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Friday, May 23, 2008

Less than 30 days util departure
We are set! With less than 30 days to go until we leave for the race, we have finally gotten our pre-race stuff all completed: charts are marked; route is Google-earthed; reservations are made and now ... we wait... we wait for the plane to be completed (she is scheduled for her time starting June 1st); we wait for fly-by information and other news to come from ARC HQ; and we wait to meet all the other racers. My bags are packed - if it will not fit in the flight bag, it will not got ... well, other than the computer, the jacket, the survival kit, cooler, spare oil, tools and our race kit. Even then, we are travelling light.

Theresa and Terry need a bit more flight time together so we have decided that we will head back to OKC, snatch Theresa and make the final 7 hours of our 14 hour journey to Bozeman together. Our sad news is that Mario's Alzheimer's disease has taken a turn for the worse and he will be unable to make this trip. We were hoping that he would hang on to make this his last big adventure, but it looks like that adventure has already come and gone for him. We are extremely grateful to his cousin, Magda, who has agreed to come stay with Mario and be the hometown support part of the Team so we can continue to focus on the race. We will still carry Mario's spirit with us to the end.

So the countdown is on ... 26 days until blast off!
3:32 pm edt 

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"Wild Bill":  We are very saddened to hear the news of the loss of our friend, Bill Walker. Bill was killed in his Yak 52 March 26th while performing with his aerobatic team, Red WildBill.JPGWildBill1.JPGThunder, in the Wings Over Flagler Airshow in FL. Click HERE a short clip of an interview with Bill from the 2009 Sparta Airshow. Bill took me for a ride in his Yak 52 on March 12 - just 2 weeks ago, after we finished painting the compass rose at SRB. Note the smiles on our faces - this photo was shot after our photo mission getting aerial shots of the new compass rose from the Yak.