The sky was gray and cold in Rancho Cucamonga when I loaded MARINE4. The smell of breakfast and cigarette smoke filled the air - reminded me of the early mornings on the so many bases I lived on in my past life - so many things of the past - but the road ahead was drawing me and it was good.

Restless anticipation runs high
Colors bring a tear
And then, the sound of thunder!

We were greeted royaly by the people of Blythe, CA - streets lined with cheering and flags waving and lots of children smiling. They fed us good food and filled our hearts with their warm sentiments of thanks and gratitude - a far different greeting than in 1967 when I returned from Vietnam - it's good to be home!

With 150 miles ahead, I broke away from the main body of RFTW. Riding formation with a herd of bikers is not my liking - I can do it, but it's not enjoyable - shoulders tighten and stress elevates. So, after a good welcome home in Blythe I hit the starter and rolled out of town on my own. Once on I-10 a comforting peace replaced the tension and the sudden freedom was intoxicaing.

Tolleson, AZ was in the distance - the first leg of our journey now a thing of the past.