Monday, February 29, 2016

Motorcycle Ministry Group Ride to A Christian Childrens Home, SpaceX Launch, And Much More

February and March were fun filled and exciting months and I rode across Florida on several long rides with interesting people.
I was having trouble with my laptop computer and failed to get a new BLOG post up for two months.
I am sorry about that, but not a bit sorry about the rides that kept me away from the faulty computer.
Here then, is an update.

February was a busy and fun filled month of my winter-Florida-Adventure
I'll try and work my way backwards through this Leap Year 29 day Journey.

Del Lonnquist's photo. Rode to Mims, Floria on March 2nd to meet Chuck & Ruth Ninos from North Carolina.
They are here for Bike Week and volunteer with Christian Motorcyclist Association.
They had purchased a copy of my book on line and wanted it signed. I was honored to be asked.
Chuck was riding his Honda with Hannigan sidecar and Ruth was riding her Goldwing Trike.

'Honda with Hannigan sidecar'

 Next as we work our way backward through February was the launch of SpaceX
Del Lonnquist's photo.LAUNCH SCRUBBED at 8pm,
No launch today.
But what a good day visiting with people, many of whom had never been to a launch and many from the Area who see them all.
Nice ride, nice people, nice KOA to camp at.
Beautiful sunset!
Del Lonnquist's photo.
SpaceX Launch visitor
Jack is from Ontario, Canada.Retired and is traveling the USA, 30,000 miles in 6 months.
Put their things in storage, bought an RV and are spending a year touring the US.
Having a ball, with a Capital B he says.

Del Lonnquist's photo.

Met a couple of guys from Quebec, Canada.
One spoke English, the other French.
Jean Claude Dussalult and Yoland Roberg, were having a fun visit traveling across the USA in their RV camper.
We had a fun visit with Jean Claude interpreting for Yoland

Del Lonnquist's photo.

More SpaceX visitors, this time from England.
Two couples from Blackpool, England stopped to see my camper. Nice folks. We had a good visit.

Never a dull moment.
Del Lonnquist's photo.

Titusville, FL waiting for the
6:46pm EDT SpaceX launch.
NASA towers across the bay.
Pretty hot out so I put up the tent.
Nice cool breeze blowing through.
I hope it goes up on time. 

Mid Month I joined the Motorcycle Ministry Group from
Northland Church in Orlando for a  visit to the Christian Children's Home.

Del Lonnquist's photo.

Del Lonnquist's photo.
The girl in red was having her 
13th birthday with her 
sister beside her.

Most of the kids wanted to sit inside the tent when I set it up.

These two sisters were no different.

Del Lonnquist's photo. 
Kids are kids, no matter where they are and they all had a great time sitting on motorcycles and in the sidecar. 

Lori Landers is the leader of the Motorcycle Ministry and led this ride on her new CanAm Spyder. 
This was a great day and the kids weren't the only ones who had a good time.

Del Lonnquist's photo.

Del Lonnquist's photo.
I have always wondered what it would be like to be a Street Entertainer.

Someone who sits on a park bench or stands on a street corner and performs.
Grand Daughter Jenny Sacramento, owner of LePetite Pies lived in Paris for a couple of years and informed that in Europe these entertainers are called Buskers and do this as a full time job.
Busking it is called and I wondered ... could I do that?
At the Lake Eola Park in Orlando, Florida I determined I would find out.
I had a wonderful time playing the banjo, singing songs and visiting with passersby.

Four hours later I had 74 One Dollar bills in my 
motorcycle helmet and found out that ... YES! 
I could make it as a Busker, a street entertainer earning the admiration (and the dollars) of families out for a Sunday afternoon stroll through the Lake Eola Park.

'Orlando skyline' Well there's one more scratched off the Bucket List.  And it was great fun.
Busy, fun filled and exciting week.
Busking at Orlando's Lake Eola Park on Sunday.
Great view of Orlando skyline from my Busker park bench

I did a program at the Spring Hills Retirement Center in Lake Mary, Florida and had a great time. Good fun and the residents all seemed to enjoy it. and 15 residents purchased copies of Discovering Life After Alzheimer's - The 26,000 Mile Ride.
Reporter Stephanie Muniz joined us for the day and did a video report on her BLOG.

She posted it to You Tube.

Del Lonnquist's photo.

Lorna, Rosario, Lilly and Allie
came for a visit and we all went to
Blue Spring Manatee Park.
As I took a picture
 they were joined by a big blue Manatee.
Lorna and Rosario seemed to enjoy it.
The girls? Not so much!


Del Lonnquist's photo.
The Magic Kingdom, however, was where they had a fun filled and exciting day.

And they seemed to have plenty of energy left as they slipped their hands through the "stocks."

Del Lonnquist's photo.'Whoops, couldn't quite reach it'

Coffee on the Lanai with music by Lorna. Great way to begin a sunshine filled Florida morning.

'Allie Rides Again!'
Riding with the ladies in Lake Mary, Florida

'Lilliana Rides again!'

 The Florida winter included many great rides across the state.
Now though, the time was coming for the long ride home to Montana.
Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Nevada, and Idaho all lay ahead.
What great adventures lay just ahead?

