900 Miles and the Blazing Sun… And a Happy Heart

This last weekend I took off on my own little adventure through Iowa, just me and my trusty two-wheeled side kick.  It had been a minute since just she and I went on a little adventure, so it was high time!  Of course it was the hottest weekend on record for June.  I mean you literally started sweating just looking outside.  Brutal.  B.R.U.T.A.L.

But, hey.  When the open road calls, I answer.

Friday, June 15th, 10am.  Bags packed, tire pressure checked, oil levels solid.   Time to pack it up and ship on out.   Until my saddle bag handle falls apart ever so nicely in my hands.  I laughed.  Out loud.  Of COURSE this would happen, because why not?  Sigh…   Three pieces held together by 6 itty bitty little screws.  Do you think I can find any of them?   Nope, just one loan ranger that had apparently been hanging on for dear life (and holding my lid on too).  Thanks little buddy.

Operation: fix this shit, stat.

As I am searching through bins in the garage to find replacements Clint calls and says to take his bike. Um, no. This weekend is reserved for me and my girl. His response:  Well, guess you better fix it.  Good luck.

Already on it, good sir.

A little trip to good ol’ Tractor Supply and 30 minutes later, home-girl was on the ROAD!

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Destination: Ames, IA for a late lunch with my HS girlfriend, Erin.

Friends, I don’t think I stopped smiling the ENTIRE journey.  Well, except once, in Des Moines.  Traffic was thick, some cute bubbly blonde teenager was on MY ASS, so I turned around and gave her a little piece of my mind, hopped lanes, and went back to smiling.  Spent almost two hours catching up with Erin on personal and professional life, a nice solid hug to close our afternoon out, and back out to the heat I went.

Second time the smile left my face.  That heat hit ya right in the feelers, man.

 

That frown turned upside down the second I hit Hwy 30 headed East.  Destination: Cedar Rapids, IA to hang with my galpal Cyndi!   She had an ice cold glass of water and a PBR waiting for my arrival and I happily chugged them both.

And then it was off for a fun (and sweltering) photo sesh.

Look at this cutie!!!!!!!!

STOP IT CYNDI!  If you are cool enough to know this chick, you know her laugh is TOP 10!  More to come on that.

We spent an hour or so doing photos and then it was time for drinks, food and music to close out our night.

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Saturday hit me like a hangover from hell.  Mind you I had three beers and one vodka over the span of 4 hours.  PBR HATES ME AND IT MAKES ME SO SAD. I mean, come on.  You’re supposed to be my friend, Pabst.  What happened between us?  My head was pounding, my stomach rolling, Cyndi wanted breakfast, I wanted a soda, so I popped some ever-so-faithful Dramamine and Aleve and off we went.  First hill I had to yell at Cyndi to slow down if she didn’t want puke in her car.  Lovely house guest I make!

Anyway… Dr. Pepper saved my ass.  Dramamine is my hero.  We all survived the morning, and it was off for a day in the sun on the AMVET Poker Run!

We cruised north and east for a little over 160 miles.  I met some of her girlfriends, we signed our names to a random wall, we sweat out any and all drinks that went down the hatch and all and all had us a solid day!

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Poker Run wrapped up around 4pm with Cyndi winning some hundred dolla bills, y’all… (you just sang that didn’t you?)

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4:30pm I peeled off and headed to Ankeny, IA to hit up Whiskey River to see my cousin Erika.  Guys.  4:30pm, heading west, 105 degree index… and I am the genius going straight into the sun.  And guess who didn’t give two shits?  This girl.  Permagrin here to STAY!   My mind was happy.  My heart was full.   This was turning out to be a solid weekend.

6:30pm, drinks and dinner and a few hours of catching up with the gorgeous Erika made for an even happier girl.

And this is where I excel in making plans.   I try not to solidify much until necessary.  I told Erika to pencil me in as I might stay with her, but once 9pm rolled around, I was jonesing to move again.  If you have followed me long enough and know me well, you already know night riding is my absolute favorite time to ride, hands down.

It certainly is the most dangerous, but guys.  Your senses come ALIVE at night.  Your mind becomes sharper, your eyes more alert, the sounds and smells are heightened 10 fold.  It’s magic. Simply magic.  So, 9:15pm I fueled up and pointed my headlight towards Omaha.

And we rolled in just slightly after 11:30.  It was pure bliss.

