#HOGWild18: Day 1- Dallas To Magnolia, Arkansas

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Well, it’s here! The official start of #HOGWild18. Scott and I didn’t think it was going to happen because we first had an issue at the house and had to wait on a contractor (and you know they never do anything fast), and then we caught a stomach bug that would have made things very awkward if we weren’t married. As it was, we staggered our illnesses so we were able to take care of each other. Yay marriage!

Speaking of marriage, it’s officially our anniversary. We pulled up to the hotel in Magnolia, Arkansas one minute until midnight. We kissed, high-fived, and thought about dancing under the carport, but we were both hungry and tired, so we’ve put off dancing until tomorrow night (uhh…later tonight since it’s past midnight).

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(this is us after the kiss and high-five)

I should go back to the beginning of the day, since we didn’t just arrive in Magnolia by magic. We had no plans to leave today. We had no plans at all since we weren’t sure how we were going to feel coming into this trip. But we’ve got tickets to see Harry Connick Jr. in North Carolina, and my will is strong where he is concerned.

I went to get my nails done before the trip, and while I was sitting in the chair I had an epiphany. Since neither of us were no longer vomiting, we should head out immediately. Like tonight. While it wasn’t 5,000 degrees outside in the midst of a Texas summer.

I immediately sent a text to Scott saying we should leave at 7:00 and just ride until dark, just to beat the heat and take some time off our ride. He said okay, and then I immediately sent him a frantic list of all the things that needed to get done before we left. He didn’t seem impressed by my list, and he didn’t seem in a hurry. I was perplexed.

I sped home with the list on my mind and was grateful to see he’d read his texts. He was pulling out shirts to wear so I could get the bags packed. But there were still so many things to be done. I told Scott to leave the packing to me (because otherwise he’d leave the house with a pair of underwear and a bandana, and forget all the stuff in between), and I asked him to go take the sheets out of the dryer and put them back on the guest bed.

I was chugging along, ticking things off my packing list, and I needed to ask Scott if he was going to pack his flip-flops. So I went off to find him. In the guest bedroom. Where he was supposed to be putting sheets on the bed. Mind you, he’d been in there almost half an hour. When I stepped into the guest room, there he was, laying in the middle of a bed with no sheets on it, watching Fox News on his phone.

I gave him the same look I give the kids when I catch them doing things like that. And he gave me the same grin the kids give when they know they’ve been caught. Scott is very good at getting out of trouble. All I know is we were suddenly dancing in circles and I was helping Scott make up the bed. I’m not sure how he does it.

Anyway, we were behind schedule so I went back to packing and laying out my clothes for the night ride. That’s when he asked me if those were my clothes for the next day. I told him, “No, those are my clothes for tonight.” He looked confused and then asked why I was wearing them tonight. I told him it was because we were leaving to go on the trip tonight. He seemed very surprised by this information.

I asked him if he actually read any of the texts I sent, or if he just responded okay out of habit. But to be fair, I did just say 7:00 and didn’t specify whether it would be a.m. or p.m. (though I personally thought it was self-explanatory enough, but whatevs).

But I did discover why he wasn’t in as much of a hurry as I was, which made total sense considering he thought we were leaving the next day. Somehow we managed to get packed, get the house straightened, and I’m pretty sure we didn’t forget anything too important.

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We were treated to a beautiful sunset over Rockwall Lake, and the weather was perfect into Arkansas.

It’s about an hour and change into our anniversary, so I’m going to wrap this up by saying I’m so thankful to be married to a man like Scott, and I look forward to many more amazing years. We’ll let you know how anniversary day went in tomorrow night’s post.

Until Tomorrow! (I promise I’ll take more pictures tomorrow, but it was dark most of the trip tonight)

Leah and Scott

#HOGWild18 – Motorcycle Cross Country Adventure Starts Soon

Hi All,

We’ve put some fantastic miles on the bike since our cross-country adventure last year. It was such an amazing experience that we’re doing it again. Except time we’ll be heading east from Dallas.

