Seven May 14-20 Colorado Springs, CO - Bossier City LA
May 14, Day 37 Colorado Springs-Oklahoma City
May 15, Day 38 Oklahoma City-Okemah OK
May 16, Day 39
17, Day 40 Checotah OK-Fort Smith AK
May 18, Day 41 Fort Smith - Mena AK
May 19, Day 42 Mena AK - Texarkana TX
May 20, Day 43 Texarkana TX - Bossier City LA
Time to shift gears, as my realities and focus adjust back to
weeks on the road, another time zone, another time, another place
Breakfast and farewell hugs were the fare at the Days Inn. Meg, my
and Kendra left for Denver International Airport, but not before
Erin arrived to say goodbye. Erin is recovering from ACL surgery,
a Coleman 2 qt. beverage container full of ice and ice water, which
pumps into her knee brace, for compression and icing. Neat device.
anxious to heal up to resume her snowboarding career.
Justin just missed us at the motel, but called us on the cell phone,
goodbye, and wish me a Happy Mother's Day.
Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and grandmothers out there.
Thank you for your love for your children, of whatever age, and
wherever they are.
The drive back to Colorado Springs, on I-25 was uneventful, just how
we like it. We made it so quickly that we were able to attend church
at our church, Austin Bluffs Evangelical Free Church. It was fun to
see friends, like
Martha McRae and Barbara Carlson.
Got everything packed up; seems like I'm taking back twice what I
Flight from Colorado Springs to DIA was uneventful and full, with
turbulance. At DIA, I had to go from one end of the B concourse to
other. Time to eat my salad from Wendy's, and to visit with Carmen
sister Meg via cell phone.
Then the problems started. United switched gates, so I had to
Then the flight was put on delay, because of a mechanical problem
door seal. Then there was a problem with a window in the cockpit.
finally, about 7 pm, it was announced that the flight could board.
full plane. Flight was just over an hour.
Amy Hearn and Scott met me at the gate, and Dorothy had waited
outside. Amy drove us back to Annie's house. Great to see everyone
again, but it was
Back in Oklahoma, needing to get ready for tomorrow's ride to Okemah
(pronounced Oh-KEE-muh), birthplace of Woody Guthrie.
Yours tired but determined to resume BFTC2K, your HD Road Warrior
back from R&R in Colorado,
The first day of the second half of Bike For The Cure 2000 ... hard to
Dorothy and Annie drove us and our gear to Edmond, to the Heartland Care
Center. So hard to let go of these precious ladies who opened their hearts
and Annie's home to us. Randy Wheeler, the Director of the facility, and his
Assistant, Traci Shields, SAGged us in a Heartland van. We SAGged out of
Oklahoma City to near Choctah, and then started riding.
A German gal, Moni, from the Oklahoma Bicycle Society rode with us for about
20 miles. She even helped us find the ever present road change that Scott
and I have been collecting from Mile 1. That total is up around $15 I think.
Scott and I rode on, up and down through Oklahoma's rolling countryside. The
roads are flanked by roadkill armadillos, turtles, and possums, but there
are also beautiful wildflowers, pastel and delicate.
Passed through Prague pronounced (PRAYG), birthplace of Jim Thorpe, "World's
Greatest Athlete." He was a Sac and Fox Native American.
Finally got to Okemah (pronounced Oh-KEY-muh), birthplace of Woodie Guthrie,
the only famous person who's had HD. His given name was Woodrow Wilson
Guthrie, born July 14, 1912. There's a little park with a Woody statue and
mural. They also sell engraved bricks for $35 (better price than "The Yellow
Brick Road" in Liberal KS). We were met by Mary Jo Guthrie Edgmon (Woodie's
younger sister), Randy Norman, Dee and Sharon Jones from the Woody
Guthrie Coalition. They are very involved in the Woody Guthrie Festival which is
held in Okemah, this year July 12-16. We were given a nice T-shirt from last
year's event and a Woody Guthrie celluloid button (from the Coalition) and
Mary Jo gave us each a lithographed print of Woody's life in Okemah. We felt
so honored. After the photos were taken, we rode to the motel, cleaned up,
and then drove about 20 miles back towards OKC to a restaurant called
Catfish Round-Up in Seminole, right off the I-40. Mary Jo was so pleasantly
surprized to find her husband of over 50 years, Hulett, waiting inside!
Great food and company!
I was enthralled by so many of Mary Jo's stories. To hear her talk, of
Woody, Marjorie, Arlo, Jody and Nora just awed me. A gracious lady, living
Check out this website: www.woodyguthrie.com
Love to all on this first day "back in the saddle again."
