Well, it’s hard to believe it’s now the end of day ten and the ride today from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, near Columbus, to Greensburg, Pennsylvania. As we get closer to our end goal of New York City the memories are stacking up and it becomes more challenging just to tell you about one day when I want to tell you about everything we’ve see and done.
But there’s just not enough time for that so let me tell you that as I was rolling into New Concord, Ohio, to my right I saw a large sign marking the home of John and Annie Glenn. John Glenn, of course, was the third American in space and was the first American to orbit the earth – he made three orbits in February, 1962. One of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, this man exemplified bravery – especially when he kept his cool when ground control thought the heat shield on his capsule was loose and it was thought he’d die upon re-entering earth’s atmosphere.
It’s natural to elevate extraordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things, but something I saw just west of New Concord suggested a different take: A lot of ordinary people accomplish extraordinary things.
That sight was a section of the historic National Road, a section comprised of tens of thousands of bricks. And I thought of the men who mixed the mud to make these bricks and then bake them and then of the surveyors who mapped out a path who were followed by the crews that slogged through the woods and across the fields to level the base and lay these bricks. I thought of the families of these men who, from the Potomac to Vandalia, Illinois, depended on the income they earned and then the farmers and workers and business people who used this road that helped our nation grow. And it reminded me that we’re all in this together. We all depend on the work of someone else to make our lives better – and easier.
And the 620-mile road they built more than 200 years ago has since given birth to more than 3 million miles of roads across America. And the discoveries I made today represent just a fraction of the discoveries that are in store for you when make that decision to invest in yourself: to get on a motorcycle and take advantage of those roads and explore America’s small towns and historic sites. That’s what we’ve been doing for the past week and a half and every Cannon Baller has added lifelong memories to an account that includes a life-affirming ride.
You can do it, too.