In 2008 I did all 48 states in 8 days on my 1998 1200 Suzuki Bandit. I used the opportunity to raise money for “Flood” a ministry to homeless people in Bakersfield. What an incredible ministry that has changed the lives of so many homeless folks and gotten them on their feet, knowing Jesus and productive citizens.
Below is an outline of what happened on the trip.
48 in 8 Journal
Mark left from Needles, CA around 4:00 this morning. It was very hot there, however, the rest of the day the weather was perfect. No problems with the motorcycle. GPS has been very helpful. Had a little problem finding a place to get a receipt in Colorado, but God sent a FedEx driver who literally drove 50 or so miles with him to help him find a place to stop and then got him back to the place he started. Had a chance to hand out cards to people along the way and chat with them about Flood. People were very interested. Ran out of gas at a closed gas station near Santa Rosa, New Mexico and had to wait for AAA to come with gas. He will spend the night in Amarillo, TX and is planning to leave around 6:00 in the morning and heading to Hattiesburg, MS. He will have traveled about 19 hours today and around 1065 miles. He wants to try and find a way to make his stops much shorter tomorrow as each stop eats up a lot of time. Continue to pray for stamina and safety.
Monday night Mark arrived in Amarillo, TX around 1:30 a.m. He left Tuesday morning around 8:00 a.m. local time. The weather has been hot and humid and he is getting pretty sore at this point from the many hours on the bike. His GPS took him in a circle today which cost him about an hour, but the bike is running fine and he did not have any fuel issues today. He drove by an area in Kansas which was recently destroyed by a tornado and was amazed by the devastation. He is projecting that he will not reach Hattiesburg, MS until well into the wee hours of the morning, but will try to sleep later since getting sleepy on the road has been one of his biggest challenges. By days end he will have traveled about 1100 miles and will have spent 19 to 20 hours on the bike. Please pray that he will get the rest he needs and that the weather will cooperate as he enters into areas where there has been a lot of rain and storms.
When Mark stopped for fuel in Pine Bluff, Arkansas he smelled a strange smell only to realize that smoke was coming from his bike. He got off the bike and saw that smoke was billowing out from under his seat. He removed the seat and saw that the bike was on fire. Some wiring he had installed to charge his phone had shorted out and caught fire. He then realized that the seat itself was also on fire so he threw it down and started trying to get the flames out. He was right next to the gas pump and was afraid he was going to cause an explosion. He was able to get everything under control and no damage was done to the running of the bike. Just a small corner of his battery was a little melted.
Then at the very next stop in Louisiana, he pulled into the station and had an uneasy feeling as there were quite a few men loitering around the station and it was about 2:00 a.m. A man walked up to him and said, “You have to pay first.” Not wanting to hand him his credit card, Mark took out $20 cash and handed it to the man at which point the man ran off with the money. Mark was going to just get out of there, but the police drove up and he spent a few minutes explaining what happened. They wanted to look for the guy and try to get his money back, but Mark really wanted to get going as he was very tired and still had about an hour and a half of driving before arriving in Hattiesburg. Praise God for keeping him safe in each circumstance.
Summary Data States Mark has behind him: 1. California, 2. Nevada, 3. Utah, 4. Colorado, 5. Arizona, 6. New Mexico, 7. Texas, 8. Oklahoma, 9. Kansas, 10. Missouri, 11. Arkansas, 12. Louisiana, 13. Mississippi
Today was pretty uneventful compared to yesterday. Went (only) 750 miles today and spent 13 1/2 hours on the bike. States he traveled through today are AL, FL, GA, SC, NC, and TN. Weather was hot & humid and he wore the cooling vest that was donated by Cycle Gear which really helped to cut the heat. He did not have any trouble with getting sleepy on the road today which is definitely a praise! A fellow biker from Virginia emailed us to remind him to drink lots of water, more than he thinks he needs. He was grateful for the reminder and could tell a difference today as he drank much more water than he had been previously. Construction along the road slowed him down at times, but no bad traffic and no problems with the bike. He landed in Johnson City, TN for the night at around 1:30 a.m. and is hoping to hit the road around 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning. He lost another hour today due to the time change, so he’s looking forward to gaining time when he heads back west.
