Day 2 - May 20, 2010

Day 2 NVAR Ride with Ratbike Milo Day 2 NVAR Ride with Ratbike Milo Day 2 NVAR Ride with Ratbike Milo Day 2 NVAR Ride with Ratbike Milo Day 2 NVAR Ride with Ratbike Milo Day 2 NVAR Ride with Ratbike Milo Day 2 NVAR Ride with Ratbike Milo Day 2 NVAR Ride with Ratbike Milo Day 2 NVAR Ride with Ratbike Milo Day 2 NVAR Ride with Ratbike Milo Day 2 NVAR Ride with Ratbike Milo Day 2 NVAR Ride with Ratbike Milo Day 2 NVAR Ride with Ratbike Milo

Up at 5:30 and a walk over to Mac D's for breakfast after a shower.  It was a brisk T shirt morning and almost all clear skies.  A short riders meeting and we were ready to roll at 8:00 like we always do.  We went 120 miles to Wells for our first fuel stop. Sometimes it seems like an awful long time after a couple of cups of morning coffee before we finally stop! 

 When we stopped I called Randy at Best Country 103 radio and did a live report (interview) of the happenings to date. (Next time mention the Website. ed.)  I like keeping people informed and to bring the plight of the shut in Veterans who get very little company, if any, to the forefront of people’s awareness.  Randy was very glad that I called and I will be calling him every day with morning reports.  

Another 57 miles and we were ready for our first time change to Mountain Time.  We picked up a few more riders at our lunch stop at Wendover, Nevada on the border. American Legion Riders from Chapter 1 Post 19 were there to meet us.  I met Bryan, Don, Leon & Judy, and a few other people who were happy to join us for the next leg of the journey to Salt Lake City.  Traffic was getting kinda challenging as it was almost 4:00. Our road guards did a great job of blocking the many red lights which we encountered going through town.  

When we got to the Utah State Veterans Home, there were a couple of dozen patients eagerly awaiting our arrival.  Most were in wheel chairs or on mobile beds that were propped up so they could see all the bikes. They were extremely happy to see us.  I parked my bike next to the curb by them so they could have another reason to smile.  I spoke to Ray first and found out that he was in the Army a long time ago and that he had been in this home for 3 years.  Next to Ray was Curtis from the Air Force and he had been at the home for about a year.  We talked about the Helicopters that he used to fly and his face was getting lit up with joy the more that he talked about what he used to do.  What a rewarding feeling it is that just by listening for a few moments, it can mean the world to someone!  Next I spoke with Lee & Bob as they were wheeled to my bike for some visual entertainment.  I then went up to a gal whose name is Gerri.  I asked her how long she has been here and she looked very puzzled and finally said "I don't know".  An aide said that she has been here about a week.  A guy yelled, "hey Oregon"  to me so I went to speak to him.  I ALWAYS have an Oregon Tool & Supply shirt on so I recon he was talking to me!  His name is Delbert and after I told him my name he insisted on calling me "Anderson".  He was a very personable fellow.  He told me about how when he was 9 years old on Dec 8th 1941, his town in Utah only had 3 guys left in town between the ages of 18 & 45. They had ALL enlisted after Pearl Harbor (as my dad did too on that date from his farm in South Dakota).  He served in Korea and he remembered hearing a lot of WW1 stories when he was a boy.  We talked about how there will soon not be any first hand stories of WWII.  He said the guys are reluctant to talk about the war unless you get 3 or 4 of them together and then the stories come out. An 11 year old girl wanted to get a picture on my bike and I asked her if she had any relatives here.  She said, "Just my mom who works here, but everybody is my friend here” as she gave a patient a big hug. The guy’s face lit up and I could tell right away that Aubrey is therapy all by herself!  What a touching moment.

 We were just getting ready to go when I walked up to a guy and told him I was from Oregon.  He asked me where at in Oregon.  I told him Roseburg and his face lit up as he said, "me too".  "I used to teach at Douglas High School in Winston".  I remembered meeting him a couple of years ago and I said, “Your name starts with an H". Again his face lit up some more as he said, "Yes.  It's Howard Thomas and I taught English from 1956 to 1958".  We had time for a few more words and Steve poked his head in the door and said, “Milo we have to go.”  I realized that I was the last one in the Home and everyone else was saddled up already.  What a great stop that was in Utah.  It was not enough time to talk with everyone.  It's a good thing that there were over 50 of us to go around.

 On the road again going through town at about 5:15 and traffic was even more of a "don't get in my way, I'm going home", mentality of the big city drivers.  But they didn't take too many blocks to realize that they didn’t want to be in between 50 bikes and they eventually moved over.  Another 70 miles or so to our next stop in the state of Wyoming. State Troopers were waiting for us on the interstate and Evanston Police and Sheriff's were blocking off the intersections all through town. We rode to the VFW where they had a very good dinner and desert's waiting for us.  It was a very good reception as there were a lot of town folks waiting for our arrival.  After dinner Steve gave out a few more certificates of appreciation for everyone who helped coordinate the event.  Then it was off to the motel where we found out that it is a newly opened Hampton Inn that just opened a week ago.  A lot of the rooms were not even used yet.

Gary and I met at the laundry room and I proceeded to put all my clothes in the washing machine and I heard Gary talking on the phone asking his daughter if he was supposed to separate the darks from the whites.  I took the phone away from him and told him to just throw ALL his stuff in the washing machine right now.  I heard his daughter Kristie laughing very hard and she told me that her dad has never done laundry and he really didn't know how.  I told Gary, "Your wife is not here and neither is mine, so how can we possibly get it wrong"!  Next, we got into the hot tub while the clothes were being done. Now I’m back in the room as I start to do my nightly ritual of downloading pictures and typing my day's journal. Good night........