Our Harley Days
Our Rides... Our Adventures... Our Family and Friends...
Traveling free and easy down a road that never ends...

Friday, December 31, 2010

Our Motorcycle Rides 2010

December 31, 2010
Colorado, USA

OK - here are the totals for my numbers guy... 37,026 actual miles accumulated since the summer of 2008. According to HOG we have 36,277 miles (because of a glitch in the initial mileage reporting on the Heritage). 2974 miles between us and 40,000 miles. 3723 miles between us and the 40,000 mile patch. I can already hear Tim calculating in his noodle when we'll be able to sew on that 40,000 mile HOG patch - lol! It's gonna be fun getting there - that's for certain.

04/28/2010 Total 2008 Heritage Miles = 21168
12/28/2010 Total 2010 Ultra Classic Miles = 15858

Total Mileage 2010 = 17674 Woo-Hoo!
Total Ultra Classic Mileage 2010 = 15858
Total Heritage Mileage 2010 = 1816
12/28/2010 Today may be last ride of 2010 = 37 miles
12/26/2010 Total Mileage = 15821
12/26/2010 Might be the last ride of 2010 = 61 miles
12/25/2010 Christmas Day Dinner ride = 40 miles
12/24/2010 Christmas Eve Junk-tiquing ride = 26 miles
12/12/2010 Brrr... Chilly Sunday Ride = 60 miles
12/03/2010 Just a little lunch ride = 5 miles
11/28/2010 After Turkey Day Ride = 30 miles
11/07/2010 'Nother November Ride = 85 miles
11/06/2010 November Ride = 40 miles
11/01/2010 Total Mileage = 15340 miles
10/30/2010 Saturday before Hallowe'en Ride = 60 miles
10/24/2010 Breaking 15,000 ride = 100 miles
10/17/2010 Riding circles w/David for pie n coffee = 40 miles
10/16/2010 Great Fall Afternoon Ride = 60 miles
10/09/2010 Junktiquing on a Saturday Ride = 42 miles
10/5/2010 Dinner with Truckers Run = 28 miles
10/03/2010 Toy Run Sunday = 306 miles
09/26/2010 Likely the last Wyoming Ride = 178 miles
09/25/2010 Peak-to-Peak Color Ride = 191 miles
09/24/2010 BTGTW Dam Ride = 20 miles
09/19/2010 First Fall Color Ride 2010 = 164 miles
09/12/2010 Weekend Rides = about 60 miles
09/01-09/08/2010 Road Trip #3 - Texas HOG Rally = 2245 miles
08/25/2010 Total Mileage - 11077 miles
08/20-22/2010 Mini Road Trip = 679 miles
08/18/2010 Sunny and Hot BTGTWR = 30 miles
08/15/2010 Sunday Burgers & Ice Cream Ride = 91 miles
08/14/2010 Saturday Lookout Mountain Ride = 101 miles
08/08/2010 Mini Road Trip Day 2 = 458 miles
08/07/2010 Mini Road Trip Day 1 = 407 miles
08/03/2010 Total Mileage = 9144 miles
07/31/2010 Denver Passport & High Country Ride = 285 miles
07/25/2010 Sunday Passport Ride = 90 miles
07/15-07/20 Road Trip #2 - Five State Ride = 2438 miles
07/12/2010 Scootin' around weekend = 45 miles
07/11/2010 Just a short ride = 30 miles
07/10/2010 Scootin' around ride = 120 miles
07/06/2010 Total Mileage = 6065 miles
07/05/2010 High Country Ride = 275 miles
07/04/2010 Independence Day Ride = 110 miles
07/03/2010 Wyoming Passport Ride = 240 miles
06/28/2010 HOG Million Mile Monday High Country Ride = 207 miles
06/27/2010 Tejon Street Bike Fest w/Friends Ride = 312 miles
06/26/2010 - Got rain? Ride for beer! = 2 miles
06/25/2010 Friday Long Way Around to Lunch Ride = 50 miles
06/21/2010 Ride to work day = 4 miles (Ha!)
06/20/2010 Dad's Day White Water/Windy Ride = 360 miles
06/19/2010 New Friend & "Passport" Ride = 200 miles
06/14/2010 Flag Day Ride = 35 miles
06/03/2010 25,000 Miles in less than 2 years
06/03/2010 Total Mileage = 4096
05/27-06/02/2010 Road Trip #1 - Memorial Day = 2245 miles
05/23/2010 Sunday "Passport" Ride = 176 miles
05/22/2010 Saturday After Work "No Leathers" Ride = 93 miles
05/21/2010 Dam Ride = 25 miles
05/17/2010 BTGTWR - Lakes = 53 miles
05/16/2010 Sunday - testing the flags ride = 207 miles
05/14/2010 BTGTWR - TGIF = 65 miles
05/10/2010 1000 Maintenance Ride = 10 miles
05/09/2010 Breaking 1000 Mother's Day Ride = 300 miles
05/08/2010 Saturday getting closer to 1000 ride = 135 miles
05/07/2010 Long way to work ride = 65 miles
05/06/2010 33 Miles then rain ride = 33 miles
05/05/2010 Breaking 500 Ride = 91.5 miles
05/04/2010 Windy Ride to Thunder Mountain = 35 miles
05/03/2010 BTGTW Ride = 40 miles
05/02/2010 Windy and Cold Ride = 102 miles
05/01/2010 May Day Ride = 185 miles
04/28/2010 Honeymoon Ride on Ultra Classic = 107 miles
04/28/2010 Total 2008 Heritage Miles = 21168
04/28/2010 Say Bye Ride = 10 miles
04/27/2010 Tina gets a Dam Ride = 20 miles
04/24/2010 Burger ride = 10 miles
04/18/2010 Sunny Sunday Ride = 144 miles
04/11/2010 Fairplay Loop Ride = 383 miles
04/10/2010 Saturday ride = 75 miles
04/09/2010 BTGTWR Lunch Run = 20 miles
04/04/2010 In Search of the Easter Bunny Ride = 187 miles
04/01/2010 Total Mileage = 20195
03/31/2010 Chilly BTGTWR = 40 miles
03/30/2010 BTGTWR = 34 miles
03/28/2010 Finally - A great day to ride = 195 miles
03/22/2010 Signs of Spring Dam Ride = 20 miles
03/17/2010 Tim rides for corn beef and cabbage (solo) = 20 miles
03/16/2010 Long way in to work ride (solo) = 34 miles
03/13/2010 Vik's out of town - Tim's solo ride = 178 miles
03/03/2010 BTGTWR = 34 miles
03/02/2010 BTGTWR = 27 miles
02/28/2010 Fill 'er up before snow ride = 12.4 miles
02/27/2010 Vik gets first ride 2010 = 33.3 miles
01/30/2010 First Ride of the Year! = 19.4 miles
01/01/2010 Mileage = 19352
BTGTWR - Before Tim Goes To Work Ride

Thursday, December 30, 2010

PGR Mission: Weatherford, TX - Arnold

December 30, 2010
Colorado, USA

Wichita Falls, TX -- Dad (Ted) and fellow Patriot Guard Riders, Jimmy & Floyd (and like several other PGR) rode out about 7:30 this morning on a Patriot Guard Mission to Weatherford, TX. They will stand with respect for US Army (Operation Iraqi Freedom) Veteran, Rusty Gene Arnold. Mr Arnold achieved the rank of Sergeant in the Military Police Corps and was Active Duty Parker County Sheriff.

