Quote of the Day: "I think I'm drinking the cool aid of the open road".
Home I passed as I was leaving Union City:
After traveling so extensively in the west for the past 6 weeks it is nice to see lush green non irrigated lawns again:
So now we are getting into my kind of farming country. This is where the land and climate cooperates to grow vegetation. Not like further west where everything is being pushed to the limit with irrigation. Yes there's irrigation here but it is supplemental:
Court house in the very nice town of Huntingdon:
Today I traveled on route 22 (very nice smooth breakdown lanes) out of Union City to where it intersects with I40. The heat in the 90's coupled with the high humidity make it impossible to stay dry. I am thankful for being able to pickup unsweetened (blasphemy in the south) ice tea at McDonald's for my water bottles - even when it gets warm it tastes OK because after all it is tea. So tea is my cool aid of the road.
To make time to get up in the the Nashville area for some interviews I jumped on I40. While it is heavily traveled with semis etc it was a good ride until I ran into a 14 mile stretch of construction and darkness had fallen.
There was a sign at one of the entrances to I40 that suggested that non-motorized vehicles were not welcomed so I was very apprehensive as I approached the construction and the state trooper that had lights flashing in the lane ahead. I had my light on but he didn't see me as he had his head into his smart phone so I had to knock on his window. I explained what I was doing regarding traveling across the country and SBF and all he said was "that's weird.... so be careful out there".
So I pedaled on relieved that at least on this night I had encountered law enforcement that was ambivalent to my use of the interstate on a bike. Riding on the interstate has been legal up until Tennessee. Now that I am south of the Trans America route I have no idea how to go west to east without some interstate travel. I find it safer and more relaxing than the 2 lane roads but need to exit more to "smell the roses".
Riding through the construction was very challenging as the construction debris was excessive. I was glad to have my new 700 lumen Bontrager light that Ellen from A and B Cycle in Springfield had helped me pick out.
Donations update: Currently at $685
About Soldiers Best Friend ..... If you have been following along you already know that I am trying to collect donations for the charity called Soldiers Best Friend. 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.
My 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?
I've done the math for you .... 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 - soldiersbestfriend.org 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 (