When I think back to just a year ago, Leah & I were so excited and nervous about doing this. We asked for and were blessed with so many suggestions about what to pack that I think we incorporated them all. It was a big list and we probably looked like the Beverly Hillbillies.

We feel so much more ready this time around. The big lesson was that it wasn’t about the technology or the gadgets. It was about the road. As each day passed last year, we became unconnected to the world, and closer to God and each other.

Come along this year and we’ll try our best to post after each day’s adventure. We had a ball taking turns sharing each other’s perspective on alternating days. Sign up or click to follow the blog, and check us out at Marriage Matters while you’re in the Like clicking mood.

We’re praying for a similar experience this year. We’re also packing fewer miles into most days so we can spend more time enjoying the locations and meet up with friends along the way. There might even be a Harry Connick, Jr. concert along the way. If you’re along the route, let’s connect if possible.

We’ll be heading toward different terrain than last year, so if you have good advice or experience, we’d love to hear about it. We’re connecting with friends from our church’s small group. It’s a married group of motorcycle enthusiasts from Gateway Church. They’re introducing us to cool places like the Tail of the Dragon at Deal’s Gap, TN and Blue Ridge Parkway, so please pitch in suggestions about these and more.

Here’s a tentative schedule. Let us know if you’re on the route. We head out for June

God bless you,

Scott & Leah

Check It Out:

Dallas to Hot Springs, AK

Hot Springs to Memphis, TN

Memphis to Nashville,TN

Nashville to Fort Knox, KY

Fort Knox to Lexington

Lexington to Charleston WV

Charleston, WV Seneca Rocks, WV

Seneca Rocks, WV to Skyline Drive VA (Shenandaoh Nat Park and Blue Ridge Pkwy)

Blue Ridge Pkwy to Washington Nat Forest to Beech Mountain to Cary, NC

Cary, NC to Asheville

Asheville to Charlotte

Charlotte to Bryson City to Chimney Rock to Blackberry Farm

Tellico Plains to Memphis, TN

Memphis to Monroe, LA

Monroe to Dallas

Give us a LIKE if you enjoyed – #HOGWild18 – Motorcycle Cross Country Adventure Starts Soon

#HOGWild17: Day 20 – Waco, Texas

It’s Day 20!

Somewhere between Albuquerque and Lubbock, we experienced a time change, which our phones chose not to observe. And for some reason, even though we checked into our hotel after 1am last night, we stayed up until 5am.

Which means we actually got up at 12:30 instead of 11:30. Once again, we’re grateful our hotel status grants us guaranteed late checkout.

Though it was probably a poor life choice to stay up until 5am, especially considering the long drive we had today, I never mind staying up that late, just laying in bed talking until the sun comes up.

It’s one of my favorite things, and we have some of our best conversations during those dark hours.

You’ll all be glad to know that Albuquerque has a Cracker Barrel. We love Cracker Barrel, so we try to find one wherever we are.

We parked the motorcycle next to a gray compact car, and a little old lady was getting out, holding her giant handbag close to her body.

She waited until Scott turned off the bike and then said, “My husband used to ride, but I won’t let him anymore.”

A few seconds later, her husband shuffled around to her side of the car so he could take her hand and help her inside.

He took one look at the bike and said, “I used to ride, but she won’t let me anymore.”

You couldn’t help but smile being around them.

They were probably on the sunny side of eighty, but you could see the adventure and youth in their eyes as they looked at the bike, and also their devotion to each other in their Golden Years.

When we sat down at the table, I looked at Scott and said, “I bet he was a pistol when he was a young man.”

And I wished at that point that I could’ve sat down and talked to them longer. I bet he had some incredible stories.

God must have been listening, because when we left, Scott had to make a call so we sat on the rockers out front.

A few minutes later, the same couple came out and they grinned when they saw us. And then they came right over and sat in the rockers next to me. We talked for a good fifteen minutes while Scott finished his call, and the man told me of all the places he’d ridden across the country.

The nostalgia was deep, and the yearning was still there. And then he took his wife’s hand, wished us well, and they were on their way. I figure that’s what Scott will be like in forty years when he hears the rumble of an engine.