We are keeping a good thought for the family and friends of Mr Arnold. Thank you for your service, sir - both at home and abroad.

Slide Show #1 Posted by the North Texas Patriot Guard (Larry Maddux):

Rusty Arnold Mission - 12-30-2010

Slide Show #2 Posted by the North Texas Patriot Guard (Lil Hirtzel):

Rusty Arnold Mission - 12-30-2010

UPDATE #1: There are some great photos posted with this article.

12-30-2010 Arnold
Star Telegram.com, Colleagues pay tribute in funeral for Parker County deputy


Source: North Texas Patriot Guard Calendar

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Correction: December 26 not last ride of 2010

December 28, 2010
Colorado, USA

Tim is on a rare week of day shift, so when he arrived in from work about mid-afternoon, we couldn't resist the idea that we might squeak in a short ride. We did. A short, cold ride. The afternoon sun was simply too weak to do much more than allow us to throw a shadow. We rode over to west of Loveland to check out a new leather shop we heard about. Beaver's Den Leather on Hwy 34. But, they were not open. We decided to take the route through Masonville and around the south end of Horsetooth Reservoir which is a great ride but darn cold in the shadows of the mountains.

15,858 milesThe Ride is eight months old today - 15858 miles

It was pretty darn cold riding today

The sun didn't give us much more than a shadow today

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day after Christmas ride

December 26, 2010
Colorado, USA

Well, color us happy. We got a ride in for the third day in a row. We never saw the forecasted mid-50s but we have no complaints about riding in the mid-to-high 40s under mostly sunny skies. Better yet, we had little more than a breath of wind. Most of our Texas friends are stuck inside and did not get a ride in over the holiday so we are feeling pretty lucky.

Snow-covered MountainsView of the mountains from east side of I-25

We rode out of town and past all the hustle and bustle of the day-after at the shopping centers as quick as we could. We chose to ride at a leisurely pace up and down the country lanes and the farm roads east of busy and getting busier by the minute I-25, not breaking 45-50 mph most of the time. We managed to stretch about 60 miles out over nearly three hours, stopping once for coffee.

The mileage on The Ride clicked over 15,800 while we were out today. The Ride is two days shy of being eight months old. We finished out the day with the odometer reading 15,821 miles. This is likely the last ride of 2010 as we will see the New Year in with temps dipping into the single digits. Yikes!

What a great year this has been... stay tuned for the recap of 2010 and I'll finally get around to producing the videos of our adventures this year.

The Ride sporting new stubby antennas

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Dinner Ride

December 25, 2010
Colorado, USA

Gifts for the Harley KidSanta was good to the Harley-Kid this year

Santa was good to us and the Harley-Kid but I think the best gift was being able to leather up and ride warm enough to get to dinner and back. Again, we rode in the 40s, a couple of digits above yesterday's temp. Today we had sunshine so we took our time getting to our favorite truck stop on I-25 which is where we would have Christmas dinner.

Today is the first time in several days we had a decent glimpse of the mountains which have received snow measured in feet rather than inches this year.
Longs Peak/Peak-to-Peak Highway area on the left, Estes Park (Rocky Mountain National Park) on the right
Ice on the move on not quite frozen lake

Johnson's Corner is a great place to eat on I-25 in northern Colorado and the last decent place to eat before you get to Wyoming. The food is great, reasonably priced and the staff is always friendly and efficient. Even today. Our wait was about half an hour or so. The place was busy, apparently being one of the few restaurants open for a holiday dinner. Our Christmas dinner was served up in generous portions of thick-sliced turkey, gravy, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, whole baked stuffed apple and pumpkin pie. Yum!

Christmas FoxThe next couple of pics are of a fox we saw at an intersection in Fort Collins on the way home.
Christmas FoxHe came out of this shrubbery as we pulled up to an intersection near dowtown Fort Collins
Christmas FoxBeautiful markings and long black stockings

Needless to say, we were a little better insulated for the leisurely ride home. Today's ride was over 40 chilly miles. By the time we arrived back at the house in time to pay a Christmas visit to our friends across the street, the shadows were long and temps were dropping quick into the 30s. We rode in high on the promise that tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and warm. We are looking forward to it.

Merry Christmas from Tim & VikMerry Christmas!

Hope Santa found his way to your house.

December 25, 2010
Colorado, USA

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve in Search of Santa Ride

December 24, 2010
Colorado, USA

The Ride - Christmas Eve Woo-Hoo! Yesterday, we finished shopping for the Harley-Kid in the garage and Tim finished his shopping, so this afternoon was open for a Christmas Eve Ride. The weather in northern Colorado does not normally cooperate with such activity so we're thinking Santa is thinking we have been really good this year. Ha!

We rode with temps hovering just over 40 degrees and a light cloud cover. Every year on Christmas Eve (if we are still in Colorado), we ride or drive to our favorite junk-tique store and usually add a few vintage Santa pieces to our rather large collection. This year, we got to ride over on the Harley.

It wasn't a long ride (about 26 miles). As we rode in about 3 pm with our Santa loot, the temp was dropping fast. So we parked the ride and hopped in the Tahoe and went in search of Christmas Eve dinner before the sidewalks cleared the way for Santa.

This is me in the middle of a HO! HO! HO! let's go find Santa!

We were happy to see the Shadow Riders - with temps in the 40s - we needed all the sun we could get!

Tim - ready for a Christmas Eve ride.

Vik - ready for a Christmas Eve ride.

Tim & Vik after the Christmas Eve ride

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

PGR Mission: Dallas, TX - Vergauwen (1945-2010)

December 21, 2010
Colorado, USA

Wichita Falls, TX -- Dad (Ted) and fellow Patriot Guard Rider, Jimmy rode out this morning to attend a Mission for long-time friend, James Vergauwen US Army, Vietnam Veteran (1968-1969) today at the DFW National Cemetery.

From the obit: Vergauwen was active in the Sunrise Optimist Club, was known as "Band Dad" by the Big Red Band [Wichita Falls High School] and was a supporter of Coyote activities. His hobbies included race cars and motorcycles, but the biggest pleasure of his life was his family.

In my memory, the name Vergauwen was well known, respected and synonymous with the automotive business and auto-racing in Wichita Falls.

We are keeping a good thought for the family and friends of Mr Vergauwen. Thank you for your service, sir.

Notes: Dad tells me the experience of attending a mission at DFW National Cemetery is one he will never forget and he was honored to be a part of it.

Standing the flag line (Dad and Jimmy just to the right of the PGR captain in the foreground) for James Vergauwen

Slide Show #1 Posted by North Texas Patriot Guard (Walter Royal):

J A Verguawen Mission - 12-21-2010

Slide Show #2 Posted by North Texas Patriot Guard (Bobby Short):

James Alfred Vergauwen Mission - 12-21-2010

Source: North Texas PGR Calendar, http://www.pgrtexas.org/North%20Texas/2010/December/December-21-Vergauwen.htm

Legacy.com, http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/wacotrib/obituary.aspx?n=james-a-vergauwen&pid=147176745&fhid=8614


December 21, 2010
Colorado, USA

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

PGR Mission: Send off

December 16, 2010
Colorado, USA

Wichita Falls, Texas - Dad (Ted/Frosty) and fellow Patriot Guard Riders stood the flagline at the Municipal Airport today for Allan Drage. Sgt Drage (a medic stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base) is deploying to Afganistan.

