#HOGWild18: Day 11 – Biloxi, Mississippi to Dallas, Texas. We’re Home!

We’re home!

Sorry for the day-late post, but we got in just before midnight last night after a 600 mile day on the bike, and the only thing either of us wanted was to un-numb our behinds and take a shower. We did both of those things, and then crashed, sleeping a solid ten hours.

We left Biloxi after noon, and after looking at the weather radar, we decided to travel farther north to avoid as much rain as possible, even though it was a longer ride. We made the right decision, because half of Louisiana and Mississippi were getting deluged.

Once we made it past the rain and the radar showed clear, we found the nearest Cracker Barrel to keep the tradition alive. Scott ordered his normal grilled chicken (he’s a creature of habit), and I spiced things up with chicken fried steak. Then I rocked for a few minutes because I’m obsessed with Cracker Barrel rockers.

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The drive back from Mississippi is not one of the more fun drives in the country, though it is about a hundred times better than the drive through west Texas (you Texas people will understand that). But it was really amazing the way God paved the way for our travel home.

There were rain clouds all around us, and there were storms literally on both sides of the highway, with just a small sunny path along the highway. IMG_5486

It’s June in the south, and the days have been steady in the high nineties, but the temperatures were nice and cool for the next nine hours as we crossed three states. IMG_5481

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This is Scott giving me a thumbs down for not taking more pictures, but there’s not a lot of pictures to take along this route except for highway.

All I can say is that home is awesome, and our bed is the most comfortable thing in the world. Also, we’re in love with our My Pillows. They really are the best. We also had a crazy amount of packages and mail waiting for us, and Scott’s 10,000 mile patch was in it. Of course, we passed the 15,000 mile mark on this trip, so we’ll just have to work toward the next patch. IMG_8276

Thanks to everyone who follows along with us on these trips. We mostly do them so we have a good memory of everything we’ve done, but we also enjoy sharing our time with you.

Here’s our coming home video.

So until next year…

Leah and Scott

 

#HOGWild18: Day 10 – Biloxi, Mississippi (Part 2)

Today’s big question was what did Leah do besides rock out at the Rick Springfield concert with me? I’ll give you 21 guesses.

Yes, I made the mistake of introducing her to the game. Like most tasks requiring logic, patience, numbers and a bit of luck, she mastered it. So while I wrapped up some work on a new writing project, she dazzled the crowd with her ability to budge up to the number 21.

Also, the lure of ice cream got her away from the table. We know Monday will be an intense pace of catching up on everything we’ve placed on the burner before we left for #HOGWild18, so we took advantage of this last day off the bike to do nothing.

Part of my doing nothing involved wearing a bathing suit the last two days. Although the torrential rain storms kept the swimming pool closed, I opted for the suit. When underwear are at a premium low after a week and a half, the swimming suit was cool.

We also spent a late morning watching an extreme rain storm. While we were hopeful it would run out of rain, it seems that there’s much more rain being made for our Saturday departure.

Leah suggested we ride out the rain from our room. It’s supposed to rain along the Gulf Coast until next week.

Nice try, but I’m ready to start working our way back home.

 This is me.

We were heading to see Rick (Rick Springfield if you’ve not been following us,) and Leah said look excited. She wanted to send a picture to our girls as we walked to the concert. Trust me; after many tries, this was as excited a look as I could muster.

Although I am excited about shaving soon.

So I’m not going to lie (much.) I wasn’t happy when the show started late, and it looked like a bush league effort was going to be offered to the small crowd. But heck, it was $10 bucks a head, and over thirty years ago since he had a hit song. But still, I expect people to give an honest effort.

This dude is almost 69 years old. This dude played the fire out of the guitar. This dude rocked the crowd for about an hour and a half. This dude had more songs that I knew than Jessie’s Girl. This dude came through the audience, and to us as if we were lifelong friends.

I might’ve gotten a little excited to touch him. Yep, that dude.

After the show and more table time for Leah so she could practice counting to 21, we slipped in for a late night breakfast in the cafe. We agreed to share the pancake stack. By share, I mean she gave me one. After I finished up the eggs and bacon, I slid over my single pancake.

I anticipated the warm maple syrup coating the big, fluffy cake. The tin cup was bone dry. I looked across the table at a very full and sleepy looking wife.

I said, “Seriously?” While holding an empty syrup cup.

“It was delicious.” She sipped tea, “It’s empty.”

“Yeah, I see that.”

“I used it all.” She informed me.

“Seriously?”

I’d like to offer evidence of Leah’s mental state from earlier in the day. It wasn’t until I saw this that I understood just how lucky I was to escape with only an empty syrup cup.

Well, we’ve a few days to go. There’s really no scenery or fun roads from here to home. It’s just grueling hours of empty highways. It’s not the long hours that concern me as much that Leah packed both of her rain suits and zero of mine.

While we’re prepping to pack and head out, all I can think about is the last rain day.

We’re so thankful for your prayers, and ask that you lift us up on these last few days.

Do Good,

Scott & Leah

#HOGWild18: Day 9 – Biloxi, Mississippi

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Today’s post will be short and sweet. It’s day 9, and this is the first time on the trip where we’ve stayed in the same hotel more than a day and we didn’t get on the motorcycle at all. I won’t lie, it was a nice break.

We woke up this morning with the intention of renting a cabana and spending the day at the pool. But the weather had other ideas about that. They closed the pool when the thunder and lightning started. Gulf-Shores-beach-1

Scott and I were already in our bathing suits, so we made a detour to the ice cream shop. As one does. We decided this was a much better decision.

As we walked through the hotel with our ice cream, we noticed men kept giving Scott the random thumb’s up, or the occasional salute. We finally figured out that everyone was quite impressed by his “I Love My Wife” t-shirt. (It’s my favorite shirt).

We decided to flee his adoring fans and run outside to finish our ice cream in peace. The rain was holding off, but it was still thundering and lightning. We decided to chance it.

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We also filmed this video.

After we finished our ice cream, we headed back in and I kissed Scott goodbye so I could go sit in front of the penny slots for a little while. Scott is pretty much the kiss of death for stuff like that, so it was best he went back to the room to nap off his ice cream.