Marie (and Scott)
After a good night's sleep, we got started early. Scott and I
left our gear
in the motel room, for Dee and Sharon Jones to SAG for us a bit
later in the
Cool morning, sidewind ... Kind of typical really. The 266 Hwy. we
following, a parallel road to the I-40, was in pretty bad shape. It rivaled
the infamous "Chuck-hole-la" in California, but not as
long. I hit one bump,
and heard something hit the ground. Thought it was from Scott's
bike, but it
ended up being a broken tail light bracket. Darn!
First "major" town along the way, Henryetta, the hometown
of Troy Aikman and Jim Shoulders of the Dallas Cowboys. Different
counties are part of the
geographical area of certain Indian tribes; we were in the Creek
many Indian names to cities and counties: Okfuskee, Okmudgee,
Okmulgee, Sequoyah, Talequah ...
We enjoyed Dee and Sharon's company, as their involvement with the
Woody Guthrie Festival unfolded. Neat folks, real movers and shakers
Dee needed to get back to Oklahoma City for work, so Randy Norman
met up with us about 7 miles from Checotah. A passing of the
"baton," the magnetic Bike For The Cure signs. Fond
farewells to Dee and Sharon.
The weather began to deteriorate, with lightning and thunder in the
distance. It confirmed that Checotah would be our destination, even
it was still early.
Randy helped get us settled, and then took off for his home in
Scott and I each had a box of miscellaneous tires, t-shirts, and
"stuff" to send home, so this was a good opportunity to
We walked to a restaurant in the neighboring truck stop, and had a
Had to get to sleep early, with an early start on schedule for
Sandra Butler, the Oklahoma Chapter Media Contact person,
drive down from near Tulsa, and SAG us to Ft. Smith. She's due at
5:30 am so we need to be ready.
48.5 mile ride today, a bit short, but it'll work.
So much for today ...
Marie (and Scott)
your HD Road Warriors, still in Oklahoma, but Arkansas tomorrow
Goodbye Oklahoma, hello Arkansas!
Sandra Butler arrived an hour early (4:30 am) at the motel in Checotah,
to SAG us to Ft. Smith. Better early than late! And were we SAGged in
style? How many folks can say they've had a Jaguar sedan SAG them?
The ride began in the dark, about 5:45 am. Phil, I had to use the little
flashing light you gave me, since yesterday the bracket holding my
rear flashing light broke! Basically we paralleled the I-40, on Hwy 266
then 64. Beautiful scenery, so green, with those ever present
We crossed two major rivers; one had barges on it!
Between Gore and Vian, we stopped to aid a motorist with a leaking
pump; she used my cell phone to call her husband.
Sandra found a great spot for lunch, a state park in Sallislaw. Great
Pressing on, we continued East. Spotted a '56 Ford Victoria, turquoise
white, with a continental kit spare tire on the rear. It would be right
home on Route 66.
The highlight of the day was the reception in Ft. Smith. June Goff,
contact person, led us in, driving her son Monty's (pHD) red Ford
Sandra's Jaguar followed behind. Just over the border, we were met by
people, many in Bike For The Cure 2000 T-shirts. Channel 40 TV was
and even Mayor Ray Baker, who presented us with official certificates
naming May 17 & 18 "Bike For The Cure Days," naming Scott
and me each "Honorary Citizens of Ft. Smith." He also gave us
a pin and a patch from Ft. Smith. This gathering was awesome! June had
never orchestrated anything like this, and did a marvelous job!
Two policemen on mountain bikes, plus a rider from the local riding
escorted us to June's home, just in time to catch the great footage
June and Monty's interview earlier today, and footage from the
welcoming. The piece was very well done. We all clapped at the end. We
got lots of photos before dinner! A little later, John (at risk)
presented us each with a red Razorback T-shirt and refrigerator magnet.
June's church, First Baptist,
delivered dinner for us (beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, salad,
baked beans, pineapple upside down cake, and strawberry shortcake).
What a day! A 76 mile day, culminated by this outpouring of Arkansas
I haven't written Day 39 yet, but wanted to try to share the
today as early as possible. Will try to catch up tomorrow, as it's
Three long days ahead, heading South to Bossier City LA and a visit with
Shirley Procell and the Swan Lane Gang.
Your tired HD Road Warriors,
Marie and Scott
PS. I will get all of you Day 38 and 39 as soon as they come out
cyberland. I have a partial of day 38 but will wait to send it until I
all of the message.
Ft. Smith is a place we wished we could have stayed longer, but time
to move on.
Johnny Jones from the local bike shop came by June's at 6:30 am to SAG
and me about 20 miles, through the Ft. Smith traffic and on our way
South on Hwy 71. Their shop sponsors elite riders who are trying to earn
spots on the US National team. Their son Bryce is in Belgium racing.
