Bikes, Blues & BBQ 2016

Now that winter has set in and the cold has forced the two-wheels into hibernation, it only seems logical to rub salt in the wounds and reminisce on 90 degree weather and wind in the face, right?

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Arkansas

I had no idea how beautiful a state Arkansas is.  The trees, the hills, the hidden gems, the miles of curves.   Hands down my favorite rally trip so far, minus the time Clint did that little down on one knee number in Sturgis.

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On Wednesday, September 21st, a small group of us took off from Omaha to make our way down to Fayetteville, AR for the annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ rally.   It was a relatively easy and quick ride down there (I’ll bypass how much my seat SUCKS).  We made a pit-stop at the The Garage in Harrisonville, MO where we signed our names to the wall.  Score 1 for me as I found some fellow friends signatures who had been there a few days before us!

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We only made three official stops on the way there for fuel and to stretch, so we made great time!  Far cry from the ride to Sturgis!  Once there we set up camp and awaited the arrival of the Sullivan’s before we settled in for campsite brews and laughter.

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When on vacation, we are in no rush to get anywhere at anytime.   No rules.  No schedule.   When everyone is up we all decide where to go and what to do.   This particular rally included a lot of riding and a lot less walking around and boozing.  During the day anyway.  That might be due to the fact that towns in the hills are few and far between and they apparently don’t believe in bars.   This rally is the complete opposite of the Sturgis experience and I think is why it might have taken over the #1 spot in rally experiences.   #beentheredonethat

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Our first day of riding was pretty spectacular.  The sights, the curves, the beauty!

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Tourist alert

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We found ourselves a pretty incredible BBQ joint called Rivertowne BBQ in Ozark, AR.   The sweet potato fries and accompanying sauce to dip them in was to-die-for!

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Bellies full, beer craving satisfied and back out on the road we went for several more hours, winding our way back to Fayetteville for campsite shots, brews and relaxing.

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The next two days consisted of a lot more riding…

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Parking lot rest-stops while waiting on a few lost riders…

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Getting lost collectively…

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Dancing while lost…

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Roadside beers FINALLY thanks to a random roadside convenience store…

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Ever wanna take a back road?  Or put a little gravel in your travel?  Tear down two lane country roads?

We feelin’ ya, Rodney Atkins.

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I wouldn’t necessarily say we were lost again.  Just exploring…

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Tracy has this fun way about her.  And when I say fun, I mean she holds a convincing personality that gets me to do things I wouldn’t normally do.  Last year Sturgis?  She had me ziplining.

This year?

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It. Was. Incredible!  I need a helicopter hook-up, like stat!   So fun and slightly terrifying when the pilot pulled some funny stomach dropping business.

Thanks, Arkansas Helicopters for the fun!

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A little lawn-tractor pull action to close out our campsite experience was entertaining thanks to a very drunk redneck.

Y’all.  This guy was redneck.

Feel free to re-watch his awesomeness from my saved Snap here.

Should I remind you the pulls were lawn tractors.

It wasn’t really that cool.

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My take-aways from Arkansas.

1. Take beer in the saddlebags anytime you leave camp

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2. The official campsite of BB&B doesn’t really have anything official going on so bring your own entertainment.

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3. We should have used Uber to get to the action on Dickson Street.  This is a reminder for next year!

4. If you don’t sit next to the girls they will create snap stories about it.

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5. Find the camping spot with the fans!  Drowns out the interstate noise and the flysimg_0658

6. If one trailers a bike to a rally, one will always get made fun of.

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7. Twinning is appropriate

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8. Time spent with the hubs is always the best.

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Cheers to BB&B 2017!

 

 

 

Mississippi River Riding

Road trips are good.   Road trips on the bike are better.  And for our 5 year wedding anniversary, Clint and I decided to do just that.

Did you know that the first time Clint and I technically met was on a poker run?  In 2006, shortly after I moved to Omaha, specifically.  And our first time hanging out was also on a poker run?  I played REALLY hard to get for roughly four months after that too.  Had to make sure he could handle this independent woman, ya know.  I played my cards right. He respects my strong sense of independence, I respect his and we balance each other quite perfectly, if I do say so myself. 🙂

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So on September 9th, Clint and I took off towards Rock Island, Illinois for a weekend of cabin life and riding the Mississippi River.  Heading straight East on Highway 92 we had an easy ride, a little rain and a stop at one of our favorite grub spots in Indianola, IA.    The Sports Page was always our pit-stop when traveling to the Conesville Rally, back when Conesville, IA knew how to throw a motorcycle rally.  Sadly, they stopped that crazy fun weekend a few years back, so our stops in Indianola are very few and far between nowadays.

