The journey of my life.

Location: Anytown, USA, United States

I am a daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin, wife, daughter-in-law, lover, friend, and nurse. I have lived my life trying to please everyone. I'm not sure what would be left if those titles were to go away. About Ron: I am Candy's husband. My previous life before undertaking this trip was working in the paper manufacturing industry in the Pacific Northwest. I am taking this time off to have the adventure of my life, meet new people, get fit, discover our country on a more personal level, and accomplish something that I will always remember which is to circumnavigate the US on a HPV(Human Powered Vehicle). I am 52.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Leaving Dallas

We sent 4 boxes of stuff home by mail. How does one collect so much stuff? Most of it was camping gear that we weren't using. (Nikki, Claudia, Denise or Dad...Nothing will spoil, it's heavy, if you need to get it out of the office, put it in the 5th wheel)
Get this, the day we leave it is cold and we had to put on more clothes to stay warm. After weeks of 100's it was only in the 60's.

Wonderfull hostesses

Cooling off after riding in 100+ degree weather

On this day the temperature was over a hundred degrees. We found this swimming hole alongside the highway and jumped in. It was almost as good as having an ice cold beer.

Bats-Hill Country

One of the activities in the area is to watch bats leave a tunnel at dusk. (my cousin Mike took me to the Castle Rock dump to watch the rats scamper away when headlights were turned on them) The brochure tells of the 2-20 million bats that leave the tunnel every evening. It's pretty awsome to see millions of bats flying by you for 10 minutes or so. They kind of stink, too. I was told that they can be seen on doppler weather radar when they emerge.

Our unofficial Fredericksburg taxi driver.

Front row; Janet's daughter, Janet, Janet's husband
Second row; Candy, Julie, Ron, Debbie
Peeking over Debbie is the owner

While the poster thing was going on and calling for a taxi that was very busy, a young lady offers to drive us up town before the restraints closed. She even insisted that we finish our drinks. We get ready to go, she introduces us to her husband and daughter, we visit a bit and get a picture. That's how we met Janet Jung, our unofficial taxi driver and tour guide. She had us laughing with the stories she told and then waited to make sure the restraint was still serving before leaving. The next day during our ride we saw a ranch gate with her last name and there is even a road named after them...

Fredericksburg-Hill Country

We used Fredericksburg as our home base for our Hill Country trip with Julie and Debbie. We all agreed no drinking and riding, no problem, there was a tavern across the street from the motel. After settling in we went to the tavern and discovered they didn't serve food. As a round was being bought, I spotted the Budweiser sign that said welcome Hunters. Yes Claudia I tried to get a free beer because of my last name. I then tried to get sign, the owner wouldn't give it up but offered another one. It has a deer on it, which cracked Julie and I up because a deer jumped on Julie and her bike a week earlier in Oklahoma.

While planning the ride we were told that Hill Country is also Deer Country. We learned that the area holds the world's most dense population of deer. Most of the pickup trucks we saw had big heavy duty guards built to protect the front end from deer collisions.
Deer hunters get to bag 6 deer/license. We saw several herds of 10 or more every day.

Enchanted Rock-Hill Country

Candy, Ron and Debbie

A hugh granite rock formation, now a park, camping, hiking and rock climbing.

Luckenback-Hill Country

Charlie Bishop and Candy
Julie and Debbie
All the buildings in town are similar to this one
Inside the back of the post office
What ride would be complete without a visit to Lu... You all probably know that Hondo bought the town. Musicians and singers play and sing for the visiters, some are famous and some aren't so famous. The fellow controlling the parking the day we were there was Charlie Bishop, contry singer. He worked the entire time we were there in the hot sun.

Harry's on the Loop-Hill Country

Harry and Candycheck out the decor
Must be biker friendly
To get a beer while outside you go up to the window

What a delightful surprise. We were ready for a break from riding and very thirsty, We saw a few bikes parked in front of the place, figured it was biker friendly and pulled in the parking lot. What an absolutely cool place, catering to the biker crowd. As luck would have Harry was actually there and working. He tried to be grumpy but just couldn't pull it off. He asked me "What kind of an asshole to you think I am?" I replied "Well how many different kinds of assholes do you have around here?" He grinned at that,

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Getting ready to ride with the Girls

It was decided that the girls would take Thursday through Monday over Easter to go for a ride in the Texas Hill Country. That left us 3 days to get an extension filed for the IRS and get our prescriptions refilled as we only had 2 days of meds left. Debbie lent us her Corvette for our errands. She worked from home and Julie went to work. We were able to travel quite easily around Dallas with the GPS. There was a push to get Julie's bike ready for the ride, the Honda shop jumped right on it and got it done.