Our first stop was, appropriately, Huntington. Visited with a couple of
waitresses at Lewis' restaurant.
On to Mansfield, where we stopped briefly at the school there, which was
nicknamed "the safest school in America."
The highlight of the morning was the contact in Waldron, pop. 3024.
Chief Jimmy Doster drove out to the Hwy initially, to make contact, then
when we arrived at the point to follow the 71-B into town, we were
by the "blue light special" squad car, driven by Officer
Fritz. With siren
blaring, we followed him for 1 1/2 miles, to The Rock Cafe. There we
photographed and interviewed by the 2 local newspapers. City Hall footed
the tab for our buffet lunch.
After lunch, I began to feel bad. No energy, a bit of an upset
called June to see if my engineer hat had arrived in the mail, but it
hadn't. I mentioned not feeling well, but she said she couldn't hear me
well, although I could hear her fine. By the time we reached the 38 mile
mark, in "Y" City, I felt I just couldn't go on. we had
the whole way, and it was humid, too. I called our new contact person in
Mena, Mike Kelsey, and found out Mike was already on the way to SAG me
Scott was doing fine, so he continued to ride on into Mena and to Mike's
I was able to drink some gatorade and take a two hour nap, waking up to
the sound of a raging rainfall at 5:30 pm. So glad Scott had made it
Dinner with Mike, his wife Susan, and two of their three sons, Daniel
Brian. A gentleman from Ft. Smith had SAGged our gear to Mena, and
dropped it off where Mike's oldest son Justin works!
Justin brought the gear home, on his break from selling satellite
I am still tired and wiped out. Please pray for physical strength for
Hoping and praying that I just had an off day.
From Western Arkansas, indoors while the rain rages on outside,
The HD Road Warriors,
Marie (and Scott)
Rain, rain, go away, Scott and I need a way ...
Got up at 5:00 am, ready to go at 6:30 am when Mike got back from work at
the local hospital, where he's a part time respiratory therapist. We'd
decided to SAG to DeQueen, about 45 miles, then ride at least to Ashdown,
possibly to Texarkana AR-TX.
Mike drove us and our gear in his van, dubbed "the Caravan from hell." It's
his workhorse, speedometer stopped at 200 some thousand miles, drooping
headliner, rear seat removed, pelling metallic gray paint - great vehicle!
We got to DeQueen, unloaded the bikes, and got set to ride. However, the
drizzling continued, and Mike extended the invitation to SAG on down the
road, to Ashdown. Things were looking up, until we began to notice all the
vehicles headed N from Texarkana had their lights on. Sure enough, rain ...
continuing on into Texarkana.
As we entered Texarkana, I noticed all the liquor stores were on the
Arkansas side of Stateline, in Miller County. Across the street in Bowie
County Texas, it's a "dry" county.
A Baptist Bookstore caught our eye, and we drove in their parking lot, and
once inside the store, inquired about a place which might accommodate us.
Scott made a few calls, and found us lodging in the Randy Sams Shelter,
named for and funded by the family of WILLIAM RANDALL SAMS "Tuffy" Dec. 23,
1974 (catch that, Justin)-May 16, 1993 Beloved Son, Child of God. It's motto
is"By the Grace of God a Place for His People." Nice large shelter, busy
with with lots of canned goods being sorted by Bowie County inmates. There
are painted sleeping areas on the floor, with numbered spots for men,
smaller less restricted area for women. Ate lunch (lasagna,
okra-corn-onion-tomato, black-eyed peas and cornbread) cooked by Darrell,
one of the staff.
Rode to the Post Office which is in the middle of a roundabout, straddling
the line that delineates Arkansas from Texas. Letters are postmarked
"Texarkana AR-TX." Visited Chamber of Commerce, newly burnt-out Methodist
Church, Wal-Mart, then Cavender's Western Wear Store, where Scott found the
belt buckle and cowboy boots he's been wanting for weeks.)
Returned to the homeless shelter as folks began to check in. The church that
was scheduled to bring dinner for the residents didn't show up, so Darrell
had to hustle to get dinner for those spending the night. Same thing as
lunch, except peas instead of black-eyed peas.
Richard, the director of the shelter, returned after dinner with his wife
Marlene, from New Brunswick Canada. He met her through ICQ on the Internet.
I did not get to meet Marlene, because I had fallen asleep.
Earlier I had contacted Shirley Procell, who will be hosting us in Bossier
City LA tomorrow evening. Those on the Hunt-Dis List know Shirley, her
lovely poetry, and that she has 2 pHD sons, Gary and Ken Booth. (Their names
are on our ride T-shirts.)