The prayers of everyone have been very evident and appreciated. Keep them coming!
As of now, about 5:30 Pacific Time and 8:30 Eastern Time, Mark was just about to enter Delaware. He is not expecting to reach his hotel in MA until about 3:00 a.m. He will travel about 1070 miles today and about 19 hours on the bike and will have been in 11 states. He got a little turned around in West Virginia and ended up on a dirt road for a couple of miles. He just pretended he was on a dirt bike. The weather was very hot today and again the cooling vest was a life saver. He has been battling sleepiness a lot today, and really needs to get some good rest tonight. Pray for him to get much needed rest and that the weather and 4th of July traffic will not be an issue tomorrow.
Mark was unable to make it all the way to Malden, MA last night, so he stopped in New Haven, CT arriving there around 3:30 a.m. The pre-holiday traffic was very heavy and really slowed him down. He is trying to make it to Angola, IN tonight where he will stay with a close friend who has offered to change his oil and filter. He has a hotel near Cleveland just in case he cannot make good time today and needs to stop short again. He may get into some rain along the route today, so pray for saftey and that the weather will not slow him down. He really needs to get to a stop before midnight so he can get more sleep.
Mark started out this morning in New Haven, CT at around 8:00 a.m. with a little rainy weather. He had great intentions of making it to Indiana tonight, however, once he got into Maine, he took a couple of bad turns and it cost him about 2 hours. (GPS units are not perfect!) He will be stopping around Erie, PA tonight at a projected time of about 1:00 a.m. The weather for most of the day has been very nice in the 70’s. He said going through Vermont was awesome. It was a beautiful winding road and he got to ride on the sides of his tires for a while through the curves.
He has been through 32 states so far. He is in very good spirits and doing very well.
Today is Day 6 and Mark’s said it was his favorite day. He was in familiar territory and saw lots of places that brought back good memories. (Including an Amish buggy and horse along the road.) He didn’t even need his GPS unit today at all. Upon arriving at his destination this evening, he will have traveled about 1000 miles today and around 5800 total miles. He will have touched 38 states so far. He will be spending the night in Luverne, MN not far from where he lived for a short time as a child, and expects to arrive around 2:00 – 2:30 a.m.
He passed by a favorite restaurant in PA called Quaker Steak and Lube. When he arrived in Indiana, he stopped at the Granger Steak and Lube. Dave and Sue Granger are very close friends from Ohio who have a beautiful lake house in IN, and were gracious enough to change Mark’s oil and filter while he enjoyed a delicious steak and potato meal. (This was only his 5th real meal since leaving on the 30th. Mostly he just has time to snack on beef jerky and trail mix while driving.) He wanted to thank the Grangers and give a shout out to the A-man. (Sorry for the slap on the sunburn.)
His favorite familiar face to see today was his son, Kyle in Chicago. He has not seen Kyle since he left to study for a semester in Ireland back in January. They met at what Mark believes must be the largest McDonalds in the world for about 45 minutes, and talked about life, love, and this awesome trip.
Mark also wanted to give a shout out to the guy from Maine who helped him get back on track when he got lost and who owns a very unique bike. He cannot describe it online, but you can ask him about it when he gets back.
Mark wanted to let everyone know that he has had many hours to pray for Flood and for the many needs they have while riding through this awesome country. If you haven’t taken time to donate yet, please do so. They really need our help, and that’s what this ride is all about.
Thanks for all your prayers! Listen to KLOVE Monday morning between 8 and 9 for an “on the road” interview.