I did well on the penny slots and promised to take Scott to a fancy dinner at our favorite restaurant to celebrate. So we called Uber and headed over to Thirty-Two where we had delicious wine and bacon. Yes, WINE AND BACON!

The hotel’s got a great view, and even better food. Our conversation consisted of discussing our funeral wishes. We really know how to have date night. But seriously, despite the weirdness of the conversation, we had fun having it.

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We Ubered back to our hotel, got late night snacks, and now we’re watching a Naked and Afraid marathon. Married life is awesome.

Tomorrow night is the Rick Springfield concert, and another day of relaxing before the long ride home. Scott’s been singing Jessie’s Girl all day to prepare for the concert, and I’m sure we’ll have some video tomorrow night.

See y’all tomorrow!

Leah and Scott

#HOGWild18: Day 8 – Montgomery, Alabama to Biloxi, Mississippi


Have you ever felt like you’d threaded a needle when logic said it wouldn’t be possible? Over the last two days the weather radar has hinted (well, actually more than a hint) that we would get soaked. I told Leah this morning that we’d have to be surgeons to slice through the heavy rain.

When I say that not a drop touched us, I’m not kidding. At one point there were dark gray clouds to the left and right of us, and a bright blue strip of sunshine ahead. Prayers are powerful.

We hit the road from just outside of Montgomery, Alabama after noon. Our first objective was Cracker Barrel. It was an hour away, so I might’ve edged it over 70 mph a bit. Needless to say, we made it in record time. Leah was very happy to enjoy her meat loaf and then relax in the rockers after lunch.

After lunch, we knew there were lots of miles to go before reaching Biloxi, Mississippi. After days of navigating the twisted ribbons twined around mountain roads, the long, straight strip was a welcome change. I often wonder what Leah does during these long rides. I now have proof that she was being “creative.”

She also does the best job ever of navigating, and making adjustments on the fly. She’s a planner. I’m not. We’d spend every night in a tent if it were up to me. Thanks to her and her “points,” obsession, we do get to spend a few nights in her favorite hotels.

But when you’re hammering out miles on a cross-country adventure, there’s really no way of knowing where you’ll end up by the end of the day, or when you’ll get there. She really is the most resourceful person I’ve ever known.

I always ask her to take pics throughout the day so we’d have stuff to share in each night’s travel blog. I think she gets too wrapped up and forgets. Then, as the end of the ride nears, she goes into a snap frenzy. You can see how she tricked me into this photo op.

 

Looking at this pic and besides wondering why I didn’t delete it, I noticed my helmet. The wind lifts that rascal up so it barely touches my head. It’s kinda cool feeling but until now, I didn’t realize how dorky it looked. Of course, if I cared about aesthetics, I would’ve shaved a month ago!

I had my turn taking pics while we gassed up and grabbed a few bottles of water. Our Harley Davidson shop is Longhorn Harley Davidson, where we not only trust them with the bike’s care, but buy most everything we need after market.

Leah loves the handmade clothes they feature, so she had to have the tank top and headband. She said it makes her feel like a rebel. I just roll my eyes, and agree. Yeah right, rebel.

Well, me and my rebel are in Biloxi for a few days before working our way back to Dallas. I think, and I say this with caution because the reality of it is pretty powerful, but I think we might get to see Rick Springfield. Huge, right? It’s the 80’s baby, and tickets are a whopping $10 bucks.

I wouldn’t care if tickets were $11 bucks, this is 80’s icon Rick Springfield!!!

And, if we decide to sleep late or watch more weather channel instead of rocking with Rick, maybe we’ll get time along the beach. Just us, not with Rick.

Thank you to everyone who continues to pray for our traveling safety, and clear skies. You are amazing.

Do Good,

Scott & Leah

#HOGWild18: Day 7 – North Carolina – South Carolina – Georgia – Alabama

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It’s day 7! And yes, we are wearing matching Silverii Summer Sizzler t-shirts. Scott and I have decided as we get older that we’re going to start wearing matching clothes more often. We always see elderly people doing this when we take trips to Las Vegas. We figure they dress alike so they don’t lose each other in a crowd. It’s sound logic.

Today wasn’t an exciting travel day as far as routes and roads go. We were a little sluggish getting out of bed this morning after such an exciting night at Harry Connick Jr. Plus, we raided the vending machines at about 1:30am and watched the Summit with North Korea until the wee hours of the morning.

I know, I know! I’m sure you’re thinking, “Those Silverii’s are party animals.” Well, if by party animal you mean eating Nutter Butters in our pjs in bed and watching TV, then you’d be right.

Also, I have to give mad props to my husband. There are things you find out about your spouse only after you get married, and one of those things Scott got to find out about me is that I’m obsessed with the weather. Like, I’ll watch The Weather Channel for hours. HOURS!

Considering Scott experienced Hurricane Katrina and all the others that have hit the Gulf, he’s probably not all that excited to watch it play out again on television. But he indulges me. That’s sacrifice, people.

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We made the four-hour drive from Charlotte, North Carolina to Stone Mountain, Georgia to meet up with friends for an early dinner. Tom and Lynnell Tysl were the leaders of our motorcycle small group at Gateway, and they got relocated to Georgia last year.

We miss them lots, but they truly bring joy to everyone, and they’re the most generous people you’ll ever meet. They’ve never met a stranger, and they have the gift of making anyone feel welcome.

We got to visit for a couple of hours and have a delicious home cooked meal. Let me tell you, we had Blue Bell ice cream and fresh Georgia peaches for dessert.

I’m STILL thinking about those peaches and wondering how I can get some home on the motorcycle. As a side note, how do people eat anything other than Blue Bell? There’s no comparison.

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We left the Tysl’s with full bellies, and headed out for the rest of our route. We’re going to spend the next couple of nights in Biloxi, so we wanted to get as close as we could before it got too dark.

When traveling in other parts of the country, I always think of how big Texas is. We rode through four states today (North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama), in a matter of hours. It takes two days to get from one side of Texas to the other. This doesn’t have anything to do with anything, I’m just full of wonderings tonight.

The weather looked ominous all day today, but we managed to avoid any rain. We’re going to keep praying for rain avoidance for the rest of the trip too. It could be a close call in the next day or so.

Scott and I are checked into the Hilton (Yay, for Hilton points), and we’re yet again watching The Weather Channel and eating pizza we had delivered to the room.