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Father’s Day Sunday and I get a call from my dad jonesing for some open road time and a few beers, and so 20 minutes later I was out the door.   Hair hadn’t been washed in four days.  My face was a collection of at least 6 layers of lotion and sunblock and an additional 3 layers of makeup on makeup.  #killingit

Full disclosure:  Yes, I rolled into bed the second I got home Saturday night.  Sweat and sunblock and road grime and all.  Clint is a lucky… LUCKY man.  HA! #killingitagain

90 miles later I was at dad’s and we hit the road for a mini-southwest Iowa tour of bars.  It was a GREAT day!  As I was telling him about my weekend adventures he said “You are a daring little girl” to my night riding.  To that he followed up with “it’s my favorite too”

Like father, like daughter on that note.  Check!

I decided to peel off at Sidney, IA to head back to the city. I have a college friend staying with us for two weeks and I was in dire need of a shower.  It was when I reached Hwy 34 that the clouds showed their ugly head.

But, I think I had mild excitement at the thought of cold rain hitting my overly tanned shoulders.

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I hit it.  And I have made a mental note to get some RainX for my windshield.  We had a few hairy moments on some construction zones.

Clearly, we made it home safe and sound.

And deliriously happy.

My head needed those miles.  My heart needed those miles.  My LIFE needed those miles.

I recently read a quote:

Just because your time is full, doesn’t mean your life is full

Really hits home, doesn’t it?  Once upon a time, my time was full.  Of stuff.  Of work, of training, of teaching as an adjunct for a University, of fitness teaching, of conference calls, of weekend events, of this, of that.  My time/life. was. busy.  My life is still busy as many of the above-listed items I still do, but I am prioritizing appropriately, and condensing the amount of TIME spent on each.  A balance is essential.  I also reflected and eliminated some of those things in my previous life that were once fulfilling, but then after digging deep into my heart and mind… they actually weren’t.  I was missing out on the here and the present with my friends new and old.  I was missing out on things that at the end of my life, I didn’t want to regret.  I want to spend my time, my days, my life with the people and the things that make me feel fulfilled and that I know will make my heart absolutely happy at 90 when I look back on these times.

So, if this quote resonates with you, I encourage you to stop.  Reflect.  Take action on things that are going to fulfill you and your bigger purpose, whatever that may be.  What is going to make you feel proud at the end of the road?

Now, go LIVE!

 

Cheers!!

 

Magic Happened Last Night

It only took about an hour of prep work, grease on my jeans and a few beads of sweat, but it happened.  The happiest day of my Spring 2018 life, h.a.p.p.e.n.e.d.

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We hugged, we laughed and we became a little misty-eyed.  It was a beautiful reunion caught on camera via SnapChat selfie.  Because nothing counts unless it’s on Snap, ya?

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Ya, that’d be a no.

But, we did reunite and all the wrongs in the world are now right.  So so SO right.

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Of course, she was tucked nicely away in the back of the garage, so it took a little motorcycle maneuvering, battery tinder removing, seat finding and reattaching, motorcycle jack rearrangement, air pressure gauge scavenging, motorcycle trailer rolling, air bubble requiring and about 10 additional PSI’s in that front tire (recall September 2017 tire incident… still haven’t fixed that yet) and

…WE WERE ALIVE!

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And she was DISGUSTING!

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¹First order of business: Car Wash.

²Second order of business: WIND!  Sweet, sweet WIND!

She and I cruised for about an hour or so before making our way home around 7:45pm.  Low and behold the hubs had also just gotten home and seeing his bike out in the driveway decided it was a perfect opportunity to reattach his seat as well and so off we went for a late dinner at The Cabin across town.

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What a perfectly spontaneous MUCH NEEDED night of wind therapy for the both of us.

Hello, Spring 2018.

I’ve been waiting for you.

 

Cheers!

🙂

 

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!

 

 

___________________

Special Thanks to:

Courtyard Ink

And all the bars visited, linked above.

 

 

 

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Women of Harley: Lora J.

Harleys & Heels | Biker Bitch Feature #4 | Lora J.

 

Meet: Lora J.

 

Lora J
1. How long have you been riding?

I grew up on mini bikes, but I was always just a little scared of riding back then.  When I was 18, my husband would let me give him rides on his dirt bike.  On Mother’s Day, seven years ago, I got my first bike and have been riding my own ever since.

