If you judge success by dollar and cents, we have failed. If you judge success by the quality of people in your lives, the challenges you have overcome, the efforts you make to help others less fortunate, our journey took us beyond our greatest expectations.
Just on my short leg of the journey alone we met the most wonderful people. As we told our story to them, they in-turn told their story to us. The love they have for their pets and animals is heartwarming and the kindness they bestowed to us made us feel like family, which in a way we are (as Americans).
I also couldn’t help but notice the sheer beauty of our homeland. Her splendor is vast and oh so grand. I don’t know why I was fortunate enough to be born here but I hope I too represent her well.
We would like to thank everyone involved with our fundraiser. Especially the Berkshire Humane Society and the Catskill Animal Sanctuary for giving us a reason to ride, our friends, family and all who donated for supporting what we value, the lives of animals needing a second chance and to you who took the time to follow our journey across the country.
Nephew Lou Allegrone, Brian DiNicola, Corie McDermott, Eric and Lyndsey McDermott, Carol and Bruce Baumert, Tom and Paula Beck, Rick Radzick, Jim and Sherry Street, Officer Michael Ortega, Ken Fouts and family, Andrew from Eureka, Scott Tucker and the COBB motorcycle group, Ultra Cool for the oil cooler that saved the day many times over, Brian and ALix Cabral, John Perreault, Kathy Stevens, Michelle Alvarez, The Berkshire Eagle, Lisa from The Country Journal, Robert from Channel 7 News in Redding CA, Kay from Channel 3 News in Eureka CA, Renee and Mike for our web site and anonymous 1 and 2.
Karen (and David)
aka “K” and aka “D”= KD (KaDee)
On August 13, 2011 (after eight months of planning) I left the Berkshire Humane Society’s parking lot on my 2009 Harley Fatboy with KaDee’s picture taped to my windshield, her ashes safely tucked away in my saddlebag in route for Eureka CA, 4000 miles away, to the Avenue of the Giants, the oldest stand of redwoods in the US. Just her and I. I can still hear the people cheering and clapping and the roar of the COBB motorcycle group (who escourted me to the NY state line).
My mission was always so simple and clear. Raise money for animals that need our help; all animals. I needed to be their voice. As I journeyed west, riding through the rain in Pennsylvania, desert heat and wind in Kansas, chewing up over 400 miles a day on 4 to 5 hours sleep, I never found myself tired or sore. KaDee’s strength was somehow flowing through me.
Now that I am home and reflecting on this journey, I thought to myself, 10 states-10 days, 4000 miles; that was a lot of waving to my fellow bikers along the route. Not easy waving either. Some bikers waved to me going about 80 mph while other’s waved as they banked around hair pin turns or weaved up and down mountain passes. Many waved to me going in opposite directions, four lanes away. Why is that? “Why!” It is as simple as the mission itself. We share a common bond. We love the wind in our face, the smells and sounds that only can be experienced on a bike. We are unafraid of life’s twists and turns and the solitude of riding alone.
“KaDee”, Like you in your wheels, “I would not stop untill I had your ashes gently placed under the mightiest redwood I could find, The Strong in Spirit”. Now maybe we can both rest!