We decided to bypass the Harley-Davidson store since we had a five hour drive ahead of us.

The temperature was in the triple digits, and the scenery didn’t change much over the next three hundred miles. It was nothing but blue skies, fields, and oil derricks.

We made sure to stop every hour or so to keep hydrated and cool off. At one of these stops, we had some ice cold watermelon and saw this bed roll.

If y’all remember back before we started this adventure, Scott posted a picture of Lorenzo Lamas on his motorcycle with his bedroll. He’s been talking about that bedroll ever since.

Apparently, you can’t have a “real” adventure without a bedroll. I’m all for adventure, as long as the bedroll comes with a pillowtop mattress at the Ritz

We left the gas station and bedroll behind, and kept heading east toward Waco.

I was lost in thought when Scott pulled over to the side of the road. I wasn’t sure what was going on. And then I turned around and saw the flashing lights behind me. I’ll admit. I laughed. A lot.

If y’all will also remember, Scott was more than happy to regale the last time I got stopped when we were Louisiana. You remember, when he just sat there and didn’t say anything, even though he could have helped me out.

Now, Speedy McSpeederson didn’t get a ticket like I did. That whole cop thing comes in handy with other cops. But it was highly entertaining all the same, and I snuck a picture to commemorate the day.

He was still smiling as we got back on the road, a little slower this time, and finished the trek to Waco.

I’d also like to take this moment to call out my husband’s beard. I think it has it’s own zip code. He actually brushes it with a hairbrush in the mornings.

I’ll admit, I got a little excited when I saw we’d entered the city limits of Dublin, Texas.

Those of you who aren’t from Texas have probably never heard of Dublin Dr. Pepper, but it’s a great memory from my childhood. My dad owned a small furniture store, and every couple of weeks he’d get a delivery of Dublin Dr. Pepper to keep in his fridge.

There’s nothing in this world that tastes like Dublin Dr. Pepper (it’s delicious), and it was a dark day when it was no longer available. But the memories are still great.

 

I’ve mentioned Dublin Dr. Pepper to Scott for the past several years, so it was cool to show him I wasn’t making this whole phenomenon up when we saw the sign and the old building.

We made it to the hotel around 10:30, just in time to get a table at the restaurant before they closed. I’m sure you’ll notice we’re eating healthy on this trip. Why have I never eaten bacon on my mac n’ cheese before?

Tomorrow, we’re headed over to Magnolia at the Silos. I’m excited. And I’ve been told by several people who know me well that they ship.

That’s good news. We’re getting ready to renovate our master bedroom and bathroom, so I’m all for new ideas. 

Scott’s laying next to me waiting impatiently for me to get through with this post so he can read it. Speedy McSpeederson is sometimes Nosey McNoseyson.

After the Silos tomorrow, we’re headed home just in time to pack and catch a flight to Florida.

See y’all tomorrow!

Leah and Scott

#HOGWild17: Day 18 – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Day 18!

This is the third time I’ve tried to write this post, and it’s after midnight, so if the computer deletes the post again Scott might be picking up pieces of Mac from the parking lot.

There are two kinds of people in the world. Morning people and night people. I’m sure you can figure out which ones we are without too much trouble.

For the last eighteen days, from the hours of midnight to 4am, we write the blog and watch Forensic Files. I don’t think we’ve ever watched so much TV in our lives. We might be full-blown couch potatoes by the time we get back home.

Staying up late also means sleeping late, and it’s going to be as hard for us to get back into the school year routine as it is for the kids. But for now…it’s still summer. And we’re grownups, so we can do what we want. Stop judging.

I’ve enjoyed the routine we’ve established over the last eighteen days. We wake up, we do our prayer time together, we shower, dress, and then load up and head out. It looks a lot like this.

Scott likes to keep the cart in the room. He’s a rebel.

We got an even later start than usual this morn…err…afternoon, and it was almost two by the time we got on the bike.

Instead of punching in the address for our hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which was almost a six hour drive, we punched in the address for the Pikes Peak Harley Davidson store, which was just down the road.

I found a new red shirt and Scott found a man bracelet he’s been looking for a long time. I think we’ve reached the point where we need to buy stock in HD.

