Saturday, May 20, 2017

Day 4

Thank heavens today was a whole lot better than yesterday. I have a feeling the Southern Route Coordinator made a few minot changes and things ran much smoother at the back of the pack.

Today was fantastic, because Texas and Texans are fantastic. We visited two memorial, one the Permian Basin Vietnam Memorial and the Big Spring Memorial, both beautiful. I will post a couple pictures and I am going to bed.

Riding through the Dallas/Fort Worth Metropolitan Area was very exhilirating! Kept me on my toes!

Good Night Folks, I have an "Out Reach" first thing in the morning. Going to the Texas State Vietnam Veterans' Memorial. It's a new experience.

Bigger than life Vietnam Veteran Heroes

Big Spring Veterans' Memorial

Friday, May 19, 2017

Day 3 - A little lost and always last!

Today was not such a good day. I am too exhausted to write much. Platoons 1 & 2 were last in the pack. Platoon missed the off ramp for the first stop so Platoon 2 stayed with Platoon one and we kept on rolling. Finally topped on a freeway on-ramp. Sat there deciding what should be done about this mishap. After a good 30 minutes of sitting in the sun whomever was  in charge decided we should start rolling towards the next stop and hopefully the main pack would catch up to us and we could rejoin them.

It did work but we rolled through El Paso, Texas on the freeway at 40 mph. The cars were not very happy at the 25 bikes in the middle lane going 30 miles below the speed limit.

If you can believe it, the day got worse after that. I am just happy that I AM NOT THE ONE THAT MISSED THE OFF RAMP. SOMEONE ELSE EARNED THE NAME WRONG WAY TODAY. (names have been changed to protect the innocent)

A good night's sleep is needed. Tomorrow will be better!

Thursday, May 18, 2017


I don't usually write about me and my day but tonight's post has to be an exception because today was FANTASTIC! The weather was perfect, and I mean perfect! Sunny, but not hot, big white fluffy clouds, PERFECT!

A couple things came together today to make it special. Let me explain what it is like riding in a group of 200 plus motorcycles. We ride very close together, very close. It is important for us to stay close because if we don't we can spread out for 10 miles or so. In the quest to stay close but not to crash into each other this thing called "rubber banding" occurs. It's when someone hits their breaks so everyone hits their breaks then you have to speed up to catch up to the bikes that didn't hit their breaks. It is awful, it makes for a tiresome, irritating ride.

The only riders that aren't affected by this rubber banding are the riders that are in the front of the pack. Well today, it was my Platoon's turn to ride at the front of the pack. The only bikes in front of us were the lead element, the route coordinators (the big cheeses) and the support riders. So my platoon was up front. Then my platoon leader comes to me and tells me, he wants me to ride in the Platoon Leader position ALL DAY. Yes folks, all day. I rode up front, all day, setting the pace for my platoon. I could look at the countryside without fear of crashing into the bike in front of me. My hands didn't get sore, from slamming on the breaks and constantly down shifting. We're talking PERFECT!

Another fun thing, my platoon leader is Vic and then there's me as the Assistant Platoon Leader and Jaci and Kathy are tail gunners.
Kathy and my bike at the FRONT of the pack ready to ride out of the Willcox, AZ Elks Lodge. It's not very often two female riders are leading a platoon.

Except for Vic we're an all female platoon leadership. I am having shirts made for us to wear on the last day that say "Vic's Angeles". Shhhhh, don't tell him. Oh, Vic rides a Victory Motorcycle, It's PERFECT!

And the last thing that made today perfect was meeting these ladies that belong to The Daughters of the American Revolution in Arizona. When you belong to DAR, you have instant friends all over the country.

Thanks for sharing my great day with me. I am so blessed to live in this great land and to participate in such great activities.  One quick shout out to my amazing husband that makes it all possible. Who puts up with my crazy antics and ideas. Love you honey ❤️.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

California Rocked it today!

California redeemed itself (slightly) today. Normally we ride through California and there is nary a person on the over passes or lining the streets. Not today boy! To start with, members of the Daughters of the American Revolution came out to send us off. These ladies are members of the Katuktu Chapter. Ladies you're the best! Senior, one of the Southern Route, Road Guards photo bombed us which made it even more fun. 

And April Laing a member of the American Legion Riders, Chapter 716 also came out to send us off. Sorry I didn't get a photo. Thank you for coming out to support us!

As we rode from Ontario to the Arizona state line, I counted five overpasses with flag wavers. One over pass held a firetruck with the firemen standing at attention. Oh my heart swelled. Then 10 miles outside of Blythe, CA we were escorted by the California Highway Patrol into Blythe.

Say what you will about California, we are Americans!

