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  • Writer's pictureJim Clarahan

End of Trail - the Santa Monica Pier and Route 66

Mission completed. The Ride 4 Dray Route 66 2024 successfully reached the Santa Monica Pier @ 5:40am on May 30, 2024. Road warrior riding for 11 days, covering 2,897.8 miles, capturing a treasure trove of beautiful scenery and historic landmarks to fill the memory bank. Whoever said, "first impressions are best", nailed it, as the sights and sounds encountered on this trip were magical first encounters.

A short 2-mile wander south along the boardwalk to Venice Beach and Muscle Beach reminded me of the opening to "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", when Alice goes on an underground adventure into a bizarre and alternate world. Mind numbing, today Venice is a colorful collection of interesting souls, architecture, art and activities - a world most can only imagine. According to Wikipedia, in the 1950's after years of neglect by the city of Los Angeles, the area was referred to as the "Slum by the Sea". Since then, revitalization efforts including a significant increase in police presence, has made it a relatively safe, colorful and fun place to visit...

How to beat LA's morning rush? Apparently, 4 am is not soon enough! LA's notorious early morning rush hour traffic was in full force, five-lanes wide westbound on I-10, as the final 80 miles from the Wigwam Motel to Santa Monica Pier unfolded before me. Pulling into my Santa Monica hotel's parking garage meant the Ride 4 Dray Route 66 mission was successfully completed! And time to "R-E-L-A-X!"

The ride back to Peoria is now underway. Stops on the journey home include, Carefree AZ, Hammer's Grill & Bar Henderson NV, RSM Owners Mtg at the Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas, Death Valley CA, Lake Tahoe / Reno, Salt Lake City, somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, Cheyenne, and Omaha, before the final eastbound leg to Peoria. Stay tuned for the next blog(s) chronicling this journey home, as there are sure to be some fun stories and sights to share, as I bring this adventure to an end.

Epilogue: as of this writing, Dray just completed another checkup and scan at St. Jude in Memphis. Very happy to share "great" news about Dray's tumor. This latest scan indicates the tumor is "stable" with very slight reduction in size. This means he can continue on the current treatment. Please keep the prayers for Dray at the top of your list. We continue to hope and pray for a complete cure!

If you have not yet donated, please use this link to make a contribution to the Ride 4 Dray. All proceeds raised will be passed on to organizations dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer and pediatric brain tumors.

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