#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


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#HOGWild17: Day 21 – Waco to Home Base Dallas, Texas

Day 21, and oh what a bittersweet day it was.

Leah and I wanted to do something a little different for our last day. We each took to the task of recounting our visit to Chip and Joanna GainesMagnolia at the Silos. And, we posed 5 questions to each other about our experiences. This should be entertaining. Neither of us read what the other wrote beforehand.

Let’s Begin

We arrived home around 4:30pm and immediately began debating over who was going to write the very last day. I won, so here it goes.

True to form and Leah’s fashion, we woke up late, clawed for the room phone and coughed out a dry request for late check out. Why we don’t request it when we check in is beyond me.

It was hot. Kinda like the heat you see in those old westerns where your vision is hazy because of the heat radiating from the earth. It was also dry and dusty as I always imagined a town called Waco would be.

I’m going to honest with you here. I really know nothing about the Magnolias or the Silos or the show Chip and Joanna Gaines do on TV. I’ve never watched one second of it. Not because I’m not a fan of theirs, but because I don’t watch TV and I’m not a hammer-swinging handyman.

I have seen them in social media and love their testimonies in the I Am Second series.

I’m also very aware that many of you want the inside scoop on the visit, but if you know me, then you know I’m the wrong hombre to give you the uncoated story.

So in all fairness, and because we’ve each written 10 posts about our journey, we thought it’d be better to give you two versions of our visit to “Gaines”ville. Get it, like Florida?

Scott’s Truth

The best part about the way Magnolia’s trip began was that it was 0.6 miles away from our hotel. Walk you say? No way. It was about 2:00pm and over 100 degrees. Plus we were both ladled in heavy leather motorcycle boots and well-worn jeans.

After paying $10 to park in a church parking lot, we hurried along a crowded sidewalk toward a canopy-covered line. A line of people I mean. A very long line of hot, sweaty people.

I hesitated at the corner while trollies, cabs and carriers hustled folks onto the property, and that line. If you want me to leave someplace, just form a line. I hate them.

Leah sensed it and said it was just the line to the bakery. Seriously? The bakery? What were they selling, immortality?

You should or shouldn’t have seen that line. She said in the mornings it snakes all around the corners and into parking lots. Is there no other place in a city of 135,000 people to get a muffin?

We mosied on over to the big, double-door gates where a nice lady stood under another canopy and offered paper fans and umbrellas. Or should I say, parasols.

We rushed inside and were greeted by a gush of cold air and a police officer standing in the cold air. One step further inside and the cold air disappeared. I think the cop had a monopoly on it, but it was okay, he was hustling an off-duty detail to make a little Christmas cash.

Look, before she rats me out, I get it. It was important to her, but I was working on three hours sleep and extreme heat. Yep, I sat down on a chair smack dab in the middle of the store. I looked like a display I was so still. And hot.

I tried to redeem myself and said, “Go shop.”

She did.

After she returned, we ventured outside, and guess what? It was still hot. I treated us to bottles of water. Not just any water. This was Magnolia water. The label said so.

I’ll tell you the truth. I’m not a creative visionary. I see things for what they are, and not what they could be. I wish I had that gift, but unlike Leah, I don’t. It’s obvious someone in the Gaines family has it too.

To look at a run down part of town, filled with empty, unusable space, rusted pipes and support beams that jetted in and out of old, abandoned grain silos to create Magnolia is a wonder.

The use of space, from everything to vendors to an artificial turf for kicking soccer balls, was genius. I sat in the shade and watched two grown men try to take a picture.

One was going to throw a football and snap the pic of his friend catching it. The guy had no idea how to hold or throw the ball. I was dying laughing. Leah said maybe they were European. I was willing to concede to that.

The place really is very cool. The décor is exactly what we like and resembles our home style (thanks to Leah.) Don’t tell her, but I’m going to set up a trip in the fall, so I don’t want to sit in the showroom like a hot mess chugging Magnolia water.

Leah’s Version

As I type this, Scott is sitting next to me, whistling The Final Countdown by Europe. This seems appropriate since this song was on our motorcycle playlist, and it is the last day of our epic adventure.

As Scott explained above, we’re doing today’s post a little differently. We’re both going to chime in with our opinions, so watch out. I figure if we can make it 21 days in extremely close quarters with each other then we can write a simple blog post together without bloodshed.

I don’t know what it is about 5am, but it’s become a familiar sight in the Silverii household. I’m not even sure what happens between the hours of 5am and 11am anymore, because that’s our nighttime.

I don’t think either of us slept well last night. It was probably a mix of the late night dinner we had of bacon mac n’ cheese and the fact that it was our last night before heading home. It’s a bit of a bittersweet ending, because we truly enjoyed the entire trip, and I think both of us could keep going for a while if other business obligations weren’t standing in our way.

We’ve stayed in a lot of hotels. So I can say with certainty that there are two things that hotels need to do better. The first is the pillows. Hotel pillows are the worst. The second thing is blackout curtains. I don’t stay up all night just so I can wake up two hours later when the sun rises. But I digress…

We made it out of the hotel by 1:00pm, packed up the bike, and headed over to Magnolia Market at the Silos, which was about half a mile away from our hotel. I could tell Scott was not very excited about this visit. There’ve been things in our marriage I haven’t been too excited about either, but I did them anyway, which was what Scott did this go-around. I figure this is an important part of marriage, so we’re nailing it.

You can see the silos a couple of blocks away, and we found parking in the church parking lot right next door. I thought it was great the church was able to benefit from the flocks of people who come to visit the area.

I’ll admit, I was pretty excited. I’ve never actually seen Fixer Upper, so I’m not a fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines in that sense (y’all know we don’t have TV in our house).

But I’m a fan of their relationship with Christ and each other. I’ve read their book, follow their blogs and videos, and just really enjoy that they’re not ashamed to be who they are, in a world that loves to shame people for following Christ.

Did I mention it was 105 degrees today? It actually felt a lot hotter, and I would’ve given anything to not be in jeans and biker boots. But I skipped happily toward the silos, and gave Scott a “Go Team” pat on the behind for being a good sport.

The line to the bakery was crazy long, even at past one in the afternoon. And y’all know Scott doesn’t do lines (remind me to tell y’all the Braum’s story some time). So we passed the crowd of sweat-soaked bakery goers and headed toward the store.

We walked through the doors and felt the cold rush of air, and I heard Scott groan in relief next to me. I’m not a super fan of crowds either, but it was really cool to watch the excitement in the room as people from all over the country got their own piece of “Magnolia.”

There was the main air-conditioned room, and then it flowed down the stairs into a larger warehouse. I would have gotten a shirt, but again…lines. But I will say there’s a ton of staff, and they’re all super friendly.

Scott and I found a couple of chairs and sat for a few minutes, just watching the people and enjoying the A/C.

When we left the building, we headed over to the green space, where there’s a stage and little shops selling a variety of things from snacks to t-shirts.

Even Scott mentioned how cool it was to be able to have the vision they did to make such a use out of the space and create something that changed the footprint of Waco, Texas.

It was truly a cool experience, and I’m glad Scott took one for the team and brought me there.

After Magnolia, we headed out of town. Well…almost out of town. Scott saw the sign for Cracker Barrel and took the exit. I figured he deserved a little Cracker Barrel after visiting Magnolia.

The thing about Cracker Barrel is that it’s consistent. It doesn’t matter what state or town you’re in, it’s always the same. And we’ve met such interesting people there as well.

A couple stopped us on the way out today. The older gentleman, he had to be at least in his mid-eighties, cornered Scott and I stood next to his wife.

