Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Charity Ride; Patriot Guard; Chico Ride

This past week has been a busy one for us. On the 22nd Gary and I rode in the HOG Charity Ride. This ride raises money for school supplies to the Title I schools in Billings. It was a success last year and we raised $1500. This year it was not a big turn out. About 40 people in all participated. Gary and I ended up being dealers at the first stop. The cost was $20 per hand or school supplies. This year Gary and I donated 6 backpacks and 18 notebooks. Gary got the backpacks and notebooks from IGA. We actually had two cases of notebooks, but they were too heavy to load on the bike. The rest of the notebooks I gave to our tae kwon do kids. We had a good time.

Friday the 27th we had a Patriot Guard Mission in Billings. This was the first mission for Gary being the ride captain since he got elected to the Montana Patriot Guard Riders Board of Directors. He is the Eastern Montana ride captain. He has plenty of help and everything went smoothly. This was for a pilot who was killed in Viet Nam in 1971. His remains were identified and he was finally brought home after 39 years. The funeral services were at Holy Rosary church in Billings and he was buried in Laurel in the Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetary. The weather was great, not hot and not cold. It was a huge turnout for this one. There are some photos on the Billings Gazette website. There is one of us, but you have to look hard for it. Gary is wearing is Viet Nam Veteran hat. The photos are under Magers Funeral gallery.

Saturday the 28th we headed out on the Chico ride with the HOG group. This is an overnighter at Chico Hot Springs and we ride through Yellowstone Park. It was pretty cloudy when we left and rain was in the forecast. We rode through Red Lodge and over the Beartooth Pass with a stop at Vista Point. We got into rain at the top of the pass, so we are putting on our rain gear while it's raining. Not an easy thing to do. We stopped in Cooke City for lunch and the rain just poured and it was like that all day long. This year we bought a National Park pass and it sure paid for itself already. I had the pass out when we went through the gate and sure enough the ranger had to see an ID. Gary's ID was in his wallet and in order for him to get to it he would have had to taken off all his rain gear then put it back on. Since my name is on the pass she could see my ID which I had in my purse in the trunk. This was the first time we had to show an ID with our pass, so lesson learned, keep pass and ID together. As we were going up Dunraven Pass the rain was coming down pretty fast and hard. The group stopped at Canyon and it was decided to just go on to Chico. The original plan was to head down to Old Faithful and go through the new visitor center. We ran into fog at Mammoth. Was so glad to reach Chico.

While I was checking us in at the resort Gary parked the bike and was getting our overnight bag out when our trunk broke. The whole latch assembly just fell off. It was just glued on. Gary said a few happy words then he was real upset when he saw that it was just glued on. Said for the money we paid you would think things were put together better. Fortunately he had some bungee cords with him to get us home. Since our bike is a Lehman conversion he is going to call Lehman in Spearfish to find out what kind of glue to use and if they will send us a tube. He really doesn't want to take it to the dealership to fix, as it would take weeks.

Our night at Chico was alot of fun. The whole group met at the bar where we ate dinner and had drinks. Later we enjoyed the hot pools, perfect for a day in the cold. After the pools closed we went back to the bar. They had a live band there that night. It was the same band that was at the Road Dogs Christmas party and we really enjoyed them. The band is called Jamelution from Bozeman and they play the classic rock & roll from the 60's, 70's and 80's. Gary and I even learned how to play shuffleboard. Just had a very enjoyable night.

Sunday morning it was time to check out. We all rode together for breakfast in Livingston. After breakfast everyone said their goodbyes as we all left in different directions once we hit Billings. Normally this ride is held the first weekend in September, but with Labor Day this year our group couldn't get the block of rooms so it was moved up a weekend. The weather forecast for this weekend is sunny in the 80's & 90's. Figures. Gary and I are hoping that we can add this ride as an annual event. We sure enjoyed ourselves.

All of my photos are posted on my picasa site.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nation of Patriots

Last weekend, Gary and I participated in the Nation of Patriots. This is a group that raises money for wounded soldiers. They are based in Wisconsin and they start a tour of the American Flag being escorted through the lower 48 states in a month. With such a huge undertaking, the group asked the Harley Owners Group if they would escort the flag from one leg to another. The flag has to be back in Wisconsin where it started by Sept. 4th.

