Saturday, August 15, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Cindy & I have made the full circle and are back home in Turlock. We had a good visit with our son Josh and his family. Our two grandsons continue to grow and are doing well. Josh & Shannon are great parents. Josh got to show us the construction project that he has been working on the past couple of years for Turner Construction Company. It is an addition to the Eisenhower Hospital in Palm Springs. It is a big project that is approaching completion and we had a chance to meet a lot of the people Josh works with. It was neat to have Josh give Cindy & me a tour of the project. We felt pretty important wearing the hard hats as we toured the construction site. It was obvious that Josh had kept his coworkers informed about the coast to coast trip as they asked a lot of questions and congratulated us on the completion. We had a good time at dinner with Josh's family and were blessed by songs and bible verses by our grandson Teagan. We were graciously hosted by Shannon's mom, Glynda, who has recently moved to the Indio area. We had a good trip home and are trying to get back to regular life in Turlock.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Quickly Moving West

Today was a big travel day. No side trips. 700 miles, 3 states(Texas, New Mexico, Arizona), and 2 hours time change. We are in West Phoenix and should make Indio, CA for a visit with our son Josh and his family tomorrow. It will be good to see them all. I think we are ready to get back home to Turlock.

Monday, August 10, 2009


We spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday with my son Micah and his family in Houston, Texas. We had a very good visit and stayed for the first time in their recently purchased home in Southeast Houston. They have a very nice home that gives them a lot more room. Micah is doing a good job with the yard work. Today we made it through San Antonio and are staying in Ft. Stockton. We stopped at a small town North of San Antonio, Junction. This is the town that Bear Bryant took his first Texas A&M team to camp in 1958. This experience was the subject of a movie (The Junction Boys) made a few years ago that told the story of a grueling training camp that set the stage for a national championship team a few years later by Bryant and the Aggies. They took 50 players from College Station to Junction and returned with only 23. Two of those returning players were coaches of mine during my football career. Elwood Kettler was the defensive coordinator for Mississippi State my sophomore year in 1972. He was the quarterback of that team. Jack Pardee was the defensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers in 1981. He was a fullback/linebacker for the Aggies. These were obviously 2 very tough men. It was nostalgic to be at the same place they worked so hard. The rest of Texas tomorrow.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mississippi & Louisiana

As we begin to work our way back toward home in California, it is good to stop and visit with friends and family along the way. Thursday we drove from Niceville,
Florida to Florence, Mississippi to visit my mother and update her on the trip. She is doing well and we had a good visit. We also had a visit at the nursing home from some of my family from the Florence area. My Aunt Bea, and 2 of her children their families and several grandchildren and a great granddaughter joined us for a brief "family reunion". It was a good time. Friday afternoon we headed down to Hammond Louisiana and had a nice evening the Tillery's, our son Micah's inlaws. They were wonderful hosts. We head to Houston Saturday to see Micah and Blair and Amelie. We are having fun.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Return Trip

After a canceled flight in San Francisco, and as a result missed connection, then a lost cell phone, we made it back to Jacksonville, FL. to get our pickup and come back home (we have problems too, especially when we are tired and a little stressed). We visited my brother Dan and his wife Judy Tuesday night in
Gainesville and are staying tonight, Wednesday, with another brother, Phil and his wife Libby. It is good to have family and I have the best. We had a nice drive today checking out a coastal area of Florida we had not seen. We'll see more family the next few days as we crisscross across the south.

I would like to remind everyone that a part of this effort is fundraising for Teen Challenge. Thanks so much for those of you who have already contributed to the ministry in response to the ride. I believe we have received over $13,000 with another $14,000 or more pledged that would be about $27,000 total. This is amazing and beyond anything I imagined. There have been over 100 people or groups to donate or pledge. For those of you who have pledged, but not yet donated, you will received an envelope and note reminding you of your pledge. It is not too late for you to make a donation. We'll leave the blog on, but you can just make your check out to Teen Challenge and note in the memo: "Coast to Coast Ride" and mail to Teen Challenge, PO Box 611, Turlock, CA 95381. Thank you all so much. I am again overwhelmed at how much people care. Talk to you soon.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Best, Worst, Hardest

Best Food:
Cindy-Mexican Food in Superior, Arizona
Jimmy-Bar-B-Cued Brisket, light bread, potato salad and sweet tea in Blanco, Texas

Best Day:
Cindy- St. Augustine-July 29: the finish
Jimmy- Louisiana in the rain-July 22

Worst Day:
Cindy-Silver City, NM-lost keys
Jimmy-Quartzite, AZ-Phoenix-5 flats

Hardest Day:
Cindy-Texas traffic-July 17
Jimmy-Tie: Texas Mountains-July 10
El Paso/ The endless expressway in the heat July 8

Best motel:
Cindy: Days Inn-Chipley, Florida
Jimmy: Comfort Inn-Del Rio, Texas

Friday, July 31, 2009

Thanks to All

Wednesday night at 10:30 Randy and Lori Fiorini picked us up at the airport in San Francisco and brought us home. It was so good to see our best friends and be able to share with them, even if we were a little weary, as they took us home. After a day Thursday to rest, read the mail, pay bills, and catch up with things in Turlock; Cindy & I had a chance to go by and share a little about the trip with the the men and staff of Teen Challenge. It was a special time again filled with joy, thankfulness, and prayer by many. We are so thankful. Thanks to the men, staff, and board of Teen Challenge. I also offer thanks to my best friend, Randy, who did so much to support me throughout the preparation of and rhe ride itself, by his encouragement, his provision of supplies, his timely calls throughout the journey, and his friendship. Another group that I am grateful for is my church family of New Life Christian Center in Turlock. They are an amazing group that never fail to inspire and challenge me with their generous hearts. Thanks to our sons, Josh and Micah and their wives , Shannon and Blair and our 3 precious grandchildren, Teagan, Trey, and Amelie. Thanks to my mother and 3 bothers with their families who were so enthusiastic and supportive of me. Thanks to my other family, especially those from my Uncle Horace's family who joined us in this journey. Thanks to so many personal friends who we heard from through comments and emails. Thanks for those who followed us but weren't able to figure out how to respond. Thanks to PowerBar for sponsoring us. Thanks most of all to God for His protection, provision, blessings, lessons taught, and strength to carry on day after day. We'll have more highlights of the trip to come.