Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fayetteville, NC., Home of Ft. Bragg Army Base

Hampton Inn & more good times. Angel is the Manager at this Hampton, and in a minute she had us in a room. I had stayed there in 08' with the Wounded Warrior Project group while we did the NC. Bike Challenge; I was with Diane then and a part of me missed her. It was also my brother Joey's B-Day; he passed away in Feb. of this year and it seemed I was destined to have him on my mind all day. He was one year older than me and left this world too soon. He was doing what he loved most in life so I believe that God must have really loved him; hope I get to go that way! Enough of that, it makes me want to cry!
Jw was exhausted and we could hardly get him to breath for about 36 hours. Jw has been damaged by 20 years of service to his country and has a hard time with it from time to time. He is a good man and I love him dearly; besides my son Ben, he is my greatest American Hero! I am so proud to call him Brother, let alone, friend! Sandy and I got an invite to go to church from a wonderful girl named Kimberly; we met her at the Hampton Inn. Her friend Crystal picked us up and it was off to church. I have to say, I don't believe that I have ever had a better day in church in my life; if you ain't sweating when you walk out of that church then you ain't doing it right. Those folks were so filled with the Holy Ghost that it just sort of rolled into the very depths of my soul. I left there happier than I had been in a long time; Thank you Jesus, Thank you Lord! Thank you girls; you were quite a blessing to Sandy & I!
Then we had a great meeting with the SF guys for a future fund raiser in a special place in North Carolina. The SF guys are the best this country has to offer and I wish one of them would run for President, I'd vote for them. They are the kind of guys that get shit done; they are the movers & shakers and have great integrity & grit; it was an honor to meet with them. I sure do look foward to hanging with these guys, hope they don't get me too liqured up for the ride.
Hawley's Bicycle Shop was next on the agenda. My bike was in desperate need of service and Mark really stepped up to get the job done. My chain was cracked, my gears were spent, and our lights were lost, but Mark handled it like a champ. We are always greatful when we meet folks like you all; it is you guys that amount to team averagefrank, thank you! The sign for the front of my bike was also donated by friends at Hawley's; the Riddler! Very Cool! We WILL see you guys again soon! God Is Good, Every Day! Donate something if you have a heart to!

Gatlinburg, Small City Of Fun & Wild Bill's Surplus

Gatlinburg in one of the most unique mountain towns you ever want to visit. The whole place is nesttled in the Beautiful Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. Gatlinburg is like a big carnival! They have upside down houses, haunted houses, play houses, and a host of rides one can ride; and the scenery is to die for. Aaron Tippin mentioned that I should go there in the past and I finally got to go. Boy, you were right Aaron, old averagefrank understands why you take your family there every year!
While we were there we met Wild Bill & his partner at Wild Bill's Army Surplus. Those guys rock! Wild Bill is former military and a great guy. We had a wonderful visit with him and before we knew it our arms were full of military gear. He was cordial and generous and gave his word on some donated military shwagg for our gig. You don't meet too many guys like Wild Bill, by God! I can't wait to see him again.
After a night in Gatlinburg we were ready to ride again. Coming out of Gatlinburg towards Fayetteville NC., we had to ride uphill for along way; it was a gradual incline and finally reached the top of the mountain. That took a half of a day! Then we hit the down hill run into North Carolina, oh my God! We must have been doing 45 miles per hour on those bikes; what a thrill. I don't think I've ever seen Sandy so happy to ride. She was so excited to get such a cool down hill run that she almost wipped out; she took her feet off the pedals, she looked like PeeWee Herman. I could tell it scared her but she survived the slopes of the Smokey Mountains to ride another day! God is with us all!

