty good considering the insane world stage), I was happy to report that if he would prefer, we could move ahead with plans a year early. As you can imagine, the prospect was well received.

As of today, Bill's 79th birthday, he has written this post on Facebook: 

"Being 79 years today; having 39 years sobriety - serenity this year allows me to reach into my bucket list defining my goals for this year 2021. April 4, 2021 I will take a train to Washington state to start my journey on my bicycle and head east to Washington DC - a trek of 4200 miles. This venture is opened ended for me as it will be a "calling" for my spiritual/metaphysical development. I will encounter experiences & people & events that will define my remaining years on GAIA. Attaining higher consciousness at a level that my spirit/soul attributes to me for this lifetime. Kimberly is establishing a blog & a go-fund-me page later. Your light & light extended out for me over the months is deeply appreciated. Namaste...Bill"

These, our dear friends and family, are the parameters:

1. Train for Seattle, Washington leaves Albuquerque April 4th, 2021

2. Rails-to-Trails path is from Le Push, Washington to Washington, DC. Though the trail is not fully completed, it will be easy enough for him to find the next length without too much trouble. He has the phone number for the Rails to Trails map guy. The map is here

3. It takes as long as it takes. The journey is the focus. No time constraints or have-to-be-here-by-a-certain-time issues. I'm the planner in the family and in order to have true spontaneity, he is leaving me home. Thank God. This leads to the next parameter... 

4. Not having to answer to anyone. How often in our lives do we get to travel without having to plan with others? I only get called in as back up. Fine with me, as I will have similar freedom at home.

5. Lodging - Not being a camper makes for an interesting challenge on a trip this long. Accessing cheap youth-filled hostels, asking if anyone might have a room in town, pulling into ancient and questionably sanitary motel/hotels, or even sleeping with hobos next to old train tracks is not only allowed but (oddly) looked forward to. So there's that. His delight of sharing this left me a bit pale, more precisely ashen with horror, until I remembered I wouldn't be there, at which point I cheered up. Bill loves to talk to complete strangers and wheel and deal. He'll be fine.

6. "Kimberly," he says," this could take 6 months, maybe a year." To which I said that the money would run out at some point and was he willing to come home then? he seemed fine with that. After running around some calculations, we think it'll probably be more like 3-6 months, but who knows? He promises to be gentle with himself, taking time off the trail as needed. We're pretty laid back on the end game approach to this, so it's open-ended. I know he hates the snow so I don't really worry about no end in sight. Snow will fall eventually. 

7. We are simultaneously starting a Gofundme page I will link here, as sleeping with hobos may lose some of its appeal upon the actual first blush. Knowing Bill, a warm bed and a hot meal is preferred.

8. Ultimately, Bill feels like he's being called to this experience. Outside of his post this morning, perhaps his good friend, David Webster said it best, "An example to us all. Makes Turtleback look like a walk in the park. You will meet amazing people, see amazing sights, and find out more about yourself than in your previous 79 years. What an adventure." 

So there it is... You're left with my quirky writing and little else. Don't expect much from Bill, who is making no commitments to anyone but is trusting me to not let you down.

I will keep you all posted on his progress here, on this blog, where I will piece together his story from the bits and pieces he sends me along the way. Since he won't be leaving for a few months, this is just his letting everyone know birthday announcement. 

He has felt so much love and support today from so many people, he said he was verklempt. I think that's a fitting place to end for now. Thanks for being such great friends.

Bill is Ready to Ride

  Before heading out of the city, he had to see the famous Gum Wall of Pike Place Market, where everyone - or millions of everyones - have p...