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I’m back… I guess I need to finish this for me… so much I feel the need to get out and so much of me feels like I will never get it all out. I have a few things I want to do with this today though and I hope I can find the time. First off… this morning has been funny, sad, heart breaking… I was cleaning out my email stuff and decided to go through my dad’s folder. Ok… let me wait on that so I can get out this other stuff… but I will get to that, I apologize my mind is all over the place so I just need to focus…

My father has passed, and now what? I did not know. I have never had to do anything like this. Meeting the funeral home with my uncles and getting the sticker shock… My uncles and I got to sit and try to explain to a stranger “who” my father was… as you can see from the picture in the last blog and I will add it here too…


they did a good job I think, my father if nothing did not know how to do anything half way. Then the feeling of guilt picking out a coffin when you do not want to look at price and feel cheap, but what choice do you have? I mean honestly I know my dad would have not given a rat’s tail. But everyone who comes knows my dad, and well if I am the one who has to make the decisions on how to send him off, and my decisions affect how everyone sees him for the last time… oh god… talk about pressure… then there it was… something that actually had “Blue” in the name… talking to my uncles and we all kind of smiled and agreed. It felt really good to have someone to share that with, to know I was not alone in thinking that it was a good choice.

Now back to his house, my uncle and I needed to go through some paperwork to attempt to try to find a will, I really prayed there was a will. So much easier that way, we found the life insurance policy and found titles and deeds… even found a blank do it yourself will kit… but no will… I hope and pray even harder that this goes smoothly. I would give anything to give this over to someone else, but it is my father, my responsibility, and I try to never give anyone else my burdens. It was mine… he was mine… and I will do it.

Everyone has gone home to rest, I am sitting there at the table with what feels like a mound of papers in front of me… call this person call that one… stop this card, freeze this account… spell my name correctly again for the person who is getting it wrong again for the 3rd time… I am numb to “I am so sorry to hear about your loss… we send our deepest condolences…” from the people on the phone who do not know me and are looking at a computer screen. I understand they may even mean it, but I am in robot mode, I have a job to do, I have to finish dad’s business matters he had a good name and it will stay that way. I will make sure his bills are paid and I will close out every single account in good standing. I will see that done no matter what.

Sitting back looking around I would have given anything to have him there… I don’t want his stuff… I don’t care how much things cost, I don’t care how much anything is worth… none of it is worth what I would give to have him take me shoot, to have him take me hunting for my first time, to go back and start over and be the son I should have been… none of this shit can touch any of that. The value any of it holds to me is that it was his, my dad’s… knowing he had picked this out or that out to go do things he enjoyed; I want to pick up where he left off…

During this time I had a lot of people helping me emotionally through this stuff friends from NC, old friends from Ohio, family… and of course Facebook that I could not keep up with.

It was that night I got to unwind a little I think, I went to an old friend’s house. Met her husband and her kids, I got to smile a little at their interaction because it was just a typical family with teenagers lol it felt good to smile and just have a few beers. To just talk and get it out… her husband and family were awesome and it really was a great help. But then it was time to go… time to go back to my father’s house… my house…

Once again sitting and looking at the bills, and accounts, looking in the fridge and seeing the stuff. He had been in the hospital for almost a month before he passed, it was as if in his house his life was just paused, except you can’t pause produce and meat and the stuff growing in the fridge. Just looking around I really did not know where to start and my mind is always all over the place anyway that did not help much. I fell asleep, kinda, in his chair looking as some of his pictures.

Well it is viewing day…   ok I am stopping this here, I have been very busy and I have not had time to finish this. I wrote that last bit well over a week ago, and it seems as I go further and further away from events, the foggier it all seems. A lot went on, many nights alone in his house with a lot to still do; I would have given anything to ask his advice on stuff. But so would have a million other people who lost loved ones… so I am going to change direction… I have a poem I wrote a long long time ago after watching a movie. Something about the final scene of the movie struck a chord in me and I just had to write something. I had not written anything in such a long long time. At least not a poem like this, I used to write poems all the time, but this was just out of nowhere so to speak. But the more I think about it… there was a man, who knew he was going to die, he knew it was coming and he sat up and looked out at space and saw beauty one last time before he was gone. He did not hide from it he did not freak out and cry, he stood up, faced it, and let it take him. My father was told he was dieing… he did not lose his mind, he even had the option to eat and drink anything he wanted knowing it would hurt, knowing if he did and they upped the meds he would not be able to talk to us as he was. And all he asked for was ice chips… he faced it… so this is something I have never felt I needed to dedicate to anyone… but somehow this just fits. So this is for my Dad, written well before his death or even knowing he was going to die, but now knowing it just fits. He was a Leo… just like me… all this time I never put that together, but it makes sense.

The Star…

Moonlight surrounds me as I breathe in the stars this night

Evening dew settles on my skin as I am afraid to move

Droplets whispering to me telling me the secrets of heaven


I stand transfixed, drawn to a distant point, a place among the stars

I cannot see it nor have I been there but my heart feels as if it knows the way

I stand spellbound in a dreamy state as I am afraid to close my eyes


Time passes and I have seen a million shooting stars

Each time gone before my mind can register their existence

Each time only leaving a ghostlike impression in my mind


But the one star I seek, though I cannot see it, I know it is there


I can feel it calling to me… pulling me


and I am scared to look away


Keeping my eyes fixated on the heavens I feel as if the cosmos is mine

I am the lion among the stars, the king of this jungle

A warrior in my own mind, and yet… I am scared to look away


Soft droplets of dew fall on me

Gently kissing my skin…

They are tears cried by stars long gone


as they land they turn to ice on my skin

a frost that covers my eternal soul

even with frosted eyes I never look away


Brilliant blinding light starting as a pin point growing as vast as an ocean

Bringing the fire of life as it heats my body until the frost just melts away

Basking in its glory I stand as naked as my soul, without protection, only trust


The star has come full circle

Bringing life to a dark cold place

A phoenix bursting forth in the night


To my knees I fall as I bask in the glory of the prize

A soul laid bare before its maker

Searching for answers and finding them


I am now home


I am now happy


I am finally free


As I read this again but with my father in mind tears come to my eyes… how perfect it is to me, how fitting… if to no one else but me, it just fits. Now I had also been reading over some of the emails he had sent me over the years, I had never put them together in this way before because really for the most part I mainly got some great jokes and funny work friendly forwards… my co-workers loved them too I can’t tell you how many time I would send something on and I would get a reply, “that came from your dad didn’t it?” That would always make me laugh.

But aside from the funny stuff I put together his other emails… normally never than like 10 lines, he was not much of an email guy. Like this one from 2010 I don’t remember what I had said I guess it was me trying to apologize for being an ass as a kid… but re reading this made me feel good:

 From: Blue [] Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 1:15 PM To: Bacskay, Douglas (TS) Subject:


      Hi Doug

   Having just received your e-mail, I feel a responsibility to let you know. I don’t think your a loser,

and I don’t believe you have to atone for past sins. Your a good man Douglas, a good husband and

father. You may have been a bit slow growing up, but you had terrible influences and role models

when you were young. That’s more my fault than yours, place the blame where it belongs. You have

made me proud, through hard work and determination you’ve proved your self, not with words, but

your actions. Don’t ever believe yourself unworthy, and don’t get too full of yourself. Life is tough

enough without setting ourselves for the falls.

          Your Dad

And then there were other that were just odd for even him but make me smile… he could be a strange cat sometimes but I would have not had it any other way…

From: D Bacskay [] Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 9:46 AM To: Bacskay, Douglas (QM/H) Subject: [RMX:##] hello son



     I just thought I’d take a moment to say hi. Everyone up here is healthy and doing well. I,ve been going to a lot of shoots this summer,and I’m

shooting pretty good. The boat is in the water, and I,ve been spending time at my camper. Its been a busy summer.