Nashville to Knoxville

18o miles of crapy weather! All day & all night solo riding to make a half decent schedule. I had to put Sandy with JW cause of the rain, as many know she is pregnant so I can't be too hard on her. I hit a powerful cold rain but the roads were good and I had plenty of shoulder. I rode a good long way on the interstate which, is illegal in TN., but made it to Knoxville without a hitch. That was a 24 hour staight run and I was dog dead tired. Leo called ahead and helped us with a room in which to sleep. Sandy & Jw got there early in the evening and waited for averagefrank. They took my gear so I didn't have to ride with much wait. I got there in the morning, ate, then took a 2-3 hour power nap and was ready to get pedaling again. I was excited to get to Gatlinburg so rode on!
I would like to take the oppertunity to remind evertbody about my Sponsers. Tony @ Texas Pride BBQ, & Hank @ Joe Harrison's Motor Sports. My web site guy is weeks behind so I haven't posted your advertisement yet, but it's a coming; web builders, what are we gonna do with these guys? Rest asure though, I am greatful to you guys for what you have done for me. Leo, Mr. Goerge, and the others at the Marriott must also be mentioned here, thank you folks!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Marriott & Bass Pro Shop

Leo O'Brian, manager at the Marriott at the Grand Ole Opry, you are an extra special man. We are so greatful to you! Leo hooked us up when we needed it most. We were fed and got well rested; thank you friend! Your phone calls up ahead of us also helped tremendously. And your staff, they too were great, especially Susan. It was an honor to hang with you all. I look foward to seeing you folks again real soon.
Then we went to Bass Pro Shop to get support for our ride & our upcoming auction. We met Scott & Shelly 1st. Scott is former Army and Shelly is a good hearted, cool chick. Scott personally hooked me up with a kick ass "real tree" shirt; I love it! Shelly is working on our little package and I can sense that she really wants to make it happen for us. I didn't get to meet Jerron but the folks who work with him say he's a good man. Devon, a sales clerk, was incredibly insightful on the pack. Money is tight but he helped me pick the very best pack for my needs, so I bought it. The next day we met Greg Cole, coolest Bass Pro manager around. He was cordial & honest, as well as generous. Thanks for your time Greg. Have Shelly call me when its time; I'm sure we'll be in touch with the great group you have there. Thank you all so much; we are sure the other stores will help out as well. It doesn't take alot to make a difference when we all give a little. One percent of Americans put it all on the line for the rest of us; that is why I do what I do. I have seen many lives made better by something as simple as a guy on a bicycle who is willing to let it all hang out for them. They understand the danger of cross country cycling and respond in the most gratifying way. I have learned the road to happiness thru love and charity from them; I am truely blessed and honored to ride for them.
Thought minus action equals zero! If folks wish to donate click the donate button on my blog, and God Bless Us All!

Yea, Nashville

We finally reached Nashville; Damn I love Nashville! The Grand Ole Opry & Craig Morgan was 1st on the list. Mack & Robie took care of our tickets and before we knew it we were backstage with Mr. Morgan. We talked Sportsmans Legacy Foundation business and then talked hunting. I promised an Arizona Couse Deer hunt for Craig next year & intend to make it happen. See ya soon Mr. Craig!
Next it was off to Aaron Tippin. I have have spent a copious amount of time with Aaron & his wonderful family. It was so good to see Thea & the boys again; them boys are growing like weeds! Aaron, you're the best! I love you man! It was good to hang out with Larry, Ricky, and the Nippit gang again; they reminded of the night I rolled out of the bunk on Aaron's tour bus; good times! We also met Willie Taylor, he's doing a walk about for our vets, accross America. Kimberly fed our hungry stomachs and we were of to the Marriott.
More to come!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Arkansas to Nashville

Well, next stop would be in Memphis. We rode our bicycles into Tennessee and stopped at Pro Bass Shop. We hope to get them to help our cause by making some donations for our ride or our auction. We talked to Scott and got the info we need to make it happen. Courtney is the gal we need to contact to make it happen. The store was very busy but Scott was gracious enough to take pictures with us and we spent some time browsing and talking to folks. We also got our pictures taken with a wonderful Santa Clause; we shared a touching story with him and were off on our merry way.
We have a lot of ground to cover still and can't wait to reach Nashville! When you are on the road the way we are it is hard to make daily posts, so sometimes we have to make several posts in one setting, according to time we can get at a business center along the way. I used to carry a laptop but Sandy accidently crashed on her bike and broke it; OOPS! Anybody out there have an extra one? Doug was supposed to get us one, but no dice yet!

