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

IMG_8221

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.

IMG_8229-1

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.

IMG_8227

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

Advertisements

Gateway Motorcycle Group: Toledo Bend, Louisiana – Day 3

Welcome Home

It wasn’t until we motored past the Welcome to Louisiana state line sign that it hit me. This is my home state. Unfortunately, Toledo Bend is nowhere near my Cajun Country home, but it was good to spend the afternoon back in the Bayou State.

It was another early morning. We don’t do well in the early morning. My bike’s front tire was parked on a wire coat hanger from the night before. One of the guys, Johnny Mercer, said, “I see your bike is hung up.”

I grumbled, “I don’t get it.” It was maybe sometimes after lunch before I thought about it. It was funny.

Pretty In Purple

Today was a little shorter ride. I think it was a bit over 250 miles, and the weather was beautiful. Sunny skies and moderate temps welcomed each mile. The backroads were dotted with lines of these vibrant purple flowers. Leah did a great job snapping a pic as we blew by. I’m not even sure what they are, but they are pretty awesome.

What else would we do in Louisiana but eat. This group has been such a joy to spend all of this time with. Everyone has an incredible and honest story. The way God brings people together is a miracle. It’s lagniappe that we all love motorcycles and eating out.

 

Off The Beaten Path

These were the roads that led us out and back. Endless ribbons of rolling hills and wide, sweeping curves almost rocked Leah to sleep. Well, let’s be honest. It almost put me to sleep too.

This has been so different from any other multi-day ride we’ve done. The first difference is that we’ve never ridden with a group. But it’s been a blast. The other is setting up a “base camp” location in one city. It’s been great not having to repack and unpack every day.

The history and architecture in this area is also incredible. Leah downloaded an app to look up each Historic Marker. We’ve always seen them on our trips but never knew anything about them. Most are local facts about people and places relevant to that area. Texas is full of them. It’s like a living history lesson.

Location, Location, Location

This contraption isn’t historic, but was way too crazy looking to not photograph. It’s a custom deck builder. Do you see the black panther? Yeah, let us know if you figure this out.

Our 6,000 mile road trip over the summer was an altogether epic adventure, but this has been so fun that we’ll do it again before the end of the year. East Texas has fantastic roads with many options to vary your out and back routes.

Nacogdoches is also a fantastic place to set up your base camp. There are plenty of great places to eat and a very cool bike shop, Lumberjack Harley Davidson.

Fellowship

Now to wrap up our last night together, we did what else, but enjoy a meal together. Once again, the food, atmosphere and staff were amazing. This really is a pretty cool town.

One of my friends since childhood, Donna Landry Campo, lives in Nacogdoches and showed me what’s called the “AxEm Jax.” It’s a college hand signal, but I thought she was trying to trick me into tossing gang signs.

So just to be safe, I talked Leah into doing it. See below. So, she’s either showing support for the Stephen F. Austin State University Lumberjacks, or has begun a gangland turf war between Nacogdoches  and Dallas.

Well, these days have been lived full tilt and while the biking was fun, the deepening of friendships were the greatest reward.

If your church hosts small groups, find one with a hobby that interests you and join it. If they don’t, find a new church. No, just kidding, but do start one if they don’t. It’s a tremendous way to have fun while fellowshipping.

We will wrap this adventure up with a long haul back home on Tuesday. Thanks again for coming along and God bless you.

Scott

Gateway Motorcycle Group: Piney Woods of Texas – Day 2

7555FD89-BA03-43FA-A233-4A4E666B9E1E

 

It’s day 2 of the ride with our small group at Gateway Church, and kickstands were up at 8:30 this morning. We showered last night, and I went to bed at 8:45pm. Our alarm went off at 7:30am and we still hit snooze three times.

As most of you know, Scott and I don’t keep regular hours. We’re usually going to bed about the time normal people are waking up to start their work day. But it works for us, and we get more work done with that schedule, so we’ve stopped trying to be “normal.”