PGR SendoffGood luck soldier and thank you for your service!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Brrrr.... Cold Sunday Ride

December 12, 2010
Colorado, USA

Tim & Vik - Brrrr.... We count ourselves lucky if we get to ride at this time of year in northern Colorado. Last year we had icy, snow-packed streets for what seemed like f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

We could have hung around here and finished up the outside Christmas decorations. We could have spent the day in the Tahoe getting our Christmas shopping done. None of that sounded like fun...

Was it warm enough to ride today? Not really, but we layered up and leathered up and rode out of here anyway. At about 11 am, the temp was 37 degrees. It was cold riding all day, but we had sun. Temps were supposed to climb into the low 50s. It never made it past the low 40s.

A winter storm was raging in the high country. The Rockies usually visible along this route were socked in. We caught only an occasional view of a snow-covered peak throughout the afternoon.

We rode to one Harley dealership, stopped, shopped and warmed up. We took a leisurely route so we didn't have to travel over 60 mph. Most of the time we scooted along at 45-50 mph. Then we rode to another Harley dealership, stopped, shopped and warmed up. Then we rode to Johnson's Corner (our favorite truck stop on I-25) and stopped to warm up again. Going about 10 miles at 80 mph with temps near 39 degrees chapped our faces, our gloved hands and a few other places. We thought about having a bite to eat but the temps were dropping and the sun was soon to slide behind low clouds rolling over the foothills. We wussied out and brought the ride on in home. It was a good decision.

After dropping the leathers and warming up a bit, we hopped in the Tahoe and drove for a couple of beers and a pulled pork sandwich with cherry chipotle sauce at Serious Texas BBQ. Yum!

It was about 60 miles of damn chilly fun. No, we did not learn our lesson. We rode in with a smile and agreed - we would do it again and soon...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Stand Strong McAlester, OK

December 9, 2010
Colorado, USA

See updates below:

Members of the irksome WBC (Westboro Baptist Church) are scheduled to descend like a flock of carrion birds on the town of McAlester, OK today and will be up to their usual contemptible hate-mongering. What I wouldn't give to command a flock of flying monkeys to set upon them and carry them far, far away.

They plan to picket schools and city hall among other places... for no reason other than petty vengeance... because the last time they rolled through McAlester, OK, they were not able to roll quite so easily out of town - ha!

See: Some Places are not so tolerant of hate-mongering, November 16, 2010

Stand Strong once again, people of McAlester, OK. The WBC is nothing more than a collective sub-species of ill-bred, delusional lunatics who do not deserve your time, your trouble or your angst.

I have often thought the best way to combat them when they show up to terrorize towns is to simply roll up the sidewalks, lock the doors and pull the blinds. Hate-mongering protests are only effective if they are actually seen and heard. But, that will not stop them. They have lost control of their faculties and reason is foreign to them. Like most cowards, they love the sound of their own voices and they live to inflict themselves upon the helpless and suffering among us. They target the grief-stricken, widows and children. They crave violence. They feed on anger. They need an audience and publicity and will stop just short of breaking the law to get it.

So, I say again - stand strong and proud McAlester, OK. If the Patriot Guard are among your numbers today (as I suspect they will be), grab a flag and join them. The Patriot Guard have been effectively quelling the hateful speech of the WBC, mainly at funerals, for a long time. Line your streets with pride and courage and dignity. Know that many, many Americans of like mind and values stand with you and behind you today.

McAlester, OK (2), WBC (0)
I think the WBC is outnumbered and outmatched again today in McAlester, OK... (their number was 9 which included at least 2 children) Apparently, the protest has had all the effect of a limp noodle... what is it they say about people who repeat the same mistake over and over expecting a different result? Ha!
Source: McAlester News.com, Protesters draw Counter-Protesters

See: Some Places are not so tolerant of hate-mongering, November 16, 2010
Funeral protesters now targeting Oklahoma's Children, November 20, 2010
Heads Up WBC - Children are off limits, November 20, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Laura!

December 9, 2010
Colorado, USA

Happy Birthday Laura!Sometimes we meet people on the highway of life who instantly step across the threshold of our lives as more family than friend -- it is both a delight and a comfort to know you - welcome aboard...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


December 8, 2010
Colorado, USA

PMS The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine...

Friday, December 3, 2010

This one is on my stocking list...

December 3, 2010
Colorado, USA

Features Kid Rock riding his Road Glide...

The Lyrics to Born Free by Kid Rock...

Fast, on a rough road riding
High, through the mountains climbing
twisting, turning further from my home.
Young, like a new moon rising
Fierce, through the rain and lightning
Wandering out into this great unknown.

And I don’t want no one to cry, but tell em’
If I don’t survive ………

I was Born Free!
I was borrrrrrn free
I was born free, Born Free.

Free, like a river raging
Strong, if the wind I’m facing.
Chasing dreams and racing father time.
Deep like the grandest canyon,
Wild like an untamed stallion.
If you can’t see my heart you must be blind.

You can knock me down and watch me bleed
But you can’t keep no chains on me.


And I’m not good at long goodbyes but look down
Deep into my eyes.

I was born free!

Heyy yayaaa yaayayaaa.
Ohhh hooo…

Calm facing danger
Lost, like an unknown stranger
Grateful for my time with no regrets.

Close to my destination
Tired, frail and aching
Waitin patiently for the sun to set.

And when its done believe that I will yell it from that mountain highhh!


And I will vow to the shining seas and celebrate God’s Grace on me.


Oh, ohh ohh ohhwaahhoo..

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sharing a little surprise that popped up in my email...

November 29, 2010
Colorado, USA

Vik-Tim Art by NancyIt's amazing what we will do sometimes to keep ourselves entertained during the off days of a holiday - ha! Thanks Nancy - it's great!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Post Turkey - Pre Snow Ride

November 28, 2010
Colorado, USA

Post Turkey Ride Got the Thanksgiving company on the road early this morning, chilled (literally speaking as it was 23 degrees at 7am) for a while allowing the day to warm some, and enjoyed a late breakfast (oh, let's call it brunch). We finally leathered up and rolled out on a short, chilly run. It was only thirty or so miles. Riding at temps hovering between 38 and 42 degrees under cloud cover was a mite airish as Tim says. Still, it was a great way to end a busy weekend and shake off the post holiday blahs... hope everyone was lucky enough to squeeze in a ride.

Riding out where we could see the weather coming in...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

YES! Video Letter to the President

November 23, 2010
Colorado, USA

Stop right now and watch it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Celebrating #39 Today

November 22, 2010
Colorado, USA

Fort Collins, Co -- Thirty-Nine Years... 1971... that's a long time to be in the life of someone you picked up in your teen years - isn't it? A good many people can claim close relationships of that longevity only with parents or siblings.

