The rains fell in the right places, away from the ride.

Thirty seven years after the Marguerittaville summer, I returned to Ottumwa, Iowa. I didn’t recognize the place!

Mike gave me a tour of the countryside and his old hometown called Eldon, site of the American Gothic House. For those of you unfamiliar with the artistic significance of Eldon, as Mike was too; it’s home to the second most recognized painting next to the Mona Lisa – see attached photo.

After Mike loaded his toys on the trailer, we dropped off his rig at a friends farm, unloaded the bike, and then headed out to meet up with the NVAR (National Veteran’s Awareness Ride) riders. Along the way, we stopped in Winterset, Iowa. In case that name doesn’t ring a bell, it’s the birthplace of John Wayne. How cool was that.

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POSSIBLE SNOW FLURRIES by October 18 – Let’s ride.

It’s an electrifying time when the bikes get out of winter’s cold storage and hit dry asphalt. Minnesota riders are as committed as the fishermen, frigid winds or not, they’re out there. Calendars everywhere note runs here and there for this reason or that cause. There’s not a weekend open till snow flies – or it gets too deep.

The “08” is ready for Rolling Thunder in Washington DC, on to Ground Zero and Boston, and then a scenic route home via Canada. After close inspection, the front end was in surprisingly good condition, but I changed bushings and seals anyway. During a closer inspection, when I decided to change rubber here, rather than in mid-trip, I found curls of steel reaching out between the frame and rear fork. Yuck! A constant beating from Vietnam’s trails were ripping the pivot shaft bearings apart. That may have something to do with low back problems too. Anyway, the drive belt is in remarkable condition, and only half the chrome on the pulley teeth is missing. LOL

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7 weeks

Greetings,

Temperatures are rising and the snow is melting. A few riders are braving the wind chill with rides along snow-lined highways and boulevards.

Service works are in progress on the “08”, and so far, I’ve found a broken pinch bolt on the front end. Must have happened on the 2nd to last ride to Saigon, when I hit a couple pot holes, hard, on the National Highway. At least the tube didn’t unthread like the last time one broke.

I’ve spent quality time with the editor who reviewed the manuscript. Her evaluation gave me the direction I expected. My thousand plus hours and 240 pages of free-writing does have a story. Hoo-rah! Now to dig it out and get it organized.  I had no idea about the extent of work involved in writing a book, but I am learning.  Another author I met at a recent bike show offered generous consul and encouragement. Minneapolis is recognized as the literary capital of America, and I continue to find myself on the right path. This year, 2013, will be an exciting adventure of the literary nature. In 2014, it will evolve into a publish and print adventure.

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Hello and Welcome;

C’mon in, no need to take your boots or shoes off, just make yourself comfortable.

I’ve been enjoying life below the radar, but to share these true tales, I willfully enter into the infinite arenas of cyberspace and social media outlets. My web-site and facebook fan page are new, and already in need of revision – me thinks eleven minute excerpt readings are a bit long for a browsers interest, and with shorter ones, I can give ya more of them. Please, comment freely about this.

In addition:

When my bike arrived in Hanoi on Jan. 14, 2009, I looked forward to weekend rides; but fate, destiny, or mystical intervention had other plans. I read somewhere, long ago – more opportunity comes to those prepared. In one sense, I’ve always been prepared, yet, not until after 18,000 miles did I realize the reality of what was before me. Doors of opportunity opened, or, perhaps I should say, the trails lie open for me.  Considering where I was, the time in history, and that I was riding America’s freedom machine, all gave me a greater awareness to freedom. Blissful joy riding grew into a journey with meaning and value beyond all other rides.

Yet, there were career responsibilities and commitments. Along with preparedness, I learned that patience is a virtue, and being true to my principles is a far better guide than following my wants! My unexpected journey lacked continuity with an intermission in Laos for a year, and was sweetened with another solo motorcycle ride into the Himalaya of Kashmir. Then, after completing what I thought would fulfill my Vietnam ride, something was missing. I didn’t know what, but whatever it was, was back on the trails. I saddled up for another four weeks and four thousand miles.

I returned with fulfillment to my journey and to the seclusion of Memento Resort, in a Hamlet west of Nha Trang. The hours, days, and months slipped by as I beat keys to put my tales on the monitor before me – words unguided by professional direction – simply, a meaningful tale from a guy who enjoys his freedom on a motorcycle. After a lifetime of enjoying adventures in the tracks of others, I was given an opportunity to lay tracks how none had been laid before – solo across Vietnam.

Encouragement for this project remains as frequent as the coincidental events to support it. With over 1,200 hours of time on the keyboard, I’m excited about the next 1,200.

Thanks for stopping by, and don’t be a stranger.

Respectfully,

6gear