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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do Good,

Scott & Leah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See y’all tomorrow!

Leah and Scott

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s America, and it’s breathtaking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I had chicken breast. My carnivore had meat.

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

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

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

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

Do Good,

Scott & Leah

 

 

 

 

 

#HOGWild18: Some Days Are Diamonds, Other Days You’re Cold

It Started Out Grand…

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

But…

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

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

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

Reality Check…

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

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

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

Then There Is Hope…

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

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

And Also…

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

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

So…

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

And Then…

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

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

Keep us in your prayers for quick recoveries,

Scott & Leah

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 17 – Colorado Springs

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

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

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

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

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

I ordered a nugget happy meal.

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

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

Today was an unusual day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See y’all tomorrow,

Scott & Leah

 

 

 

 

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

“Drama Momma.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See y’all tomorrow,

Scott & Leah

 

 

 

#HOGWild17: Day 8 – Great Falls, Montana

Huh?

It’s day 8! I think.

I don’t know what time it was when we got up this morning, but the sun was pretty high up in the sky. it’s all blurry in my memory, but I know I slept like a baby and Scott’s lip was swollen when I woke up. Sometimes these things happen. Also, this is my blog post so I can retell the day how I want to.

Once we’d prayed, showered, dressed, and taken full advantage of late checkout, we headed to Beartooth Harley-Davidson. I have to say, this might be my favorite HD yet. Before Scott tells you I “shopped” again, I’ll confess that I bought a couple of shirts. But so did he, so I’m not taking the heat all by myself!

 

Bears Everywhere

Beartooth HD was filled with bears. Scott was scared of the big one and wouldn’t stand too close.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shopping at HD was pretty taxing, and since it was past lunchtime at this point, we mosied down the street to the Cracker Barrel. Yes, the same Cracker Barrel we ate at last night. There’s only two in the whole state of Montana, so we wanted to take advantage.

Stay Golden

I saw this sexy man on my way into the Cracker Barrel and he bought me a meatloaf lunch, so I’d say I started the day off “winning.” Also, I’m digging the cut-off shirt. It reminds me of The Outsiders. What do you think?

The meatloaf really was delicious.

Montana is really big. And really hot. Like…super hot. We left Texas thinking we’d come north and spend a cool month of July cruising the highways. Well…we’re cruising. But today it was 106 degrees, so we haven’t experienced cool yet. Montana is gorgeous. And the roads are long. There are stretches of hundreds of miles with nothing but highway and hay bales.

But there’s a reason they call it Big Sky. Pictures don’t do it justice.

Road Life

Also, the wind was brutal. At one of our gas station stops to refuel and guzzle some water, Scott had to hold down my hair so we could take a selfie. It didn’t work.

I think motorcycle living has changed us. We’re not sure what day it is or where we are most of the time. Scott and his jeans are one with the road, and my headbands are covering growing gray roots. Our bodies are patchwork quilts of various and unusual tan lines. But the journey has been incredible as we approach the middle half of our trip.

We got to Great Falls, Montana late in the afternoon and were greeted with this beautiful sight.

By the time we got to the hotel, we were hot and thirsty. I think Scott is planning something nefarious in this picture. We talked about putting on our swimsuits and getting into the pool to cool off, but we ended up facetiming the kids. Then Scott decided to work out because he’s an overachiever, and I decided to lay on the bed in my underwear and eat Bugles because I’m on vacation.

NightLife

We eventually drummed up enough energy to head to dinner. The lady at the front desk recommended a place called Jakers Bar & Grill. It was delicious. And I could’ve eaten a dozen of their rolls by myself.

This is what greeted us on the way back to the hotel.

The entire day can be summed up in one word…gorgeous. This country is so beautiful, and we’re so blessed to see God’s creation and meet some incredible people who are on journeys of their own.

Tomorrow we’re heading to Whitefish to stay for a couple of days and rest up, and also meet with our friends John and Kristen. We’re looking forward to beautiful scenery and great company.

See you tomorrow!

Leah and Scott

#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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Motorcycle Cross Country Is Almost Here: No Cold Feet, Right?

Talk about a double whammy this week. Leah and I are prepping for #HOGWild17 and this is the last week with all of our kids for the summer.

It’s been an incredible month, as it’s been every year when we switch to a month and month schedule. Obviously the joy of unity transitions into the pain of being apart. I fly my youngest son back to New Orleans on Friday, so this is the last full day he has with us. The rest of the kids bug out Friday night.

To tell you that my focus has been on this cross-country trip would not be telling you the truth. I’ve not packed or even kicked stuff into a pile yet. Fortunately, I’d developed what I call a switch during my years of working undercover and SWAT. It allows me to immediately transition from one environment to the next without being tethered to what I’d just experienced.

This switch will flip once I head back on the return flight after hugging and kissing my boy goodbye. By the time TSA sees me slip through without luggage, I’ll be planning our departure on the Harley Davidson for Saturday. If you’d like to connect and come along on our adventure, please CLICK HERE

I did however bring the Ultra Limited into the shop at Longhorn Harley Davidson this week for service. Leah made sure to have a cup holder installed for her. It’s so big, she could slide an ice chest in it.

I was talking to one of the guys at the service desk who had made many pilgrimages across this country. He wished me a safe trip, so I asked him if he had any last-minute advice. He grinned, “Keep it upright.”

