#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

 

#HOGWild18: Day 10 – Biloxi, Mississippi (Part 2)

Today’s big question was what did Leah do besides rock out at the Rick Springfield concert with me? I’ll give you 21 guesses.

Yes, I made the mistake of introducing her to the game. Like most tasks requiring logic, patience, numbers and a bit of luck, she mastered it. So while I wrapped up some work on a new writing project, she dazzled the crowd with her ability to budge up to the number 21.

Also, the lure of ice cream got her away from the table. We know Monday will be an intense pace of catching up on everything we’ve placed on the burner before we left for #HOGWild18, so we took advantage of this last day off the bike to do nothing.

Part of my doing nothing involved wearing a bathing suit the last two days. Although the torrential rain storms kept the swimming pool closed, I opted for the suit. When underwear are at a premium low after a week and a half, the swimming suit was cool.

We also spent a late morning watching an extreme rain storm. While we were hopeful it would run out of rain, it seems that there’s much more rain being made for our Saturday departure.

Leah suggested we ride out the rain from our room. It’s supposed to rain along the Gulf Coast until next week.

Nice try, but I’m ready to start working our way back home.

 This is me.

We were heading to see Rick (Rick Springfield if you’ve not been following us,) and Leah said look excited. She wanted to send a picture to our girls as we walked to the concert. Trust me; after many tries, this was as excited a look as I could muster.

Although I am excited about shaving soon.

So I’m not going to lie (much.) I wasn’t happy when the show started late, and it looked like a bush league effort was going to be offered to the small crowd. But heck, it was $10 bucks a head, and over thirty years ago since he had a hit song. But still, I expect people to give an honest effort.

This dude is almost 69 years old. This dude played the fire out of the guitar. This dude rocked the crowd for about an hour and a half. This dude had more songs that I knew than Jessie’s Girl. This dude came through the audience, and to us as if we were lifelong friends.

I might’ve gotten a little excited to touch him. Yep, that dude.

After the show and more table time for Leah so she could practice counting to 21, we slipped in for a late night breakfast in the cafe. We agreed to share the pancake stack. By share, I mean she gave me one. After I finished up the eggs and bacon, I slid over my single pancake.

I anticipated the warm maple syrup coating the big, fluffy cake. The tin cup was bone dry. I looked across the table at a very full and sleepy looking wife.

I said, “Seriously?” While holding an empty syrup cup.

“It was delicious.” She sipped tea, “It’s empty.”

“Yeah, I see that.”

“I used it all.” She informed me.

“Seriously?”

I’d like to offer evidence of Leah’s mental state from earlier in the day. It wasn’t until I saw this that I understood just how lucky I was to escape with only an empty syrup cup.

Well, we’ve a few days to go. There’s really no scenery or fun roads from here to home. It’s just grueling hours of empty highways. It’s not the long hours that concern me as much that Leah packed both of her rain suits and zero of mine.

While we’re prepping to pack and head out, all I can think about is the last rain day.

We’re so thankful for your prayers, and ask that you lift us up on these last few days.

Do Good,

Scott & Leah

#HOGWild18: Day 9 – Biloxi, Mississippi

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Today’s post will be short and sweet. It’s day 9, and this is the first time on the trip where we’ve stayed in the same hotel more than a day and we didn’t get on the motorcycle at all. I won’t lie, it was a nice break.

We woke up this morning with the intention of renting a cabana and spending the day at the pool. But the weather had other ideas about that. They closed the pool when the thunder and lightning started. Gulf-Shores-beach-1

Scott and I were already in our bathing suits, so we made a detour to the ice cream shop. As one does. We decided this was a much better decision.

As we walked through the hotel with our ice cream, we noticed men kept giving Scott the random thumb’s up, or the occasional salute. We finally figured out that everyone was quite impressed by his “I Love My Wife” t-shirt. (It’s my favorite shirt).

We decided to flee his adoring fans and run outside to finish our ice cream in peace. The rain was holding off, but it was still thundering and lightning. We decided to chance it.

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We also filmed this video.

After we finished our ice cream, we headed back in and I kissed Scott goodbye so I could go sit in front of the penny slots for a little while. Scott is pretty much the kiss of death for stuff like that, so it was best he went back to the room to nap off his ice cream.