I'm feeling much better now, and am looking forward to the ride to Bossier
A more rested HD Road Warrior,
Marie (and Scott)
The lights in the Shelter came on just as my alarm went off. The homeless
get up and moving, have breakfast, then have to leave. Scott and I fit that
Rode the few blocks from the Texas to the Arkansas side of Texarkana, and
started down the 71 Hwy towards Shreveport LA. We were riding with panniers
and trailer, but still able to maintain a pretty good pace, due to the
Shirley Procell drove up from Bossier City to relieve us of our gear; met us
about 20 miles S of Texarkana. What a welcome sight, Shirley in her husband
Jerry's navy blue pick-up truck, with a Louisiana Tech decal on it! After
hugs and a little conversation, she took our gear in the back of the truck,
back to Bossier City, and Scott and I continued to ride. Shirley is just as
loving as she appears on the Hunt-Dis list!
Stopped in Doddridge AR, the usual restroom and water refill break. Handed
out two brochures, one to the shopkeeper, and one to a 30-some yr old woman.
Just as we were about to leave, this young woman approached us, and asked,
"Is Huntington's Disease the same as Huntington's Chorea?" I responded
affirmatively, and then she shared that her mother has HD, but she really
didn't know much about it! We referred her to the HDSA phone number on our
brochure, and I got her name so I could send her some contact
information. Another divine appointment ...
Pastures of corn or tree-lined thick forests were the norm. The state line
was about 35 miles into the ride. Stopped in Ida, where there was an
ARK-LA-TX Game Club blgd (where we think there was cock fighting going on.)
Maybe 150 pick-up trucks, and only men wandering around.
Fairly easy riding, on pretty good shoulder. But ... we knew we had finally
arrived in the deep South. We were in Caddo Parish (in Louisiana, the
counties are called "parishes.")
Shirley told us to call her when we got to Shreveport, and that I did. We
waited at a rest area just inside the city limits of Shreveport, 66 miles
from Texarkana. A reporter from the Bossier City newspaper, Elaine, beat
Shirley there. She interviewed us, and took some pictures.
We loaded our bikes into the pick-up, seat belted ourselves down, and headed
for Bossier City. As many of you know, Shirley lives on Swan Lake Rd. We
exited the I-220 at that exit, and drove N. Just as we were approaching a
curve in the road, we all spotted a white smaller early 80's station wagon
approaching, at much too high a speed. Alertly, Shirley pulled off of
swan Lake Rd onto a gravel road, but this vehicle sideswiped the left rear of the
truck, and sped away, without stopping, a hit-and-run! Shirley tried to
follow to get the license plate number, but the driver got away too quickly!
We called 911 to report what had happened, and a deputy met us near the
Interstate. We explained what had happened, and surveyed the damage! The
Lord surely protected us, because it could have been a whole lot worse! The
white vehicle struck the truck over the rear fenderwell, grazed the wheel
and tire, and tore up the bumper. But no damage to us personally, and no
damage to the bikes. Shirley was so calm! She called her husband Jerry, who drove down in their van. A
different deputy took down the information on the accident. The truck is
driveable, but damaged. What a narrow escape!
The Procells have a lovely 2 story, country blue home. The kitchen is
Holstein cow motif. Jerry and Shirley's son Jarrett just signed a 2 yr
rookie contract with the Buffalo Bills in the NFL. Many athletic awards on
End of Part 1
Shirley and Jerry prepared a lovely dinner; so Southern with brisket, lima
beans, black-eyed peas, mashed potatoes. Shirley prepared two plates of food
for Ken and Gary, her two pHD sons who live in a lovely mobile home on their
property. Shirley and I took their mashed food back to them. Gary can feed
himself, but Ken is very rigid with the Westphal variety of HD at age 31,
and his fingers don't bend enough for him to feed himself, so he allowed me
to feed him. What a priviledge! He ate all his food, plus 3 glasses of
Gatorade and juice, and a piece of cake. I was so proud of Ken! Although he
doesn't speak, he seemed to appreciate the time I took with him. Gary likes
to feed himself, albeit somewhat messily. Shirley cleaned him up
afterwards, and they watched some old TV shows.
What a day! Three states, a newspaper interview, getting into the land of
jambalaya, redneck coon ass, gumbo, shodeo's, parishes, mudbugs (crawdads).
A car wreck, meeting the wonderful Procell-Booth Swan Lake "gang," and a
wonderfully comfortable bed with a lovely quilt.
Rest day tomorrow. Need to clean bike chains. Hope to go to church, and
praise the Lord for all He's brought us through.
Hard to believe there's less than three weeks left of the ride. Starting the
seventh week on the road. Last week of guessing on who will SAG. From
Mobile, Alabama on, it'll be Pat Pillis!
With love from the South,
in Bossier City LA,
your HD Road Warriors,
Marie (and Scott)