In my next BLOG post I'll share with you a great ride and great adventures meeting exciting motorcycle riders
Watch for me, I'll be in the Right Lane America,
Del "Lonnie" Lonnquist

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

On The Road Agan - Life Is Good

 The ride began with an Email from Dale Coyner, owner of The Open Road Outfitters who provides books and supplies to help campers from novice to expert with their camping experience.
He also offers Mini Mate campers, and several other brands for sale nationwide.
He suggested a meeting of Mini Mate camper owners at the Highlands Hammock Florida State Campgrounds near Sebring, Florida.
This is an unusual state park with a unique history which is chronicled in pictures in a most unusual museum.
The museum covers a period of American History that is mostly forgotten in today's modern classroom history lessons.
It was a desperate time for America, a time known as The Great Depression.
During the 1930's unemployment rose to as high as 40% in many areas of the nation. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as part of his WPA, Works Progress Administration, formed the department known as The CCC.

The Civilian Conservation Corps put thousands of  young men, including teenagers, to work on public projects like trails in state and national parks.
Even today, Bikers, and others who wander across America may find public parks, swimming pools, lakes and other recreation facilities whose construction gave work to these young men who were so desperate for a job to help their families back home.
The Highlands Hammock Florida State Park is one of these places.
It is perhaps the Gold Standard for work done by the nations youth during this troubled time in the countries history.
This history should be told in every classroom so that people, young and old will know their story.
The Highlands Hammock CCC Museum tells this story in pictures, some of which I will present in this BLOG report.
It all began with the Presidents Fireside Chats, which were broadcast on the countries Radio Networks. These Networks were themselves in their formative years having come into existence only a few years earlier. A National Broadcast by President Roosevelt was something that had to be listened to, even if you had to go to the local grocery store or gas station to hear it, since many homes did not yet have a radio.
He explained the New Deal, which he had presented to the country during the election campaign which swept him into office.

The New Deal had many facets including plans to build dams, bridges, buildings and anything that would put the nation back to work.
The Civilian Conservation Corp was just one part of the plan to heal the nation.
Through the 1930's millions of men and women were offered opportunities to do productive work, in  return for pay checks that would help their families survive.
For the thousands of young people who enlisted into the CCC, the pay checks gave them a chance to help Mom & Dad back home with a small amount of money sent each month.
The $25.00 each family received was probably a large part of that families income for the month and went a long way toward providing groceries and fuel to heat their homes.

The museum, through the many pictures, provides insight and information on some of the Florida projects many of which were duplicated in other states.

The state of Florida was able to complete work of parks and other recreation projects and the people administering the program assisted in creating what has become one of the nations greatest state park systems while teaching thousands of young people skills they were able to use in later years to support families and help the nation recover from the dark period of the Depression.The nation which had lived high through the Roaring Twenties, was brought to it's low point during the depression years and recovery took a decade or more.
As the darkness of the depression lifted from the nation, the darkness of segregation and racism continued to haunt many areas of the country.
Separate camps were set up for black youth and young people from Indian Reservations.
Despite operating in a segregated world, all groups received full health care including dental and eye care which was unavailable in many areas for young people of any race. There were integrated CCC camps in many areas of the country, but none were formed in Florida.
The Highlands Hammock CCC Museum should be on the must see list of anyone interested in this period of American history. The displays, stories and pictures are well maintained and provide a well documented chronicle of The Great Depression of he 1930's

The visit to Sebring also gave me an opportunity to visit the church where my Grandson Brian Klebig had spent his first 8 years as a Lutheran Minister.
Although he moved from Sebring a number of years ago, I did find his picture on the New Life Lutheran churches Wall of Honor. The pictures of of their past and present pastor's.
Grandson Brian is the tall scholarly looking one of the lower left in the picture.
The church is beautiful both inside and out with 
well maintained lawns and shrubs on the outside and a neat and quiet interior.
Our apologies to young Pastor Willitz for interrupting his class, but I'm sure he would agree that my "Selfie" made it worth while. (at least for me)

A quick visit to a McDees to use their WiFi to update the FB page Where In The World Is Grandpa or WITWIG for short and a nutritious #2 breakfast brought our visit to a close.
Well, almost anyway.
As I moved out on Highway 27 Northbound, I reached 60 MPH before I heard a loud crashing, scraping, this-is-not-what-I-wanted-to-hear kind noise and looking back I saw the Gas Can Rack on the back of the sidecar had broken loose and was dragging on the asphalt.
A shower of sparks seemed to surround the red gas can, and gave renewed impetus to my efforts in getting the rig over to the shoulder and coming to a quick stop.
A weld holding the rack to the underside of the sidecar had broken and dropped it to the pavement.
It was a quick fix to place the gas can inside the sidecar and using the Long Distance Bikers best friend, a large bungee cord, I soon had the rack fastened up and was on my my way back to Lake Mary and a room with Diana & Ilidio.

What a wonderful weekend visiting with Dale and his friend Fritz who also had a Mini Mate camper traveling behind his Goldwing.
Good fun, good food and Dale proved his camping prowess by getting the fire to burn the damp logs by the end of the second evening.
Thanks Fritz and Dale for a great weekend and thanks to the state of Florida for a fun and educational experience. I will highly recommend the park and museum visit to everyone.
Watch for me, I'll be in the Right Lane America.

Del "Lonnie" Lonnquist