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Lora’s First Bike

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2. What do you currently ride?

Harley Davidson Heritage Softail

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3. How many bikes have you owned and why did you choose your current model?

I have owned two bikes.  My first one was an 1100 V Star.   I have since purchased my Heritage Softail, which I got for a screaming great deal.   I kept my V Star for my 16 year old son who has now been riding a few years.

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Lora’s son on her V Star


4. Does your bike have a name?

I haven’t gotten around to my new bike.  Any ideas?


5. Tell us the story behind why/when you decided to ride your own bike.

I love riding my own bike and I feel more safe when I am in charge.   I actually had my first street bike before my husband got his.  I have always felt free riding my own bike. Riding is like Prozac.  It relieves a lot a stress.

Riding is something I had wanted to do for a long time, but I waited until my kids were old enough to watch themselves.  Kids first, riding second.

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Lora with some of her riding sisters.

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6. Do you have a biker who is your inspiration?

All women riders are my inspiration.  I have found that women tend to ride safer then men, and women always form a bond, no matter the age difference.

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7. What are some of you favorite things about the biker lifestyle?

The freedom.

Meeting new people.

Motorcycles are always a great ice breaker.   There is always a story.

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8. Give us one of your favorite two-wheeled stories.

My favorite two wheeled story was my first women’s trip with about 20 ladies.  The oldest was 66 and the youngest 32. We rode to Wisconsin, got rained on and ended up drying our clothes out at a Casey’s along the way.   We rolled into the Dells in matching shirts and people everywhere wanted to take our pictures with them.   It was my first time to go on a trip on my bike with only women.

Our trip was full of adventure.  We had a couple ladies wreck, we lost stuff along the highway, people left their blinkers on (apparently this makes a few ladies really bitchy).  For the record, it wasn’t my blinker, but it was a lesson!  I now always make sure my blinkers are off and I learned how to ride in formation.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience.

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9. What advice would you give other females who are thinking about riding their own?

My advice would be:

  1. If you lay your bike down get back on.  
  2. Don’t buy a brand new bike to begin with get a nice used one.
  3. Ride alone on less populated back roads so you can get in uninterrupted practice.
  4. Never let your bike get dusty.

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Lora and DeAnn


10.  There are many “Biker Codes” out there. If you had a favorite what would it be? Or, if you were to add your own code, what would you say?

Always ride like a lady.  Keep it classy, girls.

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11. Final words?

Ride every chance you can, you never know when it might be your last.

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Cheers!

Keep up-to-date on all Biker Bitch Features:

#1: Ashley H.

#2: Jen M.

#3: Chris Y.

 

You might also be interested in:

The 9th Annual B!tch Ride

The Making of the Biker B!tch Crew

 

Follow Harleys & Heels on Facebook!

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Hawk Fans at a Husker Game & A Hail of a Good Time

Continuing the August 29th weekend recap.  If you are just tuning in, the first part can be found here.

Saturday morning, Clint and I found ourselves headed to a Nebraska Football Game.

The Huskers

We are Hawk fans in this house.  Well, Clint’s a Hawk fan.  I am more of a Hawk supporter.  I don’t follow the athletic teams religiously and won’t pretend to be a die hard fan.  I am not.  But, I support the black and yellow.   I have to!  Iowa is my home.  My heart.

So, what on EARTH are we doing at a Husker game?

 

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One of Clint’s clients who has season tickets with club seating made different seating plans for this particular game, so he offered them up to us.   Score!

I’ll admit, I was feeling a little squeamish from the previous nights activities, so we were a couple hours behind our original tailgating schedule.

Eh.  Whatevs.   We rolled with it.

 

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We met up with our two friends Jade and Van who were able to get us tailgating wristbands.  We had a straight shot of the stadium from where we were, and fortunately for us, that giant miller light bottle helped us find our way through the sea of red.

 

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Let me tell ya… the energy was unreal.  The support for the Huskers was very evident.

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As we made our way into the stadium, we were led to a never ending escalator that wound up at least 5 floors.   I wish I had taken a photo of this thing!  Our seats were actually just outside an air conditioned building complete with multiple concession stands, couches and lounging chairs.  What is this?!

An experience, that’s for sure!

 

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I loved watching the pre-game show put on by the Husker Band.  Such massive numbers and powerful sounds.  They were superb!  The Cheerleaders and Dancers were fantastic as well!

