Monday, June 29, 2009

The Missionary Kid

To read about further adventures of my life, visit my new blog The Missionary Kid at

I hope you enjoyed reading about my trip on Run For The Wall and I also hope you will enjoy reading my new blog.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009


From Colorado to California, from Washington, DC to Canada, from New Hampshire to home, this whole ride has been one of the most memorable times of my life. Though the hardships of bike trouble, bad weather, changed plans and much more have made the ride difficult, I do not regret going. I will do it again next year if I can and I can't wait to go on the Run once more. But until then, I wait and treasure the memories of the ride that I have completed already. Memories like being a part of NCOM and seeing all the presentations there, or finishing the Run and going to the Wall, staying at the church in Arlington and being able to see DC at night, riding to bike events and serving free coffee, seeing Niagara Falls in Canada and traveling home with the Vicories in their car--those are the memories that are embedded in me for life. I will not forget them.

Finishing the Run was a fulfilling experience, full of fun, hardships, friends and so much more. Some day I hope I will be able to do it on a motorcycle of my own--but for now, I am content to be on the back of my dad's bike.
If all goes well, I will be blogging again next year. Until then...

Day 47

In the morning we talked with Pastor Arnie and got ready for the day. We would not be riding on the bike because we did not think it could make it the hundreds of miles we had left to get home. Instead, our friends the Vicories came in their car and picked us up. We got our things packed up, loaded the bike onto the trailer and soon we were ready to go.
We had an enjoyable ride in the car. Since we had no air conditioning, we rolled down the windows and let the air in. I was grateful that we did not have to battle the ever-present winds of Kansas or get sprayed with oil. We didn't have to stop so often for gas, either.
I ate snacks for lunch. We looked at the scenery, listened to music and talked all day. It was nice, but both Dad and I were eager to get home.
After hours of driving, we finally crossed into Colorado! We were sure it would not be long until we got home.
But we were wrong.
Suddenly we heard a bang followed by several repetitive thumping noises. I thought we had blown a tire, but when we got out we found it was much more complicated. Immediately everyone was on their phones, calling insurance companies, tow trucks, family and more. But at the end of it all we were in almost the same spot as before.
Luckily Mr. Russell, who had been driving the whole time, came up with a solution. He took out what had snapped and, since the rear wheels would not be able to accelerate, put it into four-wheel drive! It worked, and we drove all the way home using the method. Not only had our bike broken down, but the car had, too.
We had barely gotten home--but we had arrived.
We were greeted by the rest of the family. It felt so good to be back! We got our bags in the house, said goodbye to the Vicories and enjoyed the rest of the evening with the family. For the first time in about a month and a half, I actually got to sleep in my own bed.
Our journey had ended. The trip was over. Our mission is complete.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 46

In the morning it was raining very hard and we could hear loud thunder. It did not look like a fun day to ride.
We got some breakfast and waited in the motel, hoping the rain would let up before we had to check out. And luckily, it did! It stayed cloudy, but the rain and thunder had quit coming down.
Dad took the opportunity to work on the bike and see if he could stop the huge oil leak that had started up a couple days before.

After Dad had finished tinkering with the bike and had put it back together we got packed and set off. It started heating up quickly and before we knew what had happened we were unzipping or taking off our jackets.
We crossed from the East side of the US to the West and had left Illinois. We rode most of the day in Missouri and got hot dogs for lunch. We rode a few hundred miles, but it felt much longer in the heat. Each time we stopped we had to clean the bike because oil was still flying everywhere.
My leg was constantly covered with the slippery substance and I could not keep my foot on the floorboards.

Finally we crossed into Kansas. We did not have to ride long before we got to Pastor Arnie's house where we would be staying the night. But first, being that he was not home yet, we tried to clean the oil off ourselves. We got our bags in and waited a while. When Pastor Arnie came home, we got pizza for dinner and enjoyed the evening with him.