I couldn’t hear what the men were talking about, so I told her Scott and I had been on a 6,000 motorcycle road trip. She smiled and said, “My husband and his first wife used to do that all the time. They went everywhere. She died a few years ago. I’m his second wife.”

My curiosity was immediately piqued. There was a great story there, and I was dying to ask questions. Fortunately, I didn’t have to ask.

She followed that up by saying, “We were high school sweethearts a long time ago. And a couple of years ago, he got in contact with my brother and asked if I was available. And when my brother told him I was, he asked if I’d be interested in seeing him again. We’ve been married a year and a half now.”

The writer in me was dying to ask questions at this point. What made them part ways in high school? What happened in the sixty-four years between high school and when they said, “I do?”

Had they always loved each other all those years and life just got in the way? Or had they done the right thing and shared their lives with the person they were supposed to, only to come back to each other in the end, once their children were grown.

The whole thing had my mind spinning all afternoon.

We finally said goodbye and got back on the bike. When I say it was miserably hot, I mean it. It hurt to sit on the seat. And hot wind slapped us in the face the entire ride home. Fortunately, it was only an hour and a half drive.

By the time we reached our street we were more than ready to be home. We high-fived each other as we entered into our neighborhood and made our triumphant return to real life.

As soon as we stepped inside we stripped off our sweat-soaked clothes and collapsed. We had the thought of going to jump in the pool, but I think we were both too tired.

So for now, this is the end of our #HOGWild17 adventure. I know we’ll do it again, and we take off tomorrow for another trip, so stay tuned for those posts.

Thanks so much for joining us on the ride!

5 QUESTIONS

What was your best experience?

Leah:

I’d say the best experience was our morning prayer time. I looked forward to it every day, and I knew it would set the tone for the day we’d spend together.

Scott:

Motoring to the 11,000 foot summit of Beartooth Pass. Beyond the sheer brilliance of the scenery, the experience of safely navigating around narrow, winding mountain roads was a first for me.

I was apprehensive the days leading up to it. I’d read so much about the hairpin turns, switchbacks and sudden elevation climbs that I worried I was too inexperienced with mountain rides for it. We have a big bike. It’s a beast.

And it was loaded down with cargo to last us the entire journey. As small as Leah is, I can still feel the difference in handling with and without her. The cargo and her added to the already robust bike, had me concerned.

To my pleasant surprise, it was amazing. The road wasn’t crowded with stop and go car traffic, the weather got cool at the top, but not cold and rainy. We were able to stop as we went for pics, and to enjoy the sweeping views from amazing heights.

Of course, coming down and right into Yellowstone National Park only added to the majesty of the experience.

What was your favorite location?

Leah:

I loved Whitefish, Montana, obviously, because we ended up buying a condo there, and Glacier National Park is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to get back there.

Scott:

This should be easy, right? Whitefish, Montana. I (we) loved it so much that we bought a condo the next day. Please, not to sound condescending or flippant about money, but we’ve both saved to buy a vacation home.

This wasn’t about finances as much as it was we felt this place touched our souls.

Asheville, North Carolina had the same effect on us last year, and we hope to buy there too one day, but when your soul cries out, you have to honor its call.

Of course, besides the lakes in the area, there is the incredible Glacier National Park, and the amazing sky park at Big Mountain. Yes, Whitefish was my favorite location.

What was your most difficult experience?

Leah:

I’d say the most difficult for me was the long haul between Sioux Falls and Rapid City, South Dakota. It was a lot of hours on the bike in hundred plus temperatures. But even that was fun.

Scott:

I realize I just said cresting the summit at Beartooth Pass was my favorite experience, and it was, but it was also my most difficult one too. And maybe a little embarrassing also.

We were coming down the mountain pass when Leah had asked about stopping to get a jacket. Everything was on a slight or steep down sloping grade, and almost every pull off was covered with gravel.

I thought I spotted a level pull off, although the road grade was steep. I slowed and drifted across the highway and into this huge gravel lot.

Immediately as I slowed, my feet began slipping out from beneath me. The front wheel jackknifed to the left and the bike began to slide out from under us.

It was all very slow speed, to almost stopped, but we were moving downward as the bike leaned over upward. I tried to muscle the frame back upright. I was also telling Leah to be careful and to get off and clear away from the bike before it toppled.

The bike laid over on it’s left side. There was zero damage thanks to highway bars. I squatted and gave it a quick jerk. It was embarrassing as people began asking if we were okay and running over.

I just wanted to get the bike up and get out of there. I was so mad at myself.

This bike is over 102 inches long and weighs well over a 1,000 pounds. Not to mention Leah and the fully loaded cargo. It didn’t budge. An older couple (we learned in their 80’s) stopped to a halt on the road to offer help.

I wanted to get it up and out. It wasn’t happening.

The old guy came and grabbed the bike and said he used to ride. Another younger guy grabbed hold and the three of us got it up and I dropped the kick stand to let it come to rest. There wasn’t a scratch on it, and I thanked them.

It had me so mad at myself for misjudging the grade and gravel. I told Leah from that point on, she’d either get her coat before or wait until after. Of course, there was no one else to blame but me.

What were your expectations before it began?

Leah:

I’m pretty relaxed about everything as long as there’s at least a framework of a schedule, so the only expectation I had going into the trip was that we were going to have a great time because we were getting to do this trip together.

We always have fun together, no matter where we go or what we do, and I know as long as we’re together we’ll get through anything. So I went into the trip full-speed ahead ready for a great adventure.

I think Scott said it best in one of his blog posts. When we started on the journey it was about riding a motorcycle every day, with a little bit of prayer and bible along the way. But it turned into an amazing prayer and study journey, with a little bit of motorcycle every day.

Scott:

I had expected to just hit the road and rough it. I thought we’d figure it out as we went. Food, drinks, gas, rest would all just fall into place. I was going for the mileage, and to experience the open roads.

Thank God Leah was there.

What have you learned after we’ve finished?

Leah:

I’ve learned that Scott’s an over-packer, and that I love him more every day. I couldn’t imagine doing life with anyone else.

Scott:

I learned along the way that this trip wasn’t about a motorcycle ride. We pray together every day. Admittedly, we get busy and “forget.” This wasn’t going to be one of those times.

The days were ours and praying before we began was our priority.

From day 1, God pressed on my heart that this trip was about Him. Each day, our morning prayer sessions grew more intimate and intense until we understood God sent us away from everyone and everything so we could focus on Him and on us.

It was in reality a prayer revival and marriage retreat that also involved riding a motorcycle. There was so much time spent in silence while we rode. I used that time to pray for people and meditate on what God wants from me.

The experience has been life-changing, and not at all what I expected when we drove out of our garage on July 1st. Thank God for that.

Thanks and God Bless You,

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 16 – Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Day 16!

It’s my day to do the blog, so there’s something important I need to bring to everyone’s attention before we can move onto the business at hand.

I dunno…what do you think?

Okay, now we can move on.

I’ve got a confession to make. I discovered Ancestry.com pretty late last night, and I didn’t go to sleep until five this morning.

Scott and I are both fascinated by ancestry because we don’t know that much about our families past our grandparents, so this has been really cool. Don’t tell Scott, but I ordered us both DNA test kits so we can see what our heritage is.

Because I went to bed at five this morning, I slept until eleven. Scott got up early because God told him to get up and go do his prayer and study time, so that’s what he did.

I stumbled in a few hours later, bleary-eyed and in my underwear, with weird creases on my skin from the sheets. I’m not a fan of morning.