We’re winding down the trip, and we’re going to take these last couple of days to veg out by the pool and the ocean, catch up on some work, and eat at our favorite restaurant. If you’ve never been to Thirty-Two on top of the IP Resort & Casino, you need to go. They have a bacon appetizer that will blow your mind.

See y’all tomorrow!

Leah and Scott

#HOGWild18: Day 6 – Asheville To Charlotte, North Carolina

Harry In Concert

Leah had one objective today. Well, two objectives. One was lunch before nightfall and the second was seeing Harry Connick, Jr’s concert in Charlotte, North Carolina. We barely accomplished the lunch goal, but we thoroughly enjoyed the concert.

They say it’s the little things in life. Leah always pays attention to the little details that makes everyone else comfortable. I guess it’s the cop in me, but I have to sit at the end of a row. If I’m stuck in the middle, I’ll passed on an event. Not only were we super close to the stage, but I was comfortably in the end seat. That’s what I call a victory!!!

Leah, a music major and classically trained musician, who has toured Europe and played in Carnegie Hall (yeah, fancy, I know) absolutely loved the brilliance of Harry’s talent as well as the ensemble of musicians in his band. I was happy he’s from New Orleans, and that Leah was so happy to be there.

I will share that it was announced several times that there was to be no photography. Of course, when I warned Leah to put her camera down, she said for me to zip it and that it was worth her going rogue. I tried to notify the usher, but she punched me in the neck. So, look how great her pics came out.

Show Road

Now, the road up to this concert was filled with some of the most gorgeous scenery either of us have ever experienced. Leah’s goal was to see Lake Lure because it’s where one of her favorite movies was filmed. Dirty Dancing touches her heart, and I must admit, I like the show too.

This is how I see us when we dance. I’m not saying we can do this, but it’s my imagination.

Bat Cave

We checked out of Asheville, North Carolina enroute to Charlotte. We headed back into the Blue Ridge Parkway, and along the way, we cruised along a crazy curvy two-lane road. The road led us into a town called Bat Cave. No kidding, Bat Cave.

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When I looked at my phone’s GPS, the blue line representing the roadway was so squiggly (yes my word) that I turned it off, dropped the bike into second gear and let the bike swerve left and right until we arrived in the next village called Chimney Rock.

The greenery along this route looked prehistoric. Ivy covered slabs of stone stretched into the sky on one side, while on the other, we were paralleled a babbling brook. It was so incredible that even video couldn’t capture the brilliance. Leah gave it a shot.

Whatever these yellow flowers are, they were very pretty along the long stretches of highway. There were no shortages of surprises and sites along the way. The Carolinas are some of the most amazing regions in this country. If you haven’t visited either North or South, as well as Tennessee, stop what you’re doing, and come now. We’ll meet you at the state line.

The only hiccup in between Lake Lure and Charlotte was getting nudged behind this logging truck. It was a very, very long twenty miles until we parted ways. Now I always defer to work vehicles, and as challenging as these roads are, this guy did an amazing job navigating them. It’s hard to imagine what living out here is actually like, but for those who do; you do it with style.

Charlotte the Queen City

North Carolina’s Queen City is also one of our favorites. A little known fact, that only Leah and I know, is that years ago, I was flown to Charlotte as one of four national finalists for the Chief of Police position. While I wasn’t selected, it was a great reminder of how honored I was to be considered for this major city. Of course had that happened, I may not have ever met, Mrs. Silverii. Whew, I dodged that bullet.

Since our goal for coming here was the Harry Connick, Jr. concert, we remained low-key before and after the show. Honestly, we’re exhausted. The June heat has taken a toll on both of us, especially since we had both been really sick last week.

Looking at this picture moments before the concert began, I’m really surprised Harry didn’t ask me and my biker beard to join him on stage. I’m okay with it though because the last time I hugged on Leah, she gave me the confirmation I needed when she said that magic word, “Yuk.”

Cloudy Skies Ahead

Day 7 starts with us heading toward the Atlanta area to meet with friends. After that, we plan to head into Montgomery, Alabama for the night. We drove through there a few years ago and fell in love with the area. We’re familiar with the Mobile area, but it wasn’t until we’d come through Montgomery and Mountain Brook that we discovered north Alabama.

Unlike the sunny skies we’ve had since leaving Dallas, the 7 day forecast shows serious rain all along the Gulf Coast. No problem I thought. We’ll avoid going south and loop back into Dallas. That tricky weather looks to be pushing up through that area too. Unless we’re planning to head up to Chicago, then to Colorado and back home, we’re going to get wet. A lot.

Well, it’s a great thing Leah packed both of her rain suits. I’m sure while she’s back there playing phone games and Facebooking, she’ll be nice and cozy dry. Because while my Duluth Trading Company’s rooster booster boxers saturate with rain water, Leah might just get a high score on her phone.

Keep us in your prayers. It’ll be a sketchy few days navigating safe travel.

Do Good,

Scott & Leah

#HOGWild18: Day 5 – Asheville, North Carolina – Little Switzerland – Blue Ridge Parkway

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I’ve got to confess that tonight’s post is going to be short. Mostly because Scott ordered me a Lemon Drop martini at dinner, and that makes me super tired. Yes, I’m a cheap date.

We slept in a bit this morning because the alarm didn’t go off. Or maybe it got turned off. It’s kind of a blur. But we dragged ourselves out of bed, showered, and I put on my Spanx motorcycle pants. Seriously, they’re awesome and comfortable, and Scott seems to enjoy them tremendously. You should go get some even if you don’t ride a motorcycle.

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We decided to stay two nights in Asheville and use it as our home base for a couple of day trips. Today wasn’t a long riding day, but the roads and the weather made it especially exhausting for Scott, since he was actually driving the motorcycle. I just enjoyed the ride and the scenery.

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Our first destination was a place called Little Switzerland. It’s a stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, and it’s an amazing road to travel no matter how you drive it. The roads are steep and curvy.

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We ate at the Switzerland Cafe, and the food was fantastic. Plus, there was the added bonus of finding the Books and Beans Bookstore, which was really cool and deceptively large. This was a fun hidden treasure in the middle of nowhere. And as an author, I can never pass up a bookstore.

