Pirtlefest 2016… and 17

Pirtlefest 2016 & 2017 highlights coming at you today.   

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We believe 2017 made for year 11 of this nonsense, but the memory of its origination is slightly blurry.

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Pirtlefest 2018 is right around the corner, so no better time than now to dig into the ghosts of Pirtlefest past.

It might also serve you well to check in on your liver and start giving it a few pep-talks.

Perhaps even your off-roaders.

 

Pirtlefest originated all thanks to the Patriarch of the Family, Gary!

His birthday, his idea, his fun.

Let’s just say it has evolved a smidge since its inception, however, the underlying tone still stands.

Family, Friends, and good clean Fun.

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From horses …

 

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To Mud…

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To burying your prized possessions…

 

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To Music…

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To Family…

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And Friends…

 

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One thing is for certain…

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If you aren’t having any kind of fun…

 

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… we probably aren’t your people.

 

Cheers to Pirtlefest 2018! 

 

The countdown is on…

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The Hobby | Biker Photos

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It all started summer 2017 with this girl, this bike and a camera I had received as a gift nearly three years prior.

I didn’t completely know what I was doing, and I certainly still don’t, but I knew I wanted to try and capture a few photos of Liz with her bike.  And what started out as a fun night of unknowns, turned into a hobby worth exploring.

But not for reasons you might think.

I am connected to many influential, intelligent, beautiful, gracious and inspirational women.   Add to the equation a woman who rides her own motorcycle and you end up with a pretty powerful subject.

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According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, the number of women riders in America is growing daily.  In fact, in 2015 female motorcycle owners made up 14 percent of the industry.   In 2003, an estimated 9.6 percent of the motorcycle owners in America were women, which shows us an increase of over 50 percent in 10 years.

Nice work, gals!

Women Riders Now provided us with an even larger breakdown:

  • Slightly more than 17 percent of Gen X owners (born from early 1960 to mid-1970s), and 17.6 percent of Gen Y owners (born in the 1980s and 1990s) are women.
  • Among Boomer owners (born between 1946-1964), women make up 9 percent.

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We are a highly educated group as well!

  • 47 percent of us have a college or post-graduate degree.

 

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As I said…

 influential,

intelligent,

beautiful,

gracious,

inspirational

WOMEN

Before I knew it, one session turned into another and another, and with those sessions I started to grow in my confidence, abilities and knowledge.   Each shoot I critiqued and analyzed to find something new to take away, whether it was a new technique or studying the settings I had used to get the desired outcome.  I fully invested in studying aperture, ISO and shutter speed and how they intertwine.  The importance of angles and subject placement started to take shape.

The positioning of the sun and the effects it had on the shooting range was an eye opener for me.  Using natural light to enhance the subject while avoiding unappealing shadows or bright, nearly drowned out spots, can be tricky depending on the time of day and location.

 

I started to work on the concept of depth and subject placement in order to get the end result desired, whether it be a bold, loud full landscape statement, or a naturally blurred or bokeh effect background with the focus on the subject.

 

I have learned so much, and have so much yet to learn.  I don’t want to be a hobbyist who is a simple “point and shoot” type.   There are plenty of “photographers” out there.  Anyone with a fancy camera can wave their hand in the air.

Am I a professional photographer?  Absolutely not.  Do I want to be?  No.  Am I trying to be?  No.

I am enjoying learning a fun hobby while working toward producing products for people that have a look and feel of minimal effort, but polished and a semi-professional edge.

 

But, my dear friends… it’s more than that.

Those influential, intelligent, beautiful, gracious and inspirational women I am fortunate enough to know?  I want you to see them too.

 

And I want them to truly see it in themselves.

 

 

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I want to help boost confidence in the individuals in front of my lens.

I want them to own and embrace what makes each of them unique.

 

I want to pull out the happiness and joy these girls exude and put it in print for the rest of the world to experience.

 

I want these girls to feel pride when they see themselves in print.

