Our Harley Days
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Traveling free and easy down a road that never ends...

Monday, December 30, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

From our house to yours

December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! And a special shout out to all Veterans past and present - Thank you for your service!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Wreaths for Vets

December 13, 2013
Colorado, USA

Texas - It is Wreaths for Vets weekend. This is just a shout out to the gang in Wichita Falls TX. It's amazing what a couple of old Vets can do when they get the mindset that something needs doing. Wreaths for Vets started with two wreaths on the graves of a brother and a son belonging to our Gold Star Parents Nubbin and Angela. This weekend with the help of other like-minded patriots they will lay hundreds of wreaths (near 800) on the graves of Veterans in the Wichita County Cemetery.

Just a cool shot (thanks Nubbin) of two of my favorite Vets (Tex and Frosty aka Ray and Dad) doing what they do - honor other Vets.

Texoma's Home Page: Local Veteran Prepare to Lay 700 Wreaths (includes video clip)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Nuff said...

December 8, 2013

Day 6 of sub zero temps in northern Colorado...

Saturday, December 7, 2013

72 years ago today

December 7, 2013

Remembering Pearl Harbor...
...the American people will through their righteous might win through to absolute victory... With confidence in our armed forces-with the unbounded determination of our people-we will gain the inevitable triumph... FDR

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

November 28, 2013

For the family and friends who have chosen to be part of our lives,
For the blessings we find in each other,
For the freedom to travel the roads we have ridden this year,
For the hope of riding those that lay beyond today's horizon...
We are grateful.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Friday, November 22, 2013

Just breezed on thru #42

November 22, 2013
Colorado USA

Tim & Vik - Picnic Ride - June 2013

Tim and Vik - Grand Canyon Ride - August 2013

It is winter in northern Colorado so we are thinking an anniversary ride is out but we have come to understand after 42 years that sometimes you just have to celebrate the good things as you go along... stay tuned...

Monday, November 11, 2013

It's what they do

November 11, 2013

The Folks on their way to Veterans Day memorials and celebrations in Texas today.

Veterans' Day 2013 - for Dad

November 11, 2013
Colorado, USA


My favorite veteran... my first hero... the face I put on the word hero today... a pavement patriot, a road warrior... Charlie Daniels said, Capability and confidence tempered with humility is a wonderful thing to see. That about sums it up - it's what I have all bundled up in one neat package labeled DAD.

What follows is an excerpt (with minor edits) from the 2012 Vet Day post (sans political commentary).

I am a military brat. I am the proud daughter of a USAF Vietnam Veteran. I am the proud wife of a USAF Vietnam Era Veteran. I often joke that I have 28 years of service myself (a veteran's daughter for 20 active duty years, a veteran's wife for 8 active duty years). All in all I have 50 some odd years of Veteran appreciation under my belt. I am the niece of Veteran uncles. I am proud friend to many Veterans. Needless to say, Veterans have always played a huge part in my life and continue to do so today. Talk about counting your blessings!

I saw an interview with children a good while back. The children were asked a simple question, "Who is your hero?" The children were very young so as you might expect, the answers were quite imaginative. Fireman. Policeman. Sponge Bob (Oh me!). Harry Potter (of course!). Batman (I had to grin at that answer). When a child answered with Dad or Big Brother, the interviewer asked what Dad or Big Brother did for a living. The children answered car salesman, teacher, banker and one child rolled his eyes and said in a duh sort of manner - he's a DAD.

What struck me as interesting about the answers in particular is this: Not one child answered Soldier/Marine/Sailor. I am guessing there were no military children in the group because most military children are well acquainted with the concept that military/soldier/veteran types are heroes - by default. In fact, when I was a kid, the whole mine-is-bigger-than-yours base housing playground mentality was all about whose Dad worked on the biggest, fastest airplane. I thought about it and wondered what sort of answer I would have given then and now -- and I am fairly certain I would have answered My Dad is my Hero, followed by the proud announcement -- he is in the Air Force and works on jet engines! (After reflecting on it - I realize I might have answered John Wayne but since I have always equated Dad and John Wayne's characters like Big Jake as being somewhat one-in-the-same - I am sticking with Dad.)