     Theres a powerful thunderstorm blowing outside,its been rather dry year, so we need the rain. This has been a good year for crops and

flowers. We,ve been eating sweet corn and tomatoes for afew weeks now, and it’s the sweetest in years.

     I was very happy to see you get your own house. By now you must have that feeling of home and responsonsability that you cant get from a

rental. There’s something about sitting on your porch, looking across your yard, at the flowers you planted. You somehow feel more rooted to the

land. I think I’m babbling.

     Happy birthday last week, How does is it feel to be middle aged. I’ll bet fifteen years ago, you didn’t think you’d be standing in the shoes that

you are now. Today I start the fifty-eighth year of my life, what a strange trip it’s been, most eventful.

    It’s time for breakfast,and I’m hungry for a biscuit.


                     MY LOVE ALWAYS





             AM I TYPING TOO LOUD ?

There is another email I will share too but I am going to take parts of it out because it talks about someone else and it’s just not something I want out there like that… for me it is the stuff he write for me directly that are important to me now…

From: David Bacskay [] Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 8:57 AM To: Bacskay, Douglas (US/BA-FAT) Subject: [RMX:#] hey


hi doug


    My pride in you is huge , you are a good housband and father and a selfless, charitable man. I have been

watching facebook, because it’s the best way to follow your ride from a thousand miles away.The pride in

Kayla’s face was literally glowing in those pictures.

   I look forward to my next visit, i hope to be back in the spring again.


That last one really hits me… I will post the picture I think he was talking about with my daughter and myself it was one of my favorites.


But reading these I am happy to know that I really do not have any doubts what he felt, I am so blessed to be able to look back in a way so many others are not. And no matter how bad things were in the start, in the end is all that matters and my father was one who did not put up with bullshit from anyone. So for him to say these things he meant them… and he felt it. And well I just wish I could tell him thank you. For not giving up and being able to see what was good in me, even when I was still struggling to find it in myself… even when I was pushing to find that next thing to do to prove I was a good and strong person. He already knew, and believed in me.

Then there was when I did Mt. Mitchell one of the few big big rides I have done that was not a charity ride… this one was for me. The guy who has had so many knee surgeries on both knees, who had gained and lost weight and struggled to keep it off every time… who just felt like a fat guy struggling to keep it together most of the time. That ride was going to be for me… well I did it… and he noticed in another of his exceptionally long emails lol

 From: David Bacskay [] Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2014 2:03 PM To: Bacskay, Douglas (US/BA-FAT) Subject: congrats


   From your facebook postings, i knew you did the mt. mitchell. I did’nt know if you had made it to the

top till now. I always knew you could do it, wheather you would make it all the way to the top was my

only concern. That was quite an accomplishment, there are things in your life you will always remember

without regret, this is one of them. You have much to be proud of.

   The true test of a man is’nt measured by how he acts normally ,but how he reacts in the face of

adversity.You showed great inner strength, it does’nt matter what position you finished in, you perservered.

    Theres no such thing as giving 110%, you can give all you have and no more, you gave everything!!

    my love 


That makes it all worth it… there are more… but well I will keep them for myself. I never have to wonder and I can go forward and know that all that I am going through and dealing with now is worth it. He was my father, and I love him, and I know that he really loved me and was proud. And that is all a son can ask for.


Thanks for letting my purge and for reading… it helps to get stuff out sometimes


Love, anger and numbness…


    I really do not know exactly what I am to say here, I have wanted to write but really did not know how to get it out. It has been so long since I blogged anything I think the last time was the cool (to me) car that I bought and picked up that I blamed my father for making me like it… and now… well he is at fault for this blog as well.


  On June 7th my father took his last breath, just 17 days ago… 17 days…


 On the 11th I got to see his face in person for the last time, that was hard… but I guess I better go back a little. I was going to start with when he called me to tell me that he was in the hospital… but no… I need to get more out…


  I never knew my father all that well growing up… he was the guy who make trucks (he worked at Ford), and he was the guy who would pop into my life with a few presents from time to time. I remember once, and I do not know how it all came about but my brother and I (different fathers but don’t you dare call us half brothers, we are soul mates lol it’s in inside joke, there is nothing half about being a brother you either are… or you are not… and yes read that in the voice of Yoda if you like) were visiting my father. I think it was a birthday, we were both young but I do not remember how young to be honest, all I know is he had to be the richest person ever (to the mind of a child)… he took my brother and I into a toy store and told us to pick out two things… any 2 things we wanted. I just remember the look on my lil brothers face, it had to mirror mine. Eyes big as the can get, “ANYTHING?” He mouthed… and I just shrugged… so there we were picking out two of the coolest Transformers ever… and think G.I. Joes… I don’t remember the rest. But it is little memories like that I remember from him… he was a semi foul mouthed guy that was really cool to me. He told you exactly what he thought in not the nicest of ways, and you could sit and listen to his stories for hours… as I got older he sort of reminded me of George Carlin more and more… just a simple why are people to fkn stupid attitude because everything was so clear and simple as he saw it.

  My dad was a guy’s guy for sure… and with no doubt a ladies’ man… he had that old wise guy type style, kinda could say almost anything and get away with it and he could pull off suspenders like they were cool.

  His friends that I knew were loyal to a fault, and boy have I heard things… lol but now that is between me and the grave… It was not easy being a son to a man who honestly did not know how to be a father… I was an asshole kid, and he did not take shit from anyone. So that alone was a tough hurdle to get over for us. He knew how to be affectionate to women… but I was a grown man child and well it was just awkward most of the time.

  I did enjoy watching football with him and listen to him cuss and get pissed off telling me he would never watch these stupid bums again… lol until next Sunday… then we would sit back on a lazy afternoon and watch old black and white movies, and westerns… now I know to a lot of you that may seem dull. But man as a younger kid I used to watch stuff like little house on the prairie with my mother’s father and that was what family was all about… well that and the dukes of hazard but well you have to have a little balance in your like right?

  There was a lot of good in our relationship, but still a lot of resentment on my part too… I had been through some stuff and he was not there. And now he wanted to be “Dad” and I have a bolder on my shoulder about that and was not going to make it easy. Stupid kid… was doing even worse stupid things…

  Fast forward a long long time skipping the ugly… Living in NC with my own half grown children, I remember the first time my Dad agreed to come visit my house… you would have thought the president of the United States was coming over… nothing could go wrong or he may never want to come again… it had to be perfect… and funny thing was almost nothing turned out right, and it was perfect. My dad and I side by side at my sink peeling what felt like 20lbs of shrimp because I go the wrong kind and it was not cleaned… man it took us hours to clean all of that. But between the two of us we got it done, I will never forget that. He enjoyed so much just relaxing at my table eating the food and listening to the kids talk about school, my daughter was all stary eyed at “Grandpa Dave” cause he was not like the rest of the family… my son just like I would… sat back and just loved to listen to his stories…

  I remember going to the farmers market here with him and picking out wine for dinner, and then cooking a steam pot for him with my friend Patrick and just having everyone sit back and enjoy the evening. I felt like that all the bad had gone, and I finally had my dad, my anger was gone and I just wanted so hard to work and be a man he could be proud of. No matter what he was my father and I loved him… I wanted to do more things with him.


  Fast forward to 2015… my daughter is turning 18 and graduating high school, my youngest is an adult and loves her grandpa Dave so much. I asked him if there was any way he could surprise her and come in for her graduation and then we would do her b-day party that night. He would be her biggest surprise and she would be so happy. He told me he would have to check his schedule because he had a bunch of shoots in June… well that weekend was free and he said he would make it!! We talked about him not feeling well that this flue he had after he got back from Vegas was lingering, I told him to get some rest and we would nail down details later.

