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!!

 

June 2016 Wrap-Up

Final two weekends of June in review starring:

Harley’s, Beers, Best Buds and the Hubs.

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Two weekends ago I parked the Jeep on a Thursday night and didn’t get back in it until the following Monday morning.   I miss those days like summers past.  Teaching + Summers Off = no 4 wheels unless I had to.  Life now doesn’t give me that luxury anymore, so when I get the opportunity, I take full advantage!

Friday, June 17th

Jeans Day Friday’s is my favorite day of the work week.  These have only been implemented in the last year and when it did, my Harley and I sent a Thank You note to our President.

No, I am definitely not kidding.

This was big time, kids.  BIG TIME!

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An invite to Testicle Festival in South Bend, NE with a group of friends had us on the road for a fun little Friday.

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An evening of cold beers and fried testicles?  How could you say no to that?  😉  After a handful of hours, four of the five couples in attendance decided to ride down to Louisville to Heron Bay, my fave little bar on the river.  Unfortunately some bike issues had Tracey and I sidelined while we waited for the boys to work their magic a few miles back.   The neighborhood dogs didn’t much appreciate our presence, however, the neighbors were eager to help out a few damsels in distress.  Even offered a beer while we waited.  Thanks small town Nebraska.

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Soon after we were rolling on home to a sweet lightening show and a few sprinkles.  A most perfect and serene Friday night ride.  Some of the best!

Saturday, June 18th

Each year Tyree and I head out on a Thelma and Louise day, without the lunatic ending.  The last few years we’ve used it as a not-so-dry run to the annual B!tch run.  I like to test out my map, check the roads, notify the bar owners of the date and use that day as my chance to make any necessary adjustments, which works out perfect.  Our day began at 10am and we were off!

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Slightly overcast in the morning but after a few of these ridiculous shots of hell, recommended by a bar patron, we were nice and warmed up.

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Many miles, new friends and laughter later, our photos always turn into nonsense.

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Certainly nothing to do with these…

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Now the question is, were these our shots of schnapps and crown … or something more yummy and a new location?

We don’t shot and tell.

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A perfectly magnificent Thelma and Louise day and have the 11th Annual B!tch Run nailed down.  Check Check to another lovely June summer day.

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Sunday, June 19th – Father’s Day

Due to an unfortunate last minute Fathers Day plan cancellation courtesy of an illness,  I found myself flying solo Father’s Day morning.

Which was a-ok with me!

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I set out mid-morning for some solo riding, of which are most often my favorite rides.  I started riding 12 years ago and when I wasn’t on a poker run (which seemed to be every single weekend back in the day), I rode on my own during the weekdays.   I’d set out in a direction and go, just me and my Sporty.   I was in a deep transition period both physically and mentally while I was closing out my life in Clarinda and making the plans for a clean slate in Omaha.  It’s those solo rides that always put everything into perspective and truly helped define who I was.  I still love those solo rides and heading out on Father’s Day Sunday was like a breath of fresh air.  I rode all the backroads leading out of NE into IA for a few hours and then soon found myself in Clarinda, crashing Clint’s fathers day plans with his dad, Kyle and the rest of the fam bam.   Ok, so I didn’t crash it, I was always welcome, but I had planned to be elsewhere, so I like to say I crashed it. 🙂

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They had just gotten in from riding the horses around the acreage when I rolled in.   How cute is this pic of Clint and Kyle?   They are alike in so many ways.

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A few hours of shooting the shit, beers and dinner on the breezeway was a perfect ending to what started out as a botched Sunday.

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And then it was time to roll!

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For my two-wheeled riders, you know how much gravel sucks.   But, I’ll do it.  Just give me time.

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Tuesday, June 21st.

Justin Bieber – Lincoln, NE.

Brooke had some extra tickets.

Jessica asked, “wanna go?”

I said, “You bet!”

Belieber?  Nope.   Life experiences?  Yep.

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Bieber was a total douche on stage, lacked enthusiasm in the worst way imaginable, rarely interacted with the audience and was so self-righteous he paused to take at least 6 water breaks during the concert and made a complete spectacle of it by pausing all music, standing center stage, spotlight on him.