But here we are... Me and Tim... rolling in on the close of 39 years of marriage. As the GD put it - what a long, strange trip it's been. Rolling being the operative word here... who knew when we purchased our first Harley in the Summer of 2008 and our second Harley in the Spring of 2010 that the Harley would steer our course away from what is considered normal for our age? Sure after 39 years we have some tales to tell of a life together that has had its ups and downs... not to mention a few weird turns and bumps in the night. When I look back on it though, those interesting, fun, exhilarating times in our past pale in comparison to what appears to be in our future.

September 2010Our story these days is all about we three -- Tim, the Harley and Me.

We are an Old-Fashioned Love Song. In the words of a song by Three Dog Night (incidentally, released in 1971)...

Just an old-fashioned love song
One I'm sure they wrote for you and me
Just an old-fashioned love song
Comin' down in 3-part harmony

About the time we had reconciled to the idea that the fun stuff was winding down, that our future was about property and taxes, rocking chairs on the porch and health care, that our wild and careless glory days were just tell-again stories for bored grand children, along came a Harley and we realized the really fun stuff was all ahead of us - not behind us. Uh - some people call this our second childhood. To those unenlightened few - we say - so be it! If in the end we cannot set a good example, we will content ourselves with being a horrible warning - ha!

We can blame - perhaps a better word is credit - the Folks for the sudden philosophical change. Yep, it was the two of them in cahoots with each other... that set the world on two wheels. Mom made certain Dad got his butt back in the saddle of a Harley (2007) after fifty some-odd years and the rest, as they say, is history... Fortunately, we weren't so far gone that we couldn't see that Dad (in his 70s) was having a heckuva good time out there and yeah, we wanted in on it. The only regret we have about that is -- we didn't do it years and years ago.

For certain, my 25 year old butt, legs and knees would have faired better in the saddle... but I doubt my eyes would have seen the open road quite as clearly, despite tri-focals. I doubt the view from a frosty mountain-top or a sunset on the desert plains or riding beside the stillness of a glassy lake at dawn or a road that stretched beyond the range of vision over the horizon would burn itself so permanently into the memory of the mind's eye.

There are whole segments of my youth I cannot remember. Faces, places, names and more escape recall.

In contrast, every single mile on the Harley and every single moment shared with Tim rolling down some stretch of road on the Harley I can recall in vivid clarity...

I guess it's all the better for the struggle to get here. Back then (closer to the beginning of US), I doubt time, money, jobs, the kid, the dogs and other restraints of conformity:

would have allowed for a sun-up to sun-down, rain or shine day of riding,
would have stood for over 600 miles in a day, destination still unknown,
would have lived for a week in two pairs of jeans and t-shirts,
would have slept in some creepy dive of a motel for the night,
would have dined for days on b'loney sandwiches, thermos coffee and stale brownies,
would have loved rolling out before first light or rolling in well after dark,
would have condoned rolling up on a <---> sign and choosing the direction that would be least likely to get us home at a reasonable hour,
would have dreamed about zig-zag riding all the way across our great country,
would have given in to the urge to ride a few more miles just to see what was around the next bend in the road.

Tim explains it this way -- no kids at home, no cats or dogs in the house, the gold fish died years ago. We ride out when we please and we ride in when we are out of money. It is as simple as that.

What is around the next bend of the road is year #40... and with any luck - mile marker 40,000 but more likely 50,000+++ somewhere along the way. What rolling around the bend of #40 will reveal is anyone's guess -- new roads, new adventures, new experiences, new memories... and we won't forget old roads that lead to old friends...

The principle of love will always be stronger than that of life,
because it comes upon us quicker
and in the end doesn't conquer but liberates.

-- Rod McKuen --

Love, if allowed to run its natural course is liberating. If appreciated properly, with mutual and equal consideration and concern, long-lasting love and an equally long-married life reflects itself upon the people who planned and schemed and ultimately, worked to achieve those ends. Add a Harley along the way for two freedom-loving dreamers and the rest is about joyfully free-wheeling it as far down the forever road as possible. Destination still unknown.

The personal life deeply lived
always expands into truths beyond itself.

-- Anais Nin --

Next year we will have an un-hyphenated anniversary... Forty. Years from now, I think somewhere around our 50th or 60th or 70th, I want people who know us to say - now that's a life well-lived... filled with love and laughter, lots of good stories, and countless tales of miles and smiles.

The goal this year and every year hereafter, is to do some of that deep-living, to keep things easy... fun... real... free... and to simply ride on... and on... and on... away... away... beyond... stay tuned...

It is good to have an end to journey towards;
but it is the journey that matters in the end.

~~ Ursula K. LeGuin ~~


What follows is our video anniversary card (To Tim, with Love) but there were so many photos to share I could not work them all in to a single video. Go figure! In the interest of keeping it shorter than Gone With the Wind... I had to get somewhat selective. The photos are mostly us or rather just we three as we rolled our way through year #39...

Celebrating #39 - 2010

Click here to play

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Heads up WBC - Children are off limits

November 20, 2010
Colorado, USA

CLARIFICATION OF MY STANCE: I am an avid advocate for FREE SPEECH. I believe it is the heart of our freedom and without the free and open exchange of ideas and information we are lost as a people, as a nation. So, when I hear the likes of the WBC spouting their hatred I struggle to maintain my unwavering defense of the First Amendment - Free Speech. I will usually maintain that if we quell heinous speech simply because we believe it is heinous speech, then we set ourselves up for the time when someone quells our speech simply because they believe it is heinous. That does not mean that every time I hear or see the WBC that I do not want to stuff a sock in their pie holes.


Recently I wrote a post about the divinely deluded morons of the Westboro Baptist Church encountering an array of difficulties when they invaded small town Oklahoma to protest (that's what they call it - I call it hate-mongering) during the funeral of a soldier. (See: Some places are not so tolerant of hate) When they rolled into town they had a welcoming committee of a couple of thousand pissed off citizens, many of them on two wheels. In short, the WBC hobbled out of McAlester, OK with egg on their face and holes in their tires.


Now, we have learned the WBC is focusing on the funerals of innocent children in some perverted retaliation for the vandalism they suffered. How is this not hate speech? How is placing a child in an angry mob with a hateful sign not child endangerment? Who targets the family who has lost a child because of a flat tire? You know, vandalism is a fact of life. Most of us have insurance for that. Other acts of vandalism occurred that same day -- I don't see the innocent people who were victimized because they had the misfortune of having Kansas license plates on a van terrorizing the funerals of children. (See: Funeral Protesters Now Targeting Oklahoma Children's Funerals)

The WBC plans to invade this small town again December 10, 2010 as described in the following picket posts. They are purposely antagonizing little town Oklahoma with intent to incite violence. It is time the WBC is exposed for the hate mongers they are. It is time people say enough is enough. Call your congressman. Call your governor. Call law enforcement. Call the mayor of your town. Get active or be overrun by lunatics who believe it is open season on our children. THEY PLAN TO PICKET THE HIGH SCHOOL AND THE COLLEGE!
I received the following in an email today and while I passed it on via email, I had not thought to post it here until I was made aware of the protests at the funerals of children. Enough is enough.

I am passing it on as follows:
The following content is exactly as I received it via email.

Anyone up for a December Road Trip?

It is hard to believe the people of Oklahoma failed to treat these people with love and respect, when all they came to do was dishonor the memory of a soldier who gave his life in defense of this country.

