Memorial Day Weekend Travels

Friday dawned to a dreary, cloudy day that turned to rain rather quickly. Fortunately a bike path would emerge rather quickly but not before two interesting incidents. The first was an encounter with a black Audie with dark windows that pulled over. A huge guy gets out and is waiting for me and holding the hand of his young daughter. I notice the license plate and it says “Marine Veteran” He has a thick Polish accent and tells me how it was an honor for him to serve our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. He thanks me and then…..he salutes with wet eyes. I am caught off guard and salute back. About an hour later outside a Stop N’ Go a young man walks up and says hello. he introduces himself as Cole. He had just gotten out of the Navy a few months ago and would soon be leaving for Malta to marry his girlfriend and then live there. He tells me of his brother who is serving in Iraq on his 2nd tour. We exchange other small talk and then I must leave. He thanks me and then he says “You deserve this” and crisply, sharply he comes to attention and salutes me, looking at me with wet eys also. I am stunned again, salute back and then go into the store to get my Gatorade. My eyes are watery, my composure lost for a brief moment. When I come out Peggy says it about made her cry….We run down the bike path to Stevensville in the wind and rain and wind and rain and wind and rain.

As I pass through the Bitterroot Valley the towns of Hamilton and Darby pass by on a beautiful Sunday. Rolling into Sula a couple travelling with bags on their bikes stop and ask for a picture. They are Marco and Muni and they are from Costa Rica riding across the country. They had been following my flags since Oregon and every 100 miles would stop and take a picture and what is the chance on this remote Montana road we would meet?

Thank you Ari and Danielia for opening up your home for 2 nights and for the great barbecue at which I was presented a Montana Service Award Challenge Coin. With some sadness I said goodbye to Montana and to Peggy who has given me so much faithful company in this first section. Now its on to Driggs!!!!

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5 Responses to “Memorial Day Weekend Travels”

  1. Linda Wright Says:

    Absolutely amazing story and thank you for sharing all your experiences along the way. You will be touched over and over again as you will continue to touch so many. We look forward to seeing you in Fort Collins. Please let us know when you are here. Continue to look for those amazing rainbows along the way. Thank you, HUGS, Linda

  2. M DeMarco Says:

    Mike, this is a weeper.

  3. Annie and Mike Says:

    what an amazing adventure you are on and tears came to my eyes as I read your blog. You have already touched so many people and this is only the beginning! Safe travels Annie and Mike

  4. Todd Says:

    Hey Mike! I’ve been following you for a few weeks now. Good for YOU for following this dream. You will undoubtedly inspire many along your way. Hope to come find you as you pass through Colorado. Keep up the good work!!

    Todd

  5. Lori Says:

    Just reading about your meetings brings tears close to the surface.
    But please know in my heart you deserve every salute, or form of Honor bestowed on you,

    I think my Guys and Gals upstairs are smiling knowing a flag that bears their name awakens some to the fact they still have Brothers & Sisters in Harms Way. God Bless you
    travel safely and Thanks for all you are doing to remind people Freedom is Never Free

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