  I few months from the graduation we talk again, he told me about selling one of his campers and trading the other in on a better toy hauler that he could take to shoots, that he had it parked at a friend’s house who had a farm because it was too big to put at his place. He was going to clean out the other that weekend and get the new one ready for his upcoming shoot. I had not heard from him for quite a few weeks, so I left a few messages on his answering machine and sent a few emails… I did not call his cell because I really did not want to bother him if he was on a shoot or at dinner with friends. I knew he would get back up with me when he was done with whatever.

  Then… Tuesday June 2nd I am at my desk at work and I get a call on my cell, normally I would not answer my cell at work but it was dad’s cell phone and I had wanted to talk to him and the graduation and b-day party were less than 2 weeks away. He was telling me that he was in the hospital, and had been for over 3 weeks… he had had surgery and did not want to bother me with it. That people had kept asking him if he had called me so much that he figured it was time to call me and let me know. They had found a mass in his lower intestine and cut it out, but it was not cancer so no big deal. Took out his gallbladder while they were there and stitched him up. He was recovering and would end up going to an assisted living home for a few weeks after they released him. So he could go through physical therapy and get better, they could not let him go home because he was really weak and his bathroom is on the 2nd floor of his house. I asked the obvious questions, are you going to be ok… blah blah… I was kinda in shock did not know what to say. I have been trying to reach him for a few weeks and he was in the hospital the whole time and I never knew it. I felt bad, but how could I have known.

  He then tells me that in recovery his heart started acting up a little and would not get into rhythm and right before they decided to “shock” it back into shape it just leveled out and was normal. So for now they are keeping him on the cardiac floor, but if everything goes well today they will move him to a general recovery floor later in the week. He told me he did not tell me because there was nothing I could do and there was no point in getting me worried or having me run up there to just sit. I understood that I guess, and he was right there was nothing I could have done and he honestly saved me from feeling guilty that I would not have been able to just go up there and sit. The conversation was pretty short just him being him and updating me on what’s going on in his own, “fkn doctors got a tube in my dick” sort of way. I say I hope he feels better and update me when he knows more, he said he would. We said our good-byes… if I had only known…

  I called my uncle Jerry to get filled in on what my dad may not have been telling me. Well there was little to say, dad had said it all pretty much except that there was some concern that his digestion had not kicked in yet and that was all they were waiting on to get his body functions back online. I thanked Jerry and emailed him all my contact info incase anything like that happened again and he wanted to tell me he could.

  I got my kids to call dad and Kayla specially wanted to talk to him she was happy to hear that he was going to surprise her, but then sad that he was not well and would miss it. But she got to talk to him and that was good. I called on Wednesday but it was really short he was about to go for a test… then on Thursday I tried again but it went right to voicemail…

  So here it is Friday I worked late and then was going to meet Michele at dinner to go try a new place that opened up not far from where I work. We got a table and sat down, water and bread came and my phone rang… it was dad… I told Michele I was going to step outside… then everything changed. It was my uncle Jerry; he was calling to tell me that my dad was not going to make it. My brain shut down, wait what? This is dad’s phone I told him… dad was suppose to be calling me to tell me he got moved to the other floor for recovery… my uncle jerry was broken up, he apologized and said dad’s phone was the one with all the numbers and he did not think about calling me from it. I told him it was ok, I did not mean to upset him, this was not what I expected to hear, I really did not know how to process this… what happened? Why? My chest hurt and I just wanted to sit down… I felt ill…

  I went back inside trying hard to hold it together, I was in public, I almost lost it as I told the waitress I had to go, and I explained to Michele what was going on… I went home threw my stuff in the truck went back to work to send out emails and put things where people could get to it and I drove through the night to Ohio… my father was dieing and they were waiting on me… around midnight I get a call. Jerry is telling me they are moving him from on hospital to another and that there is a specialist that will see him. None of that made sense to me, I even half accused them of some sick joke and told him that if I get there and he has won the lotto and he wanted to screw with me to get me there I would be pissed. And Jerry said he wished that was the case. But he would let me know more when I got there, but at least there was a little bit of hope.

  Between accidents and construction that trip took forever so many things going through my head… my childhood, this I had said and done, things I should never had said and done and most of things I felt I really still so much needed to say and do that I was scared I may never get the chance to. Regret… and lots of it.

  I finally get there later than I planed but safe and sound… I’m kinda of numb to be honest; I mean I had my moments on the trip where I thought I would have to pull over, just so much emotion going on. So between that and not sleeping I just felt numb like it was not real… seeing my dad laying there I was very uncomfortable. I did not know what to say or do. I did not know what or how to feel… I just did not really know anything… Talking to the Doctor he explained a lot of things he had pictures and it seems when my dad’s heart when out of rhythm it was throwing clots and they did not know it. Instead of going to the brain or lungs it went to his lower intestine and cut off all blood flow. It basically died… when they opened him back up that Friday to try to figure it out it was too late. No one could have known… no one really did anything wrong, it was just shitty luck.

  The staff and doctors at St Johns were amazing and really answered many questions… and even shut me down when I offered to have them take half of my lower intestine. I was willing to try anything… anything… it’s still hard honestly to think about. So we made the decision to take him off the life support sooner than later, because we may have a chance to talk to him now… that later we may not. We were blessed… he got that chance, he was sort of alert, I got to talk to him and say my goodbyes. To tell him how very sorry I was for everything, to tell him I loved him. The conversation he had with the doctor was amazing as well, still kinda funny all the way to the end it seems. He was tired and wanted rest and then it really seemed he might be ok for days… we decided to leave him so I could get some rest and a shower and we would all meet back in the morning.

  I went back to his house and I felt like a stranger there… like I should not be there… remembering all the bad things that had been said, all the fights. The hole in the wall that is well hidden by something my father put over it. From my anger as a stupid teenager and putting my hand almost through the wall when he came home after a night of drinking and we got into it… all of that flooding back at me as I sit in the living room wishing I could just talk to him and regretting not making more time. Regretting almost everything… and now within days he would be gone… I absolutely hated myself at that moment and I struggle to think of a time I ever felt so alone in my life. Here I sit, the kid who last anyone knew was trouble and who had moved away over 20 years ago… would now have to make a ton of decisions about how to bury his father. I felt like an outsider…

  I finally get a couple hours of sleep, I run to the store, then go to get coffee… then I head to the hospital. I was to meet my uncle Jerry there that morning. I stop downstairs to call my brother and just talk to him a little, through some of our hardest times in life we always have called each other, we are never afraid to put each other in their place and tell them when they are being stupid. He lost his own father a good time back and I just wanted to talk I guess… we did and I felt a bit better about a few things and I still had not seen my uncle so I was going to head up. I knew he had been moved to a different floor they told us he would and my uncle said he was on the 3rd floor now… kind of a hospice floor so to speak.

  Getting on the elevator hitting the 3rd floor I was a little anxious… so much I wanted to say… walking to the nurses’ station I asked them for his room. That was when I probably came closer to ever passing out without getting touched than I ever have in my life. The nurse looks up and says something about them calling people in or something like that. I did not know what she meant… she said I guess you are hear because he passed or something like that… my heart felt thick… I could barely breath… all I could get out was “excuse me?” she looked up at me and said are you a friend or family? I do not remember my exact words but it was something along the lines I’m his fkn son… or he is my fkn father… and no one told me… she went ghost white… I just stepped away from the nurses’ station, I either sat down right there on the floor or up against the wall I don’t remember but everything just went blurry… he was gone… he was gone… she was there with her arm around me as was another nurse… I just needed more time… I needed to talk to him. I was not angry at them I was just angry… I stood up and I wanted to go in I needed to know where he was.

