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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Rolling Thunder: Sunday's Ride

So after baking a bit on the asphalt, it was finally our time to go....some two and half hours later after the start of the parade!!

Just out of the Pentagon parking lot--the view ahead
I reminded my 'driver' I'll call him that for chauffeuring me about that I'm standing on the passenger floorboards and not to take off too quickly. Last thing I need is to flip over and land on my head. I have to give thanks and appreciation for the careful skin was indeed in his hands and I had the biggest interest in keeping it all intact!!!

Turning the corner was so cool...with the roar of pipes we are amongst the massive sea of bikes that have been lined up for what it seemed forever. Crossing the Arlington Memorial Bridge was just way too cool as the Marine Corps JROTC held a line of flags over the bridge...oh this ride was getting better as the inches sped by!!

Line of flags on Arlington Memorial Bridge

The Lincoln Memorial

As we cleared the Hemi Circle, I knew I had to be ready to shoot the image of Marine at attention. Evidently this Marine stood at attention while the entire parade sped by. I can't get confirmation is this was the sole Marine assigned (or volunteered) for this job or if he was a part of a rotation. At any rate, standing at salute for any length of time in the heat of the day was an amazing feat! What's really super is that if you look in the rearview mirror of the image, you can see me taking the shot.

Amazing, isn't it??

Of course, turning the corner onto Constitution Avenue was something. I'm jammed on the back of the bike wedged between the sissy bar, in a half-standing up position gripping my chauffeur with my knees when I know taking the corner means a sharp acceleration! Just as long as the increase in speed is does not whip me about, I'll be able to stay on. Again, thanks again to the skill of my rider friend! He ensured I didn't fall off!!

Of course in reminding him that I was on the back and to be careful...I was reminded of my task at shoot images with Washington DC landmarks! Fair enough, I think this team effort was successful....I didn't fall off and he got some cool shots!!

Can you spot the landmarks??

It truly was an amazing event! Fortunately, the ride was only 20 minutes or so, but I don't think I could have stayed propped up the way I was for much longer! It was especially fun to wave at the parade watchers! Take pics, wave, don't fall off.....this Rainbow Wahine certainly had her hands and feet busy!! LOL!!!

The view from behind

We found a bit of shade to park under and our parade ride ended. There were massive amounts of people milling around the Mall area and the monuments, so it was nice that we got to see it the day before and not have to fight the crowd as large as this. We did do a bit of walking and I even had a dare to go swimming in The Reflecting Pool....

I passed on that one. I was hot, but not hot enough to wander in that water..yuuuukkkkk!

Back on the bike (and I'm seated properly this time), the bike is pointed in a southerly direction as our journey to Virginia begins. What a full day it was!! If you ever have the opportunity to ride Rolling Thunder, please do it! You'll be glad you did!!

I was especially happy for the invite and even though I griped about being on the back, I don't think that it could have worked out any better. For one, it would have been all about riding and there would have been no way except a helmet cam to shoot the images!! Waving to everyone with gleeful abandon and not having to worry about crashing into the bike in front of you works too!

Leaving town, I managed to shoot the Jefferson Memorial on the bike. Not to shabby for being on a moving bike, eh? I think my job as back seat photographer is intact. Or at least I hope so!! It's all good and yes, I would ride BOB again if the opportunity presents itself.

The Jefferson Memorial

I'd still gripe, but then again, that's part of the job isn't it *grins*......

Keep the Shiny Side Up!!

~The Rainbow Wahine


tim chambers said...

My name is motivated Staff Sergeant Chambers, USMC. I am the Marine that was inspired four years ago to jump in the middle of the street and show a very simple sign of respect to the veterans, virtiuous family members, and concerned citizens. This was not an official duty from the Marine Corps, but it was my moral duty to let the Veterans know that there service did not go in vain, and our brothers that gave their all, will never be forgotten. I need the world to see this simple sacrifice, and as it touches the hearts of all, and more people reach out to each other, we will stand united, and find it in our hearts to do what is right, and find that sense of peace that will ensure future generations, that they may not live in fear, but in harmony.

Christine said...

Thank you for your response, Staff Sargeant Chambers, I appreciate you enlightening all of us. Our group talked about it and no one could come up with a definitive answer. The Veteran's service members efforts did not go in vain nor does your salute to them. We honor each other as citizens, service personnel, and brothers and sisters of this great nation.

You have my deepest appreciation for keeping my world safe. Thank you.

Gymi said...

Ditto for me Staff Sergeant. Thanks Christine for sharing the story and the pics.

Jeanne said...

Christine wonderful pictures depicting our Nations capital. What beauty to show the bikes and salute to the Vietnam Veterans who didn't receive the tribute they should have. Thank you to the Marine Corp JROTC and Staff Sergeant Chambers your dedication is truly appreciated. What an amazing feet and small sacrifice to stand at attention and salute. Semper Fi from my friend who served as a Marine many years ago. Thank you again for providing these wonderful pictures and showing the tribute to the fallen soldiers, they have not been the last, and all are not forgotten.

Christine said...

Thanks, means a lot coming from you....*smile*

Biker Betty said...

Wow, thank you SSgt Chambers for what you did. Some day may all the people of the world be united in peace.

Christine, thank you for the write up and the pictures

Beaker said...

Those pix of your capital are fantastic Christine and the story was great.