Scott let me sit in his lap, so I curled up and got comfortable. We snuggled for several minutes before he told me I looked like Gollum. Then he said, “Let me hear you say My Precious.”

This is pretty much what living with Scott is like all the time. He likes to be entertained. As he’s said before, I’m incredibly patient and almost always indulge him. 

This set an interesting tone for our morning prayer time, but it truly was a great prayer. Scott said this has been more like a three week prayer journey, with motorcycle-riding in between, and he couldn’t have said it better.

It’s been an amazing time getting to know each other on an even deeper level, and I think we’ll never forget this trip and what we’ve learned from it.

Thank goodness for late checkout, because it was after one by the time I transformed from Gollum to my regular self. We left the hotel, and Scott immediately drove us to Arby’s to eat. If he’s learned anything over the last several years, it’s that feeding me is important.

My husband is a brilliant man. And I was ready to roll.

Today’s trek was from Rock Springs, Wyoming to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The terrain changed drastically as soon as we set out. The mountains became more rugged and the landscape more stark. The sky was gorgeous. 

It was a long stretch of highway before we made it to a town (that had a population of just over three hundred) so we could fill up the tank and get some gatorade. By the time we filled up and got back on the bike, the sky looked like this.

So we put on the rain gear and took off.

Other than the occasional sharp pelt of rain to the face, the cooler temperatures and the wind that came in with the storm felt nice.

Before long, we were approaching Steamboat Springs.

Which is another gorgeous resort town, but we’ve already bought our quota of property on this trip, so we’re safe.

And they have Mexican food restaurants, which perked me right up. It’s been more than two weeks since we had Mexican food, and that’s a long time for us.

I love queso more than I should. I was going through withdrawal. And I think Scott was happy too. Nothing excites that man like guacamole. Unless it’s chocolate.

I think dinner did him in, because he’s in “man position,” reclined on the bed with the remote in his hand while I dig deeper into his ancestry.

We’re heading to Denver tomorrow. The last time we were in Denver we saw all the sights in the Jeep, but I look forward to seeing them again on the bike.

I think I’m going to join Scott in his “man position,” and try to get a normal night’s sleep.

See you tomorrow,

Leah and Scott

 

 

#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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#HOGWild17: Day 13 – Red Lodge, Montana

Oh, the joy of having a windowless hotel room.

I was so cozy after a rough ride into Helena, Montana that I heard Leah say, “It’s one thirty-four.” I jumped up out of bed and into a pitch black space. How could we have slept so late?

It was a dream, and while Snoozy Suzy pounded sand next to me, I checked the clock. It was ten o’clock and time to get going. We’ve followed so many of the great suggestions before the trip, except the one about hitting the road early. We don’t do early.

I had a feeling that the hotel staff was out to get me following my exposing them for hogging the plate of iced tea cookies. A resounding knock at the door signalled the staff was trying to get us. In reality, it was after checkout and they wanted us out. I still think it was motivated by the cookie caper.

Yeah, I’m a bit hung up on it. But then, my bride started growling like she does around noon, and guess what wasn’t an option? Tea cookies. So we hurriedly loaded the bike and I blasted over to Wendy’s.

It was a long ride over to Red Lodge, Montana. Endless miles of rolling hills surrounded by majestic mountains and crystal blue lakes. Although this is day 13, it’s only our second day back after the Whitefish multi-day detour. I can tell you that Big Sky country is still super sunny, and after we eclipsed the 200 mile mark, my hiney hurt.

I kept pulling off for gas and Gatorade. I’d buy more time by asking Leah to clean the windshield. I don’t need it to see through, but I thought it was cute having her scrub so hard while I chugged my drink. Don’t tell her though, I’m hoping to keep her going once we get home.

Like I said, we put lots of miles down today, but had such an amazing time being together. We met a great group of bikers during a gas stop in Big Timber, Montana. These folks were also heading into Red Lodge for the giant bike rally.

We knew nothing about this until late last night while I was researching the area. Imagine that. Us stuck smack dab in the middle of an old-fashioned Harley Davidson rodeo rally and street party. One of the guys was a retired Sheriff’s Deputy and the other guy had possibly the best old-Western handlebar mustache ever.

I love meeting people. These were some of those people. I always scan the pins and patches on their leather vests for signs of friendly or outlaw. Most folks we’ve met bare a cross or witness fish showing their belief in Jesus Christ. We enjoyed talking with them and tried to plan a meet up in Red Lodge.

After my Wendy’s and windshield pics, I was restricted to Fig Newtons. It was worth it though!

Once inside the convenience store for the convenience of air condition, Leah had a super surprise. Her latest novel, Gone To Dust was right there on the shelf.

She’s a writer, big deal you say. Yes, it really is a big deal. We see her books at Target, WalMart, Barnes & Noble and all of the big distribution site. But to see her books in Big Timber, Montana shows her widespread appeal.

One of the things she does that I think is so nice, is wherever she finds her books on shelves, she signs them (after asking the manager of course.) The unknowing reader who buys the book gets an original autograph. Pretty cool surprise I’d say.

I just realized that this day’s post is mostly about Snoozy Suzy or as I also call her, Snacky McSnack. It’s okay, because she pretty much keeps things rolling. She’s been the photographer and navigator the entire time.

It’s been great having her pick out a better route or a scenic byway on the fly. We’ve seen more than we expected.

And I’ve discovered she not only enjoys taking pics of scenery and wildlife, but she also enjoys photographing the “wildlife” when he’s not looking. I think my roadtrip beard has gone completely off the tracks. As for her, she thinks she’s being cute with the camera. I guess she kinda is.

When she captures actual scenery it’s still so hard to grab the true beauty of what we’re getting to see. Growing up in south Louisiana, and now in Dallas, seeing hills is exciting.

Being surrounded by mountains is absolutely stunning. This is the heartland of America. You get a grasp of big agriculture out here and begin to understand how unsung our farmers and ranchers actually are. Leah’s 21 ounce steaks and vegetable sides don’t just appear on the table.

We made it to Red Lodge and cruised real slow down main street so my Vance & Hines pipes cracked and rumbled a greeting to the hundreds of bikes lining the street.

The Beartooth Rally is ramping up, and it felt like riding through a welcome banner made of leather and chrome.

This is a very cool town, and although I suspect it’ll be run over by rowdiness for the next four days, it still looks like a great place to visit.

After unloading, we walked the main street to a great place called Foster and Logan’s. Immediately upon entering, I saw the giant LSU flag.

It made me a little homesick, but made me smile because Louisiana people are happy to go everywhere for any reason and always leave the places a little better than they found it.

Day 14 is going to be a bear (I’m being nice) thanks to a monster ride across Beartooth Pass and then several hours to Yellowstone before bedding down in Jackson Hole, Jackson, Wyoming.

Beartooth is rated as one of the greatest motorcycle paths in America. We’ll climb to an elevation of almost 11,000 feet while managing hairpin turns and steep switchbacks. Am I a little concerned? Not as long as Leah sits still and the good Lord blesses us.

See you tomorrow,

Scott & Leah

 

#HOGWild17: Day 12 – Helena, Montana

Day 12!

I don’t even know what’s happened the past couple of days. We’re high on mountain air and delicious food.

Apparently, riding a motorcycle for ten days in the heat fries the circuits in the brain, and then you end up looking at condos and putting in an offer.

This is a shot of the living area. Scott wanted to stretch out across the couch to make the scene look more homey, but I talked him out of it. I told him the picture of him laid out on the massage table was enough for a twenty-one day trip.

