Monday, July 28, 2014

Bulldog Bingo Ride

Saturday we rode on the Bulldog Bingo Ride, all proceeds went to Montana Special Olympics.  This is the ride that the Undersheriff of Big Horn County worked hard on and put together.  He worked with our friend Colette Haun, who is the Marketing Director at Beartooth Harley.

The Undersheriff came up to my office several times for me to get the word out to our HOG Chapter way back in May.  We checked our calendar and we had nothing planned that day, so we said we would ride in it.

The Undersheriff told me that he has a bunch of prizes and not just t-shirts.  Two of the big prizes that was up for a raffle were a pistol and a rifle.  He had a bunch of other prizes too. 

Registration was at the Harley shop from 9:00 am-10:00 am.  There was going to be breakfast served, but we were on our own for meals. 

We left Hardin a bit early just before 8 and got to the Harley shop in plenty of time.  The group serving breakfast made their version of the McMuffin, ok it was really a mcmuffin and they are delicious.  The group doesn't charge for it, but takes donations.  They have served their breakfast for us on other rides as well.  They belong to our Chapter.  It was good.

I got us signed up, I was confused about the poster, it didn't really specify how the bingo was going to be run.  The poster said the blackout was $15, but you could play regular bingo for $5.  I was under the impression that on the regular bingo you would get one number at each stop.  Nope, a game of regular bingo was played at each stop for $5 each.  There were 5 stops in all.  I just played the blackout, as that was all the money that I brought.  Not too many rules but the main was that we had to be at the 4th stop in Billings before 4:00 pm.  The Undersheriff had arranged an escort from the 4th stop (which was in Billings Heights) to our final stop (Hudson's which was on Grand).

The raffle items were on display at the dealership, this was a raffle that you bought your tickets and put them in a basket for the item you wanted.  The one item that Gary really wanted was an autographed football by Kroy Biermann.  He plays for the Atlanta Falcons and he is a Hardin boy who Gary coached in high school.  He is Hardin's pride and joy.

We have never played bingo on a run before and didn't know what to expect, but it was a lot of fun.  With poker hands you know after the 3rd stop how well you are doing or not doing.  With bingo you can win at the very end.

The route was a simple one, just 75 miles.  We went from Billings to Hardin to Custer to Huntley then the last two stops were in Billings. Yep, we rode Billings to Hardin and back twice.

There were about 30 riders in all, we didn't ride the with main pack we were ahead of them.  Our friend Ron rode with us.  We took our leisure time getting from stop to stop.  At the stop in Custer the bar had a lunch special for the ride and he makes outstanding chili.  Our friend wanted to eat, so Gary had a bowl of chili and I took a couple bites.  I was still full from our breakfast at the dealership.

At the stop in Huntley we had to wait for the bingo numbers to arrive, so just had a drink then we made our way to the 4th stop in Billings.  Got our numbers and I was in trouble.  At each stop we got 10 numbers in all, 2 for each letter. I needed 11 numbers at the last two stops.  If no one got a blackout on the ride, then numbers would be drawn at the last stop until someone did.  By the time I got to the last stop, I only needed 5 numbers.  Our friend Ron went home after the 4th stop (he lives in the Heights) so he gave us his card to finish out. 

We rode to the last stop with the group, Gary doesn't like riding in parades and we weren't really comfortable riding with this group.  They are seasoned riders but they don't ride a lot in groups and it showed.  No clear rules on what to do at traffic lights and the law enforcement escorting us didn't stop traffic.  Needless to say we got separated into three groups by the lights.  Oh well.

I bought our raffle tickets we bought $10 worth and we put of the tickets for the autographed football.  Guess what we won, yep the football.  Not only did we get the football, we also got a Law Enforcement Torch Run t-shirt, a sheriff coffee mug and a Big Horn County Sheriff's patch all autographed by Kroy.  Kroy's wife Kim Zolciak also autographed the t-shirt and coffee mug.  She is a tv personality on some reality shows.  In fact the Hardin group did very well with raffle items.  Two Hardin guys won the guns and a bunch of other stuff.

