Monday, October 6, 2014

Location: - Awendaw Greens SC - Barn Jam Miles = 71, Ave MPH = 12.2 Cum. Miles = 4122

Wednesday September 24

I had always intended to revisit the Awendaw Greens Barn Jam to do one last follow-up fund raiser for SBF. I thought it would be most affective to ride the Kona out there fully loaded so people attending the the event would have an opportunity to see the real deal. Perhaps some of the people there would have been there on July 2nd when I previously spoke to the crowd about Soldier's Best Friend and the tour. Having arrived back in the area on September 14th I had aimed for Wednesday the 17th but it rained with vigor. I'm not even sure the Barn Jam actually went off that night at all.

The next opportunity was Wednesday the 24th and the weather was fairly dismal as it had been for days and days but I decided to take a chance. I left Summerville a little too late to make the 6pm ride of the local bike club that leaves from Awendaw but I caught up with them. It had drizzled along the way but the rain held off that evening.

On my way between Summerville and Moncks Corners I saw these signs. At the first sign I thought it was referencing a request "not to mist some pesticide or herbicide":

But when I saw the second sign I knew that wasn't the case. These were the first and last signs in a series of signs advertising a knick/knack shop. Cracked me up:):):)

This is the Lone Star Barbecue in Santee SC. A couple unique things about this place. One is that it is a collection of 3 old country stores that were hauled to the site and joined together by short corridors. The second unusual thing is that it is owned by a chef that left South Carolina to become a successful chef in NYC who decided to return to his roots to raise his family. So what we have here is Barbee with a decidedly upscale flare to it:

Shot into one of the country store dining rooms:

I didn't eat there on the way out to Awendaw Green but did catch it another night. It helped me with cranking up my appetite which had taken a dive after the daily riding had ended. More on that in a subsequent blog.

I didn't take any photos at the Barn Jam - go figure - just got so into it, that photography just slipped my mind. The weather held and it was the usual awesome event with great music - in fact I came home with 3 CD's to add to my collection. thankfully a friend had a truck to load my bike into and then tote me home.

Two more blogs I believe yet to come - one of course being the final push with my son-in-law Justin Cross and then one that is a summary of the tour coupled with a tad of introspection that friends have asked me to do regarding this experience.

Soldier's Best Friend

The multiplier effect is real.... Lauren Thomas a teacher at Central High School in Chattanooga TN saw one of my TV interviews in Chattanooga. It would be somewhat of an understatement to say that Lauren got enthused regarding helping Vets with PTSD. She has her students ON FIRE raising money for Soldier's Best Friend and is now getting interviewed with her students also. Facebook friend Lauren if you want a blast of "positive".

Lauren and I have decided to take a run at getting on Ellen Degeneres to further high-light SBF. HERE'S HOW YOU CAN HELP -  If you have been following the blog and think there is enough funny and heart warming stuff that has happened to me on my trip then please take 5 minutes to tell Ellen's staff that at the following link  It is really easy to fill this out and we have been told that a barrage from different people helps - so please help. Just mention my ride for Soldier's Best Friend with my name (Neil Grehlinger) and add a little blurb of why you think it would make an interesting show. Also mention Lauren Thomas and her students as well.

Donations update:  Currently at $1675

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.......   

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.

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