So…that’s what we did today. Just a normal day in Whitefish, Montana, which we’ve never been to before, but fell in love with immediately. I think it’s easier to justify this because we travel so much and have seen a lot of incredible places in this country.

And this is one of our favorites. That says something. Now everyone needs to come to Whitefish. We have a place for you that sleeps up to 8!

And the balcony has a fire pit and TV.

And it has a pretty awesome view too!

Condo-buying takes a while, so we didn’t actually leave Whitefish until five o’clock this afternoon. But because Scott learned his lesson a few days ago when we left town and then discovered there weren’t restaurants for a couple of hundred miles, I suggested we eat something before heading out. He readily agreed.

Our realtor suggested a place called Loula’s. It’s in the basement of a corner building in downtown Whitefish. And it was awesome. If y’all know me, you know pie is my favorite dessert. I adore pie. And Loula’s is famous for their pies.

You can buy them by the slice or the whole pie. I was tempted to get the whole pie and just eat it on the back of the motorcycle, but Judgey McJudgerson would’ve written about it in tomorrow night’s blog post.

After we had pie and signed a billion papers, we finally left Whitefish. We were sad to go, but we’re supposed to be back home in another ten days so we can catch a flight.

I know, we’re crazy. But we have to get back to work, though I’m not going to think about that right now.

Our realtor also suggested we head to Helena instead of Butte, which was our original plan. He’s a motorcycle guy too, and said the drive was gorgeous. He wasn’t lying.

But first, we had to stop at Glacier Harley-Davidson. It was on the way, and Scott was able to add to his shirt collection, even though he doesn’t shop.

The ride truly was spectacular on the way to Helena. And we couldn’t have asked for better weather.

This was the view on one side of the highway.

And this was the view of the other side.

 

It was like that the whole way, which is why y’all need to come visit Montana. It took right at four hours to reach Helena, and we checked into the hotel.

This is the part where Scott wants to write a guest paragraph in this post, because he’s got some drama, but I told him it’d be better if I just laid out the cold hard facts.

When we checked into the hotel, there was a tray of iced tea cookies sitting on the counter for hotel guests. The guy checking us in, we’ll call him Ryan (actually, that’s his real name, we don’t keep secrets here) told us he was very tired and the end of the day had caught up with him.

Scott couldn’t pick out Ryan in a lineup, but he could pick out one of those tea cookies.

After we checked in and unloaded the bike, Scott went to go park it, thinking he’d just get a cookie once he came back inside. Unfortunately, within the span of five minutes, the tray of tea cookies disappeared.

And no one was behind the counter. Scott scouted around for stray crumbs, but someone had cleaned that counter like it was the week after a crime scene and the apartment needed to be rented.

We checked into our room, where we discovered our room is connected to the hotel pool. Literally. We just walk out our door and if we’re not careful we’ll fall into the water.

That excited Scott to no end until he saw the pool closed at ten and people weren’t going to be belly flopping outside our French doors.

We changed clothes for dinner, and then we walked back by the counter. The culprits had reappeared. You know Scott, he’s all about confrontation. Actually, he hates confrontation. Unless it has to do with missing cookies. 

Ryan was talking on the phone, but his eyes were shifty and he was sweating. Scott zeroed in on the woman and asked point blank where the cookies were.

She cracked under the pressure and threw Ryan under the bus, confessing that he ate the rest of them. I guess the stress of the end of the day got to him. But that didn’t leave Scott with any cookies.

I got to hear about Ryan and his cookie eating as we walked down the block to the restaurant on the corner, and Scott mentioned something about Ryan eating six cookies and the kind of person who does such a thing.

He also told the hostess all about Ryan. I think she was traumatized because we had to wait for a table.

This was me waiting. The chair was giant, and I felt like Lily Tomlin.

By the time we got back to the hotel room it was after ten-thirty and still light outside. Our times are totally thrown off. Tombstone was on the TV when we got in.

Scott’s never seen it. I know. It’s a crime. And he seemed a little scared when I told him, “I’m coming after you. And I’m bringing hell with me.” After an uncomfortable pause, I explained that was a line from the movie.

We’re heading to Red Lodge, Montana tomorrow, where we’ll do all the necessary preparations for riding Beartooth Pass. There aren’t really any preparations other than visiting another HD store and looking for a Cracker Barrel.

See you tomorrow!

Leah and Scott

 

#HOGWild17: Day 11 – Whitefish, Montana

You know how you go to Montana and end up buying property? No? Is that just us?

Our schedule has changed. We ended up staying an extra night in Whitefish, Montana because we love it, and because we needed an extra day to rest.

We got up this morning (yes, before noon), and went to the spa for a couple’s massage. By the time we finished, we were limp like noodles and asked the front desk to add another night to our stay.

I’m not sure if staying another day away from the bike was wise, but it sure was nice to wear loafers instead of heavy leather boots, and shorts instead of jeans. But we hear the call of the wild howling our names to return to the endless black ribbon across America.

I had Leah take a pic in front of the woods so we at least looked like we’d been in nature today. Not sure where the handshake came in but at least it’s an action shot. You can see how thrilled she was doing this.

So once the “luxury” cabin was offered for another night thanks to a shower that didn’t work, a washer/dryer that didn’t work, and the half roll of toilet paper they blessed us with from day 1 ran out, we settled in for a day of shopping.

We met a very nice realtor who told Leah how to find him downtown. His description of himself was that he was wearing shorts and was very handsome. When we found Trini, he was wearing shorts. We wanted a place up this way, and he was the guy to find it.

Talk about a small world. One of my childhood friends bought a place in Whitefish. The condo we want is adjacent to his. After living on the west side of town as kids, and then not seeing each other almost 30 years, we may end up as neighbors in Montana.

You can tell we’re a little excited about this find. We also have friends who live in Whitefish full-time, so that’s another plus. And, it’ll be a great place to vacation with the kids. Trust me, we don’t take God’s blessings for granted.

Once we left Trini, and his shorts, we headed back to the cabin to get our clothes cleaned. They said set them out under the patio. We grabbed amazing pizza at Ciao Mambo, where people line up every night before the doors open for supper-only service. It was worth the wait.

I can tell you that upon returning home, the big bag of clothes was gone. So we’ll either have freshly laundered clothes by 9:00am tomorrow or some bear is ballin’ in Sturgis 2017 Harley Davidson shirts and a slightly tattered bandana. Either way, the bear wins.

Tomorrow after signing a few papers, we mount up on what I call “Trusty Dusty,” and ride out to Butte, Montana. This is a big state. Not as big as Texas, but almost. It’ll be a good welcome back to the saddle before crossing the Grand Tetons and the Rockies into Steamboat, Colorado in the next few days.

I took my girl for an actual walk after supper and we enjoyed a Huckleberry dessert and sweet tea. Why can’t everywhere have sweet tea like we do in the south?

As I’m posting these pictures, it’s funny I never noticed how white my beard was. I told Leah that July was my caveman month and I wasn’t shaving. When the wind parts it during rides is when you know it needs some tender, grooming care.

So as Leah has offered everyone who wants to visit, and by visit, she means, rent the condo up here, here’s a cozy room waiting for you just down the road from the best snow skiing in America.

See you all tomorrow from the road.

Scott & Leah

 

 

#HOGWild17: Day 10 – Glacier National Park

Day 10!

And boy was it incredible!