Yep, that would have been my answer - then and now. My Dad is my Hero, he is a USAF Vietnam Veteran Patriot Guard Ride Captain.
-----
Veterans are the heroes of my America. Veterans standing shoulder to shoulder, flag in hand, respect being the order of the day. Veterans astride motorcycles with flags streaming behind them. Veterans behind shades, chins slightly dipped in respect. Veterans snapping a misty-eyed salute as Old Glory marches by. Veterans getting a bit choked up when they get to the words o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave... Hoary-headed Veterans, grizzled, bone-tired, weary though they may be rising to the day's challenge. Veterans calmly going about the business of honor and duty with unfailing loyalty and firm resolve. Veterans who will go it alone if something needs doing. Veterans clearing trash from a neglected cemetery. Veterans placing a wreath on a forgotten soldier's grave. Veterans with a clear-eyed, stern countenance under bills of patriotic hats. Veterans with a firm grip on the elbow of other less able-bodied Veterans. Veterans ready with hands extended in camaraderie and friendship. Veterans offering the solace of huggable necks and strong, comfortable shoulders. Veterans who in the width of their stance and the pride of their bearing convey strength, integrity, endurance and unwavering courage. Veterans who in the core of their beings understand the ideology of America will thrive because men and women such as they have risen and will rise again without qualm and see her through whatever force of adversity places a stranglehold on liberty and justice. Veterans understand the cost of FREEDOM and still venture forth to pay the price.

Today American Veterans across the nation are engaging in patriotic activities honoring veterans past and present. Many of them I know are riding with the North Texas (Red River Region) Patriot Guard as they go about the business of the day. Hopefully they will get a handshake and a heartfelt Thank You For Your Service! somewhere along their busy way today. Ride safe. Stand Tall. Carry on. You make me proud.

This is my tribute to all Veterans today. I SALUTE YOU! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, INTEGRITY AND FORTITUDE. THANK YOU FOR BEING THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF AMERICAN GRACE UNDER FIRE. In a world where alleged leaders have to "toot" their own horn and decimate the reputation of others to serve their own egotistical, self-serving agendas in tiresomely repetitive rhetoric - it is comforting to know that some heard the drummer and quietly and unequivocally answered the call of duty long ago because it was the "right" thing to do. Those few brave, independent souls are doing the right thing still. Today. Nobody tells them to do it. Hardly anyone ever applauds them for doing it. They do it naturally because being a Veteran defines them in ways that those who have not served will never understand. We know being a patriot is never the "popular" thing to do. Thank goodness for that - because there is not a Veteran of my acquaintance who gives a hoot about the mainstream perversion of principles dictated by popular culture!

Finally, Thank You Veterans, past and present for reminding me who I am by being who you are. American Veterans - my Heroes one and all.

This is my favorite definition of a hero.

Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid... He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world. -- Raymond Chandler

Veterans Day 2013 - for Tim

November 11, 2013
Colorado USA

Here is a salute to my resident Veteran, the one who gets me out of the house and my head and takes me up and down freedom's highways to Veterans rallies and parks and memorials and rolls under big flags until I get just the right shot and who buys me new cameras knowing He and The Ride are going to be the main targets. Thank you for your service Tim - you make me proud - carry me on - ha!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Early salute to my favorite Texas Veteran

November 8, 2013
Colorado USA

Texas - As the plans proceed for the 2013 Veterans Day ceremonies in which Dad aka PGR Ride Captain "Frosty" with the help of his PGR buddies and other patriots will once again figure prominently, I thought to share last year's ceremony at Crestview Cemetery in Wichita Falls. Most of us are moved by a Patriot Guard flag line at funerals and memorials. What has been incorporated here is the motorcycle element. The simplicity of bikers filing in on two wheels, flags streaming behind them and those same bikers (many of them Veterans) standing in silent respect beside motorcycles in what can only be described as profound reverence - well, it makes me proud. There are no words here except - thank you for your service and commitment - carry on.

Veterans Day Mission 2012

Click here to play

You tube version of the above movie...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Moment of Respect...

November 7, 2013
Colorado, USA

Out of respect for a Veteran friend who was there - pausing for a moment of respect for the brave Blue Spaders who paid the ultimate price at the Ambush at Srok Rung, November 7, 1967 - Vietnam. May these heroes Rest in Peace and may their friends and loved ones know - they are not forgotten.

The following was shared with me a while back by the wife of the Veteran friend mentioned above. It seems an appropriate time to revisit it.