I did well on the penny slots and promised to take Scott to a fancy dinner at our favorite restaurant to celebrate. So we called Uber and headed over to Thirty-Two where we had delicious wine and bacon. Yes, WINE AND BACON!

The hotel’s got a great view, and even better food. Our conversation consisted of discussing our funeral wishes. We really know how to have date night. But seriously, despite the weirdness of the conversation, we had fun having it.

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We Ubered back to our hotel, got late night snacks, and now we’re watching a Naked and Afraid marathon. Married life is awesome.

Tomorrow night is the Rick Springfield concert, and another day of relaxing before the long ride home. Scott’s been singing Jessie’s Girl all day to prepare for the concert, and I’m sure we’ll have some video tomorrow night.

See y’all tomorrow!

Leah and Scott

#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 5 – Asheville, North Carolina – Little Switzerland – Blue Ridge Parkway

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I’ve got to confess that tonight’s post is going to be short. Mostly because Scott ordered me a Lemon Drop martini at dinner, and that makes me super tired. Yes, I’m a cheap date.

We slept in a bit this morning because the alarm didn’t go off. Or maybe it got turned off. It’s kind of a blur. But we dragged ourselves out of bed, showered, and I put on my Spanx motorcycle pants. Seriously, they’re awesome and comfortable, and Scott seems to enjoy them tremendously. You should go get some even if you don’t ride a motorcycle.

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We decided to stay two nights in Asheville and use it as our home base for a couple of day trips. Today wasn’t a long riding day, but the roads and the weather made it especially exhausting for Scott, since he was actually driving the motorcycle. I just enjoyed the ride and the scenery.

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Our first destination was a place called Little Switzerland. It’s a stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, and it’s an amazing road to travel no matter how you drive it. The roads are steep and curvy.

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We ate at the Switzerland Cafe, and the food was fantastic. Plus, there was the added bonus of finding the Books and Beans Bookstore, which was really cool and deceptively large. This was a fun hidden treasure in the middle of nowhere. And as an author, I can never pass up a bookstore.

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This cute little cabin was our view at lunch, along with sweeping green mountains. And the weather was just right. Someone should tell Texas that it should have North Carolina weather.

After lunch, we headed out on the Blue Ridge Parkway. FullSizeRender-12

This is where things get tricky. I believe Scott mentioned in yesterday’s post that he forgot to pack his rain gear (though I think he tried to blame it on me). We found a Wal-Mart along the way and he grabbed a cheap rain suit, which was good timing because it started raining pretty soon after that. I remembered to pack my rain suit, so I was very comfortable on the back of the bike.

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This is us in the rain. One of us is grumpy about the rain. Hint: His name rhymes with Spot Milberry.

Fortunately, the worst of the storm passed after about twenty minutes, and then there was sun. Glorious sun.

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And we headed all the way back into Asheville with nothing but gorgeous scenery and the smell of fresh rain and pine trees.

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Asheville is one of our favorite places, and I’m sure we’ll get a vacation home here at some point or another. But while we’re here, our favorite place to stay is the Omni Park Grove Inn. You can’t beat the rooms or the view. And I’m obsessed with their shampoo and conditioner (you can buy it in the spa). It’s what I use at home.

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Plus, there’s this:

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That’s a plate of Praline and Brown Sugar Bacon that we had as an appetizer at the hotel restaurant. Don’t tell anyone, but I ordered another plate of it for dessert because it was THAT GOOD.

Scott came back to the room and immediately fell asleep in my lap, and I waited him out by watching The Weather Channel really loud until he woke up and I was able to start writing this post. Married life is pretty awesome. It’s the little things in life.

It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so we’ll play out the day by ear. All I know is we have to be in Charlotte by tomorrow night so we can see Harry Connick Jr. If the weather isn’t too bad we’ll detour by Lake Lure, which is where they filmed Dirty Dancing. I’m almost positive I can talk Scott into doing a reenactment, even though he thinks the movie is creepy.

I might take some of that bacon for the road.

See y’all tomorrow!

