Savannah, Georgia

We spent the last week in Orlando at the Swan and Dolphin Resort at Disney World. Scott’s not a fan of Disney World, so it was probably a good thing we had nothing but back to back meetings.

When we weren’t in meetings, we were holed up in the hotel room watching Forensic Files and ordering 2am pizza, which is usually a bad life choice, but seemed like a good idea at the time.

And Friday was pretty awesome because our morning meeting was moved to the afternoon, so we slept late and just played and talked until pretty late in the day. It was a good day.

We’re still trying to catch up on sleep from the motorcycle trip, and our days and nights are mixed up. Not to mention, I think we’re just plain exhausted and we’re looking forward to our own bed for the month of August.

It’ll be short-lived though, because we’re heading to Australia in September, which you’ll get to read all about right here on the site.

We had a ton of people come up to us at the conference this week saying they were sad the motorcycle trip ended because they loved reading the blog every day. We’re going to keep the blog going.

We’ve got A LOT of work travel in the next year, including Australia, Venice, Malta, Croatia, Greece, Rome, plus a crazy trip with the kids for a book signing in DC. We’ll keep this page hopping. Promise.

After we left Disney, we hopped in the convertible we rented, put the top down, and drove the four and a half hours to Savannah, Georgia. Savannah is one of my favorite cities, and it’s the setting for my Addison Holmes series, so I’ve got a soft spot for it. I was especially excited to get to share it with Scott because he’s never been here before.

As you can imagine, we have some crazy hotel and airline points. We chose the Mansion at Forsyth Park by Marriott for our two night stay in Savannah.

We have a great view of the park from our room, and when we woke up this morning, there were already people set up for picnics and volleyball games.

This is Scott in front of the hotel, sporting his Superman shirt he thought he lost while we were on the motorcycle trip. He was very glad to find it in the box of dirty clothes we shipped home from South Dakota.

We’re not much on walking tours, so we grabbed the convertible, put the top down, and did a street by street tour of the city. I still love it as much as I did the first time I visited, and I was so happy Scott loved it too. It’s nice to be able to share something you love with the person you love.

The homes are grand, the small green spaces every couple of blocks are immaculate, and everything about the city is genteel southern charm. 

We ate lunch down on River Street at a seafood place that looked out over the Savannah River. We had Shrimp and Grits and Crab Cakes, and you just don’t get better than that in low country.

We also had entertainment as we sat on the balcony and enjoyed the food.

 

Between the Georgia Queen making a pass, and the buggies and horse drawn carriages, we were thoroughly entertained.

After lunch, we continued our tour and headed to the cemetery. Scott’s probably not as big of a fan of cemeteries as I am, but he indulged me anyway. I love going through and seeing a story of someone’s life written on the headstones, sometimes the lives of entire families.

I was fortunate to find a quarter to put in the parking meter. A quarter doesn’t buy as many minutes as it used to.

This is the entrance to the cemetery. I’m not a hundred percent sure what Scott is doing, but there were an unusual amount of birds and squirrels following us around. Coincidence? I think not.

The cemetery was filled with great signs like this one, and all of the graves were Pre-Civil War and Pre-Revolutionary War, with many war heroes buried there. It was fascinating to read about them.

It was a short walk next door to the police department. I had to remind Scott he was retired after he saw the cool cars sitting out front.

We also had the privilege of running into this little guy, which we feel might have a lot in common with our 8 year old.

Scott wanted me to take a picture of the sign below. He said something about the good old days and grenades. I’ll let you interpret that how you wish.

We left the car with valet and decided to walk to dinner. Scott found a little place on the corner a few blocks down that served Sloppy Joes and Ribs and Mac n’ Cheese. Lord, I love this town. The Hitch’s menus are all amazing. Probably a good thing we’re going home soon or we’ll have to wear stretchy pants everywhere.

Tomorrow, we’re heading to Hilton Head to meet our good friend and amazing author, CJ Lyons for lunch, and then we’re driving on to Charleston to meet up with our niece and her husband the next few days.

I’m sure we’ll have more good food and great places to share with you!

Until tomorrow,

Leah and Scott

#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 12 – Helena, Montana

Day 12!

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

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

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

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

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

And the balcony has a fire pit and TV.

And it has a pretty awesome view too!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This was the view on one side of the highway.

And this was the view of the other side.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you tomorrow!

Leah and Scott

 

#HOGWild17: Day 11 – Whitefish, Montana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you all tomorrow from the road.

Scott & Leah

 

 

#HOGWild17: Day 10 – Glacier National Park

Day 10!

And boy was it incredible!

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

Now, onto Day 10…

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

Whitefish

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

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

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

Cold Shower

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hot Time

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

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

I decided to stake my claim while we were there.

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

Sun Road

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

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

The views never got old. 

