Pre-Ride Ramblings

Maine! What’s for dinner?

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Driving to Bar Harbor

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Long days of driving! America the Beautiful!

Neat bridge in Ashtabula, OH!



Dam good coffee from the Shaker Dam Coffee House! (Never get tired of dam jokes!)


Finally leaving Michigan!

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It may seem like we’re dragging our butts out of this state, but today is the day! The logistics have been complex – they’ve involved a bike wheel, a lawn mower, a treadle sewing machine and baby clothes (don’t ask!).

We spent the night with Shawn’s sister Sheila and BIL Bill. Sheila will be holding our spare glasses and a spare back wheel for us. Tandem back wheels are not easily replaceable, so Sheila will be ready to Fed-ex our wheel at a moments notice (or close to it ¬†ūüėČ )

This morning we met Shawn’s brother Boyce and BIL Brad at our son Matt’s place in Ferndale. Boyce and Brad will be the driving team that will bring our car back to Michigan.

We also had our first mechanical issue of the trip…Once upon a time Jim hit the bike rack on a garage Door.¬†His “farmer fixit” repair (including the use of a really, really strong wire tie) needed a little attention. So…Loosen a bolt, adjust, tighten the wire tie a bit, tighten the bolt and good as new. (Did you know Jim was¬†Schooled as a structural engineer? There’s probably a good reason why he not following the career path!)ImageShawn and SheilaImageBrad, Shawn, Jim, Matt and Boyce in front of ¬† Matt’s Ferndale lair. ¬†

We’re rolling now, most likely stop in upstate NY tonight.

Off like a dirty shirt!

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Loaded up & headed east! A day late & a dollar short! ūüėČ

By the way, if you’re reading this on a mobile device, you can access other pages of this blog (including our Route page) by clicking on the black dash (or minus sign).


Don’t ride angry!

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A few of you may know we have a long tradition of celebrating Ground Hog’s day by screening the Bill Murray movie with friends. ¬†This sketch was presented to us at our send off party by my friend Mark, whose daughter Chelsea drew it for us. ¬†How cool is this drawing!?!?! ¬†It will be a good reminder – road rage is not on the agenda for this ride!!! ¬†Thanks Chelsea!!!


Now we’re just getting silly!

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OK, we really need to get on the road because now we’re just getting silly! ¬†I’m thinking of adding ounces by taking a pair of my party glasses (party glasses = single vision), but I can’t decide which! ¬†We’re looking for your feedback friends – which pair?¬†photo (14)¬†

Saying Goodbye

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We both had some wonderful send-offs this week, our last week of work.  People make the job and leaving so many wonderful friends was very hard Рbut the world awaits us!

photo 4 Jim and Shawn_0333o


A beautiful, thoughtful going away gift for Shawn from her co-workers brought on the waterworks! IMG_7531


We met at Founders Brewing, downtown Grand Rapids, on Friday night for our send-off party.  Our daughter, Aimee, surprised us by flying home from Anchorage, Alaska to join the party!  What a beautiful, fun surprise!!!

Mom surprised at Founders

Our oldest and youngest children- Matt and Aimee, 2nd pic is Jim and Luke – at our send-off party:


We are truly blessed. Thank you to all who came out last night for our send-off party last night!

I’m still amazed that the kids came out –¬†Aimee¬†from Alaska(!) and¬†Matt¬†&¬†Luke¬†from Detroit. We were missing our middle child, Walt and his wife, Leanne, but certainly didn’t expect them to join us. ¬†It is a long, expensive trip – especially for a young couple who just bought their first home and are expecting a baby! ¬†(Plus, we just saw them over Easter!)

So many friends! We love you all and are so very thankful for your prayers and encouragement.

Remember, if you haven’t seen it, the movie recommendation for the weekend is Joe vs the Volcano.

Shawn and Jim at Founders from Jamie Rueffer