Leah and Scott

 

#HOGWild18: Day 4 – Knoxville to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Tennessee & Asheville, North Carolina

Leave Me Alone

Day 4 was scheduled to be a low-key day of travel through the Smokey Mountains with only about 120 miles of biking. Leah hadn’t slept well since we’d left, so she said sleeping late was her goal. By late, I assumed she meant about 9:00am. I was incorrect.

I was up at 8:00am and gave her my usual morning rally cry, “Let’s roll.”

Unfazed, and with covers, pillows and an arm covering her face, she replied as usual, “Leave me alone.”

So around 11:00am, I tried again. It worked. Kinda. But we did beat the 1:00pm checkout. But not by much. To be fair, she said a Charlie horse had slowed her down. Honestly, I don’t recall hearing any screams associated with a cramp.

Sweet Surprise

The moment we pulled into Pigeon Forge, we felt the positive energy. Neither of us had ever been to this area, but have heard from so many friends how wonderful it is. They weren’t kidding. The streets were full of motorcycles, Jeeps and families loaded down with camping and recreation equipment.

I’m not sure where my mind was, but it never dawned on me that Dollywood was located here. We saw the sign for Dollywood Boulevard, and like a lightening bolt, I realized we were close. And just like that, there it was in all of its glory; Dollywood.

Now I’m not a big Dolly Parton fan, but you have to appreciate all that she has accomplished and the Americana of it all. I guess Dollywood has found its place in our cultural lore, so it was a nice surprise to see it.

We drove through Pigeon Forge looking for the Rocky Top Harley Davidson shop. The main street was lined with multi-level go-kart race tracks, putt putt golf and tons of family fun activities. We can’t wait to bring the kids here for a vacation.

Of course, Leah and I are crazy competitive. Last summer we spent about $500 bucks racing each other around a 3-story wooden go-kart race track. It wasn’t pretty, and the kids were starving by the time we stopped. But it was a great opportunity for them to learn patience. And sometimes that we talk smack to each other. I won every race that day.

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Leah had asked on Facebook about places to eat lunch. Several very wise sages recommended the Old Mill restaurant. We found a great parking spot and hustled over to be seated immediately. I’d like to think Dolly was in the kitchen making us some fixin’s.

It drives my bride crazy that no matter where we eat, about 95% of the time, I order grilled chicken. Well, she wanted to show me, so she ordered the chicken too. The special southern fried chicken. I don’t know if it was good, but from the look on her face, I really do think Dolly had magically prepared that meal with her own sweet fingers.

Down The Road

After a stop at the Harley shop, we headed down the road to Gatlinburg. Like Pigeon Forge, it had a very unique vibe, but very different from where we just were. The traffic along the quaint downtown street was jam-packed with bikers and pedestrians.

Balancing a big bike with a full load, and two adults in super slow, two-way traffic with people darting back and forth is a challenge. I mean a real challenge. My poor clutch and patience were worn out by the time I squeaked through a red light to get a little space from the rest.

Of course we had to stop at the Hill Billy Harley Davidson before heading out-of-town. Last year we bought t-shirts from every town’s Harley shop as is a tradition. This year, we smartly only bought the plastic poker chips with the shop’s name.

The Big Climb

Heading into the Great Smokey Mountains, there was a gentle sweeping of roads that allowed brilliant glimpses of massive vistas. We climbed the Rockies last summer, and there is a definite difference between the two majestic ranges. Today seemed more graceful and lush. It was so beautiful, that I completely lost track of how high or how far we’d travelled.

When Both Are Mediums

Once we coasted off the mountain, we came into a very cool town called, Cherokee, North Carolina. As we prepared to re-enter another stretch of curved mountain roadway, Leah “claimed” to have felt a rain drop. A trick I’ve learned to check for driving into rain, is to watch the vehicles coming toward you from that direction. If their vehicles are wet, it’s raining up the road. If their windshield wipers are on, it’s raining very close and we’re about to get wet.

Leah’s miracle rain drop was the only atmospheric moisture in the tri-state area. Of course, that meant we had to skid to a stop so she could slip on her impermeable rain suit. I handed her the pants, but they didn’t meet her standard, so I  I handed her another pair of medium rain pants. How could they both be a size medium?

I shoved my hand back in the designated rain-suit bag, and there were no more options. Oddly enough, both of her rain suits were packed, and zero of mine. As if I wasn’t about to lose it, she assured me it was okay because she only needed the one pair. I think bears fainted at my mountainous roar.

