Track the route that Ed and Steve took in their 40 days
Page 1: July 13 to August 2 (Maine to Washington)
Page 2: August 3 to August 16 (Washington to Indiana)
Page 3: August 17 to August 22 (Indiana -- RKMC Convention -- to home)
August 3: Steve, Steve, Steve, Steve... Word is that Steve decided he wanted to cross the border into Canada today. Ed said "I had a gut feeling that was not a good idea." So Ed stayed on the states side in a parking lot that overlooked the border. Off Steve went... The next thing Ed heard was Steve on the radio saying "this was not a good idea." The traffic was all backed up on the Canadian side and all Steve could do was sit and wait. He actually got mixed in with another group of bikes... of course Steve was the only one of them that spoke English. But with his fantastic communications skills, that wasn't really a problem! The border patrol officer asked him if he was nuts after he looked at his I.D. and heard his story. Of course we all know the answer to that question!
When the guys arrived at the Holiday Inn in Bellingham the sign out from said Welcome Red Knights Fallen Firefighters Memorial Tour. The guys said that sign gave them a great feeling knowing that they had just completed the four corners. They said the Holiday Inn staff there has gone out of their way to help the during their stay.
August 4: Ed says that he feels a little better now knowing that they are moving south towards Seattle and keeping Steve away from the border. Seattle Fire Department is playing host (very gracious hosts) to our Red Knights over the next few days. Today they visited the water front and the department's fire boat. They also had lunch at McCoy's Firehouse Bar and Grill, where the guys left their department patches for the display there. They are also in town during the Waterfront Celebration in the city and may even have a chance to see the Blue Angels. The RKMC lodging while in Seattle was arrangd by the fire department. While in Seattle Ed and Steve will be staying at the Holiday Inn near the Space Needle. The fire department has even invited Ed and Steve (and Peg & Deb) to join them this weekend at their annual F.D. family picnic. What a great bunch of people! "Special thanks to Lt. Marcia Kinder and Monica Rausch of IAFF Local 27 for all their help during our time in Seattle."
This is from Lt. Marsha Kinder from Seattle F.D.: "God Bless these two wonderful men. I am a lucky woman, as I was their Liason for SFD. My goodness, are they special or what. Ask them about the Chief Seattle Fireboat cruise.
Be sure and hug them and say THANKS.... They are the best."
August 5: The best made plans of mice and men....I think this is the first true "scheduling glitch" of the ride. Peg and Deb's flight was suppose to leave Manchester Airport to Pittsburg at 7:00 a.m. -- so they were there at 6:00 a.m. like they were told. When they went to check the bags they were told the flight was cancelled. Then I got a series of emails from Ed and Steve:
#1. They were ready to board another flight (to Philidelphia instead of Pittsburg) when they airlines people realized that that there were no connecting flights to get them to the west coast from Philly. Off that plane and onto another (different airlines) for an 8:00 a.m. flight to Pittsburg. That's not too bad.
#2. (11:30 a.m. EST) "Peg and Deb are on the way after two flight changes. They are now expected to arrive at 1:30 p.m. pacific time. I hope their bags arrive with them." Seems that one plane was having difficulties so it was grounded, but that it would be ready in a few hours.
#3. (12:30 p.m. EST) "Just received another up date from the girls. Another flight change, they will not arrive till 2:40 our time. I just hope they get here!" (Ed you're starting to sound desparate) Well, the mechanical difficulties will take a little longer to fix then originally thought.
#4. (1:30 p.m. EST) "Up date #3, the flight they were on was cancelled do to computer problem. That plane is being grounded and won't fly today. Looks like they will not arrive untill after 6pm." (Can you picture Ed and Steve starting to chew on the airline's ticket counter now?) What the airlines told Peg and Deb was that a plane just left Seattle for Pittsburg and when it arrives they'll turn it right around and send it back --- no problem!
#5. (2:00 p.m. EST) "After 6 flight changes I think they are scheduled to depart Pittsburg at 3 p.m. and arrive arrive here in Seattle at 6 p.m. so we are in a holding patten at sea-tac airport and we are unable to check in again for info until after 1p.m."
Boy those poor two ladies are going to be tired --- They were at the Manchester Airport for 6 a.m. ( an hour or so from their homes) so 6 p.m. in Seattle is 9 p.m. back in Massachusetts. That's a long day of playing games with the airlines.
#6. The flight shows up from Seattle and the bags are loaded on for the return trip. But the passengers are not loaded on -- because -- the crew had too much air time to be the crew to fly it back. Oh, the airline didn't think of that so NOW they are trying to find a rested crew to fly the plane to Seattle.
#7. (6:00 p.m. EST) "The best we can find out is that they are schedule to arrive at 7:23 p.m. pacific time now, we hope." Yes, they finally got in the air. And because of all the problems they have been enduring for the day, the airlines offer Deb and Peg a free drink, AND they don't have to pay to see the movie... oops they did run out of head phones to listen to the movie though (and short on pillows and blankets as well).
#8 (9:00 p.m. EST) Ed decided he'd better get Steve away from the hotel bar. Seems he was practicing his people skills while they had a refreshment and were waiting for the flight. The young woman Steve struck up a conversation with (or rather she struck up the conversation with him) turned out to be a local working girl. Steve said that "the poor girl is just trying to make a living, but there were no jobs available there with them!"
(Peg left Westminster around 4:30 a.m.! That was eighteen hours ago.) The thought from our group is, "oh well, tomorrow's another day."
