Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What Bruce Byrne treasured most was traveling.

Bruce Byrne was a motorhead. Motorbikes, motorcars, motor homes — if it had wheels and an engine, Byrne was interested, and the faster they went, the better.

His fascination with the mechanical world wasn't Earth-bound, either. He was also enamored of anything that flew, including World War I biplanes and the space shuttle Endeavor, which he once watched being launched.

But more than anything besides his family, what Byrne treasured most was traveling. And if you think he let the fact that he spent the last 30 years of his life in a wheelchair dictate his itinerary, you didn't know Bruce Byrne.

He once calculated he had piloted the succession of Winnebago motor homes he and his wife, Frances, owned over the years some 240,000 miles, nearly 10 times around the world.

Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, hot-air balloon festivals, an honest-to-goodness hobo convention in Iowa. From the purple mountain majesties of this country to its back roads, the Byrnes have been there, done that, and my oh my, Frances has thousands of neatly cataloged snapshots to prove it.
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