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WebNotes from the Webmaster
  WebNote - 10/04/02
Matt will be spending the next two weeks in Michigan. We are flying him from Seattle to Grand Rapids for his cousin Derek and Lindsay's wedding (see below) and a few days in Mackinaw Island. Then he will return to Seattle and continue on his journey across America.

  WebNote - 09/30/02
Matt called in last night. He is in Townsend, Washington, just across the bay from Seattle. He has a few days before his flight to Grand Rapids for the wedding so he plans to explore the Seattle and coastal areas - and hopefully find something interesting to write about! Check out his latest update from his adventure in North Dakota and The Badlands...

  WebNote - 09/21/02
I have some great news! We are flying Matt to Grand Rapids Michigan to join us in attending the wedding of my nephew Derek Tyke Benedict (Vicki and Michael's son) and his bride Lindsay on October 5th. Then Matt, his Dad, and I will be going up to Mackinac Island to spend four days at the Grand Hotel and celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary. The following week Matt will fly back and continue on his journey. We are all very excited about seeing Matt again. He passed his 4,000 mile mark on September 19th. By October 3rd, he will have been on the road for 5 months!

PS -- Matt still has not been able to send us updates because he cannot find anywhere to access the internet. He calls home every few days and lets me know how he is faring and says the places he is passing through are truly inspiring. He wishes he could spend more time exploring and meeting people. He is keeping notes in his journal as he rides and as soon as he can find a place to work on a computer for a few days he will send us some news. In the meantime, he sent more photos of his journey. You can get a preview here...

  WebNote - 09/14/02
Matt called tonight and he is near the Montana-Idaho border. He sounds very tired. He is glad that he is past the tough parts of the Rockies, but still has to climb fairly steep mountains. He is making good time. Yesterday he did 120 miles and today 90. The weather has been fine during the day but is very cold at night and in the morning - it's so cold he can't start out until past 9:00am when it warms up a little. He said he probably won't be sending updates for the website until he gets to a place where he can spend a few days. There are not many homes or people around and no one has offered to let him rest up so he continues on the trail...

PS -- I have Matt's latest photos ready for him to tell me where to put them on his site and add his captions. You can take a peek here...

  WebNote - 09/09/02
On Sunday I received an email update. Matt was in Alberta, Canada and said the weather was cold, rainy, and dismal. He was invited to stay at a home owned by a bike mechanic and his wife. They allowed Matt to rest up until the weather clears. He hoped to leave for Glacier Park on Sunday and spend several days exploring the area. Also, Matt sent home three rolls of film - hopefully I'll have them developed, digitized, and added to the site by the end of this week.

  WebNote - 09/06/02
In the Badlands and an astounding meeting of another great American family! Matt called to tell me the Badlands were beautiful but he had to stop frequently due to the extreme winds. They were desolate as well with 80-100 miles between towns. Matt had bad luck again when the rear wheel on his bike broke. He stopped at a bank to ask for a phone book, and found out that the nearest bike shop was 300 miles away in Great Falls, MT. A lovely lady at the bank called her parents who lived near the bike shop. The lady drove Matt half way to Lewistown, MT and her parents picked him up. They brought him to the bike shop, then took him home, gave him a great dinner and bed to sleep. Matt is now on his way to Glacier National State Park. He has not been able to write much for his website since he is in a rush to get over the Rockies before they close the roads in September. Stand by...

  WebNote - 09/03/02
On Sunday night Matt called to say all is well except for the weather - crashing thunder and cold rain. He was invited to stay at a cattle ranch where they gave him a fine dinner and a horseback tour of the range!

  WebNote - 08/29/02
Matt called tonight and all is well. He is in Mercer, North Dakota and will be camping on the plains tonight. Tomorrow he will celebrate his 3,000 mile mark at Fort Mandan which is Lewis and Clark's winter fort.

