Posted by: rustymccain | July 4, 2011

Two Grand, Too Grand!

Two Grand, Too Grand! Happy Fourth of July! Today we passed the 2, 000 mile mark of our journey. We were riding along and Ray gave me a fist bump and said, “Two Grand!” We celebrated the milestone for about 10 seconds and then got back to enjoying the riding,which is just too grand! The countryside is starting to change. Today, we noticed these tall green things in several areas. We stopped a local person and asked about them. They are called “trees” and apparently grow all over the place here. We have not been used to seeing those.

A Kansas Morning

Also today, the wind did show up. He slapped us around a little bit, cursed us some, but at least did not beat us up and take our lunch money. As a result, even though the ride was 110 miles in 100+ degree heat, it was really a good day. As I have alluded to earlier, it is hard to explain the significance of wind. I have read two different blogs recently that have talked about the wind. The thing I can relate to is that it does become demoralizing to fight. So a day without winds was, for lack of a better term, a breeze.

While the heat is bad, mornings continue to be beautiful and the first couple of hours of riding are quite pleasant. The roads are generally getting better. Today we did have one stretch of bad road. I made mention that when we came to the next turn, maybe the road would get better. Ray said, “If it ain’t gravel, it will be better!” The road did get better for us as we got closer to our destination of the day, Newton, KS.

Our friends Pete and Dave

We also had the privilege of going through a wildlife refuge today. We saw about 4 or 5 red-tail hawks.They are beautiful animals and it seemed as if they were flying along with us, keeping a look-out for us. We once again ran into our friends Phil, Dave and Pete and finally took a picture of Dave and Pete. They are doing well and seem to be getting stronger as their ride progresses.

Sunflowers in France, I mean Kansas

I need to close today with a personal note. I woke up in the middle of the night last night thinking about my parents. My Dad died when I was 12 years old. But I have said many times that I had more Dad in 12 years than most people have in a lifetime. He was such a happy guy. He had a great sense of humor and enjoyed life to the fullest. And I know he loved me. My Mother was simply the finest woman who ever lived! She loved life and was full of joy. I loved to watch her listen to a joke on a Saturday and then break into uncontrollable laughter in church on Sunday when she finally got it. She was a jewel. And I know she loved me.

I don’t know if my parents would get what I am doing right now. My Dad would wonder why I am not playing baseball. Mother would wonder why I am riding my bicycle when a car would take me across the country much more comfortably. But I know this, they would be 100% behind me. And they would love me. I wish I could tell them in person how much they mean to me. I guess the only reason I am saying this, and the same reason I am riding, is that life is short. We shouldn’t pass up an opportunity to live. And we shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to love. Mother and Dad, Thanks…..I love you.


  1. Truly moved by your post. I never met your parents but if they made you, then I know they were wonderful people.

  2. Thank you for taking the time and effort to remember. You know you are precious and I love you, too. You be careful and tell Ray thank you from me for seeing after and taking care of my precious baby brother. H.& Q.’s, msm

  3. Rusty, your parents do know how much you love them. You always took time out to tell them and most importantly show them. Be safe.

  4. And just when I was not feeling sorry for you or your butt woes, because you chose to do this, you have to go and get all sentimental. Sheesh, please lighten up. 🙂 That kind of stuff really gets to me. Your mom and dad are right there with you and so is everyone else. I know you and Ray feel it. If you don’t then you are either delirious from riding too much or the sun and wind have finally fried, what’s left of your brains. I wish your were going thru Damascus, VA 4 or 5 days earlier. I would bring my mountain bike that is set up for the road and ride with you the day after I race Iron Mountain on 7/17. You would get me in a weakened state after 50 miles of mostly single track and 11,000 feet of climbing. 🙂 I wish you both the best each day. I know you are having a great time. I am happy for you and Ray. Now, let’s get the wind at your back.

  5. I never met your dad, but I always enjoyed spending time with your mom. Enjoy the day.

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