Day 45

We got packed quickly and set off for a long day of riding. We wanted to get home in three days at latest, which meant about five hundred miles a day.

Soon it was raining hard, so we got our rain gear on and kept riding. For lunch we got corn dogs. When we were out of New York, the rain cleared up, so we took our rain gear off.

The day went by slowly. It was filled with much riding and stopping for gas. We also got much oil because the bike was leaking a lot. By the end of the day my right leg was covered in oil!

Soon it got late, so we checked into a motel. I picked up some dinner and we spent a good night after a long, hard day.

Day 44

In the morning we got some breakfast, packed everything up and headed back to the Harley Dealership. It was a long, hot walk, but we eventually made it. There, we found that all the parts we needed for the bike had come in. Now all the bike needed was a bit of work to get the parts in and then we could leave!
We had to wait for a few hours before it would be ready, so we walked to a nearby fish store and looked around. We soon got tired of that so we went back. Dad got out the computer and was on the Internet for most of the time. I watched him a lot and looked at bikes. It was a long morning.
Finally the bike was finished. We got to see what was wrong with it and found that one rod that was very important had burned and broken into several pieces!
We got on the road again after putting the last bags on the bike. The day was clear and enjoyed the good weather. We traveled a little, then stopped and got some dinner. After that we went on a bit more and stopped for some oil and gas.
When we stopped again we were at the Canadian border. It took some time to get across and there was so much security I was not even allowed to take pictures! First we got our passports checked and there were questions constantly--where are you going, what are you doing, how long will you be here, and much more. Then we waited in a big room and took papers and gave them back and all sorts of things.

Finally, we got through. After a bit of riding around we found a spot to park and looked at Niagara Falls. Thick mist covered us and got everything wet. Tons of water all came gushing down in unbelievable constant amounts. It was really something to look at.
When we had finished getting soaked with mist and looking at the Falls we walked indoors. Most everything was closed but I was able to get a molded penny with a Niagara falls design on it.
Then bad news came. When we had walked back to the bike Dad decided we would not go any farther into Canada because among other reasons the bike was leaking oil badly and the last thing we wanted was to be stranded in a foreign country hundreds and hundreds of miles away from home.
So we rode back. By the time we crossed back over into America the Falls were lit up and it was getting dark quickly. Going back into the USA was a lot easier than leaving and soon we were back in our homeland.
We looked for some camping but it was really expensive, so we rode away from the Falls and found a cheap motel room, where we spent the night.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 43

After the long night before, I woke up rather late. We immediately started packing and got some breakfast in the lobby. Being that the bike would not work, we did not get on it and ride another few hundred miles that day--instead, we waited for a tow truck to pick us up. When it arrived Dad and the tow truck man (plus with a tiny bit of help from me) got the bike into a trailer, along with our luggage. Then we climbed into the truck and were driven to the nearest Harley Davidson dealership, where we got the bike into the shop.
In the best case scenario we would not be able to leave until the afternoon of the following day. First, the mechanics would have to make sure they knew that the problem was what they thought it was. After that, they would have to order and over-night the right parts because they did not have them at the time. In addition to all that, two other bikers were broken down there and we would have to come last. We were in for a long stay in Rome, NY.
Someone graciously gave us and our luggage a ride in his car. We were going to go to the nearest cheap motel, but Dad thought we might as well rent a car if we were to stay for a while with no transportation. So at the last second Dad got us stopped at an Enterprise car rental. Once in the building, we found our error: no cars were available at the time.
Our ride was gone. We were left with our bags. The nearest motel was at least a mile away. And we had no choice but to pick up our bags and walk all the way on what would seem like the longest mile of the whole trip.
After much walking and sweating in the hot sun we finally got to the motel. I felt hot and tired, but I knew Dad must have been feeling worse because he was carrying the heavier bag.
When we found how expensive it was for a room, we walked to another motel. But that one's prices were even worse, so we went back to the first one and got a room. We almost stayed there for the rest of the day except when we got some fried chicken for lunch and when we got a few snacks at a pharmacy nearby. We also did laundry.
Hopefully we could make it home soon--but for the night we knew we would have to wait a few extra days.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day 42

It was raining hard when I woke up. That was not good, being that we had to leave for home that day. But first, we tried to pack up a little. We got most of our things ready, but there were a few details left after we had to go to church.