Scott asked what we’re going to do with all the clothes once we get home. I diverted attention from the question by asking a question of my own. Why don’t they clean and wash the bikes while we’re shopping in the store?

Scott was sufficiently distracted by my question.

I know what you’re thinking. As soon as we got back on the bike, we punched in the address for the hotel in Albuquerque. But you’d be wrong.

We instead typed in the address for the nearest Cracker Barrel. The last time we ate at one was in Billings, Montana, and Scott gets twitchy if he goes too many days without chicken and biscuits.

We finally hit the highway for the next 350 miles. I snuck a selfie since Scott was focused on the road. As he should be.

It was another incredible drive. The weather was cool and the scenery breathtaking.

And this scenery was pretty breathtaking too 😉

I have to say, I can’t think of anyone else I would want to do a trip for twenty-one days straight, and spend this much time and personal space with.

He’s my favorite person. And we’ve grown even closer each day, with prayer and focus on Christ our anchor. It’s been incredible.

The oil light came on at about the halfway point of the trip, so we made a detour to O’Reilly Autoparts in Las Vegas, New Mexico. This man can do everything.

Thanks, O’Reilly Autoparts.

I had lots of time to take pictures from the back of the bike.

Lots and lots of time…

We even stopped at a creepy rest stop to do a facebook live: We weren’t sure we were going to survive using the potty there, but as of the writing of this post, I’d guess we did.

If y’all will recall from Day 11, we purchased a condo in Whitefish, Montana (video of our condo), so I spent the time on the back of the bike emailing realtors and bankers and title companies all the information they needed. So I was productive.

And then it got cold. 

And we still had almost two hours to go.

I did what any wife would do on the back of a bike in the dark for the next two hours. I put my hood on, hunkered down, and played games on my phone.

I guess Scott did okay driving. We made it the rest of the way in record time. Not that he was speeding or anything. He is an officer of the law and everything.

Though he used interrogation techniques to question me about why I didn’t get snacks when I checked us in.

I’ll say it on the record, the Hilton in Albuquerque did not stock their snack shop with anything Scott would’ve eaten. Scott wouldn’t go down to confirm, but he did enjoy the interrogating. 

Tomorrow we’re going to try and get together with some friends, and then we’re headed to Lubbock, Texas.

I’ve done the drive through Lubbock, so I know what to expect as far as the drive. It’ll be Scott’s first time. I’m thinking I’ll just let him be surprised instead of trying to describe the flat, dusty, desolate…

Oh, have I said too much?

See y’all tomorrow!

Leah and Scott

 

 

#HOGWild17: Day 17 – Colorado Springs

A few weeks ago while we were on day 4 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, I said, “We got 17 days to go.” It felt like an eternity. Today I said, “We got 4 days left.” It feels like life’s time has zoomed by. Isn’t that the trick in life?

Now to be honest, not everyone feels the slip of time. Let’s take Leah for example. She’s eased into a groove that involves snoozing until twenty minutes before check out.

Then she calls the front desk and gets an hour extension. Yeah, I’d say she’s unaware exactly what day it is.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado is an incredibly beautiful place. I can only imagine how much more so when it’s blanketed in snow. Though I cannot imagine why anyone would want to ski down it. That’s dangerous you know.

We hated to go, but not before a scrumptious breakfast, lunch, okay, brunch after 1:00pm. I’ve not had much of an appetite, so when we decided the quickest place to eat and go was McDonald’s I did what any responsible, health conscious adult does.

I ordered a nugget happy meal.

So hang on. I know it may seem like we didn’t actually ride today, but we did. An overnight in Denver ended up as another few hours toward Colorado Springs. We’ve been here before and loved the area. Garden of the Gods was one of our favorite places.

This pic is from two years ago in the “Garden.” We’d hoped to ride through, but torrential rain said otherwise. Other than the #PromPic, I sure miss those shoes.

Today was an unusual day.

It rained around Loveland just outside of Denver. I-70 is crowded, steep and winding, so I knew what to expect. I just didn’t anticipate the pouring rain that had me squinting through the helmet’s face shield.