Due to the people in Oklahoma standing up for what is right, the poor people of Westboro Baptist Church were unable to rip the hearts out of a grieving family who were trying to burying a loved one. These people have endured long trips on the highways to ensure they can blemish the memories and hurt the families of Americas fallen service members, all in the name of media attention.

People of Oklahoma, have you no pity for these poor souls from Topeka.

Fear Not, for you now have an opportunity to repent your evil ways and give unto "Westboro" what belongs to "Westboro".

The following was copied from the "picket page" of the WBC WEB site:

City Hall in McAlester, OK December 10, 2010 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

WBC will picket the City Hall of McAlester, OK, city of doomed reprobates, to remind Oklahomans of the Lord's command, to wit, " Touch not mine annointed, and do my prophets no harm" Psalm 105:5

The gentle servants of WBC went to McAlester carrying the only message of Gospel peace and hope this wicked generation shall ever receive. The hateful mayor of that vile town whipped the angry mod of Hellbound hounds into a frenzy against the prophets of the Lord. Instead of thanking the messengers for bringing their kind words of truth and repenting while they still have time, those rebels set upon to old women and several children to do them harm. The doomed reprobates of sodomite-infested Oklahoma lifted their clenched fists to Jesus Christ and announced that they will NOT tolerate the Word of God to be preached on their streets.

U.S. Marine Corps in McAlester, OK December 10, 2010 1:40 PM - 2:10 PM

WBC to picket the U.S. Marine Corps in McAlester, OK to remind this nation that when God himself fights against Doomed america, none shall stand in His way. The disobedient sinners in the U.S. Marine Corps fit in perfectly with the other Hellbound reprobates in McAlester, OK, where they vandalized the van of the Lord's messengers. Now, the Lord doles out special curses on Oklahoma for their abuse of His saints just as He does the U.S. Marines!

The Marines are the first to fight for the fags, baby-killers, mistress-barbquers, and all assorted proud sinners across this cursed land. They are also the first to fight against the servants of God sent forth from WBC to preach the true Gospel to this wicked generation. None of this can stop the Lord from pouring out His curses upon them in the form of more body-bags returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Look out Marines and Oklahomans, more and worse judgment is coming!

Eastern Oklahoma State College in McAlester, OK December 10, 2010 2:15 PM - 2:45 PM

WBC to picket the doomed reprobates at Eastern Oklahoma State College in McAlester, OK. The parents and teachers of McAlester, OK, and all of Doomed america, have raised this generation to hate God and despise His prophets. From the womb they are taught that they do not have to obey, that it is OK to be gay and that everyone goes to heaven no matter how sinful and unrepentant they may be. No wonder the citizens of McAlester, OK believe they will not suffer any consequence for breaking the laws of God and man by setting upon the saints of WBC to work mischeif. The signs of WBC represented the first time in their miserable lives that anyone had ever told anyone in that town the truth - and they couldn't handle it!

Take heed of the warning of the Lord, McAlester and Eastern Oklahoma State College. Unless you repent and obey, you will soon reside in Hell eternally!

McAlester High School in McAlester, OK December 10, 2010 2:45 PM - 3:15 PM

WBC to picket McAlester High School to remind this nation that the parents and teachers raise these brute beasts they call children for the devil himself. From the womb, they are taught that it is OK to be gay, that God is a liar and you do not have to obey Him, and that you can mistreat His servants with impunity. As a result, they grow up to break the laws of God and man when they engage in vandalism against the humble servants of God from WBC.
This email does not advocate any type of violence or the violation of any law, be it local, state or federal.
This email is not directed to any group or groups of riders. No group or organization of riders would be expected to disgrace their colors by wearing them at a protest or counter protest.
This is intended for the use of American citizens who have had enough.
Please feel free to pass this along to other concerned Americans.

Funeral Protesters Now Targeting Oklahoma Children's Funerals

November 20, 2010
Colorado, USA

Enough is enough!

Protesters from a Kansas church who have gained attention through picketing at the funerals of fallen military servicemen are now turning their attention to protesting at the funerals of children to retaliate for their tires being slashed at a McAlester serviceman's funeral last week.

Members of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas will be in Burneyville in southern Oklahoma today. That's where a funeral is being held for eight-year-old Jalen Wolfe, who died in an accident at the Love County Fairgrounds last week.

On the WBC website, members say they are protesting because of the vandalism they suffered over the weekend while protesting at the funeral of McAlester serviceman Jason McCluskey.

They say quote "the Lord curses them by killing Oklahoma's children and casting them into Hell." Furthermore, their website reads "Thank God For More Dead Children In Oklahoma!".

In addition to today's funeral, the protestors are scheduled to return to Owasso Thursday to protest at the funeral of Melissa Hanslovan of Collinsville, who died Sunday after a one-car crash over the weekend.

The protesters were in Owasso earlier this year for the funeral of Specialist Andrew Looney. They say soldiers are being killed because of God's revenge against America for its tolerance of homosexuality

Source: KTUL.com, Funeral Protesters Now Targeting Oklahoma Children's Funerals

Thursday, November 18, 2010

PGR Mission - TX/OK: Salute to Wounded Warriors

November 18, 2010
Colorado, USA

Wichita Falls, TX - Dad (Ted) and several members of the North Texas & Oklahoma Patriot Guard are rolling down the roads of North Texas and Oklahoma today.

The Mission: Accompany buses and vehicles containing Wounded Warriors and their families and support staff from Lawton, OK, to the Multi Purpose Event Center in Wichita Falls, TX. and stand a Flag Line to greet them on their arrival.

Recipients of the Purple Heart from across North Texas and Southern Oklahoma will be honored guests at a special dinner. The event is organized by the Wichita Falls Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America.

The Purple Heart (See: Military Order of the Purple Heart) medal is awarded to men and women who have been wounded or killed in the line of duty in any branch of the U.S. military. The first Purple Heart was presented in 1932. More than 2 million have been awarded since the beginning of World War II. And more than 42,000 have been awarded during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Slide Show posted by North Texas Patriot Guard (Jody Pacheco):

MOAA Wounded Warriors Banquet- 11-18-2010

Source: North Texas PGR.org, Salute to Wounded Warriors Escort

Times Record News.com, Salute to Wounded Warriors


November 18, 2010
Colorado, USA


This article/letter was shared with me by a friend, proud American, Vietnam Vet and Patriot Guard Ride Captain - this kind of thing should not happen in the U.S.A. -- but sadly, it is happening. We as Americans and patriots need to put a stop to this un-American activity. Read the following article and if you are as outraged as I am - give the casino a call or drop them a line.

Pechanga Resort & Casino

45000 Pechanga Parkway
Temecula, CA 92592

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 9041
Temecula, CA 92589-9041

Casino Information: 1-877-711-2WIN

Phone: (951) 693-1819
Fax: (951) 695-7410
E-Mail: info@pechanga.com

I received a call on November 12, 2010, from a Vietnam Veteran, who is a member of the Vietnam Vets MC.

He and some other Vietnam Veterans who are members of his club were illegally denied entry to a complimentary buffet at the Pechanga Hotel and Casino, in Temecula, CA, on Veterans Day.

We had a conversation about the incident. He sent me the below letter, and gave me permission to publish it here.