 

I want to help build self-esteem, self-confidence, pride, happiness and joy into each of my subjects

one shot at a time.

 

And with that,

I think I found my niche.

 

I look forward to the spring months ahead where I hope to hit the ground running with more opportunities to capture photos of not only my friends with their bikes, but also to the many other strong, powerful women (and men) out there riding their own.

When you are ready, so am I.

 

 

 

 

Harvest 2017 | Goecker Farms

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Harvest 2017 is in full swing and as the long days and short nights are just gearing up for our farming families, I want to remind you to thank a farmer today.  And everyday.

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Saturday I headed down to Clarinda to spend a little time catching up and reminiscing with my own farming family.   Grandpa spared no time in reminding me of the many times I used to ride with him late into the evening as a young girl and serenade him with what I am sure were some of the BEST children’s Sunday School songs.

This Little Light of Mine, anyone?

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I spared all of them with the singing this go ’round.  Can’t imagine my song choices would interest him much these days. 🙂

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A few hours in the field and I had to be making my way back to the concrete city lights, but my heart was certainly filled to the brim with warmth and happiness.

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Best wishes to all our farmers on a successful harvest.

 

 

 

12th Annual Biker B!tch Run | 2017

The 12th Annual Biker B!tch Run rolled in hot.

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And rolled out even hotter.

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Literally.

It was 9 million degrees that day. But who ever let a little sun and heat index of stay-inside-and-hydrate stop them?

Clearly, not us.

 

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The Beginning – Sugars in Council Bluffs, IA

Sugars provided us with our morning cocktail blends of bloody mary’s, screwdrivers and red-bull vodkas.  Logical drinks of choice for the 10:30 brunch hour, right?   And can we take a moment to appreciate this pretty BA sign that Candy and Marcy got for me???    This girl has some pretty incredible and oh-so thoughtful friends (even if I had to be reminded WHO actually went in on this bad boy.  Early on-set of Alzeimers, friends.  It’s real.  And I was just so excited for the day!)  Thanks again Candy!  ❤

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After cocktail hour, hugs, hellos and good-to-see-ya again’s… it was time to make that day our b!tch.

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Stop 1 – Tailgators Bar and Grill in Oakland, IA

A smorgasbord of lunch, ice cold beers and temperature regulation, Tailgators served us well.  And leave it to these naughties to find an opportunity in the dumpster.

Because where else, right?

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Finding fun in every moment is what these chicks excel at.

I dig.

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Stop 2: Cruisers in Griswold, IA

I believe we have Cruisers to thank for the kick of feel-good-endorphins.

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It’s a strong possibility those endorphins were brought to you courtesy of little cups of jello thanks to that wild child, Elise.  A little jiggly bucket of magic dust is what we will call it.

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And it’s our civic duty to follow clear directions and common law…

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So we made sure to oblige.

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Cruisers also provided us with a long stretch of street where we could actually set up and snag a few photos while melting under the fiery glare of the sun.

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Oh, but honey…

Griswold never looked so good.

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Let’s not forget our fun little crew taking space in the fun bus.

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I have Hunter to thank for many of the group photos from the road.  I gave her my camera and said “have fun”.

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Anyway, let’s roll on, shall we?

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Tyree always serves as my right-hand woman.  On the road and in life. ❤

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Stop 3: The Rainbow in Red Oak, IA

There is always one community that doesn’t know what to do or how to handle us when we come rolling in.  This year was definitely Red Oak.  Upon entering the town we came up on a sheriff.  Said sheriff pulled into the center turning lane and sat there while each and every one of us rolled on by, following the trusty 25mph speed limit and providing smiles, winks and a few head nods.

I am certain he was just enjoying the view…

Wouldn’t you?

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The Rainbow provided us with some eats and treats before it was time to leave the fine diners of the Rainbow Cafe to themselves again.

Ya, I see you Cyndi.

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Liz was being a badass a few weeks prior and broke her ankle so instead of two-wheels, she got four, courtesy of this little scooter.  And what kinda mode of transportation would it be without a license plate?

