Long 69 mile scoot. Two-thirds in the rain. I’m tired. Tomorrow will be a double post.
Long 69 mile scoot. Two-thirds in the rain. I’m tired. Tomorrow will be a double post.
Amazing day in Chattanooga. I was only 6 miles away from my stop after my long scoot yesterday. My great friend from Berry, Toby Hewitt, set some stuff up for me and made this one of the best days of my journey so far.
First as soon as I crossed the state line, Sgt. Kilgore and Ofc. Frisbee were waiting for me to escort me to the Chattanooga Choo Choo. There, Kasey Freeman from Channel 3 News was waiting to do an interview for a story. After getting a discounted rate at the Choo Choo (thank you so much), on to the next thing.
Then Pierce and I met Toby for lunch at Slicks Burgers where I had a nice, juicy burger. After lunch we went to Songbirds Guitar Museum and looked at millions of dollars worth of guitars where I strummed a guitar that Jimi Hendrix played. Hunter was a great host and showed us around. I wanted to see a 90s cover band, but had to stay in late.
After Songbirds we went up to Channel 3 News to meet Cassie, a fellow Berry grad. We watched a bit of the news taping and took a Berry alum photo.
Finally, Pierce and I went to Nightfall which is a concert series in downtown Chattanooga and moseyed around. It started raining, so it turned into an early night.
Thank you so much to Toby for everything he did to help me out today (and tomorrow)! He made this stop one of the best!
Tomorrow is an early morning, because the rain will be getting bad the later in the day we get. I’ll be scooting at 8am.
Long, busy scoot today! Only day three and I’ve already gone off my schedule. Today was originally going to be Rome to Dalton. Then it was Rome to Lafayette. Finally it ended up being Rome to Fort Oglethorpe.
After a fun night at the Costolnick’s, Pierce and I left around 9am and made three stops. I visited Kristen and her kids on the outskirts of Rome. Then I stopped through Summerville to see Kenya from camp. There may be a new kidney in her future!
After scooting through Lafayette and getting pulled over the second day in a row, I went an extra 20 miles to Fort Oglethorpe and away from the sheriff’s department and the rain. Those bonus miles put me through Chickamauga National Park. I couldn’t imagine what happened on those fields.
I was worried about rain all day. It only sprinkled for 10 minutes near where I finished. Sixty-two miles and (slight) rain for 3 of them. Hopefully it stays like that all week (it’s supposed to pour).
Ending the day at a restaurant called Mike’s Pizza and Burgers was just the topping on the great day.
Tomorrow is Chattanooga where I get to see another old friend, do a news interview, scoot across the longest pedestrian bridge in the world and more.
After Liz from Trikaroo cleaned and tweaked my Trike, I left Acworth and headed north to Rome. I love Rome. I lived in Rome for 10 years. Seven at Berry and 3 after. I had some great years in Rome and still go up and still visit a lot.
The scoot itself was very uneventful. I was on a 4 lane road the entire trip. With Pierce following behind me, there were no issues at all. We did get pulled over in Cartersville, but the Bartow County Deputy let us go after hearing what we are doing.
I did an interview at Berry for a Berry publication and then was interviewed by the Rome News Tribune while visiting Cooper Medical Supplies.
I am now at my friend Joe’s house for the evening and watching baseball while having a beer. Tomorrow, Key West Hotel in Lafayette, GA.
Stage One started off with a great day! Twenty-nine miles of sidewalks from Alpharetta to Acworth. I had a mini kickoff at East Roswell Park and some very amazing friends made out during traffic to cheer me on. Unfortunately, no media, but I’ll get heard soon enough.
I took Highway 92, which is mostly 4 lanes and all sidewalks, so it was a great ride. After the kickoff, I scooted by my great friend Dana’s office and she got a great picture of me in “action”.
Then I scooted by Liz from Trikaroo and she got some action video. My first stop was at Henry’s Louisiana Grill for lunch. Chef Henry is a liver transplant recipient and celebrity chef. We talked about my trip and helping spread the word about organ donation.
After lunch, I gave my Trike to Liz to give it a good look through before I head to Texas. It’s looking great after 1,500 miles!