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The weather was only slightly temperamental, leaving us a little soggy just a couple times, but the wind and warmth always dried us off soon after.

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Mid-afternoon we made our destination and settled in to our adorable cabin on the Rock Island KOA at Camelot grounds where we spent the rest of our Friday evening fishing, sitting around the campfire, drinking ice cold beers and enjoying the serenity outside of the city lights.

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The only downfall were the mosquito’s.  Oh, the mosquito’s.  They love me, they find me, they are relentless.

More on that later.

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Saturday we donned our Hawkeye gear and headed out for a day of riding up the Mississippi on the Iowa side and back down on the Illinois.

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One of our stops landed us at Antique Archeology for what can only be summed up as a tourist trap and gift shop for the TV show enthusiasts.  Not nearly as impressive when everywhere you turn is another trinket enticing shoppers to spend money on.  Maybe I’d think differently about it if this place wasn’t basically in our backyard across the State, but I was feeling a little disappointed in the lack of cool things to see.

I was surprised, however, to see how close the location was to the Mississippi, considering the show only let’s you view the shop.  And St. Clair, IA is a pretty cute little town that left me feeling as if it could serve as the backdrop to a good book.

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For lunch we actually met up with our friend Vern who was on location nearby for work.   He took us to a pretty cool restaurant/bar with incredible views of the river.  Oddly, I didn’t take a single photo except for the boys mapping out our next leg of the journey.

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The rest of the day we cruised through various towns only stopping to take in the scenery or to have a few brews.  The weather was quite brisk, requiring leather jackets and gloves, but left us feeling incredibly refreshed.

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Our journey back to our cabin led us directly to Poopy’s Pub N’ Grub, which is a must for any biker in the area.  I am sure it’s quite the place to party on the weekend nights, with it’s large dance floor and multiple levels for mingling and people watching. We headed up to the Squirrel’s Nest to view the entire grounds and I’ll admit it was quite impressive.

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We stayed long enough to enjoy a cold beer before my bug bites decided to start making me absolutely miserable.  Remember the mosquito’s referenced earlier?

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Oh, hello darlings.  It was like they began to multiply at this point.   I’ve always been a magnet for bug bites.  Massive amounts of bug bites.  I can remember as a kid mom taking me to Minnesota to visit family and I’d be miserbly covered in these darn bites.  I have yet in my 36 years to find a repellant that works.  I basically bathed myself in Deet the moment we unloaded at the cabin.  Oy…

Anyway, onward we went…

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One last pit stop on the river front ensued before our final destination at a local Rock Island bar for dinner and the Iowa game.

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We made ourselves a little fire to close out our Saturday evening while discussing our Sunday adventures of fishing and our plans for lunch at a restaurant on the Mississippi.

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And, while Clint slept peacefully in our adorably cozy cabin, I lay awake for hours on end in complete misery while mosquito’s found their way through the covers and clothes to continue their torture on my body.

Pure hell.

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These little guys I’m certain are chiggers, however, sparing you the photos of the rest of my body, trust me when I say the bites continued up my legs, covered my arms, back and belly.   I am positive these were worse then chicken pox as a kid.

Torture.

After a middle of the night shower to wash off the multiple layers of anti-itch that only made me stick to my sheets, I finally threw in the towel around 7am.  By the time Clint got up I had my makeup on, fully dressed for the day, kitchen cleaned out and all our shit packed and ready to go.  With a confused look on his face, I pulled up my pant legs to show him the source of my misery and after stopping counting at 100 bites, he looked at me and said,

“let’s get you the hell out of here”

A quick pack of the bikes while I stood by with a constantly spraying can of Deet and we were soon our way back home, away from the open water and the little devil bugs from hell.

