Category Archives: uncategorized

Photos

Here, in no particular order, are some of the photos I took during my trip.  When you click a photo there is map that will show exactly where that photo was taken. If you follow the link EXTRA INFORMATION at the bottom right it will give the details of the photo such as the date and time it was taken.

Most of the photos have been selected for Google Earth and will appear after their next update, whenever that is.

Enjoy!

Advertisements

The Big Map

This is a quick composite of the routes I rode during my 3 month, 2,500 mile trip. There are one or two sections missing that I may have mislabeled when I saved the original data file and I will find them later and add them in. This is a screenshot from Google Earth so the fine detail doesn’t appear where I may have rode around a town or covered the same route on my return trip. This will just give a quick glance of the distance covered. The labels are sideways so I could turn the image in GE to get the largest screenshot possible.

Click the photo for a larger, sharper image.

The Big Map

© Ron Wynkoop and Bike2Cloud9, 2011.

Home!

Weight at start: 192 lbs.
Weight at finish: 165 lbs.

Going Home

My 3 days at the Rockingham truck stop started with me standing at the exit of the truck parking area holding up a sign like it was a fishing pole waiting for a nibble. It was long waits between trucks and with each rejection I gave a wave of “Thanks anyway!” My next plan was to place a sign on the door where truckers came in and out of the building. I found the manager of the store and got his permission to tape the sign to the glass door.

1 Man 1 Bike
Need Ride To
Daytona

I put my phone number at the bottom, taped it to the door and headed to the trucker’s lounge and waited for the calls to pour in. Not to be.

After 3 days I said goodbye to David who had let me pitch my tent on his property just a paper airplane throw away from the truck stop and headed south toward I-95. The sky looked cloudy but cleared up later in the day.

Swedish Mora Clock

I made arrangements to “Couch Surf” at the home of a woman in Bennettsville SC, 28 miles away. I-95 would be 22 miles from there. The hills were a lot more forgiving along Rt 38 and I made good time to my couch surfing host’s hometown.

After a few phone calls I was pedaling up to Melissa’s home where she sat waiting on the front porch that wrapped around both sides of the house. Once inside she showed me my room and the bathroom. I couldn’t wait to take a shower and relax. Melissa, an attractive and talented young lady, collects Swedish Gustavian antiques which are placed all throughout the house. Swedish Mora clocks line the long hallway that runs from the front door to the kitchen in the back. You can learn more at her website, Oyster White Interiors. My thanks to Melissa for wonderful stay in Bennettsville. I especially liked sitting on the front porch during the lightning storm!

The next morning I set out for I-95 in Latta, SC where I had two truck stops at the same exit! Upon arrival I scouted the area and checked both stops to see what they had to offer. My next step was to sit on the entrance ramp to I-95 South so I could catch all the trucks from both stops in one place. I leaned my bike against the guardrail and pulled out my cardboard DAYTONA sign and waited for the parade of trucks. Although the traffic was higher I still didn’t catch a ride and as the sun started to set I decided to go back to the Flying J truck stop and advertise my existence there.

As I sat on the bench outside the store a brightly colored RV with a brightly colored trailer attached to it pulled up to gas pumps and shut down. Just above the windshield, painted in white lettering, was WORLD FAMOUS FRISBEE DOGS. After a few minutes the owner, Lawrence Frederick, started bringing the dogs out two by two on leashes to do their business on the grassy knoll. He had 11 dogs with him in the RV and a few more at home. All his dogs are “Rescue Dogs” that he saved by adopting them.

I parked my bike just outside the entrance to the store and posted a sign on it with my phone number so I didn’t have stay in one place the whole time. I completely ignored the warning sign inside informing me that the lounge and shower areas were for professional drivers only and sat in the lounge to watch some TV. I quizzed any trucker that came in as to where they were headed in hopes that one would be going in my direction.

It wasn’t long before I was the only one in the lounge watching TV and eating Cracker Jacks. The truck stop had Wi-Fi but it wasn’t free so I played countless games of Free Cell and Mahjong that comes standard with Windows 7. I bought a small coffee and drank refills all night. Inside, the air conditioning was making me too cold to stay more than an hour at a time and had go outside to get warmed up again. At about 4 AM the temp outside was as cold as it was inside so I resorted to grabbing my size 34 jeans and an extra T-shirt out of my saddlebag and then moseyed on over to the truckers restroom to put them on.

Finally the sky started to show some light and drivers that spent the night in their sleepers started to trickle  in for showers and coffee. I waited a while longer for more daylight then decided it was time to go stand on the entrance ramp to I-95 South and try again for a ride. I put my gloves on, checked my gear, unlocked my bike and started to wheel it out to the parking lot when a man, just a little shorter than I, asked if I was going to Florida. “Yep.” I replied, thinking he was just curious about my travels. “I got the blue truck over there. Let me just take care of this and we’ll get going.”  he said while flashing some papers around. “You’re going to Florida?!” I asked like it was a chance in a million. “Yes! Florida! Orlando!” he said with a hint of his Colombian accent. “Awesome!” I replied with all my stored up  hopes and wishes. I was suddenly energized again! “My name’s, Ron.” I offered as I held my hand out to shake his. “I’m David.” he replied with a smile that hadn’t been shaved in a day or two.

We both walked to the back of his refrigerated trailer and he opened one door and hopped up to grab my bike from me. Inside he had pallets of shrink wrapped cases of soda with a brand name I’ve never heard of before. He was coming from his home in NY to make a couple of deliveries in Florida. He slowly laid my bike on it’s side then climbed down and latched the door shut.

