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Mail from Friends

Doug Shenton

I'm real proud of you for doing this ride. I know you're learning a lot and benefitting from the exercise. I thought your comment about corn and red meat ("This is a very big country with lots of fertile land devoted to corn feed for cattle and rib eye steak. I would think if we ate less red meat we could feed more people in .... say Africa.") was very insightful. My wife is a vegetarian for the exact reason you stated. She feels it is one way of making a difference for her fellow man, and I respect that very much.



PS I'm currently serving as interim pastor of a small church in Baptistown, NJ (No, I didn't make up the name of the town--it's west of Flemington.)

Helen Simpson - Manager of Campgrounds, formerly in our area.

Hi Bob,
Your adventure sounds so exciting!!! Hope you have a wonderful journey. If you get over to Louisville, KY, come see us. We are about 20 miles south in Shepherdsville at the Louisville South KOA. We've been managing it since the end of February. I'll keep following your progress. Best of luck to you.
Bob & Helen

Willie Whiskers, Good Warm Person and singer.

Hey Now!!
 Must feel good travleing in a forward direction.I've been plowin acres at a 12 foot pase up & down over & over untill it's nothing but clean fresh earth,with the blue
skys we been having how can i complain.I dont mind being covered with earth.It's grease I dont like.
                         Happy Trails  and I do mean
                                                         HAPPY TRAILS TO YOU!!!!!!!

Colleen Kelly - I worked with Colleen in banking and for too short a time in coffee.  She is always pleasant and smiling and a good friend.

Bob & Cathy,  

I just read lots of the tabs on the site.  Great job!  I will spread the word and watch for your progress . . . hope to hook up when you get near south FL.  May even join you for a few laps . . . around a coffee shop! 

 Stay cool.  It’s still hot as heck here.

Love watching you on youtube.

Your  loyal fan,

Colleen Kelly Century 21 Hansen Realty, 3010 East Commercial Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308, 954.598.3544 cell      954.665.2860 e-fax



Bill Urkiel, Classmate at Marist College, '67.  Now Retired, was CFO of IBM PC Division

You look great and I wish you well, wherever that bike takes you.  If your in southwest Florida near Bonita Springs I would love to see you and Cathy.


Ralph Blanchette - Soon to publish a work on Aristotle

Hi Ken,

I meant to remark on your comment that "The Immense Journey is one of my all-time favorite books." I know our endorsement prompted Bob to read it, which he may still be doing while he is resting from his Cycling Odyssey. I still remember the image from the opening (I think) essay  where Eiseley descends into a gully that holds the history of life in geological layers of fossils. It's his own Hades trench (re Odyssey, Book 11 - The Kingdom of the Dead):


There, gaining that point, we beached our craft
and herding out the sheep, we picked our way
by the Ocean's banks until we gained the place
that Circe made our goal.
                                       Here at the spot
Perimedes and Eurylochus held the victims fast,
and I, drawing my sharp sword from beside my hip,
dug a trench of about a forearm's depth and length
and around it poured libations out to all the dead,
first with milk and honey, and then with mellow wine,
then water third and last, and sprinkled glistening barley
over it all, and time and again I vowed to all the dead,
to the drifting, listless spirits of their ghosts,
that once I returned to Ithaca I would slaughter
a barren heifer in my halls, the best I had,
and load a pyre with treasures—and to Tiresias,
alone, apart, I would offer a sleek black ram,
the pride of all my herds. And once my vows
and prayers had invoked the nations of the dead,
I took the victims, over the trench I cut their throats
and the dark blood flowed in—and up out of Erebus they came,
flocking toward me now, the ghosts of the dead and gone ..
Brides and unwed youths and old men who had suffered much
and girls with their tender hearts freshly scarred by sorrow
and great armies of battle dead, stabbed by bronze spears,
men of war still wrapped in bloody armor—thousands
swarming around the trench from every side
unearthly cries—blanching terror gripped me!
I ordered the men at once to flay the sheep
that lay before us, killed by my ruthless blade,
and burn them both, and then say prayers to the gods,
to the almighty god of death and dread Persephone.
But I, the sharp sword drawn from beside my hip,
sat down on alert there and never let the ghosts
of the shambling, shiftless dead come near that blood

till I had questioned Tiresias myself.