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The open air was good for my head and kept me from itching my skin right off.   We made a stop in Oskaloosa, IA at a unique coffee house that provided us delicious sandwiches and scenery, before finishing our Highway 92 journey back to Omaha.

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All in all, we had a GREAT trip and enjoyed each others company immensely.  It was nice to get away from the hustle of the city and wind down together on our bikes, doing what we love.

Next time, I vote staying somewhere far, far, far away from water and don’t blink an eye when you see me rocking a bee suit and wasp net for my attire.

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Not. Even. Kidding.

Cheers!

 

Algona Freedom Rally | 2016

Another motorcycle rally in the books and my eyes, liver and throttle hand are all still functioning.  Rally goers know this outcome is always questionable going into rally festivities and certainly appreciated coming out.

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This year we took off one day earlier in order to pick out our prime camping spot.  We tend to gravitate towards the shaded, secluded sections so we can enjoy our beers under the trees and morning zz’s without the sun-glare.  Although, sleeping is questionable with the constant competition of who can hit their rev limiters the most.  Prime time for that activity?  Between midnight and 4:30am.   It’s a campground wide fave past time amongst the town idiots.

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Our little slice of camping heaven.

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The first crack of beer after home-base setups are complete is always the best beer of the weekend.

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So what kind of Algona festivities went down in 2016?   Well, if you followed along on snap you saw the stuff I can’t share permanently.  Hello land of the free.  And by free, we mean really free.   I never do get over the zero cares some of these folks carry around… or leave back at their campsite.

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We did find Verlene.  Do y’all remember her from our 2015 float trip?  That ol’ gal sure gets around.

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The time was well spent by lounging, drinking, walking the campgrounds, people watching, motorcycle game watching, music listening and just relaxing with friends with zero cares, obligations or schedules dictating our lives for 4 days.  It was fabulous.  Next year I’m bringing a yard game of some sort to add to the daytime festivities.

The Highlight Reel:

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Liz got off pretty easy this year on the hug game.  Clint left the shine at home, so the hugs weren’t nearly as alcohol induced, but still abundant.

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imageWhatcha reaching for their, Clint?

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When traveling through the campground, one must always have your drinks handy.  You never know where you’ll park the bike.  Liz has clearly played this game a time or two before…

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And Clint wins by just strapping on the whole cooler.  Beers for all!

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It’s still possible to be cute when camping, even when hair doesn’t get washed for days.   Bandana’s are a girls best friend for evah.

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From Clint to Steve…

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Algona 2016 went down with some great memories for the memory bank.

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Cheers to another incredible Algona Freedom Rally.

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Link Up to read Algona Freedom Rally recap 2015 here.

Follow along on Facebook at Harleys & Heels.

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Special Thanks to:

Ozarks 2016 | Girls Trip

Another girls trip to Jessica’s moms on the Lake of the Ozarks is now in the books and as always, it came and went far too quickly. The trip never disappoints and I’m always impressed at the amount of booze a few chicks can consume.

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What I love most about this little trip is it’s with girls who are laid back, free spirits, trustworthy, not worried about nor ever even mentioned body image/swimsuit comfort levels, accepting, supportive and of course crazy fun.

That’s a combination worthy of repetition.

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Our crew of 5 left the Omaha area around noon on a Thursday and headed South to meet up with the Des Moines crew of 2.   We all made it around the 6 o’clock hour and headed to the grocery store to pick up our food and drink for the weekend.

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Our plan for the next few days: to drink, eat and be merry and never once leave the premises with the exception of a boat ride or Jet Ski ride.

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Mission: Accomplished.

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We drank.  

A lot.

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Don’t you worry your pretty little faces.   We killed the beers too.

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We swam.

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We sunbathed with Joey

 

Most of all we made sure to have zero cares.

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We PiYo’d by the lake each morning.

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And cooled off by jumping into the lake, immediately following, fully clothed.   Because how else would you do it?

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We sang Karaoke.  

And by “we” I mean everyone but me! 🙂

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We took a boat ride thanks to Jeff and Donna, the two greatest hosts of all time!

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Enjoyed dinners together on the patio.

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And also where we chatted well into the late hours of the night watching some of the most beautiful sunsets you could see.

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And maybe even creeped on the neighbors a bit.  

#glasshouse

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Oooh girl… I’m telling.