Texas Pride & Joe Harrison's Motor Sports

It is extremely important to note that the next leg of our journey for the troops was sponsored by Tony at Texas Pride BBQ & Hank at Joe Harrison's Motor Sports. I know both of these gentlemen well, as we have worked together in the past to benefit our war wounded. I can't say enough to praise or thank these two guys. They have been Johnny on the spot for me on many occasions. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU GUYS. See you all soon!

Sincerely, averagefrank & sidekick Sandy

Dinner With JW & Homer

From San Antonio we loaded up our gear & bicycles on JW"s car. Since Sandy & I had already rode into Arkansas we decided to drive to where we had turned around to meet JW; like General Patton, I don't see any point in paying for the same realestate twice, so we rode with JW to meet up with his Pop, (Homer) in Little Rock. I finally got to meet Homer! Homer is, as I said, JW's dad, but he is also My long time great friend Adam's step dad. He is a WWII veteran and I've heard alot about him. It was an honor to meet him as we had dinner with him. It was good for JW & Homer to see each other; one could easily see the repect and admiration they have for one another. I wish my family had that!
Sandy & I presented him with military service pins and JW gave his Pop some B-Day presents. Good times!

Veterans Day at an Elementary School

Kaylee, a 1st grader, invited JW, Sandy, & I to a Veterans Day celebration at her school. It was a heart felt day as there were a 100 veteran parents there. The kids made posters for our troops to hang in the hallways and had a parade for the Vets. All the children lined the pareade route to touch the hands with their American Heroes. As we walked and touched their little American hands, I saw a tear of joy in JW's eye, and it hit me!,,, these beautiful little children are the biggest reason why our troops risk their lives the way they do. You should of seen it. I've seen some wonderful things & have met some amazing people along the way, but none as SPECIAL as Kaylee & the kids at that Veterans Day Parade. Thanks to all of our children & our Veterans for reminding me once again, why I ride.
I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free, and I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me, and I'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today!

Austin, Fredricksburg, Uvalde, and Half way to Corpus

We call it the Texas Chalenge. After arriving & resting in San Antonio we set out to conquer Texas on our bicycles. We rode from San Antonio to Austin. We got to Austin at night and were amazed with the beauty of the Downtown sky-line of Austin. The lights of the buidings were a real treat. If you've never seen the lights of Austin you're missing out on a wonderful city view. We slept in our tent that night and slept well; we were tired! 60 miles is a long haul.
Next we pushed on to Fredricksburg thru the scenic hill country. Wow, I love the outdoors and the hill country of Texas is some of the finest in the land. We got invited to stay at the bed&breakfast in Fredrickburg by Mark Brooks, (stuntman extradinaire), thanks Mark. The riding around Fredricksburg is tough though; they don't call it the hill country for nothing. Up & down all day long for two full days was difficult but well worth it; it is beautiful, lots of deer & wild game. I've never been there so it was as much of a treat for me as it was for Sandy. Another 70 miles of kick ass Texas highways.
After leaving Fredricksburg we headed southwest to Uvalde. Uvalde is on the edge of the Big Bend area of west Texas. I had ridden through this part of Texas before and enjoyed the desert side of Texas, after all, I am a desert rat at heart and most at home there. I wanted Sandy to see as much of the Big Bend as possible. She's doing well; I am so proud of her. I know it is not easy for her but she keeps on trucking. Chaulk up 100 more miles of the Texas challenge!
Next we thought we would head down to the ocean in Corpus Christy. We got part way there when my Green Beret friend JW decided to drive to San Antonio to pilot Sandy and I the rest of the way to DC. We had to change gears and figured we would just start riding toward him and meet somewhere in the middle. Sandy and I headed northeast from San Antonio and made the Arkansas border up toward Little Rock when we realized we had a MIS-Q. It turned out JW took the southern route to Texas. JW has been wounded through 20 years of service to his country and is a little slow in his travels, but next to my son Ben, U.S. Navy, he is my greatest American hero. We were off track now and had to turn around. We rode hard back to San Antonio and caught up with JW there. It was good to see my friend again and we started to map out our journey to Washington DC.
If you would like to donate click the donate button on my blog!!!