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This cute little cabin was our view at lunch, along with sweeping green mountains. And the weather was just right. Someone should tell Texas that it should have North Carolina weather.

After lunch, we headed out on the Blue Ridge Parkway. FullSizeRender-12

This is where things get tricky. I believe Scott mentioned in yesterday’s post that he forgot to pack his rain gear (though I think he tried to blame it on me). We found a Wal-Mart along the way and he grabbed a cheap rain suit, which was good timing because it started raining pretty soon after that. I remembered to pack my rain suit, so I was very comfortable on the back of the bike.

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This is us in the rain. One of us is grumpy about the rain. Hint: His name rhymes with Spot Milberry.

Fortunately, the worst of the storm passed after about twenty minutes, and then there was sun. Glorious sun.

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And we headed all the way back into Asheville with nothing but gorgeous scenery and the smell of fresh rain and pine trees.

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Asheville is one of our favorite places, and I’m sure we’ll get a vacation home here at some point or another. But while we’re here, our favorite place to stay is the Omni Park Grove Inn. You can’t beat the rooms or the view. And I’m obsessed with their shampoo and conditioner (you can buy it in the spa). It’s what I use at home.

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Plus, there’s this:

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That’s a plate of Praline and Brown Sugar Bacon that we had as an appetizer at the hotel restaurant. Don’t tell anyone, but I ordered another plate of it for dessert because it was THAT GOOD.

Scott came back to the room and immediately fell asleep in my lap, and I waited him out by watching The Weather Channel really loud until he woke up and I was able to start writing this post. Married life is pretty awesome. It’s the little things in life.

It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so we’ll play out the day by ear. All I know is we have to be in Charlotte by tomorrow night so we can see Harry Connick Jr. If the weather isn’t too bad we’ll detour by Lake Lure, which is where they filmed Dirty Dancing. I’m almost positive I can talk Scott into doing a reenactment, even though he thinks the movie is creepy.

I might take some of that bacon for the road.

See y’all tomorrow!

Leah and Scott

 

#HOGWild18: Day 4 – Knoxville to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Tennessee & Asheville, North Carolina

Leave Me Alone

Day 4 was scheduled to be a low-key day of travel through the Smokey Mountains with only about 120 miles of biking. Leah hadn’t slept well since we’d left, so she said sleeping late was her goal. By late, I assumed she meant about 9:00am. I was incorrect.

I was up at 8:00am and gave her my usual morning rally cry, “Let’s roll.”

Unfazed, and with covers, pillows and an arm covering her face, she replied as usual, “Leave me alone.”

So around 11:00am, I tried again. It worked. Kinda. But we did beat the 1:00pm checkout. But not by much. To be fair, she said a Charlie horse had slowed her down. Honestly, I don’t recall hearing any screams associated with a cramp.

Sweet Surprise

The moment we pulled into Pigeon Forge, we felt the positive energy. Neither of us had ever been to this area, but have heard from so many friends how wonderful it is. They weren’t kidding. The streets were full of motorcycles, Jeeps and families loaded down with camping and recreation equipment.

I’m not sure where my mind was, but it never dawned on me that Dollywood was located here. We saw the sign for Dollywood Boulevard, and like a lightening bolt, I realized we were close. And just like that, there it was in all of its glory; Dollywood.

Now I’m not a big Dolly Parton fan, but you have to appreciate all that she has accomplished and the Americana of it all. I guess Dollywood has found its place in our cultural lore, so it was a nice surprise to see it.

We drove through Pigeon Forge looking for the Rocky Top Harley Davidson shop. The main street was lined with multi-level go-kart race tracks, putt putt golf and tons of family fun activities. We can’t wait to bring the kids here for a vacation.

Of course, Leah and I are crazy competitive. Last summer we spent about $500 bucks racing each other around a 3-story wooden go-kart race track. It wasn’t pretty, and the kids were starving by the time we stopped. But it was a great opportunity for them to learn patience. And sometimes that we talk smack to each other. I won every race that day.

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Leah had asked on Facebook about places to eat lunch. Several very wise sages recommended the Old Mill restaurant. We found a great parking spot and hustled over to be seated immediately. I’d like to think Dolly was in the kitchen making us some fixin’s.

It drives my bride crazy that no matter where we eat, about 95% of the time, I order grilled chicken. Well, she wanted to show me, so she ordered the chicken too. The special southern fried chicken. I don’t know if it was good, but from the look on her face, I really do think Dolly had magically prepared that meal with her own sweet fingers.

Down The Road

After a stop at the Harley shop, we headed down the road to Gatlinburg. Like Pigeon Forge, it had a very unique vibe, but very different from where we just were. The traffic along the quaint downtown street was jam-packed with bikers and pedestrians.

Balancing a big bike with a full load, and two adults in super slow, two-way traffic with people darting back and forth is a challenge. I mean a real challenge. My poor clutch and patience were worn out by the time I squeaked through a red light to get a little space from the rest.

Of course we had to stop at the Hill Billy Harley Davidson before heading out-of-town. Last year we bought t-shirts from every town’s Harley shop as is a tradition. This year, we smartly only bought the plastic poker chips with the shop’s name.

The Big Climb

Heading into the Great Smokey Mountains, there was a gentle sweeping of roads that allowed brilliant glimpses of massive vistas. We climbed the Rockies last summer, and there is a definite difference between the two majestic ranges. Today seemed more graceful and lush. It was so beautiful, that I completely lost track of how high or how far we’d travelled.

When Both Are Mediums

Once we coasted off the mountain, we came into a very cool town called, Cherokee, North Carolina. As we prepared to re-enter another stretch of curved mountain roadway, Leah “claimed” to have felt a rain drop. A trick I’ve learned to check for driving into rain, is to watch the vehicles coming toward you from that direction. If their vehicles are wet, it’s raining up the road. If their windshield wipers are on, it’s raining very close and we’re about to get wet.

Leah’s miracle rain drop was the only atmospheric moisture in the tri-state area. Of course, that meant we had to skid to a stop so she could slip on her impermeable rain suit. I handed her the pants, but they didn’t meet her standard, so I  I handed her another pair of medium rain pants. How could they both be a size medium?

