Thursday, February 7, 2013


Baron Closen, aide-de-camp to Rochambeau, wrote, "I had a chance to see the American army, man for man. It was really painful to see these brave men, almost naked with only some trousers and little linen jackets, most of them without stockings, but, would you believe it? Very cheerful and healthy in appearance.”

Friday, December 28, 2012

Early June 2013 is start of expedition

Round two will start Early June. Now free of injuries, and hopefully then, will do the full route in June.

Will start posting on the Facebook page then. I plan
to keep this under the radar til I finish.

So stay tuned, will update this site periodically.

Best to you all!


If you want to go on the trip with me let me know.   It will take about two weeks.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Marchers walk from Providence to Boston December 3rd-8th, 2012

December 3rd thru 8th, 2012
December 2012 celebrates the 230th anniversary of the Exp√©dition Particuli√®re - the codename given to the French expeditionary army sent during 1780 to 1782 to support the American War of Independence. To commemorate this event, French and American reenactors will “March” the new Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail (W3R NHT), from Providence RI to Boston MA.
In 2006, the 225th anniversary of the 1781 Yorktown Campaign, the reenactors – who are all over sixty and known as "America's March to Yorktown" (AMTY) - marched the entire 700+ mile journey of the French Army under General Rochambeau, from Newport RI to Yorktown VA, using French records and maps as their guide. This year AMTY will finish this effort as they march the last leg of the route to Boston, where, after the victory over Cornwallis, the French army returned to board troop transports for the Caribbean, departing Boston Harbor on December 24, 1782.
Although this section of the 1782 march took three days, AMTY will be extending it to five days to facilitate school visits and speaking engagements. Due in part to their 2006 effort, including two visits to Congress and the work of hundreds of volunteers along the nine-state, and District of Columbia, route, Congress passed a bill that was signed by President Obama in 2009 designating the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route as a National Historic Trail.
The "March" will terminate at the site of the Boston Massacre on Saturday December 8. Interested parties/individuals are welcome to join the “March” along the way.  A ceremony celebrating the French march and that of the AMTY is being planned for 1:00 PM, December 9th, at the site of the USS Constitution. The ceremony is open to the public.
To follow the AMTY this December or to read the daily logs of the 2006 march, visit:
For more background on W3R, visit  or go to the National Park Service website,
For more immediate information please contact Michael Fitzgerald at:  or by cell at; 860.912.7366.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish and thoughts by Steve Jobs

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish...Thank you Steve Jobs
In the late 1970s when the Whole Earth Catalog decided to call it quits and come out with the final edition, they came up with a interesting ending. On the back cover there is the scene of a country road, somewhere in America, and above it four words: stay hungry, stay foolish.

The Whole Earth Catalog was the paper equivalent internet of the 70s. It focused on the environmental movement of the time sharing information from; sustainable living, to Outward Bound, to gardening tools, to animal and human rights organizations, and to much more.

I remember lying on my parent’s bed reading it, as one cool idea morphed into another cool idea, just as the internet works today. It opened up my mind to possibilities’ I may not have ever known about.

Recently, I was having dinner with a friend of mine who I had not seen for 38 years, Duane Benton who is now 80. I was telling Duane about some of my entrepreneurial experiences and personal philosophies regarding my own life and my view of the world, and how much of those experiences help to shape who I am and have led me to the life I lead now as an entrepreneur and alternative transportation advocate.

Towards the end of our dinner, Duane told me about a commencement speech a friend of his had sent him, where Steve Jobs spoke to the graduates of Stanford in 2005. Duane said that Jobs spoke about his own life experiences and how they shaped his life and at the end of the speech, Steve described the back cover of the final Whole Earth Catalog, and finished his speech to those graduates, with, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.”
Sometimes a few simple words can have great meaning. My friend Duane said the speech is one of “things you should read at least once a year to keep your perspective on life.”

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish can mean different things to people based on their own experiences, and that is fine. To me it means: Stay hungry for new knowledge and experiences, and Stay foolish by keeping a child’s curiosity and don’t let anyone tell you something cannot be done, try it anyway, touch it, feel it, smell it, taste it, experience it (Life) fully, so there will be no regrets later on.