Every year, I start off a little nervous. This year was no different. Wouldn't you know it, on the first day, the first maneuver is a u-turn. Those of you that don't ride won't understand what a big deal a u-turn is. I am not a very big person and I am riding a 950 pound motorcycle. It's not easy to make sharp turns. (don't believe everything you see on you tube). Well, I nailed that first u-turn and everything that followed. I got this, 2017 is going to be a breeze!

I am going to bed now, I will write a better blog post tomorrow night. I need a little sleep tonight.

I want to leave you with this quote:

"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave" Elmer Davis

I am so thankful for the men and women that stand guard at the gates of our country. God Bless them one and all.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Santa Ed Receives a Book

The run hasn't even started and I have already shed tears. Let me tell you the story.

Four years ago I went on my first Run for the Wall. I met so many Vietnam Veterans. One in particular touched my heart,  Santa Ed (pictured here). I told him of my plans to write a book about the run. The book was to help ALL veterans heal from the scars of war. I held both of Santa Ed's hands and said, "look into my eyes, I want you to see into my soul and know that I WILL write this book". Santa Ed, became very agitated and said, "that's it, that's it, you can't use my words on me!" Your road name is Eyes. Every since that day, my road name has been Eyes.

Well today, I had the opportunity to present Santa Ed with a copy of the book Run for the Wall - A Journey to the Vietnam Memorial. He cried, and I cried. Yes, it's been a four year project.

It is still my prayer and hope that the book makes it into the hands of every American Veteran, that they can see and feel the love, support and appreciation of the American people.

Another wonderful surprise was when another one
of my favorite Vietnam Veterans came riding into the parking lot.
This is "On the Five" 😂, years ago, he was left waiting on the 5 Freeway for a bunch of his buddies. They didn't show up for hours. Well, the name stuck.

One of the best things about the run is the friendships you make and renew year after year as riders gather from all over the world to once again partake in this Patriotic, Veteran loving, flag waving event.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Riding for Those Who Can't

This string of dog tags are from the Patriot Guard Rides I have been on. They hang in my den in a prominent place, where they are constantly in view. Today as I walked by and thought of the young men that gave their all, it occurred to me that in addition to riding for Ray Burmaster Browne, KIA 1/16/64,  I should ride for the young men whose dog tags hang in my den.

These young men gave their all for me, for us! I thank God everyday for young men willing to sacrifice for freedom. The song "We will not Forget" by Mark Harris is a beautiful tribute that sums up beautifully, why we ride. Because we will never forget the price that was paid for freedom.

by: Mark Harris

On distant shores they fought a war
Though they were just mere boys they stood their ground
They made us proud
Some made it home but some gave all they had to give
They gave their lives for us
They died for us
Hope for a desperate nation
Some call them the greatest generation

We will live for freedom
Never give up on freedom
We will not forget
For they died for freedom
We will not forget

We won't forget the price of freedom
That was sacrificed upon that hill
It echoes still
And may we never be afraid to stand and say in God we trust
Yeah, in God we trust
There's hope for the next generation
Let us rise and make a declaration

We will live for freedom
We will not forget
That you died for freedom
Gave your life for freedom
We will not forget

To thank you for the price you have paid

Monday, May 8, 2017

It's May and Time to Roll

This week begins my serious preparation for the run. I put a lot of thinking into this preparation. What to pack? What goes where on the bike? When will I need this item?  How often will I need this item? Do I even need to bring this?  I also load all the overnight stop locations in my weather app so I know what to put on every morning, I hate to be cold! I pack tributes of those I am riding for that I will carry to the wall. I have stickers and pins to give to the children at the schools. I have Vietnam Commemoration stickers to give to the Vietnam Veterans we visit. It's a lot of thinking that goes into getting ready.

This year, I have added another task that needs careful thought. Every year I have been on the run I spend my nights staying up late blogging. I want to keep readers at home up to date on everything that happens on the run. I make sure to add the emotional parts of the day as well, I guess I am just emotional. This year, I have been asked to be the sit-rep writer for the Southern Route. This is a new job for me and I am a little uneasy about it. The sit-rep includes JUST THE FACTS. In my mind,  just the facts are, well, just so boring! This is going to require an even later bedtime. With this in the back of my mind, I want to do an even better job of packing. I want as many things as possible to be streamlined. It all has caused a great big THINK! 🤔

 On another note: This year's motto is MISSION > SELF which means, Mission greater than self. I love that! On the run we are working collectively towards one common goal. It is this goal that drives the run and remains the focus day in and day out. While on the run we are constantly thinking of the individual, making sure no one is left behind. Yet, the focus is the mission and what is best for the mission. In this day of ME-ME-ME it is a timely motto. I look forward to Ghostrider's leadership and working with him this year, it's gonna be great!

As we embark on this Journey to Washington D.C., we ask for your prayers of good weather and safe travels.