(Fagles translation, my favorite.)
I like to think of Eiseley's gully as the paleontological descendent of Homer's, where all the animal sacrifices for the sake of making known the hidden history of the Achaeans are instead animal sacrifices made by nature 'for the sake of' making known the history of life. The dead serve the living...  
I doubt that Bob will be visiting the Kingdom of the Dead on his own Odyssey, although all Odyssey's have a night journey of some kind. Bob may encounter more than the occasional heart-rending road kill, but I'll wait for the hero's stories in his own good time.  Good luck, Bob and we are rooting for you.
Ken, thanks for mentioning the N. Y. Times article.  I don't read that paper regularly but, as of this writing, the article is still available online at:
Rubin only skims the surface on the influence of Atlas Shrugged, even in the realm of business, but it was a welcome reminder that the 50th anniversary of that novel is next month.  I just recently began rereading it for the first time in thirty years -- I read it in toto twice before, once as a high-schooler, as you recalled and once in my early thirties. I forgot very little but it moves me at least as deeply as when I was young and I have a much deeper intellectual appreciation for it's literary and philosophical merits than I did before. To some extent its merit can be gauged by the passionate love and hate it invokes in those who read it -- this shows that it reaches down to the most fundamental levels of life. One need not agree with Rand to give her credit for that. Those of us who are fans of the novel are full of both anticipation and dread at the prospect of it's becoming and motion picture.  It is still on schedule to be filmed next year with Angelina Jolie as Dagny Taggart!  Prior to hearing that she had accepted the part I knew virtually nothing about her other than her tabloid persona and her Tomb Raider poster, but I have since seen most of her films and I a persuaded that she can do justice to the part if she really understands what is behind it.  An actor need not agree with a character's philosophy in order to do a believable portrayal but she must understand it.  I'll bet a vial of Billy Bob's blood that Angelina has a lot of studying to do! Incidentally, as in all great stories, there is (at least one) night journey in Atlas Shrugged and it leads to a ghost in the form of an abandoned motor. You'll have to read the rest to find out it's significance. :)
Thanks for the message.



Tony Gebely


Sounds like quite the adventure! I'll be reading up on your progress, its always a wonderful thing to be able to achieve a dream like that. Best of luck!

- Tony Gebely



Mike Hackett - Marist Class of 67 and Insurance in New England

Bob -
here's something about cawfee:
Happy travels. 
So why are you skipping NE.....we drink coffee here too!   Red Barn, hogan brothers, etc
 While you're searching for music, check out  www.Great Big have a Frobiesqu1an sound.

Michael Hackett



Tim Stafford, IBMA award winning country and bluegrass singer

Man, sounds like a dream come true!
Good luck,


Cecil Thomas, Guitar Player and home coffee roaster

We played for hours at Steve Kaufman's camp.  I mean for hours and for days.  Terrific time.

If you let me know your approximate time frame in East Tennessee I would love to have you and your wife for an evening and if possible to attend our Performance/Jam which happens every Friday night.
I live about 30 miles from KAMP at the intersection of I-75 and I-40 about 20 miles south of Knoxville.
Give me some details on your itinerary and we'll try to work something out.

You can always count of a fresh roast at my house but you need to give me a little warning if you like it to rest overnight.  I often brew mine just a few minutes after roasting (not from preference but because I ran out).


Arthur Schlosser (aka Dean Dobbins-Country Singer/Song Writer)

Hey, Bob!
I just read through most of the website windows.
Man, sounds great! great! great!
And 4 hours a day sounds reasonable.
Should be a fantastic adventure.
I predict that you will lose weight as long as you don't have too many pastries at the various Kaffe Magnum Opus shops.
How many shops are there??
Where are they??
Any in Virginia, where Charlotte and I will be living in a few years?
I just looked clicked on the Kaffe Magnum Opus link and found for the first time that you have a website, that folks can order online.
Who knew? (You did........)
Quite a story, you entrepeneur.........
Then I assume that you do most of your business online.
But the KMO site doesn't say how many coffee shops you have or where they are.
And Arthur wants to know............
By the way, have you watched "Peewee's Great Adventure?"
Another bike lover...........and a VERY funny movie!
Maybe you could attach a tv to your bike and watch the movie while you pedal........
Just keep your eye peeled for more bears........
Which guitars do you have in the motor home?
Do you play banjo too?


Steve Kaufman (

You are livin' the dream my friend
Have fun and holler at us when you come by.
Be safe and best to you both.

Bye for now,
Steve Kaufman


Jim Moore

Bob Johnson's, On the Road!
or Easy Rider, 2007!
Congratulations!  A trip for a lifetime.
I wish you and Cathy a full tank of gas, tread on your tires,
quarters for the tolls.
Most likely you will be taking the back roads. I certainly
hope so.  If you are going to get to Florida by November
sounds like you might be taking bikes.
In that case I wish you air in your tires, and that they
be free of tacks, nails, and shards of glass the whole way.
For sure, I'll be looking at your website for news
and pics of the journey.
God Speed
  ~ Jim



Leo and Sherry, jammers and jam hosts on Mondays

glad you guys are enjoying yourselves, you will be missed at the hall and our monday night jams.
remember to listen to your body, it will tell you when to take a break.
my goal was to play basketball until i was 60, i reached that goal, now thinking about maybe till i'm 70, thats this year and two more, just icing on the cake, but at 67 my feet may stop me this year.
carry on, just found out that our friends in florida are still enjoying your coffee.
         Leo & Sherry, stagecoach jammers.