So, Rest in Peace Steve Jobs. Thank you for sharing your life and wisdom with the World.

And to all of you, who now are reflecting on your own lives...

Stay hungry, stay foolish.

Bill Poindexter

The Speech text

The 2005 Jobs Stanford Commencement Address:

"I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first six months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out okay. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned Coke bottles for the 5-cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something–your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky–I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation–the Macintosh–a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30, I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down–that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the Valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me–I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, “Toy Story,” and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up, so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying, because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma–which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called “The Whole Earth Catalog,” which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960′s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: It was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of “The Whole Earth Catalog,” and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Well, getting closer to heading back East! I will finish writing about my first section in the next week. Sorry, been super busy with work. Thanks to Bob Bird, Freeman L Miller, and Whitney Bartelli for their donations.

The National Park Service let me know they finally cam up with a shorter name for the National Historic Trail and a new logo:

So the trail is now called the Washington- Rochambeau I just need to figure out how to change the name on all the things I worked on! :)

Seriously, I am soooo anxious to get my butt back East and finish the Expedition. One group criticized me for cutting it short, but as a volunteer, I have to be able to pay my own bills, so I am separating myself from them....they said "I did not step up to the plate." I beg to differ! Well, I dont beg, just differ. :)

Funding issues have plagued many a expedition and caused delays.

I appreciate all the friendship and support from all of you.

Peace, Bill

Monday, August 15, 2011

Spring of 1781, words from George Washington

By the spring of 1781 Washington was in despair.

Instead of having Magazines filled with provisions, we have a scanty pittance scattered here and there in the different States. Instead of having our Arsenals well supplied with Military Stores, they are all poorly provided, and the Workmen all leaving them. Instead of having various articles of Field equipage in readiness to deliver, the Quarter Master General . . . is but now applying to the several States to provide these things for the Troops respectively. Instead of having a regular System of Transportation established upon credit-or funds in the Qr. Masters hands to defray the contingent expenses of it we have neither the one nor the other and all that business, or a great part of it being done by Military Impress, we are daily and hourly oppressing the people-souring their tempers-and alienating their affections.3
2. Ibid., 4:124 (to Joseph Reed, 28 Nov 75).
3. George Washington, The Diaries of George Washington, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, 4 vols. (Boston, 1925), 2:207-09 (May 1781).
Borrowed from

A bit of history...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rhode Island Part 1: Newport to Providence

The below is a repost of my 7/6 article.


For Cyclists who will be cycling the route and developing a route before I am able to get back East, feel free to contact me for route options, contacts, along the W3R-NHT I would be happy to share what I have.

Cycling W3R Expedition:   Part one                                    

Part one the route:  Newport to Providence

I love everything about Rhode Island.

I arrived by ferry (this a short video of the crossing) to Quonset Point, RI from the Island of Martha's Vineyard. My ocean crossing, although much shorter than the French in 1780, was very choppy, causing me a bout of seasickness (What? I am from Kansas, what did you expect? ;) )

Quonset Point is a big industrial area where ships and planes were made in the past and today. Before we arrived I called Peter Rice who had previously given me advice about cycling the roads in the Newport area and had told me if I needed a ride to Newport to call him as the bridges in did not allow bicycles. Peter answered, and said he would be there shortly. I was impressed by his generosity.

Laura the owner
Once off the ferry, I decided to bike around the area while I waited for Peter.
Out of place of all the industrial building was a lone mobile restaurant called Quonset Hut. It was so out of place I had to stop and take a picture. Laura the owner came out to greet me. She was a tough, weather worn, hard working woman who bought the trailer and set up Quonset Hut in the area where she herself use to work on B-52 Bombers in the early 70s. She had many ideas how to make her business successful and was very kind to me, even giving me a free bottle of water. This was my first experience with the hospitality I would become accustomed to from the people of Rhode Island.

Peter Rice and I at the Rochambeau
Peter drove up and we headed toward the bridge on Highway 138 that crossed Narragansett Bay. Once on the bridge I understood why cyclists were not allowed. The lanes are narrow and traffic heavy. There are local buses to get across I will try on my next trip.

