Friday, June 30, 2017

Finally at Ground 0 The start of CAOD

Yesterday was a long travel day, 2 planes, 2 Ubers and a 60 mile ride to the coast.  The humidity on the NC coast is amazing, UT humidity isn't this bad when it rains.  My travel to NC was nothing more than a normal travel day, but it turned into a day of 'signs'.

My day started with an Uber ride from an Army Veteran (George) to the SLC airport.  George is a UT native and drives for Uber full time.  Nice guy and very appreciative of CAOD and it's efforts to help the Wounded Warriors.

After 2 planes, my next Uber ride to Jacksonville, from New Burn, was from a gentleman named Willard.  He is a retired truck driver and a fellow adventurer.  After hearing my story, Willard immediately called a few friends and worked on getting some type of media exposure in Morehead City.  Willard could not believe what I was about to embark on and he wished he could go.  He has a dirt bike as well.  Once Willard delivered me to the Mayflower warehouse, where the Steed has been stored, he asked if it would be OK if he followed me to my hotel to make sure everything was good with the motorcycle.  After a quick call to his wife for permission, we were off to Morehead City.  What a genuine and helpful person.  Willard has been planning an around the World trip with his wife for 3 years, on a 50' boat.  They depart next year to sail around the southern tip of Argentina, to Alaska, then to China.  They have purchased a home in China, where he and his wife plan to retire.  Now that's an adventure!

View from my room

When I arrived at the hotel after sweating profusely in what felt like 99% humidity, I unloaded the Steed, checked in, grabbed the new gear that was shipped UPS to the hotel and started the process of unpacking, downsizing, repacking, replanning, etc.  The new Giant Loop bags are awesome and will make organization on the trail a lot easier.  The hotel is on the beach!

My room as a war zone

After a long day of travel, I took Willard's recommendation and dined at the Shark Shack, a locals outside seafood restaurant and enjoyed fresh Mahi and a cold beverage.

After dinner I walked the beach and contemplated all that was about to happen.  This is going to be an adventure of a life time.  Solo ride across America on a dirt bike, on dirt to serve the people who have served our country.  It's hard to imagine that a thought that started a year ago, has now turned into reality.  WOW!