Dad preached another good sermon, even though it lasted until
nearly noon.

Afterwards we had lunch in the Pastor's house. We had a good time and when it was time to leave we said goodbye. After that we finished packing for the trip home. We put on our rain gear and got on the bike. The trip home had begun.

It was cold and raining hard. Our rain suits kept us mostly dry. We stopped for gas not long after leaving. We did not spend much time at the stop. We had had a late start to the day and we wanted to make some good mileage before the night came. As we rode, the rain started to clear. Blue sky peaked out of the gray and black clouds and we took off our rain gear.

In one leg we crossed through Vermont. We saw the Battle of Bennington Monument again and we got to see the Hubbell Homestead as well. When we stopped again we were in New York. At the big truck station we fueled up and got dinner. It was already getting late in the day, so we rode on for one more leg.

It went by fine until the end. We had just gotten off an exit and passed through a toll booth when something went wrong with the bike. We came to a sudden stop with some quick jolts and bumps. Dad broke out the tools and tried to see what was wrong. The problem was too complicated to fix right then, so we tried to get the bike to run a few more miles to the gas station. We barely got it there. Dad called to see if we could get towed to a motorcycle shop, but he decided it would be better to try and go to the nearby hotel--pushing the bike there if we needed to. Luckily, the bike started up one more time and we somehow got to the hotel. It completely stopped right in the parking lot. We had somehow made it. Even though the room was expensive, we spent the night there. We had no choice--there was nothing to take us anywhere else.

Day 41

We got up early in the morning and both of us took showers. After that we rode for a while then stopped in a church parking lot where several other bikes had gathered. We got to see Mr. Mark Rittermeyer and his wife along with Mr. Keith and his wife. It was good to see them, brief as the visit was. They were doing another free coffee tent for the Laconia event. For the moment they were going on a run with the other bikes and needed to go. Since we weren't doing it with them, we just went off on our own after saying goodbye. We wouldn't see them again on the run.

We went to a Harley Davidson dealership, where vendors were set up everywhere. We looked around a little bit and bought a thing or two, then moved on.

The next place we went was a long ride away. We were trying to get to a Christian Unity Meeting, but found only ourselves and one other person there. We found that we had arrived on the wrong Saturday--the meeting would happen in a week! So we just went back. When we got to where all the vendors were set up at, we found the road jam packed! Traffic was hardly moving, so we stopped by an ice cream shop near a lake to wait out the traffic.

We also got some ice cream. We watched the motor boats speed by and had a good time. But we eventually had to keep going.

We finally got to all the vendors. We parked and walked around. It was very hot. We got some t-shirts and stopped to get some soda and rest. We also talked with the family back at home.

We went back home after that and ate what fried chicken we had left over from a day or two before. After that we went to bed.

Day 40

We started the day with playing some video games that the Pastor had let us borrow. He also invited us for breakfast and the Pastor's wife cooked us some eggs.

After breakfast we rode to many stores. We went to a different Harley Davidson dealership than we had been in the day before and looked at more bikes. We also bought another tent that looked pretty good and was cheap.

We got fried chicken for lunch and had some left over for later. We rode around a little while more, then went back to the church. We nearly ran out of gas on the way, but luckily we found a gas station before we were stranded. Meanwhile the weather had finally cleared and it was even hot!

We sat and played video games most of the day. We had another dinner that the Pastor gave us and then went to bed.

Day 39

In the morning it looked like the weather had cleared up, but when I got out of the tent I found it was still cloudy. We packed up the camp and once again got on the road.

