Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tues. March 31st average frank makes Nashville

My lord, it's been a long ride. Before I left Clarksville I met Mr. & Mrs. Miller, they lost a loved one as a result of the war on terrorism; his name is Ben Miller, MI. As promised he is part of average frank's memorial wall and until my last breath will go where I go. Wes and Keith at Artistic Ink took me in and worked their magic on my wall; they added Ben's name to a great memorial of American KIA. Thank you guys,(Wes & Keith).
When I got into Nashville my friend Chris(Fairfield, Mariott Joplin, MO. contacted Leo, Fairfield, Mariott, Nashville, TN. to hook average frank up with a decent place to lay his head), good deal you guys! Roy at Mariott in Nashville was awesome; he took great care of business for me and I am greatful!
The lord worked his magic Tues. through Gordon and Robbie at the Grand Ole Opry House. They made it possible for me to make a connection to Daryl Worlely. Daryl spent a copious amount of time with Diane and I. Daryl is an awesome patriot and shows much love for our troops; so does Becky Pine( military wife). I was so honored to be amongst such good folks. If we are listening closely we will hear the will of God and respond accordingly; there is iron in the will of the great I Am; it is he who commands our meeting through or according to our means, to facilitate a greater cause. Through Aaron & Thea Tippin, and Charlie Daniels, many things have been accomplished by an average dad who never in his humble life thought these things were possible a year or so ago; it can only be the will of Jesus and those who truely believe that these deeds are done; however, much work is needed.
In closing tonight, the Deans of Dallas have captured my heart and my profound commitment. More about that is forth-coming in a song.
Average Frank, humble servant!

Days 13,14,and 15 Riding Hard Through Turmoil

The next few days can be summed up as ridiculous. As I make my way accross the eastern half of Missouri the weather has been brutal. The rain, snow, side-ways wind, and the mud and muck has put the hurt on old average frank. One night the wind came in at about 50 miles an hour; it shook the crap out of my tent and tore a couple small holes in it. I was lucky to get through that night in one piece. This sort of weather is FUBAR and makes it awefully tough on this old man, (sure do love you Ben, and troops);or maybe I have a screw loose (smile).
The sun finally came out on Sunday and Monday which gave me the chance to really step it up a knotch toward my destination, i.e. Nashville, TN. I got through the few miles of Illinios,through Paduca, KY. and into Clarksville, TN. Yea, I made it to Tennessee, I am so stoked to be in the great state of TN. Since I first met Aaron Tippin in TN. I have fallen in love with the state and people on TN. On Tuesday I will ride my happy butt into Nashville. I chose to finish in Nashville because you would be hard pressed to find better support for for our troops any where else. TN,TX,NC,KY,and SC are great American states (keep in mind I have not been to all 50 states yet), but I have been impressed by the folks in the South, including AZ.
My goal in Nashville is to meet and encourage the Country western singers to help in some way to support the Sportsmens Legacy Foundation of which I am the Ambassador of Good Will; the country folks are the grass-root people who love and support,with great pride, our country and the men and women who defend her; I am also one of those patiots; I rode my bicycle to Nashville to to earn the right to ask for your support. Thank God for Tennessee and thank you to Tennessee. Average Frank

PWWE=Pray It-Will It-Want It-Earn It-PWWE

Day 12 Out Of Springfield

. Great weather and felt awesome. Good to be pedaling toward Nashville again. Knocked out about 68 miles before meeting John at McDonalds. He had a lap-top and let me check my email. I had missed a call from my son Ben, in Iraq earlier (bummer), I hate missing my rare phone calls from him but he left me an email. He said he was good and all was well! I must thank John for the computer time. I rode another 12 miles to Subway for food and drink. I had some issues withmy bank account that crippled my progress. I had to call my new friend and Bro Kyle Hicks. What a cool guy he turned out to be. We have so much in common! Kyle is an avid outdoorsman with some great kills (white-tailed deer).I look foward to working and hunting on his farm in MO. Thanks to Kyle and family I was well taken care of, and fed, good stuff!
I also met John Walker at Subway, I enjoyed talking with him. The folks at Subway allowed me to charge my phone which was nice of them.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 11 Rained out in Springfield

An uneventful day cause of crappy weather. Started out and the wind was worse than yesterday! 50-70 mile winds in the area with severe thunderstorms came at about noon. Good thing I turned back . Lois at DAYS INN gave me a half price room to keep me out of the elements. Cleared up by sunset. Hit the road @ the crack of Dawn . Best thing about today was John Rich on Hannity. Good for you John, you said it right !

Day 10 Into Springfield, Mo . Yee-Ha We're There !

