Ride for the Relay 2019
2007 I had no idea who all was going for sure. Some had signed up, some had not, but we started. That year we started growing a little and learning a lot. A Gold Wing Road Riders group out of the Chicago area come out to join us for awhile but some of the Riders like Steve Conro and Jim Engling would be a big part of the Ride for it's future. This second year seen many memories like the Yellow Thing and friendships that are still going today. John Matthews from Venice, California become our Ride Grandfather, John passed away in 2011 but his memory was with us during every Ride. In Oklahoma Tinker Air Force Base Riders had a BarBQ for us. On a personal note I was letting my hair and beard grow so I could play Santa Claus. I did play Santa and was blessed for it.
Photo #1 = This was 2 days before the 2007 RFTR, I tried to relax. I had no idea what to expect. I was not disappointed.
Photo #2 = I took this on my way up to Chicago, thinking this would be one of our stops. We stopped there every year.
Photo #3 = To my surprise, I had a group and some would ride all the way to Santa Monica, CA.
Photo#4 = These are a little out of order but you will understand. August 30, 2007 Alice and Norm Mitchell from Arkansas showed up and spent the night with us and John Matthews also showed up and stayed at the Hampton Inn. I was thinking the Doug English from PA and Ed Tokarz from Virginia also spent the night and we had dinner at Muggsy's. Let me know if this isn't right.
Photo #5 = This is John Matthews from Vanice, CA. We called him the Grandfather of the Ride. John passed away in 2011. He only went all the way once but was involved in every Ride one way or another. He flew back to Jacksonville, Illinois for our Banquet's in February. There are many wonderful stories geared around John, he is dearly missed.
Photo #6 = Norm and Alice Mitchell from Arkansas was the only Riders that were involved every year and this year they went all the way.
Photo #7 = The started or generator went out of John's motorcycle one the way to Chicago. He had to be towed into Chicago and have his bike worked on. He miss out on the night before and the Saturday morning departure but he caught up in Springfield, Illinois that Saturday evening.
Photo #8 - 9 - 10 = Dinner in Chicago the night before, leaving the Double Tree Inn headed to the Navy Pier.
Photo #11 = Stan and Laura who rode part way. Laura tagged anyone going all the Way to Santa Monica as part of the "All the way Gang".
Photo #12 = This machine belongs to Doug English from Mansfield, Pennsylvania. He completely built this himself and it become known as "The Yellow Thing".
Photo #13 thru #20 was all the sites of the first day on the road with dinner at the Cracker Barrel in Springfield, Illinois.
Photo #21& 22 was at the Chain of Rocks Bridge with more friends that joined us on down the road and rode for the day.
Photo #23 = The end of day 2 was spent at Zeno's in Rolla, MO.
Photo #24 = Devel's Elbow. One of our yearly stops.
Photo #25 thru #28 was at the Steak & Shake in Springfield, Missouri.
Photo #29 thru 31 is in Paris Springs, MO home of Gary's Gay Parita.
Photo #32 & 33 I can not remember where these were taken. Somewhere between Paris Springs and Joplin.
Photo #34 - 35 - 36 sites on the way into Oklahoma City.
Photo #37 - 38 - 39 Tinker Air Force Base, Tinker Riders give us a big welcome and had a BBQ for all the Riders.
Photo #40 - 41 - 42 these photos were all taken at the Murrah Federal Building Bombing site in Oklahoma City.
Photo #43 = This is our group at the Route 66 Museum in Clinton, OK.
Photo #44 = Exit Interstate 40 at the first Groom exit — the one with the leaning water tower. I wish I had a nickel for every time I've heard someone describe this water tower as having 'one leg shorter than the others.' To the careful observer, this is pure hokum. Look carefully and you'll notice that the water tower has five appendages — four legs and one central water conduit. The end of that water pipe was intended to be beneath the surface of the ground, so it is in fact longer than the four true legs, which is why the tower sits at such an angle. The legs are actually all the same length, just as they should be. The owners of the Britten Truck Stop that once operated here thought that the spectacle of the leaning tower made for a good gimmick; besides, it would've been unnecessarily expensive to install the thing properly.
