Thunder Road Ministries will be ministering at Arizona Bike Week. Look forward to the opportunities at this rally. Arizona Bike Week is one of the early rallies and a chance to put some miles on your bike while winter still has a hold on some areas.
We will have a booth at Buddy Stubs Harley Davidson on Saturday, March 21. We will offer prayer, bike blessings, Book of Hope Road Editions, and look for opportunities to share the love of Christ. On Sunday the 22nd we will help with a free biker breakfast at Church In The Son Phoenix. There will be free food, music, prayer, and of course, sharing God's Word.
On Tuesday, the 24th we will host a fellowship dinner for area Christian motorcycle clubs and ministries. All invited guests are encouraged to send up to 2 representatives for a time of prayer and fellowship before the big event officially kicks off. The dinner will be held at Phoenix Dream Center banquet hall at 7:00 pm. We have invited 12 different groups and are hoping for a great turn out.
Sunday was a great day. I love it for a couple of reasons the first is that we hold a morning church service. This was in Goodland Kansas. This town was a new stop for RFTW and they really did it right. Our base was the town's armory where they fed and entertained us both in the evening and next morning. Our service is usually held out doors before the rider meeting. Because of wind and temperature we moved inside to where breakfast was being served. I asked Chaplain Phillip Rittermeyer from Ft. Carson to share the morning message. He did an outstanding job as he spoke of true hope. Chp. Rittermeyer has been a part of RFTW for many years and many of us have watched as he trained and started his military career. While in Iraq many RFTWfamily members sent care packages and prayed for his safe return. This was a a very moving reunion as Chp. Rittermeyer shared.
Our ride across Kansas has been very windy, but we have avoided the rain so far. Our usual lunch stop in Oakley Kansas was pleasant and very filling as the people of that town come together to give a true feast. From there as we approach Junction city the highway over passes are frequently crowded with patriotic individuals doing their best to let our many veteran riders know they are loved and appreciated in the heart of this great land. One particular over-pass is absolutely cover in red, white. and blue. Dozens of flags, banners and individuals crowd this structure as we ride by. They are responsible for billions of goose bumps and many tears as we journey on.
Junction City has become a highlight of the run. As we approach a park in the town, where their Vietnam War Memorial is located, the streets are lined with waving citizens. Hundreds of waving flags are held, hung, and placed along the route. As we make our final approach you see what appears to be a small canyon made of American flags. The final few blocks of our ride is crowded with cheering individuals holding full size American flags and cheering "thank you" and "welcome home." Many of our veteran riders are overcome at this sight. There will always be controversy of how our troops were treated after returning home form the Vietnam war. I don't have all the answers about this issue but I know any vet on a bike coming into Junction City yesterday received a hero's welcome.
Hello, sorry for the long delay. I have actually written and lost some info due to bad Internet connections. Hopefully this will make it out there. The past few days have been somewhat of a blur. RanchoCucamunga was full of meetings and activities necessary before a run like this. A couple of highlights for me were the bike blessing which was well attended. The other chaplains and I were able to pray one on one to a lot of riders after our big group parayer and blessing. The other was a prayer meeting called by our route coordinator. this was a first and although our numbers were small it was a great time as we asked God to watch over us on this challenging ride. As usual it was great to see old friends in this family reunion feeling pilgrimage we make. Lots of new acquaintances are made and it is fun to spend time with like-minded riders ready to go the distance.
The riding has been great! The weather has cooperated for the most part. Our lunch stop in Needles, CA can sometimes be miserable with 100+ heat, but this year it was plenty warm and almost pleasant. I am always grateful for the many people in so many communities who come together to help our run be a success. It literally takes hundreds of volunteers to keep us fed and fueled as we travel this great land. To me it's what America really is for the most part, good people watching out for each other.
It is time for Run For The Wall again. This year had a few extra bumps along the way. The first being a real blessing. My old harley rec eived a make-over courtesy of some generous people. Thanks to a bike shop owner, mechanic, custom seat maker, and a painter all donating their time, talents and resources my old bike almost looks brand new. I was putting the final pieces on the bike less than 24 hours before our scheduled departure for Rancho Cucamunga, CA.
I was hoping to leave on Thursday May 13th, but felt it best to leave on the 14th instead to give me time to finish the last few details on the bike and leave a little better rested. Unfortunately the weather thought that was a bad idea. Friday started out cold and was only interrupted by snow and rain for most of the first day. The trip over Monarch pass was treacherous. The snow and freezing rain made riding difficult to say the least. Toward the top of the pass (the continental divide) visibility was about 10 feet as we literally rode through the storm cloud. The bike putted along as if it hadn't a care in the world and we were able to overnight with my brother in Grand Junction.
Some time in the wee hours of the morning I was awoke by the sound of pounding rain. I hoped it would pass by morning, but it did not. As we prepared to leave I monitored the weather patterns on my cell phone and was amazed to find that the rain was closely following the highway we would be on. It was as if someone was trying to wash the asphalt with rain. My wife Teresa and I suited up in our rain gear and hit the road. The rain was history within a hundred miles and we were able to make it into Las Vegas before night. We decided to stay in the first cheap place we found in Vegas which I think was a mistake. It wasn't the worst place I have ever stayed, but will be on my never again list for sure. The next morning as we left sin city we found places that looked a lot nicer for the same or less money. Oh, well live and learn.
It was a real joy to ride through Utah and Arizona. The scenery is breathtaking. Unfortunately I can't take pictures without stopping so photos are few. The ride from Vegas to Ontario, CA was uneventful except for the heat, wind, and California traffic. I was glad to check into a brand new motel 6 by two in the afternoon. This place is definitely on my stay here again list. We will try and rest before the real fun and work begin Monday morning.