After battling 40 mile an hour winds i finally made Springfield , Mo . In all my miles I have never 6 -7 days of constant wind . No matter how strong of a rider you are the wind really gets to you . I am so sick of the wind . I made it to Bass Pro and talked to the folks there. The corp. folks were cool . I did an ABC News interview that went well , I guess . It's all about the SPORTS MENS LEGACY ! Dallas from KSPR was great . I did the interview @ Bass Pro because I believe the Legacy & Bass Pro go hand in hand. I live what they sell and could be a wonderful spokes- person for outdoor adventure and gear testing. I hope they respond with some sort of endorsement or sponsership on behalf the SLF.

Day 9 out of Joplin Area , finally !

75 miles to Springfield and a few more to BASS PRO SHOP . I got a break from the rain but the wind was still strong I felt great and rode hard for 55 miles, off the side of I-44 I spotted a cool little pond and a good place to set up camp. Slept good but no fish in the pond ; looks like another MRE dinner . I want to thank my daughter, Alysia , For calling me every day . She really makes my day. I also want to thank my wife for always being there for me . She helps me get thought the toughest days and I sure miss her .

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 9 Hold up at the Marriot

Day 8 is un-eventful due to the rainy weather, 3 to 5 inches still forecasted for the area.I would love to get out and ride because being couped up is hard on my ADHD(smile)! Springfield is looming but somewhat illusive; but I'll get there or my name ain't average frank. Today I will get caught up on paperwork
Rain or shine I'll head out Sunday morning and ride the best that I can.
I want to encourage folks to donate your pennies to the Sportsmens Legacy Foundation, these miles are very tough so please help make them count. I also encourage people I meet to comment on my blog; it would be nice to hear some fair and balanced input from you all.
I waited for fox news yesterday but no call; I guess they were short on reporters, maybe next time!
At the Marriot is Rhonda, she works there and is swiftly becoming a friend. She has a good heart and has been willing to help average frank where she can. She drove me to walmart to get some rain pants. It is, as I have said, people like her that help fuel my positive attitude when days are tough. She is among many who have made me feel that my efforts are valuable. I wish to thank you Rhonda, thank, thank you Rhonda; isn't there a song like that(smile)!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 8 Out of Joplin, But Not Very Far

Many that know me know how much I hate backtracking. Bad weather is once again bearing down on me; maybe an inch and a half to three inches of rain here-abouts. I've rode through the rain before but the frigid wind is what gets you. It slows you down to a mere crawl and it takes a grueling effort to push through it.
That being said, I elected to turn back a few miles and stay on the eastern outskirts of town close to I-44 so that as weather breaks, I can get back at it; I'll be a day or two behind but I will live to ride another day. So shall it be said; so shall it be done!
At Long john silvers I met Brian, a fellow christian, we talked a while and and I enjoyed his company; he too, was on a bicycle. Maybe we'll do a ride together some day! he let me listen to some good christian music on his i-pod, very cool. Thanks buddy!
I stopped at La Quinta to get a room and met Chandra Rose (manager), she would of gladly givin me a place to rest tonight but they were out of comp rooms. However, I do appreciate her effort and she was very nice.
Micheal, the maintenence guy heard me and referred me to Chris Beyer, manager at the Fairfield Marriot accross the street. Chris stepped up for "Average Frank" in a really big way. He hooked me up with a nice warm and comfortable place to lay me weary head; out of the rain! My hat is off to you guys and I thank you so much. If your ever in Joplin and need a place, I recommend the Marriot or the La Quinta off I-44 at exit # 8, you can't go wrong with either!
Finally, I talked to Stephanie Marsh at Fox News hoping they would have someone to do my story. She was a breath of fresh air and helped me change a few words on my blog. I was still a little upset about almost being run over and worded some of my blog with malice, I'm sorry!
Thanks for reminding me of the important things today; we all need that from time to time; I'm still a work in progress and my mission is made clear on occassion through ways and folks I don't always expect. God is with us all....... Hey Ben!
PWWE=Pray It- Will It-Want It- Earn It=PWWE

Day 7 Long Uphills & Heavy Winds to Joplin, MO.

