America, Russia, China....when your "up against the Wall"...just Run For It!
In 1988, Learning the State Department had postponed my journey of The Great Wall for another year, due to the events of Tiananmen Square, Texas’s US Senator, Lloyd Bentsen, contacted me about
a possible alternative.
A few years earlier, an International reporter had written an article, mentioned my longtime fascination with Russia’s
Trans-Siberian Railroad. I’d pointed out that someday after completing my journey of The Great Wall--- I’d be interested in jogging the tracks of the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Moscow to Vladivostok, a distance of more than six thousand miles.
Senator Bentsen believed I should immediately launch the Railroad Adventure in Russia to stay in-shape and---to keep my name in the headlines. He was close friends with
Russia’s President, Mikhail Gorbachev, and wanted to intercede on my behalf.
He asked me to first---write a formal request letter to a name and address he would provide and make certain
I copied him on the letter. Senator Bentsen promised to take the next step by contacting Gorbachev.
Of course, my real Dream was to travel The Great Wall. But, if it meant traveling Russia’s
Trans-Siberian Railroad first---while waiting to connect with China’s Great Wall--- I was open to all possibilities.
I followed Senator Bentsen's instructions and, before
long, I'd received a letter from Gorbachev's office. His communications office advised me they were making arrangements for me to travel to Russia and discuss my Trans-Siberian project.
Learning of my offer from Russia, the Chinese Government lost no time in contacted the US State Department and...within days...I was on a flight to Beijing, China, to finalize plans to travel "ALL THE WALL."
I'll never know what transpired between the Chinese and the US State Department but, suddenly, I was no longer "on track" to fulfill a dream in Russia.
I was, once again, back to pursuing ALL THE WALL...for better or worse!
PS...That was in 1990, and today, 2018, I still think about my unfulfilled dream of jogging/walking/running
the tracks of the Trans-Siberian Railroad for 6 thousand miles or more. But, let's face facts. I'm no longer as "flexible" nor do I have the "same level of endurance" as I did more than 20 years ago. And, to
say the least... I'm not as willing to "rough it" today... as compared to 1990.
So, I've spent some time modifying that original dream to accomodate my
present lifestyle. Rather than walk/jog/run the length of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, I will simply climb on the train and ride from Moscow to Vladivostok.
I can still be
the first American Woman to travel the length of the Trans-Siberian Railroad--from Moscow to Vladivostok-- write about my personal journey--- provide original photos--and document it all in a book!
Sounds like I'm "right on track" with my most-recent plan.