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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday Dealership Ride

March 31, 2012
Colorado, USA

We celebrated Tim's first Saturday off since the end of January with a dealership ride. Thunder Mountain Harley-Davidson was having a Spring Ride Party with free food, beer and music so we rolled out of the driveway just after noon to check it out. Tim has had a gift card burning a hole in his pocket since Christmas and finally decided on a piece of chrome to trim out the switch panel. Thanks to Crazy Mike in Texas for making Tim aware that we lacked that piece of trim - ha!) We noticed on the way over that the headlamp was out so we added that to our purchases. We tossed the dice at the parts counter. The parts guy said we needed a pair or seven. Tim rolled a pair. I rolled a seven. We added a couple of small items (patch and magnet) from the winner's basket to our sack.

The Ride at Spring Ride Party - Thunder Mountain Harley-Davidson

We roamed through the bikes, said hello to our Ultra salesman Ray and looked through the sale racks and motor clothes. We wandered through the parking lot, looked at the bikes parked outside, turned our noses up at the hot dogs and beer and decided we had spent enough time on foot. We took the long way home, stopping for ice cream at a McDonald's in a little town east of the dealership.

Enjoying a Saturday off with a ride and ice cream


We spent the rest of the afternoon/evening on the patio with burgers and sausage and portabella mushrooms on the grill, a fire in the chiminea and beer chilled to just the right temperature. We are completely amazed that we are able to sit on the patio until after dark. Usually we are still wading through snow at this time of year and grilling is the farthest thing from our minds.

My favorite Vietnam Vet is rolling today

March 30, 2012
Colorado, USA

Texas - My favorite Vietnam Vet is rolling today. He is on his way to a mini-Vietnam Vet Reunion with two long lost friends he made while serving in Vietnam over 40 years ago. They have not seen each other in all that time. What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall at supper! Ride safe Dad!

My favorite V-Vet
My favorite V-Vet

Update: Dad and Vietnam Buddies

Vietnam Vet Reunion after 40 plus years - Kool!

40 plus years ago - Vietnam

Friday, March 30, 2012

PGR Mission: TX - US Navy, Vietnam Veteran

March 30, 2012
Colorado, USA

Texas - This evening Patriot Guard Riders of North Texas roll out to honor the service of:

Michael P. Basich, U.S. Navy, Vietnam Veteran

Patriots will stand the flag line at funeral services in Wichita Falls, TX.

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this Veteran.

Rest in Peace Sir, And Thank You for your Service!

Obituary: Michael P. Basich

Dam Lunch Ride

March 30, 2012
Colorado, USA

It is Friday. The weather is perfect. We are hungry! Time for a Dam Lunch Ride!

The last week's weather has been perfect for riding - no kidding - riding without jackets - in March - in northern Colorado...

So... we rolled out for a Dam Lunch Ride...

Hunger satisfied compliments of Vern's in LaPorte, CO - BLT and bacon cheeseburger... yum!

Welcome Home Vietnam Vets!

March 30, 2012
Colorado, USA

The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree.
~~ Thomas Campbell ~~

Today is Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day in the USA!

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans!
All I can follow that with is: it is about damn time. It should go without being said that taking 50 some odd years to get around to saying Welcome Home Soldier to those who served in the hell known as Vietnam is a shame the people of this country will never live down.

My Dad is a Vietnam Veteran and Tim is a Vietnam Era Veteran as are many of our friends and relatives and biker buds. The Patriot Guard Riders get considerable mention on this blog because we are a group of veterans and patriots whose sole mission is to see all Veterans receive the honor, recognition and respect they deserve for preserving the liberty of this great land. And none of us ever forget so many Veterans passed from this world without having received what should have been their just due.

I was a teenager when my Dad served his tour. I remember well the day he left for Vietnam without even a modicum of good will from any source other than family. We survived the blind terror of his service in that hell with the support of family and friends. I say blind and deaf as well because communication was not instantaneous back then - sometimes it was days or weeks before we heard from Dad after we saw something bad on the news. I remember well the day he returned home from Vietnam with only his family to welcome him home. No flags. No banners. No bands. No grinning-like-an-idiot politicians. No media attention. And thankfully, no protesters. It was a quiet homecoming. Not all Vietnam Veterans can say that was their experience.

