Well, it looks like I’ll be leaving on Tuesday the 18th.  A few days later than I wanted but no harm. It’s taken a little longer than I thought to wrap things up, get everything into storage. It may sound a little trivial but when one is going to be essentially homeless for a few months there’s a lot to consider. Where do you forward your mail? I’ve found that I must make my life as self contained as possible which is challenging.

I find I am so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it is the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain…

I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams.

I hope. …..

Red from “The Shawshank Redemption”

My daughter Jennifer will be taking me out to Astoria on Tuesday morning. It will be wonderful to spend some time with her before heading out. Many people have asked me how many miles a day I intend on riding. I’m not so much thinking about how many miles a day but how many hours I’ll be riding each day. I’ll be honest with you, I am not Lance Armstrong. What I want to do is to start out riding around three or four hours a day and depending on the terrain that will dictate how far I get. After a couple of weeks I intend on riding six hours a day on average. I’d like to average around fifty miles per day when all is said and done. When I get up to Wyoming I’ll take a couple of days and explore Yellowstone. My dad wants to meet me in Pueblo Colorado and spend a few days with me. That’s the half way point and I’ll take that opportunity to have my bike tuned up. I’ve already found a bike shop that helps a lot of the riders on the TransAmerica Trail. The bottom line is that I want to stop and smell the roses along the way.

Over the last few days I have found myself in an interesting place emotionally. I sense that my life is about to change but I don’t know what it’s going to be like out there on the road because I’ve never done anything like this. Sure, I’ve done other adventures however this one feels different.  It’s as though I’m disconnecting in ways I never have before. I’m excited but there is a sense of trepidation to be sure.

I’ve been touched by the outpouring of sentiment from people. My fellow board members at Share and the staff have been wonderful and supportive. Vancouver is fortunate to have an organization like Share as part of its social fabric. Homelessness and hunger continue to be a challenge as the economy declines. A year and a half ago we purchased the old Timber Lanes bowling alley on Andreson and we are in the middle of a capital campaign to renovate the building. Even now we are operating our Backpack Program out of the facility as part of the Children’s Hunger Initiative. We’re up to nearly 900 backpacks a week. That may seem like a lot but it only a fraction of the need here in Vancouver. If you are so inclined please click on the link to donate to Share.