Thursday, August 21, 2014

Location: - Pueblo CO Miles = 85, Ave MPH = 12.2 Cum. Miles = 2151

Monday August 18

Quote of the Day: "I'm taking things into my own hands!"

Warning: Spellcheck not working today.

This is a photo of the Freshwater Saloon where I slept last night. I stayed in a nice apartment at the left side of the picture. I was told that the bear would be visiting up on the deck in the night. Gary left the light on the deck and I was hoping to get some good photos out the window but either the bear never showed up or I slept right through it - you tend to sleep well when you have a great bed and you're lugging 90 plus pounds over these grades.

The owner of the Freshwater Saloon in actually from the other end of the country. He owns Chauncey Creek Lobster Restaurant which is on the border of New Hampshire and Maine. He comes here to hunt.

Gary has a hunting guide business in addition to managing Freshwater Saloon. His wife is singer/song writer Lissa Hanner. I have one of her CDs which I haven't been able to listen to yet. I hope it doesn't get damaged on the trip back to Charleston.

Gary came in this morning and cooked me breakfast - what fantastic people I encounter everywhere!!!

A new use for red solo cups - just insert Christmas lights in them:

This is the legendary Bill's place which is spread out over several blocks in the town. I was told that Bill would cruise around in his hearse and invite cyclists to his place. I sure was hoping I would see him the last few miles last night as I was dodging deer but never saw hide nor hair of him. Probably not an early riser:):):)

Some of Bill's art:

Well there's the hearse in front of the old truck:

More art across the street:

View out of Guffey towards Canon City when you get on the main road:

I came upon these horses so perfectly lined up I had to turn around and go back for this photo:

And then with perfect choreography they turned around and gave me this view:):):) Can't make this stuff up:

Just more wild flowers along the way:

These buffalo had found a dust bowl - one is in mid roll:

Very nice park and welcome center in Canon City:

This is a view of "Old Max" federal penitentiary as opposed to "New Max" which you will see in other photos.

Warden's house:

Interesting museum:

Gas chamber that was used 7 times from 1956 until it was decommissioned:

Old Max is still in use. One of the activities that good behavior is rewarded with is the priviledge to build these motorcycles which are sold to the public. Other reward activities are; working in a vineyard, building bear-proof trash receptacles, working at a tilapia fish farm, dairy farming, and wild horse training. The basic work that most inmates perform is producing all the road signs for the state of Colorado. I like the truth that the human spirit in spite of our sometimes grumbling, considers work a positive thing. This is especially true when inginuity and creativity are engaged.

The logo:

The museum is housed in what was the woman's prison:

A shot of downtown Florence which is very near Canon City. There are many antique stores here:

Unusual statue in park coming out  of Florence:

This is "New Max" which is located just outside of Florence. This prison is a SuperMax facility, is located on 600 acres and employes 800 local residents to house 410 male inmates (what a ratio - 2 to 1). It  also houses foreign terrorists, including the only person convicted in civilian court of the 9/11 attacks Zacarias Moussaoui, the 2010 Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad along with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing mastermind Ramzi Yousef.  Domestic terrorists, including serial bombers Ted Kaczynski and Eric Rudolph. Timothy McVeigh, who carried out the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, was housed at here before he was sentenced to death in 1997.

I was told it would be difficult to comprehend how big this place is and they were not wrong:

The gray buildings on the left are similar to a foundry in style and size. There are 7 of them. The building with the green roofs appear to be administration as they don't have the security fences the other building do. They are huge also. This is only a fraction of "New Max".

There are 8 total detention facilities in Fremont County. I would be interested in how this density of guards to inmates has affected the "personality or pysche" of the region. having said that I found people to be very friendly.

After a terrible ride on route 96 due to horrible road conditions (more on that in a later blog) I arrived in Pueblo CO:

I have been riding now for 16 days straight without a break so I am going to take one in Pueblo as I'm finding my legs very whiney in the mornings.

Taking things into my own hands:

As I rode through Canon City I stopped in at the Daily Record newspaper. I asked if they were interested in a "good news" story. My hope is to get the blog address and subsequently the Soldiers Best friend info available to more people in order to increase donations. Sarah Rose interviewed me and did this nice article:

Canon City Newspaper Article

I have an interview scheduled with the Pueblo Chieftain newspaper as well.

OK I've been warning you that someday I was going to switch on the harranging mode:):):) so here it is......

About Soldiers Best Friend ..... If you have been following along you already know that this is a charity that provides service dogs to Vets that are suffering from PTSD. These dogs can literally be life savers for these men and women.

I spoke to Brenda from SBF several days ago and so far we have only collected $230. I happen to know where $140 of the $230 came from and that would be a combination of folks that I input money for when they gave it directly to me. That would be; 1) a man at a restaurant in Ashville NC area, 2) a lady on the street in Portland 3) Kenyon the cross country walker I met coming out of Kremmling and 4) OverMountain Vineyards in Tryon NC (a really beautiful place) 5) My own original donation.

So doing the arithmetic that means that others have donated just $90. Now, Brenda does point out that if people don't insert my name in the "honorarium spot" that they will not know if the donation is associated with my ride effort (if you forgot to tag your donation with my name please contact SBF to let them know). But having said that would you be insulted if I said I'm just a bit disappointed??

The blog averages approximately 175 hits per day. I think that suggests folks are interested in the trip and hopefully are being informed and entertained. I am at the half-way point of the trip at 2151 miles. I consider this my job for the summer of 2014. I am putting in the the "blood, sweat, and gears" to steal a phrase - so would you consider a donation to this very worthy cause?

Here is some additional math.... My entire trip is going to be approximately 4200 miles long. Do you think you could donate $.006 per mile (like about slightly more than 1/2 cent per mile)?? If so then that would be a $25 dollar donation to SBF. Or better yet could you afford to donate at $.012 per mile (1.2 cents per mile) then that would be about a $50 donation. And so on ....  give what you can - I know this sounds like a Nation Public Radio fund drive but come on - what a worthy cause!!

Please follow the link below to donate and include my name - just "Neil" will do or "Neal" if you like that spelling better:):)

It's time folks please.......
And finally please remember the cause -  I will go into this in more detail and perhaps some level of haranguing later on, but for now here is the link .... and an additional link for donation   SoldiersBestFriend - Donate Please :):)   Oh and I would be a lot more comfortable if you use the "honorarium" option vs the "memoriam" option - you'll understand when you click on the link:):).   

As you donate please enter my name in the "In Honor of Spot" so the folks at SBF can tally the results to encourage me and let me know WE are getting something done TOGETHER. I recognize we are really trying to honor the Vets but this is the only way SBF can tally the results of this drive (tour).

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