I am utterly appalled that an establishment such as Pechanga, an Indian Casino, would discriminate against Veterans on Veterans Day simply because they were wearing a Vietnam Vets MC patch.

Unless Pechanga makes amends to these Veterans, offers them a full apology, promises never to do something like this again, and makes things right with the guy’s and their families who were discriminated against, I am calling for a full boycott of Pechanga Casino.

Below is the actual letter that was sent to me by Mr. Ingersoll after our conversation.

On Thursday, November 11, Veterans Day, eight Veterans, seven Vietnam Vets and one active duty Marine, as well as two of their wives, were threatened with arrest and told to leave the Casino.

After leaving the Menifee Veterans Memorial Dedication ceremony in Menifee we headed to Pechanga for the complementary buffet offered to honor Veterans.

While in line for about 20 minutes we were approached by Pechanga Security and told we would have to leave because we were wearing our vests with a mc on the back. MC stands for Motorcycle Club. Also on the back of the vest was a patch that said VIETNAM VET, and USA, THE COUNTRY WE FOUGHT AND MANY DIED FOR.

Lt Jim, of their Security, said he would have us arrested for trespassing if we did not leave. As Vietnam Vets, this was the same treatment we received in 60’s and 70’s.

This is the year 2010, you would think that Veterans deserve more, not this.

It was embarrassing and humiliating to be treated with such disrespect in front at least 40 patrons, who could not believe what was happening.

I, Robert Ingersoll, a former Marine and retired school teacher of 35 years, had called the Casino a week earlier to make sure that wearing our vests would not be a problem. I was assured that it would not be a problem by SGT Moreno (spelling may not be right).

He said he would tell everyone in the days briefing that Veteran Motorcycle Clubs may be attending. We have been in many other Casinos in the area, without a problem. In fact the Vietnam/Legacy Vets, along with the Rez Riders, an Indian Motorcycle Club, have sponsored Toy runs for Years at other Casinos.

There are many Veteran Motorcycle Clubs in the area, Vietnam Vets, Legacy Vets, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion Riders, Brotherhood of Marine Corps Riders, Leathernecks, Rough Riders, and many more.

There have been court cases that state: DESCRIMINATION AGAINST BIKERS ON THE BASIS OF CLOTHING OR MOTORCYCLE CLUB MEMBERSHIP IS ILLEGAL IN CALIFORNIA. Unruh Civil Rights, Act CC 51, et seq. and Cohen V California, a Supreme Court ruling, that stated that individuals have the right under the First Amendment to wear clothing which displays writing or designs.

The last time I looked, Pechanga Hotel and Casino is in California and part of the United States.


After leaving Pechanga we headed to Applebee’s on highway 79 in Temecula. There we ate, were treated with respect and dignity, and the manager ask to take a picture of us for their wall. Pechanga should send its staff to Applebee’s for training on how to truly honor and respect Veterans.

Robert Ingersoll
Murrieta, California


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hundreds of riders escort 'Flag Boy'

November 16, 2010
Colorado, USA

Just another video that surfaced - I love it!

And here's a link to another video from KCRA.com

Source: American Thinker.com
American Thinker Blog: Hundreds of riders escort 'Flag Boy' whose school told him to remove Old Glory from his bike

Some places are not so tolerant of hate-mongering...

November 16, 2010
Colorado, USA

I do not advocate violence, vandalism or slander. In the following article, one should not confuse the Patriot Guard Riders with those individuals who sought to engage members of the hate-mongering Westboro Baptist Church in a more up close and personal manner when the WBC chose to spew their vitriolic hatred in McAlester, OK.

I have to tell you the story that arrived in my inbox had the mostly obstinate (American and proud of it) side of my nature... grinning - from ear-to-ear. I am fairly certain I sprouted horns while I chortled through the short article. I know, I should be ashamed of myself, rejoicing in the misfortune of others but I could not help myself. Worse, I am not the least bit sorry about it. I can find no compassion in my heart for anyone who disrespects an American soldier or Veteran. None.

I figure if a hate-mongering, delusional group chooses to invade small town America for the sole purpose of preaching hate and discontent -- (these morons even place their children in the midst of the chaos) well, they get what they get. Slashed tires and the expense of a tow truck are a small price to pay for the pain and anguish the WBC spreads on a daily basis. I have to say it - this is a well delivered and long deserved comeuppance.

I have the following first hand from a PGR ride captain's notes:

Teens terrorized a motel they believed was housing the WBC. Vehicles (that did not belong to the WBC, but matched the description and had the ill-timed misfortune of displaying Kansas license plates) were vandalized. Police stopped another batch of youth intent on slashing tires of the same vehicles. Hotel clerks spent all night listening to call after call from a misinformed public vilifying them for harboring the WBC although it was nothing more than a rumor.

The morning of the funeral over 2000 pissed off people showed up on the streets of the town. There were, at one time at least 150-175 motorcycles. Law enforcement had their hands full. Outlaw MC clubs rode near and drowned out WBC bull horns broadcasting hate speech with loud motorcycle pipes. When the WBC tried to leave the corner, they were confronted by angry locals. They [WBC] also discovered all the tires on their vehicles were slashed. Not a single business in McAlester, OK would sell them a tire. They had to have their vehicles towed to another city to get the repairs done.

Like I said, there are some places where hate-mongering will not be tolerated... When one dares to hold the first amendment up as a shield to protect hate speech, one needs to understand that while the first amendment does indeed protect that speech -- it most certainly does not absolve one from personal responsibility for one's words...

Funeral protestors' tires slashed

McAlester, OK -- They may be some of the most hated people in the country. This weekend members of a Kansas Church who protest soldier funerals got more than just an earful in Oklahoma. They had their tires slashed.

More than one-thousand people turned out in McAlester to pay their respects to Army Sergeant Jason McCluskey who died earlier this month in Afghanistan.

About half-dozen members of the Westboro Baptist Church showed up to protest the funeral, but they were greeted by a massive crowd of angry counter-protestors, who yelled U.S.A. and revved their motorcycle engines to drown out the radical church members.

"I hated it," said Oklahoma National Guard PFC Jason Hunnicutt. "It's like they've got nothing better to do. It really made me mad when they had that sign that said 'pray for more dead soldiers' and we're the one who gave them that right. We fought for all these rights they have," said Hunnicutt.

When the Westboro Church members returned to their minivan, they found two of their rear tires had been slashed. Getting them fixed was not easy either. Almost every business in town refused to put new tires on.

Source: KSWO, Lawton, OK, Funeral protestors' tires slashed

Monday, November 15, 2010

Flag boy gets PGR escort, apology and more...

November 15, 2010
Colorado, USA

A wrong righted...

Cody Alicea says it's exciting Monday morning to be joined by dozens waving American flags at Denair Middle School.

Dozens stood near the Denair Middle School flag Monday morning and recited the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance.

Cody Alicea was escorted on his usual ride to school by motorcyclists and patriotic supporters carrying American flags. Once the group reached the school they gathered with other students and parents, and reflected.

One week ago Officials at Denair told Cody he had to remove his American flag that flew on the back of his bike. Cody has a flag to recognize his Grandfather's military service. FOX40 reported his story later last week, and by Friday the story had been picked up by several national news outlets. The school's website crashed from the increase in traffic from people wondering about the story, and their phone lines were swamped with calls from people across the country who were upset that Cody was asked to remove an American Flag.