  I went into the room, I took a few moments, and he looked good, just like he was sleeping. I wanted so bad to just wake him up and tell him this shit is not funny. Then a nurse came in I told her I needed more time but she insisted I hear something… she told me how peacefully dad went and that it was really best that I was not there. It was very early that morning… and that really he just went to sleep. In the end it made me feel better, and I know she was right. Had I been there he may have tried to hold on… had we been there we may have panicked and tried to get them to do something… this really was the best way.

  Ok this has turned out so much longer than I planned… I will finish this tomorrow… I am a little drained from even writing this… I do want to thank everyone who has helped me through this. I will finish this up tomorrow, this has been pretty good for me to get it out I think…

Thank you for reading.  Please excuse typos and all my “…” it’s just how I write, it is like me… very far from perfect, but it is honest.




 oh boy… man I have run this over and over in my head most of the day, after reading an article/blog that was shared on Facebook (why chivalry is dead from a mans perspective) this article/blog for me was an interesting read that made quite a few good points. Other parts were a bit off… but on the whole I thought it made a good overall point.

   Ok for a moment let’s just get beyond the history of the word, chivalry, I mean ok yes everyone who wants to run chivalry through the mud will bring up images of oppressive knights on powerful horses as they do evil things to prove they are great warriors and good knights, all the while looking down on their ladies as prizes and “things” or objects to own or to win over. They will also tell you that it is power trip to show women are helpless and need men to do things for them…  fast forward to today…

  Between our marriage laws and our president it is clear we are far from the dark ages… I am trying hard not to drag this out to much as I can tend to be rather full of myself and try hard to make my point clear :) 

  But ok back to today, and my thoughts on Chivalry and even this article/blog… he made some pretty good points about the direction our society is going and maybe even hurt some feelings with that. Some of what he said did come off a bit on the, poor me I’m a good guy side, no one ever likes being friend zoned for the bad boys and then having the girl cry to you that she cannot find a “good” guy… but again that is not what this is about…  I read over the comments about how sexist this guy was… and how oppressive his point of view was… I also read the comments when people stood up for him and said that they liked the way he thought and saw nothing wrong with it… then reading further as they got bashed for what they believed.

  So umm ok I am confused when are we aloud to be judgmental and tell people what they think and feel is wrong and when are we not? When is it we are able to look at someone and say you are stupid for thinking this or feeling like this even though this is your own person choice about how you want to be treated and how you are treating others…

  Reading this… I see respect not oppression… I see values and morals… at least from his perspective. let me take a second and define something this definition is per the ever knowing interwebs : Sexism or gender discrimination is prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s sex or gender. Sexist attitudes may stem from traditional stereotypes of gender roles, and may include the belief that a person of one sex is intrinsically superior to a person of the other.”  so ok let’s look at this and the way he wrote this… I do not see him saying men are superior, in fact he states that he collected his values from the women whom he seemingly looks up to. Second he ends this with women hold all the cards… granted he is referring to sex, but he is stating that if they want higher standards in men they have to make them have them. That today as he sees it, women do not. Again I think some of the ways he got his point across are bit questionable… but no where do I see him saying, what is up with these girls… they know they cannot afford their own food, why can’t they just let me buy it.


 Now, holding open the door, pulling out a chair, walking on the traffic side of the street, these things are courtesy. Same thing you do for elders, it is a sign or respect. I mean yeah every guy knows from all the late night “fail” videos on YouTube a girl/woman can take a face plant as well as a man and shake it off… and seeing those men on the tables hooked up the with electrodes to simulate labor after which they are a pile of drooling jelly, the look on their faces was priceless as they realized just how tough their wives were through their own tear streaked eyes… I mean this is the information age, we know if a car splashes in a puddle and soaks us you are ever as able to take it to the face as I am… and we know you are just as able to pull your chair out and or stand and wait for me to sit before you do. Trust us we know you can take care of yourself and buy your own food, we also know that you can buy your own flowers. Knowing that… I still would like to do this for you… because you are weak or because I want to show power over you?  hell no… because I am attracted to you… because I like you… because I want to spend time to get to know you. I mean if you ever want to come wash my dishes, or try to get some of the stains out of my clothes I would be more than…. hahaha got you… just kidding lol thought you had me huh :) but honestly ladies… this is a respect thing. And yes I said ladies… why? because it is my blog and I am a straight guy lol but this works for any gender in any relationship… if someone asks you out it means they are interested… if someone tries to buy you a drink do you get mad and rant that you can buy your own shit and go off on them? sure you can… go ahead… lol but why? it’s an ice breaker to try to spend time with you… someone from a distance noticed you were pretty and wanted to talk to you. and yes I know I will get talked to about why does it have to be about looks… how does he know he likes me… well he cannot see your soul and he cannot get to know you without talking to you, and well he tried to break the ice and do just that but you went off… and depending on what you do next after he makes that attempt to communicate, he or no other guy within 40 ft, may get that chance or want too for that matter.


  Ok so now that I may get blasted further… those that are chomping at the bit calling me a sexist so and so… ya know… some ladies… and men even… want to be treated this way.  Some women want a man who will be more dominant… who will take care of them… who will do things for them… then some guys will put a leash on and let his girl lead him around the house like a dog… to each their own lol. Everyone has a different view of what they want and or desire… I just do not understand in the world we live in where everyone is supposed to be so open and honest… where everyone is not suppose to judge or look down on anyone else… where we are supposed to be accepting of different religions, and sexual preferences, different class types, all of the above… those that fight the labels the most seem to be the ones who help reinforce new ones. Who beat down anyone who want to keep what they see as “traditional” beliefs…


  I respect everyone’s right to think and feel how they wish… but how is it when someone wants to do something they see as being nice and proper labeled as chivalry… and then others say, “hey I like that… that guy is speaking the truth.” that we can jump all over them and push our ideas of gender roles and sexism and knights and horses on them…


  My grandfather when I was little told me to never ask a girl out unless I was willing to pay her way, and I said why grandpa is it cause she is a girl? he said no son… because you asked her… she did not ask you.  Talk about making it simple.


  Would I buy a guy friend of mine dinner…  yes… would I buy another couple dinner… yes… do I stand normally until everyone is seated? yes… is this a power trip hahaha hell no… this is love.  I love people and would like to make them happy… sometimes people do not feel they are enough… sometimes they feel like doing things and buying things for people is a good way to show they care because they just cannot find the words… sometimes… little boys look at knights like the hero of a story… and would love to have a girl look at him like he is the hero… why? because he is the boss? because he is the man and she cannot do it herself?… no… sometimes because simply he wants to be loved.  We have to stop making everything negative… in the end there will  be no colors… no genders… just a grey dull world with no diversity and no choices… everyone will think and feel the same way… because they have no choice.


  call me sexist all day long :) but chivalry the 21st century version that does not involve repression lol will live on!!! 


  *please note that I was interrupted many times while writing this and I am really bad at proof reading… also yes I have a mild addiction to “…” and well this is my blog and I am ok with that… and I have been told over and over to love yourself just as you are ;)”


  Smile… life it to short to run around trying to make everyone else happy… find what you like and do it… and above all else… find a way to love yourself. 


I really loved what she is saying here so i wanted to share.

Originally posted on Kait Nolan:

One of the first things I saw when I logged into Twitter this morning was a conversation between a writer friend of mine (who, incidentally, is also a professional editor and teaches workshops) and another writer who was essentially lambasting her (and all other professional writers) for not helping new writers.  Digging back through the conversation, this evidently centered around the issue of queries, but it definitely had broader implications.  My friend handled things in a very calm, professional manner, stating quite rationally that she couldn’t be held responsible for every writer who wants to write, as it simply wasn’t possible.  To which she received this in reply “Your reaction is why so many writers feel worthless. No one wants to hear from them. No one cares.”