After eating breakfest I got on the road to Joplin. I suffered some, and made really bad time but I kept with it. I had a very long uphill battle into a constant 20 mile an hour wind. A 20 mph wind may not seem like much, but try it in the cold, on a bike, loaded with 55 lbs. of gear; very tough work. I got into joplin,MO., Wished I was not so overworked from the difficult elements of a long road trip because joplin was a little hard on me at first. I almost got ran over by some cat that saw me but turned in front of me anyways; not a very nice guy; say a prayer for him! The Police didn't do too much to help but that's life. All we can do is say a prayer for people like that and then push foward so as to put people like that behind us. Maybe I looked like a bum to those cats but you should of seen the bird-brain who tried to run me over then pulled a shovel on me and threatened my life with it. Since I started riding my bike I have been robbed, run over, weathered, shot gunned, and insulted by law dogs; yet I ride in my sons name while he is at war defending the freedoms of a great nation, including the ones that are not so nice. It is a bit troubling but the jerks I have encountered along the way have only made me stronger and more resolve, I guess I should say thanks!
Ben, I hope all is well with you and I sure do love ya and miss ya! God is with us all--
PWWE=Pray It- Will It- Want It-Earn It=PWWE

I took a wrong road that lead me about 12 miles of course on day 7 and had to back track; 24 miles for nothing, in a sense!
Really bad weather with up to 3 inches of rain is about 20 hours behind me today but headed my way; my luck it'll be a rough couple days, joyful, joyful!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 6 Miami To Beyond Baxter Springs

Up from Miami was fairly easy riding. I rode through Baxter and was going over a bridge when I spotted fish jumping out of the water below, it was 4:oo pm. I stopped there and decided to set up camp. Got my fishing pole out and commenced to scaring up some dinner; caught me about a 14 inch catfish and a small crappie. They were damn good eating after being cooked on an open flame.
While fishing I fell half way into the water; Kansas mud in awefully slick. The fire I built helped dry and warm me; I was good to go! I didn't put my rain fly on early and about 3:oo in the morning it rained on me. I got a little wet but got up and installed my rain fly; no worries after that.
After packing my camp I pulled into a small but great bakery and cafe; named Souper Sweet, the eggs were perfect the service was wonderful. If you're ever passing through Baxter Springs, Kansas I highly recommend stopping there
Eggs are ett, now it,s off to Joplin,MO. and beyond

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Up From Vinita, OK. to Miami, OK day 5

. I got a late start out of Vinita because my lap top didn't take a charge; it seems the plug at the motel was no good. Rode a pretty tough head wind late in the day. I'm a little sore today. Got into Miami, ate, then went to radio shack to check my lap-top battery. While there I met Adam, he works there, they let me plug in for a while. Adam told me about someone he cared about that was lost in war; his name will become part of my memorial wall. Thanks Adam from radio shack!
Then I went down to the church that Adam sent me to for some more power and I met Pastor Gary, who welcomed me openly. It turns out that Gary is a Purple Heart from Vietnam; Welcome home my friend. It was an honor to meet you Sir! Being a Christian, Gary gave me power, a shower, and a great prayer. He told me I could camp-out next to the church, then he ran a power cord out of the front door of the chuch in case I needed power during the night. Thank you brother!
Outside the church I met A couple Police Officers; Americas' finest, I assure you! David Dean was a Marine and did time in the sandbox. He lost a friend or two there; he gave me the name of one of those mates for my memorial wall. The names will be revealed very soon. IT was so good to meet you guys; you just never know where you're gonna meet your next good friend. I ride for all you guys!
One of the best elements that keeps me motivated to stay the course and embrace the hardship is the fact that I get to meet Americans like the ones I met today; it was a great day to ride. Tomorrow I will ride in honor of Adam and David's fallen brother. Thanks for sharing!

PWWE= Pray It-Will It-Want It-Earn It=PWWE

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day 4, Mon. March 16th. Broken Arrow to Vinita, OK.

Came up to Broken Arrow with Loudog last night and started the day there. With another Walmart delay I was finally on my way. I want to say thanks to Lou real quick!
I rode a little over 60 miles today after a two day break. The ride was un-eventful and I want to talk about other things.
I am dedicating todays ride to my boy Ben and to the Deans of Dallas. I thought about you guys alot today and this is personal. I believe that on a civlian level I have a unique perspective on freedom; when one sees America at ten miles an hour one recieves an education in the cities of our nation, you learn what it means and what it costs to be free. Dean Jr. is a pilot in the Navy and Ben is a sailor. When the Statue of Liberty started shaking her fist Guys like Ben, Dean, JW, Leroy, Matt, Tyler, Josh, and countful others stepped up to get'er done. They put their lives in harms way for all; and they never ask why, what for; they know why they're there, end of story!
Thank you will never be enough and I love you ALL. You complete me! I watched Dean Sr. from across the table at dinner the other night and as he watched his son speak with us, I could not only see his profound pride and love for his boy, but I could feel it; its' energy if you will. I understand that with all of my heart; I feel ya Dean. We have raised some good ones buddy!
Ben arrived in Iraq today and starts another tour of duty; tough days and some inevitable worry will consume part of me but I choose to do something positive with that burden. I do what I do because of you and I wouldn't have it any other way. I am honored!
So, today was for you guys and I'll get back to SLF business tommorow. God is with us all!