Photo #45 = This Cross is truly awesome. Please don't ever drive past it. Stopping there was a blessing.
Photo #46 - 47 - 48 - 49 these pictures are all about dinner at the Big Texan in Amarillo, Texas. Fun night and good food. The lemo's took us to the Big Texan.
Photo #50 = The Cadillac Ranch is a must see also.
Photo #51 - 52 - 53 The half way point in Adrian, Texas. Fran Hauser the Ugly pie make and owner made us feel at home and made a nice donation.
Photo #54 = Old abandoned Diner on the way to Tucumcari, NM.
Photo # 55 = This is a 58' Chevrolet setting in from of the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari.
Photo #56 thru #67 were all taken in Albuquerque, NM where we spent the night and had dinner with Bobby Unser. The next day we visited his home.
Photo #68 = There is no picture #68.
Photo #69 = Ed getting ready to pull out of Albuquerque.
Photo #70 = Continental Divide Indian Market.
Photo #71& 72 we're at the El Rancho Hotel. John & I waiting for a shoe shine and a couple Japanese Riders asking questions,
Photo #73 to 77 On our way and in Holbrook, AZ. Leaving Holbrook we visited the WigWom Motel.
Photo #78 = This is the Historic La Posada Hotel. At the time, it was the finest hotel constructed by the Santa Fe Railroad to be a Fred Harvey House.
Photo #79 - 80 -81 Meteor Crater is the best-preserved impact site on earth, with topographical terrain that closely resembles the surface of the moon.
Photo #82 = We stopped in Flagstaff, AZ for lunch and all the workers in the cafe had to come out and get pictures with us. What fun.
Photo #83 = In Williams, AZ we had a little fun with John.
Photo #84 & 85 We spent a little fun time in Seligman.
Photo #86 = On the road (Route66) to Kingman, AZ. We stopped at the Hackberry General Store on our way.
Photo #87 & 88 We are on our way to Oatman, AZ but enjoying the scenery on the way. Sitgreaves Pass I climbed up the hill to get a great picture.
Photo #89 to #92 We enjoyed Oatman and all the wild donkeys. Also had a great breakfast.
Photo #93 - 94 - 95 On our trip out of Oatman we went through Needles, CA and across the Mojave Desert and found a little Cafe in Ludlow, CA.
Photo #96 & 97 We made it to Barstow, CA and stayed at the Quality Inn.
Photo #98 = Doug, Ed and I went out to the Idle Spur Steakhouse for a great meal in Barstow.
Photo #99 & # 100 We are at the Barstow Museum. Deb gave us a very warm welcome.
Photo #101 & 102 The bottle tree farm just outside Barstow, CA.
Photo #103 Thru #107 All these were at the Summitt Inn just outside of Victorville, CA.
Photo #108 My motorcycle in front of the Hampton Inn, Colton, CA our West Coast Headquarters.
Photo #109 This is Ed & Ann Tokarz's California family who come to the hotel to join us.
Photo #110 to #115 Celebrating a successful Ride at the Santa Monica Pier, signing our names and just having fun.
Photo #116 Alice Mitchel, from Arkansas a member of the All the Way Gang.
Photo #117 Norm Mitchel also from Arkansas a member of the All the Way Gang.
Photo #118 Doug English from Pennsylvania a member of the All the Way Gang.
Photo #119 John Matthews from California a member of the All the Way Gang.
Photo #120 Ed Tokarz for Virginia a member of the All the Way Gang.
Photo #121 to #126 We are still celebrating on the Santa Monica Pier and having lunch at Bubba Gumps on the Pier.
Photo #127 John Matthews, his girlfriend and grandchildren and myself.
Photo #128 The first official "All the Way Gang".