The school administration says they have a policy not allowing flags on school campus because of recent issues of violence and tension. They admit they went too far in asking Cody to remove his flag, and have apologized to him.

Source: Fox 40, Cody Joined by Dozens for Patriotic Ride to School

Sunday, November 14, 2010

PGR Mission - Wichita Falls, TX - Blevins

November 13-14, 2010
Colorado, USA

Wichita Falls, TX -- Dad (Ted/Frosty) and fellow Patriot Guard Riders stood the flag line at the visitation and the memorial service for Jack Blevins, US Navy/Vietnam Veteran who proudly served our country in the United States Navy for eight years.

Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Blevins. Thank you for your service Sir!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hooray for a young American!

November 13, 2010
Colorado, USA

Here's a story that made my blood boil:

School Makes Boy Take American Flag Off Bike
Officials Later Backtrack; Allow Boy to Fly Flag on Bike
Elissa Harrington
FOX40 News
November 12, 2010

Cody - Proud american Boy - Flies Falg from Bike 13-year-old Cody Alicea rides with an American flag on the back of his bike. He says he does this to be patriotic and to honor veterans, like his own grandfather, Robert. He's had the flag on his bike for two months but Monday, was told to take it down.

A school official at Denair Middle School told Cody some students had been complaining about the flag and it was no longer allowed on school property.

"In this country we're supposed to be free," said Cody. "And I should be able to wave my flag wherever I want to. And they're telling me I can't." Cody had to take the flag off his bike and put it in his backpack, where he kept it all week.

Cody's grandfather says the school was concerned about racial tensions or uprisings because of the flag. He feels if there was really a problem it should have been brought up two months ago, not during Veterans week. And if it was an issue of safety, parents should have been contacted.

No action should be taken. We don't want any repercussion," said Roger Alicea. "We just want Cody to be proud of what he's doing." Roger says the family is not planning to take any legal action, but they do want to meet with school staff.

Cody says he wants to serve in the military some day, and is raising money for a trip to Washington, D.C. in the Spring.

After being contacted by FOX40 Friday morning, Denair's Superintendent says Cody will be allowed to keep the flag on his bike. He told FOX40 he and the school are patriotic, but their main priority is keeping students safe; the school will focus on the students who are causing uprisings. Riding a bike is still not allowed on school campus, but when Cody rides his bike to school he can now fly the flag.

Video Clip including statements from Jody and his Grandfather

There are far too many instances of anti-patriotism going on in the USA and when it happens, we need to put the nimrods who make arbitrary decisions like this one on notice - it will not be tolerated. What follows is commentary from a post at American Thinker - I couldn't have said it any better myself although I might have used fewer words. USA! Love it or leave it.

Congratulations to Cody and the community who was set to rally behind his cause!

The case of Cody Alicea: Ordered to remove American flag from his bike
Monte Kuligowski

Have you heard of 13-year-old Cody Alicea? He rides his bicycle to middle school in Denair, California. He flies the flag of the United States from the rear fender of his bike. He flies the flag to express patriotism and to honor his grandfather and other veterans.

Well, a few days before Veteran's Day he was told by officials at Denair Middle School that he had to remove the flag. The reason: the school superintendent, Edward Parraz, explained to a local news station that certain students were complaining. Parraz said the United States flag was causing "racial tensions" and school officials were concerned for Cody's safety. They didn't want Cody to "get jumped or hurt."

The American flag causes "racial tensions" in America? How far have we fallen as a country?

Inasmuch as the story is out of California, I could assume the race of the students causing the tension. But I had to look outside the news report to confirm that certain Hispanic students were offended by the United States flag.

If Cody's safety was the issue, it seems to me that school officials should have removed the bullies, not the flag. If the school would not remove the thugs, the security and police presence in the school could have been focused on protecting Cody and his right to ride with the flag.

If these non-assimilated thugs are "anchor babies" they are making a strong case for the deportation of all illegals and their kids. If they are not anchor babies they are revealing a serious problem with California's transmission of American civics and patriotism.

Source: American Thinker.com, The case of Cody Alicea: Ordered to remove American flag from his bike

Source: Fox40.com, School Makes Boy Take American Flag Off Bike

Community Organizes March to School that Told Student to Remove Flag
Denair Middle School - Denair, CA

They left after about fifteen minutes!

November 13, 2010
Colorado, USA

Stand up with a flag, be proud of your country, stand tall for our fallen, rev a motorcycle when it is called for = make a BIG difference. Way to go PGR! Way to go small town America! You make me proud!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day 2010 - For: Dad

November 11, 2010
Colorado, USA

Thank You Veterans! I was raised on patriotism although I did not know it as that growing up. In our home, pride in country, reverence for the flag and respect for the men and women who served in the military was status quo. We were proud Americans. We are proud Americans.

Veterans peopled my life... but, I knew them as Dad or Uncle or friends of the family. Veterans wives nurtured my life... but I knew them as Mom or Aunt or Mrs. The men served our country and the women as well, just in a different capacity. My perception was these are "the good guys", doing their "duty", fighting the "good fight". To me, they were all men on the same caliber as movie heroes John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart. Later, it should come as no surprise, I became the wife of a boy who became a military man. Carrying on in military family tradition came naturally.

My Dad served in the USAF for twenty years. He is a Vietnam Veteran (boots on the ground and in the air), but also a Veteran of other conflicts. My husband served in the USAF for eight years. He is also a Vietnam Veteran (thankfully, the closest his boots got to Nam was Guam near the end of the war effort). I say thankfully because war becomes a different animal when you can put a face in the midst of the chaos, when you hang on the words of the evening news broadcast and breathe a sigh of relief when your loved one's location is not spoken, when you wait for the postman to bring a worn envelope, worried by many hands as it made its way across the seas. Gratification was not as it is today... it was not instant via cell phone and internet... it was wait and worry, it was hope and carry on.

There were no flags waving or bands playing or fanfare when Dad returned from Vietnam. It was just US, the family, grateful to have his boots on American soil once again. There was no party when Dad retired from the USAF. One day he was active duty and the next he was retired with not much to show for it other than a document or two, a hard-earned bronze star and a few well worn uniforms. What I know to be an unspoken fact, is the sense of self worth, accomplishment and assurance that while it [his service] may have gone unrecognized - the contribution to society and this country as a whole was significant. The same goes for many who have served and those who serve today.

The key word here: unrecognized.

Veterans Day, as I remember it was acknowledged as an important remembrance day and the meaning and import of it was taught in our classrooms. I grew up attending military celebrations -- air shows, parades and fireworks where patriotic music blared across open field and down city streets. We climbed in airplanes boosted up by powerful hands of men in uniform. We wore flags on our lapels. We stood and saluted the flag when it passed. We recited the Pledge of Allegiance and we sang the National Anthem (without question and without doubt).

I cannot think of a single faction of our society more deserving of tribute than an American Military Veteran. They deserve our respect, our homage, our heartfelt thanks. No single day set aside on our calendar could be more important.

A Veteran is someone, who at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life. Sadly, we (We the People) have cashed the check on far too many soldiers without many of us ever pausing to remember their sacrifice, or the sacrifice of their families... When you hug the neck of a Gold Star Mom or Dad trying to hold it together while we celebrate their son or daughter, or acknowledge the price they have paid, try putting the face of your child in their child's place.