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Y’all.  This is my aunt Marla.  My dad’s sista.  I have this B!tch run to thank for getting us connected again.  It’s been so fun having her along for the ride.   Fun fact: she trailored down my dad’s old bike so I could use it in senior pics back in 1999.   Fun new fact: she fed me pizza when I was a toddler and got scolded.   This new fact is brought to you courtesy of Jessica’s conversation starters in the fun bus.

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Let’s ROLL!

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Stop 4: Jaime’s Tavern on Main in Essex, IA

Oh, friends.  FRIENDS!

You don’t even know…

Let me elaborate via visual effect.

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Our smart mouthed but huge heart friend Jenn couldn’t make the run due to work (we were also down a few others due to a trip to MX, a float trip, work and family time) BUT, Jenn busted her butt to get to Essex to have a drink and see us off to the next stop.

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And it’s always about this time where I become huggy.  I believe we can thank those little buckets of magic from earlier.

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Or maybe these baby beers.  Seriously.  Have you HAD THESE YET?

You are missing out.  Don’t miss out.

Don’t be that guy.

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Alright, Alright.  Let’s move along while we still can.

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Stop 5: The Hangout in Malvern, IA

It’s always about this time where folks start tearing off to head home for dinner with their s.o.’s or various other reasons.  It took me a minute to get used to that as the OG days we stayed together until alllllllll hours of the night.  But, a larger group now-a-days equals a wider range of home locations and miles in between plus family obligations, so I have embraced it as the new standard and can totally dig it.  It’s us.  It’s the new way.

And this last official bar always brings the onslaught of photo opps, as for many of these girls, this B!tch ride might be the only time each year that they ride together, which makes the moments and memories even more special.

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A little fact about the below pic.  Cyndi (left) rode in from Cedar Rapids!  I met Cyndi during the summer of 2007 at the Conesville Motorcycle Rally (R.I.P to the #2 ranked most epic of rallies… click here and here for the #1 ranked) so to have her join up this year on her own ride was pretty friggin’ sa-weet!

And Ashley (right) was a Jeeper during the 11th annual and decided then and there that she was going to be on her own two-wheels for the 12th annual.

A woman of her word.  My kinda peep.

Tyree- does this make her MY friend now too?

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Is the photo fuzzy, or have you just been drinking?

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The official stops may be over, but the unofficial stops were just beginning!

Peace out Malvern!

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Unofficial Stop 6: The Backroom Lounge in Lake Ohana/Glenwood, IA

We didn’t stick around here long.  Just enough for Tyree to join some kids in a bounce house, eat some grub, laugh at something on a phone that I am sure wasn’t funny, pass out the lollipops.

GANG, I am SORRY (not sorry cuz more for me) I forgot these earlier in the day… fail.

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OFFICIAL stop 7: Cara’s SURPRISE 30th BIRTHDAY PARTY!

We cruised into her nice quiet neighborhood, frightened her husband, rolled back the throttles because no birthday is complete without the sound of motorcycles hitting their rev limiters and surprised the hell outta this girl.

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We done?

duh.

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Some fuel and then I took up whip while Liz led us out to The Mile Away where you should also go for the chairs alone.

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Strong possibility they’ll put you right to sleep too!

Soon after the Mile Away we made our way to Crescent for some grub and good tunes and a final end to the night brought to you courtesy of Kimi’s famous split.  It wouldn’t be a B!tch run without it.  BUT, I shall spare her the pic.  There may be some shirt slippage in there and that’s just reserved for us. 😉

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Year 12 brought the fun.  It brought the renewed spirit.  It brought new friendships and reunited old.  It brought a sense of complete camaraderie and sisterhood that makes the B!tch run what it is and what it was built from.  Friendships united on trust, love, honesty, loyalty, a lil booze, wind and complete and total nonsense.

And 100% fun.

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CHEERS!