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

Good Burger / Bad Potty

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

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

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

We Love It

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

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

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

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

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

Cabin Fever

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

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

We’ll see y’all tomorrow for Day 11!

Leah and Scott

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#HOGWild17: Day 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

#HOGWild17: Day 3 – Omaha, Nebraska

 

We decided to skip the extra day in Eureka Springs, Arkansas and power through to get closer to Montana and South Dakota for spending extra time sightseeing. We really enjoyed our time riding the other side of Pig Trail, and of course had to stop at the Pig Trail Harley Davidson shop.

We met a cool couple who gave some suggestions similar to what many of you said about the area around there and Wyoming, so we headed out at noon and biked to Omaha, Nebraska. What that really meant was after a great ride from Eureka Springs to Bentonville, Ark, we rode through Missouri, and rode and rode and rode.

Oh, and we hit Iowa before landing in Nebraska.

I don’t intend to sound like it wasn’t a wonderful day, but we knew there was going to be lots of miles piled onto today so we were better positioned in the morning to make it to South Dakota. We put in over 500 miles with several hours into the night before arriving at the DoubleTree Hotel in Omaha at 11:30pm.

We did make time for a Cracker Barrel along the way. It wouldn’t be a US trip without it. Leah also learned she can snack on the back of the bike. But what she didn’t learn was to keep her cup holder right-side up. Once it turned over and all of her drink poured out. The next time, her metal cup and metal straw fell out of the holder and rattled along the interstate in Kansas City.

I guess it didn’t hit anyone. I guess. But alas, she’s rightfully without her cup. She did manage to hang onto the beef jerky. Had I known she was photographing while hand feeding me like a dog, I wouldn’t have accepted it. Wait….yes I would.

I learned a valuable lesson today when riding through very familiar looking farmland. Check your route before hopping back onto the interstate. Most gas stops brought us into small towns, so the interstate was a few miles behind us. We stopped at this modest spot, and I was finally able to upload my Spotify travelling soundtrack – Dolly Pardon and Kenny Rogers favorite hits.

When we headed back to the highway, I was so enraptured with singing “The Gambler” I might’ve turned the wrong way. We were almost 15 miles down the way before Leah recognized a barn that had caught our attention once before. You know, while we were going the right way. Good catch on that one. We’d have ended up back in Eureka Springs before I would’ve stopped singing Islands In The Stream.

We stopped at this store for gas and water. I’m not sure why I thought it was funny, but I tried to snap a pic of Leah walking out of it. Of course, that only made me look like a stalker, so I just snapped a pic. I’ve never seen these stores. Maybe it was just funny to me. Leah said the water was expensive.

I’ll share that we’ve been in total awe as we’ve been blessed with wonderful weather. God has done a great job with climate control. We even had to sport jackets this evening as we arrived through the KC area after it had rained. It was so cool, and comfortable. I don’t think we’ve sweltered once so far.

Fancy pants wasn’t pleased that her big-girl riding tights were smattered with bug inners after the sun went down. Of course she only laughed each time she heard the crash of a bug into my helmet through the intercom.

After mountains over the first 2 days, the flatlands were different. Very different, but it was beautiful. I always try imagining what qualities about a geography attracted the earliest settlers. It’s easy to see why this territory was so popular and prosperous. Besides it’s rolling serenity, it’s magnificent farm and dairy land.

We’re beat, and actually Leah is sound asleep next to me while I finish this up. She said do it in the morning, but I always remind her that cowboys tend to their horses before all else. She said it made no sense, but I know how important it is to prioritize what needs to be taken care of. It just makes me feel better to think about being a cowboy!

Last year we were in Europe for the 4th of July. It was odd. This year we’re in the midst of America’s heartland, and I cannot wait to share it with her and you. We’ve got a gorgeous country, and a God who has blessed it in so many ways. I pray that you’ll find the beauty in your celebrations.

God Bless America

Scott & Leah

#HOGWild17: Day 2 – Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Wow! What an incredible day 2 of our adventure.

Sleepy Heads vs. Motor Heads

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

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

More Road Show Video!

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

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

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

Fashion vs. Function

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

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

Gorgeous Town

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

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

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

Big Jesus

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

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

Fried Chicken Brings Rain

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

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

Until tomorrow!

Leah and Scott

#HOGWild17: Day 1 – Fort Smith, Arkansas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out those incredible blue skies.