PWWE= Pray It--Will It--Want It--Earn It=PWWE

I Finally Meet the Deans of Dallas

I met Both Deans and family on Sat. the 14th at Gloria's Resturaunt. We all sat down for a great dinner; Diane and Loudog were with me. It was awesome to meet the Deans; I really think we have something here. We must really be blessed! They are all I hoped for and are strong Christians.
The Deans' booked Diane and I a room at the Westin Resort Hotel in Frisco,TX. What a wonderful place, but it ain't me, it ain't Payne,(kidding), it is such a luxurious hotel and customer service was too much. We met Jeff Jones and his girl Heather there and really enjoyed their company. The next day I thanked the Deans' and then asked them," once you get into a Westin bed, how do you get out"?, the bed was so comfortable. Thanks you guys!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Papalitos, Good Dinner, Great Service

LouDog took me to dinner at Papalitos in Arlington, TX. I had the rock lobster and chicken fahitas. The food was good, bathrooms were clean, and the service was excellent. Our server's name was James, this kid was worth something! All too often we ignore to give credit where credit is do; I don't want to live that way! I am glad for my visit to Papalitos and would recommend eating there; ask for James!

Day 3, Waco up to Ft. Worth/Dallas

Oh man, what a wet and miserable day. Sixty miles of solid rain; half way I was looking for an industrial clothes dryer to throw myself into and hitting high-heat, but I was worried about not being able to get out. It was one of those days where you ask yourself," what the heck am I doing out here"? Then I made Ft. Worth where my nephew LouDog picked me up and took me home to his house. I don't get to see him much but I was exceptionally happy to see him today; he's got a clothes dryer at his house!!! I was thinking how tough today was when the Glenn Beck show came on; it's no secret that I dig Glenn, but today was his best show yet because I was not feeling it at the end of a rough day; I'm better now. It was the perfect medicine for a day like today and renewed my vigor to carry on and stay the course in the name of my son Ben and all of our troops. I would like to thank Glenn Beck for his message to us; it really can make a difference at the end of the day. He had Marcus Latrell and Mr. Stubie on today, both WIA, thanks guys for your gift of freedom. I met Marcus on Dec.4th,2009 and had a beer or two with him. Today is gonna be good after all. See, never lose your faith!!!
By the way, it's Fri. the 13th and I should be meeting up with the Deans of Dallas.

Day Two, Up to Waco,TX

From Temple to Waco and the motel 6. But 1st I have to visit the Outback Steak House; I'm hungry. Thanks Juan/Tony. Again, an outbacker stepped up with a promise of support for our cause; congrats Outback, you have just joined the concept that is" average frank". I am just the voice of the idea and the loon that pedals for God, Country, and Family.
I hit spotty rain and cold weather today with some pretty stiff wind in my face; piece of cake, right?. Diane caught up with me for our last night together before I ride on to Nashville. Got to Waco a little late but OK. Hope to meet up with the Deans' in Dallas!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

1st miles and the Legacy

Today I put in my 1st miles for the Sportsmens Legacy Foundation and my new friends Dean Castillo jr. and Dean sr. I am officially the "Ambassador of Good Will" for the Legacy, a non- profit organization dedicated to the children of fallen servicemen and women including Fire Fighters, Police Officers, and fallen American Heroes from the Afghan/Iraq wars. The Sportsmens Legacy focuses on providing quality outdoor experiences for children who have lost a parent due to service to our great country including hunting, hiking, fishing, and camping, creating a whole new generation of outdoor advocates. I am so excited and honored that they have snagged me up. The great outdoors and kids have been my whole life; it's a no-brainer. The outdoors has a way of connecting people with the Creator and helping one stay grounded. It can also help children learn life skills and what it means to be the custodians of Gods creations (nature). My kids have enjoyed the benefits of the outdoors and have grown to be awesome advocates and well rounded adults. My past outdoor experience is one of the attributes that allows me to be comfortable in any scenerio while I'm riding accross America; without that I could not endeavor to percervere. I can't say enough about the graces of the Sportsmens Legacy and the difference we can all make for Americas' children; it's a match made in Heaven!
I also got to meet Scott and Patric from the Outback Steakhouses in San Marcos and Austin, they stepped up with a meal and a donation to the Legacy. Hats off to you blooming outbackers; you guys are setting the mark that Wes Raye and I formulated and I seriously appreciate your gesture on behalf of our war wounded and their kids; God Bless! Outbacker Tony in Waco will be my next Aussie stop, then it on to Dallas. Happy Trails! Thanks guys!!!
Aaron Tippin has also helped me along the way by sponsering some of my journey. Aaron is one of the most amazing men I have ever met and I have grown fond of our friendship; Thanks Aaron!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Austin,TX. to Nashville,TN., Plus 5 States 750 mi.