 

 

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Special Thanks to:

Courtyard Ink

And all the bars visited, linked above.

 

 

 

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11th Annual Biker B!tch Run | July 2016

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The 11th (E.L.E.V.E.N.T.H) annual Biker B!tch run happened July 2016.   Can’t believe it’s been 11 years!

Also can’t believe it took me almost a year to get a post up about it.

Better late then never??

Ya, let’s roll with that, mkay? 🙂

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The 11th goes down in the history books for probably the most unique B!tch run to date.  But, we came, we saw and we conquered.

…And Pep is still smiling that bright and shiny beautiful smile of hers.

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We had a few bonus girls with us manning the Jeep and it was GREAT to have them along.

 

The Jeep came in handy as you will find out in a few more scrolls down.

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The day started in Council Bluffs at a bar that has since closed down, but hey, we appreciated their hospitality while it lasted.  Their parking lot was prime real estate!

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Heidi’s bike on the other hand didn’t treat her so kindly.   High-five to Tyree for saving her.

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After I did my best bossy-pants photo set-ups…

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It was time to rollllllllll…

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First stop: Twisted Tail in Beebeetown, IA; where the food was delicious, drinks were cold and the fan clubs were in full paparrazi mode.

These young girls above wanted pictures taken with them, so of COURSE we obliged.  And then the beautiful ladies below were next in line.

We were feeling famous for about a minute. 😉

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Thanks to Jenn and her continuous drill seargent fitness instructor ways, she challenged Jessica to some weighted squats.

With her as the weight.

Damn, Jess.   You’ve got great form…

… And a graceful fall.

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And before we knew it, it was time to roll on out again.

Want to see us in action?

↓ Click on the photo below ↓

 

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Dunlap, IA to Lampe’s Pub we went.   And also where we hunkered down for the better part of the day.

Sadly, we had a bike that needed some medical attention.  Flat tires and riding do NOT go hand in hand.  Fortunately said flat didn’t happen until we were at a significantly reduced speed creeping into town.   Hello road angels. Liz felt your presence, as did the rest of us. ❤

 

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Thank to a local Dunlap towny, we got Liz’s wheel off,

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drove it down to Woodbine, IA to see the Motorcycle Medic for some TLC

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Then back to Dunlap for the local patron to help us get the wheel back on.

Like I said… it was an adventure!

Thanks Dunlap man.

If we can remember your name, I’ll give you full on credit next time. 🙂

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Meanwhile back at the bar during the bike medical assistance…

Things were getting a little wild.

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Work it, own it, strut it.

Rawr

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Weird… wonder how that dancing red dress emoji girl got on the bar.

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The girls sweet talked this young little bartender into taking his shirt off.

When I ordered a PBR, he didn’t know what it was.

Oh, Bless his cute little young heart.

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Rumor has it the Sheriff rolled through three times.  Apparantly our prolonged presence was making the town folk nervous.

Funniness aside – we thank our men and women in blue for all they do to keep us safe.

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And on that note with bike wounds healed and everyone accounted for and completely sober, it was time to roll.

Thanks, Lampe’s for the good times.

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On to Pop N Docs for a quick drink by the river.

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Tyree and her cowgirl hat hotness.

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And before we knew it, we were rolling on to the Cottonwood Marina in Blair, NE.

But not without the required lollipops first.

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Blair provided us with some dancing, mingling and some goodbyes as a few of us seperated ways as this was technically one of the last stops.

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And with that, our whirlwind of a day was over and the 11th annual was a wrap.

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I am truly thankful for all the strong, empowering, beautiful, full of LOVE females I know.

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What a beautiful ride it is.

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And what a beautiful ride it will continue to be.

Cheers!

 

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Special Thanks:

Anytime Tees – Council Bluffs, IA

The Twisted Tail – Beebeetown, IA

Lampe’s Pub – Dunlap, IA

Motorcycle Medic– Woodbine, IA

Pop N Docs – Decatur, IA

Cottonwood Marina – Blair, NE