Harley Tracks opened at the Birthplace of the American Biker, Hollister CA. Bikers converged on this little town, as they had done since 1947, for an innocent good time. My adventure through Vietnam on a Harley surprised them and I look forward to their comments on the book. Manny, pictured with me in the booth, stopped by a couple times to hear first hand tales and share laughs; and patrons of the Dugout in the VFW Club gave me an encouraging sendoff.
Now for my drive back to Minneapolis and prepare for Sturgis where I’ll do book signings inside the Black Hills Harley Davidson store from July 27 through the weekend, and then at the Buffalo Chip Campground on Thursday thru Sat.
Thank you for the visit, Thank a Vet & Never Forget.
A minor adjustment to the load in my trailer settled things for a smooth drive to Rapid City. At a SD Port of Entry, the trailer weighted in at 6,000 pounds even. The Trailblazer cruised at a surprising 11.5 mpg.
The Black Hills H-D store stands in gold anodize and glass like a monument on a plain of asphalt big enough for a 9 hole golf course. Wow, an impressive sight. Inside, 350 bikes sparkled on the showroom floor. I met Jim strolling among them, and he was quick to show off his new office-a big step from the closet he had used through renovations.
The anticipation for a gigantic rally crowd grows. We discussed details about my set up for the in-store book signings; compact and flexibility were key factors I must prepare for. This is going to be a really big show. I’ll unload a pallet of books in Jim’s warehouse tomorrow and have a larger load when I arrive for the rally on Monday night July 27.
In the meantime; I’m on the road to the Freedom Rally in Hollister CA–the home of the American Biker. Fifty to sixty thousand bikers are expected for the July 3 – 5 event. The Traveling Wall will also be there, and Harley Tracks will be presented at a premier location on the corner of San Benito and 7th St. After three and a half years of writing it’s finally available.
It’s also available through this web site, and arrangements for it’s availability on Amazon.com are in progress.
Thank you & Thank a Vet–Never Forget
Coincidences – my ride around Vietnam and a sequence of events through a manuscript have been full of them. So, it was natural that I carried the book’s proofs from the printer on my Run to The Wall. Wifi service at a rest stop in Oregon’s mountains allowed a final review and approval. HARLEY TRACKS: Across Vietnam to The Wall is on its print run as I ride. I’ll have books in mid-June. Wow! When my bike arrived in Hanoi on Jan 14, 2009 I could not have imagined this journey in my wildest dreams.
I stopped at the Black Hills H-D to talk with Jim, the owner, about my book signing during the Sturgis Rally. He was busy, to put it mildly, as they expanded the store in preparation for the million people they expect. Then I rode to the Buffalo Chip and met with Greg to talk about setting up on Thursday of Bike Week-their Military Day. Things are looking good.
I rolled smoothly into Oregon with visits to Roger & Ellen in Veneta – great friends and hosts with good tunes, Don & Joel in Roseburg for a great steak, and then to Grants Pass for a day tour with Aunt Martha & cousin Kariann. The CA Redwoods stand as grand as ever, and I laid my first tracks down the coast highway – a fantastic trail with spectacular scenery.
We’ve all heard about the drought in California, but last year it rained from the OR border to Petaluma, and this year, it rained from SF to Hollister. Go figure! After a visit at Johnny’s Bar in Hollister, I consider a return for the 4th of July (if so, they could expect rain) to join 100,000 for their Freedom Rally.
Monday I’ll join the NVAR in Auburn CA for our ride for veterans across this great land. We have thousands to visit before our arrival in Washington D.C. ten days later. I’ll make daily sit/reps for the ride; please visit nvao.us
The Memorial Day approaches; keep the vets in thought & prayer.
I’ve replaced the photo albums with an expanded selection of chapter pictures. Please check them out. I welcome comments – are there enough, are there too many?
harleytracks.com will grow in the coming weeks with excitement to offer, finally, after more than 6,000 hours of writing; HARLEY TRACKS: Across Vietnam to The Wall.
Tomorrow morning I become an NVAR rider; neither the elements of nature or man shall stop me. I have two weeks to visit friends along my ride to meet with the NVAR in Auburn CA, in which time I will drop blogs into this site. HOWEVER and unfortunately, Julie, who had been the reporter on each of the NVAR rides, broke her foot and will not make the ride this year. Jerry asked, and I accepted the duty to write the sit-reps (blogs) for each day of our ride across the country. CONSEQUENTLY, time, energy, and attention for a blog into Harley tracks will fall short.
To follow activities of the National Veterans Awareness Ride on its annual Run to The Wall in Washington D.C. please visit: nvao.us
Click on the Blog tab in the upper right corner, or join their Facebook page.
Thank you all for your support to our veterans and their families.
Five days to departure (April 28) for the National Veterans Awareness Ride (NVAR). I’ll follow my tracks from last year, west to Oregon and then south into California. The Fat Boy’s ready, and the forecast looks good; not that it matters. The NVAR riders will converge on Auburn CA the weekend of May 9 for a May 13 departure to Washington D.C. Along our ten day ride we’ll visit veterans in homes and hospitals each day to thank them for their service, listen to their stories, and share laughs. We’ll also stop to pay our respects at cemeteries and memorials. It’s a fantastic ride cheered and supported by thousands along our route. I will try do better about blogging this year!
After more than three years of intense writing, HARLEY TRACKS: Across Vietnam to The Wall will go to print while I’m riding across this great country. The book will be available in June at book signings, or through this web site and Amazon.com. Please check back in the Buy the Book page. I’ve had some great guidance and assistance through edits and book design, and I am humbled by pre-press testimonials.
During introductions to my story, people asked that I include lots of pictures. The book holds forty pages of 100+ photos; a modest number, but I’ve expanded with chapter photos on the web site. I chose ~550 from thousands; a lot of tough choices. I welcome your comments as to the need of more, or less.
Keep a piece of Memorial Day in each day.
Thank a Vet & Never Forget