• 26 Oct 2008

    I am sulking.

    When I originally conceived the idea of scootering across country I carefully proclaimed, in my most zen-like manner, that I would be willing to accept whatever the outcome.  If I only made it as far as Modesto, so be it.

    And so it is, that I find myself just east of Knoxville, Tennessee facing the very real possibility that I may not be able to complete this journey.  Upon my arrival and the requisite weather.com check in, I discovered that the high pressure system that is creating so much havoc in the midwest is going to cost me at least two days of travel.  If the high winds persist past that, I will simply run out of time.

    There is nothing spiritual or even marginally adult in my reaction.  I am pitiful and bitter.  After 2,460 miles of eating diner food, washing my one set of clothes in the sink of a Days Inn in a town where the only other choice was a Motel 6, and regularly losing the feeling in the last three fingers of my throttle hand, I am invested. 

    And seriously, if one more local person says to me ‘yeah this <insert today’s meteorological freakness here> never usually happens this time of year’  the next time you see me will be a CNN perp walk. 

    Tantrum off.  I will figure this out.

    While there may have been difficulties, there were also gifts.  Today it came in the form of deepening autumn colors and sharing my lunch with Clarence Pickel.  Aside from a name that just makes you smile, Clarence’s family pre-dates the American Revolutionary War.  We met at the Huddle House in Kingston, Tennessee.  A war veteran and widow, Clarence is soft spoken in a noisy environment.  Off mic, there was an endearing softness to his voice when he spoke about his daughter, Rachel.

    Clarence Pickel

    It was the nicest part of my day.

    Posted by jm-admin @ 9:01 pm

11 Responses

  • Bob McDad Says:

    Julie, I’ve resisted the urge to post until now, partly because so many people have been doing such a great job of covering all the
    bases, and partly because I knew I would use this name/ID (my apologies to my wonderful daughter for being a biter!).

    You have accomplished so much already, and done so with style and that personal flair you bring to most all that you do! It is, indeed, already an amazing accomplishment! I do not believe that the powers that be will let the weather stop you now. That said, I (& your daughter & son) expect wise and well thought-out decisions from you! Be patient and I have to believe you’ll finish the trip, and on-time! In other words, behave like you, and not like me! You’re my hero …

  • Katie McDaughter Says:

    Okay so I don’t think I can beat the touching post above mine, but I love you mommy and you really have accomplished so much! Please don’t let this dampen your spirits. We’re all rooting for you back home.

    So so so much love!
    Your unbelievably proud daughter.

  • Roderick Says:

    Hi, Julie.

    I remember you telling me that things happen for a reason. If that’s so, then either you’re destined for the coast, or there’s something you’re supposed to see where you are. After all, you ARE in what seems to be the maximally red area now, and diversity is what you sought, not miles.

    But I have to admit, I’d just put on the raincoat (or not - I didn’t bring one on my tour), and go for it. I’d be more worried about the infamous dogs in Kentucky than storms. But listen to your Father.

    Virtual Hugs,


  • Julie Says:

    Hello from Knoxville,

    For the record, Bob McDad is my ex-husband and another example of the incredible blessings in my life.

    Thank you for your all your kind words. As ever, you make the difference.

    With love,

  • Justin Holder Says:

    Clarence is my father-in-law and is truly a wonderful man. He raised an amazing daughter, whom was the first to graduate college and now the FIRST female President of our United Way…raising $3,000,000 per year for local non-profits. She’s an amazing woman as you’d expect from a daughter of Clarence’s.

    Justin Holder
    Murfreesboro, TN

  • Andi Says:

    Julie we are all rooting for you whatever you decide to do. Be safe and wise.

  • Dianne McSister Says:

    You told me to take care of myself - and I say the same to you! Just venturing on this quest makes you 100% braver and more creative than 99.9% of the world!! There is no one else like you and for this reason we (read I) need you back here safe and sound!! So, don’t take unnecessary chances with the weather. If it is meant to be - I do hope you make it, but you have already succeeded in my book!

    You are an inspiration!!

  • Sharon Says:


    Really liked the interview with Clarence–very sweet. I’m so glad you’ve met such warm people on your trip.

    I know how zen-like you are in your heart, and that you know it’s the journey and not the destination that is the prize. You have had such a beautiful journey already, I know that wherever it ends it will be perfect. (That high minded stuff said, I am rooting that you make it all the way, sweetness!)

    I just couldn’t be more proud of you (and I thought your night at the library was the limit!) You just keep surprising me with your incredible spirit.

    loving you as big as the world,


  • Cath Says:

    Hey, Julie,

    Don’t lose sight of how much you have already experienced and accomplished! There must be a certain fatigue factor by now, even if it’s the good stress of being excited and discovering new things and people every day. Cut yourself some slack and give yourself a LOT of credit!

    If you are in one place for a couple of days, it sounds like a good place to be, with lovely interviewees like Clarence. Then you can press on, in whatever direction, more rested and hopefully having had a chance to reflect on the amazing story you’ve lived and captured already!

    Lots of love,

  • Don McBoss Says:

    Good morning Julie,

    Take note of what most people are posting here and be safe as a primary objective. The journey is reward enough and the experience you have gained should be your target, not some arbitrary destination. Take it from me, the ride is the joy, getting there is of secondary value.

  • Linda Says:

    I can only agree with what is being said here. You are amazing in our eyes and have shared so much of yourself and the country with us.
    Please stay safe. Accept the final phase.
    All my love,