Mark left Luverne, MN this morning around 9:15 local time. After driving for a couple of hours, he stopped and called in to Calvary Bible Church to say “hello” to the 1st service congregation on speakerphone. At his stop, he talked with a guy named Phil who was very excited to hear about the trip and said he would definitely be donating to Flood. Once he was about 30 – 40 minutes down the road, he realized his wallet was missing and had to turn around and go back. He found the wallet on the side of the road and nothing was missing. A few miles later he stopped and called in to the 2nd service congregation at Calvary. The cheers and encouragement from everyone gave his spirits a big boost. There were a few drops of rain while he was on the phone, but it quickly stopped.
The weather was very hot and humid, so at one of his stops, he had taken off his gloves and laid them on top of his bag, only to forget about them. When he went to put them back on, one was missing. He noticed he was getting very low on gas and had not seen any stations. Finally seeing a place to stop, he ran out of gas 3 miles short of the station and coasted to a stop in someone’s driveway in South Dakota. A man named Shawn quickly came outside and asked if he needed help and drove him the 3 miles to a gas station to get gas. Shawn also filled up all of Mark’s water bottles and offered him dinner (which he politely declined for time’s sake). When he was getting ready to leave, Shawn said, “Hey, is that your glove?” His missing glove was hanging under his windshield and had stayed there for 400 miles.
By the end of the day he will have traveled 1050 miles and touched 6 states. (IA, NE, SD, ND, WY, & MT) Only 3 more to go! He is planning to land in Billings, MT tonight around 2:00 a.m. Mark said he has not had trouble with getting sleepy today, but his body is exhausted. He is definitely looking forward to getting some sleep and much needed rest on Tuesday. Please keep praying for safety as fatigue is definitely a factor for this last stretch.
Thanks to Phil and Shawn for being the men of Day 7.
Just before Mark entered into Wyoming, a severe thunderstorm hit with very heavy rains and lots of thunder and lightening. He had to pull into a station to wait for the storm to pass as the lightning was all around him. This is the first time the weather has been an issue and cost him some time.
Written by a gentleman that heard about the ride and has been following daily!
Ode to the Goal: 48 in 8.
For the glory of God and that gutsy goal;
Mark takes his bike to the high road.
One wheel forward and one wheel aft,
Mark looks ahead and not at the past.
He rides for God; he rides his best.
He’s moving fast; first East, then West.
Pledges were made all for good cause.
And with that in mind he takes no pause.
His head is down as he slips through space.
The motor is steady at a predictable pace.
Through the nights and back roads not too fast.
He saves his speed for “rest stops” and gas.
Now back on the throttle to the finishing state,
Remembering still the goal: 48 in 8.
Whatever is done will make a good story,
And when all is done, he’ll give God the Glory.
Your kin in Christ,
IBA, AMA, HOG
In Mark’s own words:
48 in 8 is now a reality! At 10:00 PM Pacific time, July 7, 2008 I rode into Pendleton, Oregon safe and sound.
7 Days, 17 hours and 50 min.
Murdered 87,535 bugs with my bike, helmet and face.
What a trip! I can hardly put into words what just happened these past eight days. I can only say that it is by Gods grace and many people’s prayers that I was able to complete this journey.
I saw that we have the most diverse and beautiful country in the world. Wow, we have an awesome Creator. I met some fantastic people along the way that really prove there is still that awesome American spirit.
Through all the exhaustion, aches and pains, motorcycle fires, stolen money, near deer misses and even a near pig miss along the road, it has been a pleasure to ride for the cause of FLOOD.
What they are doing each and every week to bring hope to the hopeless is a far greater feat than what I have done these past few days. 48 in 8 is over but Floods work is only beginning. Will you pray for them? Will you personally get involved if you are in the Bakersfield area? Will you consider supporting them financially? What I have done these past few days is in the past. What Flood is doing will last for an eternity. What will you do?
God bless you and thank you for all your support, prayers, and encouragement. I couldn’t have done it without you.