Beloved Asheville

Leah and I stumbled across this city a few years back by complete accident. We fell in love and stayed a few more days. We’ve agreed that we’ll buy a home here one day as a vacation / retirement property. Every time we mention Asheville to others, they respond with as much enthusiasm about it as we share.

I think I scare people in this gentle city, but Leah helps balance the effect. Of course the staff at the Village Wayside were very cool and helped us enjoy a super supper after a wonderful day. My biker beard has slipped over to the other side and is in a zone I like to think of as in desperate need of a shave. But, I committed to the effort because actually, I have no idea.

It’s nice to have gotten a few hours to do nothing tonight, but lay in bed. Tomorrow is another day in the mountains. We’re starting on the Blue Ridge Parkway and possibly heading to Boone, North Carolina. I did a bicycle race there called Blood, Sweat & Gears – a 100 mile race through the mountains, and Samaritan’s Purse is headquartered there. It’s the home of Franklin & Billy Graham ministries.

We appreciate you keeping us in your prayers,

Scott & Leah  

#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

#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

Give us a LIKE if you enjoyed – #HOGWild18 – Motorcycle Cross Country Adventure Starts Soon

Romance Writers of America: #RWA2017 – Orlando, Florida

Soooooooooo….what do you do to follow up on a 21 day, 6,000 mile motorcycle adventure across America?

Get home on Saturday. Wash piles of dirty clothes. Go to bed about 3:00 am. Wake up and throw clothes into suitcases. Fly to Orlando Sunday morning.

I was also surprised once we picked up the car at the Orlando Airport. Seems fancy pants ordered a convertible Mustang. Besides her gigantic suitcase not fitting in it, we couldn’t figure out how to pull back the top. We ended up Googling how to do it, but when we tried opening the top while we were flying down the interstate, we got an alert on the dashboard to cease and desist.

 

Once our bodies stopped lurching in forward motion, as if still wrangling against the wind on the bike, we collapsed in our Disney World hotel. We woke up Monday around 2:30pm. Neither of us panicked at the time. The weeks had taken a physical toll.

The writer’s conference began Tuesday, and immediately we began running into friends. Running into friends is what makes all the meetings and signings during the week worth it.

Today was a fun time, where Leah got to hang out with a few authors to do a live video promotion for an anthology they all contributed to. Julie Kenner, next to my bride, is our friend who we promised we’ll visit soon at the shooting range. Then Leah mentioned something about a spa weekend.

I enjoyed being there to broadcast this chat session on her Facebook page. BUT, I got a little distracted and started taking taking my own pics with another very cool friend while the professionals chatted up their work. It’s a fun pic with Melissa MSRheilander Consulting, me and my beard. Yes, I’m still sporting it.

There’s a long commons area where everyone seems to hang out when they’re not attending courses and meetings. It’s kind of where Leah and I hung out to do what I love to do. Talk to people.

Leah, on the other hand, is a bit of an introvert, and she wanted snacks. She has also developed what I think is an unhealthy desire to watch Forensic Files. I’m not sure if I should be worried.

I would like to take this moment to say that this wasn’t my donut. I’m not saying Leah ate it all, but it’s not mine. And maybe she did eat it all.

For those of you who follow our Faithful Marriage blog, we had lunch with the amazing Hallee Bridgeman, who writes incredible articles for the blog. We love her dearly and treasure her friendship and wisdom.

Besides the meeting and greeting, we had fantastic eating. Shula’s Steakhouse happened to be where we ate two nights in a row. I was happy to give it a try because The Miami Dolphins were my all-time favorite team in the 70’s. The menu was a football with Coach Shula’s autograph. I gotta tell ya, if Leah had not stopped me, I was going to dine and dash with that thing in my prized menu.

Now, in all honesty I would’ve never tried that, but I was about one more delicious sour-dough bun from convincing Leah to high-tail it with the pig skin.

We did end up breaking away from the consecutive nights at Shula’s. Leah’s agent, Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency invited us to dinner at Columbia’s Restaurant. We were joined by several other of her clients who are all amazing people, as well as authors. In addition to the great time and meal, we figured out how to drop the top to the convertible.