COMBAT VETERANS

Once the COMBAT PATCHES go on, they never come off whether they can be seen or not. It fuses to the soul through adversity, fear and adrenaline, and no one who has ever worn them with pride, integrity and guts can ever sleep through the `call of the wild` that wafts through bedroom windows in the deep of the night...

We wonder if he knows what he is leaving behind, because we already know.

We know, for example, that after a lifetime of camaraderie that few experience, it will remain as a longing for those past times.

We know in the world of veterans, there is a fellowship which lasts long after the uniforms are hung up in the back of the closet.

We know even if he throws them away, they will be on him with every step and breath that remains in his life.

We also know how the very bearing of the veteran speaks of what he was and in his heart still is.

Because we served, we envy no man on earth.

Keeping a good thought for you today Ray and whispering words of respect for those you knew and loved and respected who did not make it to today. - V

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Meanwhile in Texas - Warriors on Wheels

November 5, 2013

Warriors on Wheels are riding Texas today and all week. Last night they were honored by members of the North Texas Patriot Guard and other Patriots at a potluck dinner and reception in Wichita Falls, TX. This morning they wheeled out with a motorcycle escort to Windthorst TX and beyond. We thank them for their service and courage... ride safe and carry on. If you see them - give them brake and raise a hand in respect.

Ride Texas 2013 Team - Warriors on Wheels

Hosts of the Warriors on Wheels Potluck Dinner and Reception - Wichita Falls TX

PGR Ride Captain Jimmy Murphy - WOW (Warriors on Wheels) is a group of bicyclists who do a week long ride starting in Wichita Falls and ending in Corpus Christi on Veterans Day. While not all of the riders have a military background, several are wounded vets, including a double amputee on a hand cycle. Their ride is a fundraiser and will benefit the “Wish for our Heroes” organization this year.

Remembrance: Fort Hood 2009

Four years ago today a radical Muslim who infiltrated the ranks of the US Army opened fire on Fort Hood killing 13 and wounding another 38.

List of those Killed

Michael Grant Cahill, 62, of Cameron, Tx.

Major L. Eduardo Caraveo, 52, of Woodbridge, Va.

Staff Sgt. Justin M. DeCrow, 32, of Plymouth, Ind.

Capt. John P. Gaffaney, 54, of San Diego, Calif.

Spc. Frederick Greene, 29, of Mountain City, Tenn.

Spc. Jason Dean Hunt, 22, of Tillman, Okla.

Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29, of Kiel, Wis.

Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nemelka, 19, of West Jordan, Utah

Pfc. Michael Pearson, 22, of Bolingbrook, Ill.

Capt. Russell Seager, 41, of Racine, Wis.

Pvt. Francheska Velez, 21, of Chicago. She was pregnant.

Lt. Col. Juanita Warman, 55, of Havre de Grace, Md.

Spc. Kham Xiong, 23, of St. Paul, Minn.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ride or rake leaves?

November 3, 2013

The question (as absurd as it sounds) was ride or rake leaves on what looks like the last day for a good ride at least for a few days in northern Colorado... the answer is apparent I think since The Ride was already parked at the curb. Ha!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Hallowe'en

October 31, 2013

Tonight the witches will ride, will ride,
Each on her broomstick Harley astride, astride,
Silent and swift in their mystic flight
Upward they'll go in the cold, black night.

And the wind will sob, and shriek, and moan,
The great trees shudder, and shake, and groan.
The moon will hide in the murky sky,
In the forest dark the bats will fly.

And owls will hoot, and wolves will howl
And green-eyed cats in the shadows prowl.
Tonight the witches will ride, will ride,
Each on her broomstick Harley, astride, astride.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The witch rides on...

October 30, 2013

Sharing again - It is so corny and I love it!
Click here to play

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Frosty and Nezzie are Celebrating 59 Years Today

October 26, 2013

Ted aka Frosty aka Dad and Inez aka Nezzie aka Mom
Estes Park CO - October 2012

The story of me is so much better because it begins with the story of the Folks who are celebrating their 59th Anniversary today!

