Saturday, April 14, 2012

On the verge

It's 9:30pm and the alarm is set for 5:40 tomorrow morning. I'm supposed to be in bed. Is it really necessary to leave at dawn? I guess I was looking for structure... This is the point of transition from solo touring on my schedule, taking all the consequences, to following someone else's rules.

Lots of logistics today. Repacking, sending stuff home, finding a bike box for the return trip. Exhausting in its own way. Tomorrow we ride down to the Santa Monica pier, to the official end of Route 66. Then we ride 77 miles to Rialto, CA. The route takes us through the greater LA area. The route sheet warns us of 314 traffic lights between us and the Wigwam Tepee Motel.

It was fun meeting everyone on the trip this afternoon. After a solo tour, company is a welcome change. A great group dinner - pasta, of course. Then a guest speaker, Dan Rice. Dan is a local Route 66 historian. He's the president of the California Historic Route 66 Association. And he is also a TBI survivor.

We heard mostly about Route 66, but also about Dan's process of rebuilding his life after a brain injury. 2 years later, he went to live on Route 66 for a year, as an affirmation and celebration of life. Check out Dan's book, The End of the Trail.

End of the Trail is an autobiographical account of Route 66 enthusiast Dan Rice's recovery and triumph over Traumatic Brain Injury. The book is told from the vantage point of Route 66, intertwining Rice's car accident and journey to recovery with his lifelong passion for America and the historic Mother Road that are both in their own struggles for survival.  End of the Trail was written to bring needed information, warning signs, and insight to victims and their families, but is also about providing hope for the road ahead and showing that the trail's end is well worth the journey.

I'll read the book after this trip. It was hard to believe how similar aspects of Dan's story were to my story, how they must be common to other survivors too. His goal is also to make people aware that help is available. Cognitive rehabilitation is how he got his life back.

SBI will have a signed copy of Dan Rice's book at the auction Saturday...


  1. "Structure" made me laugh! (And then you got teepees! Structures!) (I know, I know, that was *terrible*.)
    What did you send home? When you talked about planning, it sounded like you were only taking what you needed for the long haul. Maybe rain is out of the forecast now?
    The book sounds interesting. Thanks for the link.

  2. we were briefly acquainted in Humboldt County around 1990 or so ... a few years later i had a mental breakdown related to bipolar disorder. that was not TBI of course but recovery of any sort can be difficult in this world

    1. Your comment made me think. Recovery from anything when the path is uncertain, when there are no visible signs, it's true there can be many similarities. So glad you made it through. A classmate did not, and he is greatly missed.