21687924_10209998957343691_2064831142921840488_n

Anyway, we said a quick prayer, threw on some clothes, and were in the parking lot by 8:15. As you can tell by the picture above, it was another scorcher of a day. Scott is full of all kinds of interesting tan lines.

06A9184A-91BB-4992-AA10-A8D26E343ACE

It was a gorgeous ride to Palestine, which was our first stop of the day. The roads were winding and tree-canopied. Unfortunately, I missed some really good photo opportunities, but don’t worry, I’ll tell you about them. The first photo I missed was of a dog jumping on a trampoline. Trust me, it was awesome. Scott and I both saw it at the same time and laughed hysterically.

The second picture I missed was one of the historic cemeteries we passed. There was a big banner sign stretched across the gothic iron gates that said “Homecoming Party, October 2nd.” Scott was like, “I ain’t going to that party.” I also found this hilarious.

IMG_3459

We stopped in Crockett, TX for lunch at Arnold’s Bar-b-que. I forgot to take any pictures of it or the delicious brisket I had, so I thought I’d post a picture of these cows instead, since it’s generally the same thing. There are a lot of cows in this part of Texas.

5F8E5EDB-5B7F-430E-975B-DF15197D9597

We stopped for gas along the way, and Scott took about a billion selfies on my phone. Are y’all as surprised as I am that his beard still fits in his helmet? Seriously, it’s going to take forever to delete all those selfies.

6A8B5B2D-5C2C-460C-AA83-3E931C8A0832

We got back on the bike and it was still hot. But the ride was amazing. Truly a beautiful part of the state. We did a big loop for another couple of hours, and I missed a great picture of a man in a horse drawn buggy. That’s pretty much the story of the day–me missing all the good photo opportunities.

7124973F-A415-4D07-8858-AB0C2003EB8D

Did I say gorgeous?

3460BC96-32AE-45D0-BA7A-EFF05B8E59EC

And hot? This was the stop where I dunked my shirt in cold water and put it back on.

The hotel was a welcome sight after a nine hour outing, and the good Doctor and I headed straight for the room and a nap. Which means he took a nap, and I thought about napping, because I’m not a good napper. And then we showered and put on clothes that weren’t covered in road grime so we could head to dinner.

I’ll admit that the food has been outstanding on this trip. Y’all know we pretty much live to eat. I’m glad I brought only stretchy pants.

IMG_3523-1

Dinner was at Clear Springs Cafe in Nacogdoches, TX, and I had chicken fried ribeye. Yes, you read that right. It was life-changing. I also had peach cobbler. Scott had cheesecake like usual. The company and conversation was as good as the food.

I’m not going to lie, I’m looking forward to posting this and going to sleep. We have another 8:30 kickstands up in the morning. This trip has been so much fun and has been such a blessing. We prayed for a group to get involved with and get close to, and God gave us this one. It’s been awesome.

Scott’s up for the next post (we’re heading to Louisiana), so we’ll catch you tomorrow!

Leah

Gateway Motorcycle Group: Piney Woods of Texas – Day 1

What’s your weather like?

Ours was hot, like really super hot. But the company was cool. Like really super cool.

Leah and I spent this day, and the next three days with our church’s small group. Gateway’s Southlake Riders is a group of motorbike enthusiasts who love Jesus and biking. In that order. Today was the start of our annual Fall Ride.

It was a fantastic start.

The Sleep

But, before I share the details of the bike adventure, it’s only fair to disclose that anyone who knows Leah and I also know we are night owls. For a ride that went kick stands up for 8:00am, it meant we’d either have to go to sleep before 4:00am or just suck it up and power through.

I was half-lidding it most of the way!!! But there’s hope for getting rest tonight. Hope I said, but no certainty.

The Ride

Anyone who’s ever travelled through or lived in Texas knows the joy that is Buc’ees truck stops.

Our group headed out with a goal of avoiding the highways and taking advantage of the matrix of back roads that traverse Texas heading out east toward Nacogdoches.  This area is new to me as is most of Texas, but the countrysides were sweeping and majestic.

