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Harley Davidson Travel Blog . . . and thoughts along the journey

travel rating service for serious riders. Restaurants, Hotels, Bike Gear, etc.

Local H.O.G Chapter

Monday, February 20, 2006

In the past I was always hesitant to join the local H.O.G ® Club Whitewater Valley Richmond, IN Chapter #1297, because their events usually took place over the weekend as a two day event or the events took place on a Sunday . . . and it was just hard to fit it in.

Dianne Spillers, who is an employee of the local Harley Davidson store, and an officer of the local HOG chapter informed me, that this year there will be a lot of 'one day' activities. So, . . . she bent my arm and I became a member.

April 1st I will bless the bikes and we will be ready to go!

Sparks Trike Conversions

Tuesday, February 07, 2006
After a 'brief' time off from riding, I think it is time to get the winter-tired body ready for the pick-up of my bike from storage. (Uuuuh - I can't wait . . . but I think I still have to wait until the end of March).

As almost every Saturday, I visit one of my favorite shops: The local Harley Davidson Dealer in Richmond, IN at 2240 Chester Blvd, Richmond, 47374 - (765) 962-0596. The staff is always friendly and helpful and it is a true pleasure to chat and to feel welcome.

A few weekends ago I had asked them if they knew of anyone who would be able to sew a patch on my leather jacket, and they referred me to Mrs. Sparks. So, I brought my jacket and patch there and about a week later I picked the jacket up. Mrs. Sparks did a great job! Then Mrs. Sparks told me about her business and explained to me that she and her husband are doing Motorcycle conversions.

The kit allows you to convert your motorcycle into a trike. And the best thing is, that you can take the kit off and on in about 5 minutes. the kit is manufactured by Voyager (check out the site) and to me it seems to be a great idea (even though I will wait a few more years . . . since I have not reached the age where I need 2 more wheels)

Anyway, if you should be interested I would recommend that you contact "Sparks Trike Conversions" at TrykeBarbie@aol.com. I promise you they are super-nice folks and you'll be happy you did.

Back home in Ohio

Monday, October 17, 2005
Well, I finally made it home after 4,415 miles on the road. I got home yesterday after staying one night in Casey, IL. I was unable to put anything on the Blog, since Casey, IL did not provide a local access number for my internet provider.

So . . . here I am back home. But I will for always remember the people I met and the places I saw. I met the people who escaped hurricane Katrina, I met the Japanese who rode his bicycle from Las Vegas, NV to the Grand Canyon, I met the people who sat in the local cafe, I met the couple who met each other in the street . . . and the list goes on forever.

I learned that we all want the same thing: . . . we want peace, talk about our town, city or State, and come home to our families.

Life is not as sterile as it is proclaimed to us by our changing "cyberworld". The difference of opinions is not as drastic as the talks shows seem to tell us and our country provides a tapestry of cultures that blooms in every corner. Although some of us need the help of others, we are a generous people, we are helpful and we are kind.

Life is more then checking the current mortgage rates, health and the future. Life is about living . . . life is to be lived with others. Life is to be shown and to show off. Life is to be thankful for its' core . . . to our God. Life is not to feel sorry, but to be able to change the sails and go to waters where the wind is stronger and where those winds will carry you to the shores where you can set your anchor.

Take a trip see and feel for yourself. . .

Boonville - Missourie

Friday, October 14, 2005
Well, I made it to Boonville, MO today. (small town) The weather was perfect . . . around 86 degrees. I could finally shed my leather jacket and just drive in a leather vest. Most of the day I drove through Kansas on St. Rt. 54 and on a toll-road I-435 until I hit I-70 in Kansas City, KS. I stopped at a rest stop on the toll-road and I met a truck driver who is a HD driver. He puts on an average of 25,000 miles per year (That A Boy . . . !! ) He told me about some of his rides and then he told me that the toll-road at some point belonged to a single family. I have to check that out later . . . if you have any info, let me know in the comment section. Kansas is a very pretty state and the landscape changes about every 100 miles or so. (and, if you did not guess it, Kansas takes a while to cross . . . :-0

