New friends in Chanute

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Day 2 May 22nd Columbia, MO to Chanute, KS 264 miles Departure 9pm / Arrival 3:30 It was a full day today. At 8:00am, I loaded up the Spirit, had a large coffee and a bowl of dry scrambled eggs mixed with potatoes, bacon, and salsa.  Nor pretty, but tasty and fast. I wanted to hit the road ASAP.  It was a day of having to deviate off the planned route due to road work and closures.  It turned out fine, as the secondary roads were smooth and with little traffic. Hwy. 63 south to Jefferson City, then onto Hwy 54 West. A stop at Osage Beach for coffee at Starbucks gave me a chance stretch my legs and get my caffeine fix. Then, farther west to Nevada, MO where I met up with one of our Grinnell runners. Vee and her Mom were at the edge of town and waved as I raced by. I slowed and waited for them to catch up and take…

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Here we go!!

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Day 1 May 21st Grinnell to Columbia, MO 202 miles Departure 2pm / Arrival 6:40     I awoke at 6am to rain, but was heartened to hear that the college would hold commencement outdoors and that it would be clear by 10am. I finished packing the Spirit, showered, and waited for Channel 13 news to arrive at the house.  They wanted to put two GoPro cameras on the Spirit as I drove it to campus. A made a quick stop for petrol and quickly drove on to campus. The tent that had been raised for the Morgan.  And daughter Deidre has placed the posters about nicely, and it all looked great. The next hour and a half was spent visiting with my seniors and their families, and answering questions from many folks I did not know. All were enamored with the Spirit. I wasn’t hungry, but choked down a quick sandwich and a bottle of water, and checked my watch. 1:55. My athletes and families…

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T Minus 24 hours

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Blog entry #16     May 20    I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Iowa City writing this. It is 24 hrs. and 33 minutes until departure. I’ll head off shortly to Cedar Rapids for Cameron’s birthday celebration.  Lots on my mind as I try to remember everything I need to do. Yesterday was the Honor G ceremony where we honor our graduating senior athletes.  It was a moving experience for the parents as they got to see and hear about the amazing impact their children had to our programs.  It’s always mixed emotions for me as we watch them leave, sad at their departure, but happy for their tomorrows. Upon return to Grinnell this evening, I will finish packing everything.  Thanks to Royal Robbins for the clothing, and to Quoddy for the beautiful hand-made boat shoes. I will feel like a million bucks tomorrow when I dress in the morning… and a busy morning it will be. 8:00am Final packing, do final mechanical checklist.…

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COUNTDOWN!

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Blog entry #15     May 16      It’s hard to believe it is just 5 days to departure. FIVE DAYS! So much has happened…so fast.  I feel like the clock is speeding up. The last pieces of equipment and clothing have arrived from the sponsors and the final mechanical work has been done on the Spirit. I have had meetings with college media, alumni relations and with our student team members. Media releases are ready to go out. Tools and extra parts have been sorted and packed.  Now, it is about “hurry up and wait”. I feel like an 8th grader again, at the junior high dance. I’m all dressed up and sitting on the edge of the dance floor trying to muster the courage to ask a girl to dance.  Finally, excited, scared, and with adrenaline pumping, and unsure of the outcome, I ask. She said no.  Thank God, the second one said yes, or I might have been scarred for life. The…

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Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Blog entry #14     May 8    A Big Week as Preparation Continues A lot has happened this week as departure date approaches on May 21st. We picked up two new sponsors: Royal Robbins outdoor clothing (thanks to Bruce and to Jay of Back Country Outfitters of Des Moines…one of my favorite stores!), and Quoddy Shoes of Maine (thanks, John!). Handmade, just as the Morgan is, I’ll have a comfortable pair of shoes to wear while driving. Sunday, 15 days from departure I took the longest drive yet in the 3-Wheeler, 3 hours, driving to my son’s home in Cedar Rapids. It was a beautiful day and it could not have gone more smoothly. When I stopped for gas in the Amanas, a well-heeled middle-aged gentleman walked over and asked if he could take some pictures. I could tell by the look in his eye that he loved the Morgan. We had a nice chat, and he left me with a smile on his face.…

