Bike Trips
History in the making, part 2

Well, the election is over, Trump won, and people all over the world are shocked. Some rejoicing, others crying. Either way, I for one am sincerely glad it's over. Our country will survive Trump just like we've survived Obama and would have survived Clinton had she won.

I find it entertaining how the media are so shocked that they were so wrong about their predictions. Heck, it caught me by surprise too. I was resigned to a Clinton presidency and didn't think there was anything that could be done to prevent it. I don't know what to think about Trump as president. I still think he's a horrible choice for president, that he doesn't stand for anything but his own narissistic self-interest. In that of course he represents our country well. One only needs to look at our current culture to see that.

My blog entry of October 11 talked about a drastic change in the GOP that will probably happen. Charles Krauthammer said yesterday that if Trump wins "he will irreversibly reshape the party" and that the GOP "civil war will begin on Wednesday". I don't know what will happen, but it will certainly never be the same. Whether this will be good or bad only time will tell.

I'm just glad that this worst-ever election year is finally over. Yes, there will be a lot following this and those events will also be amazing to watch. For now though, I can get back to what really excites me.

2017 - The Year Of The WABDR
It's going to happen! Dave, my friend Tim Pontius, and I will be doing the Washington Back Country Discovery Route this summer. My son gave me the Butler map for it (as well as the Idaho route) on my birthday and I hope to have the DVD for it at Christmas. I have my equipment list I will be buying this winter for the WR250R:

Some of this I've been planning to buy regardless of the trip - just to get better at what I love to do. We plan to ride to the bottom of the state, ride the route, then ride home to Spokane. In all it should be over 1,100 miles about evenly split between pavement and dirt. Prior to the summer trip, we'll take at least one weekend trip to the mountains somewhere to do a shakedown of our equipment to find what works and what doesn't.

My brother said 2016 wasn't a really fun year because we didn't have a big trip planned. I think he's right. I felt I had a great year because I bought the WR250R and rode it a lot. But I know what he means. Just knowing this trip is in the future and preparing for it is exciting and fun to contemplate.

So what if Trump is president. I've got the WABDR and other riding to look forward to.

It's going to be a great year!!

Category: commentary riding
History in the making

As with the rest of the United States, I've been watching this slow-motion trainwreck of an election year and wondering how an entire nation can lose its collective mind. Here we have two of the worst candidates for president ever put before the American public and for months we've all thought "it can't get worse than this." But oh yes, it can. And it has. I won't put down all the reasons both candidates of our two major parties are despicable and why I won't vote for either. I also won't quote several commentators whom I respect who have put their reasons down far more eloquently than I could. No, what I'm here to say today is that in the end, we may have to thank Donald Trump for what he's done for American Politics.

Turning the soil
Farmers turn the soil upside down for many reasons, but in general the point of it is to improve the ground for future planting. Weeds are exposed so they can die. Manure is added and though it stinks, it'll help future growth. Insects and other pests are either exposed to die in the light or smothered to die in the dirt. What we're seeing today is no less than the soil of our political system being turned over. To say that the Republican party will no longer be the same is a bit of an obvious statement. People have for decades complained of our limited two-party system and wished for change. As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. I don't think the Democratic party will remain unscathed either. It may not happen right away, but I believe we will see that looking back on this year, our two-party system collapsed under its own irrelevance and something new developed.

The new crop
But what will emerge in the "spring?" A split GOP? The rise of the Libertarians? I have no idea and am not going to try and guess. I'm also not going to pretend to be optimistic about our country's future. The vibrancy, optimism, and ingenuity of the past is long gone in a post-ethical, post-moral morass of liberal humanism that has been enveloping our nation for many years. Our country is on the highway to world irrelevance and our future president, Hillary Clinton, will only be "stepping on the gas."

How then shall we live?
There's a very good reason that our part of the world is not mentioned in biblical texts when predicting end times. It's because we're not relevant to that future event. It's a hard thing to accept but as some of us that are Christians can see, our moment in the sun is over. Being faithful and obedient to scripture has never been more relevant however. And we can still be a light in the darkness.

Ephesians 5:1-2; 1 John 2:15-17

Category: commentary
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Tom Clark
I'm an application developer for Ministry Brands, living in Spokane, Washington. I also do a little development work on the side. And I love riding my bike all over the country with my friends.

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