The Lunch

From our home to the hotel it was a little over 300 miles, but they were broken up by what else? Meals.

We stopped in Jefferson, Texas for lunch. This is a town of about 2,000 but it’s a very cool and welcoming place. They love motorcycles and the quaint street-side parking is often reserved for bikes. We adore eating with this group of friends. There are honest appetites and no apologies.

What I love most is if you sat next to and began talking to anyone in this group, you’d immediately connect with them. Each has a life story and a spirit of kindness that makes not getting along almost impossible. Although Leah taking their desserts almost started a biker brawl.

We spent some time in downtown Jefferson and found the nostalgia to be welcoming and authentic. Lots of visitors on foot and bike made for a nice afternoon there. I even got to take a pic with my favorite actor from my childhood.

Johnnie and Jean Mercer – It was her birthday – Happy Birthday

 

The Duke and The Chief – I can out draw him
She’s All-American

The Post-Lunch Sleepy

I’ll be honest, if it wasn’t for a Snicker’s bar and Leah chatting through the headsets, I would have had to find a shade tree to fade the heat and grab a nap. Yes, I did at 2 and do at 52 enjoy a nap. Just not while cruising along hilly byways on a Harley Davidson. 

But, we persevered and in return got to see some amazing sites and new routes that I think we’ll retrace later in the Fall. We’re also thinking about coming over to watch my undergrad alma mater, Nicholls State University football team play Stephen F. Austin State University later in the season.

Nacogdoches

Once we arrived and checked into our hotel, we had a supper reservation for 6:00pm. We carried our gear into our room, and the last thing I remember saying out loud was, “Siri…set alarm for five twenty.” I was dead to the world for about 20 minutes before heading back on the bike to the Liberty Bell restaurant. 

It was so well worth it. The food was fantastic and the staff were so nice and engaging. If you pass anywhere close to this city, you have got to sit down there for a meal.

Well, Miss “I’m gonna wear leather chaps no matter what,” is sound asleep before 9:00pm. Which come to think of it, is probably what I need to do as soon as I post this article.

The Recap

It was everything we’d been looking forward to. We were actually scheduled to be in Australia this month but felt a strong word from God that we were to spend more time in our community and church getting to know the people He put in our paths.

This group of riders has been a blessing to us both, so to spend these days away with them is a gift. These are the friendships that last, and are worth the effort to grow deeper connections. I’m hoping that day 2 will be just as wonderful, but not as hot.

See y’all along the path,

Scott

 

Harley Davidson and Jesus: Ready 2 Ride

About a year ago, Leah and I were in church waiting for services to begin. I looked up on the screen and there was a video cranking up. It was full of motorcycles. What was this that I was watching?

It was Gateway Church‘s small group Gateway Riders Southlake – small groups allow people to fellowship while enjoying their favorite activities, and serving Christ. We immediately connected with this group and they’ve since become dear friends.

Saturday thru Tuesday (September 23 – 26, 2017) we take off as part of our small group’s fall ride. I was so excited about the idea of fall. Of course, this is Texas, so it’s 90 plus degrees.

This will be the first time Leah has spent any time on the Harley since our wild crossd country adventure in July. Click HERE for each day’s write ups and locations over those 6,000 miles.

Boy, how times have changed. Leah says she’s a pro now and doesn’t need as much stuff as the cross country. I’m happy because that means my back won’t be aching. No more lugging her bags and suitcases across the south.

The trip is taking us toward Nacogdoches, Texas and the areas between Dallas and there. Honestly, I thought we were heading into Louisiana’s Natchitoches, but instead looks like we’ll be at the home of Stephen F. Austin State University, and as Google shares, is the town in Texas.

We head out early in the morning to meet everyone. It’s almost 2100 hrs here, and guess what’s been packed? NOTHING!!!

We hope you join us each day. We’ll take turns writing about the day’s adventures. Let us know if you’re in the area.

Don’t forget to connect with us on the website – Faithful.Live and Facebook

See you along the path,

Scott