We had a good time and would do this ride again next year.  The Undersheriff is already making plans but he is getting help this time by the Undersheriff from Yellowstone County. 

We ended up spending the night in Billings, our friend Colette and her husband had us stay with them.  Colette said it was ridiculous to ride back to Hardin again after the day.  They fed us supper and we had a good time visiting.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Iron Horse Rally

Sunday Gary and I went to Red Lodge to check out the activities of the Iron Horse Rally.  We met our friends Marty & Vickie at their house at 8:00 am then rode to Rockvale for breakfast.  We had to leave our house at 7:00 and it was nice and cool in the morning.  The temperatures forecast were high 90's and into the 100's.

We got into Red Lodge around 10:00 am.  Red Lodge was pretty busy and there is road construction just as you get into town.  The state is building a round about at the intersection of the highway where you turn to go to Absarokee.  Fortunately no work was being done on Sunday.  We found a parking spot just off of Main Street.  No sense trying to find one on Main Street, nothing but bikes.

We walked up and down the street, checked out some vendor tents and looked at some pretty neat bikes.  Gary and I even saw an old co-worker of ours from the Sheriff's Office, David Stirling.  Saw some of our HOG friends so got some visiting in.

It was starting to get warm as we made our way up Bear Tooth Pass, once we passed Vista Point and made our way to the top it was very cool and windy.  Didn't see any wild animals on this trip, but did see some kids snowboarding on the snow.

We stopped at our usual places-Vista Point, Top of the World store and The Gorge.  Once we got to the store then it got warmer as we made our way down.  By the time we hit Dead Indian it was hot.  It's always hot on that side of the mountain.

Marty & Vickie bought a new bike and this one has a digital thermometer it read 104 degrees when we turned towards Belfry. 

I told Gary that he needs to have the air conditioning on the bike looked at, first it was cold then it was hot.  Doesn't work well at all.

We got home around 4:00 and had a good time.  We stopped in Billings and had lunch with our friends at the Montana Brew Pub downtown.  We are going to have to spend some time downtown, have eating places that we need to explore.

Ski Bench

Ski Chair

Mountain and Meadow

Still snow on top

Pretty lake on Chief Joseph

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

State HOG Rally

We participated in the State HOG Rally over the 4th weekend.  The rally was held in Billings July 3-5, our chapter was the host.  We were not part of the planning committee but we did volunteer to help out.

When we registered we also made our hotel reservations for the whole weekend.  We debated back and forth about staying in Billings, but it would have been late.  We knew we would be drinking anyway so just stayed.

Registration was $55 per person and with that you got a rally t-shirt, rally pin and entrance into the banquet.  The host hotel made a deal on rooms and it was just under $100 per night with tax.  Not bad.  We had to buy breakfast as this hotel doesn't have complimentary breakfasts.

Gary and I volunteered to be dealers on the two poker runs.  As it turned out we only had to deal on one run.  It was a full scheduled for the days.  Thursday was registration all day long and there were bike games at the dealership from 4:00-6:00 pm.  On Thursday and Friday night were mixers with live music.  There was a poker run on both Friday and Saturday along with two observations runs.  One went over the Beartooths and the other was to McLeod to the Natural Bridge site.  Saturday was the banquet.

We played the games, there was only two.  The first was the balloon toss, I had to toss a water balloon over a bar and catch it.  I missed the balloon but Gary didn't get wet.  The other game was the buffalo shoot.  You shoot a buffalo with paint balls.  Let's just say that buffalo are safe with me shooting a paint gun.  It was all in fun.  Thursday's night mixer we had a BBQ of burgers and brats that the hotel cooked for us.  It was $5 per person our chapter paid the other half, the live music was a band called 7th Avenue.  They played rock and roll music.  Had a good time.