The story of Ted and Inez is long and interesting as are real life stories of survival and endurance and commitment. What I know is they have made the last six decades or so together look easy although it was far from it... They were born in the humble 1930s to parents who were what is known as the greatest generation so they were raised in an era that exemplified Americanism. In my opinion they are the real American success story. Not rich. Not powerful. Just real people who worked hard for a living, proudly served the country, provided well for two children, took care of their own and have managed all these years under self-sustained power. They have survived war and peace, depressions and recessions. They have weathered a few storms in life including several Texas tornadoes. They have made it through what should have been several life altering health issues. They have raced cars, had prize-winning show cars and trucks and brought a Harley into their life in the last few years. Growing up with these two at the helm provided a safe and secure foundation liberally laced with FUN!

They are patriotic and independent - a shining example of true American perseverance.

I consider myself fortunate beyond words that I come from such tenacious stock.

What words I do have today are these - Stay strong and carry on Folks - I am looking forward to the continuing saga that is your amazing story.

Congratulations and Love Across the Miles... Happy 59th Anniversary Folks!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Showing some Respect - It is Gold Star Mother's Day

September 29, 2013
Colorado, USA

Gold Star Mothers DayIn the words of Gold Star Mothers Monument sculptor, Andrew Chernak: The loss of a child in any circumstance is a grievous blow to a family, but, uniquely so to the mother who bore that child. One group of Mothers that especially stands apart from the norm are the Gold Star Mothers of America's fallen heroes. They are patriotic, loyal, and sympathetic. They understand our nation’s freedom is not to be taken for granted. The grief and loss these women have endured never leaves them, yet the Mothers rise above their pain in tribute to life going on. The Mothers have collectively served millions of hours in volunteer work, personal service in our nation's Veterans hospitals, and to the Veteran and his family in their community. In serving this way, the Mothers have turned their grief into a positive force. If you want to know quiet greatness, spend a little time in the presence of a Gold Star Mother.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Reminder: Burger Burn for Operation Comfort

September 20, 2013

Ride to Eat and Support a Great Cause!

Never Forget

September 20, 2013
Colorado, USA

Today is POW-MIA Recognition Day. It is always the third Friday in September.

This is not a "remembrance" day. This is a "light-in-the-window" until they all come home day. Never Forget.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's hard to keep a tough old bird down for long...

September 19, 2013
Colorado USA

Texas -- After being grounded with a clipped wing for 67 days - guess who is back on the road again? Ride Safe Dad.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

2 Million Bikers to DC

September 11, 2013

Just one of many videos documenting an awesome event.

And this statement pretty much sums it up...

Oklahoma Rider Report:

All I can say is WOW!!! What an amazing experience. I have no idea how many bikes were there but the DC police estimate over 1 million. Bikes were staged 10 to 12 abreast bumper to bumper and the line was at least a mile long.

So much love for America. Bikers were from all walks of life. White, Black, Brown, Red, Yellow. Every one a patriotic American. The streets were lined with non riders cheering us on and waving flags. Traffic stopped and people got out of their cars to join in the waving and cheering. Overpasses were full of fire departments. Cops stood by the side of the road at attention, saluting us.

Bikers definitely made a statement for liberty today and judging by the enormous show of respect and support, we were NOT alone. The riders may have did the ride but America sent the message! Don't let the mainstream media fool you. America is full of patriots.

A word from friend Nubbin

September 11, 2013
Colorado USA

A few words from my American Patriot Biker Friend (also a Gold Star Dad) who is justified to speak upon this day more than any bureaucrat in the world.

NUBBINS NOTES: (09/11/2001) HAVE WE FORGOTTEN!!!

Well I haven't, I can still recall watching the Muslim Terrorists fly the second plane into the second World Trade Center Tower as the first continued to burn as if it was just happening.

At the moments the Muslim Terrorist were murdering thousands of innocent citizens, we didn't realize the Muslim Terrorists had been at war with the people of the United States of America for 25 years. Now they have found a way to strike us where we live.

I remember sitting in a gov't class at MSU 1979 while we became aware of our embassy in Iran being over run by Muslim Terrorists.

I remember the Iranian student sitting two seats directly in front of me get up and declare the USA got what it deserved and we were evil. I also remember this same student lying on the ground bleeding with most of his clothes shredded and students just passing him by, one girl I remember spitting on him the next day. I never saw him again.

I remember how this great country came together with purpose and resolve in both instances.

