Harley-Davidson celebrated its 105th Anniversary in 2008. I was one of the 105 execs designated to start a ride from a Harley-Davidson dealer to the big party in Milwaukee.
If I were writing the movie script about my ride today, it would have been very different.
It would have started the same. The sun peeking through openings in a cloudy sky. Dry pavement as far as the eye can see. It would have included some adventure, maybe a challenge to add some drama, and a few other things that would draw someone in.
But the movie wouldn’t have had the rain start at the same time I closed my Tour Pak and strapped on my helmet. It wouldn’t have included 300+ miles of rain and spray from trucks and cars, and it wouldn’t have included me missing a “blue sky” view of some really beautiful mountain passes.
Oh yeah, and it wouldn’t have included water flowing across the road through 65 mph curves and it wouldn’t have included the temperature being at 46 degrees as I went across the top of Lookout Pass on the border of Idaho and Montana.
Or would it have?
I did want adventure. And I did want a challenge. And today was full of drama.
Alright, I’m fine now. And I’ve convinced myself that this was just another day of being lucky enough to be part of the 105th Anniversary Ride.
Besides, those folks coming from the Southwest and Texas can whine about the heat, but they don’t have what the folks on Route #1 had today. That was adventure!
When I left Kennewick today, I was on a solo mission. First stop, a quick visit with the dealer in Spokane. Then a short hop to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for something I was really looking forward to.
My oldest daughter, Kimberly, lives in Phoenix and works for an organization called Maggie’s Place. They run three shelters in the Phoenix area for women who are pregnant and don’t have a safe place to live. Kimberly has been with Maggie’s Place for three years and we are so proud and happy about the work she is doing.
Maggie’s Place is about to open a new home in Coeur d’Alene, funded by a generous donor and many groups within that city. So as I traveled through, I stopped to visit Gail Pearson, Breanne and Ramona, the young women who are working hard to get the first moms in the house by October. It’s a beautiful home in a nice neighborhood with supportive neighbors. It’s a great place to build a community and bring well-loved children into the world. Here’s their web site if you are interested: http://www.maggiesplace.org/
After my visit at Maggie’s Place, it was on to Missoula.
The route was on I-90, but it is possibly the most beautiful stretch of interstate that exists. The road goes over two passes, the highest of which is Lookout Pass, at around 4500 feet (that’s where it was 46 degrees)(I love that new Zumo GPS!).
That great stretch of road delivered me right to Montana Harley-Davidson in Missoula.
That’s where I ran into my riding partners for the rest of the trip, Ron Hutchinson and his wife Maureen, John Olin, and our Route Manager J.T. Hasley. I also met some of the folks that they’ve brought with them from their start in Seattle.
In addition, I got a chance to chat with former Motor Company President Jim Paterson and his wife Jody. They have a home about 2 1/2 hours from Missoula.
The dealer party featured great sandwiches, drinks, line dancing lessons, and the highlight, a cupcake eating contest. Picture twelve men sitting at a table and eating chocolate cupcakes for FIVE minutes. John, the winner, at 23 cupcakes. (I may never eat another cupcake again.)
Wait a minute…that’s adventure, challenge, drama, something to draw viewers in….maybe my movie could have been about cupcake eating!
Tomorrow is going to be another great day!