Ollie Update & Miscellaneous News

August 22, 2012
Costa Mesa, Ca.

Dear Family & Friends:

Some of you have inquired about my Training Partner, Ollie. Ollie is doing well, although the episodes persist as part of his daily living. He has learned to adopt to his “new normal,” but he never complains. After my return from Everest this year, his episodes decreased in frequency and intensity. This is good news and bad news. The good news is obvious. The bad news is that our plan to admit Ollie to Stanford Medical Center is now on hold since the doctors need to see the episodes in order to run the appropriate tests.

Ollie, now 12 years-old, is getting big for his bicycle trailer–he now weighs almost 90-pounds. This makes for a good workout for me every Sunday, but soon he will not fit in the trailer. I’m really excited to report that I have ordered a sidecar for my Harley Davidson Road King Classic. My plan is to take Ollie on road trips. I want him to see all the national parks, e.g., the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Zion, Bryce Canyon, the Grand Tetons & Yellowstone. He will love those trips as he likes to be outdoors moving really fast. The sidecar will be built and installed in Seattle, Washington. It takes about 3-months. In the next few weeks, I will ride my bike to Seattle and take the train home.

You can see the sidecar in the photo below. It is a replica of the sidecars Harley used to make before discontinuing construction of sidecars. The paint will match my bike (midnight red, pale gold, burgundy & champagne pearl). I plan to have “Papa & Ollie” inscribed on the side of the sidecar. In case you are wondering, the sidecar comes with a detachable windshield not shown in the photo. Isn’t it cool looking?

Sharon and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in June. Our family took us bowling! Great fun for everyone. See the photos below. I told Sharon I want to take her on a 22-day European river cruise to celebrate our anniversary. We could not go this year because of concern over Ollie. So, we decided to go next year. I gave her the choice of which month for the cruise, all the while hoping and praying she would not choose May. Well, we start our cruise in Basel, Switzerland on May 12. Sigh. Everest is out for next year, so, health permitting, I plan to return to Everest in 2014 for another attempt at a double. It will do me good to take a year off, so I am happy.

Allan Smith, the documentary filmmaker, who accompanied me to Everest this year, is working hard on the film “8 Summits: The Bill Burke Story.”  He hopes to release the documentary in October. I am kind of nervous about the whole thing because I don’t think what I have accomplished is all that noteworthy. But, Allan produces excellent adventure documentaries, and I know he will do a really professional job. The latest movie trailer is attached.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fa_LGMiDJOo

I hope all of you are having a great summer.

God Bless You,

Bill