Question though – are there not male cheerleaders in Husker land?  I was looking for some sweet collegiate stunting.   None.  Lame.

 

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Student section anyone?!

 

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I also thought it was pretty cool that the band had each of the opponent team flags on display as well.

 

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 Balloon release after the first touchdown

 

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 Waiting for the halftime show to begin!

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Clint and I took off for the Champion’s Club during the 3rd quarter to meet up with the client who so graciously gave us his tickets.

 

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This place was PACKED for obvious reasons we call beer.

Unfortunately, we were unable to track down Clint’s client, so we bid farewell to the Husker world (not before we said hello to my old High School classmate who patrols the Husker games) and headed to a nearby bar to finish out the night over some beers with Jade and Van.

All in all – the game was a GREAT experience and I am so glad we went.  It was entertaining, the beer was cold, people were in good spirits and the weather was perfect for a game of football.

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Sunday

Rain.    Man, it’s been raining like MAD in Nebraska lately.   Two of my morning jogs last week got axed thanks to the AM downpours.  It came as no surprise that Sunday’s forecast was intermittent rain with some pretty serious storms later in the evening.

Plans?  Soldier Motorcycle Rally.

Derailed plans?  Oh, no.

Just a little bit of a late start is all… and an attempt at a family selfie while we waited for Round 1 of the storms to roll through.

 

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Champ didn’t quite get it, so Clint just resorted to squeezing his face.

Once the rain went through the city, we hopped on the bikes and started our trek North.  First stop: Missouri Valley where we ran into a few people we knew from the Red Oak, IA area, who were also out riding.  It was nice to catch up with them a bit.

After a few beverages we headed back out with the destination of Soldier, IA.  Each Labor Day, Soldier does a big weekend celebration complete with bands, vendors, lots of beer and good BBQ.   We rolled into Soldier around 4, had a bite to eat, browsed the vendor tents and then took off east to Dunlap, IA to meet up with a few peeps we knew on the poker run.

Did you know that breathalyzers existed in bars?

Yep.   We found one.

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Liz tried it out.  I am not so certain it holds much credibility, so you might be best to have a DD.  I don’t think the cops would go for the excuse

“But occifer.. the bar breathing thingy told me I was ssssooobber.”

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Soon after arriving in Dunlap we decided to take off to Moorhead, IA.  And THAT is when the big storms decided to roll in.

In a BIG way. 

Torrential down pour, cold wind and then HAIL.   If you ride, you know that rain alone hurts like a motha.  Add in hail?  FORGET about it.   We pulled over in a random farmhouse driveway and waited out the heavy rain.

Fun Fact: Several of us have bruises from the hail.  Mine are minimal.  I have one on my leg and a tiny one on my wrist.  Liz’s husband on the other hand got a sweet shiner from it!

Once the rain passed we made our way to Moorhead.  Unfortunately, we came up on a motorcycle accident, however the gal is going to be just fine.  A gash on the head and some worked up nerves.   We had a nurse and a first responder in our crew, so they tended to her until the ambulance arrived.

Wet roads and back brakes don’t go together.  Keep that in mind, folks.

After the emergency crew arrived we made our way downtown to the local bar when another round of rain came in.

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Sad face.  MORE RAIN?  We are already drowned rats!

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This rain chose to stay.  For HOURS.

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I can think of worse places to be stuck at, so we made the most of it, had a lot of laughs and enjoyed each others company.

Shivering and all.

For the next 3.5 hours.

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Finally, 10:30 rolled around and we were able to move on.   The crew went to Soldier where they were camping (in a camper thankfully.  I hear most tents were indoor swimming pools at that point) while Clint and I headed for Omaha.

The ride home was a whole other adventure.   Let’s just say Clint and I made a few wrong turns and detours getting home.

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Like… road closed, bridge out, detour through a park, another detour on gravel roads (I won’t tell you who had THAT brainiac idea… ahem… husband), gravel roads that landed us back where we started, and then back to a main highway and then finally to the interstate.

It took us a little bit, needless to say.   But, safe and sound we arrived home shortly after 12:30am.

And THAT wraps up the weekend activities and moves us right in to a four day work week!  By the time you read this I will be out on business in central Iowa for three days.   Traveling season has officially begun.

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 Cheers!