Frankly, the whole exchange pissed me off on multiple levels.

Now I know nothing about this person who initiated the conversation.  Looking back at…

View original 700 more words

Yeah ok who am I to tell anyone the key to life? I’m no prophet or yogi… I’m not a learned scholar… heck I still rely on spell check for grammar and spelling issues way too often, and I still get it wrong… But I digress. I really should get this all out before I lose my thought…



An easy Google search tells me that a Key by definition is:


a. A notched and grooved, usually metal implement that is turned to open or close a lock.

b. A similar device used for opening or winding: the key of a clock; a can that has a key attached.

2. A means of access, control, or possession.

a. A vital, crucial element.

b. A set of answers to a test.

c. A table, gloss, or cipher for decoding or interpreting.


And there is more but this serves my purpose


 So as we see… a key, simply put, is a way to gain access to something: access to knowledge, access to a place, access to time (the key to a clock).


 Getting access to knowledge, places, people, and things… well that is what we do in life, is it not? So the best way to do these things is to live life… by a stretch of my already stretched imagination… to live… to really live is the key of life…



  The picture above looks very foreboding, metal grate fastened over a window with wire running through the glass… perfect for keeping people in or out. With only a small view as the one pictured, it would make you think moving forward was hopeless, but with a step back, (no picture sorry) we can find that the window is attached to a door. The point I want to make there is sometimes we are much too close to a problem we have in life… maybe sometimes we have to take a few steps back and the way will seem much more clear. There are times I feel that we move through life way too fast and we do not slow down to actually enjoy it… so we come up on our problems so quickly we never see them coming, and then we feel so rushed to get through them, we do not take the time to step back and make clear decisions. Maybe one of the keys to life should be to slow down, and do not be afraid to go back from time to time… maybe you missed something you should have seen.



   All of us are human, we may look different and talk different but we are all here for the same basic reason, to live life and learn as we go. We come in different colors, shapes and sizes… it’s a beautiful diversity that makes us as humans a beautiful thing.



   But with that being said… many of us at a glance can seem very alike… but if you look close and take the time to actually see each person for who they are—their likes and dislikes, the things they are passionate about—you will see that even though they may seem to be the same, each person holds the keys to different locks. Each person can bring something different to your life and break open a new part of life you may never knew existed.



  Many people have a clear path and are good with things from birth… others seem to struggle trying to find their place… much like the keys in the picture above, one has been cut and fits a specific lock. The other is still blank, and although it was never cut to go into any one lock, you can see the age on it and know it has lived a long life. People are like that… some are really good at one specific thing; others never really find that one thing they are awesome at. Jack of all trades and master of none… it does not make one better than any other… it simply makes them different.



Everyone wants to know the key to the secrets of life… but I think the memories we make with the people we know and love are the best keys we have. It is a key to a memory of a moment in time where you were happy or sad or whatever emotion you remember… it is a key to a moment in time that you lived. Living… is for this guy… the key to life. Take your keys wherever you go… in the form of memories and remember to make new ones and live for today… tomorrow is never promised to any of us.



   Smile… it might be the only key to unlocking the smile trapped inside someone else.

Party Pooper…

 Normally I do not post just random forwards or funny things… that is what Facebook is for lol I try to keep my blog for stuff that has a bit more meaning. Well I can not help myself, watching this made me laugh.

Funny how words we can use often and know the meaning too without a thought can be missundersttod by those who are not part of our culture.

 Enjoy :)




Four points of view that change how we see ourselves…


First word is an excuse used by many people to justify why they do not do something… It is a way to promote failure before you ever try, a way to beat yourself into believing a lie… oh I just can’t possibly to that… I can’t do math… I can’t play basketball…


The next word is something society and people around us slowly filter into our heads until we believe it as truth, School books, doctors, parents and even friends will sometimes think they are helping by telling you that a dream or a goal is impossible… sometimes they can be right and I would never ever tell anyone to go against anything a doctor tells them. But what I would say is that if you can afford it and it is possible, to get a second opinion on anything you feel strongly about. Many times we see things that we think are impossible for our self, and we tell others that it must be for them too. Some people lack the will power or the fortitude to push or go forward, then without even knowing it projecting that inability on to others. Sometimes we want to protect those we know and love from failure so we try to encourage them to not even try feats that for most seem impossible. This is not done out of malice or hate, it is sometimes done out of love or kindness and with the best of intentions. But the problem is if we never fail we never grow… and what might be impossible for you might just be possible for them. We have all been given a different measure of ability and gumption… it is what makes us diverse and amazing creatures.


Then we have *unable*… I am unable to do that… you will now not be unable to run or walk or play normally. I understand that these words are close and can be interchanged. I am writing this with the mind set of how I hear them the most in my life and in what way I have seen them used. Most doctors do not say… “You can’t do this or that…” they are more technical… “Because of your blah blah blah, your body is unable to handle… unable to bend… unable to move that way ever again.” Now I must repeat I would never tell anyone to ignore anything that a doctor says. Please do not get me wrong here… I feel all doctors have to go on is what they see… x-rays, and numbers from tests… what they cannot see spirit and drive… is sometimes what allows us to do thing we normally could not. Doctors do not want you to hurt yourself and do not want you to make an injury worse. So they will 99% of the time speak on the side of caution. The way the world is, if a doctor says you can do something and you get hurt they will be blamed and many times in this day and age might get taken to court… so I do not blame them for wanting to limit their patients so as to make sure they are not hurt. And if you are able to do more than expected… well it’s a miracle. Normally a doctor can only go on what is “normal” for your injury and your test results, from there they make educated guesses… it is not an exact science because we are not all the same, each one of us are different in one way or another… part of the reason why I like how they call it “Practicing” medicine…


And finally… Chicken Shit, It’s used to help grow veggies, and fruits… to make flowers beautiful… and grass greener when used properly. But when there is too much… it can kill all plant life and leave everything withering and dying and burnt… Chicken shit… Can’t… impossible… unable… all of these things when used to much can leave us withering and dying… but if used as fuel, to help fertilize our motivation and push us to grow… these words can make us stronger so we can blossom into maybe not what the world would see as perfect, but maybe if we work hard enough we can become extra ordinary. Being chicken shit is not always a bad thing… you just have to decide what it is you are scared of… pain?… failure?… ridicule… and sometimes we are scared of none of those things. Sometimes we are scared we may succeed, because once we do, no one will cut us a break anymore. No one will look at us and be easy and give us pity. Whether we like to admit it or not we all sometimes just want to lay back and do nothing and have people look at us and tell us that it is ok. To use what others would call a weakness be it our injury, birth defect, and mental limitations as an excuse to not do or be 100% of what we can. To lay back and say I can’t do that because it is impossible. I am unable to move/think that way and because I am chicken shit. To have people look at us and say, “Oh, it is ok… really we understand, and do not blame you on bit… we could not do it either and we don’t have your limitations.” Sometimes we just want to hear that it is ok not to try… that is Chicken Shit.


