Monday, August 13, 2007

Update - Cross Canada Motorcycle Ride
For Organ & Tissue Donation Awareness

Living liver donor Robert E. Crawford and sister-in-law recipient Marilyn Olivo-Crawford are motorcycling across Canada July 21st to August 16th and I’m pleased to support this initiative to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation.

Robert says that access to the internet is difficult to find at times but he will do his best to keep us updated. His most recent report is below. For a day-to-day update of the ride from start to finish click here.

August 11
The destination for today was Regina SK. We picked up Abbey at John & Charlene's house at 8:15AM. After saying our goodbyes we hit the road at 8:30am. Everything in Brandon is 10 minutes away so in 10 minutes we were on highway #1 heading west. The weather was chilly and very windy. The 2 bikes were getting blown all over the road. When the 18 wheelers passed us we made sure to hold on tight.

Beautiful to see the rolling prairies. We also saw our first oil-pump and of course many bales of hay. We stopped to get Abigail some milk. As she started to drink it she complained that it tasted different. Carolyn didn't realize that she had purchased "whipping cream"!

The wind kept picking up and the temperature was dropping so we made a stop to add another layer of clothes. We reached Indian Head SK about 1:30 and realized that we had gained an hour. The real time was 12:30PM so we were doing very well to get Carolyn & Abbey to the airport by 2:30PM.

FYI John.....would you believe we met your right hand man "Chuck" from the base in his “Civi's” at the Craft-Tea Elevator Restaurant? It is a small world! We wish him well with his upcoming hip surgery!

Closer to Regina Carolyn moved to the front of the group and expertly led us right to the hotel. The hotel is very nice and will be a good spot to explore Regina from. Once we unloaded our stuff we drove Carolyn & Abbey to the airport. This will be Abbey's first airplane ride. She is very excited.

The airport is close by and be were able to see Carolyn & Abbey while they went through security. I am sure Abbey will keep the other passengers entertained on the flight.

Jacob & I will miss having the other half of our family with us and providing so much support. Carolyn has been a key person in making this ride the success it has been.

Note from Carolyn after arriving in Vancouver
Abigail did well on her first airplane ride. We didn't have much time to catch our connecting flight from Edmonton to Vancouver, but Abigail handled it like a pro! With her Dora flight attendant bag on rolling wheels, we made the flight with ease. There were many children on this flight Rob. We cruised at 450 mph at an altitude of 40,455 feet.

We sat with a gentleman who's brother received a kidney transplant two years ago. Unfortunately he is failing in health due to some other health complications. He enjoyed Abigail and was very interested in hearing what we are doing. He had taken a train ride across Canada with his wife about five years ago and was giving us his perspective of all the beautiful sites he had seen.

On our descent into Vancouver, I took some shots of the Rockies...gorgeous!

After our flight landed in Vancouver, we were able to visit with the Pilot and co-pilot in the cockpit for a good 15 minutes. They were very interested in hearing about what we are doing.

Anita and Alex met us that the airport with a great sign that Alex had made. We retrieved our luggage right away but had to wait for Abigail’s car seat. It had arrived in another location.

Charles drove all of us to Surrey where they live and we had a home cooked meal. Abigail watched Over the Hedge and I crashed early. I was nice to see Anita bond with Abigail and for Alex to enjoy his other cousin.

We are off to church in the morning and then leave for Harrison Hot Springs for 4 days. We are looking forward to the beach and hanging out together. Carolyn.

After dropping Carolyn and Abbey off at the airport Jacob & I went and explored Regina while Marilyn caught some zzzzz's. We found a folk festival and enjoyed the displays and music. The city was fairly quiet on Saturday night but still interesting. The Regina University is a unique building that looks like it belongs in Europe. At 8:30pm we are all heading back out to the airport to pick up our next chase driver duo; Ernie & Terri Olivo. They will be taking care of the driving from here to Vancouver.

I can't believe that we have so few days left of riding. Motorcycling is a great way to experience the country and gives the rider a lot of time to think. I would like to turn around in BC and ride back home.

Tomorrow is a +450km day so we will be getting an early start. We need to meet the mayor of Medicine Hat at 3:00PM. I hope the wind is weaker and the temperature higher. We will deal with what ever comes our way.

Thanks for all the responses to our updates. They mean a great deal to our team......

Robert E. Crawford
Cross Canada Motorcycle Ride
for Organ & Tissue Donation Awareness
Email Robert

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