I shoved my hand back in the designated rain-suit bag, and there were no more options. Oddly enough, both of her rain suits were packed, and zero of mine. As if I wasn’t about to lose it, she assured me it was okay because she only needed the one pair. I think bears fainted at my mountainous roar.

Beloved Asheville

Leah and I stumbled across this city a few years back by complete accident. We fell in love and stayed a few more days. We’ve agreed that we’ll buy a home here one day as a vacation / retirement property. Every time we mention Asheville to others, they respond with as much enthusiasm about it as we share.

I think I scare people in this gentle city, but Leah helps balance the effect. Of course the staff at the Village Wayside were very cool and helped us enjoy a super supper after a wonderful day. My biker beard has slipped over to the other side and is in a zone I like to think of as in desperate need of a shave. But, I committed to the effort because actually, I have no idea.

It’s nice to have gotten a few hours to do nothing tonight, but lay in bed. Tomorrow is another day in the mountains. We’re starting on the Blue Ridge Parkway and possibly heading to Boone, North Carolina. I did a bicycle race there called Blood, Sweat & Gears – a 100 mile race through the mountains, and Samaritan’s Purse is headquartered there. It’s the home of Franklin & Billy Graham ministries.

We appreciate you keeping us in your prayers,

Scott & Leah  

#HOGWild18: Day 3 – Memphis to Knoxville, Tennessee

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The alarm went off this morning at 8:30. I pretended I didn’t hear it. I was exhausted after our day-long ride the previous day, plus all of the anniversary-ing. Scott really knows how to party.

I was dreading today’s ride because I knew it was going to be a long one. And the temperature was just shy of Satan’s armpit. Needless to say, we spent a little extra time in prayer this morning before heading out. You can see from the picture below that it helped immensely.

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That’s Scott’s, “How do I get out of this?” face. Don’t worry. He figured it out, and we loaded up the bike and prepared to make the long trip to Knoxville. We made this video. I still wasn’t quite awake.

 

As I’m prone to do, I like to have a plan for the day. Before we were struck down with contractors and sickness, I had the most beautiful schedule ever created. I had routes mapped and hotels booked. I was still able to use some of my hard work, but I’ve had to make a plan on the fly the last few days.

The first leg of the journey took us to Shiloh Battlefield National Park. Once we got off the highway and into the park area, there was a nice breeze and ample cloud cover. I said a lot of, “Thank you, Jesus,” when those clouds came over. Because it was hot.

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We made our way toward the visitor’s center so I could reprogram the GPS to take us to our next destination. When we got off the bike, I noticed the cemetery just across the way from us. I decided it was worth a picture since we’re sharing our adventures with you. Scott told me he wasn’t waiting.

So of course I walked across the parking lot and down a little slope to take this picture.

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It took less than two minutes, but when I returned to the parking lot, the sound of the motorcycle was already in the distance. One of us thought that was hilarious. I was not the one.

Because I’m not a dummy, I went into the air conditioned Visitor’s Center and waited for Scott’s return. You’ll be glad to know he did return, but what he didn’t realize was that he’d re-started the GPS I’d programmed for our next destination.

An hour-and-a-half later, I realized that something wasn’t quite right with our location, but by then it was too late to turn around and make it to our next stop. I’ll confess I was aggravated, hot, and hangry (because it was after 2:00 and we’d not had anything but water all day).

Fortunately, Scott read the signals very clearly and found a McDonald’s stat.

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This is a picture of Scott AFTER we ate. We were both in much better moods.

We made an executive decision to just get to Knoxville as quickly as we could, and abandon any and all backroads and scenery the rest of the way. So we set out on the remaining four-and-a-half hour trip.

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(After I had my Big-Mac the clouds came again and the temperatures cooled, so the smile came a little easier).

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It was a gorgeous ride, but there was nothing better than finally seeing the Knoxville skyline. We’ve both been to Knoxville before, but I somehow missed the fact that they have a mini Reunion Tower. (For those of you who aren’t from Dallas, it’s the big ball in the Dallas Skyline)

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We checked into the hotel, showered, and went down to the restaurant to grab a bite to eat (and have dessert). Scott took a picture of both of us together in the elevator, but I didn’t look good in it, so I vetoed posting it for this blog.

The next couple of days we’ve got some more laid back mountain rides ahead of us as we head into Asheville, North Carolina. The important thing is we get to sleep late in the morning, so don’t text us early, okay?

Until Tomorrow,

Leah and Scott

 

#HOGWild18: Day 2 – El Dorado, Arkansas to Memphis, Tennessee

We spent our honeymoon a few years ago bicycling from San Fransisco through Sonoma County wine country and along the PCH until we reached Healdsburg, California.

As a long time road cyclist, I loved it. Leah, who was not a fan of cycling, actually passed out on the first day’s first serious climb. But, she did survive to go on and finish the tour.

I later asked her why in the world would she book a trip like that if she hated cycling, and had spent about the sum total of zero hours training for it. She said, “Because you love it and I love you.” Okay, point made.

Fast forward to today, and we spent our anniversary on a motorcycle during sun-soaked hours while cruising along the scenic highway toward El Dorado, Arkansas to Memphis, Tennessee. Good news is, although Leah is sunburned, she didn’t pass out; yet.

Oh, and before you get too worried, we did find a Cracker Barrel in Arkadelphia by lunch.

The ride to Memphis was a mixture of winding back roads and 18-wheeler in left and right lanes interstates. It got brutal for a few hours, but the goal was Beale Street and BBQ by night.

Memphis is a very cool, but confusing city. There’s a giant, Egyptian pyramid in the downtown area. It’s a Bass Pro Shop. Now, I’m not complaining, but it’s a Bass Pro Shop!!! 

Okay, back to the run up to the Bass Pro Shop. Traveling cross-country is incredible because you never know what you’ll find. One turn reveals a lake and old train tracks, while another offers sweeping vistas or ancient swamps peaking from the thicket of trees and foliage.

A quick turn Downtown, USA and charming southern homes stand guard over historical buildings and long-ago signage weathered by time and progress.

It’s America, and it’s breathtaking.

Well, it had to happen eventually. Tennessee is a helmet law state, so we swept into a parking lot before the state line to don our new summer bonnets. I was glad because it was a break from the sun bouncing off my noggin. Sure, it was coated with high SPF sunscreen, but it’s still sun.

