Ed & Beth Harvey

Ed & Beth Harvey
The Namesake of Our Group

Friday, August 14, 2009

Headwest 2009 Total Track

So I've been back to work for a couple of days now and I must say "it sucks". I knew I would have fun on this trip, but was not expecting it to be as great as it was. I was lucky enough to be a part of this trip with great friends, new and old, and my family. It doesn't get much better than that. My 7 year old son got to see so much it made the trip that much more exciting. I really miss everybody!!! Even though I think we each had our little bouts of crankiness from the long days, we all got along incredibly well. There is nothing more that I could have expected from this trip.

Thank you Big P for putting it all together and allowing each of us to enjoy it without having to think about a thing!!! There were truly days when I forgot what day of the week it was and it felt incredible!

Thank you to everybody that went for allowing me and my family to be a part of it!

Below is the track for the entire trip, but there are gaps because either it couldn't get a signal or the battery was dying. The miles are off, but it shows most of the trip.


What A Combine!

While in Wayne we took in the Fair and took this photo next to a new John Deere combine. It was huge and expensive - well in excess of $600,000. I love Virginia but there is still a part of me that misses good ole Nebraska. Go Big Red!!

The Open Road

Now that we have been home for two days I can honestly say I miss being on the road. I thought I would be glad to get off the bike for awhile and rest but the trip wasn't dificult at all and I am anxious to do the next one. This photo is of our group riding through South Dakota and to me it shows what the trip was all about. A group of good friends getting together to see the country on bikes - there is no better way! Thanks to everybody for going and making this an awesome ride.


We are all back home, safe and sound. Everybody is getting back into the swing of things and starting to think about the next trip. I thought several weeks away from work would make me look forward to going back. Turns out...not so much!!! I have been looking over some of my photos from the trip and have been smiling all day. We had a lot of fun. Gary stopped by the hangar today to see Bob and me, and we did some transferring of his photos. While he was here, we also talked to Marilyne and Perry. It was just like old times!!!!! I can't wait until we get together for our "after action report". Could be fun.

When we got to work this morning, we noticed that someone had posted the group picture of us from the Crazy Horse Memorial on the wall. We look uber tough, like the biker bada$$es we are!

I hope everyone is feeling less slug-like after a few days of normal eating. It felt weird not to have 4 sodas, a candy bar, some cheez-its, and peanut M&M's during the day. I managed to survive!! :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Day 12

While in Salina, Kansas, the guys were disappointed to find out that they couldn't buy beer on Sunday. They were really ready to hit the road this morning!! Because they were bored, they took turns riding around the motel parking lot on each other's bikes. It was fun to watch. This morning, we left early so we could put some miles behind us before the heat got too bad. For those of you who have never been to Kansas, let me tell you what you have been missing......not a single thing. YIKES!! I was excited to reach the Missouri state line.

We all got a lot of sun today. We had a good ride today and ended it with a visit to the Gateway Arch. It was fabulous! We all enjoyed the ride to the top of the arch in the oversized egg. We all checked it off our bucket lists. We had a nice dinner at a restaurant next to the hotel, and are turning in for the night. We are gearing up for another long day tomorrow. I hope the Kentucky bluegrass is fun to watch fly by at 75 mph. The hail damaged corn fields of Kansas were a bit anti-climactic.

I think we are all sad for our trip to end, but will be excited to be back home. Perry has done an incredible job of organizing the trip and keeping us straight. That job is similar to trying to herd cats!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Headwest 2009 Day 11

Unfortunately this morning Lesa, Marilyne, Julie, Kim, and Pam flew back home. We will miss them, but will see them soon enough when we get home as well. We left Denver about 7:00 this morning and arrived in Salina, Kansas around 5:30 this evening. Unfortunately we are losing time going east, but it's all good. We dodged a couple of thunderstorms and as we were pulling our luggage out of the car it started pouring. We got very lucky once again.

Gary decided to press on so he could hopefully get back in time for his friend's funeral on Tuesday. We hope he has a safe ride and can avoid the weather. Bryce is really missing Lesa and Gary already. He really enjoyed their company!

I put my bike on the trailer as well so that Mable wouldn't have to drive all the way back across the country. There wasn't much to see today, but it was a good drive.

Here is today's track.

Headwest 2009 Day 10

I am posting this a little late, but this if the post for Saturday. It was an awesome day even though it was a short ride from Dillon to Denver. Mable, Bryce and I went up to Breckenridge to show him where we had been skiing when Mable was pregnant with him. We came back to meet the group and left Dillon around 9:30.

We worked our way to Golden, Colorado and wouldn't you know, that's where the Coors brewery plant is. They were even nice enough to offer us a tour of the plant. Amazingly engough, they also offer free samples!! We stayed there for a little while until Julie pulled Mike out of the free sample line.