Since it’s my day to do the blog, I’d like to go back and correct Scott’s post from yesterday where he said I’d wait for real food right outside of Great Falls. What actually happened was that Zippy McImpatient hopped on the bike and hauled out of town because he was ready to get on the road, and then he was ready to eat shortly after. But alas, Zippy had missed his chance for a hot meal, and we had to drive 40 miles until we found a Subway. Just to set the record straight.

Now, onto Day 10…

We’re staying in the incredible resort town of Whitefish, Montana. We’re already looking at real estate, because this place is amazing. There’s a view everywhere you look.

Whitefish

For some reason, we went to bed around four o’clock this morning. And for some other unexplainable reason, Scott was awake at eight. I told him to go back to sleep or he had to go outside with the bears. He went back to sleep.

The plan for the day was to go out with our friends, John and Kristen, so they could show us around Whitefish and take us to Glacier National Park. I can’t even put into words how beautiful this area is.

The pictures don’t do it justice, and there was just a point where I stopped taking pictures so I could soak it all in.

Cold Shower

But first, we had to get ready for John and Kristen to pick us up. Which was a lot harder than it should have been. The cabin we’re staying in has technology out the wazoo.

From the lights to the fireplace to the bathtub, shower, and sound system, it’s all programmed on an ipad. The only problem was Scott and I didn’t get the memo about how to work the shower.

It has about sixteen jets, eight choices for light colors, five choices for what kind of massaging the shower heads can perform, and if you stand in just the right position, it does things that are illegal in most southern states.

We got the water and lights turned on, but setting the temperature was a mystery.

I lucked out and managed to take a hot shower yesterday, but by the time Scott got in it was on Max Cold and there was no warming it up.

This morning (more like afternoon because we slept late), we both had the same problem and the water was freezing. We called maintenance, but he seemed just as confused by the technology as we did.

The maintenance man stayed for a while and puttered around a bit, and then I think he left to go have a snack before coming back. While he was gone, I got lucky and turned on the water and it was a hundred and seven degrees.

I yelled at Scott to strip off his clothes and get in the shower. There was no telling how much time we had with the hot water.

He moves pretty fast when he wants to, so we jumped in and started soaping up. I told him to stop crying about how hot it was. Hot is always better than cold. By the time I was shampooed up, the temperature had dropped to a hundred degrees.

I kept yelling at Scott to scrub faster, but the temp was down to ninety. It was every man for himself at this point. I finished up and left him in the shower as the water got even colder. All I remember after that point was a bunch of screaming from inside the shower.

Hot Time

Kristen and John picked us up and listened politely to our shower drama, even though we were running about half an hour behind schedule. And then we headed to Glacier National Park.

I’ve never seen anything like it. I have a few “favorite” places we’ve been to in this country, and this place has moved near the top. It might even take the top spot.

I decided to stake my claim while we were there.

Scott decided to still take pictures with me even though I left him in the frigid shower. He’s a good egg.

Sun Road

We took Going to the Sun Road all the way to the top of Glacier National Park. As awesome as it would have been to take the motorcycle on the road, it also would’ve been a little scary.

Scott is convinced that bears are going to jump out and swipe a paw at him. He says he’s prepared to duck so the bear gets me instead. Anyway, we were grateful for John and Kristen’s car.

The views never got old. 

This is the actual background, you guys. Not a green screen. It’s hard to believe it’s real.

Good Burger / Bad Potty

Once we came back down the mountain, we were pretty hungry, so we headed into town and went to a place called Bulldogs.

The food was delicious. Our advice is to order the stuffed pretzels and stay out of the bathrooms. There’s stuff on the walls in there you don’t want your kids seeing. There are better ways to get an anatomy lesson. But the bacon burger was amazing.

Scott stopped by a table of bikers on our way out and discovered they’d driven all that way from Fort Worth and were heading back the way we’d come.

We Love It

I think the greatness of Whitefish is no longer a secret. Or maybe it never was a secret and we’re just late to the party. But we love it, and I don’t think we’re ready to get back on the road tomorrow.

John and Kristen took us to see their beautiful home, and they get to see those gorgeous mountain views from just about every window in their house.

I got a lot of new ideas for things I want to do to our house when we get back home. I’m sure that excites Scott to no end. But he’s a trooper, and as long as I get it all done and present a finished product to him he’s usually cool with it.

Hopefully, Scott won’t read this and he’ll just be surprised. He loves surprises. Almost as much as he loves hugs.

We enjoyed more conversation, and then we realized it was after nine o’clock. Time is deceptive here since it doesn’t get dark until almost eleven. Scott decided he needed ice cream at this point, so we all went to Dairy Queen and got Blizzards before heading back to our cabin.

Cabin Fever

Now, we’re snuggled in on the sofa, watching Forensic Files, and replaying the day. The sights we saw today just have to be seen in person. There’s nothing like it. You guys should come visit. We might know of a place you can stay if we end up buying property here.

Tomorrow, we’re supposed to head south and prepare to ride Beartooth Scenic Highway. Oh! And we have a couple’s massage scheduled in the morning, so that will be awesome, even though Scott always falls asleep during a deep tissue massage. I don’t know how he does it.

We’ll see y’all tomorrow for Day 11!

Leah and Scott

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#HOGWild17: Day 7 – Billings, Montana

Looks like I get the honors on day 7. It’s not like I just motored all day. But I’m not complaining, because I get to tell my version of today’s events. The truth may bend, but it’ll never be broken.

Mail Call

Before we did anything, I insisted we mail dirty and newly bought clothes back home. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you the bike was to the brink of busting open, thanks to her shopping sprees.

The lady at the Post Office was nice, but surprised we’d amassed so many clothes in just 6 days. I just shrugged and pointed at her.

Joy

We’re both feeling the groove of the road. We’ve gotten into a good routine for loading and unloading the bike, navigating, and doing the little things that might not be an important part of the trip, but sure add to the joy. During this morning’s prayers, the word joy was placed on my heart.

If biking from Deadwood, South Dakota through Wyoming and along a thin black ribbon across Montana counts as joy, then oh boy, did we have joy!!

Deadwood has stolen our hearts and imaginations. I’m pretty sure this town is going to end up in one of our next novels. We spent the morning there, and left after a visit to the Deadwood Harley Davidson. We met a very nice lady who told us a bit about the town’s history.

We also had a great lunch at Maverick Steakhouse. I had one grilled chicken breast and my beautiful wife had….well, a lot. I made a comment and she said she wasn’t going to apologize. Not pictured are the “side” salad, mac-n-cheese and possibly dessert.It takes a good sense of humor, flexibility and a sense of situational awareness while travelling. This can also apply while driving across town, but especially on the road.

Strange

The things you see once leaving your comfort area can be funny. We live in Dallas and are used to city life. Nowhere, USA isn’t Dallas, or actually, any other place we’ve seen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All I can say is at least the flies weren’t in our food, and this realtor must be crazy…crazy like a fox.

Do-Do-Do-Do-Do

Speaking of crazy, we went to see Devil’s Tower. It’s pretty odd, but also a testament to the wonder of this world. I mean really, besides being featured in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, it’s a marvel. Though there was no Richard Dreyfuss or aliens. Here’s a nostalgic clip.

Someone suggested we walk the base of the tower. Have you seen how big that sucker is? No way were we walking it. We drove by and took a selfie. It’s that big hill in the background. 

After this excitement, we began the drive to Wyoming and then Montana. This area is called Big Sky. The scenery is unbelievable. We went hundreds of miles with only farmland and livestock.

Dude Chat

We did find a lonely gas station where I met a guy from Florida. He seemed less than happy to have taxied his 14 year old daughter and wife all the way to see Old Faithful.

I asked, “Was it worth it?”