Nowadays, Patriotism is vilified at every turn by the powers that be and their minions (the media). Being patriotic is the new kooky. FYI: it's a kookiness I whole-heartedly embrace. People march down streets and rally at our national monuments carrying signs that proclaim themselves to be Patriots, real Americans. I've participated in a couple of rallies and enjoyed the overall experience, but I have to tell you -- after examining the motivation behind the guest speakers and politicians (all brimming over with eloquent rhetoric), I grew weary of the the double-talk and slander. Not enough speech is red, white and blue rhetoric. Not enough of what I hear is grounded in red, white and blue ideology. Real American Patriots carry Ol' Glory and vote. Real Americans defend our country from enemies no matter where the culprits may reside. Real Americans voice their opinion where it counts - the voting booth. And Veterans? Veterans are the best of us.

What I believe is We are All Americans (at least those of us who can legally call ourselves American) so it should follow that we are all American Patriots. That's the logic of it. Unfortunately, there is a glaring deficit of proof in regards to such logic. It's a rather revolting revelation to learn that not all Americans are patriots. On second thought, perhaps those people are neither - really.

Because of my association with and appreciation of Veterans, I do not have to figure out who I am or which side of the fence I am on. I am an American. I am a Patriot. I am the daughter of a Veteran. I am the wife of a Veteran. I am friend to many a Veteran. My ties are firm. My beliefs are set. I am not conflicted.

I am not kooky either, despite evidence to the contrary... evidence collected by those suffering from a severe attack of politically correct delusions.

I believe in times of chaos and uncertainty, it is the philosophy of the Veteran that makes the most sense. Country First. Veterans are American Patriotism personified. The character of a Veteran is earmarked with traits and respectabilities that are above question: Duty, Honor, Truth, Justice, Freedom, Liberty, Allegiance, Respect, Courage and Remembrance.

Veterans wear flags on their lapels (on suits and leather jackets) and on their backs. Veterans fly flags at their homes and take issue with those who disrespect Ol' Glory. Veterans stand and salute the flag as it passes. Veterans recite the Pledge of Allegiance and consider it an honor to do so. Those who dismiss the pledge as an archaic children's poem - would be encouraged to reevaluate that position by a Veteran. Veterans know the words of the Declaration of Independence... or, more importantly they know when words have been altered, twisted or omitted. Veterans know the words to the National Anthem aka Star Spangled Banner. They also know, another Veteran would never belittle a teary eye or a moment of choked off silence after hearing oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave..... o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Veterans are not politically correct. A thing is what it is. A truth is a truth. A lie is a lie. A wrong is something that needs to be righted.

An enemy is an enemy.

Case in point: Terrorism. Oh, that's right, we are not fighting terrorists... our sons and daughters have died correcting the course of misguided (albeit murderous) extremists. Say that to a Gold Star Mom or Dad and I guarantee your backside will be permanently embedded with a Veterans boot print.

The Veterans of my acquaintance would not hesitate to stand again to defend this country or the ideals that make the United States great. When Veterans learn that military families need assistance, they band together and provide that assistance.

When Veterans learned that others planned to dishonor our military sons and daughters, they soldiered-up and found a way to silence the deluded and protect and honor the fallen and their families. I am speaking of The Patriot Guard here, because most of our family and motorcycle friends are involved with that fine organization. Dad and many of his friends serve as Ride Captains for the North Texas Patriot Guard.

It should go without saying, there are countless other Veteran-based organizations that provide services too numerous to mention, all of them worthy and selfless in their endeavors -- most of them formed out of a proclivity to serve their fellow man - not because of some political mandate.

Veterans never stop being soldiers. They are still "the good guys", doing their "duty", fighting the "good fight".

Veterans walk among us. Young or old - the least we can do, when we run across a Veteran is to say a simple and heartfelt - thank you for your service! And, if you run across a Gold Star Mom or Dad, the least you can say is -- thank you for your sacrifice. And, if that all seems too personal - fly the flag, from your house, from your car and wear it on your person. Trust me, they will notice.

What follows is my Veterans Day Tribute to Ted (My Dad). He was my first hero. This years images show Dad and his friends, riding out, on roads that are "free", protected by their vigilance, determination and the blood of the brave, flags unfurled behind their motorcycles, or standing the flag line, honoring veterans and their families and generally doing what is "right". We could all learn from their excellent example.

To All Veterans. My thanks to you today and every day. You know who you are. You make me proud.

Veterans Day Tribute #1 2010

Click here to play

UPDATE: Wichita Falls, TX -- Mom sent a few photos of their Veterans Day outing. The local schools gathered at the football stadium to present a Veterans Day celebration. Here's a slide show (17 photos):

Veterans Day 2010 - for: Tim

November 11, 2010
Colorado, USA

Happy Veterans Day to my Harley Guy. Thanks for all the patriotic rides to rallies and to Texas - I have enjoyed every mile and smile of it... and I know you have, too.

Veterans Day Tribute #2 2010

Click here to play

You make me proud!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday shopping ride

November 7, 2010
Colorado, USA

Iffy skies Fort Collins, CO -- Today the skies were looking a bit iffy and the forecast didn't sound much better. The days are getting chilly and the weather temperamental. We wanted a longer ride than yesterday. So, we decided to roll out about mid-morning and see how far we could get. We took ourselves a couple of towns over to Aunt Alice's Restaurant in Longmont. This is one of our favorite places for breakfast. You can get a good ol' country-style breakfast served up in generous portions at a reasonable price and the coffee is good and hot.

As we rolled up on Aunt Alice's, the wind had kicked up good and it looked like a healthy storm was sliding over the mountains. A couple of flurries whizzed by our noses as we decided breakfast was likely as far as we would get today.

After breakfast, the clouds had indeed slid over the mountains but other than a little more wind they were not doing much more than spitting on us. We decided to ride a little further south and see what the skies looked like beyond the edge of town. We could see a patch of blue on the horizon toward Denver and nothing but ominous black toward home. We decided to make for Denver and maybe the storm would blow on through before we made the return trip this afternoon. As it turns out, that was a good decision.

Riding toward a patch of blueRiding toward a patch of blue sky
Behind us - yikes!Yikes! Glad we left that bit of business behind us.

The ride to the north end of a Denver suburb was windy and perhaps a bit colder than when we started out. We spent the afternoon roaming through a favorite Christmas craft show, picking up a couple of gifts. Funny. We bought a fairly large piece of seasonal art (with glass) and as the artist was wrapping it for us, it occurred to us almost simultaneously - we are on the Harley. Ha! The artist looked at us rather oddly (can't imagine why) and said her husband could deliver it next week in Fort Collins, if we couldn't get it home on the motorcycle. Of course, the art was too large for the saddle bags or the tour pack. I don't know what we were thinking - ha! We managed to cushion it with our rain gear and strapped it down with the cargo net on top of the tour pack rack. It made it home in perfect condition, despite rough railroad crossings and high winds. I would have a photo of it except I failed to get the camera out of the tour pack before we strapped it all down.

The weather had cleared out by the time we headed home. It was a chilly ride home, but not unbearable. Our riding days are numbered here in Northern Colorado so we count this one as a good day.