Anyway, I wanted to share two stories with you THAT fall into the “Odd Category”:

1. The day I was in Bellemont, NM, and I stopped at the Harley dealer to have an oil change done, a group of bikers drove into the HD dealership parking lot. All of them had beautiful bikes and they were driving at a group. As they got off their bikes, I started a conversation and I noticed that all of them had some physical handicap. One was limping, another had his leg wrapped, etc. As they were getting ready to enter the store I glanced at the back of their jackets, which usually holds an emblem of a HOG chapter or any other membership. And I could not believe what I read: “Crippled Bastards”

2. As Mary and I were in Las Vegas, NV and we were waiting at a bus station, we overheard a couple beside us mentioning that they were going to get married in one of the “Las Vegas Marriage Chapels” (All of that belongs into the category of “must see” . . . very odd). Anyway, they had made reservation for the chapel service, but did not get a license from the courthouse. The problem was that it was Sunday and the courthouse was closed! The following day was Columbus Day and on that day as well the local courthouse was closed. We started a conversation and Mary and I calmed them down. We noticed that the woman was not an American and had very little to say about the wedding. (That was NOT because she couldn’t speak any English). I finally told them that I am an ordained minister and if push comes to shove I could marry them. It was at that point that the woman gave me and Mary a very (how do I want to call this. . . .) misgiving look aa if she was saying: “Don’t you understand I do not want to get married” Needless to say I did not say anymore and luckily the bus came.

. . . and that is it for today!


__________
Thought of the day:
Don't judge others . . . talk to people and they will tell you what they think of themselves!
_________

Total Miles: 3,915 miles
Miles today: 330 miles
Temperature: 86 degrees
Gas: $24.86

Wichita - Kansas

Thursday, October 13, 2005
As I wrote yesterday, I went this morning to visit the XIT Ranch museum in Dalhart, NM and it was great. (one fact: The barbed wire which once stretched for 6000 miles around the ranch was $1,755.00 . . at that time) If you are interested check out the link to the museum.

At about 10 A.M. I left on State Route 54 East, where I will eventually hit I-70. I don't know if I will drive I-70 home later on . . . or select another route.

State Route 54 takes you from I-40 all the way to I-70 and is a beautiful Road. As I was traveling on I-40 the previous two days, I constantly saw signs for Route 66, but when I checked the maps . . . there is NO Rt. 66 . . . very weird!

I am about 15 miles before Wichita, KS. Today was the first day where I actually saw trees and front lawns that were mowed and corn/wheat fields . . . the only difference between here and home is that open country. I drove again for miles and miles without any traffic and villages. It also appears the farther East I go the cheaper the gas is. The price dropped from an average of $3.20 to about $2.46 for super unleaded (91 octane)

Along State Route 54 run the tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad and while you drive for miles and miles the tracks become your friends:-) I can't imagine how much labor it must have taken to build these tracks, which often go over terrain that is not inviting to build tracks.

_________
Thought of the Day:
Focus on an objective and you can overcome difficult terrain
_________



Total Miles: 3585 miles
Miles today: 319 miles
Gas: $ 25.67
Temperature: 75 degrees

Dalhart - Texas

Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Once again the day started out to be a cold day. But it was a beautiful day to be alive. I hit Albuquerque, NM driving I-40 about an hour into my day and the city is a beautiful city with her architecture and her location in the valley surrounded by stunning mountains. As I was driving through the city a gravel dump truck was driving in front of me and a gravel piece flew into my face. I have a cut in my face, but the bleeding did not last too long. It was more the shock when the piece hit me, then the wound itself. Not too worry, everything is fine! (and I found the gravel piece on my seat . . . nice memory)

As I was stopping for a cup of coffee close to Tucumcari, NM (the weather was now warmer), I met a very nice couple on a bike (Yamaha . . . OK!) Both joined me for a cup of coffee and told me their story of riding. Bernie Evans (the guy- around 43 years old; from Chillicothe, OH) told me that he had to have a pace maker in March. He mentioned that it changed his life forever and he left with his bike to go “West” and to do some ‘soul searching’. As he made one of his stops in Durango, CO, he literally met Rebecca Loeb on the street as he was taking a walk and they stayed together ever since. Rebecca is from Monterey, CA and was visiting her uncle and seeking a position as a cardiac technician in Durango, CO. Anyway, they both decided to drive to his home in Ohio and then . . . go from there. We talked about God, destinies and life until we split. She also told me that her Dad is a writer, who wrote the book: “Anthem”