We were dealers on Friday and our stop was at Fat Fender Freddies in Laurel.  This bar is located just out of town on the way to Rockvale along the river.  We had to be there from 12:00-2:00.  We ended up staying to 3:00.  We were nice and cool inside the bar, many of the participants were coming in fanning themselves so we figured it was pretty warm.  Not used that the heat, as June was rainy and cold.

Friday's poker run started from the dealership, made it's way to Ballentine then into Billings with a stop at the museum by the airport, then down to Laurel and back to the dealership.  Had to be back at the dealership by 4:00 so that everyone who wanted could participate in the parade.  We just had time to get to the hotel to drop off some of our stuff then make it to the Metra by 4:30.

Had a nice turn out for the parade, Billings police dept stopped traffic at intersections for us and it was fun running red lights.  The route took us downtown Billings, up 27th St towards the airport, across the rims and back to the Metra.  As we were making our way back to the hotel for the mixer we got caught in a short rain storm.  We weren't wearing our helmets and that rain sure hurt.  We were only in it for a couple minutes but enough to get us wet.

I forgot what the band's name was for the mixer but they were more of a blue grass type of band, not bad just not our kind of music.  The hotel cooked a BBQ for us again, same as Thursday only we had to pay full price of $10.  Had a good time visiting with people.  It was all fun.

Saturday we rode on the poker run.  This one took us from the dealership to Columbus, over to Red Lodge, then across Bear Creek and back to Billings.  If you wanted you could pick up an extra card in Cody but had to be back in Billings by 4:00.

I had a good hand going, a straight until I drew my 3rd card.  That blew that out of the water.  We led a couple people on this ride.  Instead of heading straight to Columbus we took them on a scenic route.  We left the dealership, then took river road to Laurel and then Joliet, took the cut across into Columbus.

For lunch we ate at Bear Creek at the little cafe called Hungry Bear.  Their claim to fame is their world famous banana cream pie.  Gary and I shared a cheeseburger then we each had a piece of banana cream pie.  It was good but not what I would consider world famous.

We got back to Billings pretty early.  My hand was screwed up big time.  My first two draws were a 6 and 7.  Then I drew a 2 and my 4th was a 3.  By the time I made it to the dealership for my last card I was on a role for low hand until I drew a queen.  I can't even lose to win.

It was pretty hot out in the high 90's.  We went back to the hotel and got into the pool to cool down.  Our friends had to run some errands in Billings but would meet us at the banquet.

Doors for the banquet opened at 6:30 and would start at 7:00.  We went down to the bar at 6 for a drink and visited with people.  Found a table to sit at.  For the meal we were served prime rib and chicken with a salad and vegetable and dessert.  Food was good.  Awards were handed out for the oldest rider, the youngest rider.  Who rode the oldest bike and who traveled the farthest.  Poker hand winners were handed out and also for the games.

The biggest surprise was a group from Korea had popped in, they were invited to stay and eat.  They were staying the night at the hotel and was told about our rally going on.  That was nice.  HOG is worldwide.

There was a sad moment at the rally when a participant was hit by a car in Billings on Thursday.  It was the biker's fault for not yielding to traffic.  He tried to make a left hand turn across two lanes of traffic.  Didn't see the car in the far lane.  He is going to be ok, he had to have surgery to remove his spleen.  He is from Canada so they are going to be in a  huge shock when they get the bill and get first hand experience about the American medical system.  Not sure how that would work for them.

After the banquet we went back to the bar for more drinks.  Really enjoyed ourselves.  A group from Red Deer Canada sat with us and they were funny.  We laughed alot.  We have been invited to visit them in Red Deer.  I can see a road trip in our future.

All in all we had a good time and it was a fast weekend.  Glad the weather cooperated and we are finally getting summer.  Looking forward to our next get away in August when we visit the Bley's in Meeteetse.

Here are some photos of our weekend.  The rest are on picasa.
Our poker dealing spot

1930 Harley owner rode in parade

Saturday night mixer

Poker stop in Bear Creek