It was a fun ride during a cool evening to taxi these ladies back to the resort. As an added bonus, our 15 year old is crazy about author Ally Carter, and we got a picture to prove it to give us street cred. Oh, and there is the fantastic Kristin Nelson behind Leah who didn’t get nervous about the impending rain and lightning. Like we did. Notice the lack of a low-slung black canvas top. It’s official, we’re driving a rented convertible.

Now, I won’t say Leah has been a bit aggressive since getting all bikered up after the #HOGWild17 motorcycle adventure, though maybe she has been a little aggressive after all the Forensic Files. But this was the last thing I was able to escape before bedtime. I know what you’re thinking. I’m a little frightened too.

Big day tomorrow. We’ll see you all soon.

Scott and Leah

 

 

 

 

#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 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 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 9 – Whitefish, Montana

I’m pooped.

It’s day 9 and I’m a whipped pup. But the beauty of this state of exhaustion is I’m not tired of being on the bike or on the road. We’ve just been nonstop since July 1st, so our stay in Whitefish, Montana comes at the perfect time. To be honest, Leah had scheduled a break period earlier, but I wanted to push forward to cover more ground.

We left Great Falls, Montana around noon after another good night sleep. Leah and I are used to living out of hotels, but we both have trouble adjusting to the whimpy pillows found in most places. At this point, we’d sleep on a log and snooze all night.

I wish there was news about another feisty older waitress at our favorite Cracker Barrel, but resources were scarce between Great Falls and Whitefish. There was a wonderful lesson learned by Leah about resources. I’d stopped for gas right outside of Great Falls and asked her if she wanted to grab something to eat. She snarked and said she’d wait for real food.

Guess what? Over 40 miles through highways and hay bales, we found a Subway in Conrad. I guess next time it’s better to eat what they got than hope for what doesn’t exist. Of course, she still has a saddle bag full of beef jerky. I knew she didn’t feed it to the sweet donkey back at Custer State Park.

An observation I’ve made over the miles is that highway warning signs can be horrifying. Elk crossings, free range roaming animals and beware of bear are just a few signs you don’t want to see while on a motorcycle. Even the picture on the deer crossing signs is a giant 10-point buck.

Although it was 106 degrees, we found slices of shade as we rode through Glacier National Park. The beauty of this area is unrivaled. As much as we adored the park area, once we hit Whitefish, we fell in love.

With as many places as we visit, there are just a few locations that we say immediately, “We’d live here.” Deadwood was one, and Whitefish is the other.

At our cabin, the welcome guy was explaining what buttons activated the fireplace, hot tub and 16 shower head human car wash, but I knew Leah was thinking the same thing as I was. Let’s buy one. Sure enough, by the time the old guy left, she’d googled real estate in Whitefish.

We have friends who live here full-time and I’ve a life-long friend who just bought a condo downtown as an investment property. Seems like a no-brainer as long as we’re out of here by winter.

Speaking of friends, we met them for supper and enjoyed speaking with people not dressed in leather and sunburned. Leah claims she went hiking before supper, but we simply walked to the restaurant. I gave her a C for creativity. It’s funny wearing regular shoes. We both said our feet feel floppy without the weight of biker boots.

I had Alaskan salmon which was incredible. I’d spent a few weeks in Alaska a few years back, and went crazy for fresh salmon and halibut. Leah had more red meat. A lot of red meat, but I was afraid to photograph her in front of company.

We returned to our cabin and decided to stock up on groceries so we’d not have to get on the bike all day tomorrow unless we just get the bug. We’re going to sightsee with our friends.

The rest of our night was spent outside watching a giant round moon rising and then around the fireplace watching TV. It feels incredible doing nothing particular.

Today wasn’t the longest ride, but the days in Big Sky country are super bright and sunny. We’re using sunscreen and covering up as much as we can, but the 100 plus degree days make too much cover a difficulty. I think we’re both a bit “tanned” and kinda ready for a sun break.

As we near the halfway point, I have to say that we’re still loving our time together. The hours of silence on the road has allowed for lots of praying and meditation. It’s incredibly liberating to stop worrying about so many things, and only focusing on what truly matters.

We really appreciate you coming along and love your comments here and on Facebook.

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