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Day 3- JW rides and begins with a pulse

Day 3, JW rides America and takes her pulse

Yes in a way, I want to take the pulse of America from the heart of fly-over country. I will explain a little more as I go along, but I have a feeling that there are more than a few folks fed up with the current politicians views, as well as a seemingly biased media. But enough of my opinion, I want to know yours.
#1- Can we win the battle in Iraq, and should we win this battle for reasons greater than what the current crop of hair spray politicians seem to give us as reason.
#2- What about the whole concept of a war on those who fall into the camp of being a terrorist, this takes us deep into other countries that harbor these people, how far should America go?
#3- What about education, we see and hear of enough conflicting studies and educational reports to think that most of our kids can’t think there way out of an out-house. What do you think needs to be done?
#4- Globalization, is the modern economists version of panacea, but is it really. Are there larger and larger regions of our country that are being left behind as manufacturing moves overseas? And about those jobs, what sort of job is being left behind for those who still need a job in USA.
#5- Any one whom would take the time to do any research into the founding of this country would have to at least acknowledge that God played a huge part in not only its founding but also in the orchestration of the writings that would entail the formation of these United States. So, the question is, as our country is steered more and more towards secularism, much like has happened in western Europe, is the actual fabric that makes America great, becoming to raveled to hold together in the tough times that many warn us are ahead. What do you think?
LET ME KNOW BY SENDING A POST, AND BE APART OF THE PULSE THAT BEATS IN AMERICA. Depending on how you answer, we will either classify you as a VIEN or an ARTERY………..just kidding.
kern-bakersfield.gif
looking up the Kern from Bakersfield

Today was a very tough day, a lot tougher than I was ready for, and I have no shame in telling you that I would have quit if it hadn’t been for my wife’s Prayers and my kids constant encouragement. So I am thankful for a great family, and a Lord who oversees my each footstep………or should I say pedal stroke!
kern-canyon-2.gif
Very pretty place to drive, but not a bike route I would recommend!!!

We got somewhat of a late start, since I had to run back to Coalinga and photograph a saddle last nite after I rode 75.8 miles. I also had to do a little work on my bike. SO the morning started at 9am in Bakersfield. I rode around the north side of town and took the china grade loop road so I could hit Hwy 178 heading up the Kern Canyon. Serious Canyon, and no place for a bike pulling a heavy trailer. I consider myself lucky to be alive and to stupid to know when to quit.
kern-canyon.gif
More rock wall for company, as cars pass by at 60mph, tooting horns and gesturing with fingers I would like to break for them......ah, well I Pray.

Once you are past the first 26 miles of the canyon, it gets a little wider for you and the cars both. From that point, it is 106 degrees on my bike thermometer, and I am wearing a long sleeve jersey to beat the sunburn back a little. My right leg is already well done, so I bath in sunscreen. Anyone got good advice in brands of sunscreen that actually work??
onyx-store.gif
I had a cowboy friend that worked on the Onyx Ranch, so I stopped here because of that. Talked to the lady who owned the store and asked her a few questions.

We stopped in Lake Isabella for a great lunch, and then the steady clickety click of the chain, as I rode on up the Kern River Canyon. That is a great ride, with lots of beautiful scenery. I stopped at the Onyx General store, and asked the owner a few of the PULSE questions. She was kind enough to be open and honest, to generalize the War on Terror will only be won if we are willing to use a much firmer hand. And yes, we certainly can win this overall conflict. She feels that Americans are becoming fat and complacent, with equal number of folks who just don’t care or don’t feel it will affect them and there introspective lifestyle.
We camped about ½ way up the Walker Pass, and its my job to finish it up over the top tomorrow. Mom really fed us fine tonight. We had baked rice, grilled Salmon and English Bangers………….what can I say, I married UP and got a great ranch cook.
mom-cookin.gif
What a women I and my kids have been Blessed with to call Mom.
I had a 63.5 mile day today
sunset-walker-pass.gif
What a beautiful way to end the day of riding, sunset over the Walker Pass Campgrounds, elevation approx 10,000 ft.
Good night and God Bless


Comments

Jeremiah,
#1 - We can win about any war, once we decide what our goals are for THAT war. The last few conflicts, police actions, whatever we call call them now seem to have principles as the goal, and not measurable territory. Got to be able to measure it to attain it.
2. To surgically try to remove terrorists form inside a harboring country is difficult. It is easier to legislate hard working people off the land in the United States than to remove terrorists from inside a third world county without creating a stir.
3. Some kids can't think their way out, or be in enough of a physical shape to push their way out of an outhouse. Kids need to learn to work, most families are 3-4 generations from the farm now. The last thing they physically did with their hands is to eat or press a key. They have not made a visible product. My thoughts as to why some of the "crafts" are more popular with retiring people too. They have retired from a job, and all they have to show for it is some cyberstuff or data somewhere. They can't show the grandkids the fence they built, the shed, or even a birdhouse. They have left no physical mark on the world, and their kids have no example.
They also want to "get back to the land" before they die, or play at the image of their youth - John Wayne, Roy Rogers, or Sam Snead.
#4 Globalization - MMMM. Call tech support for your computer - he ain't in San Jose.
I don't mind bigger and bigger areas of the US left behind, just don't move there or tell the ones who live there how to do it from somewhere else. I see service and local labor and upper echelon "old-money" families surviving and growing in numbers. The middle class will be the smallest segment left. The technical and manufacturing will be globalized, sold to the lowest bidder. Society in numbers will resemble the hive - worker bees and a queen.
#5 Unraveling - Most of the America I like probably pulls together in times of trouble - spaghetti feeds and benefits for the kid with cancer, baking 2 pies - one for the neighbor lady who fell, branding or harvesting when the neighbor is hurt, etc. It ain't national news. At some level we all pull together and seek comfort from numbers or a higher power. Happened on 9/11, in New Orleans, and at other times in Oakdale and I am sure in Coalinga. The believers in the cause of right will stand together again. Some just need a better definition of right. Sorry this is almost as long as your blog. I must be at least a capillary.
Bruce

Sounds like you are doing well while finding that biking is more than peddling. I'm not clear as to who is going along with you. Seems that there are fellow family campers that make the going a bit easier??? Ozzie

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