It was tough going, so I eased over into the right lane and crept along until we exited toward Colorado Springs.

When the rain stopped, so did this traffic. Being at a dead halt on a busy interstate scares the crud out of me, but it was a great chance to practice my bike balancing.

Although Leah was preoccupied doing something important, like chasing the high score on bubble witch and didn’t notice, I was happy to not have had to touch a toe down.

When it wasn’t raining or stalled traffic, we did see more gorgeous, rugged scenery. I know our days in the mountains are coming to a close, so we’re feeling the press of time. Well, at least I am. She’s a snoozer, remember?

The mountains, lakes and rivers between Steamboat and Denver were so different, as has been every day’s geography. It almost makes me wish I’d paid attention in geology classes. Naw, I’m kidding. I had way too much fun skipping classes.

I worked undercover for 12 years during my 25 year law enforcement career. I understand the value of photography for capturing a devious deed. Looking through Leah’s phone for pictures (yes, we go through each other’s phone) I found this.

I’m not sure if I’m more disappointed that she didn’t share or that she was mocking me with behind-the-back snack pics, but I’m always happy to see that at 52 years old, there’s no bald spot on my noggin.

She’s also enjoyed taking unknown selfies each day so I can see what it’d be like if I were sitting behind me for hours on end.

We passed through a town called Castle Rock. Guess why it’s called that. It’s actually a rock that looks like a castle. Oh sorry, did I ruin it?

Well, I’ll share a bit more. I had to pee bad, so I took the Happy Canyon exit. I was thinking how happy I was going to be in the canyon. Then I saw the dreaded signs, “No Services” and “No Outlet.”

No kidding. It was full of homes and people. So instead, we took a quick pic and headed back through Castle Rock.

How do you like Leah’s snazzy headband collection? This one reflects the sun into oncoming traffic and unsuspecting wildlife. On another interesting note, we did find an exit with a potty.

Besides the relief, a horse and hearse rolled up to the single gas pump. No, not hitched to each other, but it was enough to hurry us back into the storm.

Colorado is a special place, but I’ve got some concerns about their claim to 330 days of sunshine a year. This is our second trip here in the last two years. And guess what?

It’s rained every time. Come on, CO, we love you but you gotta give us a little clear sky time.

We’ve had so much time in silence while enjoying the scenery as the last 4,000 miles have breezed by. A great thing came to mind just before getting to the DoubleTree Hotel. I’ve been thinking about an idea for a new novel since chatting with Steve Berry earlier in the year.

If y’all know me, you know I’m a fan of his work and we both enjoy the friendship with he and his wonderful wife. So when he talked about a big picture idea for a book theme I might want to try, I was ecstatic. But like anything creative, it requires time to marinate.

I’ve been “seeing” scenes for this book, but nothing cohesive. Today after thinking about how horrible it would be to steer a motorcycle into an oncoming 18-wheeler, it all came clear.

I quickly called Leah over the helmet comms and laid out an entire plot. I had chill bumps and almost tears as I described the end. She said there was a Cracker Barrel in Colorado Springs.

Yep, that’s the life of living with a genius (her, not me.) I’m kidding about most / some / a little bit of that story. We didn’t eat at Cracker barrel after all, but she did enjoy the concept.

I mentioned DoubleTree. I love the check-in cookies, but this is by far the biggest freaking hotel we’ve ever been in. It took forever to get to the room. So I kept the rolling luggage cart in our room.

Leah mentioned in one of her earlier posts about an older couple we saw in Las Vegas who were dressed alike. She likes to match clothes sometime. I try to avoid it. It’s a little odd.

But unbeknownst to me, we’ve ended up wearing matching clothes more than once. I was trying to look defiant in this pic, but I guess it’s like wearing a team uniform. Go Team!

We’re ahead of schedule and unsure where we’ll head to tomorrow. This is the best and worst part of flying free. There’s not a whole lot between here and home.

We like to ride, but we always make sure we get the most out of anything we do. Maybe we’ll flip a coin.

See y’all tomorrow,

Scott & Leah