As I climbed up into the passenger seat of the Kenworth, I noticed he had a partner with him. “This is David.” David said. “Oh! This is your son?” I asked as though I was Captain Obvious. David and David both started laughing together like I just fell for their best prank. “My nephew!” driver David said, still laughing while looking back and forth between younger David and myself.

Many miles were covered with conversation about my trip and David’s job of driving from NY to Miami every week to support his family. After a while I asked younger David if he wanted to switch from the sleeper to the front seat. I told him I could probably make better use of the sleeper than he could since I was up the whole night. He agreed and before long I was sleeping through an earthquake that shook four states.

When we got to Daytona it was raining while we pulled into the truck stop where my ride ended and David took I-4 to Orlando. In all the hustle of getting my bike out of the back of the truck in the rain, I forgot my sunglasses that I removed when I laid down to sleep. That makes 3 pairs of shades my trip claimed.

It wasn’t until I got inside the truck stop that I learned about the earthquake that struck in Virginia. Along with the hurricane I felt as though I made the right decision catching a ride home.

Now that I was in Daytona I could collect on the offer that my friend Ron Alley made when I started my trip back in June. Upon my return home he would make me a lasagna dinner. Or, more realistically, his mother would make me a lasagna dinner. Either way, I was here to collect!

I got to meet Ron’s mother, Patsy, and see his new home in New Smyrna where I stayed for two nights. If nothing else, we all have NASCAR racing in common. And lasagna. Thanks Ron and Patsy (mom) for a great, long awaited lasagna dinner and a restful stay.


Swedish Mora Clock

Swedish Mora Clock

© Ron Wynkoop and Bike2Cloud9, 2011.

Short Update

Aug 23, 2011

Got a ride from a trucker going to Orlando. Got dropped off at a truck stop in Daytona. Now it’s time for my friend Ron to make good on the lasagna dinner he promised! Mmmmm! Very cloudy here with showers off & on. Will probably make it home tomorrow. It will be good to see familiar faces again.

Total mileage: 2,450

 

Aug 22, 2011

I made it to Bennettsville SC where I am at a beautiful historic home of a Couch Surfer host. From here I will continue south about 20 miles to a truck stop on I-95. Hopefully hurricane Irene won’t cause me problems getting back. More later.

Still In Rockingham

I found a truck stop in Rockingham but the volume of truck traffic is low. I was standing at the exit of the truck stop holding up my FLORIDA sign when David, a 72 year old man in a pick-up truck, pulled up next to me and offered his place for me to set up my tent if I needed. He lives in an old trailer just across the highway and there is plenty of space for me setup for the night. It’s not the Hilton but it works for now.

David Lonkert

He has his own business making fake wood, outdoor cement furniture. He’s made pretty good money in the past selling this product but has become tired from the work involved to produce and sell his product. He has suffered two strokes and a heart attack but he continues to muscle his way around day to day.

The weather has been good here with some clouds and a light sprinkle this morning. I’ve been spending most of my time at the truck stop looking for a ride back to Florida or just a bigger truck stop. I haven’t seen one Florida license plate since I’ve been here.

Two rental trucks pulled into the truck parking area and in a few minutes the hood of the larger truck was raised. It seemed as though a family was in the process of moving. The bigger truck was also towing a trailer with a car on it. I got to talking to the woman who seemed to be handling the logistics of the break down and found out her family was moving to Apopka FL. I told her that I knew my chances were slim to none but if it turned out they needed another driver for whatever reason I could offer my services for a ride back to Florida. They took my phone number and in a few hours they were gone.

I will probably be looking to head 45 miles south toward I-95 where there are two large truck stops at I-95 and SR 38.

© Ron Wynkoop and Bike2Cloud9, 2011.

Update

Not much happening lately other than wrestling with all the hills and mountains here. I had another great stay with my friends Shawn & Stephen in Matthews NC. They’ve done much traveling before their son, Kian was born. They met in Amsterdam where they lived for four years and then moved to South Africa for two years. Shawn was born in the U.S. and Stephen was born in Ireland, bringing his Irish accent with him. They are already planning to do more traveling soon but this time with their son. Thanks Shawn & Stephen for keeping my rain jacket for me and also for another wonderful stay in NC!

The temperature at night has been getting cooler and I expect from here on it will continue to do so. I hadn’t planned on being this far north as my trip to Victory Junction was more impulse than anything. I’ve depleted my budget and I think I’ll be looking to find a trucker that’s heading to Florida so I don’t spend valuable time riding back home. I’ve learned a lot from my trip and there is much work I need to do to make my trip across the U.S. smoother and more efficient. I was hoping to ride the whole way home to make it a round trip but I’ll really need the remaining time to plan and do some fund raising. I’m also thinking about a redesign for the website to make it more pleasing to the eye. A forum will be added so visitors can participate and add ideas and conversations during the trip.

The battery in my laptop is on it’s last legs and I’m afraid it may be down until I can afford a new one. I feel pretty lucky that the laptop has endured the trip thus far. The bike is in good condition but could use some general maintenance. I also need some new clothes since I’ve lost over 20 LBS. 🙂

The photos below are from Concord NC where I passed through on my way to Randleman. I had to stop this time and grab more photos of the large boulders that are scattered around this small town. The locals tell me they were thrown there many years ago from a volcano near Rockingham Speedway.

I’ve been spending some time writing my entry for my Victory Junction visit and I hope to have it finished and on your desk soon.

Enjoy the pix!

Total mileage: 2,345

Retired NASCAR Driver Dale Jarrett's Ford Dealership

One of many hills that I've been putting behind me.

Near Rockingham

A cross-eye 3D version

© Ron Wynkoop and Bike2Cloud9, 2011.