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The Blessed Hell Ride/better Place

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Dedicated to Mark McCoy and David Hetherington


The Blessed Hell Ride - Black Label Society

Better Place - Puddle of Mud


Kudos to the Indian dealers in Reno, NV, and Sturgis, SD


Thanx be to God for a safe journey, adventurous memories, and return home. Yes, after two weeks of riding with uncountable hardships, a wedding in California, then three days in the Black Hills, we are home. Thank you all for your prayers.


My journey started Sunday morning with the bike not recognizing the fob, getting the bypass code, pouring gas all over my tank, missing my first exit because of construction, then lots more construction on I-80. No Iron Butt today, but I made 640 miles to Des Moines.


Monday morning it was raining, delaying my departure. That afternoon I hid under a viaduct to put on my rain suit and the wind was so strong it nearly blew my bike off of the kickstand. Later, another storm with even stronger winds came out of nowhere,blowing me within inches of the side of the shoulder - almost crashed. Wth nowhere to stop (and sunshine just ahead) I hit the hazards and creeped up the shoulder at 5mph. By the time I got to Sidney, NE, 520 miles, it was late, and I had had enough.


Woke up Tuesday at 4am, and with 1k mills to a htel reservation and oil change appointment in Reno I convinced myself it was 6am my time, and hit the road at 5:30. I HAD to get the Iron Butt thing today, and did so with texted prayers and cheers from friends and family. Unfortunately, I went North instead of South to get to my hotel (at 2am) costing me an extra hour. A police officer helped me find my way - God bless him.

Wednesday was a relaxing ride - finally! I went straight to our rental house, uncorked a bottle of pinot noir, and strolled to the ocean with Mark's ashes and Dave's memorial patch - the three of us, the Pacific Ocean, and God. I left half of Mark's ashes in the ocean, so one of his markers is the largest surface area on the planet.


After a beautiful wedding Thursday, Jean and I left Kalifornistan late Friday morning. It was supposed to be an easy 500 mile ride to Elkton, NE, but traffic jams throughout Sacramento(istan) absolutely mudered our time, and we lost our hotel reservation money. This left us with a 700+ mile ride to Rawlins, WY on Saturday.

We were making pretty good time until I got a flat in Wyoming. The cost of another hotel disappeared. We pulled into a truck parking rest stop with 2lbs of pressure in the tire, and I was so scared for Jean's safety I thought I would need an ambulance. A Hindu trucker gave us some air, and plugged the tire. I have never been so happy to know the word "Namastee." But the plug only lasted a mile and we were on the shoulder calling for roadside. The last time I needed roadside on a bike I was with Progressive and they never showed. We are with AAA now, and the driver arrived in just over half an hour. SAY NO TO FLO!


Sunday, instead of meeting our friends on the way to our cabin in Nemo, SD our friends Ken and Lynn drove from Denver to Green River, WY to pick us up, while Danny and Tina went to secure our cabin; the nearest Indian dealer being in Sturgis, SD. We got to the cabin in Nemo around 3:30am. Times like this is where you learn who your real friends are.


Finally at our destination I was too exhausted to ride with my friends Monday, and yes, I was in tears over this. Got my tire fixed in Sturgis, and trailered it back to the cabin for a day of rest, while my friends toured Sturgis, and Spearfish Canyon.


Tuesday we went to Mount Rushmore, and rode both the Needles and Pigtail highways. Toward the end of our ride we got some rain and marble-sized hail, so we pulled over and hid in some rocks. We were all smiling despite the adverse conditions.


Wednesday we went to the Crazy Horse monument. It rained that day too, but we were at a gas station, and were able to wait it out. At Crazy Horse I interned the last of Mark's ashes, wept, and felt an incredible feeling of relief and accomplishment. I texted a pic from that place, withth monument in the background to his mom and oldest daughter with the caption, "My lands are where my dead are buried."


We made it home from The Hills in two days (trailering the bikes), deviating through the Bad Lands on the first day. Ken and Lynn had never been there, so it was awesome seeing them experience this for the first time. And considering the hellacious downpours we encountered on the way home, I don't mind being called a trailer pussy, just this once.


So with all the aforementioned hardship and agony, friends and places missed because of delays, I still was able t intern my buddy's remains, introduce a dear brother and his wife to the Black Hills, and hang out there with Danny and Tina, all in the grace of God Almighty. I pity those who sit at home waiting on their next welfare check, and will never have such experiences.


"Life is a journey not to end peacefully, but sliding in sideways battered and bruised screaming, 'That was awesome!'" (Unknown)

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Awesome !

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Nice write up but sorry for all the troubles. Nice to know I'm not the only one to experience "adventures" such as this. :grin: Glad you made it home safely with "Mission Accomplished".

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I'm sorry to hear of all the trouble. It's those adventures that make the trip memorable, though.

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