Speaking of Leah, she is the planner. While I’ve always taken off with one extra undies and bathing suit, she actually likes to know where we’ll sleep and when we’ll get back home. It works out wonderfully. But, at the expense of her prep work, she likes to buy just about everything based on recommendations for our 6,000 mile trek. We’ve purchased everything from beef jerky to pure air bottles.

On a side note, we discovered those last December while in Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado. We were at about 9,000 foot elevation for the week and never acclimated to it. Snowshoeing, snowmobiling and simply walking to supper exhausted us. They are actual cans of air. It looks like bug spray, but what the heck. It beats altitude sickness swirling along the backside of Montana mountains.

Anyway, I saw a giant pile of black, orange and leather shoved in front of our bed. I asked Leah what it was, and she said it was for the trip. Unless she’s going to wear it all, all of the time, there is no room. After all, we need the bottles of air, right?

We always go through the same routine of piling up everything short of the kitchen sink. Then we start weeding out duplicates, and then unnecessaries, and finally we try cutting to the bone. When we’re limited to two hard saddlebags, a touring trunk and a bungie-strapped duffel bag, you have to cut into that proverbial packing bone.

Basics such as rainsuits and jackets take up lots of room, but can’t be left behind. Planning for weather that will range from one hundred plus, down into the thirties also requires layers along with versatile overcoats. We’ve each got a favorite leather jacket, but they’re too bulky for the trip.

Now to the topic of cold feet. I guess on an occasion or two I’ve stopped to think about the reality of living on the road for 21 days. The limited resources and unplanned stopping points. I’ve also considered that I’ve never driven a motorcycle up or down a mountain or high elevation roadways. I cycled up and down mountains in several 100 mile bicycle races, but never on a motorbike.

Leah has been showing pictures of the epic roads we’ll be travelling. The curves and switchbacks are amazing. But as I told her, I’m basically pretty good at going straight. We’ll see how it all works out. Like her, I just want to ensure we have a safe and fun adventure.

I’m never one to draw back, but I also realize the last time I was consistently logging hard miles on a motorcycle was about 20 years ago. My body and my butt were much tougher back then. I’m sure ibuprofen will be in ample supply. Our goal is to cover ground, but at a pace that allows us to enjoy the journey. Typically I say that, but I can’t live by it. I love to push it.

So with two days left and zero packing started, we’d appreciate any words of encouragement!!!

We’re posting on social media as we go, and will attempt regular articles on this site. We’d appreciate you coming along with the hashtag #HOGWild17, and also signing up for the latest in our adventures by CLICKING HERE.

If you see this face, smiling or exhausted, please say hello, or I will. Either way, it’s always fun to meet new folks on trips and connect with friends.

I hope you enjoyed Motorcycle Cross Country Is Almost Here: No Cold Feet, Right? Please feel free to Like and Comment below.

 

Need Advice: Packing For Motorcycle Cross Country

2017 Harley Davidson Ultra Limited

Need Advice: Packing For Motorcycle Cross Country

I’ve dreamed of this upcoming trip for decades, but instead of the right to left route, we’re heading north and back south again. We’ll be crossing country twice for over 6,000 miles during 21 days.

At one time, and I may still do it, I want to ride my bicycle across the country from west to east. And then stop there and fly home. Maybe!

This distance on a bike is a first for either of us. While plenty of research has been done, it’s nothing like asking those with the chops and sore butt to share.

6,000 Mile Route

We’re taking our 2017 Harley Davidson Ultra Limited for the journey. It has two hard saddlebags, a touring trunk and a luggage rack for a duffel.

In all sincerity, what do we bring to ensure a safe, fun and completed adventure?

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#HOGwild17 Is Coming Together

#HOGwild17 Is Coming Together

Leah and I are heading out July 1, 2017 for 21 days, and 6,000 miles from Dallas up north and back through the west.

Up until last night, we didn’t know exactly where we were going, only that there was country to see and three weeks to see it. It looks like things are shaping up and we have a framework for the route.

We’re getting great advice from others who have made similar journeys, and will probably keep our options open up until the day before. Please tag along with the social media hashtag – #HOGwild17.

Also, please join us on Facebook  – TwitterFaithful.Live

Itinerary:

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 (stay overnight or two)

Day 3-4 Fort Leavenworth Kansas 4.5 hours

Day 5-6 Lewis and Clark scenic byway to Sioux City 4 hours

Day 6-7 Sioux City to Badlands area 5 hours

Day 7-8 Badlands to Mount Rushmore to Deadwood 2 hours (day or two)

Day 8-9 Medora, North Dakota 3.5 hours

Day 9 Lewiston, MT 4.5 hours

Day 10-12 whitefish, MT 5.5 hours

Day 12-13 Butte, MT 4 hours

Day 13 Red Lodge, MT 3.5 hours

Day 14-15 t Beartooth Hwy scenic road to Old Faithful, WY 4 hours

Day 15 Grand Teton National Park to Rock Springs, WY 5.5 hours

Day 16 Rock Springs to Steamboat Springs 3.5 hours

Day 17 Trail Ridge Road, CO Scenic Hwy to Denver to Colorado Springs 5.5 hours

Day 18 Colorado Springs to Trinidad 1.5 hours

Day 19 Trinidad to Woodward OK 5 hours

Day 20 Norman, OK

Day 21 Home

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