Tomorrow I head to Rome and Berry College. I’ll be doing some interviews at Berry and scooting around the campus. Then I stay at my best friend’s house and the next day head north out of Georgia.
Stage Two will begin on June 4; just two short weeks away. Before I head off to Dallas, TX, I head to Rutledge, GA to attend Camp Braveheart. Camp will be starting this Sunday and last through the end of May. Braveheart is the number one reason I have taken a break from Scooting4Donors the past two weeks. Resting up, getting prepared and soon attending.
Camp Braveheart is for kids with heart defects and heart transplant recipients. This year is the camp’s 25th Anniversary and I am lucky enough to have been a volunteer for the past 17 years. I started as the camp’s videographer and got so attached, I became a full fledged volunteer. I had the same group of kids for 8 years.
I am really looking forward to camp this year (I am every year) because I feel healthier than I have in the past few summers. Scooting4Donors has really got me ready for next week!
After this post, I’ll be in camp mode, so I’ll post about Stage Two in June. Have a great week and I’ll be back in June.
I have been home for a week since I completed Stage One. Sometimes I still don’t believe I actually did Stage One. Being back home in my normal day to day, I don’t even feel like I did anything. Over the past 6 years I’ve been in such a personal and “professional” rut, even after scooting 1,220 miles in 40 days, I’ve gotten stuck in my mind again.
I’ve questioned if the trip is worth it. Did I actually help anyone? Should I keep moving on with Stage Two? In the end, will anyone benefit from this trip? Am I just doing this as a glorified vacation?
I’ve had so much positive feedback, I know there is no need to question any of it. I have inspired some people. I have registered 9 donors. I’ve given hope to people I met who are on the transplant waiting list.
I want to share this because it is part of my journey. It’s impossible to be positive all of the time. Negativity creeps in. Doubt is a part of life. I’ve felt with both a lot. I’ve triumphed over both. Everyone can dig themselves out of the pit.
I’m just going to need a bit more than 1,220 miles to keep digging out. In the end, I know this trip will be a huge success. I will help a lot of people over the next months. The most important person I will help will be myself.
What an amazing adventure. I scooted over 1,220 miles in 40 days! I stopped in 28 very different towns and cities. I scooted on beach sand, mud, dirt, pavement and bricks. I met a lot of new friends. I saw a few friends I hadn’t seen in years. I went to all of my transplant hospitals plus one. I proved to myself and others, if you work and try hard enough, you can accomplish more than you think.
Six months ago, I thought of this little scoot through Florida and Georgia and beyond. I wasn’t even sure I was going to do it when I was on the way to Florida. I didn’t think I’d make it two days after scooting to Coral Springs. I did it. Hopefully I helped someone see the importance of organ donation. I know I convinced 9 people that registering to be an organ donor was a helpful, selfless act. Others may have signed up through registerme.org. People were taking notice.
This is just the beginning! I will continue my trek across the country. I will reach as many people as I can! I will try and spread organ donor awareness across this great United States of America.
There are so many people to thank for making this trip possible. There are two groups and an individual I have to thank on here, because I if they didn’t help the trip never would have happened.
Thank you to all of the donors who helped me raise $8,000 on GoFundMe. Your generous donations funded the entire trip. The food, the lodging, the gas, the sunscreen. All of it. Without your help, I never would have left.
The money was big, but no scooter, no SCOOTING4donors. A very special thank you goes out to Liz, Gina and the entire Trikaroo scooter company. It was coming down the wire when I contacted Trikaroo and I was planning on using my personal scooter that went 4 mph and lasted only 12 mpch. I’d definitely still be in Florida if I used that. During a very busy time, they added my craziness to their schedule and helped me get the best scooter and accessories to make this trip a success. My Trike is still working like it did on day one.
The final thank you goes out to Driver. Even if I had all the money and the scooter, how was I going to travel? Driver was security, baggage handling, hotel reserving, scouting, superman. He dealt with my OCD, my whining (not much) and my crazy ideas without blinking an eye. Thank you so much for all of your help, Driver.
Before this post ends I wanted to share some of my favorite photos from the trip. I will be away for the next month for resting and volunteering at camp, but I will be back soon. Thank you for reading, sharing, registering to be donors and for just being there everyone. DONATE LIFE!
To Be Continued….