He said, “You’re not heading there are ya?”

I lied, “No, of course not.”

He huffed, “It was less than impressive.”

I felt bad, “Actually, my wife wants to go.”

He handed me the gas nozzle, “Good luck with that.”

I felt like we’d shared a Bro Moment. I didn’t tell Leah I’d thrown her under the bus. Again.

So after I cat-walked the bike across the gravel parking lot like a primadonna, we hit the endless black ribbon across Montana’s Big Sky until we came to Billings. This was my view for most of the ride. I guess that fly strip didn’t catch all of the bugs after all.

The actual view was incredibly beautiful as I sit above the height of the windshield, but I leave the photography to my-copilot.

Working It

I’ll happily admit that a wife is genius at motivating husbands when properly enticed. After my mojo had been blown with the news we had another 260 miles to get to Billings, Montana, Leah tapped my shoulder and whispered those oh so sweet words.

“They have a Cracker Barrel.”

With that news, I would’ve put her on my back and run the distance. We both enjoyed a fantastic late night breakfast menu. It was worth the long day ride.

Well, it’s another night of resting sore booties and trying to remember everything that happened today. We can’t even recall what it was like when we first left home. It seems like so long ago. A friend said after a few days, you’d become one with the road.

I was suspicious of that, but beyond the esoteric contemplation, it’s the truth. You stop having to work at it as it becomes very natural. The ebb and flow of being out on the open road has a rhythm of it’s own. I even found that Leah was feeling frisky while on the bike, or just tried to bug me by doing what drives me nuts. It’s all fun.

Zen

People are different, and those also travelling respond to you very differently than those who are not. I can’t say I blame the others. After a week baking in the sun and wind, I look kinda…crazy (notice the goggle white rings.)

Well, I’ll wrap this up before my love decides to start reading over my shoulder. Day 8 is a shorter run to Great Falls to see what, I have no idea. I’m guessing waterfalls.

See you all tomorrow,

Scott & Leah

 

 

#HOGWild17 – Day 6 – Deadwood, South Dakota

Let’s Start

Day 6! I don’t even know where to start.

Seriously…the beginning of the day feels like a million years ago. Some of us slept like a baby last night in Rapid City, South Dakota. And by some of us, I mean Scott Silverii.

I finally dozed off sometime around two-thirty after going over our schedule again and playing three hundred and thirty-two rounds of Cascade on my iPhone. I think I was just at the point where I was so exhausted that I couldn’t shut things off.

And then the sun came up, and some of us woke up a good half hour before the alarm was set to go off. “Some of us” once again refers to Scott, and boy, was he bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. From this point forward, Scott will be referred to as BEBT.

Custer

We did manage to get out of the hotel a good bit before noon today, and we headed to Custer State Park. The temperature was at least twenty degrees cooler than yesterday, so it felt amazing outside.

We took the Wildlife Loop around the park, and BEBT found himself face to face with his spirit animal. You guys know how much that man loves a donkey.

It’s hard to put into words how beautiful this part of the country is. I can’t count how many times the word “wow” came out of our mouths. And the roads are fantastic for driving.

Crazy Horse

We left the Wildlife Loop, getting to see numerous donkeys, buffalo, and deer, and headed to Crazy Horse, which was just down the road. You can see Crazy Horse (whose original name was apparently Curly) behind me and BEBT in the picture.

We were starving by this point, so we mosied on over to Laughing Fountain Cafe, where I “think” I had spaghetti and BEBT had chicken strips. I tried to get BEBT to stop in Custer for the #1 rated burger in the Black Hills, but he was excited to see Crazy Horse and missed the opportunity.

We decided they’ve got a lot of work left to do before they finish this thing, but there are plenty of smaller versions all over the place that they were able to make real quick. Like this one.

We were detained for a few minutes at Crazy Horse because of a random thunderstorm, complete with hail. It was weird. And it was over almost before it began, but it got the bike wet, so we were finally able to use the chamois I packed in the emergency bag.

Four Faces

Once we left Crazy Horse, it was time for the Big Deal. BEBT has wanted to see Mount Rushmore since he was a kid. And he was as excited as a kid the closer we got to seeing it.

Black Hills National Park doesn’t disappoint. Every corner we turned revealed jutting black stones, towering pines, and crystal clear lakes. It was majestic and surreal, and I told Scott there was a point as we were climbing the mountain on the motorcycle where tears pricked my eyes. God’s creation is an absolute masterpiece.

And I loved getting to experience Scott’s excitement for realizing a childhood dream. It was such a cool experience. When we prayed this morning, Scott thanked God for the blessings we’ve been given to get to experience things like this, and that we’ve been given the time to grow closer to Him and closer to each other. We don’t take these experiences for granted, and we’re eternally grateful.

Ice Cream Buddies

Scott was also excited to learn that Thomas Jefferson made the first ice cream recipe. I didn’t get to read the recipe because I was too distracted by the handsome man in the picture.

We also stopped and talked with an older couple who were enjoying the shade and a park bench. The woman shared she’d been divorced for twenty years and the man next to her had been divorced for twenty-five years when they’d met, and that both of them had determined they’d never marry again.

Scott was able to share his story with them since he’d also been divorced and single for twenty years before the two of us met and married. They were a sweet couple and we shared some laughs as the man shared what he’d learned about marriage. They recently celebrated their seventeenth wedding anniversary.

Harley Hopping

After we left Mount Rushmore we made a stop at Black Hills Harley-Davidson. This is the fourth HD shopping trip we’ve made along the way. I’m not sure how we’re getting it all on the bike, but I think we’re going to have to find a post office soon and start shipping things home. It also started warming up about this time. Scott said I was looking a little dehydrated.

We left Black Hills HD and went to Sturgis. Because you can’t come to this part of the country and not make a stop in Sturgis. I love seeing all the bikes parked at the businesses and passing us on the highway. Of course, Sturgis also has a HD store. We went in. You know the rest.

BEBT likes to tell the other bikers that I like to shop in every store we come to, which is true. But I’d like it known for the record that I’m not the only one who likes to shop. See the evidence in the photograph below. These are just a few pieces of his “booty” from today.

New Novel

By this point, we were pretty spent. We covered a lot of territory today and saw everything that was on our list of “must sees.” So we got back on the bike and headed to Deadwood. Which I’m pretty sure is going to be the setting of a new novel. It’s a really cool town.

We’ll be up again tomorrow (this time when the alarm goes off), and hitting the road again for Day 7. We’re not a hundred percent sure where we’re going yet. We’re still trying to decide whether we want to head into North Dakota or into Wyoming so we can see Devil’s Tower.

That’s part of the fun! We’ll figure it out later.

See you tomorrow,

Leah and Scott

#HOGWild17: Day 5 – Rapid City, South Dakota

Can I say one thing about today’s ride? It was hot. I mean really hot. Actually, it was hotter than hot. I told Leah once we settled in for the night that had she told me it was 103, I’d might have stayed in Sioux Falls,

Instead, we clipped over 600 miles along the open South Dakota plains. But before we headed out for the Badlands, we made two quick stops in SFalls.

Oh, and yes, we did pull off a Badlands #PromPic. Let’s see your locational #PromPic

You have to visit the local Harley shops, so we rode over to J&L Harley Davidson and picked up a few shirts. Of course there’s zero room for extras but that didn’t stop Fancy Pants.

Now, some folks might think it’s weird, but Leah and I both fell in love with the Duluth Trading Company. She’d bought me a pair of their rooster booster underwear for Christmas as a joke. It was no joke. They are incredible. Now, it’s about all I trust my rooster to.