Hi Bob,
I enjoyed our lunch.  I'll keep an eye on your new web site.  Good luck with the trip.
Have fun!!!
Mike (who hosts this web site and has been a good friend for 20 years.
PS: Say hi to Cathy for me!


     LOL I'm going to be living my life Vicariously through yours for the next few whatever your a very inspirational person you & your lovely wife enjoy one another & good luck
                                                                                     Have the BEST DAY EVERR!!!!
                                                                                              Kevin (who made our signs)


Good luck with the adventure Bob (you crazy old man!). Congrats on stepping out of the box and following your dreams, passions, and desires (again). Life is short, health is a gift and a privilege, and so often taken for granted. I'm proud of you, and happy that you have Cathy to share it with. Sounds like you love her almost as much as I love Ayn!

We were married in 1996 also, but on July 4th (we liked the irony of uniting on Independence Day, ha ha). How about adding pictures of you, your wife, your bike and motor home to the site as well?

Also, don't be hero. Be sure to enjoy the trip. Don't let it become a chore. Check this out, it may be a help, and don't think of it as cheating... just assisting. Be sure to read up on it before dismissing it. Read the testimonials and how people are using them. There are bikes like yours on there too. Sounds like a "Bob Johnson" kind of company. Hey, maybe they'll sponsor you and give you a discount if you put them on your site! I don't have one, but may try to save up for next summer.

By the way, if you never knew it, BEANS stands for Believe, Encourage, Act, Nurture, and Serve.

Keep in touch!

Ed (Good Coffee Friend and a really good photographer

Ed Masker, Ayn Masker, BEANS Coffee Shop, 9 North Main Street, Woodstown, NJ 08098, (856) 769-2145

Hey Bob & Cathy

Good Luck in your travels. Sounds like a wonderful time.
I'll hold things together as best I can on this end.

Go out and sing and pick and tell 'em about us.

Maybe a jam when you get back so you can tell us all about your trip.

jbc (aka John Clevelend, base player of the highest order)

Thanks for including me in this adventure. I am not able to pull off something like that, but I am glad that someone is and especially glad that it is you. I am in the thick of an expanding practice, with two associates, one of whom is my daughter. There are lots of challenges, but I trust that I am exactly where God wants me to be on this day and that it is  the same with you. Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 (you will know from the old Birds song "to every day turn, turn,") says that there is a time for every purpose. I was taught by a wise old preacher that God has those times set aside for us and that because He has chosen those times they are perfect, so much better than they would have been had we forced things with our own bull-headed will. I turn on the superchargers when the path is made clear to me, but I am very skeptical of my will when it is driven by my wants rather that by a peaceful sense of direction.
I trust you knew exactly when to hit the road. And when it is time so will I. In the meantime, the working life has its pleasures: a 10 day cruise last month with the entire family ("If you pay for it, they will come"), hunting trips planned in Maryland and Virginia, some distance swims and triathlons, a couple Malvern retreats, some work for Senator McCain, good mornings together, weekend trips to see Linda's dad and the grandchildren in DC. I am committed to spending a day or two away with Stef to figure out how we can work less and have more fun.
I pray that this trip will be filled with excitement and joy for you and Cathy and that it lays the foundation for the next 30 years or more. Thanks for being my friend.
John ( John saved my life 23 years ago and I'll never forget him)


What a great site and what a great adventure!  I've been riding my bike again.  A Trek 1500, I love it.  Then I have a Fuji Thrill mountainbike for the winter.  Been riding a couple of years now.
All is improving on the Avenue, especially with Bains/Fuel House Coffee.  Russell Swanson says he deals with KMO.  He is a great guy and is excited about what he is doing and looks like they are off to a great start.  Reminds me of the "old days" when you were there and when we used to talk a lot about the Downtown.
Good luck on your adventure,
John Epifanio

Hey Bob. Wow! This is awesome. I have your sight bookmarked and will anxiously await updates.  By the way, I'm in Portland, ME visiting my best friend. I will be driving down to Asheville, NC at the end of Sept. and then to Miami from there for a Bluegrass Cruise Oct. 7-14.  How fun that will be!  Good luck on your journey :)
steve (a fellow Bluegrass nut from someplace near Kansas City)

Bob Good to hear from you.   Hope you're getting some picking time in.  We have been  playing a lot around here.  I am bookmaking you site  I can check it out.   Later.
JP (John the Greek and a Steve Kaufman regular)







This site is sponsored by Kaffe Magnum Opus, the coffee roaster.  To contact Bob please call his cell 609-247-9683 or e-mail or  Or call the office at 800-652-5282 and the folks there will find me.