Dear Friends,

It is 3 weeks since I left the UK and we are now 5 days into our 29 day ride from Canada to Mexico.

 In view of recent tragic events here I felt that I should touch base with folks at home.
 
 Some of you will know I flew out on 2nd Sept, had it been 10 days later I would have had a problem as ALL international flights were canceled.

My first 5 days were spent in the State of Missouri with ex Odyssey companions and treating myself to a new set of wheels. The cost of which is so much less here (for the same bike) than the UK.

I arrived in the N West on 7th for my first visit to Seattle where we were hosted by another Ex Odyssey couple Len and Stell Beil who live on Bainbridge Island a 30 minute ferry ride from Seattle harbor.

On my first Sunday here a reunion ride was organised with 30 local Odyssey riders.

  I was visiting friends on Vancouver Island Canada when the news broke of the tragic events in the east. Within an hour all border crossings with the US were closed and I had a return ferry ticket for the evening of the 11th.

Luckily my crossing was reopened by mid afternoon and as we must expect in future all US immigration and customs are now extra vigilant.

I know that events here have been well reported around the world but I have never before experienced the emotional stress and grief by so many. On Friday after the event there was  a National day of prayer and rememberance with floral tributes and candle light vigils being held Nationwide all of which I found very moving.

There is at home a photograph taken in May of last year when Odyssey 2000 spent 2 days in NY city.  The picture of myself and 4 Odyssey companions was taken at the top of the World Trade Center Tower.

We have heard many harrowing stories here of family or friends who have been affected by the tragic events in the east.

 I am sure that this event will unite the free world against the evil of terrorism, and there have been many comments made to me by US citizens that they appreciated the fact that the US national anthem was played at the memorial service and the changing of the guard in London.

So back to our ride South which started in earnest at 1.15 pm on Mon 17th from Port Angeles approx 100 miles N West of Seattle.

There are just 13 in the group with a support staff of 4 which is a major luxury to last year. Today the 22nd is our first rest day after 5 very demanding (but rewarding) days riding over 385 miles along some spectacular scenery.

  The first 3 days we were riding through the Olympic Peninsula which holds the most North Westerly point on the US continent. We then covered some of North America's prolific rain forest area.

On day 3 we stopped at a small fishing town called South Bend which is reported to be the Oyster Capital of the World.

On day 4 we left the state of Washington when we crossed the massive river Colombia into the state of Oregon.  I say massive  because it must be the longest road bridge that I have crossed by cycle it was approx four and half miles in length. This was followed by another bridge 3 miles long over a tributary of the River Colombia.

On day 5 to Lincoln City we hit some spectacular coastal roads with  demading climbs and descents. It was just 3 miles before the day ended that we were informed by a road sign that we had just crossed the 45th Parallel.

 I have to admit that I was not aware that this is in fact halfway between the North Pole and the Equator.

So from here on it should get warmer which is where I must close this report. Would love to have any news from home

Best wishes to all

Arthur B