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On Smiles and Quality

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Blog entry #13     Apr. 22      Our big home track meet was yesterday. We got home exhausted, but feeling good that it went so well.  Finally, we had a day that was not cold or rainy for a meet.  I checked the weather and could see that today (Sun.) would be mostly sunny with a high of mid 60’s.  Finally! A Sunday that I could take her out of her stall! At noon, and still cool out, I put on the Overland sheepskin jacket and gloves and put on the goggles and leather helmet, no doubt looking period-correct.  Evelyn: “How about a picture for the blog?” I took the Spirit out to the west side of our property and she took the shot. I’m sure I looked ready for a dogfight, minus the prop and a couple of wings.   First-timers Needing to top the Spirit off, I drove into town and pulled into the gas station and began fueling. It took less…

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It takes a Team

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Blog entry #12     Apr. 19       As you might imagine, this type of trip takes a lot of planning…. a lot of planning. It also takes a lot of people. Whether actively involved, vicariously involved, or just providing positive energy, a number of folks are invested in this project and all of the support is appreciated. I am a college track & field and cross country coach and professor at Grinnell College.  Several athletes on the team had asked when I was going to show them the Spirit. The decals were put on over the weekend, and I was hoping for good weather to take her out! Tuesday was a beautiful day, so I took the 3-Wheeler to practice. The team got a kick out of seeing her.  They had heard about the trip, and had seen the website, but I think seeing the 3- Wheeler in person helped to connect the dots for them. I started it up for them. Some of…

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Form Vs Function

Blog entry #11     Apr. 15       As they say,  men like mechanical stuff. I don’t know the social research on that, (or even if there are stats on that) but my guess is that there is truth to it.  The process of social learning for young boys of my era included cars, trucks, trains, and the like. That’s the way it was in my family of five brothers. I was exposed to mechanical things early, especially cars and motorcycles. The love of vehicles, both 4 and 2-wheeled, has always remained with me. Today, my wife and I see vehicles differently. She drives a Subaru Outback.  Why?  Because it is functional, safe, and reliable. She wants a car to get her from A to B comfortably, and get good mileage in the process. She is a pragmatic woman. It’s all about function with her. I drive a Mini Cooper S convertible. It’s quick, it’s fun to drive, and it gives me the option of top down motoring. It is not…

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Resonating with Lindbergh

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Blog entry #10     Apr. 13         From the time I could remember, I was reading.  The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mystery series were staples when I was young. I was hopeful that I too would develop into a young investigator, solving crimes and becoming the respected hero. Just as those book characters had father figures active in social justice (Fenton Hardy was an investigator, and Carson Drew, an attorney), I grew up in a family of the same, as I watched my father advance from street cop to detective and finally to police chief. Those books resonated with me deeply, teaching about problem-solving, values, family, and justice in a meaningful way. When I was in the 4th grade, our class was asked to do a book report on the “hero” of our choice. I remember riding my bike after school to a nearby shopping center to visit the Bookmobile, something I enjoyed doing on a regular basis.  I told the librarian…

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Weather or Not

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Blog entry #9     Apr. 11         Like a race horse in its stall, The Spirit waits patiently to be exercised.  After a week in Florida with my track team, and a couple of weeks back in town, I find myself still waiting for nice weather to get the Spirit out of the garage. The weather this Thursday looks like it will be good  for a long ride. I can’t wait! Meantime, trip preparation goes on.  The decals have been cut and will likely go on tomorrow when the temperature is appropriate for application.  The Cocomats have been cut with bindings sewn on, and are on their way to Grinnell. Goggles and leather flying helmet have arrived, and fine tuning of the route continues. The weather.  There is no doubt that I will face all kinds of weather on this lengthy trip. I welcome that! Part of the excitement of the road trip is in facing the unknown and dealing with it.  Kind…

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