Coincidences – my ride around Vietnam and a sequence of events through a manuscript have been full of them. So, it was natural that I carried the book’s proofs from the printer on my Run to The Wall. Wifi service at a rest stop in Oregon’s mountains allowed a final review and approval. HARLEY TRACKS: Across Vietnam to The Wall is on its print run as I ride. I’ll have books in mid-June. Wow! When my bike arrived in Hanoi on Jan 14, 2009 I could not have imagined this journey in my wildest dreams.
I stopped at the Black Hills H-D to talk with Jim, the owner, about my book signing during the Sturgis Rally. He was busy, to put it mildly, as they expanded the store in preparation for the million people they expect. Then I rode to the Buffalo Chip and met with Greg to talk about setting up on Thursday of Bike Week-their Military Day. Things are looking good.
I rolled smoothly into Oregon with visits to Roger & Ellen in Veneta – great friends and hosts with good tunes, Don & Joel in Roseburg for a great steak, and then to Grants Pass for a day tour with Aunt Martha & cousin Kariann. The CA Redwoods stand as grand as ever, and I laid my first tracks down the coast highway – a fantastic trail with spectacular scenery.
We’ve all heard about the drought in California, but last year it rained from the OR border to Petaluma, and this year, it rained from SF to Hollister. Go figure! After a visit at Johnny’s Bar in Hollister, I consider a return for the 4th of July (if so, they could expect rain) to join 100,000 for their Freedom Rally.
Monday I’ll join the NVAR in Auburn CA for our ride for veterans across this great land. We have thousands to visit before our arrival in Washington D.C. ten days later. I’ll make daily sit/reps for the ride; please visit nvao.us
The Memorial Day approaches; keep the vets in thought & prayer.
I’ve replaced the photo albums with an expanded selection of chapter pictures. Please check them out. I welcome comments – are there enough, are there too many?
harleytracks.com will grow in the coming weeks with excitement to offer, finally, after more than 6,000 hours of writing; HARLEY TRACKS: Across Vietnam to The Wall.
Tomorrow morning I become an NVAR rider; neither the elements of nature or man shall stop me. I have two weeks to visit friends along my ride to meet with the NVAR in Auburn CA, in which time I will drop blogs into this site. HOWEVER and unfortunately, Julie, who had been the reporter on each of the NVAR rides, broke her foot and will not make the ride this year. Jerry asked, and I accepted the duty to write the sit-reps (blogs) for each day of our ride across the country. CONSEQUENTLY, time, energy, and attention for a blog into Harley tracks will fall short.
To follow activities of the National Veterans Awareness Ride on its annual Run to The Wall in Washington D.C. please visit: nvao.us
Click on the Blog tab in the upper right corner, or join their Facebook page.
Thank you all for your support to our veterans and their families.
Five days to departure (April 28) for the National Veterans Awareness Ride (NVAR). I’ll follow my tracks from last year, west to Oregon and then south into California. The Fat Boy’s ready, and the forecast looks good; not that it matters. The NVAR riders will converge on Auburn CA the weekend of May 9 for a May 13 departure to Washington D.C. Along our ten day ride we’ll visit veterans in homes and hospitals each day to thank them for their service, listen to their stories, and share laughs. We’ll also stop to pay our respects at cemeteries and memorials. It’s a fantastic ride cheered and supported by thousands along our route. I will try do better about blogging this year!
After more than three years of intense writing, HARLEY TRACKS: Across Vietnam to The Wall will go to print while I’m riding across this great country. The book will be available in June at book signings, or through this web site and Amazon.com. Please check back in the Buy the Book page. I’ve had some great guidance and assistance through edits and book design, and I am humbled by pre-press testimonials.
During introductions to my story, people asked that I include lots of pictures. The book holds forty pages of 100+ photos; a modest number, but I’ve expanded with chapter photos on the web site. I chose ~550 from thousands; a lot of tough choices. I welcome your comments as to the need of more, or less.
Keep a piece of Memorial Day in each day.
Thank a Vet & Never Forget
Harley Tracks: Across Vietnam to The Wall
Progress reaches closer to pages and covers. Three years of writing, a winter in developmental edit, and a copy edit have brought my manuscript to the status of proofread. What began as a joy ride from Hanoi in January of 2009 has taken me on a journey I could not have imagined. A book designer did a fantastic job with my idea for a cover and will receive the manuscript in the first of April for layout. I toured Bang Printing in Brainerd, MN, who will manufacture the book, and was amazed by the needs of the book building business; over 12 acres of machines rolling, sliding, and binding paper. It was awesome to see that many machines and parts cranking like a V-twin engine.
My efforts now shift to the book’s presentation. I wait to hear about a 4th of July debut at a rally in the mid-west, followed with presentations at different sites at the Sturgis Rally’s 75th Anniversary; and then, other venues locally, in the Minnesota region and nationally.
But first things first; while the book is on its journey of a 5 to 6 week print run at Bang, I’ll ride to Auburn, CA to meet up with the National Veterans Awareness Organization for their 11th annual National Veterans Awareness Ride (NVAR), also known as the Run to The Wall in Washington D.C. A fantastic ride with a great bunch of people. For 10 days, a rigid schedule leads us to veterans homes and hospitals to visit and thank our men and women for their service and sacrifice. We also hold ceremonies at cemeteries and memorials for those who gave all. Along the route, riders join our group, and its a humbling experience to pass cheers from the thousands who stand beside city streets and country roads.
Please check back for updates and blogs on the NVAR.
Thank a Vet and Never Forget
Enjoy the Spirit of Freedom
On Aug. 23, the ICVMC, (In Country Veterans Motorcycle Club) made their annual honor run to the High Ground Veterans Memorial Park in Neillsville, WI. Memorials rest on a beautiful acre of God’s country to pay tribute to those who served and sacrificed for our freedom. It also honors those who supported them from home, and those left behind. A replica of the Liberty Bell hangs for all to ring in memory of the fallen. Our group counted among a parking lot full of riders on that solemn afternoon.
The NVAO, (refer to web link) held their annual board meeting and reunion in Milwaukee, WI, on the weekend of Aug. 29 – 31. Riders from the reaches of NE to OH, and as far south as AL gathered to relive the experiences of the 2014 NVAR, and plan the 11th annual ride in 2015. Coincidently, the 1st Milwaukee Rally added to the excitement with exhibits and entertainment at the H-D Museum and a big show at the House of H-D. Thunder storms passed timely with our tour of the museum and ride through town and along the lake front. Sunshine graced our parking lot farewells until we meet for the next Ride. Mine returned through the back roads of central WI for another stroll through High Ground, where a rotation of motorcycles, and cars, pass through with gratitude for their freedom.
Regarding the book, Harley Tracks: Across Vietnam to The Wall – In the Spirit of Freedom; years of literary study and rewrites bring it closer to print. The extent and depth of the journey grew beyond my imagination and demands. Its presentation improved with each rewrite . As with many of its structural changes, the title and sub-title have been switched, and the home page of the wet site will receive a face lift to fit it. In late September and October, I will present the manuscript for professional edits and evaluations. Their direction and comments will set me on a rewrite for the final edit – and on to print – early in 2015.