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Thursday, May 28, 2009

RFTW--Gallup

The arrival into Gallup was great. Screamer found fellow RFTWers at the gas station and we rode in together. It was good riding in a small group--especially at highway speeds!

We were about 45 minutes ahead of the RFTW group so we checked into our digs for the night and then rounded up to head downtown. There were quite a few motorcycles in the area already--so we parked and waited. It was quite the emotional time for my dear friend. This year marked many changes for her and not doing the full run and not being in a Road Guard were two of those things. Needless to say, when her friends pulled in, I watched her be happy and sad and everything in between. I think it will be safe to say that she will commit to doing the full run next year!

And boy, did the bikes pull in! As they pulled in, the crowds of people were lined up waving and calling out. As I'm watching everyone, I have a short thought of my friends Brett and Nicki and wonder if they are riding this year. Brett and Nicki were my neighbors--in my old neighborhood. I haven't seen them since I moved last year. Then, like fate, I saw them! What is even cooler is that Nicki spotted ME in the crowds of people. A mad wave and then they were gone.

Once everyone is in and parked (and it happens rather quickly or so it seems), we go off to watch the ceremony. Gallup and the RFTW have a close relationship. Both have quite the affection and respect for each other . I think it is due to the sacrifices of both in their service for this country. It is an amazing tribute to watch. I have never been so close seeing the history of the Indian Nations and the military and being in Gallup allowed me to see the two groups together as they recognized and acknowledged each other.

After the celebration, I found my friends Brett and Nicki. It was good to catch up with them. They are riding in a different platoon and another friend of theirs is riding too. I know my Platoon Leader, Papa Bear, is looking for a tail gunner (sweep) for his group and I know that Brett would love to officially contribute...so I mention it. He's a terrific rider to boot--one that I trust enough to let my kiddo sit on the back of his bike! The idea is hatched and the offer is proposed. No answer at the moment....

Evening over and back to our lodging for the night. I think it was pizza for the night since no one wanted to go out. Rather, no one was particularly motivated to put all the riding gear on (and especially my MIA until the day before riding boots that hurt my feet) so staying in was the choice. We enjoyed our dinner and rehashed the day and caught up on the happenings of the group since leaving Ontario, CA.

Screamer did have to leave the room (and why I can't remember). She came back with one lone sock. Evidently another rider was doing his/her laundry and the sock was left behind. Someone else found it and gave it to my friend. I guess she looks like the keeper of single socks! You know, there's only about 250 or so riders at this point so finding the owner of a single white athletic sock is.......you can do the math. I guess getting a clean sock is better than getting a dirty one.

Needless to say, we all had a good laugh about it and then called it a night. 5:30 am comes too soon so we all turned in pretty early to ensure plenty of rest.

We would need it for the Gallup-Anglefire leg....

Keeping the shiny side up...so far....

~The Rainbow Wahine

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Riding For A Cause

And sometimes the only reason is...'cause I can.

Two weekends ago, I once again got on the road to attempt a ride out to Gallup, NM to join The Run For The Wall. I will say that it was a decision that I did not make lightly; the trip last year was difficult and I was finding little enthusiasm to attempt it again. I had a self-argument going back and forth until the day before I left. Fortunately, someone impartially listened and laid it out and I made my decision.

She was right, I did have a good time.

Instead of attempting the ride to Gallup in one afternoon, I left on Wednesday. The weather was a little blustery, but nothing unmanageable. I was riding along with my good friend Screamer and our trip would take us to Las Vegas, NM for the night.

Once out on the highway, the headwind was tough. I'm having Deja Vu all over again! No! No! No! I don't want a repeat of last year! I do not want to deal with yukky interstate riding!!

Fortunately, it was not. Again, the only battle was headwind and the ride to Las Vegas was uneventful. Screamer and I even managed a quick evening walk to stretch out the legs!

The next morning we headed out to Gallup! A short ride of a hundred plus miles--piece of cake, no? LOL....

Leaving Las Vegas (maybe that should be the title)--was chilly. Like 40 something degrees chilly. It is not sunny bright, but sunny sorta bright. Riding in the sun, it is really terrific. Riding under cloud cover, not so much! And there is more cloud cover than sunshine.

Our next town would be Santa Fe. As we ride in, it's a little early for lunch, but we look anyhow. I'm thinking that I need a fruit stop. I've gotten in the habit of eating an apple for snack and I've missed those apples...so I'm on the lookout for a grocery store. Riding down the interstate, I see a sign "Whole Foods". I'm thinking that would be a good place to stop!

I don't get overly excited about stopping since I'm not leading. However, I know my friend Screamer well enough that it is an attractive stop for her as well....so I'm happy when the turn signal lights and we exit.

I guess it's a good thing that we aren't on a tight time schedule. More dollars, more merchandise than "just" apples and an hour later...we are back on the road. Jeez, you'd think we are hermits that never see the merchandise inside Whole Foods!!

Once back on the road, we lallygag until Albuquerque. There's a lot of traffic in a suburb outside of Albuquerque. Traffic and police. Hmmmmm....

Oh, that's right, President Obama is visiting a local high school for a town hall meeting. I think I used up my "meet the President points" last December when I "ran into him" at the Honolulu Zoo.

At any rate, we pull into Gallup about 45 minutes before the RFTW pull in. I've never done the Gallup stop, but many of my friends tell me it is their favorite of the whole Central Route. I'm about to find out why.....

And you'll find out about it tomorrow!!

Keep the shiny side up!

~Rainbow Wahine