New Hope North Carolina

New Hop, North CarolinaWe made our first stop about 11.5 miles from the Taylorsville Lions Club Fairgrounds. The numerous churches have been great places to stop my rig. There's one about every 10 miles or so and most have large parking lots. Theres no one around Linney's Mill, seems they are closed on Mondays, so we move on.

When we reach the church in New Hope there is a gentlemen mowing the grass. His name is Jimmy; we tell him what we're doing and ask him if he knows who to talk to to get permission to camp. He drives down to Mr. Youngen's house for us and he comes down to see us. We get permission, and that night camp out near a graveyard. We don't see any ghosts.

Bill arrives tired and goes to bed early.  04-21-08

Lions Club Fair Grounds Taylorsville North Carolina

The ride from the Peacock Inn to the Taylorsville was a little longer then we had expected. At the Taylorsville Lions Club Fair Grounds we met with Sonny Cook, President of the Grounds. Mr. Cook opened up the gates and restrooms for us. He chatted with us for awhile and we learned that there was going to be a wresting match that evening. The sky was clear and it was getting warm, so Brenda and I setup the canopy that Coleman had gave us, which was the first time in quite a while.

Laurel Hill to Newton North Carolina

Mr. Green owner of Greens Cycles, and the infamous Deputy of the Lincoln County Sheriffs Department.Mr. Green owner of Greens Cycles, and Billy Martin with the Lincoln County Sheriffs Department chatted with Bill while he got ready to ride for the day. 

At our first stop, while waiting for Bill, a local electrician by the name of Jonathan Fulbright stopped by to talk to us. We had stopped in the parking lot of a church and he stopped to see if we were the people riding across the country. When Bill arrived Jonathan and Bill got to talking, and not long after Jonny had began grazing Blackie, a few more locals stopped by. Jonathan later brought Bill a halter he had hand tied and a nice check book cover.

Follow Up Status

Bill resetting Blackies shoes - YadkinvilleRight now we're in Yadkinville North Carolina. Looks like its gonna be a late start today. We stayed at the Days in here in town so we could shower, get Internet and sleep in a bed for a change. Bill is resetting some shoes on Blackie right now. I guess the nails he used to put the last pair of shoes were inferior. Brenda is also taking this opportunity to wash some cloths; I washed my cloths last night.

There seems to be something messed up with the truck or our 12v AC adapter, as my laptop is defiantly damaged. I managed to figure out a way to be able to hear sound; disable the laptop speakers in Windows, and plug in my headphones. Like this the on board speakers still play sound, even though they are disabled. The sound from them is trash. Headphones sound fine, so I'll use it like this for now.

Golden Valley to Laurel Hill NC

Cleveland County Deputy J.D. Owen Brought back TigerThe weather on the forth day was a little cloudy, though it wasn't nearly as cold as it had been. Corporal Hardin and a fellow office arrived as we were preparing for the day. The Community Club door had been opened for our use, and I was preparing coffee and oatmeal. Corporal Hardin was unable to escort Bill out of the county, as he had a previous appointment. So another office was assigned. Bill and the officers were talking about the day ahead. No one was paying attention to tiger and somehow she slipped away; sneaky three legged dog! :( We searched the area and called for her but to no avail. There was only so long we could stay, and we told everyone we saw that our Tiger had gone missing. Bill had been gone about an hour before we decided we could no longer wait.

Jon and I drove past Bill. Later Rutherford County Sheriffs Department had to break off at the county line. We stopped at a gas station that was closed, to wait for Bill.  Deputy J.D. Owen with the Cleveland County Sheriff's stopped to talk with us and waited for Bill's arrival. Shortly after Bill arrived, The Shelby Star tracked us down for an interview. The Shelby Star Created a Video while talking to Bill. (link is gone)

Rutherfordton to Golden Valley NC

Golden Valley CrusadersTuesday morning was sunny and chilly. As we prepared to leave, Lt. Adkins arrived to take us to a place where we can get showers. A good hot shower is always welcome! Back at the church, Bill waited his turn and chatted with some folks. When Jon and I get him to go shower, we saddle Blackie and pickup the panels (Jonny note: gez Bill spent the whole time we where showering talking...). When Bill got back we were ready to go.

Corporal Hardin escorted Bill on this day. The beautiful rolling hills and lush, green vegetation is quite a contrast to the brown landscape we saw in much of the west. We make our lunch stop at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church. 

Later we find a "Community Club" that we can stay at for the night. We setup our camp. Later that evening Bill and I are invited to a "pick'n and grin'n" with the Golden Valley Crusaders. I got some video of that so hopefully Jon can put something together with that soon.

Tryon to Rutherfordton NC

Shortly after the sheriff stopped, Bill and his mounted escort arrived.Since our first stop in Tyon, we have camped out everyday. We made our way down 108 on to Rutherfordton. Lt. Chris Adkins with the Rutherford County Sheriff's Dept met Jon and I at a gas station at the intersection of Hwy 9 and Hwy 108. The Lt.  and I learned that the mounted patrol was planning to meet up with Bill at the Polk/ Rutherford county line. Bill only stopped for a brief moment; he took off before grabbing a bite to eat. 

We went on ahead. Jon and I waited about 2 miles out of Rutherfordton. While waiting, Sheriff Jack Conner came by and stopped to chat for a minute. He contacted the press for us and let them know about our journey. Bill and Blackie had some food and drink before the group continued on to town. Lt. Adkins, who is also captain of the S.W.A.T. team, found a place for us to camp at the Southern Baptist Church. Thankfully water and electricity where available there, allowing us to replenish our tanks and run a heater. 

Sunday Ride to Tryon DC Ride

Brendas familySunday, the 13th of April, turned out to be a beautiful day for a ride, despite all of the weather forecasts calling for rain. When we arrived at our Starting point, Schroader's Honda, there were a few hardy souls who turned out to see us off. We were especially pleased to see Billy Cannon there.

All of my aunts were there to see us off along with a few of our new friends. Larry and Cheryl rode with Bill down the mountian. They were escorted by Dottie,and law enforcement officers from Henderson and Polk county. Jon and I made our first stop in Saluda. By chance, Mrs. Arrington, a member of the Pisgah Trail Riders was in her realty office, right next to where we stopped! She came out to see us and chat for a few minutes.

When the riders arrived with their escort, M. Snipes, of the Saluda Police Department,  Mayor Rodney Gibson came to greet us. Bill had to replace a coulpe of loose nails on a shoe on Cheryl's horse. We had a light lunch and then they rode on to Harmon Field in Tryon.

Mission Complete: Final Ride - Henderson, North Carolina

This is the video of Bill and Blackie's final ride during their journey from Lebanon, Oregon. We met many kinda and generous people during the trip. On this final day Bill starts off riding with Cheryl. The two make their way to a place called the Opportunity House. When they arrive they are greeted to a crowd of people waiting to meet Bill. At this point more people join Bill, and ride with him to his final destination in Henderson, North Carolina.