#HOGWild18 – Motorcycle Cross Country Adventure Starts Soon

Hi All,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless you,

Scott & Leah

Check It Out:

Dallas to Hot Springs, AK

Hot Springs to Memphis, TN

Memphis to Nashville,TN

Nashville to Fort Knox, KY

Fort Knox to Lexington

Lexington to Charleston WV

Charleston, WV Seneca Rocks, WV

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

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

Cary, NC to Asheville

Asheville to Charlotte

Charlotte to Bryson City to Chimney Rock to Blackberry Farm

Tellico Plains to Memphis, TN

Memphis to Monroe, LA

Monroe to Dallas

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Gateway Motorcycle Group: Toledo Bend, Louisiana – Day 3

Welcome Home

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

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

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

Pretty In Purple

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

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

 

Off The Beaten Path

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

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

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

Location, Location, Location

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

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

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

Fellowship

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott

#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