I remember 09/11/2012 when 4 brave Americans were killed in Benghazi by Muslim Terrorists and for the next 14 days how our president, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and various other Obama administration personnel look us and the world in the eye and LIE TO US.

I can still see the look in President Bush eyes as Andy Card informed him of the attacks in that class room.

I can still vividly remember the people falling, jumping from the burning towers, with all the other debris raining down on New York Streets like ticker tape.

I remember the battle cry of flight 93, " Lets Roll", meaning today as much as the infamous words of " Remember the Alamo" in this great countries history. Men and women risking it all for a chance at life and liberty.

I remember those first responders charging into those burning towers to save others, entrenched in the American spirit as those men did on Iwo Jima and Omaha Beach.

I remember that cold, brisk January morning in Portalis NM as news came that would change my families lives forever!

I remember those strong young farm boys and girls standing in our living room, face full of tears and hearts ripped out.

I remember all those brave young Marines who traveled from all over the world to come be with people at their lowest moment they had never met before, but due to their love and respect for our Gary, they came.

I have not forgotten! Have you?

God Bless Texas and the greatest country the world has ever Known, the USA, and all them Muslim Terrorists can Kiss my big Fat ASS!!!

Marine Sgt. Gary S. Johnston
May 24, 1985 (Windthorst, Texas)
January 23, 2007 (Anbar Province, Iraq)
3rd Reconnaissance Battalion
3rd Marine Division
III Marine Expeditionary Force

No, my friend I have not forgotten. We have not forgotten. As long as there's a breath of freedom left in the world we will owe you and yours a debt of gratitude for the sacrifice you have made... so I am joining your cry - they can Kiss My Fat Cracka' American Infidel Ass too.

Respectfully Remembering 911 USA

September 11, 2013
Colorado, USA

Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger.

These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.

Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

President George W Bush 2001

Monday, September 9, 2013

Rolling proud and free

September 9, 2013
Colorado USA

UPDATE: Great turnout so far as of 09/10/2013 and word is DC Law Enforcement is trying to help out with the route.
Who says patriotism is dead in the USA - I am thinking a whole bunch of bikers did not get that memo!

Remember 911. Remember Benghazi. Remember the troops and then remember who committed the crimes upon the decent and the innocent and who supports those who terrorized a nation. This isn't a government sponsored or politically motivated event - this is a patriotic happening - an exercise in good ol' American freedom of expression! Kudos!

Our sentiments exactly - keep calm and ride on!

Two Million Bikers to DC

Permit or NO - they are rolling
2 Million Bikers Crusing

About

TO REMEMBER THOSE WHO WERE KILLED ON 911 AND HONOR OUR ARMED FORCES WHO FOUGHT THOSE WHO PRECIPITATED THIS ATTACK!

Description

2 MILLION BIKERS TO DC “PURPOSE”:

THE GOAL AND PURPOSE OF THIS RIDE:

1. WE, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WILL STAND BY OUR CONSTITUTION (AS WRITTEN, NOT AS INTERPRETED BY THE THIS OR ANY PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION), WE WILL STAND BY OUR BILL OF RIGHTS (AS WRITTEN) AND WE STAND FOR AMERICA!

2. THIS EVENT IS TO OUR HONOR AND RESPECT THOSE WHO WERE KILLED ON 9/11 AND THEIR FAMILIES! IT IS ALSO IN REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE IN ALL OUR ARMED FORCES WHO FOUGHT THOSE WHO PRECIPITATED THIS ATTACK!

3. WE STAND AGAINST ANY "FUNDAMENTAL TRANSFORMATION OF AMERICA" BY THIS ADMINISTRATION OR ANY PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION!

4. WE WILL NOT STAND DOWN WE WILL STAND UP IF NEED BE FOR OUR LIBERTIES. ** THIS IS A PEACEFUL "RIDE”. WE ARE NOT PROMOTING NOR DO WE CONDONE VIOLENCE OF ANY KIND! WE ARE RIDING TO SHOW OUR LOVE OF AMERICA AND THE SHINING EXAMPLE OF FREEDOM THIS COUNTRY PROVIDES TO THE WORLD!**

5. PLEASE BE AWARE D.C. LAWS PROHIBIT THE CARRYING OF WEAPONS OF ANY KIND. THE ADMINISTRATORS OF THIS GROUP & EVENT PLAN TO FOLLOW THOSE LAWS AND HIGHLY SUGGEST ALL OTHERS DO THE SAME! PLEASE REMEMBER WE ARE RIDING TO SHOW OUR LOVE AND SUPPORT FOR AMERICA!

