May 30, 2008

5/30/08 Kansas City, MO - USA

The weather can't seem to make up it's mind. Even though the weather forecast has a big yellow sun on it for today, it's raining outside. But at least that means I might stay indoors long enough to finish some of the things I absolutely need to get done this week before I leave.

Another night of very little sleep. I think my mind is in overdrive trying to think of everything for these two next adventures. Can't really figure out anything that will stop that, or even slow it down. It takes all my self-discipline not to keep jumping out of bed every time I think of something to write down or just another little thing to do while I'm awake.

Yesterday, some of my ESL (English as a Second Language) classmates have been updating the rest of the group by email. Donna leaves in two weeks for her school in Brazil. Sarah and Ben are still looking for teaching jobs but are pretty busy getting ready for their wedding right now. And Cybelle got a great job in Moscow teaching Business English starting in September. I sure hope we can all keep in touch and give each other help and support during our first year teaching.

My new best friends in the whole wide world is Bruno and the gang at Phil Wood & Co. Talked to Bruno who is the service manager and they are basically going to rebuild the entire hub, replacing almost everything that can be replaced. Estimated cost: only $50. That's like getting a brand new hub (retail $385). And this is a 7-year old hub with 20,000-miles on it. He said it would be done this afternoon and shipped before the end of the day. And he said it would be here in plenty of time for my Canada trip. Yippie!

Tonight after walking some 25 miles, Ron 'Happy Go Lucky' Kessler called to let me know where he was walking through town. Ron started his cross-country walk on March 1st on the East Coast and you could now say he's reached the halfway point to the West Coast. His goal today was just to reach the Kansas state line. so I picked him up in the neighborhood of 7th & Central Ave in KCK. You couldn't miss him in his pink, yes PINK, wig. He's raising awareness and money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to honor a friend with terminal breast cancer.

With his GO PINK wig!

I know Ron because he is an Aappalachian Trail thruhiker. He said Kansas City was the first place he was actually interviewed by three of the local TV stations as he walked from Independence into downtown: KMBC KSHB He has a website that collects donations (click here to donate) but he says he get's more response just from the good folks he meets along the way like at restaurants and little market/gas stations.. "One guy even gave me a $100." Ron says. So far he's raised about $5000. His online journal is at Road to the Cure.

My good friends Geri & Mike Dishman, parents of AT thruhiker Katie, jumped at the chance to give Ron a place to stay and rest on his walk. "Everyone helped our daughter on the AT, so we want to pass on some of that trail magic." After a much needed shower, we all sat down to a wonderful dinner. Ron plans on walking tomorrow through to Bonner Springs, then take Sunday off, and then push on to Lawrence on Monday.

Ron with Katie, Jimmy in the back, Geri, & Mike

Tomorrow looks to be busy with projects, bike riding, yoga and dinner again (BBQ!!!) with Ron at the Dishman's.

Only one week left! Vancouver here I come.