While he chugged a water bottle.

Really, Biebs?  REALLY?

Get over yo’self.

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Friday, June 24th 

Date night with my hubby and my first glance at his newest bulletin board!  Walkup Woods is coming along, folks!

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Saturday, June 25th

A day of riding through Southwest Iowa with Tina, dodging rain drops and rain clouds.

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A few hours spent with Troy, Sara and their two girls in the late afternoon before heading back to Omaha for dinner with Clint, his mom and Gaylen rounded out Saturday and as for Sunday, an early afternoon INSANITY class followed by some pool and sun time with Claire and Briton.  I might have gotten schooled on Shopkins too. 🙂

 

Basically,

Summer needs to NEVER end. 

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Cheers!

 

10th Annual B!tch Run | July 25th, 2015

↓ Girls, Girls, Girls  

What a day …

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with all these girls

And to think that it all started from these two minds.

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So, how on earth do I even begin wrapping up an entire days worth of photos into one post?   This is the main reason why it has taken me darn near two months to even start this entry.  Do I make multiple posts?  Do I make one giant one?  And what photos of the over 450 do I share with you fine people?

You feeling my dilemma here?

And so, it was decided.   This giantnoteworthy, epic day is going to be wrapped up into one GIANT, beautiful, powerful, kick-ass post featuring some equally beautiful, powerful, kick-ass women.

Here we go…

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The Hard Luck Saloon | Council Bluffs, IA

The Hard Luck served as our meetup point.  The start of Bloody Mary’s, shirt exchanges and pre-run group photos.  Because rain, of course.

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11:45am | Kickstands up.  Time to start the day.

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Nothing hotter than THAT view right there.

Hey ladies. ❤

The Wild’s | Bartlett, IA

Where the drinks were cold, conversations started flowing, people loosened up and epic gift giving was had.

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Now, why on earth they wanted to pick up my ass is beyond me.  I think Jenn just wanted to get a little frisky.

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But it served as the perfect opportunity for the girls to give me the most thoughtful, hilarious, absolutely PERFECT gift of all time.  Sneaky little sisters, I tell ya!

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I’m just going to allow the photos to do the talking from here on out.

Brace yourselves for this awesomeness.

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Oh, NO you DIDN’T!

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Oh, YES you DID!

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B!tches Betta Recognize!

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The Story.   Around the 4th of July I found a photo of this jacket on the good ol’ Internet and posted it on my Harleys & Heels page reminiscing about my Junior High years when I actually DID have this exact jacket.  Fringe and all.   Who knew that a few of these girls (I believe Tracy was the mastermind in getting this all going – LOVE you, doll) would pull off searching, finding, buying and organizing a group card.

Best, sistas, EVER.

And with that… we moved on.

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Road 0.0

The Riverside Inn | Riverton, IA

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Kayla, Sara and Jess were the Jeep crew.

Fortunately, soon after this photo, they were able to take the Freedom Panels out!  It wouldn’t be a B run without a little rain! 🙂

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Cocktails…

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Selfies

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And more…

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Riverton was a short and sweet stop.  Enough for a couple cocktails and a little ruckus before leaving this quaint little town.  What kind of ruckus you ask?  Click here.

On to Shenandoah, IA where we caused a mild curiosity amongst the local PD.  I think we counted three drive-by’s?  I promise, we were on our best behavior.

All those women on two wheels? 

Ya, I’d do a few drive-by’s myself!

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Emerald Isle | Imogene, IA

Ah.. the home of little beers.

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🙂

These little guys are the reason and excuse for all remaining photos to come.

Exhibit A

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Exhibit B

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Exhibit C

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Exhibit D

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Exhibit E

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Exhibit F

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Oh, Little Beers.   You are sneaky little bastards.

WAIT!  How many did we have?!

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Time to MOVE…

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Harley’s Bar and Grill | Emerson, IA

Click on the below photo to see what 30 Biker Chicks do when they roll into town…

Trust me.  Click on it.

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Ha.  See now, aren’t you so glad you did?  Thanks, Jenny for the tunes.

Emerson was full of shenanigans… and cuddles… and selfies...

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Alright, Alright, Alright.  

We still have TWO more official stops! 