These are the thinnest, lightest official DOT helmets made. Oddly enough the brand name is Badass Helmets. They also come with a big sticker that reads the same for your helmet. Leah tried to sneak it on mine, but I caught her. She’s tricky, but not that tricky.

Looking at this picture, I realize that my biker beard is ridiculously out of control. But I committed to it, so that rug is staying put until we get home. If you’ll look close at Leah’s eyewear, they are big, bug glasses I bought her in Biloxi for one dollar. They look cute on her.

Folks, I’m going to get serious with you for a moment. if there are kids in the room, you might want to send them away.

Now y’all know it was our wedding anniversary, so I promised my bride I’d take her anywhere she wanted to eat. As long as it was within walking distance, and I wasn’t wearing pants. Shorts yes, more pants, no. Also, we’re a block off Beale Street, so there are lots of options.

We returned to our favorite spot called Rendezvous BBQ. If you’ve ever eaten here, you know how weird it is to walk down an alley, squeeze past the giant dumpster, and walk into a basement. I know, if we were giving directions to our kids, they’d think we hated them. But this place is worth the odd obstacles.

I had chicken breast. My carnivore had meat.

After this amazing experience, she stopped to mug in front of the iconic Peabody, and then onto Beale Street for a quick walk before zipping back to our room to “type” this up!!

Sorry, we missed the march of the ducks at the Peabody.

Ha! I just saw the guy taking our pic as I was taking this. Or he was taking a selfie. Who knows.  So we headed back to the room to rest up for day 3. It’s about a 600 mile day, and while we’ve regularly knocked those out, still recouping from a virus and the extreme heat, might have better sense cutting the day off in Nashville instead of our goal of Knoxville.

And off course, what’s a trip to Memphis without running into the King.

Do Good,

Scott & Leah

 

 

 

 

 

#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: Some Days Are Diamonds, Other Days You’re Cold

It Started Out Grand…

Well, Leah and I had a fantastic month of May that saw all of the kids finish up their school years, and a few nights of hosting friends and family around the pool and BBQ grill. It was a great way to wrap up before we took off on our 5,100 mile motorcycle adventure.

But…

I woke up early Friday morning, and shuffled off to the potty. I figured since I was up, I might as well stay up and get some last rounds of writing done before we hit the highways. But… I had to shuffle back off to the potty.

Without being crass, I can tell you that the morning’s paperwork had absolutely nothing to do with writing, and everything to do with a budding stomach virus. Leah was busy in the house, so I figured I’d sleep it off in a guest room and stay out of her way since it was still mid-morning.

I spent the next 24 hours in so much pain that the best of those times were when delirium gave me a break from reality. I cycled through the bouts of hot and cold, and shivering so intense that three days later and my hips and knees are still sore.

Reality Check…

I managed to make it out back on Sunday evening once the sun had taken a time out. It felt good to get some sun on my face, but it wasn’t long before I realized I wasn’t 25 anymore. A few days past the worst of it, and I was still weak.

Leah asked the dreaded question about whether I felt I could handle taking off on Tuesday after she’d already delayed the start date thanks to a house repair issue. Sometimes the macho man mind does really stupid things, and other times it surprises me and faces reality.

So, being the master scheduler and navigator, Leah once again readjusts our route, negotiates with the hotels so the stings of cancellation aren’t so severe, and notifies friends along the way that plans have changed once again.

Then There Is Hope…

One of the anchors on our trip is to see Leah’s all-time favorite performer in concert. She’s tried for years to catch Harry Connick, Jr at a venue, but it’s never worked out. Guess what? We’ve got him in our sites, and we’ve got tickets for Charlotte, North Carolina.

All we had to do was create a more direct route from Dallas to North Caroline and we’d make the 1,026 mile sprint with a day to spare. I had finally begun to feel better, and knew the extra day of fluids and rest was paying dividends.

And Also…

I haven’t forgotten that this week is also our anniversary. So it’s really important that I get my sea legs back beneath me. For huh, you know…dancing?

We’ve not packed a stitch of clothes and beyond my old Harley Davidson boots and her new, fancy ankle boots she swore she just couldn’t ride without, we were still unprepared. Although, after last year’s monster romp around America, we feel pretty confident about what to bring and what to leave at home.

So…

So…me and my bride are rescheduled, I’m rested and the route still allows time to see some great sites along an unrushed way.

And Then…

Monday morning, Leah wakes up early and in a hurry. I just knew she was excited to get packing and possibly make us a lite breakfast. But, instead of heading toward the kitchen, my sweet baby shuffled off to the potty. And that was what would become the first of an entire day and night of quick trips in between rounds of hot and cold shivering and mind-numbing stomach and head pain.

I’m not sure if Harry Connick, Jr is in the cards, because it’s beginning to look like #HOGWild18 is in the toilet. I sure do miss these two crazy, optimists. But I also know that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Don’t give up hope, we might just zoom right past you.

Keep us in your prayers for quick recoveries,

Scott & Leah

#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 Recap


For some crazy reason we couldn’t sleep after getting back home, so we tried to capture our thoughts about the adventure. I’m hoping Leah had more success with the facial scrub.


This was a short video Facebook put together with a few great pics and videos from the trip.
Below is a picture gallery of some of the shots we took during our trip.
Thank for again for coming along
Scott & Leah


#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 19 – Lubbock, Texas

Yesterday Leah asked if we just wanted to hit it hard and head home. I considered the benefits of getting home a day early, but suggested we finish strong as planned. After easing into our hotel room after 1:00am, I had regrets. But not for long.

You’ll notice all of the outdoor pictures have one thing in common – SUN. Oh yeah, and it’s flat.

Albuquerque, New Mexico is hot and sunny. Not Big Sky sunny, but the clouds create a unique illusion of a copperish gold. It’s really beautiful.

Yesterday’s super long ride and late night arrival left us flat. We finally left the hotel room after housecleaning kept knocking and management kept calling. But we, and our push luggage rack, strolled out of there slow and cool. Ha!

Once we finally dipped ourselves into the gold of New Mexico’s sun, we scrambled over to the nearest Cracker Barrel. It was cool inside and we enjoyed having the waitress explain what each gold star on their aprons means. This young lady deserved every one of hers.