I’m blessed… I may have had a ton of work between meniscus tears and a blown ACL, collar bone broken in two places, double hernia in my lower abdomen, spent a good deal of time in the hospital as a baby with pneumonia, had the Forest Gump braces because of severe bowing and pigeon toed as my legs were developing, fractures to my skull, concussions, and a couple broken noses… there is more but cry me a river all of that was a blessing and I’m tired of thinking about all the negative stuff, each of these things made me stronger in other ways… but forget about all of that… I am blessed… I can walk upright without any disfigurement, I have all of my arms and my legs, all of my digits, and all 5 of my senses work well. My brain although scrambled at times and can get me in trouble is what I consider one of my best attributes and my heart, though over worked at times, helps me care about almost everyone around me. (Let’s not debate feelings being a chemical reaction in your brain this is figurative) I am blessed to be healthy enough to do the things I do… I have been told I am not allowed to run because I need at least one knee replacement and the other is close… I have been told that swimming and cycling are pretty much the only things I can do but even then I should take it easy *snicker*. But then they messed up, after I was told to take it easy they followed it up by saying, “You can really do as much as you want… it just depends on how much pain you’re willing to live with. You are too young to get a knee replacement at this time so your best bet is to just take it easy and hope science can catch up to you… and of course lose some weight to relieve a lot of the pressure on your joints.” Wait what? I can do anything? That was all I heard… ok it’s going to hurt… but I can do anything? Hahaha GAME ON!


So I have done a couple things here and there… a few really tough things to be honest although this is not about me or about what I have done. I have other blessings in the form of the amazing support system I have in my friends and family. I also think back to the very first MS150 that I had ever done… I was dying it felt like, and thinking how stupid it was… that I raised the money and there was no point in putting myself through this, it was hot and everything hurt and is was tired… I was just done; I had hit the wall (figuratively). Then I heard a voice say… “On your left!” someone was going to pass me but the voice was a bit low… it must be a recumbent bike I thought to myself… and then I saw him as he cruised by me with a strained smile and a nod… peddling his bike with his hands because he had no legs. I had never seen that before! I was new to cycling for the most part, but I had to stop myself from staring like a fool. As I watched him truck along by me and put more distance between us, it hit me like a wall of ice water and I teared up a little to be honest. What in God’s name did I have to complain about, I just got passed by a guy who had no legs, and he did it with a smile and a nod. Not a grouchy get out of my way… but an “on your left…” and a good job… keep it up… nod and smile. I got a little angry at myself, not at letting someone with no legs pass me, but at being “healthy” and complaining that I tired. It was not out loud and I was only complaining to myself, but really, what did I have to complain about? I finished that day, it was not easy, and I am sure that man has no idea the affect and inspiration he was to me that day. I had an obligation to do it for those who could not. MS strips people’s ability to do things for themselves… I had no reason to complain.


I won’t go into why I do so many of the things I do now and the inspiration behind it. I want this to be about the people I think of when I start feeling tired and I start feeling like I have nothing left to give… I will just give you 3 examples but there are so many others…



First is a girl I started following on facebook, Amanda Sullivan I will let you read her back story in the links I have posted at the end of the blog. She is an amazing person, upbeat and the true meaning of inspiration. She does not let anything stop her, and if it does she just trains harder. Amanda is someone I have followed on facebook for a while, when I was attempting my last few challenges she came to mind. A couple times I was thinking about what she is able to do, and thinking about all the people she promotes on her facebook the men and women who have lost limbs or senses and are pushing forward to do extraordinary things. But not only that, they are so supportive of not only those who are like themselves in many ways, but of anyone who are trying. She is without a doubt one of the most amazing people I follow and she has a true warrior’s heart, with the kindness of an angel. I was blessed to have found her and to be able to just read about her adventures and use that to help me drive my own. I wanted to share her spirit with anyone who reads this… follow her on Facebook and help support her in what she does. If anyone deserves it, she does.



The next person I met online and because friends with through a blog sight, she has an amazing heart and well for a long time I never knew she had a disability lol… and I laugh here because well there is nothing about her that says disability. She is one of the most able people I know. I would say she is normal, but she is not… in this day in age normal has become the people begging for money or assistance because they have a disability and should be taken care of. I have followed her blogs, and her life across the US and back again… shared in her heart break as well as some of my own… she has never, not one time, in my years of knowing her used what happened to her to gain an advantage and use it as a crutch.


She told me,


“Yeah, I really dislike for people to categorize me as “Ashley, the girl that lost her leg. Or battled cancer.” I want them to see me as much more than that. As just myself. Not what has happened to me. So, for that reason I don’t bring it up or let or “control” my life. Which I have seen a lot of”


When she was a teen she had a cancer that lead to surgery that led to complications and her loss of a leg. Can you imagine… a teenage girl going through all of that on top of all the stuff teenage girls already go through? (I have a 17 year old daughter I can’t imagine that) But she beat the cancer… and now has such a great attitude, rides horses, has recently become a gym rat… dances… I really have not seen anything physical hold her back. There are some restrictions she says, but most of it would come from the material the leg is made out of more so than her own physical issues. As someone I have gotten to know over the years who is a dear dear friend and someone I hold in the highest regard, she is kind and has not let any of the words above limit her life.


The third person is famous in his own right his name is Nick Vujicic and I do not know him personaly (so I have not added any photos) and have never spoken to him in email or otherwise, but I watch his YouTube videos often when I need a lift. This guy was born with more issues than anyone deserves, no arms and no legs. But I do not think you would ever hear him mutter any of those words I listed above. I will put a link here to one of his videos and a link to his channel and we pages bellow. He is a motivational speaker, trying to show people that even when life gives you a bad hand there is always hope.


I think I have went on enough… but before you think about using the 4 things in the title, think about the people I have listed and the thousands of others just like them… the wounded warriors… special Olympians… Paralympians… think off all these people before you look anyone in the eye and say… “I can’t…” “I’m unable…” “It’s impossible…” and then stop to think about exactly why it is that your “chicken shit”! Are you afraid to fail? Or are you really afraid you will succeed!




You tube:















   My first ever double century, only 12 short days after I complete the assault on Mt. Mitchell…


The alarm goes off and I roll out of bed really doubting myself and why I agreed to this ride. I mean I had already proven all I had to prove this month… and I slept like crud as I normally do before a big ride. But a commitment is a commitment so my feet hit the floor and I start moving before I have a chance to waiver and change my mind.


 I get dropped off, pack my stuff in Carole’s car and we were off, just a touch later than we had planned but that was ok… this was not an “official” ride of any kind so a few min here or there was not going to hurt us or keep us from riding.


The humidity was around 97%, the fog was thick in some places but after we said our hellos and got everything together the 4 of us headed on our way.





It was Carole and Scott with me to do the full double, and Marcus joined us to only ride the first 100 miles. It would be his first century for they year! Later that day he had a date with some chickens that he had to cook for friends and family. It was not until after we got started I realized just how foggy it was. It was kind of cool in some places, made some of the trees almost look like creatures… and don’t laugh at me! You have to occupy yourself when you need to take your mind off exactly how long you’re going to be on your bike.





For the most part in the early morning we had the roads to ourselves that made this small town look a bit like a ghost town… I almost wanted to stop and scavenge for food and resources, but then I came back down to earth… I’m on my bike not in one of my books.




As the day went on it showed us just how beautiful the day was going to be, we passed a good deal of farm land and some gently rolling hills. I got to see a lot of cows and some realy beautiful horses as well as a ton of goats. We even fervently road past some dogs that were not so happy to see us.




Carole was loving the low wind and the spotty sunshine we had early on… while Marcus… well I am not sure exactly if he was pretending to be an airplane or a big condor… maybe singing that song in his head from that cartoon movie Space Jam…

“ I believe I can Fly… I believe I can touch the sky…”

hahaha and yes I know your cursing me cause now that song is stuck in your head.




As for me it was a rough start, my lower back starting hurting early and my left knee was acting up… so I stayed pretty quiet and kept my head in the clouds and my thoughts somewhere else the best I could.