We had sixty miles to travel. It was a little cold, but not that bad. The riding was okay, however tolls seemed to be placed on the road every few miles. Other cars also crowded the road. We stopped halfway through the trip and got some breakfast. We stayed a while, enjoying the warmth of the indoors and talking to the family back at home. Homesickness was starting to attack us both.

We traveled the other half of the trip and got to a church. The pastor and his family lived in a separate section of the church.

They were busy getting our RV guest house ready. We helped out a little, then went on the bike again to see the town. We rode to a Harley Davidson dealership, then went over to a WalMart, where we returned the tent we had just bought. Dad wasn't satisfied with the design and knew it would let rain in. So we just got our money back and hoped for another tent that would work for us. After that we went to another store and got some groceries.

The Pastor provided lunch and we greatfully took it. When the day came to a close, we had some snacks and went to bed.

Day 38

Clouds covered the sky in the morning, but there was no rain. So we started packing.

I ate some breakfast, then we finished packing, checked out of the motel, and set off. It was pretty cold and the wind in my face did not help.

We rode a very short distance, but by the end of the day we had been in three states! First we rode one leg and had to stop for gas. We were still in New Hampshire then.

After that we rode a little more distance to a store, where we bought dinner and a couple of other things. We wanted to camp near a beach, so we moved on. We crossed over into Maine, where we only stayed a few minutes. We looked for state parks that would allow camping, but found none. So we turned around and went back into New Hampshire. There we stopped at an RV park right next to the Atlantic Ocean. We tried to get a spot there, but it was for RV's only--no campsites there. The manager directed us to a camping place about four or five miles down the road. When we got there, we found ourselves in Massachusetts! We paid for the spot, got set up and Dad started heating up dinner.

He had bought seafood and asparagus. It was really good, with squid, shrimp and imitation crab meat. Although I liked it, I have to admit I won't want it again for a little while. Too much of one thing is never good--and that goes for seafood as well.

Afterwards I rinsed off the pans and bowls, then Dad and I went for a short walk on the beach. We found shells and a dead crab, walked on top of boulders, sat on a log and talked and just had a great time together. It's one of those things you can't really explain; it's just a father and son type of thing. Short as it was, the walk was just great.

Dad topped off the bike's engine oil before we got into the tent and went to bed early. It had been a great, fun day. And the clouds that were above us the whole time could not stop us from enjoying it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 37

When we got up in the morning it was raining hard outside. I was getting our bags packed to, but Dad stopped me. We got a special deal from the manager so we could stay the day in the motel. And when Dad looked at the intense rain out of the window, he agreed. We would spend the day in a motel room.

We had a pretty good breakfast--not as good as in the big hotel,
but still pretty big.

I spent the day mostly by watching television. It is a treat at first, but after a few hours I got tired of looking at a screen. I ran errands for Dad occasionally, like getting some ice from the ice machine or buying some soda for him.

Dad had saved me an English muffin, peanut butter and jelly for lunch. Pretty clever, I thought. Before then I didn't think there were ingredients for a PB&J at the breakfast table. Dad ate pizza left over from the day before. He also had me get some burgers and snacks from the neighboring McDonald's.

The hours slowly drug on by. The rain cleared up some, but it moved to where we would be heading if we got on the bike. So we still were not tempted to leave.

We took a walk to buy dinner and some other things when the day was getting close to ending. It was raining very lightly. We checked out a couple of stores, then went back to the motel.

After I heated up dinner Dad also had me get some more burgers. He was still a little hungry. We finished those up and then went to bed, hoping the rain would clear by the next morning.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 36

Because we had asked for a late check-out time, we did not hurry to get packed. First we got another wonderful breakfast. After that we started packing and we left soon afterwards.

It was a great day for riding. Only a few clouds dotted the sky from what I could see. The temperature was perfect, the scenery was great and we did not need to ride far at all.