So after that, we headed over to Thunderbird Harley Davidson to get the bike checked out. The oil light came on yesterday, and although I’d added some, I still wanted to get it looked at. So like the dutiful service technician he was, this guy grabs a rag and walks out to the bike in the parking lot.

He cranes over and removes the “dip stick.” He smiles with a full belly of confidence and proclaims, “You got oil.”

As if that wasn’t earth-shattering enough, I walk into the store to discover my bride doing what else? So it then goes like this:

“We got oil.”

“If we buy three shirts, we get one free.”

“The guy says the bike is good to go.”

“Did you see these shirts? We can get a free one.”

“I’m going to the bathroom?”

“Wait. Hold this helmet.”

While in the bathroom trying to figure out how we went from oil to buying more t-shirts, I noticed how progressive Harley Davidson was about their bathrooms. They accommodated both choices. The right and the wrong way. Which are you?

I’ll share a little insider information from the writer’s world. Almost all romance writers are women. Many work closely with their husbands to handle the business and marketing tasks. There’s a private group of us guys who pool ideas and suggestions to help promote the craft our wives create.

One of the guys on our team (I’ll refer to him as The Guy because I forgot to ask him if I could include him) invited us to spend the afternoon with he and his wife, author Shelly AlexanderWe’d actually detoured to New Mexico because I wanted to meet him in person.

We’d grown close through calls and texts, and let’s face it, we guys gotta stick together. We thought we looked pretty menacing in this pic, so I decided to post it anyway. BTW: I’m the guy in the leather pants.

Not to be outdone, the real talent in this group had to front for the camera. They refused to mean mug it. Leah is the one with the red muscle shirt. Oh, and the leather pants.

We were sitting in their living room when I looked at a clock. It was after 5:00pm. We had a very long ride ahead of us. I don’t mind the miles or hours in the saddle, but riding at night is an entirely different dynamic. We hustled out on our way to Lubbock, Texas.

So we braced against blistering winds, 18-wheelers refusing to clear the left lane, and yes, more golden sun, and we blasted our way toward Texas. I’ll tell you, it was a tough ride.

And to top it off as we navigated a single-lane road someone thought would be a good joke to call a highway, we watched a deer hop across the way in front of the bike.

It’s really a frightening thought. I told Leah if one jumps too close to avoid, to just hang on because we were going to hit it and hold on.

She said, “Why don’t we just swerve around it.”

I said, “Yeah, we could do that.”

We got to Clovis, New Mexico way after dark and with a long way still to go. I yelled over my shoulder, “Want to eat?”

She responds with this.

 

So we landed at an IHOP and enjoyed a quick bite before arriving in Lubbock after 1:00am.

It’s onto Waco, Texas for day 20. In addition to the detour to see The Guy and Shelly, Leah also wanted to stop at Magnolia Market at the Silos. This is Chip and Joanna Gaines‘ place, so I’m thinking that either the bike will be bogged down by furniture or UPS will be busy delivering to the house.

Well, it’s after 3:30am and after Leah challenged me to stay up to write day 19, I can gently shake her from the snooze, and whisper, “BAM.”

See y’all tomorrow,

Scott & Leah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#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

 

 

 

 

#HOGWild17: Day 15 – Jackson Hole to Rock Springs, Wyoming

“Drama Momma.”

That’s what Mizz Caller NameCaller called me just now. Can you believe it? I guess that’s what happens once she’s all hopped up on MSG.

Where’d the MSG come from you ask? Right across the parking lot from our hotel in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

Yeah, I know eating at a parking lot sushi place isn’t advisable, but neither is calling me drama momma. She may not be so okay later, but that’s the risk of a high-flying bestselling author. I had rice.

This morning was tough. I passed out on top of the bed while fighting a headache last night. I woke up early because there was work to do, and someone had the TV blaring Forensic Files. I think she’s up to no good.

For some odd reason, Leah was too wired from the surge experience yesterday and didn’t go to sleep until 4:00 am.

It was supposed to be a quick shot from Jackson Hole over to Rock Springs, so we hung out in Jackson for a bit. Of course we stopped at the Jackson Hole Harley Davidson and then had lunch at the Silver Dollar in the Wort Hotel. The staff was super nice at both places and made us happy we stayed a bit.

I’ve always heard of this resort town, and it does live up to the hype. We loved seeing all of walkers and cyclists. Although, the one thing that creeped us out were the two huge antler arches.

Yes, there are two of those. But to be honest, there were also horses and a real buggy downtown. Obviously, there were no antler bearing animals.

What started out as another day of gorgeous Big Sky sunshine and Leah’s back-of-the-bike selfies, turned into a guessing game of rain or shine.

In the mountains the rain drops actually looked like wifts of ice that floated out of the sky. Until they pierced your skin of course.

PS: My biker beard is completely off the chain. I’ll admit that I used Leah’s razor this morning to trim back what she calls my, “ISIS hair” that encroaches my cheek bones. I got no issues with low-T.

Looking at the hugeness of the glorious mountains surrounding you is intimidating enough, but add this dominant sky, and you’ve got a mixed bag of slicker suit or no slicker suit.

The highways are so sweeping and enjoyable, but wet roads and by-passing 18-wheeler spray is zero fun. It had also turned cool, so we opted for the plastic capsules with helmet communications.

While Leah has a naturally foxy bod, I’m sure the endowment in this pic below is wind enhanced. Her expression may tell a different story.

In all fairness, the rain wasn’t long-lasting, but the views will remain with us. How amazing is this country? The terrain changes so often and is distinctive to the places and people. Despite the expansive geography, mountain country has such an intimate feel. The people are some of the best we’ve met.

There were so many white water rafting companies operating in the area thanks to the Snake River, which rumbled alongside the highway and through the mountains. We’d gone rafting last year in Colorado, and were so in awe of the folks in the boats. The rafting picture is from last year, but we’re ready to go at it again very soon.

Snake River is 1,078 miles long. That’s a long way to raft, but hey, who’s up to give it a shot?

The pics weren’t as clear as we wished. Seems Leah was preoccupied with her inflated….rain suit. But, look what we did see after it cleared up a bit. As always, pics cannot do justice to the brilliance of the colors.

