Lots of us have a thing called a “bucket list,” those experiences we wish to have before we pass on from this life. And I’m no different.
I’m hoping to visit the beaches of Normandy and walk the hallowed ground where men endeavored to free an entire continent from the scourge of Nazism.
I want to travel to Greece and stand upon the sacred ground called “The Hot Gates,” Thermoplylae, and pay respect to the memory of King Leonidas and his brave 300 Spartans who made a stand for freedom against tyranny and servitude.
I want to dive the famous “Blue Hole” in Belize.
I want to run my hometown Atlanta’s Peachtree 10K Road Race which ends up in Piedmont Park right across the street from Grady High where I graduated.
One dream that was on my bucket list, I’ve already crossed off: a visit to the Holy Land and see the place where my Lord and Savior was born, traveled, died, and rose again — truly a wonderful spiritual experience.
This week I will embark on Thursday morning, heading west, to begin another experience on my bucket list: riding my motorcycle cross-country from sea to shining sea.
As the iconic song “America the Beautiful” by Katharine Lee Bates goes (yes, I prefer it sung in English):
“Oh beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesty above the fruited plain,
America, America, God shed His grace on thee,
And crowned thy good with brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea.”
Along with about 200 other riders, I will start the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America for the Victory Junction Children’s Camp. I will get the distinct honor to see my country, America, from sea to shining sea, from the clear view of my motorcycle.
I want to give a special shout out to George and DeDe Cable of Cable Marine in Ft. Lauderdale who are sponsoring my participation in the event. I am so looking forward to meeting Kyle Petty and thanking him for the pleasure of being a part of his great cause, and great ride across America.
So Thursday, Angela and I will fly out to California where we start the ride in Carlsbad and she’ll see me off on Saturday, May 3rd.
And here is our route, which you can see and follow here.
Saturday May 3 — Carlsbad CA to Tucson AZ
Sunday May 4 — Tucson AZ to Las Cruces NM
Monday May 5 — Las Cruces NM to Midland TX
Tuesday May 6 — Midland TX to Austin TX
Wednesday May 7 — Austin TX to Beaumont TX
Thursday May 8 — Beaumont TX to New Orleans LA
Friday May 9 — New Orleans LA to Tallahassee FL
Saturday May 10 — Tallahassee FL to Daytona Beach FL
If you’re around, I’d love to see you anywhere along the route as we make our trek. I’ll be writing a daily recap here on www.allenbwest.com about what I experience so you can see America the Beautiful through my eyes.
I’ve traveled to many parts of America, and hope this will not be my last time to traverse our nation — maybe Maine to Florida next time. This journey, and its cause, will serve as a reminder as to why I am a “Guardian of the Republic.”
And oh, by the way, for all you naysayers, dissenters — and some haters — who want to attack my 2005 Honda VTX 1800N motorcycle? Silly me, I thought I had the unalienable right as an American individual for the freewill to decide upon my own “pursuit of happiness.”
Remember, only socialists coerce individuals into abdicating their freewill to the collective group think for the empty promise of a “guarantee of happiness.” Although, since this trip is on my bucket list, I’m looking forward to a guarantee of happiness next week!