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

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

God Bless,

Scott & Leah

 

#HOGWild17 Pages To Track Days: START HERE

This Is Happening

Hi All,

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

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

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

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

Let’s Connect

Please consider connecting with us by signing up for the latest cool news – CLICK HERE – and also by following this site, and checking out Faithful Marriage – Blended Family FacebookTwitterInstagram

Proposed Route

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day 9 Medora, North Dakota 3.5 hours

Day 10 Lewistown, MT 4.5 hours

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

Day 13 Butte, MT 4 hours

Day 14 Red Lodge, MT 3.5 hours

Day 15 Beartooth Hwy scenic road  WY 4 hours

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

Day 17 Rock Springs to Steamboat Springs 3.5 hours

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

Day 19 Colorado Springs to Trinidad 1.5 hours

Day 20 Trinidad to Woodward OK 5 hours

Day 21 Woodward to Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Smithsonian Castle and Steve Berry: What Could Go Wrong?

Smithsonian Castle and Steve Berry: What Could Go Wrong?

In early April, 2017, Leah blessed me with a fantastic birthday gift. I love Washington DC, and although we’re friends, I’m still a big fan of author Steve Berry

All of Steve’s novels involve a lot of truth wrapped around a fictional cast. Reading his work is like a lesson in geography, world history and current affairs. If only high school had been this interesting. His latest book, The Lost Order was associated by plot with the Smithsonian Castle.

In conjunction with the book’s release, Steve held a private fundraiser for 50 people to support the Smithsonian foundation. It included an after-hours private tour of the Castle led by Steve and the curator. It also included a signed copy of the book, which I’d already pre-ordered on Audible.

Jillian, Scott, Leah, Steve and Benji

Our challenge was that we flew back from an event in Orlando the night before. We had a pre-dawn flight out of DFW and into Reagan National that was scheduled to arrive in time to catch our breath, eat, change into fancy duds and head over to the Castle. oh, and we had to fly back the next morning so I could fly to New Orleans to pick up Max.

This was the jist of our chat after about 2 hours of sleep over the last 30-something hours:

“Fly early,” she said.
“We’ll sleep when we get there,” she assured.
It’s 2:00 pm and we’re still sitting in hotel lobby waiting for our room to be cleaned.
“Don’t be grumpy,” she pleaded.
Yeah, good luck with that!
Best to make the best of it.
“Don’t push it, lady.”

4 hours spent on this plush couch at the Mandarin Oriental while waiting for our room.

We did eventually get into our suite at the fabulous Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC. It was just in time to change clothes for our event. Our friends, Benji and Jillian Stein were meeting us at the hotel right before heading over.

I wasn’t happy about having to don the dress clothes and jacket. I’d worn a uniform over the course of my 25 years law enforcement career. One of my retirement “demands” was that I’d only dress up if I absolutely had to. I guess according to Leah, I had to.

Despite the days of flying and zero sleeping, the tour was incredible. Steve led the group around the castle and would read scenes from his book that occurred at various locations within the museum. It was a cool Q&A with other fans and friends. I truly appreciated Leah making the effort to do this for me.

The funny thing was, we had just spent the week with them prior to an event in Florida. I guess I could’ve gotten the book signed then and skipped the Castle. Are you kidding me? This was one of my all-time favorite adventures.

Since we had an early flight home, it was early to bed without a chance to see much of DC. I always make it a point to visit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial while in town. I have 8 friends’ names who were killed in the line of duty carved in those granite walls. This trip wouldn’t allow the time.

Uncharacteristically, we Ubered out to Reagan National with time to spare. We arrived and quickly moved through the airport looking for our gate. It wasn’t to be found. We’d flown into Reagan but our departure flight was out of Dulles. Needless to say, we weren’t happy with tacking another 45 minute drive in hopes of not missing the flight home. Remember – I still had a round trip to NOLA to make!

Faces of People Leaving the Wrong Airport

I’m not sure how, but we made it to the gate in time to be whisked off and back to DFW. I was sleepy, happy with a well-worn t-shirt and of course, my signed copy from Steve.

The lessons learned are many, but the most important thing to remember is that if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen. There were a thousand reasons not to go to DC, but Leah only needed one reason to go. She loves me and wanted me to have this experience. For that, I’m grateful.

Adventures involve risk, but not all of them are life-threatening. Having a good plan with lots of flexibility are keys to a fantastic experience.

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What was your last great adventure?

 

 

Welcome To The Adventure

faith travel picGod has blessed Leah and I both with an adventurous spirit and the ability to work anywhere in the world. An irony before I retired as a chief of police was that our own travels kept us separated most weeks each month. It was a major decision in my retirement, but once I honored God’s calling to leave the job, He blessed us with regular adventure.

Leah and I have talked about a travel site for a few years, and on the cusp of our 21 day, 6,000 mile motorcycle trip in July, we finally made it happen. Talk about procrastination!

Now we sure don’t want you to hesitate to sign up for adventure updates and good news. We promise not to bug ya…much. It easy, just CLICK HERE

Not only do we look forward to sharing our adventures, faith and lessons learned along the path, but we look forward to solid advice from others who travel or live in the areas we visit, and possibly fellowship along the path.

Don’t hesitate to reach out and follow our adventures.

Scott & Leah

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