Once in Newport Peter took me around the town explaining to me the history of the area and showing me alternative cycling routes out of town. Pete is retired from the Navy and is originally from ND. Pete is also a member the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen. I think in all we spent three hours exploring the area and the routes.

I next headed to my home for the night, a Hostel called the William Gyles Guesthouse. The owner, Merrilee, a cyclist,  was still at her job, so we decided on meeting an hour later, then she could check me in. $35 bucks for the night! I went for a short ride exploring Newport.

I made it back to the Hostel in time for Merrilee to check me in and to meet my roommate, one from California, and another, Andy from Ireland.

Andy has been back packing around the Eastern US for one month and still had a month to go. He was heading to a place in Maine where he was going to work on a sustainable organic farm for two weeks in exchange for room and board. He found it on a site called, WWoof or World Wide opportunities on organic farms. Cool!

Newport at night!

After getting settled in and a shower, rolled into town to find WiFi and get some food. There I met a young woman, Chelsey, soliciting Blood Donations for the Red Cross. Chelsey is one of those people who can look at you in the eye and you know she has a kind soul. I let her know that I was in need of my blood as I was going on a long bike ride. She readily agreed with my choice and loaded me up with some free life savers candy.

I went back to the Hostel for a short time and then went into town with Erica, another guest,  who was a grad student from CA for a glass of wine. Seeing Newport at night is a site. Great restaurants, many people, ships on the water, history oozes from the ground here. The people are friendly.

The next morning I was up early. I think I may have had three hours sleep as the neighbors across the street form the hostel had a party till 2am-ish. I got up at 6am and made a light breakfast, studied some maps Peter left me, and wrote in my journal.

I checked out of the Hostel and rolled into town. I spent some more time exploring the town of Newport on two wheels. Bicycling is one of the best ways to see the town. Although the streets have traffic, and sometimes are narrow in town, the people are use to cyclists. There is a loop, where you ride south on Thames to Wellington, then heading toward Fort Adams, and winding your way on great roads with ocean views and then back into town passing mansions and lots of tourist waiting for their buses. There is a bike map available at all the bike shops and hotels to help guide you.

the start

  Around 9am I made my way to my start point. The Rochambeau statue on Wellington.

The Start

The morning was perfect, sunny, mid 70s, slight breeze, the smell of the ocean, seagulls speaking in turn. I made my way to the start point. I was interviewed by a local Newspaper, and then the start was at 10am. Just me and Rochambeau-the present with the past.


 " Every colony, large or small, from Massachusetts to Virginia, contributed to the success of this struggle. Rhode Island was the first to renounce allegiance to the King and to call for independence, and paid a heavy price for it. The smallest among the colonies embracing the cause of independence, it suffered through occupation and deprivation - the town of Newport felt the consequence of the war well into the twentieth century. Yet as the 225th anniversary of the victory at Yorktown will be celebrated in October 2006, Rhode Island can be proud of her contributions to the success of the Yorktown campaign and to American Independence. " Robert Selig, Cycling W3R Expedition Historian

I would take a left here to Memorial.
 I made my way on the Cycling W3R route I had decided on after exploring three options with my local route adviser, Peter Rice. My objective was to make a safe route, staying close to the history, and finding one that would be good for most levels of cyclists. The official W3R route out of town is on Route 114, which is becomes very busy with traffic, no shoulder, not fun. The other route was going through Navy housing, with lots of turns, little views. The third, and the one I chose, went west on Wellington to Thames. Right to Narragansett. A left, rolling past some beautiful homes to Annandale. Left to Memorial Drive.
On Memorial drive I passed a gorgeous beach on my right, then veered left to Route 214 North. 214 is simple, a wide shoulder, low traffic.