Our friend Dale Butterfield headed the Billings group to escort the flag from Billings to Jackson with a stop in Cody. He picked up the flag in a ceremony in Billings on the 13th. We couldn't be at the dealership to watch this as we were working.

We told Dale that we would ride with him to Jackson. We made our reservations for Jackson. There were two other couples who went with us all the way to Jackson.

We spent the night at Dale & Kitty's. She had dinner for us along with our friends Marty & Vicky. She made homemade tacos, they were very good. All we had to bring was the beer. I took an hour off from work and we made our way to Billings. It was raining in Hardin when we left, so we had to put on our rain gear before heading out. We got out of the rain at Fly Creek. Got to Billings, picked up our beer and headed to the Butterfields.

On Saturday morning it was raining so had to put on the rain gear again. The weather didn't look promising. We met the others at the dealership and picked up two more bikes in Laurel. In all there were 8 bikes and 13 people for the ride to Cody. While we were waiting at the dealership I called up Mmom to see what the weather was like in Wyoming. It was reported that it was nicy and sunny, but had rained earlier during the night. That was great news. I told Mmom what we were doing and didn't know if they wanted to take a ride to Cody to meet us or not.

We arrived in Cody around 9:30 am. We stopped at the gas station at the edge of town to take off our rain gear and to get the flag ready for the short ride to the Cody dealership. Mmom had left me a message that they were parked in front. We all posed for a photo op as the local paper reporter was there to write a small story. After we signed the book for this leg, we all went across the street to the Irma for a coffee break. Got a good visit in with the Gma's before we had to get ready and head to Jackson.

Two bikers turned around and headed back to Billings, while the rest of us continued on through Yellowstone Park. We stopped at Fishing Bridge for a short break where one rider headed back home. When we got to the West Thumb Junction we lost another rider. Now we have four bikes and 8 people.

It was free admittance into the National Parks that weekend, but we have our annual pass anyway. Had nice weather. Once we got into Teton Park we pulled over at Colter Bay for a break and took off some more layers.

We pulled into Jackson around 4:00 pm and again we stopped to get ready for a short parade through town to the dealership. Once we got to the dealership they called the guy who was taking the flag on the next leg. We only had to wait about 15 minutes. Not too long. Went through the ceremony of passing the flag from one leg to the next. Not only was there the flag, but the banner that the dealerships sign. There was a book that went along with it that all the riders sign plus a couple plaques. One was a proclamation signed by a California congressman and the other was a certificate that the Blue Angels verified that the flag was flown over Pensacola Florida.

We all then checked into our hotel, which was across the street from the dealership. Got checked in and cleaned up then headed to the Cowboy Bar. We all had burgers here as we didn't stop to eat lunch. After the bar we walked through Jackson, stopped in the Silver Dollar Bar. This is the one that has silver dollars inlaid in the bar. Then back to the hotel. There is a liquor store right next to our hotel, so we stopped to get some beer to drink at the hotel. We all sat around and visited and started planning for next years trip. Gary was told that it was his turn to plan the trip and our friend Marty & Vicky want to go. It was the general consensus to go through the Redwoods.

On Sunday morning we had to get back home to work. Dale & Kitty then went on to Salmon Idaho for a small trip. The rest of us went on back home. Instead of going through the park, we went through Idaho to West Yellowstone to home. It was a nice ride. It added about 80 miles for us, but time wise it was a wash. It would have taken us just as long if we went through the park.

In front of the Cody Harley Dealership.

In the Cowboy Bar in Jackson (from the left: Vicky & Marty Davis; Pat & Gary Liming; Dale & Kitty Butterfield; Aletha & Jake Moran)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

History Ride

Last Sunday, Gary and I went on the HOG Chapter History Ride to the Lewis & Clark Caverns. It was not a good turn out. Only 4 bikes and 8 people, but we went on the ride anyway.

Had to be at the dealership by 9:00, met up with the other riders and made our way towards Three Forks. We arrived at the caverns. None of us was interested in going through the caverns anyway. The only ones who did was the father & son. The rest of us decided to head to Virginia City for lunch.

One of the women had suggested Virginia City instead of the caverns at the dealership, but the man leading us said NO, we have to go to the caverns. We get credit for riding tickets by going to the caverns. She had suggested Virginia City because it is historical and none of us were interested in going through the caverns anyway.