  WebNote - 8/28/02
A few days ago I mentioned the crack in Matt's bike frame. The crack was worse than we first thought. I called the local bike shop and found out that "if" the manufacturer, "Jamis", agreed to replace the frame it would take at least 2-3 weeks. This was very bad news for Matt. Then another amazing miracle happened. Matt stopped into the Island Park Bike Shop in Fargo and spoke to Tom about the crack. Tom then called Jamis and told them about Matt's plight. Jamis immediately agreed to ship Matt a new 2002 frame overnight. The next day, Tom and the good people at Island Park Bikes installed Matt's new frame, and with "a strong tail wind and beautiful weather", sent him on his way!

  WebNote - 8/27/02
Matt has been in Fargo, North Dakota for the past few days. A fellow biker offered him a place to stay and rest up before heading west again. Matt called Monday night and said that there must be a lot of people praying for him because another miracle has happened... Stand by for the latest news!

  WebNote - 8/25/02
Have some bad news. The frame on Matt's bike (a Jamis, Dakota XC) has a 1 1/2 inch lengthwise crack along the top bar. A local bike shop said it might not be too bad, and that it probably will not prevent Matt from continuing on to Montana.

  WebNote - 8/21/02
Had a call from Matt. Last night he was in Isle, Minnesota, just about 100 miles north of Minneapolis. He is heading toward Grand Rapids, MN and then west to Fargo North Dakota. He said the storms were raging with terrific thunder and lightning and he hoped to find a sturdy shelter for the night. I hope so too!

  WebNote - 8/19/02
Matt checked in last night. He spent a few days in downtown Minneapolis and since he couldn't find anywhere to camp he checked into a run down youth hostel for $14 bucks a night. The town was hosting a poetry contest and Matt was asked to be a judge. He said it was wild. By now Matt has already left Minneapolis and is heading toward the Dakotas. He will send us updates soon!

  WebNote - 8/14/02
Matt called last night and said he should arrive in Minneapolis by Thursday. I have all his journal entries through August 10th and will finish adding them to the site over the next few days. Stay tuned... and remember to send Matt a note of encouragement for his journey. It's lonely out there on the road and it will cheer him up to see a pile of emails wishing him well!

 WebNote - 08/07/02
Matt has sent in the photos and journal notes for me to update his site. Unfortunately, I will be in Orlando for almost a week and will not be able to add the new info until I get back. Sorry for the delay, and I appreciate your patience. See you then!

 WebNote - 07/24/02
World Youth Day in TorontoRight now Matt is in Toronto to see Pope John Paul and participate in World Youth Day. It is an amazing story of how this happened. Stand by for an update when Matt returns!

 WebNote - 07/14/02
Matt will be in Mackinac Island Michigan for at least another week.

 WebNote - 07/7/02
Matt called last night and plans to stay on Mackinac Island for a few days. Right now he does not have access to the Net but hopes to update us soon! Send him an email!

 WebNote - 07/3/02
Matt plans to leave Grand Rapids and begin the second leg of his journey on July 4th. Check out his Itinerary!

 WebNote - 06/26/02
Matt is in Grand Rapids visiting his Uncle Charlie, Aunt Dot and his 22 Cousins until July 5th. Stand by for updates!

  WebNote - 06/20/02
Matt called this afternoon. He arrived in Grand Rapids around 1:00pm and is currently enjoying the hospitality of his Uncle Charlie and Aunt Dottie. Tomorrow Matt will begin writing his journal again and send me the updates for the site. I am also waiting for more photos to arrive in the mail and will add them asap.

BTW, Matt told me about a few of his adventures while traveling through Ohio and southern Michigan and they are downright amazing... Stand by!

  WebNote - 06/19/02
Matt called this morning from Three Rivers near Route 136. Last night he was blessed once again when he was invited to have dinner with a wonderful Amish family.

This AM, had to make another visit to a bike shop because his chain snapped and broke a few spokes. He hopes to be back on the road in a few hours when he will be headed up to his Uncle Charlie's place in Grand Rapids. Depending on road and bike conditions his ETA is tonight or tomorrow morning. Matt will finally have access to a computer and plans to send us numerous updates.

  WebNote - 06/18/02
Matt called last night at 7pm from Defiance, Ohio. Has not had a chance to access a computer to update us on his latest adventures since 6/14. Needed to make the call short so he could find a site to set up camp before dark. Will call again soon.

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