From there we made our way to Mile High Harley out by the airport. We did a little shopping and bought a few things, but nobody came out of there with a new bike. We made our way to the hotel then to dinner. We had an awesome dinner at Ted's grill and Brad and Vicki, Perry's brother and sister in law, joined us which was nice. Dave was showing us a cool bar trick and i think that Heather summed it up perfectly, when she said "Damn you Dave". We're still working on it. After dinner we went back to the hotel to load up Marilyne's bike. Hopefully we will get it back safe and sound.

Even though it's a short one, here is the track for Saturday.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Headwest 2009 Day 9

Estes Park, Colorado to Dillon, Colorado today. We left Estes Park this morning after a wonderful breakfast. We then went up through the Rocky Mountain National Park and after Mable's bout with altitude sickness, we were on our way. The scener was incredible but the roads were a bit challenging. You definitely couldn't take your eyes off the road for a second. We stopped at the visitor's center and walked up to 12,300 feet. It was just a tad hard to breath, but we made it.

The bikes are having a litle bit of difficulty in this thin air since they're not set up for it. Mine cut out a couple of times during heavy throttle and Dave couldn't get more than 45 mph out of his at one point. I'm sure that once we get out of the mountains they will be fine.

We got into Dillon this evening and most of the group went to a BBQ cookoff and then everybody is doing laundry. Tomorrow it is off for Denver to stay the night out by the airport so we can see the girls off early Sunday morning. What an incredible trip!

Here is msot of the track from today with some intemittent gaps.

Headwest 2009 Day 8

We have left Sturgis this morning and are now in Estes Park, Colorado. The weather when we left Spearfish was a little hairy this morning, but it cleared up as we drove down through Wyoming. It was a beautiful ride with some awesome scenery once again. We encountered a few fellow bikers that didn't quite share our caution philosophy as they weaved their way in and out of traffic on the two lane road through Wyoming. We thought for sure that one of them was going to end up as a hood ornament of a dump truck.

As we made our way into Colorado the weather finally caught up with us and we had about a 15 minute storm that we got caught in. We made a stop in Fort Collins at the New Belgium Brewing company. For those of you that are not aware, that is where Fat Tire Beer is brewed. It's mine and Mable's favorite beer. We all got some samples and one of the employees was gracious enough to give us some Fat Tire stickers and memorabilia. It was awesome.

Then it was off to meet up with Perry's brother Brad so that Courtney could go and spend a couple of days with him and Vicki. She was a little excited!! We visited with Brad for a little bit in Loveland and wouldn't you know it, there was a liquor store right there in the shopping center. Needless to say we stocked up on some local refreshments.

Then we made our way up the mountain to Estes Park. I know that every day we say that we see some incredible scenery and today was no different. We are staying at the Discovery Lodge in Estes Park and kudos to Bob for finding this place. These are great rooms with spectacular scenery. The mountains still have a little bit of snow left on them!

Tomorrow we are sleeping in and then it is off to Dillon, Colorado. It's going to be a nice easy day. Below is the track for the day. There are some skips, but the beginning and ending are there.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Headwest 2009 Day 7

Day 2 in Sturgis. Today we all split up and did different things. Dave and Kim took a short jaunt up to North Dakota to check it off of their list and met a really nice police officer along the way. Mable, Bryce and I went to Montana, Devil's Tower, and Custer State Park. Courtney joined us to go to Custer State Park and it was awesome. We saw buffalo, deer, antelope, prairie dogs and Bryce spotted 3 female elks off in the distance. The scenery was breathtaking.

Gary, Lesa, and Marilyne decided to sleep in. After that they went to Deadwood and Sturgis to take it all in. The rest of the group did Montana, Devil's Tower and then went back to Sturgis.

When Mable, Bryce, Courtney and I got back tonight we walked into Perry and Marilyne exchanging verbal jabs and then it all abruptly ended when Marilyne reminded Perry of who whipped who's butt.

The Sequoia encountered a minor mechanical issue today when a chard of metal ended up in the sidewall of one of the tires in the past couple of days. A patch on it and we were on our way.

By the way Happy 47th Birthday Bob!!

Tomorrow it is off for Estes Park, Colorado and I will turn the mapper application back on as well.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Headwest 2009 Day 6

Chadron, Nebraska to Sturgis/Spearfish, South Dakota. What an amazing ride!!!! First it was coming up on a herd of buffalo which we stopped to admire for a while. We got some incredible pictures of the herd and a friendly park ranger stopped by and gave us some great info about the buffalo. We found out that the males are currently in rut and are a little rambunxious right now. We told Gary that after he got extraordinarily close to one of the bulls. I think he thought that Gary was cute. Hopefully he got some great pictures out of the deal.

Secondly it was Crazy Horse. It was very impressive. Until you see it, it's hard to appreciate the enormity of it. The story behind it and the man and his family that have been working on it is amazing. For someone to dedicate their entire adult life to a project like that is incredible. While we were there, a man approached Perry and said he was making a documentary movie about the motorcycle culture and he interviewed Perry. Then he took some group video of all of us with crazy horse in the background. It was very interesting and he said he should be completed with the project in about a year.