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Snuggle time at the top of the stairs for no real reason other then it sounded like a great idea.

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We even enjoyed a few evening walks…

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 or skips, if you were Jess and I.

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And sometimes we had a little too much drinky drinky before the noon hour.

No judgement.   Vacay.

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Basically our weekend was full of laughter, sunshine, tan lines, sun burns for a few, booze, food, entertaining girl talk, a few happy tears and a ton of awesome memories that leave us talking about it for weeks to come.

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Yet another amazing Ozarks trip in the books.   I’m already scheduling in my head the next one.  

Donna – next weekend cool?

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Cheers!

 

 

Sturgis 2015 | Cliff Note Version

Sturgis 2015 in bullet points

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2015

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2015

  1. “Someone” had the idea of avoiding the storm rolling through Omaha the morning of our departure.
    • Outcome:  A 50 mile loop around Omaha.  Pouring rain.  Lightening.  Still soaked to the bone.
    • Moral of the story: don’t attempt to be a weather man and predict the storm path.
  2. Tootsie Pop Suckers are a must have on a long road trip on the HD
  3. When searching for your friends campsite, photos of the spot are the way to go!  It’s like going on a treasure hunt.
  4. When treasure hunting – always go with a drunk girl on a Razr.   It adds to the adventure.  My advice: take a beer or two.
  5. Clint and I are a pro at tent set-ups
  6. On the flip side, tent set-ups don’t go so hot when borrowing a tent last used in 1982, but it makes a funny story for later.   Too soon, Tracy?  🙂
  7. Typical Sturgis weather = Storm 1 on Night 1.
  8. Said borrowed tent turned into a kiddie-pool
  9. Porta-pottys aren’t around when you need them the most.
  10. It takes 72 minutes to travel 7 miles in Sturgis
  11. Bikes run hot as HELL at that speed
  12. ALWAYS look for back alleys.   They are your friend in Sturgis.
  13. We are never staying on the East side of Sturgis again.   West Side for the win!
  14. Shopko in Sturgis has the hook-up for new tents fit for a King and Queen!   See #6 and #8.
  15. Finding Sturgis Christmas ornaments (my tradition) was impossible.  I ordered it online.   That’s totally cheating.
  16. Shopping in Sturgis with 800,000 of your closest friends is my idea of a great time.
  17. I ate more burgers and fries in those 6 days then I do in 6 months.
  18. I gained 6 pounds of awesome
  19. I can’t take musicians seriously when the dudes have better hair than I.
  20. Asa and Clint look dead sexy in mullets.
  21. Reapply sunscreen.  Often.
  22. Fever-blister cream works like magic on zits.
  23. Cell phone service is a bust in Deadwood.
  24. Beers are CHEAP in Deadwood.
  25. Take tip money to the bathroom/shower houses.   The lady keeping that hole clean is HILARIOUS!  She deserves all the tips.
  26. I ziplined across The Buffalo Chip Concert Arena.  I nearly fainted.  I was entertainment for Tracy.
  27. I will never zipline again.
  28. Never be-friend someone who drives to Sturgis by themselves, in a car, for one night.
    1. They may seem cool.
    2. They aren’t cool.
    3. They get clingy and pat Cyndi on the head.
    4. You try to lose them.
    5. They find you.
    6. And when they find you they say “You can run but you can’t hide”
    7. #creeperstatus
  29. My phone + motorcycle sprocket and belt = Disaster
    1. phone
  30. Said accident happened after I ziplined.   My last SnapChat was right before we ziplined.  This combo lead to a mild panic from a friend who thought I didn’t survive the zipline.   🙂
  31. I lost all my Sturgis photos from Tuesday-Friday.   Don’t talk to me about it.  I thought that is what the stupid iCloud was for.  Worthless if you need wi-fi for it to work.
  32. Still don’t talk to me about it.
  33. I have awesome friends who saved my last remaining SnapChat photo story line.  I also have awesome friends who let me steal their photos.
  34. One should ALWAYS make hotel reservations if the plan is to stop halfway home.   8 hotels later and we were setting up tents again.
  35. KOA Kampgrounds are legit!
  36. Clint and I are still pros at tent set-ups.
  37. Full recap with stolen photos coming up!

Stay tuned. 

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