6. WE ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO OBEY **ALL TRAFFIC LAWS**. DO NOT RUN RED LIGHTS OR STOPS SIGNS! WE DO NOT WANT THE LEO’S TO HAVE A REASON TO PULL ANYONE OVER!

7. WE WILL HAVE A DESIGNATED ROUTE TO RIDE. (IT WILL BE POSTED AS SOON AS CONFIRMED.) THE RIDE WILL ENTAIL RIDING BY ALL VETERAN MEMORIALS IN THE D.C. AREA.

8. WE WILL HAVE LEAD BIKES AND A FINAL DESTINATION. (THOSE DETAILS WILL FOLLOW ONCE WORKED OUT)

IF YOU AGREE WITH THE ABOVE PLEASE JOIN US AS WE HONOR ALL THOSE WHO PERISHED IN 911 AND ALL THOSE WHO DIED FIGHTING FOR YOUR LIBERTIES!

WE ARE BILL WILLIAMSON, BELINDA BEE & JOHN MULLINS & WE SUPPORT THIS EVENT!

Justice for Benghazi Rally issues Invite to 2 Million Bikers to DC

Saturday, September 7, 2013

This is no time for a Harley to be parked!

September 7, 2013
Colorado USA

What's worse than having The Ride in the shop for what looks like nearly three weeks? Knowing there's a whole string of great riding days in the forecast! !!&^&^*$&*%$&#!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Back from a ten day road trip

August 26, 2013
Colorado USA

Ten days, over 2600 miles, five states, great rally, new roads, amazing landscape, endured a little rain, a little heat, a little cold, sun burned, wind burned, consumed far more bacon, eggs, potatoes, pancakes, burgers and beer than is considered healthy, spent more money than is considered prudent, ignored politics and other annoying news of the day and didn't miss it.

Tim at the Grand Canyon

Vik at the Grand Canyon

End result = S'miles. Lots and lots of s'miles. We would roll out again tomorrow if not for our old nemesis "reality".

P.S. Proved to Tim that it is entirely possible to take over 16GB of photos - lol! Stay tuned for the day-by-day and the photos - editing in progress.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

All gave some... some gave all

August 18, 2013
Colorado USA

Day 3 and we are on the road but not without a backward glance - Salute to American Veterans Rally is the perfect launch to a road trip... stay tuned.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Road Trip Day 2 POW/MIA Ride and Vet Rally

August 17, 2013
Colorado USA

POW/MIA Recognition Ride and Salute to American Veterans Rally - Cripple Creek CO

We were up early and eager to make the short ride to Woodland Park CO where we would stage at the high school for the 26th annual POW/MIA Recognition Ride to Cripple Creek. This is the inaugural run for the ride along what is now known as the POW/MIA Memorial Highway, that being the highway between Divide CO and Cripple Creek CO. We did not have rain overnight in Colorado Springs. Given that the area is prone to flooding near the burn scars, that's a good thing and the first time we can remember a night in the Springs when it did not rain. It was cool and we rolled out under dappled skies about 7 am with the temp near 50 degrees.

There was a good crowd already in line at registration for the ride. Every year a few more of us show up early because we know what a headache it will be when the rest of the world arrives. This is one of those events that would likely benefit from online or at least pre-registration of some sort but organizers haven't caught on to the idea of that yet. You roll up and wait, then you get off the bike to pay, sign the waiver and get the pin, then you get back on your bike and wait for others to get back on their bikes, then you roll to designated parking. This year was no exception to previous years. There were bikes still trying to get registered as we were rolling out on the ride.

We finally rolled into our tight (and I mean just about too close for comfort) spot in row 4 of the lineup and after sorting our gear out, we strolled over to get our annual dose of rubber pancakes and sausage. The pancakes were not as bad as last year. We rolled our sausage up in it and had a pancake burrito of sorts and a cup of coffee. The price is a donation for the fireman/emt/first responder cooks so it is for a worthy cause. The other item the organizers have not figured out is there never seems to be enough port-a-potties so we took care of that bit of business early. Sure enough - when it came time to roll, people were still in line for pancakes and port-a-potties.