Next it was off to Mount Rushmore. Unfortunately after seeing Crazy Horse it was a bit of a disappointment. It was still good to see, but not quite as impressive. One thing that I have failed to mention so far is the number of bikes here. It is hard to imagine that this many motorcycles can be in one area.

After dinner a few of us went down to Sturgis to take it in. It was quite an adventure. That's all I can say.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Headwest 2009 Day 5

WOW!! What a day. We left Wayne, Nebraska, and our wonderful hosts, anticipating a fairly easy 335 mile day. Instead we ended up with a 492 mile day. We took a little detour up to Wounded Knee then up to the Badlands. We saw where Wounded Knee occurred, but if you're looking for a visitor's center forget it. It's right in the middle of the Indian Reservation and it's not much. Just a small cemetery with a run down church, then an Indian run visitor's center that left a lot to be desired with two makeshift outhouses as bathrooms. I must say that the reservation was a little depressing. As soon as we arrived local Indians swarmed us to sell us their trinkets. Pam and Bryce got suckered into buying dreamcatchers.

We did make it up to the Badlands which was well worth the trip. The scenery and the landscape was unbelievable. I agree with Mike, how in the he#@ did the Indians lose on their home turf? We got some awesome pictures which we will gladly share.

We then turned around to head for Chadron, Nebraska which is where we are staying tonight. All I can say is that somebody in our group is living right. We know who it isn't, but we're not really sure who it is. On the way to Chadron we passed through where it had recently rained and we could see the storms in the distance. As we pulled into town we stopped for dinner and after we got into the restaurant it stormed and rained ferociously. When we finished and went outside the rain had stopped and we were able to dry off the bikes and head for the hotel. We are staying in The Westerner and I must say that the couple that owns the place is terrific. They had all of our reservations waiting for us and they got us in and registered quickly. They even have towels in buckets outside of our room for the bikes! What else could you ask for? We strongly recommend staying here if you're ever in Chadron.

Oh and one thing I forgot to mention is what genius engineer decided to put gravel on top of a paved road on the way to Chadron. The rocks and dust about killed us. It lasted for a few miles and surely made things interesting not to mention made the bikes filthy.

Tomorrow it's off to Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Spearfish and Sturgis!!! It's going to be an awesome day! Below is the track for the day with a few little gaps, but you can see most of it.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Headwest 2009 Day 4

Thankfully a day of rest in Wayne, Nebraska. Can you tell who it is asleep? I think it's the first time that we haven't seen Marilyne without her blackberry in her hand. We have had a group of wonderful hosts while we have been here. We would like to thank Darrel and Betty, Dave and Karlene, Lorna, and especially Brian and Bonnie. Everybody has been so nice and accomodating and given us a much needed rest.

We had a great day sleeping in, taking a short ride on the bikes this morning around town and looking at all the farm equipment. All I can say is one word, Unbelievable!! Most of the group took a ride this afternoon with Kerianne and Tim up to the Missouri river and into South Dakota. I guess they couldn't wait until Tuesday to say we were there. Dave and Karlene provided us with a wonderful lunch at the fair and then we got to enjoy the fair. Then this evening Brian and Bonnie gave us an awesome steak dinner! We definitely cannot say that we went hungry in Wayne.

Tomorrow it is off to Chadron, Nebraska with a short detour to Wounded Knee. It is going to be hot again tomorrow so hopefully we can beat the heat. I will be turning on the mapper application tomorrow so everyone can see our track as we travel tomorrow. We hate to leave Wayne, but we have so much more to see!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Headwest 2009 Day 3

Iowa City, Iowa to Wayne, Nebraska is now complete as well. It was good to see that Heather was bright eyed and ready to go after dinner last night. Today brought us a whole lot of wind and some awesome scenery! We got lucky once again and the rain stopped just as we were finishing breakfast and it was dry the whole rest of the day. We got to see a whole lot of corn again today and also several beautiful power windmills. They were quite a sight to see. We also went right by the Iowa Speedway which was in the middle of nowhere but there was quite a crowd gathered there today.

During our leg towards Omaha I couldn't take it anymore and had to beg for a pit stop. Apparently I wasn't the only one that needed one because there was a line running towards the trees which ironically enough was lining a cornfield of all things! I can honestly say that even with all of the travelling I have done, nothing compares to driving across this great country and seeing it for all of its vastness. It's quite impressive.

It was great to have Kim and Julie join us after Dave and Mike picked them up at the airport. Marilyne continues to impress everybody with her riding skills. Maybe one day she can teach all of us guys how to ride. We had a great ride up towards Wayne where we met up with Perry's old friend Brian who took us to his house for hamburgers and hot dogs. It was a great time relaxing and sharing stories. I don't know quite why, but Mike was reserved this evening. Then Perry took us to where we were all going to stay the next two nights and everyone here has been very gracious in welcoming us into their homes. Tomorrow is a day of rest and taking in the Wayne county fair. It should be a great time.

Once again here is the track for today.