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

We’re home!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s our coming home video.

So until next year…

Leah and Scott

 

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#HOGWild18: Day 1- Dallas To Magnolia, Arkansas

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Well, it’s here! The official start of #HOGWild18. Scott and I didn’t think it was going to happen because we first had an issue at the house and had to wait on a contractor (and you know they never do anything fast), and then we caught a stomach bug that would have made things very awkward if we weren’t married. As it was, we staggered our illnesses so we were able to take care of each other. Yay marriage!

Speaking of marriage, it’s officially our anniversary. We pulled up to the hotel in Magnolia, Arkansas one minute until midnight. We kissed, high-fived, and thought about dancing under the carport, but we were both hungry and tired, so we’ve put off dancing until tomorrow night (uhh…later tonight since it’s past midnight).

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(this is us after the kiss and high-five)

I should go back to the beginning of the day, since we didn’t just arrive in Magnolia by magic. We had no plans to leave today. We had no plans at all since we weren’t sure how we were going to feel coming into this trip. But we’ve got tickets to see Harry Connick Jr. in North Carolina, and my will is strong where he is concerned.

I went to get my nails done before the trip, and while I was sitting in the chair I had an epiphany. Since neither of us were no longer vomiting, we should head out immediately. Like tonight. While it wasn’t 5,000 degrees outside in the midst of a Texas summer.

I immediately sent a text to Scott saying we should leave at 7:00 and just ride until dark, just to beat the heat and take some time off our ride. He said okay, and then I immediately sent him a frantic list of all the things that needed to get done before we left. He didn’t seem impressed by my list, and he didn’t seem in a hurry. I was perplexed.

I sped home with the list on my mind and was grateful to see he’d read his texts. He was pulling out shirts to wear so I could get the bags packed. But there were still so many things to be done. I told Scott to leave the packing to me (because otherwise he’d leave the house with a pair of underwear and a bandana, and forget all the stuff in between), and I asked him to go take the sheets out of the dryer and put them back on the guest bed.

I was chugging along, ticking things off my packing list, and I needed to ask Scott if he was going to pack his flip-flops. So I went off to find him. In the guest bedroom. Where he was supposed to be putting sheets on the bed. Mind you, he’d been in there almost half an hour. When I stepped into the guest room, there he was, laying in the middle of a bed with no sheets on it, watching Fox News on his phone.

I gave him the same look I give the kids when I catch them doing things like that. And he gave me the same grin the kids give when they know they’ve been caught. Scott is very good at getting out of trouble. All I know is we were suddenly dancing in circles and I was helping Scott make up the bed. I’m not sure how he does it.

Anyway, we were behind schedule so I went back to packing and laying out my clothes for the night ride. That’s when he asked me if those were my clothes for the next day. I told him, “No, those are my clothes for tonight.” He looked confused and then asked why I was wearing them tonight. I told him it was because we were leaving to go on the trip tonight. He seemed very surprised by this information.

I asked him if he actually read any of the texts I sent, or if he just responded okay out of habit. But to be fair, I did just say 7:00 and didn’t specify whether it would be a.m. or p.m. (though I personally thought it was self-explanatory enough, but whatevs).

But I did discover why he wasn’t in as much of a hurry as I was, which made total sense considering he thought we were leaving the next day. Somehow we managed to get packed, get the house straightened, and I’m pretty sure we didn’t forget anything too important.

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We were treated to a beautiful sunset over Rockwall Lake, and the weather was perfect into Arkansas.

It’s about an hour and change into our anniversary, so I’m going to wrap this up by saying I’m so thankful to be married to a man like Scott, and I look forward to many more amazing years. We’ll let you know how anniversary day went in tomorrow night’s post.

Until Tomorrow! (I promise I’ll take more pictures tomorrow, but it was dark most of the trip tonight)

Leah and Scott

Gateway Motorcycle Group: Piney Woods of Texas – Day 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Did I say gorgeous?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leah

Gateway Motorcycle Group: Piney Woods of Texas – Day 1

What’s your weather like?

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

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

It was a fantastic start.

The Sleep

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

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

The Ride

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

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

The Lunch

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Duke and The Chief – I can out draw him
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The Post-Lunch Sleepy

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

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

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

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

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

The Recap

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

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

See y’all along the path,

Scott

 

#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