Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 7: Arizona-New Mexico

I was not looking forward to going outside again.  There was a lot of snow on the ground and it was still pretty cold.  But we needed to get out there at some point, so after breakfast at the hotel we got loaded and left.

It wasn't as cold as I was afraid it would be, but it was still chilly.  We rode a few minutes and then got to where we had the morning rider's meeting.  We all stayed there for an hour or two, talking and waiting for it to start.  It wasn't very cold now.  The meeting was fine, but I knew it would be a lot colder during the ride.

I had been worried the road might be icy and the weather would be terrible, but it was pretty good compared to the day before.  The roads were clear and we had just a little fog.  We got out of  mountains and it cleared up immediately.  In fact, I almost got warm for a few minutes.

By the time we stopped for gas it was cloudy again.  It was a short day, so we had lunch after a thirty mile leg.  Dozens of people lined the streets, welcoming the Veterans home.  We stopped at a Veterans of Foreign Wars post.  Lots of people had flags.  What stuck out to me was that all the people, from the ones saluting us to the ones serving the food, were happy while they worked.  I was shown once again the appreciation people have for their vets.

The last leg of the day was longer than the others, at just over 100 miles.  Someone pulled over on the way and Dad hadn't seen a thumbs up sign (which means they're okay), so we stopped as well.  We were about walk over and see what the problem was but just then we saw the bike pull away and continue as usual.
The rest of the ride was spent catching up to the pack.  A few miles after we got in place, we arrived in Gallup.  I had thought people were enthusiastic at the lunch stop, but here in Gallup there were far more people waving hundreds of flags.  The city went on and on, with people waving and welcoming veterans home.

Then we rounded a corner and I saw a giant flag hung by fire trucks.  Most of the people were grouped here, forming a walled path to the parking lot.  We got off the bikes and gathered in a large circle.  In the middle there were some drummers and people doing native Indian dances.  A man played bagpipes and many came and spoke about the Run and the city's heritage, not to mention the plaques that were given away.  During all this the weather changed from cloudy to hailing to raining and then back to just cloudy.  It was hard to stand out there in the hail but we stayed.

Afterwards we had some of the free steak dinner and went to our hotel.  It was starting to hail again, and we were all sick of the wet weather.

1 comment:

  1. Spidey, I was that rider, and sorry I did hold up my thumb, but I guess you guys did not see it. Thanks for stopping though. Looking forward to seeing your documentary. This is a pretty emotional place we are at today, and sometimes it is tough to properly express what it feels like. I really wish I had found my sun glasses before our interview. Take care tomorrow is another day, and the weather is getting better. God has been listening and answering our prayers on that.