So many did not return home to the loving arms of family and friends. So many families endured for decades the loss of a loved one without due appreciation for their sacrifice. So many came home damaged and dysfunctional, struggling to find a place for themselves in a world who cared not or did not understand the horrors they lived through. And so many have yet to come home.Veterans please know this. Not all were oblivious. Not all have forgotten. You are not alone.

Some chose to serve. Others were compelled to serve. Nevertheless, those brave soldiers served in an unpopular conflict under the direction of bureaucrats, many of whom never served their country at all and most of whom never shouldered the weight of accountability. Vietnam Veterans returned home to a seemingly ungrateful and less than compassionate populace who disrespected their service and sacrifice and who produced no empathy for the horror they endured or for their loss of friends and brothers in arms.

And, for all our belatedly good intentions by designating a day as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, it means nothing if we do not trouble ourselves to actually observe the day as a day of recognition.

As for me and mine, we will acknowledge a Veteran whenever we run across one rather than wait for some arbitrary date on a calendar.

Politicians, John Kerry and John McCain are not the veterans of whom I speak nor are they representative of the typical Vietnam Veteran. Most of the V-Vets I know do not seek praise or glory - they just try to get on in this world with a head full of bad memories and the idea that what happened to them as a collective will never happen again as long as they can snap a salute, hold a flag or shake a hand.

What dumbfounds me is the citizenry at large in the USA remains apathetic with regard to our military men and women and I often wonder how one can be so disconnected from the reality of sons and daughters, husbands and wives giving their lives so we can sit and fumble with stupid birds on our cell phones.

Where is the public outcry when Veterans on motorcycles are barred from business establishments, or have to fight to keep a flag in the front yard or a patch on their vest or are heckled by miscreants on a bus? No, in most instances, Vets look after their own.

As recently as last week, a Vietnam Combat Veteran friend was disrespected in a despicable and callous manner by a person (let's call him nincompoop for the sake of kindness) who suffers, albeit inexcusably, from what could only be described as terminal stupidity. The V-Vet wears a purple heart, combat stripes, a bronze star and patches that symbolize his distinctive war-time service... The son of another man who is currently serving in the USAF was disrespected by the same nincompoop... It pains me to admit that I am related through marriage to nincompoop who made his disgraceful rounds among our Veteran friends while they were standing an honor line at a memorial service for our family member. That they [the Vets] did not respond to nincompoop's unforgivable abuse is a sign of the class act I know most Vietnam Veterans of my acquaintance to be.

Of course, we [our family and friends who are more family than family] have a zero-tolerance policy in regards to what could be construed as disrespect to Veterans. Rest assured, nincompoop was discreetly shown the error of his ways (flanked by Dad and Tim and backed by many) without much delay and was given the option to make amends - no other option was tendered. Dad is a Vietnam Veteran who is unwaveringly and determinedly respectful of all other Veterans in particular the one who was accosted by nincompoop. Incidentally, nincom"poop" had the need to clean "poop" out of his pants before all was said and done that day as he was reportedly observed making haste to the men's room after his encounter with the thoroughlly pissed off Vietnam Veteran I know as Dad. Ha!

Welcome Home TEX!
Vietnam Veterans are among us. They are not hard to see if we bother looking beyond the end of our nose. And if you value at all the freedoms you enjoy today please remember who provides you with them... who protects them for you... who maintains the status quo... who laid their all on the line 50 plus years ago and who is doing that very same thing today. Remember with respect - shake a hand, give a nod, buy a meal or a coffee, and utter these few simple words: Thank you for your service and welcome home!

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans

A tribute to Vietnam Vets - including Dad and Tim

Click here to play

2011 Post for Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day

Monday, March 26, 2012

PGR Mission: TX - USAF Vietnam Veteran

March 26, 2012
Colorado, USA

Texas - Today Patriot Guard Riders of North Texas roll out to honor the service of:

Captain Jose Cayetano Garcia, USAF Vietnam Veteran

Patriots will stand the flag line at funeral and graveside services in Wichita Falls, TX.

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this Veteran.

Rest in Peace Sir, And Thank You for your Service!

Obituary: Jose Garcia

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday picnic ride

March 25, 2012
Colorado, USA

The Ride - River BluffsIt has been a long, hectic work week so when Tim rolled in from work today I had a little picnic lunch ready to go. We rolled out under partly cloudy skies. According to the guess man (aka the weather man) temps were supposed to rise near 80 degrees today. It did not get close to that in our neck of the woods. Still, we are grateful to ride in March at all.