USS Saratoga
  I took 214 North to 114 North. Took a right there and took my 2nd left to Gate 17 entrance of the Navel Base. Once on the Gate 17 road, I headed west to Burma Road. Coming down to Burma Road is amazing as once you crest the hill and go down the road your view is Narragansett Bay and the decommissioned Aircraft Carrier, the USS Saratoga. The Saratoga is impressive to behold, and seemed to be waiting for me to roll by in celebration of the Cycling W3R, as the theme, the past meeting the present again seemed relevant.  On a side note, according to the Cycling W3R Expedition Historian, Robert Selig, the three most significant battles of the American Revolution were; Bunker Hill, Saratoga, and Yorktown.

My view to my left heading north on Burma Rd.
Once on Burma Road, I quickly realized why so many locals recommended it to me. A well maintained two lane with little traffic and nice shoulders. I headed north and had views the bay on my left and greenery on my right. I took it to Stringham Rd. Not well marked, but a distinctive sharp right turn, I had to pull out the GPS to make sure of my location.

This made me laugh...

I took a right on Stringham, and rolled slowly uphill to 114 North. There was a Dunken Donuts on the other side of 114. Traffic on 114 was heavy. I stopped for some food and drink.

Heading toward the Mt Hope Bridge
Fuel up on a bagel and donut, I next headed North on 114. This section of the route is NOT fun, with no shoulder, high traffic,  and poor road surface. I felt vulnerable here and took my time focused on the bumpy potholed filled maze in front of me while constant prayer were being sent out to the universe for my safety as cars and trucks speeded by with little regard for my existence.

The saving grace on 114 for is the consistency of the W3R signs marking the route. It was a comfort.

Patriot's Park
Patriots Park is a memorial to the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, known as the Black Regiment. The park is located at the junction northbound of Routes 114 and 24. A flagpole commemorates the site where the Black Regiment fought off a Hessian attack, saving the American line, on August 29, 1778, during  the Battle of Rhode Island.
Luckily the poor road only lasted a few miles then I was able to turn left towards Mount Hope Bridge. And then, between Highway 24 and 114, in a very odd place there was located Patriots Park-recognizing the Black Regiment. I stopped for a quick picture, but was eager to roll north, so did not explore.

Stopping at the bottom of the bridge
taking a picture over my left shoulder.
 I got to the Mt Hope Bridge, a narrow two lane, with grates every 50 feet or so, lenght over 6,000 feet! I was glad I had wide tires. Traffic was medium, but the bridge being long, and very high, with obstacles in the way, and traffic at my back I was not able to enjoy the amazing views of the water below. Although the ride over was intense, I never felt in danger, cars were respective, as long as I kept my line, all was well.

A few minutes later, I was off it and stopped and took a picture over my left shoulder to see what I had done. Wow.

This was when I got on
the East Bay Bike Path
from Oliver St in Bristol.
 Next the road greatly improved, I stayed on 114 and rolled into the town of Bristol.  A gorgeous town, the water at my left. I slowly made my way to Oliver St. Then left to the East Bay Bicycle Path.

My choice to go into Providence was 114 or this Bike path.  I chose the bike path, although at some point I would like to explore 114 in this section. The bike path is amazing. 14.5 miles to Providence without having to get on a road. Very well maintained, it looks more like small two lane road than a bicycle path.

I meandered my way on the path, passing a young girl at a Del's lemonade stand! I have never seen this on bike paths, and am impressed!

The Bike path, gave a view of what the land looked
in 1781.
I continued past the towns of Barrington, and then Riverside. I stopped a  grocery store in Barrington which was a few feet off the bike path.

There I met a woman, Jackie, who was getting her groceries on her single speed Schwinn Stingray, and was curious about my loaded bicycle. I told her about the expedition, and we talked about the route for awhile. She gave me some advice about downtown Providence, I would soon( unknowingly) regret not taking.

First views of Providence from the East Bay
Bike Path

I made why way north to the Riverside area, and although I was getting closer to Providence, the bike path was a low stress alternative to bicycling into a big city.

  I made my way to Providence, took a left on a sidewalk (still part of the East Bay Bicycle Path), with the highway on my right, I was about to go urban! Yikes!

Stay tuned for Part two; Providence to Joy Homestead and getting lost!

Side note: On a side note, I am still fund raising. If you like what you are reading and seeing, chip in some bucks and you will get more! ;)