Day #30 July 22nd Butte to Billings, MT

Departed Butte at 10:40am for Butte. The other BMW motorcycles (six) that were parked overnight, were underway for Billings (this year’s BMW motorcycle annual rally) by 7am. The shift manager of the La Quinta Hotel was gracious in allowing me to upload a video from his office via an ethernet cable (faster upload than the WIFI  signal). We stopped at the truck stop in Livingston, MT for lunch at 12:30pm and the tomato soup was outstanding. I had to urge Miss Martha to hurry-up and leave the truck stop with heavy rains approaching from the west.  As we left and rejoined the highway, we encountered the leading edge of the cold front (i.e. rain) and poured on the throttle and within ten miles outran the rain as we scampered eastward at 75 mph. We arrived in Billings by 3pm and were greeted by a friend and fellow motorcycle rider (he has 5 or 6 motorcycles). We’re staying at his place for the next four nights. The wheel bearings are due to be delivered by tomorrow afternoon (air freighted from Los Angeles). Tomorrow the BMW motorcycle rally begins in Billings—it is the largest gathering of BMW motorcycles in the north America and 5,000 riders are expected. More on this tomorrow.

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Day #29 July 21st: Flathead Lake to Butte, MT

Departed Dana Horton (Saxten’s) home by 1:20pm for Seeley Lake to visit and stay with class mate Cheri Odom. The wheel bearing of the Pea was giving indications of failure and when we reached Seeley Lake, I read my emails and Cheri apparently was out of town but due by midnight. She has considerately arranged a cabin for us, owned by her friends Rickie and husband, Jack. Considering that we might not make the connection with Cheri or at best for just a brief time at 7:30am the next day. We felt it best to ride directly to Butte and order the bearings. I spoke the next day with Cheri and she was very gracious and understanding. We reached Butte by 6:15pm and the hotel manager helped me to upload two long-delayed videos to Youtube. Howard Cornelius asked why I didn’t have more sailor music in the videos to date; this video is dedicated to your persistence and request. Enjoy,

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Day #28 July 20th Calgary to Flathead Lake, MT

Day #28: Departed Calgary under threatening skies. Within an hour on the southbound ride, the skies began dumping heavy showers for the next 2 hours. We had to pull in to a diner to dry off the helmet visors and apply Rainex to keep the plastic visor clear while riding. By the time we reached the US border station in Piegan, MT, we were blessed with scattered clouds. We stopped in St Marys (just before the eastern entrance to Glacier National Park for lunch at a local diner. We rearranged our gear to make space for a fresh-baked apple pie that is the diner’s specialty. The ride was beautiful climbing to Logan’s Pass and then before the main switch back on the western side of the Continental Divide we saw fast-moving emergency vehicles heading westward to a car crash. We learned later that just after we passed the ‘Main loop’, a car crashed, injuring four people. Also the same day the very stretch of the Park from St Marys to Logan’s Pass closed due to a wildfire. Two days after our transit, the eastern portion is still closed due to the raging fire.

We arrived safely by 4pm at class mate, Dana Horton (Saxten)’s summer house for an an overnight visit. Dinner and socializing was very enjoyable, and the campfire at sunset was beautiful at the lake front.

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Day #24 July 16th Bainbridge, WA to North Vancouver, BC

Departed Jack Sargent’s house at 07:10am to catch the Bainbridge to Seattle ferry so we could have breakfast on the other side with Martha’s cousin, Memo. We had a delicious breakfast at the Mecca cafe, served by a grouchy waitress. After saying farewell, we mounted up on the Silver Princess headed for Bellingham, Washington to see class mate Margi (pronounced, Mar’gee’, Linhart. She offered a  delicious lunch and we enjoyed talking about her life, career, and her passions: cats and ball room dancing.

Then goodbyes and off to North Vancouver, BC to visit one of our four class mates living out of the country: they are—Charlene Rooney (Canada), Timothy Hobrough (Scotland), Steve Ferrari (Venezuela), and Jack Morrison (Australia).

Charlene treated Martha and I to a very nice dinner at the Beach House restaurant in West Vancouver (north shore). She is the same bubbly, dynamic, and charming lady. She will be attending the reunion and is very excited to see everyone. Enjoy the video!

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Day #21 Medford to Portland, Oregon July 13th REVISED

REVISED VIDEO—(Issue with Elvis song). Departed Medford at 8am en route to a stop in Eugene to see Jim Bohle and his wife, plus Penny Florence. We had an early lunch at Yumms and then off to see Dick Vohs, an hour away in Stayton. After a brief visit, we headed toward Hood River in hopes of seeing class mate, Carol Jurs. Unfortunately she had to work and we couldn’t meet-up. At least I was able to eat a delicious dinner at Shari’s locally before jumping on the Princess and riding the final hour down river to the Hospitality Inn Motel in Southeast Portland—close for the next day’s gathering at Marco’s Cafe.

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Day #22 July 14th Portland to Longview, WA to Bainbridge Island

The day started at Marco’s Cafe in Portland for breakfast and was organized by Peggy McClure! Susan Daba, Beth Griswold, Bonny Welling, Leslie MacDonnell and her husband, Barry Dahl attended. Beth decided to attend and signed-up for the reunion. The cafe was most unusual with umbrellas hanging from the ceiling. Apparently if someone donates a colorful umbrella, the cafe owner will donate $5 to a local charity.

By 11am we said farewells and Barry and Leslie got a head start to prepare for the next gathering at their house—lunch in their stately and historic home in Longview. Bonnie planned to attend both gatherings. As I was riding on I-5 toward Longview, a car with the sun roof open slowly overtook me and suddenly I recognized an upraised hand shaking an M-A pompon—it was Gordie Gourdin and he was speeding ahead to attend Leslie’s gathering. His school spirit made me smile and realize how many google class mates are still with us.

As I rode up, Leslie and Bonney gave a cheer curbside with more M-A pompons! After lunch, Bonnie and Gordie sang the M-A Alma Mater song (see it in this video) and now we have no excuse not to sing it at the reunon!

Barry gave us a tour of their lovely home—made nearly a century ago by the mill foreman for Weyerhaeuser Lumber Company of Longview, Washington. The lunch was delicious and soon I headed north on I-5 for a surprise (Cold Call) to Diane Marcell who I tracked-down in Yelm, Washington. I knocked on the screen door of the small one bedroom apartment and a woman with dark hair answered the door. “Are you Diane, Diane Marcell?”, I asked. “Yes, but I have to go in 10 minutes!” she replied. “Can I talk with you Diane?”, I asked. She obviously didn’t want to socialize nor be found and then I bade her farewell, mounted-up, and rode away.

By 5pm I reached Jack Sargent’s home and was greeted by both Jack and his very cheerful wife, Jean. They live on Bainbridge Island, in the interior on a beautiful 60 acre parcel with several buildings. This was my home for the next two nights. What an amazing and joyful day (for the most part).  Jack’s internet connection was so fast!!  Enjoy!

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