We found a store and just had to pay them a visit. I guess we felt like they’d recognize us from our purchases, or our cool undies. Instead we met a few great staff who we enjoyed talking to. They said to tag the Duluth Trading Company’s blog and say we met Jim and Dale.

Hear that Duluth blog? We kicked it with Jim and Dale in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They also said a store was coming to Texas (Please consider Dallas.)

So after Fancy Pants bought even more clothes and shoved them on top of the other stuff there was no room for, we headed out across rugged, but beautiful terrain.

This is our Facebook live broadcast from the Badlands. My beard is longer than the hair on my head. It’s out of control, but I’m not touching either until we get back to Dallas.

We met a guy from Iowa who was driving his teenaged daughter back to the Badlands area. They’d already run over 400 miles and still had a few hundred to go. Poor kid was red faced but looked like she couldn’t be happier than hanging onto daddy.

A few days ago, Leah said how she loved meeting folks on bikes because everyone was on a journey. Most enjoy sharing their stories. I’d love to know they made it home okay.

We were determined to make it to the Badlands National Park before the evening. I didn’t know much about the area other than always having heard the term badlands. It always made it seem so intimidating. I can tell you that after exploring the area, it actually is very intimidating and beautiful.

We’d stop at lookout points, and you’d feel the tug at your spirit, but without the ability to express it in words. I think I said, Wow about a thousand times. I felt sorry for the folks in cars (other than having AC) because the motorcycle allowed us to experience it so much more intimately.

We even came to a halt as what looked like goats or rams stood in the road to graze on the shoulder. They were beautiful, and it was easy to identify the mom and babies and then the big daddy who walked up. I guess he was making sure our Harley Davidson wasn’t some sort of alpha animal.

Once I was sure, he wasn’t going to pull Leah off the bike and eat her, I cruised on past them. It was so cool being that close. About a mile up the way, we stopped again for a single deer. It too, was close enough to touch, but Leah decided to yell, “Haya.” Why, I do not know.

Okay, I’m going to give you a marketing tip. Stop wasting your time and money on that interweb thing. Instead, do as Wall Drug has done for decades and string hundreds of billboards over thousands of miles. You don’t even need wifi or internet service. Just a few poles in the dirt and a funny slogan on paper.

After the Badlands, we were obsessed with visiting Wall Drug. It was like a moth’s flame. It’s all we could think about thanks to those old school billboards. We both love them. They remind me of family vacations as a kid. They were so exciting to read.

After supper there, we zipped over to Rapid City for the night. We’re resting up for a giant day at Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park. I’m so excited to see Rushmore. It’s captivated me my entire life and I’m less than 12 hours from realizing that dream. I doubt I’ll sleep.

We’re going to get some rest after mashing a monster day on the bike. My longest day ride was 525 miles, so when we clipped 600 miles, I was happy to tell Leah we’d broken a PR. She wasn’t so excited. She’s more focused on prepping for the next day. I’m not in any big rush to break that personal record either.

Well, please keep us in your prayers for continued safe travels.

Scott & Leah

#HOGWild17: Day 4 – Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Happy Independence Day!

Whew! We got a super late start to the day due to the fact that Day 3 wore us out. I tried to wake Scott up in time to see the sunrise, but he grumbled something impolite and rolled back over. In a show of solidarity, I went back to sleep too.

My favorite times with Scott are just after we go to bed, and when we wake up in the mornings. This is when we talk about anything and everything. It might take twenty minutes or it might take hours.

There has been many a night when we’ve fallen asleep mid-sentence just before the sun is about to rise. All I know is that by the time we got out of bed this morning, it was noon. And by the time we showered and managed to drag our tired selves down to the bike, it was after one. Thank goodness for late checkout.

Since it’s July 4th, we dressed appropriately in our America shirts. I also accessorized with a red bedazzled headband and my favorite red lipstick.

Hangry

Now, those of you who have followed us for a few years know that I need to be fed at regular intervals. I get what’s universally known as “hangry.” Did I mention we were in Iowa and there’s not a whole lot going on for long stretches of time?

Fortunately, Scott had to stop for gas, and I think the Lord must have told him where to exit off the highway because there was an Arby’s right next door. When Scott prayed for us to have a safe day of travels during our morning prayer time, God understood it wasn’t just the motorcycle ride we needed safety for.

With full bellies, we begrudgingly left the air-conditioned restaurant and back out into the heat. Now, we’re from Texas, so this isn’t really “heat,” but the heat still works on you after you’re on the bike for a while. After pushing an all day ride yesterday, we made a smart choice in making the one today quite a bit shorter.

The Border

Before we knew it, we’d crossed the border from Iowa into South Dakota and were met with rolling hills, endless green fields, and blue skies. We listened to Johnny Cash, and I got four new book ideas sitting on the back of the bike and watching the clouds go by.

Something else we found particularly exciting about South Dakota was the speed limit. We finally found one that kept up with our normal speed.

Our final destination for the day was Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The motorcycle alerted us that there was a Harley Davidson in Sioux Falls, so we pushed the button for the navigator to lead us in that direction. We also saw a billboard for Duluth Trading Company, which has a local store. You guys know we love Duluth. Scott particularly enjoys their Rooster Booster tagline for their men’s underwear.

Closed 4 Fourth

Unfortunately, the HD store and Duluth were closed for the holiday, so we’ll make a stop at both stores tomorrow before we head out. With nowhere left to go, we headed to the Springhill Suites (Yay for Marriott points!) to get settled for the evening.

I’d already been thinking about dinner at this point (see my previous statement about being fed at regular intervals), and I saw a Johnny Carino’s billboard. Italian food sounded like just the thing to hit the spot. The only trick was whether or not Scott would want to get back on the bike to go eat.

Things didn’t seem too promising when the first thing the did when we got in the room was take off his pants and lay down on the bed. In a show of solidarity, I did the same. It was hot after all. And after a short rest and Facebooking, the subject of dinner came up.

By some miracle, our legs managed to find our pant holes and we headed out to Johnny Carino’s. It was delicious. We’re still full.

This is the look of a satisfied man.

Kick Back

We’re back at the hotel, the road grime showered from our bodies, and we’re watching a special about the eighties on the TV. Tomorrow we’re heading to the Badlands, which we’ve decided sounds dangerous and intimidating.

Do we have to fight our way out? Do I need to buy brass knuckles at the Harley Davidson store? We’ll report back tomorrow in Day 5’s report.

But for now, have a safe and happy 4th of July! Scott and I are so blessed to get to see so much of this beautiful country, and at every turn we’re witnesses to God’s magnificent creation.

God bless and we’ll see you tomorrow!

Leah and Scott

 

 

 

 

 

#HOGWild17: Day 2 – Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Wow! What an incredible day 2 of our adventure.

Sleepy Heads vs. Motor Heads

I thought for sure when our heads hit the pillow last night that we’d be dead to the world for a good while. But I rolled over and looked at the clock at 6:17am and knew I wasn’t going back to sleep. Scott was still snoozing, so I grabbed my phone and sat in the tub with the shower running while I did my morning prayer time and bible reading.

Scott eventually woke up (3 hours later) and we spent a lazy Sunday morning together, eventually getting our church on with the Live Broadcast at Gateway Church. Jimmy Evans is doing a 5 week series on defeating the enemy, and he’s one of our favorite pastors. But we lost connection somewhere along the way, so only got to listen to half the message. We haven’t had great wifi luck in Arkansas, but we’ll finish it at some point. And thank goodness for late checkout at the Marriott, because we have yet to get on the bike before noon.