Then we came across our first of 2 “closed “ roads… did you know that “detour” and “road closed ahead” signs really mean something much different in the world of cycling? Oh yes… they mean “Cyclocross”, (insert evil laugh here) at least for us.




My lower back was really getting the best of me so I got a lesson from Carole about cycling and muscles… evidently your hamstrings are attached to your lower back… well I am sure not directly but in a round about way… anyway… after crossing the “bridge” we stretched the hamstrings and poof my back felt much better… It was like magic… ok ok I am sure like 90% of anyone who is actually reading this is rolling their eyes because they knew this… but I really had no clue. I have never really had back issues… well except for sitting on a really thick wallet and having my doc say, “take that out of your pocket and you will be fine…” and I was, in less than a day. Oh it is the simple things sometimes…  


Well slowly my knee started to feel a little better even though I was still getting a bit winded going up some of the small rollers. I started to feel like such a wimp with these guys doing most of the work pulling, but I worked in 2-3-4 mile pulls in here and there. I just felt super drained. Maybe my body was still recovering from the shock that Mt. Mitchell put on it.


Now we are back at Scott’s for a short break as we say our good buys to Marcus and we fill up water and drinks and get some food in us… 100 down… 100 to go… *sigh*


Carole is all changed and looks as fresh as she started, Scott is chipper and in good spirits, and I tell Carole that I am lucky she drove because if I had a vehicle there I would probably be done….

Do you know what she did?? She just smiled… and said… “You don’t think for a min I am going to let you quit do you…?”

hahahaha oh hell not even if I wanted to I guess… so I said with my best brave face. “Hey I never said I was quitting… just that I am lucky you drove so I do not have that option…” *another sigh*


Scott said to get lined up for another picture… thumbs up…. and off we go…




Well honestly I feel a little better after the food and rest… it is just the three of us now so I am trying not to wimp and pull a little here and there. Well that is when Carole decides to get off the front… I think she likes it up there sometimes.


Now after some time passes and we get on in our journey we come across our second “detour” Carole was not so sure about this one but Scott was not even hesitating he went right up to it… Just as Carole says, “I don’t think we can get across this one guys.” I notice this little walkway that I assume the workers use… I point it out and it was quite the trip lol climbing down small dirt and gravel hills with a bike in your hand and cycling shoes on, with bad knees at that, is not fun but it was an adventure hahah… besides we could not let it stop us… and heck it’s my first double century! I might as well make it as interesting as I can right?




So I go down first and then turn and get Scott’s bike so no one else has to try and carry their bike while walking down dirt paths… respect for my elders and all.




After helping Scott get his bike past me on this narrow walkway I turn to then help Carole who is still not so sure this is a good Idea… so instead of waiting and letting her talk herself out of it, I decided to just take both our bikes across… I mean my family did teach me some manners after all…




   With Carole across the walkway we find a few more challenges ahead… but there was no point in putting the bikes down now so I just kept going lol…




Finally to the other side I reunite Carole with her bike and I get my bike and finish helping Scott across… he lagged back on the second part because he was having too much fun watching Carole tip toe through the obstacles and me playing the gentleman while he took pictures… With one last picture and the bridge about to be far behind us… we leave our last “detour” literally in the dust.




Somewhere on that 65 mile loops I just ran out of mojo… the music did not help and putting my head somewhere else did not help. I just had no energy. I only wanted to lie down on the side of the road and close my eyes and go to sleep. This is a strange toss up… I am feeling like this was tougher than Mitchell at this point.


So because I was getting so far behind, Carole had Scott pull over in the shade so I could catch up and she gave me an extra goo that she had… for those that do not know it’s a flavored gel, with caffeine and electrolytes and other good stuff to help you get moving or keep moving.




Well we make it back and fill up on drink again and we have someone join us for our last 35 miles… 35 more miles… what??? Oh how I just want to stop and sleep… and eat… and eat… and eat…. The smell of all the people cooking out on that trip was nothing short of torture.


Brian was all smiles and telling stories from the race he was just in earlier that day… that was a great distraction for me for a little while. He is a strong rider though and they had to keep reining him in because I was really struggling at this point to keep up.




We make one final pit stop and one last group photo of the 3 double century folks…




Man we are getting close now… Carole had some Garmin issues after she charged it and was lagging about 2 miles behind everyone else… so here we are behind Scott’s “hood” making some loops as the sun starts to fall. Just trying to make sure everyone gets their miles.




And we are done!!! Cheers!!!





As we leave Scott and his lovely wife behind I am reassured by one thought I have had in the past… that no one can ever tell me that a bike is not the fountain of youth or even a time machine… I mean look… here we find big Scott… and little Scott… lol (Scott’s grandson… same head shape and everything lol like a mini me of Scott) it’s almost like he has found his youth again… great thing to find in retirement if you ask me.





Oh and one last thought… this is mainly for my pack… ya know Goldsboro might just be our Vegas… I mean… I felt beat up… and it’s like we woke up and poof… there was this baby… almost like our own Hangover movie… and I swear we passed some houses that had crystal meth tweekers in them somewhere… I would bet money it… I’m just glad my friends are much better than the ones in the movie… No one lost Me!  




    Here is my Garmin Data for the adventure!!! and a Special song that my friend Marcy like to share with us from time to time.



 Special thank you to Scott for letting me use some of the pictures he took… to Carole and Scott for being so patient when I was struggling…. To Marcus and David for hanging with us for what time you could… and To Scott’s awesome wife for all the encouragement and hospitality!! All of you guys are awesome!!!

   yours truely…. Dougie Doug Doug

I have been training for this for the whole year, and now what seems to be in a blink of an eye it’s here. While I was getting ready I was having mixed emotions, I mean am I ready to tackle this challenge? No matter the outcome, part of me wishes I had more time to ride and to lose a bit more weight. If I am honest with myself I do not feel ready for this, I’m antsy and nervous and I really am sure this time I bit off more than I could chew, but there is no backing out now. Patrick and I are packed and the bikes are on the car and we are headed to South Carolina…. ROAD TRIP!!!



We had a great ride up for the most part… funny thing when you put two men on a trip who are used to driving and finding their own way, I bet it would have been comical to watch us debate routs and why this and why that hahaha! 


We got to see some cool stuff on the way, the first night we stayed in Greenville, SC not in Spartanburg because the hotel was over booked. For the most part that was fine I mean they comped the room and were super nice. Our issue was finding good food and beer in the area of our hotel. The staff at the hotel although nice seemed a little clueless, seemed none of them were from the area or just really had no opinion… so we go to the first place we found using our phones and well it was a touch disappointing… waited forever in a place that was not really busy, and then found out that probably 55% of the beer on the menu had been changed or they just no longer carried it… so after trial and error we finally came up with 4 beers (4 oz.) each to try for our sampler… and ummm we really think they got those all mixed up. Yeah we finished what we had and just left.


Went to try another place and the line out the door made us not even stop… so once again back to the phone and see what it said… well we found a place pretty close to our hotel, and man was I surprised. It was not at all what I pictured by its name and honestly that place alone might be worth a trip back there someday. If anyone who happens to read this goes to Greenville, SC you have to try Bacon Brothers. The people there are so nice… they grow their own herbs and smoke all their meats on site. It’s an awesome place.

patbac    5


So we sleep… get up and time to head to Spartanburg… uneventful trip check into the hotel with no issues at all… and then it happens… we get our stuff, head up the elevator step out and start walking to our room and I notice the door is slightly open. I push the door open and pow… “Why… is there a man in my room?” it came out of me before I even had a chance to stop it. He kinda scared the crap out of me… as I walked in he was about to walk out, someone from the hotel fixing something. That became an ongoing joke for the rest of the trip. “Why is there a man in my room… “ lol I told Patrick I would make that the title to my blog when I finally wrote about the trip.


