Thank You

Dear Friends,

I’ve been home for several days now and it’s a bit strange not having another plane to catch, another adventure to look forward to, but the adjustment is nothing unexpected. The best part has been seeing friends again, and in the process of doing so I’ve learned how many people have been following along via Ruffin on the Road.

This blog turned out to be very valuable to me. It rekindled my passion for both writing and photography. It also helped me stay disciplined toward my goal of approaching this trip more as a student than a tourist; knowing I had to do a post at the end of a trip segment kept me focused on taking notes, asking questions and doing research.

Most importantly, the blog enabled me to stay connected to you. The encouragement and support I received from so many of you kept me going in so many ways, kept me motivated and strong and very often from feeling alone. I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am for that. And through the blog I’ve reconnected with many old friends and made new ones as well, an unexpected and truly wonderful benefit.

Thank you all so much for riding along on this journey … it’s meant a great deal to me.

Peace and love always.


(Here’s one final pretty picture … taken just outside Salzburg.)


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22 thoughts on “Thank You

  1. Steve Rankin


    You did a remarkable job of capturing the essence of every place you visited. Amy and I eagerly anticipated each new installment, knowing you would convey what it is that makes each place tick so uniquely. Having seen many of the places you visited, we rekindled fond memories of each…and for those places we haven’t yet seen, you’ve inspired us to “keep on travelling.” Most of all, your commentaries revealed a commonality among all the people on the face of the earth – a sense of humanity that binds us all together.

    Congratulations on a grand achievement, and we look forward to visiting with you soon to hear more from “Ruffin on the Road.”

    Your friend,

    Steve Rankin

  2. Can’t wait to hear some of your stories in person Ruffin.

    Chris Tivey

  3. Ruffin, Steve and I have traveled with you every step of the way. Very envious. Call us. We are in the phone book in St. Augustine. We will buy you dinner to celebrate the achievement.
    Amy Rankin

  4. Bill Carroll

    Ruffin, staying connected with you was a treat for all. I congratulate you on your photography composition skills! The photos added so much in helping to paint a picture of what you were experiencing. Bill Carroll Ready4Work Program Director ONH Logo ES Facebook Logo ES Twitter Logo ES cid:image004.jpg@01CD494C.CAC06140 1830 N Main Street Jacksonville, Florida 32206 P: 904.425.6002 | F: 904.354.4940 | Confidentiality Notice: This email transmission and any related attachments is privileged and/or confidential information and is intended solely for the exclusive use of the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient you are hereby notified that any retention, disclosure, distribution or other use is strictly prohibited. If you have received this notification in error, please immediately contact the sender and delete the material. Thank you for your consideration.

  5. Pam Ervanian

    Thx u Ruffin for sharing ur incredible adventures with Us! We have truly enjoyed reading about all of ur experiences. I hope to see u at the lodge and personally thx U. Welcome home, pam Ervanian

    Sent from my iPhone

  6. Glad you made it home safe, Thanks for sharing, It was a great read!!!! Kyle Guthrie

  7. johnson109

    Welcome home… loved your blogs… great literary skills… the Times Union could use you! 🙂 See you at the gym! Dennis

  8. marty Lev

    Ruffin, you saved me thousands of dollars. I dont have to travel the world anymore!

    I cant tell you how much I enjoyed your in depth blog and looked forward to the next one. Didnt know Duke had such a good English dept. It sure didnt help Smith!

    Welcome home , very well done pal, and I hope our paths cross again,


    Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2013 17:15:38 +0000 To:

  9. Jeff Bliss

    Welcome home, pard, and beautifully said. Your posts helped many of us take the tour with you albeit without the hardships or the friendships!

    Good luck on reentry…



    112 South Royal Street, Suite C

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    “The hills are alive with the sound of music ………… ”

    You are an incredible writer/photographer and have the material for at least a book or two ……….. even a coffee table book of photographs …………… :+}

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey …………..

    Hope to see you before too long ……

    Hugs, LouWayne

    By the way, Barry Shaw is the one who told me about your odyssey …………………… :+}

  11. shanti611

    We loved following your entire journey. Sorry the stories and beautiful photographs have come to an end, but it’s nice to know you’re back safe and sound! Nothing like sleeping in your own bed!!
    Come visit us in Colorado!!
    Shanti & Graig

  12. Ditto to the above!
    Thanks for letting us ride along on your journey…it meant a lot to us!
    Be safe,
    Jo 🙂

  13. Hi:

    I would like to speak with you about how you planned your trip and how to coordinate the planes, money availability, places you stayed as

    I want to travel the world this year.  Please try to email me so I can get a grip on the logistics of how to plan an event of this vast magnititude .  Your

    trip was wonderful and I wished I was there so many times.  My name: Sandy Anderson, Phone No. 904-220-3236.  Please contact me.

    Thank you.


  14. Welcome home Ruff. I look forward to seeing you and spilling a glass or two.

    Thanks for the wordly geographic education plus the expression of stamina that few people could endure. Your writings were brilliant. I now think of you as more than a pretty face and wonderful golfer.



  15. Welcome home, Ruffin! You cannot imagine how much I have enjoyed your blogs and pictures. I have quite a file of them and hope to one day visit some of these places, as I do love traveling. I’m happy that I met you, as you were preparing to leave. You have had the most incredible experiences and now you will have so many happy memories. Thank you for sharing these adventures via the internet.
    Randi Lewis

  16. Hello,

    Thank you so much for sharing your travel adventure during this past year.  I, like one of the other commenters, I  would love to speak to you about planning such a trip.  I will be retiring in a few days as an educator.  Your blog has been an inspiration to me as I begin this next phase of my life.   The best to you as you adjust to the next phase of your retirement.  Meg Rohal (another Ponte Vedra, soon to be, retiree). 

  17. pat brown

    Welcome home Ruffin, I had a wonderful time on your journey..

    Pat Brown

    Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2013 17:15:40 +0000 To:

  18. sandraatbrookslacayo

    Thank you for sharing your journeys. I have enjoyed every step you took!

    Sandra L. Brooks

    BROOKSLACAYO Advertising|Branding|PR 1 Riverside Avenue, Suite 450 Jacksonville, FL 32202 904.636.5085 office 904.613.9183 cell


    *CREW Jacksonville Programs Director 2013 *CREW National Editorial Advisory Committee 2013 *GlobalJax Vice President Communications 2013 *Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2009 *Member Small Business Resource Network *Member Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce *Member Clay County Chamber of Commerce

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  19. Ruffin, I have loved following your beautiful photographs and reading your stories…the Beckwiths have SO much talent!!

  20. It’s we that should be thanking you! Now that you are home & we have no blog to read, not sure what we will do with our free time. Reading your blog was a key component of our retirement plan! Hope to see you this summer!

    Rick & Nancy

  21. jphilyaw

    Thank YOU, Ruffin, for sharing your experiences. It’s been so much fun reading about your trip. Hope you are enjoying summer quiet time at home. justine

  22. kitocollins

    Hi Ruffin,
    I enjoyed your trip! Love the last photo of Salzburg. What a beautiful city! Your adventure takes a lot of courage, stamina and will. You are to be admired, while we all sit back and watch….

    Living in New Mexico now. Very multi-cultural, Spanish, Mexican, Native American… Dad is doing good, hanging is at 88!

    Glad you are back safe! What’s next?

    Debbie Collins
    Albuquerque, NM

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