I decided to take State Route 54 North toward Dalhart, TX. I made it to Dalhart, TX and I will stay here one night. On my way here I saw cattle feed ots that are bigger then our county. And as I was eating my dinner I met “Boog Wallace”, who used to own the restaurant for 35 years and he gave me the ‘run down’ on this part of the country: There are three cattle feedlots, and the biggest of them hold 185,000 cattle. Yes, that is 185,000 cattle!!! Close by is the small town of Etter,TX where IBP slaughters up to 3,000 cattle an hour. And as if that is not enough, within a hundred-mile radius there are over 1 Million heads of cattle. I knew Texas was big in everything . . . but nothing can top this. But as if that is not enough, he told me what the area is really known for . . . and that is the largest ranch in the USA. This area was part of the XIT-Ranch. In 1880 the ranch was 3 Million acres large and all fenced in. Imagine 6000 miles of fencing.

Well, I will take the time to visit the local XIT-Ranch museum tomorrow morning and then I will be on my way again. I am not sure what route I will take . . . but I will check on that after I log off tonight.

By the way . . . NO Nextel connection here in Dalhart, TX


____________
Thought of the day:
Go soul-searching and the answer will come to you
____________


Total miles: 3,266 miles
Miles today: 354 miles
Temperature: 32 degrees to 70 degrees
Gas: $ 24.58

Grants - New Mexico

Tuesday, October 11, 2005
When I got up today I was surprised by 28 degrees cold weather. My HD was covered with ice and the top of the San Francisco Peaks (at Flagstaff, AZ) had snow on them. I changed into warm clothes and full leather. As the day progressed the day got “warmer” to about 65 degrees or so and it was a very enjoyable ride. The landscape changed on I-40 to ‘mountain country’ and the cooler weather gave the landscape a different dimension. Everything seemed to be more in focus, sharper and visible with more clarity. The ride was great.


For lunch I stopped at a Jerry’s in Holbrook, AZ and as I parked my bike, another HD rider parked his. We exchanged a few words outside and then we went inside and sat together and had lunch. Bob (the guys name . . . he looked rugged) mentioned that he was not sure where he was going, he just knew that he would go East. (OK, I thought here I am with some flunked out guy . . . ) He told me that he was from Santa Paula, CA and he just retired. Come to find out, Robert Gonzales retired as the Chief of Police from the Santa Paula Police department. We had quite an extensive conversation and we literally struck up a friendship. He told me that one of the things he was going to do on his trip was seeking the lineage of his Dad in some town in NM , since he knew very little about him. At the end of our lunch Bob gave me a patch and a pin from his police department and we went our way . . . but not without telling him that if he ever comes to Ohio to stop by my house.

My hope was to reach Albuquerque, NM today, but I was too tired to make it (because of the cool weather) So I stopped in Grants, NM. When you enter Grants, NM you see a giant lava field and it looks very destructive. The lava supposedly came from Mount Taylor, a big mountain behind Grants, NM.

As I made my hotel reservation in the lobby of the hotel, I asked the receptionist, what Grants, NM is famous for and the answer was plain and simple: “NOTHING” But then an assistant (her name was Sophia, a young Navaho Indian) spoke up in a quite, but authoritative voice: “That is not true! My grandmother told me a story when I was little, and she told me that the Taylor brothers came here a long time ago and killed a large giant who lived in the mountains. He was so huge that when he fell the blood streamed from the mountain and what you believe is a lava field is the hardened blood of the giant. Believe me it is true!”


______________
Thought of Today:
Reality finds truth in what we know
______________


Total miles: 2912 miles
Miles today: 276 miles
Gas: $23.56
28 degrees to 65 degrees