Day 9 - May 27, 2010


Terry got me up at 5:45 and we loaded the bikes and headed down to VFW Post #3288.  It was a real good breakfast.  This is always a great place to stop as ALL the folks there are real glad that we stop at their place every year.

We headed out of town on I-70 for a while and then got on some smaller roads and it was getting warmer all the time.  113 miles later we cruised through a very big VA and rode all around it as our line of bikes was quite long.  A lot of patients and staff were all along the drive waving to us and loving the fact that we were doing a ride through. We didn't have time to stop and visit this year because it was not on the official schedule.  It probably will be next year.  We continued to our fuel stop and were greeted by a lot of the AMVET Riders from Chillicothe, Ohio.  Wray Jean was the first person I spotted taking pictures and yelling "Milo".  A lot of people from their group said they heard that I was not coming and were glad that I made it.  The town sheriff, Bob, went back to the station and gave Darryl an Ohio license plate that says to 'curb drunk driving' for my bike.

We then rode about 1\4-mile to Southeastern School for a program and lunch.  The lunch there is always overwhelming as they put about a dozen tables together and the food and desert never seems to end.  Nobody went away hungry.  A couple of graduating seniors talked about both of them, a guy and a gal, going into Boot Camp real soon with the Marines.  This was a longer stop than we were scheduled for and we headed down the road another 90 miles for fuel.

This station didn't take cards at the pump so we all did the cash method and kept the pumps rolling until we were all through.  It seemed to go faster but was still over 90 degrees out and it seemed like it was getting hotter.  Back on the road again and this fuel run had an added twist.  We were supposed to make a right and go over the river into West Virginia but the guy on Steve's right, the state coordinator, who said he knew where we were going, did not turn.  A couple of miles later Steve asked him, “Are you sure we are going the right way?”  I have never seen over 100 motorcycles do a U-turn off of a highway and we also had a big rig and 6 or 7 more support vehicles behind us. We thought it was pretty funny, but I don't figure that the cars and trucks that had to wait an extra long time for all of us to get cleared liked it very much!  About 5 minutes later one of our road guards, Don, was blocking an on ramp when a car tried to whip around him at 30 mph.  Don leaned over to try to put his hand in front of the car and he leaned over too far.  We watched his bike go over and as we approached the scene we saw Don having a very verbal conversation with the driver.  The last thing that was said was the driver's wife telling her husband, "Just shut up you dumb ass!"  Someone stopped and helped Don get his bike upright.  Don ripped out the cord going to the microphone in his helmet.  He didn't prepare for an abrupt exit from his bike.  The crash bars saved the day, and Don caught up to us and was back in action doing road guard duty, like he never missed a beat.  Very cool.

We got to the Clarksburg, West Virginia VAMC and they had a cooler full of very cold iced bottled water that was very much needed.  They also had a lot of platters of cookies too.  A few veterans were outside waiting for us, but we were a half hour late so some of them must have gone back inside due to the heat factor.  A lot of us went inside and got split up into smaller groups as we went to do more visiting.  We went to the nursing home part as we did last year and found quite a few Veterans to talk to. When our group got back outside it was almost time to go.

We went through a lot of in town streets before we got to VFW Post #573 for our last night together for dinner. We all posed for a big group picture of everyone and then another picture with just the "All the Way" gang from Sacramento, Calif. to D.C.  We went inside to a very good dinner and a lot of good laughter and conversation.  Steve gave out a lot of certificates of appreciation to people who made a difference on the ride.  He even gave me one for supplying the lettering and decals for the last couple of trailers that were chase trailers.  “Thanks,” Ed at Sign Express in Roseburg Oregon!  It was a very good "last supper" together so to speak.  The room was fuller than it has ever been before with our group this year.

We only had about 10 miles to go to be in Bridgeport for the night.  It was a very crowded Holiday Inn when we went to check in.  It was ALL of us and a few more riders too.  I hung out in the parking lot for a while and when someone mentioned gas, I realized that I needed to get some.  It was almost dark as I found a station and made it back OK.  Up to the room and I called Joni and talked to Andi too.  I also called Dani and talked to her and tried to talk to Dallas Milo, my almost 2 year old grandson.  He wasn't in the mood to talk much.  Dani said everything was going good at Oregon Tool & Supply.  Well it's 11:30 and time to get some sleep.

Tomorrow Washington DC here we come!