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  • TwoWheelsCarryTheSoul

Route 66 - The Preparation (So, here I am once more...)

Each journey has to start somewhere... and this trip surely had it's starts - and stops (or, more accurately, delays)...

By this point, the year-delay, along with the experience on the Pacific Coast Highway, I knew... I felt... it was time. Yet, I could not shake that nagging feeling that *something* would happen to again derail the trip. This was my sixth attempt. The only thing I could do to push out that feeling was to make sure my checklist was complete, and then making sure to check everything off...

The only thing left with my bike was to swap out the back tire... and enjoying the usual springtime events - and the fact that being on Route 66 for two months would having me missing all of these:

Odyssey of the Mind was having the State Tournament (I'm the Captain for Problem 4, Structure - let me know if you want to ever help judge!).

UofA Women's Basketball Tournament (both the Original 32 and Sweet 16 rounds held at McKale Stadium!),

UofA Baseball season starts! (50th Anniversary of my Papa's retirement as Coach) #BearDown!,

Laszlo Veres' Final Performance conducting the Tucson Pops Orchestra In-The-Park,

and Ashton's Spring Wind Ensemble...

all these events kept me distracted... yet, that little voice was still in the back of my head... all this time.


A final stop at REI to get a new sleeping pad, another pair of Darn Tough wool socks, and some smaller odds and ends.

I was watching the weather, as weekly waves of springtime rain were beginning to come through a little early - you know, "April showers..." - I'd wonder how that would time with the trip. Lots to think about.

Adding to the emotions and checklists, I was turning 60. Without much fanfare (I certainly do not *feel* 60), I went down to the Amtrak station to speak directly with a representative to confirm the loading of our bikes. She was a sweetheart! Amazed at the trip we were embarking on, she assured us that we could just show up with the bikes, packed and ready to go (no boxing!). She emphasized that it was only her running the show - she only asked that we show up an hour early, and that the bikes would be hand-loaded last, and first off. Perfect! The Final steps were simply to load up the bike, panniers and all as if I were ready to start pedaling and pack a small carry-on to hold the basics needed for the train trip!

Tucson to Los Angeles, direct. The trip was to take about 10-11 hours, and arriving at Union Station early the next morning. The idea was to sleep on the train, unload and grab a quick breakfast. Union Station is about 20 miles from the start of Route 66 at Santa Monica Pier, which we should easily make the Pier (being predominately downhill) by late morning to do the obligatory "dip" in the Pacific Ocean and start pedaling East! Seeking a planned prospective campground in the foothills above Arcadia/Pasadena for the first night, a 60-mile day to start was ambitious, but not unreasonable.

A bon-voyage with friends (yes, spoiler... Mike Mucker is redeemed - no hernia this time!)...

...a Legion's of Mario show...

...finally getting to the Train Station...


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