Let’s go!

The Hood | Silver City, IA

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The C-Town Crew!

Jessica, Tina, Me, Kayla, Jenn and Jenny.

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How cute is this photo?

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Cheese!

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Here comes Marcy!

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Always and forever the Free Spirit.  We can all learn a little about LIVING from this one.

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Let’s MOVE!

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:p

The Backroom Lounge | Lake Ohana, IA

This was the last “official” stop before folks dropped off and went on with their evenings.

BackRoom 19There was a lot of “hugging”

BackRoom 20And wardrobe assistance (with cheesers)

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And long drawn out good-byes.

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(Adopted) Sister Love

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Marcy naughtiness

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Final gab sessions

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Parking lot split

OUCH!

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And final group hugs.

Oh, did you think that was it?

You are clearly mistaken…

Who will be the last (wo)man standing?!

Let’s move.

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Lighthouse | Council Bluffs, IA

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I think it is very safe to say we all are having a grand ol’ time, ya?

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Lighthouse 32hahaha… Love you, Jess

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Tyree sang a pretty fab duet with this fine gentleman.

I smell Grammy.

Oh, no.  No no no… Not done yet!  Hang with me. We are moving on to the…

LAST STOP

21st Saloon | Omaha, NE

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YES!  That is IT!

Food, Water, Feet Up.  The End to a pretty fab day.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

July 25th, 2015

A Day to Remember with some of the BEST girls you could ever meet.

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Until next time…

Cheers!

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

Professional Photos 

Fun Photos

  • The Girls

Service

  • The Hardluck
  • The Wild’s
  • Riverside Inn
  • Emerald Isle
  • Harley’s Bar & Grill
  • The Hood
  • The Backroom Lounge
  • Lighthouse Inn
  • 21st Saloon

Shirts

  • My Girls Ink

Holstein Harley Davidson Women’s Run

Holstein Harley Davidson

Omaha, Nebraska

All Women’s Run – May 31st, 2014

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Each year, Holstein’s Harley puts on a Women’s Only cruise.   It’s a tradition that is holding steady and each year more and more women turn out for it.

Our 2014 route took us through Oakland, Iowa -> Harlan, Iowa -> Neola, IA -> Council Bluffs, IA.

 

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The event is organized by Kristen, Holstein’s Motorclothes Manager.    She put together a flawless event this year, covering every detail imaginable.  From creating a route with the least resistance, fuel stops perfect for those with peanut tanks, solid 25 mile or more distances between each stop, lunch details to raffle prizes – the girl had it all.

Unfortunately, Kristen’s father passed away unexpectedly the day before the event.   As Kristen dealt with the loss of her father, numerous women stepped up to the plate to help out in anyway possible.   Kristen’s dear friend, Suze, reached out to Tyree to help her lead the pack and Tyree in return asked for my assistance as the route hit up all the Iowa bars that I was used to.   Several ladies stepped up and helped with the check-in and announcement making.

A biker community banding together – one of the many reasons I love the two-wheeled life.

Good people.

After we dedicated the ride to Kristen and her dad, we loaded up and headed out.

Thanks to Holstein Harley for the first three pics

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There we go!  Front of the pack!

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Watch out fellas.   Us chicks know what’s up.

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Thanks to the Riders for Christ in the road blocking assistance.  We made it out of Holstein’s safely!

The first goal of the ride was to just get out of the Omaha Metro area.  We crossed the bridge into Iowa and stopped briefly to get the girls back together again.   Street lights in Omaha are abundant!

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Marcy’s Posse 

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This is Marcy and her new man, Jared.   😉

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Next up?  Oakland, Iowa!

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Shenanigans

(thanks Traci – I swiped your photo)

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Marcy’s Posse (Thanks Kim- swiped your pic too!)

Next up: Harlan, IA

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Clearly the red cage didn’t get the memo

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Thanks Lora for the pic!

Next up: Neola, IA

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Last Stop: Salty Dog, Council Bluffs, IA

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The day was a big hit and a ton of fun!  New friends, many miles and memories to last a lifetime.

 

Thanks Tyree for letting me be a co-pilot with you.  I think we did alright!

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I’ve got you, babe.