Our group headed towards Virginia City, when we met up with a friend who hung out with us in Deadwood at the highway. Had a good lunch in Virginia City. The guys sat outside by the bikes, while us women went walking and looking in the tourist shops. That's when we saw the colorful local.

A storm was coming in, so the guys wanted to get going to beat the storm. While we were getting ready to go a Chinese family stopped to look at our bikes and take photos. The guy was more interested in the trikes and he was just snapping away. He kept shooing us out of his photo while we were getting ready. Finally told them that we had to go to beat the storm.

We did beat the storm. Stopped in Livingston for gas. Good thing because at Big Timber we were behind a huge storm that dumped alot of rain. The highway was very wet. At Park City we got into some strong winds. Gary and I did get caught in some rain at Billings. Not very long. From the King Ave Exit to the Lockwood Exit. Just enough to make our clothes damp.

By the time we made it to the top of Pryor Hill we were dry. We did learn a lesson from this. Don't go out drinking the night before a 600 mile ride. Gary was pretty tired when we got home.

This weekend we are going to Jackson with our friends Dale & Kitty Butterfield, Marty & Vicky Davis. A group called Patriots of America is escorting the American Flag across the 48 states in a month. The group wanted HOG members across the states to escort the flag to the various stops.

Dale will be picking up the flag on Friday and we will meet up with him to escort to Jackson on Saturday. Will be coming home on Sunday.

Monday, August 9, 2010

John Hamburg Memorial Poker Run

This past weekend Hardin had the first annual Extreme Days. Saturday morning Gary and I participated in the John Hamburg Memorial Poker Run. John Hamburg's grandson put the poker run together. He was hoping to get 100 people, but there were 14 bikes and 19 people.

It was a short run, 125 miles. The first and last hands were dealt in Hardin. Our stops were Sarpy Creek, Hysham and Custer. For $10 you got two poker hands.

Our friends from Billings came down, we met them at Spirits Casino (Corner Pocket). Breakfast of biscuits and gravy was served for free. They had us poker players stick around. We each got a ticket, originally they were going to draw for prizes, but they had enough that all the players got t-shirts. In fact Gary and I ended up the three t-shirts. Then the newly formed Hardin Police Dept escorted us out of town. It was funny because it looked like the police were escorting us trashy bikers out of town. We were paraded through town.

The final stop in Hardin was at the gates for the Extreme Days. Our friends didn't want to see the mud bogs and we were hungry so we ate lunch at La Chalupa. Our friends had to get back home to Billings so they gave us their beer tickets. There were two others who rode with us. One is a Patriot Guard Rider from Roundup and the other guy was a local who never participated in a poker run so he was sort of lost.

The Patriot Guard Rider and the local guy wanted to go back to Spirits to get their free beer, so we went with them. Home is just across the street anyway. Most of the poker players were already inside. The local who never participated in a poker run and didn't know what to do ended up winning for lowest hand. A lady won for the best hand and she bought the bikers a drink. Gary and I used our free drink chip for later in the evening.

We never did make it to the mud bogs. By the time we drank our free beer, we just went home to get some stuff done before we went out later for the street dance. The street dance was being held at Spirits anyway, so we just as well go. Wouldn't get any quiet anyway.

The casino was having a live band inside the bar, while outside was a DJ for the street dance. We stayed inside were we had a good seat and it was nice a cool. We drank our two free beers each and then ended up buying two more as friends started filling in. The band inside was Mojocatz from Bozeman. They played classic rock & roll from the 60's & 70's and some blues. They were very good. Inside they were giving away stuff and we ended up with another t-shirt; a hat; and a blinking light that you clip on your shirt.

Had a good time and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Next year we may make it to watch the mud races and truck pulls. The Extreme Days was a fund raiser for the newly formed police department. Last word we heard was there were 250 people at the mud bog races for Saturday. Our mayor, Kim Hammond, told us that the towns people didn't know that she was going to turn Hardin into a biker town when they elected her. Kim rides a Harley too.

Hardin wants to make this an annual event and to catch bikers headed to Sturgis. A few did attend the street dance, only because they were staying at the Wester Motel. The powers to be did learn alot from this and they said that next year it will be better. They now know how to advertise for this.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sisters Make You A Better Person

Just read an article in the news that having sisters makes you a better person. The study was done on teens, but I am making it work for me.