Well, tomorrow the looney known as Average Frank embarks on another long bicycle ride for our troops. I'll cover some distance in seven different states. I'm starting in Austin, TX. and will ride up through Dallas and the Red River Valley. Continuing on up from Broken Arrow, OK to Joplin and Springfield, MO. From there I will head east through the southern point of Illinios, the west point of Kentucky, then to Ft. Campbell/Clarksville, TN., and on down to Nashville, where I hope to meet up with a couple of my Country Western Music friends. Riding a bicycle alone accross hundreds & hundreds of miles gets quite difficult; it has its hardships, to say the least. My son will once again be at war in Iraq and his Dad will be on a bicycle, on the highways of America to raise money for our wounded and KIA families. At the end of the day that is what is all about; raising money! I hope that every mile I pedal we can get closer to my goal of 10,000$, or just one dollar. If we all give a little, we can gain a lot of ground; please help my miles count. I'd ride 5000 more miles if need be, I probably will (smile)!
If you are inclined to now, click on my donate button,,,,,,,,,,Thank you!
Average Frank

Outback, Outbackers, and Outback Steakhouse

Me being the outback because of all the time I've spent outdoors on my bicycle. The Outbackers are the folks that work at Outback, starting with Wes Raye (proprietor) of the Outback Steakhouse at the forum mall in San Antonio. Wes is the first in line to step up and support my hard work on behalf of our troops. He has been amazing and if he is the standard at Outback, then I'm in! He has encouraged me to stay the course and bug the crap out of the other good people at Outback on the basis that if we all do a little we can gain alot of ground; besides, the Outback is a class act that I would be honored to be associated with. Jeff in San Marcos, Scott in Austin, and Tony in Waco, I look foward to meeting you guys and hope we can make a difference together before I reach Dallas. Finally, The Outback Steakhouse is a great place to eat and they support a plethera of good causes. My hats off to you blokes & sheilas; good-day mate!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Charlie Daniels and Matt Sondermann (US Marine)

You might remember Matt from our last auction; he was seriously wounded in Afghanistan in 07 when an IED blew off the front end of his Hummer. I really like this young man and I was so glad to take him to meet Charlie Daniels. It was so cool; you should have seen Matt's face. I know it made his day! Charlie is a very down to earth guy and looks you right in the eye when he speaks with you and he really supports our troops. Thank you so much Charlie Daniels! Can't wait to do it again Matt. I really enjoyed our time and thank you for your sacrifice.

Clay Walker and Candace Todd

I met Candace in Sept. 08, with Aaron Tippin at the Texas Pride BBQ. She had just lost her father in Afghanistan; one month to the day of our meeting. Big loss! I understand her pop was quite a soldier; my heart goes out to her family; she would be a good mentor for some of our younger kids of fallen heroes. Diane and I were able to take her to a comp Clay Walker show, courtesy of Cowboys Dance Hall in San Antonio, TX. Clay didn't make the meet and greet but we had a good time; nice to hang out with a cool kid like Candace. Thanks to Larry, Danny, and Sean at Cowboys Dance Hall, you guys have been awesome from day one and we sure appreciate you all and encourage folks to check out a show there. Also thanks to Randy Carrol at KJ97 for greeting our wounded troops at the shows.
David Todd is Candace's dads name and we honor his sacrifice!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sending our kids to war

Unless you've had to do it yourself you would be hard pressed to fully understand the hardship of that endeaver. Last week Diane and I drove to eastern Louisiana to see our son off to war again. That is the hardest thing I've ever had to do but I try not to say bye, but see you when I see you, instead. We sort of all go to war when we send a loved one overseas and our hearts go out to all those families who wait patiently and pray daily for their loved ones safety; it is difficult, I know, but we remain vigilant.
To Ben, my treasured son and personal hero. It was so damn good to see you, you look so good and strong. You make me so proud and make me want to be a better man. You were always a good boy and a hard working young athlete, you were never afraid of putting in the work to be an acheiver. You will always do well because of that.
I beg you to keep your wits about you, do your job, and come home safely where we most certainly will be there waiting for you; you have my word on it, and write in your journal as much as possible. We love you son; God is with us all!