After the ride

We were hot and dirty after our ride to Oklahoma and jumped into the pool to cool off and refresh ourselves. Julie fixed drinks and joined while we waited for Debbie to get home. Time was getting close, like 10 minutes, for the Sopranos to start and we weren't ready to get out of the pool and hot tub. Julie set up the TV projector and big screen outside so we could watch the Sopranos outside while in the pool. Debbie comes home, joins us in the pool. Chinese was order for dinner and was served at poolside where we ate, drank and watched TV and a movie.

Julie gets hit by a doe

Traveling north on Hwy 82 on our way to Stigler, OK, Ron was in the lead, Julie in between us, and me bringing up the rear. The weather was great, in the 70's, even though we wiped ice of the bikes. We had just passed some small wild fires that were started by lightening, made a left hand turn, a nice straight away with a right had turn and another straight away, Ron gets on it. Ron passed three does on the right, he said he didn't even see them, and was gone. Julie rides slower than Ron and saw a doe jump up and turn away from her to the front. A second doe blindly following the first, jumps right into Julie. I watched the doe and Julie travel several feet together, their heads at the same level, looking like Julie had scooped it up around the middle, legs flailing about wildly. A 3rd doe jumps from the side and turns toward me and scampers off the road. I'm slowing down wondering what evasive movement I need to make, guessing which way Julie and the doe were going to fall. The doe falls, bounces off the road a couple of times, jumps the fence and takes off, last seen with an abrasion on its right shoulder. Julie continues riding down the road and gives me a high sign saying she was OK! She rounds the corner, notices the front right turn signal was missing and thought she better stop and check if she was hurt. As you can see in the pictures her tank was dented, the engine guard was pushed into the brake and foot board as well. Julie sad her shoulder hurt but not to bad. She did not fall down!

Talihina, the town, quiet and friendly

Julie and Ron planning a ride.
They decided to visit Stigler, OK where they live when Julie was 4 and Ron was 9 years old.

Pam's run by Hateful Hattie in Talihina, OK

serves an excellent breakfast.

Concealed Weapon Permit Class posted in a restaurant window.

RoseMary's serves a great Ribeye

Friday, April 14, 2006

Talimena Scenic Byway

Ron and Julie
Rest stop
Oklahoma, as I never imagined.
Ron and Candy
Talimena Scenic Byway, Road 1, Oklahoma
Debbie had plans with her mother leaving Julie free to ride with us for the weekend. We found this "dotted road" on the map and off we went. This road is one of the best roads I have ever ridden. It needs to be ridden all 4 seasons, and not only on bikes but sport cars as well.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Accidental meeting up with Scott

Uncle Ron shaking hands with Finn
Scott and Finn
Scott's wife, Janet (in the center)
Debbie and Finn, Game Boy players .
When Ron called Julie to let her know we were on the way to her place, Julie informed him that Scott, Janet, and Finn were visiting.
On this trip it seemed as though Ron didn't really care about the trip at all. I couldn't really say anything as I sort of manipulated the whole thing and with all the trouble with his bike I felt I was lucky he was talking to me. For the first time this trip he was excited.
Not only was he going to see Julie and Deb, he was going to see Scott!
He rode with great purpose from Little Rock to Dallas.
When we arrived we didn't see Finn's head for an hour, he was in the pool swimming underwater.
For those of you who don't know, Scott is Ron's little brother. Ron was away from home most of Scotts growing up and the two of them are now developing an adult to adult relationship instead of the little brother- big brother. It is a kick listening to their stories.
Imagine sitting around a fire next to a pool, family and friends, tipping a few sharing the past with us all. After a while it degenerated to singing Kareoke. Scott and Janet have wonderful voices. Jamie, Debs brother has a nice deep voice. I was the oldest person there and didn't know any of the songs, talk about feeling old!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Father and Son

Buddy and Ron

Buddy and Jeanette went for a ride with Ron

We ate catfish at Pres. Clinton's favorite resturant in Hot Springs

Hot Springs Tower in Arkansas

This town has quite a history. Gambling, Mafia, and alot of hot springs to draw in the crowds. Shortly after these pictures were taken a very large thunderstorm with lightening came into the area and dropped lots of rain, by morning it was gone.We were traveling in a car with Buddy and Jeanette, Thank God!

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