Arriving early also allows us to watch the other bikes roll in. There was one minor accident this year. Someone connected with a curb trying to make a tight turn in a crowd to park. Nobody was hurt and the bike was ok. The ride coordinates with how the parade is flowing in Cripple Creek. Bikes are supposed to arrive in Cripple Creek as the parade is winding down. This year we rolled out slightly later than usual after a law enforcement official (with a bad megaphone) told us how we would ride and how we would be parked when we got to Cripple Creek. All the announcement elicited was a resounding BOO from those of us who actually heard the announcement. Most did not hear it. And so organizers and law enforcement learned that (and I learned this from Dad) trying to herd bikers is much like herding cats. Impossible.

This year, organizers thought it would be a good idea I guess to take two rows of bikes which is how we roll out of the parking and out of town and expand it into four rows of bikes when we hit the four lane part of Hwy 24. From our perspective in the thick of things - it looked sloppy and did not flow. We wondered if organizers realized that when we got to Hwy 67 which is only a two lane that four rows would have to choke back into two rows for the duration of the ride. Instead of flowing at a moderately low speed, we had starts and sudden stops and bikers riding in groups trying to stay in groups rather than riding safely as individuals. Those of us who showed up early to get a decent position lost that position during the course of the ride. Organizers perhaps did not take into consideration that not everyone who signs on for this ride is accustomed to riding in large groups nor does everyone know the rules of riding in large groups so hand signals meant nothing and virtually no one in our line of sight practiced staggered riding especially on the mountain curves. Two abreast to four abreast and back to two abreast is bad form in our opinion and unsafe. Not only that, the leaders of the ride were going so slow that we were nearly at a crawl in the middle. At some points we probably could have shook hands with the knots of spectators who line the route to cheer us on with clapping hands, thumbs up and waving flags. The new parking idea which most did not hear brought us to a stop and walk in Cripple Creek so once again, the ride did not flow well and it was not as enjoyable for us or the crowd. Where they wanted us to park is how and near where we normally park but many bikers were upset about not being allowed to park on the main drag. As a result of how convoluted an experience it was this year -- if this is how they plan to roll next year - we will rethink our participation.

Vik at staging area for 26th Annual POW/MIA Recognition Ride

Tim at staging area for 26th Annual POW/MIA Recognition Ride

Getting ready to roll

Rolling!

Slide show of POW/MIA Ride = 86 photos
Alternate link to this slide show
Video coming soon

We enjoy the atmosphere of the Salute to American Veterans Rally, the veteran recognition, the patriotic program and music. We had a great chat with Colonel McPherson beside his restored Huey. We shopped the vendor booths, admired bikes and people-watched. This year lunch was a giant slice of pizza and a Pepsi at a sidewalk table from Sweet Baby Georges. Then we walked into the arcade and had a cone of soft serve ice cream.

Tim at Salute to American Veterans Rally - Cripple Creek CO

Vik at Salute to American Veterans Rally - Cripple Creek CO

We strolled through vendor tents for a while but knowing we wanted to get an early start in the morning we rolled down the mountain arriving in Colorado Springs about 3 pm. I called and checked in with the Folks and gathered most of our gear together before we went in search of something to eat.

Mo's Diner

Burritos smothered in green chili - yum!

We found a couple of beers and a smothered green chili burrito at Mo's Diner. We usually dine at Mo's sometime during our rally visit. It is a short stroll from the motel and the food is always made to order and while it is not fancy - it is always good. They have a great green chili - some of the best we've ever had.

Afterwards we chilled at the motel and called it an early night. Tomorrow we have a bunch of miles to cover.

Today's Mileage = 87

Slide show of Salute to American Veterans Rally = 72 photos
Alternate link to this slide show

We will never forget...

August 17, 2013
Colorado USA


This is the most awesome experience, a combination of honoring our POW-MIA Veterans and a gorgeous mountain ride with thousands of like-minded individuals (many of them Veterans -- all of them American Patriots and proud of it) and this year is special because it is the inaugural ride for what is now known as the POW/MIA Memorial Highway (Hwy 67 between Divide and Cripple Creek CO). The ride culminates with arrival in Cripple Creek rounding a corner to the sound of thousands cheering and waving ol' Glory in downtown Cripple Creek -- guaranteed to send chills down your spine and put a catch in your throat.