More Road Show Video!

The weather was gorgeous as we left Fort Smith and headed toward the infamous Pig Trail Scenic Byway along AR-23.

Scott and I have bluetooth in our helmets so we can talk to each other, and we had a lengthy discussion on why it’s called Pig Trail, and why anyone would purposefully build roads that look like scribbles on a notepad when they could be perfectly straight. Scott gave an excellent explanation as to the why. I guess that’s why he’s a doctor.

There’s a scenic view about halfway through the trail so we pulled over for a photo op. It was also a good place to stop and stretch. My behind was starting to feel the ride at this point.

Fashion vs. Function

When we got back on the bike, I had the opportunity to take this photo with my new Chanel Wallet on Chain, which I’ve decided is the perfect handbag for biker ladies, and clearly they need to market it as such.

Pig Trail was a fun ride, and we followed AR-23 all the way to Eureka Springs, where we decided to stay for the night. Eureka Springs is a super cool town. They have a population of just over 2,000 people, and more than eighty restaurants. I’ll let that sink in for a second.

Gorgeous Town

What’s been fun for me (since I’m new to the motorcycle world) is that this is a heavily populated motorcycle town. The hotels and restaurants are all biker friendly, and it’s such a great community of people. I’ve enjoyed talking to random riders at stores and restaurants. Everyone is on a journey, and it’s so cool to listen to their stories.

We’ve bunked for the night at a place called The Lodge. It’s owned by a very nice husband and wife who live here on the property and do everything themselves. The whole place is a throwback in time, with real keys that open the doors and old school phones with a cord in the room. They made it very homey for us, even setting out wine glasses and an ice bucket for our stay. Plus our room has a jacuzzi, which was perfect for soaking after riding.

After a little down time in the room, we got back on the bike and decided to do some exploring. This place is a biker’s dream as far as the roads go. There are twists and turns, different elevations, the roads are canopied by towering trees, and creek waters rush over rocks beneath the bridges. The town is quaint and surprisingly sprawling, considering the size of the population.

Big Jesus

One of the winding roads led us to Passion Play Road, which is a replica of a Jerusalem marketplace. They do a Holy Land Tour as well as perform The Great Passion Play. There’s also a 67 foot statue of Christ of the Ozarks, which we had to stop and take a picture in front of. Thank goodness Scott brought the tripod and remote for the camera. He’s always thinking ahead!

We explored the town a little longer, not bothering to look at a map, and we eventually stopped for dinner at a place called Myrtie May’s. They’re famous for their fried chicken, so that’s what I got. Scott ordered a club sandwich for some reason. The fried chicken was delicious. He missed out.

Fried Chicken Brings Rain

A few minutes before we paid the check we heard the first rumble of thunder. We double-timed it out to the bike while the temperature dropped and the wind picked up. Lightning flashed and droplets of rain fell sparsely, but it was only a matter of time before the skies opened. We made it back to The Lodge just in time, and now we’re cozied up in the room listening to the thunder and the rainfall.

It’s been a great day for adventure and romance.

Until tomorrow!

Leah and Scott

#HOGWild17: Day 1 – Fort Smith, Arkansas

Today was the day. Leah and I had planned to set out early and enjoy a morning’s drive before the day’s scorching heat set in. We ended up sleeping late.

The sound of constant rain was so relaxing that I suppose we needed the rest. On a good note, there was no heat when we pulled out at noon.

We started the day with prayer, and God placed it on my heart that this time together was about Him. I’d been so wrapped up in the excitement of planning and gathering gear that I’d overlooked the blessing of time spent in His presence. Nothing like being outdoors to experience God’s wonder.

Once we got started we headed to Fort Smith, Arkansas. It was about 350 miles away. We spent the first 200 miles wrapped up in rain gear. It wasn’t so bad as it kept the heat at bay. After a rainy ride to Biloxi for #Bike2Biloxi in May, she decided to up her rainsuit game. Good going wife!

By the time we made it to Arkansas’s Ouachita National Forest the skies cleared up to gorgeous sunshine. I have to admit, I know nothing about the state. The mountains were amazing and the national forest is 1.8 million acres located in central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma.

Another highlight was when Leah discovered that her metal cup had a metal straw. She was also excited that it kept her drink cold and ice unmelted. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived at Fort Smith, the bike was covered in soft drink. I’m not going to mention she should be drinking water to stay hydrated, but it’s only day 1. I’ll cut her some slack.

Today was a wonderful start to #HOGWild17, except when I told Leah over supper that I just wanted to lay down in bed, she laughed and said, “You know this is only day 1.” It kinda hit me that yeah, we’ve got three weeks of this. How crazy cool is that, although I’m sure there will be a few more sore butts and aching backs.

It’s fantastic to experience America on a motorcycle. I used to do lots of bicycling around the country and as great as that was, this is a real blast. Of course the time spent with Leah makes this better than ever expected.

Check out those incredible blue skies.

So after day 1’s 350 miles from Dallas to Fort Smith, Arkansas, we spent a nice evening over a light supper and laid out everything for Day 2. We’re heading over the Ozark Mountains enroute to riding Pig’s Tail Scenic Bypass. It’s about 130 miles of twisting turns, switchbacks and beautiful scenery.

Thanks again for coming along. Hopefully we can do a live video on Facebook tomorrow.

God Bless,

Scott & Leah

 

#HOGWild17 Pages To Track Days: START HERE

This Is Happening

Hi All,

I’m trying to be organized. No promises though. Each day will be detailed after the day is done (obviously), so keep track and I’m hoping for an undamaged Mac and lots of wifi. In the Menu I set up #HOGWild17 with a drop down for each day.

CLICK HERE to follow the drop-down journey day by day.

This is our proposed route below. I say that because our goal was to be in bed early for a fresh morning start. It’s well after midnight and we haven’t finished packing yet. Things may (will) change along the way.

This is also our official image just above, so when you don’t see us, you will see them. They look happy don’t they? Leah picked it out. It’s not like I’m actually going to offer two pigs ripping across the roadway as the image for our travels, right! Plus, he’s got ink and she’s sporting leather.

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Proposed Route

Day 1 TX to Ouchita National Park via hwy 71 to Fort Smith / 6 hours 4 minutes

Day 2-3 Pig Trail Scenic Byway highway 23 through ozark national park to brashears to Eureka springs – 2 nights July 2-4)

Day 4 Fort Leavenworth Kansas 4.5 hours (July 4-5 fireworks at Ft Leavenworth)

Day 5-6 Lewis and Clark scenic byway to Omaha to Sioux Falls, SD

Day 6-7 Sioux Falls to Badlands to Rapid City area 5 hours

Day 7-8 Rapid City to Mount Rushmore to Deadwood 2 hours – 2 days need reservation)

Day 9 Medora, North Dakota 3.5 hours

Day 10 Lewistown, MT 4.5 hours

Day 11-13 whitefish, MT 5.2 hours (go north through Glacier)

Day 13 Butte, MT 4 hours

Day 14 Red Lodge, MT 3.5 hours

Day 15 Beartooth Hwy scenic road  WY 4 hours

Day 16 Grand Teton National Park to Rock Springs, WY 5.5 hours

Day 17 Rock Springs to Steamboat Springs 3.5 hours

Day 18 Trail Ridge Road, CO Scenic Hwy to Denver to Colorado Springs 5.5 hours

Day 19 Colorado Springs to Trinidad 1.5 hours

Day 20 Trinidad to Woodward OK 5 hours

Day 21 Woodward to Home

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