We crossed the border into Vermont. The hills were covered with green trees. Mountains rose up out of the ground and the road was not all that straight. Soon we started to see houses that were hundreds of years old! We rode by the Hubbell Homestead and just had to turn around. Since our last name is Hubbell, we rode into the driveway and looked at the building. We later found that the door is said to have been shot with a bullet by a Hessian spy in the battle of Bennington. We stopped at a nearby store to see if the locals knew much about the building, but we did not get much information.

In the distance I saw a long, greyish looking structure that looked much like the Washington Monument. I wondered what it was and as we rode through an old town I realized we were riding toward it!

Finally I saw it from base to the top. The Bennington Battle Monument towered above us. The battle itself was a major turning point in the Revolutionary War with one of the first big victories for the States and it took place in 1777. The monument was built from 1887 to 1891 and was a total of 306 feet and 4 and a half inches tall. It was one of the biggest monuments I had ever seen! We drove around it on a circular road and I got to see it from all sides. Two statues surrounded it. As I was looking up at it I got kind of dizzy.

We parked and looked around. The gift shop sold tickets to go up into the structure and we both got to go in for three dollars. I wanted to walk up the stairs as far as they went, but it was closed off and I don't think Dad was too enthusiastic to go with me. So we got in the elevator. It took quite a while to get very high and there was still much more until the top--but visitors were only allowed so far.

Through slits I saw the huge hills and thousands of trees of Vermont. The town looked small under me and it was a great view. It was worth the three dollars and much more.

Eventually we had to go back down. After some more sight-seeing we stopped by the gift shop again. Dad had been told that someone knew more about the Hubbell Homestead and their involvement in the Bennington Battle. We found that five Hubbells had fought in the battle!

After this adventure we took off again. We stopped at a fast food restaurant and had lunch there, then got a room at a motel. Dad had planned on camping that night, but we just wanted to relax. So we spent the evening in the motel. We had pizza for dinner that evening and did nothing else but watch TV and relax.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Day 35

We were in no hurry to get up in the morning and did not want to climb out of a soft bed. We both had separate beds, making oversleeping even more tempting.

Eventually we did get up and went down to the lobby for some breakfast. It was the fanciest breakfast I had ever seen in a hotel! Chefs waited for an order, then cooked up whatever was wanted. We also got more from a table. I stuffed myself! Even then, I had to leave some of my breakfast at the table to get ready for church.

I thought we were leaving the hotel that morning, so I got busy packing our bags. But Dad finally told me a little before we had to leave that we would be staying the night there again! So I just got ready and we left.

We arrived an hour early and spent it talking with the pastor. When the service started we had to get out to the sanctuary.

Dad preached a good sermon (as usual). Afterward people came to him and commented on it many times and the pastor took us out to lunch, too. We went to a big fancy restaurant and stayed long after everyone else had left. Of course Dad was talking the whole time.

Back at the hotel we just rested the day away. I was tempted to go swimming but since other people were already in there and since Dad didn't want to go with me I didn't go either.

We ate on leftover pizza and food from lunch for dinner. I took another shower, then went to bed.

Day 34

In the morning I found a note explaining that Mr. Nathan and his family had to leave before we got up. So we just packed up and left without any goodbyes. While packing we had to leave being our old tent to make room for the new one.

We stopped by the coffee tent one last time and talked for a few hours. It was the last day of the event so after the visit we left early.

It was a great ride to the hotel. Not too hot or cold, the scenery was nice and it was not a long trip.

We arrived at a big hotel. We had some trouble checking in but soon entered a comfortable room. We ordered some pizza and stayed in the room for the rest of the day.

Both of us took hot showers. We also set up the new tent briefly to see how it worked and it was nicer than we had thought. It was not a big day at all.

We got to sleep at a time that was not very late and tried to rest so we could be ready for the next day, in which Dad would speak at a church.