We stopped at a small picnic area at the River Bluffs trail head. This is on a road where we often see eagles perched in trees along the roadside. The eagles did not put in an appearance today.

Vik - don't get too excited - it is only a couple of baloney sandwiches and chips - ha!

Tim - a little picnic ride is just the thing to do after a long, hectic work week.

After the picnic we rambled our way east to the little town of Hudson, CO where we grabbed a cup of coffee at the truck stop before rambling our way back home. We spent the rest of the evening on the patio with a couple of beers, visiting with our neighbor LeAnn who came bearing a perfect bereavement gift (movie, chocolate, six pack of Mike's) *grins*. It was after 8 pm before we finally called it a night and came in the house. We are still amazed we could sit on the patio after dark in northern Colorado in March! Today's ride was about 132 mind-clearing miles.

Smoky haze still obscuring the mountain view

PGR Stand Honor Line for the mother of one of their own

March 25, 2012
Colorado, USA

family isn't always blood Texas - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 members of the North Texas Patriot Guard Riders arrived via motorcycles and cages in Henrietta, Texas to honor the mother one of their own. About 15-17 Patriot Guard Riders stood an honor line at the funeral of Sadie Davis (age 101), mother to Inez aka Nezzie, mother-in-law to Ted aka Frosty and grandmother to yours truly aka Vik.

Some of the PGR served as honorary pall bearers while others stood by in silent respect. At the end of services the PGR presented Nezzie with a condolence plaque which I know she will cherish always.

Our PGR family was a welcome and calming presence at the visitation on the evening of the 20th. A beautiful spray of flowers emblazoned with a Patriot Guard ribbon arrived earlier in the day. Grandma was not a veteran but she was the proud sister to four brothers who served silmultaneously in WWII. Four beloved brothers who all returned home safely from that conflict. The PGR honor that service but their presence this day was a simple outpouring of care and concern and support for one of their own - Nezzie.

We humbly thank our Patriot Guard family for such a thoughtful expression of sympathy and friendship in our time of sorrow.

PGR - Gma's funeralPGR arrive at Grandma's funeral via motorcycle and cage

PGR stand honor line for the mother of one of their own

Standing for Nezzie

Sadie Davis Obituary

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday Supper Ride

March 24, 2012
Colorado, USA

Tim - Let's Ride!Tim just rolling in from work saying let's ride for supper

That worked for me - I was standing in the drive with my boots on anyway. So ride for supper we did. We rode for a few miles around the south end of Horsetooth Reservoir, through the small town of Masonville and west end of Loveland before we settled on Mexican food and a restaurant in the small town of Berthoud, CO a few miles south of here. We have been meaning to stop at Mi Cocina for a good while now and we are glad we did. It is a cozy spot, on Main Street (Mountain Ave) set up in an old house with patio dining, too. Today with the day waning and the wind up a bit - we chose to dine inside. The wait staff was friendly and efficient and the food arrived fast. Chips and Salsa were OK... We both ordered Chile Rellenos - crispy and smothered served with generous helpings of the traditional rice and refried beans. It has been a while since we have had a chili relleno this good - we will be returning again soon.

Chili RellenosChili Rellenos - Crispy and Smothered - Yum!

Horsetooth Reservoir

The rock formation known as "the tooth" at Horsetooth Reservoir

Rolling west toward Masonville it looks a little hazy. We would find out later the haze was actually smoke from a fire in Rist Canyon. After an abnormally mild winter, it is dry and windy - wildfire season is here.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Whirlwind ride

March 18, 2012
Colorado, USA

FlagWork... work... work... kept us from getting out before mid-afternoon and wind... wind... wind... kept us from riding very long or very far. We logged about 101 miles looking for a road out of the breezes that about tore our heads off but as is typical in Colorado in springtime the winds changed direction about every 10 miles or so. When we had ridden enough like a couple of farts in a whirlwind we brought it on home and popped a top on a beer.

Herd of Elk feeding near the Devil's Backbone - Loveland, CO

Choppy waters on Horsetooth Reservoir

Saturday, March 17, 2012

No green on this Saint Pat's Day Ride

March 17, 2012
Colorado, USA

We rolled out for a Saint Pat's Day ride after Tim rode in from work mostly to run a few errands. As usual, we took the long way between stops. Traveling around the eastern shore of a lake near Loveland, with winds out of the snow-capped west, well -- we darn near froze our butts off. We found not a smidge of green... nor a sign of Spring, but Happy Saint Pat's anyway.