I have two sisters, so I guess this makes me doubly a better person. Didn't really say anything about brothers, but the study did say that it is best to have siblings. The study also didn't go into detail about age differences either.

Siblings promote good deeds and foster charitable attitudes. Sibling affection and good deeds is twice as strong at parental affection and good deeds.

The study didn't go into detail about sibling rivalry or what happens when a person is estranged from their siblings. In my case I am fortunate that none of us are estranged from each other.

Thank you Mary and Bonnie for making me a better person. I will also thank Ed after all he is a sibling too.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Idaho California Trip

Last week I spent eight days on the road. This is our annual girls road trip with my mom and daughter. We had a great time.

First stop was in Idaho Falls to visit with Robert. This time I took a different route on the way down because I've never been to Idaho Falls that way before. We went to Whitehall then down to Dillon. Caught I-15 at Dillon on our way to Idaho Falls. I ended up having to take a detour because of the Blue Angels Air Show, so I ended up on the highway I always take. We checked into our hotel and then met Robert at Denny's. After eating Robert drove us around to check out the sites of Idaho Falls.

Robert got tickets for the Sunday performance to the air show. He had called me up before I left to make sure I brought some chairs to sit on as there was no seating in the spectators area. It was a good thing I listened to him. The gates opened at 9:00 am and we were there on time. There were some planes on display that we could check out. We were able to get inside the cargo plane and I was able to sit in the pilot's seat. It was a very enjoyable show and we got alot for our money. Not only did we get to see the Blue Angels, but we also got to see the aerial acrobatics from others. We were there from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. It took a long time to get out of the parking lot. It was announced that there were 50,000 people at the show. Will be getting my photos up soon. Took Robert out for a nice meal, then we just visited. He had to get to him home and get to bed as he had to work the next day bright and early at 4:00 am. Before leaving town, we did stop by his place of work for a short good bye.

We made our way west towards California. Stopped in Reno and stayed at the Boomtown Casino. I gambled for a couple hours and came out even. Mom watched me and Jennifer shopped in the gift shop. On Tuesday we made our way to Napa to meet with Spuddies neighbors and friends for lunch. Mom had to pick up some coins anyway. After lunch we made our way down to San Luis Obispo for the night. Met up with a relative who is doing the geneology of the Carlson family.

This is the day we played tourist. We went through the San Luis Obispo Mission. It was very interesting, we also went through a historical museum about San Luis Obispo. We then found our way to Bubble Gum Alley. This is just a small alley way with chewed bubble gum plastered all over the walls. Not a place to go if you are a germaphobe. I had read about this in some travel news but couldn't remember where it was. We found it. Didn't put any gum on the walls as I don't chew gum anymore. Stopped in Solvang before making our way to Oxnard.

Got checked into our hotel then called Jason. I got directions on how to get to their place and it was real easy. They live on one of the main streets in the city. Jason & Jeni and her aunt just moved into their new place a couple weeks before we arrived. A nice apartment and they are able to have their pets. A good thing. Jason & Jeni have a dog while her aunt has six cats. Not a good place when you have allergies. Good thing I brought some pills with me.

Mary and the little girls met up with us in Oxnard on Thursday afternoon. We spent the morning with Jason & Jeni at the mall, then went to the hotel to get Mary and the girls. We then went back to Jason's apartment to go swimming in their pool. The water was very cold, but we got to warm up in the hot tub. A very enjoyable afternoon. Later we went out to dinner. Jeni's aunt was too tired to go out with us on this night, she just wanted to stay home and relax. We had a great meal and I got to try a pazookie. Very interesting dessert. Basically it's a very large warm cookie with ice cream on top. I took the kids back to their place and got a short visit with Jeni's aunt. She gave me directions on how to get back on I-15. Very straight forward.

Friday morning came and time to start heading back home. The week went by very fast. Got a late start leaving Oxnard, but it was ok missed all the morning traffic. Mary and I had fun passing each other on the highway. Once we got to the I-15 interchange we headed north and she headed south.

Spent two very long days in the car to get home. Did get to stop in Idaho Falls one more time for a quick visit with Robert. I delivered Jason his tv and he had a play station in the box so I took it with me. He gave it to Robert as he already has game systems. I got rid of some of their stuff out of my house and I didn't take any back with me.

Had a great time visiting with my boys. Don't get to see them very often, it was two years since I visited with them last.