I just got back from a trip ("The No Beer Left Behind Ride of 2010") I started on the 30th of June to celebrate the Fourth of July in Gunnison, and to meet a friend who flew from LA to pick up his new bike in Denver to join me in my fine addiction (that's 2 friends converted to the ADV lifestyle and counting now since my last trip on Memorial Day and buying the beast 2 years ago. HA!). I felt after traveling 2200 miles over 5 states that I must remark about how pleasant and courteous every person I ran into throughout my trip was, and how without knowing it, you helped restore my faith in my fellow American and this country as a whole. I am touched and profoundly thankful to all of you. Hang on, this is going to get sappier. But this is truth. Having a large Supertanker like the GSA packed with gear is an automatic conversation starter just about anywhere and all of you that I talked to were inquisitive, kind, waved back and smiled, had time for my questions and listened to my answers, smiled and were pleasant even though I must reek of grizzled out-of-towner when we meet. You all made me feel my courtesy, respect and kindness was not looked upon as a sign of weakness and me as prey, but as if I was your neighbor and friend, not a suspicious stranger. You made me feel at home wherever I was. In particular, my friends and I (even the one that used to live in Crested Butte and Gunnison years ago) were really impressed by the 4th of July parade in Crested Butte. The town's population basically swells in size to probably 2 or 3 times it's size for the parade, (and probably the weekend), before folks head back down to Gunnison for the municipal fireworks there at night. That many people in one place at one time around here usually means parking snafus, harsh words, dog fights, forgotten manners, uncontrollably loud children, public drunkenness, loud cell phone blabber etc. Instead, you Coloradans took that day as an opportunity to pay respect to the founding of this country and to other Americans by behaving with absolute class, and showing me an absolute jewel of a town. There was not even a hint of discord throughout the whole day, only pleasantness, proud patriotism, joy and gratitude and genuine kindness. Thank you. You may remember me as the guy joining you in singing the National Anthem with tears of joy and pride streaming down my face, and it wasn't only because of the beer.