Today's ride = 66 miles

Good fortune be with you on a ride today

March 17, 2012
Colorado, USA

Like the warmth of the sun
And the light of the day,
May the luck of the Irish
shine bright on your way.


A Lame Irish Biker Joke

It was Paddy and Seamus giving the motorcycle a ride on a brisk autumn day. After a wee bit, Paddy who was sitt'n behind Seamus on the bike began to holler... "Seamus... Seamus... the wind is cutt'n me chest out!"

"Well, Paddy my lad," said Seamus, "why don't you take your jacket off and turn it from front to back ... that'll block the wind for you."

So Paddy took Seamus' advice and turned his jacket from front to back and got back on the bike and the two of them were off down the road again. After a bit, Seamus turned to talk to Paddy and was horrified to see that Paddy was not there. Seamus immediately turned the bike around and retraced their route. When after a short time he came to a turn and saw a bunch of farmers standing around Paddy who was sitting on the ground.

"T'anks be to heaven, is he alright?" Seamus hailed to the farmers.

"Well," said one of the farmers, " he was alright when we found him here .. but since we turned his head back to front .. he hasn't said a word!"

Friday, March 16, 2012

BTGTWR #1 for 2012

March 16, 2012
Colorado, USA

It was a Before Tim Goes To Work Ride aka a Dam ride for lunch. And it was denim jacket warm. Yippee! So over the dam we went to Vern's for a BLT and a Swiss n Mushroom Burger. Yum!

Dam RideThis beautiful ride is just our our back door...

VernsAnd Vern's is one of our favorite watering holes...

Choppy WatersWe had wind and choppy waters on the return trip - where the heck did that come from...

DaffDenim Jacket weather, blue skies, dam ride, and a harbinger of spring as we roll back in...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Riding to shake off the woolies

March 11, 2012
Colorado, USA

It was just a 125 mile ride to shake off the woolies (that stuff that gathers in the head and sits there until you have what a professor friend of mine calls a mental garage sale). Our woolies are usually the product of cabin fever. We had a couple of errands to run this afternoon so we simply took the long way around to get them done and get home. Mission accomplished. **grins**

Calm WatersWe normally ride around frozen waters this time of year... but so far it has been unseasonably warm and that is not a complaint.

Shadow RidersThe Shadow Riders were with us most of the day... a welcome ride-along.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Sunday afternoon ride

March 4, 2012
Colorado, USA

We rode for about an hour after Tim got in from his Saturday shift yesterday, but by the time we rolled out the winds had kicked up and clouds filtered the sun making the temperature break earlier than we would have it. It didn't matter though because we knew we would roll out today.

About noon-thirty we rolled out of the drive. The winds were high in some areas but we ducked behind a couple of ridges and got a great ride in just making a wide circle around the area, enjoying the sun on our faces and temps as warm as we have had them this year thus far. We rode north of the city as far as possible without committing to Wyoming, then east and south of the city rambling up and down the farm roads, finally rolling west taking the longest possible route home by way of Carter Lake. The lake road had drifts of sand on it in quite a few spots and the lake itself was really low.

We collected the first bugs of the season, a couple of honey bees that were still kicking when we stopped to stretch our winter legs and have a cup of thermos coffee.

Honey Bee hitchhiker - still kicking

The shadows were growing long and chilly by the time we pointed The Ride home so we saved the other lakes for another day. Today's ride = 154 miles. Sure feels good to be out and about. And we were not the only ones burning up the highway on two wheels... we didn't travel more than a mile without seeing another motorcycle - I am sure of it.

Shadow Riders

Carter Lake

WindjammerThe Windjammer (Carter Lake) had a decent collection of toys out front as we rode by

Texas: Sendoff

March 4, 2012
Colorado, USA

Rolling out on the sendoffDad aka Ted/Frosty rolling out on sendoff mission

Texas: Patriot Guard Riders and other patriots gathered for a sendoff today today, riding escort from Windthorst to Bowie, Texas for Keaton Vietenheimer. This young man is on his way to Fort Hood where he will soon deploy to Afghanistan.

Good luck soldier and thank you for your service!

Update: About 37 bikes and over 50 patriots saw this soldier off - what a great turnout!

Click here for video posted on Texhoma's Home page