And if this beautiful rainbow wasn’t cool enough, we caught this bridge in the middle of nowhere. Maybe we’re a little road-punchy, but there are so many little things that amaze us. It was fun driving through it. I guess about as much fun as it’ll be to see what parking lot sushi will do to drama momma.

On a personal note, while fancy pants plays with the remote control, I was a little caught by the emotion when I began typing day 15.

We knew this trip would affect us. It’s like any significant life experience, you don’t know what you don’t know.

Each day has been a wonderful experience. We started praying together last year, but each morning’s prayer during this adventure has taken our faith to a new depth. I think it’s the isolated intimacy of working together to overcome the challenges of the last weeks.

It’s always a challenge to add the unknown and watch the way people react. I know exactly how Leah reacts. With kindness, patience and humility. I’m hoping to get there one day soon!!

Until then, I’m waiting on the sushi effect!

It’s Steamboat Springs, Colorado on tomorrow’s menu. We both love the state and are anxious to get there for the experience. It’s not ski season, but the place is still pretty cool.

Though I’m sure it isn’t as great as Whitefish, but this isn’t a competition. Right?

See y’all tomorrow,

Scott & Leah

 

 

 

#HOGWild17: Day 14 – Beartooth Pass & Yellowstone

Day 14 was a bear! Literally. But I’ll get to that in a second.

First of all, I have to give mad props to my better half for his motorcycle skills today. We were on the bike close to nine hours, going through crazy elevations, roads that dropped off straight down a mountain, and wildlife throwing themselves in front of the bike.

So good job, Hot Stuff McHusband. I’ll slap you on the butt later in congratulations once I can move again.

Okay, I have to start all the way at the beginning. We spent the night at Red Lodge last night, and I tossed and turned all night.

Scott slept like a baby (the kind of babies that sleep all night instead of the ones that wake you up to feed them). And for some reason he set his alarm at eight-thirty. I pretended I didn’t hear it and rolled back over to go back to sleep.

But Scott’s the kind of person that when he’s up, he feels everyone should be up, so he said, “Choppie,” and shoved my shoulder a couple of times (Choppie is his pet name for me, in case you’re wondering who Choppie is). I stayed silent.

Then he pulled out the big guns. He likes to watch videos of people acting like idiots and then the police intervene, so he turned it up super loud. I don’t know how the cops do it. I would’ve punched the idiot in the face. But it did the job, and I was finally awake. My blood pressure was up as well.

The only thing we could do at this point is our prayer time. After the way Scott woke me up, I figure he needed some Jesus. And I needed some Jesus too, because I do not like being woken up, and Scott was not starting off the day on my good side.

I prayed for an attitude adjustment because I knew we had a long way to go on the bike. The Lord worked miracles because I was ready to roll by the time we said Amen.

We stopped at Subway for lunch and I told Scott about my weird dream he interrupted. It started with me giving birth, and Scott delivering the baby. He is a doctor, but I’m not sure an anthropologist was what I needed at the moment.

We had a girl, in case you’re wondering, and as soon as she was born we wrapped her up and put her in the sidecar of the motorcycle.

I was not looking forward to getting on a motorcycle, because I’d just given birth. It’s no wonder I didn’t sleep well last night.

Anyway…at this point, we had to go into hiding, so we rode the motorcycle down to the train tracks, where we were going to live with the hobos. For some reason, everyone was wearing overalls. And the best part was as soon as we arrived they all started singing.

I don’t know about you guys, but I frequently have dreams that are musicals. I wish I could remember the songs, but they were awesome. Take my word for it.

One of the hobos gave the baby a cool headband with a flower on it, and then Scott woke me up.

Why were we on the run? Why was everyone in overalls? Why didn’t we name the baby?

This was Scott’s expression.

I figure listening was the least he could do after he woke me up.

It was a busy morning, but we finally said goodbye to Red Lodge and headed to Beartooth Pass.

The thing about Beartooth Pass is that it tricks you. You think you’re at the top, and that it’s impossible to go higher, but somehow the mountain grows right in front of you.

And you keep going…

And going…

Until you finally reach the top.

Yes, you read that right. The elevation was 10,947. It feels like the top of the world. And the way down isn’t half bad either.

Once Scott worked his mad skills and got us through Beartooth Pass, we headed into Yellowstone National Park. Neither of us had ever been before, so it was a really cool experience.

And the pictures never do justice to the views.

And this was the first of many wildlife making an appearance in front of the bike.

And then there was this guy who had a couple of miles of traffic behind him. His buddies were in our lane, making sure both sides were blocked. Those bison are real characters. But they make delicious hamburgers.

Oh, I forgot to mention that Scott and I were dressed exactly alike today. Once, when we were in Las Vegas, we saw a couple in their seventies wearing matching rhinestone quilted jackets.

Scott said, “That’s going to be us one day.” We’re not quite to the rhinestone quilted jacket phase, but this is pretty close. We have matching shirts, chaps, jackets, and rain gear.

We’re just like Donny and Marie, but not creepy, because we’re married instead of brother and sister.

After we left Yellowstone, we headed straight into Grand Teton National Park. The weather turned decidedly colder, and the rain fell in big fat drops that didn’t feel too good when they pelted us in the face.

I guess the bear that ran across the road in front of us didn’t care for being cold or rained on either. I would’ve gotten a picture, but that sucker moved fast. I’m glad he wasn’t coming toward us!

The Tetons were majestic in every way. This is most definitely God’s country.

It got pretty chilly, but I had this sexy guy to snuggle up next to on the bike.

Seriously, this is so beautiful it looks fake. But it’s not. And it’s even better in person.

After we made it through the Tetons, we headed to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It’s a cool little ski resort town, surrounded by mountains, with a ton of restaurants and boutique shops.

I didn’t take any pictures of Jackson Hole, because I was just too tired by the time we rolled in at nine o’clock. And we hadn’t eaten dinner either, so we ate at Snake River Brewery.

Scott got his revenge on the Bison blocking the road by ordering the Bison burger.

Watching the sun set behind the mountains is one of those snapshots in life that’ll stay with me forever.

Tomorrow, we’re headed to Rock Springs. It’s an easy day of riding, which is good because we’ve got some work to catch up on.

We also have late check out at the hotel tomorrow, so I’m hoping Scott sleeps later than I do, so I can wake him up in equal measure.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

See you tomorrow,

Leah and Scott

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