The view from the hotel was perfect. We could see where we would be starting the ride in the morning.



We put our stuff up and got ready to go check in for the ride. We had some time to kill so we went to the lobby of the hotel and got a drink… it was the coolest thing. They had a WII set up on a big screen and also had a pool table down there. So we goofed off for a bit while we waited to go check in.

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I will say that the gathering of vendors was not as big as I expected to be honest, but the people that were there were extremely nice and a pleasure to talk to. We got checked in and I walked around a bit and then it was time for me to leave… I was going to have to spend a good deal of time on the road because I had to drive the car to the camp ground at Marion so we would have a ride back the next day. Then catch a ride on a bus back to the hotel and eat and get settled in.



The drive to Marion was uneventful I stopped at a little country store for a coke and a snack. I found the campground without too much trouble and got on the bus where we waited for over 30 min past the time it was supposed to leave. But honestly I was just sitting there listening to people talk strategy, what they were eating or going to eat, how hard they would climb, how hard it was last year and how nice the weather was. It went rather quickly, so between Facebook and texts and people talking the wait was not too bad. I slept part of the ride back, it’s a habit I have when I am not driving on long trips, I just pass right out. As a kid I spent a lot of time on buses, you could say that Greyhound was a family business for a long time, and the bus reminded me of those trips.



Between texts and naps I was back… one more trip inside the convention center because I forgot my water bottles in the car and then I was off to meet Patrick in the hotel for food. They were doing a pasta buffet, yummm.



The food was good and Patrick was close to being ready for bed… I don’t sleep a lot on a normal day and the night before an event I really have trouble sleeping so I headed down to the bar in the hotel for some last min carbs…




It’s morning… and the time has come… I felt a little sick… it was just the anticipation of the ride. I really did not think I was ready and already had it in my head that I would stop at Marion if I did not think I could make it. Even as I had that thought I laughed at myself… I knew better… As we left our room to head downstairs with one last, “Why is there a man in my room…” with a nervous laugh we were off…



Patrick had some last minute mechanicals to work out and I went and found a spot in the line and snapped a few pictures.




There were a lot of people all bunched together with no real rhyme or reason behind it. Everyone laughing and talking like this was just another Monday afternoon ride.



5…. 4… 3… 2… 1… and we are off…


   Patrick and I got separated early he got in behind some folks who were going just a bit faster than I wanted to start off with. I learned in a previous ride this year, I was not killing myself to keep up early. I needed to save every ounce of energy I could… so after a few miles I could not see him or his group anymore.


The roads were like most big rides I have been on good spots and bad spots, so nothing big to note there. But between the sunrise, fields, hills, and the mountains in the distance I was blown away. This if nothing else was going to be a beautiful ride.



The first bit was a normally hilly ride, lots of rollers, a few nice downhill spots, I felt pretty good. Then out of nowhere there is this climb… Bill’s Hill… holy sweet mother of sprockets… I am not sure if I am glad I forgot it was coming up so I really had no time to think about it… just shift and climb. And honestly about the time I started doubting myself it was over… I was out of breath and I passed a few people cramping up and one even seeming to get sick. But other than being tired I felt ok. Humm… Maybe I can do this…


I stopped at the next rest stop and talked to a few people who were laughing because if I thought that was tough I was going to get a rude awakening… I had not seen tough yet. *sigh* What did I sign up for? Why? I will never, ever, do this again… my mood was slipping.


Ear buds in and music on… I have some go to music and some motivational tracks that I brought with me… I knew ahead of time I would need every trick I could think of. So back on my bike time to go…

Before too much longer as I was getting worn out I notice my mileage and knew that Marion was close… this would be where Patrick and I would meet up and here we would either talk each other into going forward… or just getting in the car lol…


Well Patrick was well ahead of me, and smartly he decided to go ahead and not wait too long, he did not want to get stiff and chance getting cramps because he waited too long. I did not blame him at all. So I walked around a little, talked to a few people and read through my texts… My friend Marcy sent some pictures from the people in her office where she works. They were holding up signs for us, telling us we could do it and she was saying we had a village behind us. My friend Shannon was taking time out of her day all the way from Texas to help keep me motivated, as were other friends and family. Carole one of our “Pack” members kept close tabs on us all day as well encouraging us to keep it up… with all of these people behind me… I could not stop now… I have to at least try. But man I was tired. This was the most climbing I have ever done on a bike, and I was about to more than double it.



Well off to the parkway… The climb to get to the parkway was tough on its own… there were cool tunnels and the view… man the view was beautiful. I had plenty of time to look at it too because I was creeping along between 2.5 and 5 mph in some places, just struggling to keep moving forward. The climb was a bit demoralizing because you’re working so hard and not really getting anywhere. I am not ashamed to admit that I was 240ish lbs when I climbed that mountain on my bike and gravity was not my friend. Down from 274 in January, I was wishing I would have dropped even more at that moment.


When you’re pushing that hard you really think about anything that will make it better. So back to my music, and back to looking at the view… stopping her and there to take pictures I really was trying to move it the best I could. For the longest time I pictured Patrick already at the top waiting on me, to get a good photo of me coming in or to tell me we were stupid and everything hurts… then around a corner and I see a rest stop… good I really needed more water.



And to my surprise there was Patrick in a Sag… he had mechanical issues and was done about 5 miles from the top. You could see in his face he was worn out and tired. I wanted to stay and talk and just hash over our day… but I shook that thought off, I did not want to be rude but I really had to get moving I could not sit long, and one of us was going to finish if it killed them… please oh please let’s not let it kill me lol.


The switchbacks were brutal… 13% grade in one spot but if you did not hit the road just right then the angle of the road increased that in the turns significantly. Man I just really wanted to stop… this was stupid I kept telling myself… this was not for cancer… or not for MS… I had not involved any charity in this ride like I did so many others in the past… why in the hell was I doing this… oh… this one was mine… for me… to dig deep and do it for myself to prove that I was good enough and that I could do it without any other reason than to challenge me…



Stopping a few more times here and there to get some awesome pictures and talk to others who were taking breaks. I happened to see some eagles and got pictures of them in a tree… the tunnels of course… but back on my bike…



Finally to a point where I just did not want to go any further and it had to be close I flagged down a car headed down the mountain… I did not even give the pour guy a chance to ask me what I needed… in a breathless, exasperated voice all I said was… “You got to tell me I am close… please tell me it’s just around the corner… I have to be close…” he said I was, and the lady in the passenger seat in a cheerful voice told me not to give up… and there was a little kid in the back clapping his hands… that was all I needed. Off I went.


Around the last few curves and then the end was in sight… my legs were shaking and my back hurt, I could not feel my hands and my shoulders were on fire. But I did it… I did it.




If you were to ask me at the moment would I ever do it again… I may have taken a swing at you and told you to hush your mouth … but now… Patrick says he has unfinished business with that mountain and well, even though I finished I feel like I do to. I’m not sure what I left up there… but I feel like I need to go back. It was tough to celebrate because my friend did not make it… I felt bad for him because of how bad he wanted it to… maybe that is it… I’m not sure… but I know I will go back… and I will beat that mountain again.



It was one of the best and worst rides I have ever been on… but looking back it was one of the best things I have ever done for myself in my life.


It took me 11 hours and 30 min to complete the ride… with lots and lots of stops, putting my saddle

time at 8 hours and 48 min. My total amount of climbing was over 11 thousand feet… My HR monitor

was acting up so I do not have a true avg for the ride.  Here are a few link to my GPS data for you

stats junkies…   Strava    Garmin

Mt. Mitchell 2014

I will do a blog about this later… I just wanted to post this for now… thank you for your support.


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