From the Sunday News, August 6: Pilot shortage brings United cancellations
CHICAGO - United Airlines canceled at least 150 flights yesterday, mainly because of a shortage of pilots. Some had called in sick, but many of the missing pilots had worked their allotted weekly hours trying to make up for flights canceled Thursday and Friday because of bad weather in the East, said a United spokesman, Chris Brathwaite. United pilots have refused to work overtime since their contract expired in April, Brathwaite said. (AP)
A tip of our hat to our Brothers and Sisters in Public Safety
in the City of Worcester
August 6:Rode from Seattle through the cascades to Spokane, Washington. About 374 miles in eight hours. Real nice to have the girls along now. Next few days are expected to be easy rides, between 150 and 250 a day. ...received an e-mail from Spokane M.A.L. Dick Streeter saying that he met up with our riders while they were in Washington. He said, "I met up with Ed and Steve in Spokane. I know they are glad to have their wives along with them now. They are all in great spirits." The support our riders are receiving from Red Knights, firefighters, and friends from all over our continent helps to keep that spirit high!
August 7: Beautiful weather for riding -- temperature between 60's and 80's with sunshine (of course back home it's near 90 degrees and high humidity - yuck). Great scenery. Rode from Spokane to Kalispell, Montana, for 249 miles. (The faxes are easier to read now that Peg is writing them!) Stopped in Kootenai National Forest and took about a 1/2 mile walk to a beautiful waterfall. Well worth the walk. Steve found a pool for skinny-dipping out on their walk... so instead of "do you see a bear in the woods," it's, "do you see a bare Steve in the woods." Stopped at the Kalispell F.D. to swap patches, and also had oil changes on the bikes while they were in town.
August 8: Today was the "latest" start for our group since they left Westminster. On the road at 8:15 a.m. (Just think, throughout the south-west they were on the road four hours by then!) Stopping point for the day at 4:30 p.m. was Great Falls, Montana. The day's ride was 244 miles through some of the most beautiful sights in the world! Our riders ventured through Glacier State Park today along the "Going to the Sun Road." Ed said that every turn in the road was a photo opportunity. The weather cooperated again as well -- 90 degrees, sun shine and just a gorgeous day.
August 9: It's HOT! 100 degrees plus in Southern Montana. Today was a bit shorter on mileage, 220 from Great Falls to Gardiner, Montana. Still on schedule with plans to arrive at the convention in Indianapolis next Wednesday. Going to spend some leisurely time riding through Yellowstone tomorrow and Friday. It's laundry day and the girls were impressed that Ed and Steve had caught up on all their laundry before they arrived in Seattle.
Many people have been asking about the fires out west. Peg said they haven't seen the fires directly but have seen smoke in the distance, and today there was a smoky haze and you could tell there was a sizeable fire not too far away.
Back in Blaine, at the Fourth Corner, a package of cheese, crackers, and congratulatory champagne awaited our charioteers. But today was the day they actually took the time to enjoy it with their companions as they sat at the Holiday Inn overlooking the Snake River --- and had some great Calzones from a little shop across the street too.
Boy can't a guy go away for a weekend! Diona and I went away for a long weekend camping up in New Hampshire... lot's of emails and several messages on the answering machine looking for Ed and Steve updates! (Even messages from Ed and Steve looking for us). We're back and expect to hear from our traveling Red Knights tonight with more details on their trip. But we do know they are on schedule and enjoying the ride, especially with Peg and Deb along now!
It's a small world. Our compadres met up with a couple that Peg works with at Emerson Hospital back home. They went out for dinner at the Mangy Moose Restaurant (great food) and then visited the Silver Dollar Bar and the Cowboy Bar (where you sit in saddles at the bar). Back at the hotel some of their neighbors came home, rather rambunctious, at 2:30 a.m. After being polite about wanting a little quite, Steve moved his chair out to the parking lot and politely intimidated the younger set until they got the message and quieted down. Steve did make sure he saw what rooms they went into… so he could be neighborly and give them a pleasant wake up call when our gang arose at 5:00 a.m.
August 11: On to Cody, Wyoming, 212 miles and five hours on the road. Rode through the Teton Mountains. Saw hundreds and hundreds of buffalo. Had supper at the Cattlemen Steakhouse - another place with great food! After having a late night with their noisy neighbors the night before they were too tired to venture out to the rodeo.
August 12: Messages on my answering machine are Ed looking for me... they are out of pager/email range where they are at the moment.
Rode 354 miles into Deadwood, SD today. A really great bike day - sunny in the 80's and 90's.
Had a little bit of an expedition off the beaten path. Looking at a map our tour guides decided for what appeared a short cut. They left the main road for a cut-off road… about five miles in, it turned to dirt. Not the nice packed gravel roads I'm used to, I mean red clay, dusty, dirt roads. Not bad enough, they come to a fork in the road - no signs. Ennie, meanie, minie, moe… yup, picked the right one that time. Then another signless fork in the road. After a little bit on that one it was decided that choice was in error. So they turned around and went the other way. All the time, Ed's GPS he bought is blazing a new trail, because the computer is telling them that there is no road out here! Twenty miles of dirt and dust. Even the insides of their coolers were dirty. I can picture a good ol' Clint Eastwood western with the cattlemen coming in from the range all covered… yup, that's what I picture. Ed said he could have kissed the road when he saw black top at an intersection --- and shortly there after a car wash too. I wonder if just the bikes got hosed off?
But it was a worthwhile day. When they pulled into Deadwood it was very apparent that Sturgis was in full swing… Bikes and Sights is what I was told. I hear that they have some extra special video footage of just about any sight you could imagine! Even ran into International Secretary John Gulotta and his wife Barb on their vacation too! Celebrated Deb's birthday today when they all got to do a little gambling in Deadwood, and the girls walked away winners. But I hear the guys' luck wasn't as good.
...onto the Convention!
Page 1: July 13 to August 2 (Maine to Washington)
Page 3: August 17 to August 22 (Indiana -- RKMC Convention -- to home)