Friday, June 2, 2017

~ Freedom is NOT Free ~

"All Gave Some ~ Some Gave All"

The question presented by my brother is a good one,  “What is the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?”

“Well, have you ever heard the song by Billy Ray Cyrus – Could’ve Been Me?”

In his song, the lyrics tell us that, “All gave some.  Well, that’s Veterans Day. " Hearing the words in my mind, I continue.  The second part, “Some gave all.  Well, that’s Memorial Day.  That’s how I remember it."  He nodded in understanding.  I love those words and I carry them with me on this Memorial Day as I think about my ride towards Lone Pine and then Bishop for the annual Bishop Mule Days.

My alarm clock rings wildly precisely 5 am as programmed.  This is Memorial Day weekend and the campground at Lone Pine will most likely be full by 2 pm.  So with those thoughts, my motorcycle moves quickly along a route it has done a dozen times before.  Actually, once awake, I enjoy the early morning hours.  The air is cool and there are few cars on the roads.  It is still critical to look for deer who also like the early morning hours.

This is one of my favorite motorcycle rides along Highway 178 past Lake Isabella, and then north onto Highway 395.  Approaching Lake Isabella now.  The sight of a full lake is such a reward.  As a kid, I fished the lake with my good friend Warnell Roberson and his family.  There are hundreds of RV’s along the shore enjoying the cool water.  There are many American flags waving proudly in the breeze.

Highway 395, along the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway, is perhaps one of the most scenic roads in America.  I daydream looking up towards the massive Sierra mountains covered in deep snow.  I remember riding a horse along some of the trails in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.  We camped, fished, and experienced the magic of the Sierra Mountains.  The magic dust is hopefully still with me, if only on my motorcycle tires.

The Lone Pine Campground is there before me and to my surprise, there are three empty sites.  In years past, I have camped at site 29.  I like it because it has some big boulders and a mountain stream within ten feet of this site.  I can’t believe my luck today.  Site 29 is empty and I quickly claim this spot for the next two nights.  Tomorrow, I'll head for the Bishop Parade and the Mule Days events.

View towards Mount Whitney

I try to attend the Bishop Mule Days each year, primarily to support the National Park Service packers who compete at these events.  My good friend Jim Harvey, a retired legendary packer, will celebrate his 81st birthday tomorrow.  Younger, lead packer, Nick Knutson with Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, is busy getting the stock ready for the competitions.  Once he sees me, he comes over to say hello with a huge bear hug.

It is exciting to see the teams compete and the NPS crews perform well.  Here are a few pictures of the festive Mule Days.

Bishop Mule Days Parade

Rock Creek Packer

A final sprint into 1st place - Rock Creek Packer

1st place - Rock Creek Packers

Sequoia/Kings Canyon Packers narrowly miss 1st place

Sequoia/Kings Canyon Packers earned 2nd place

An NPS leader and the best friend the Bishop Mule Days ever had

The Bishop Mule Days events are done for today.  Tomorrow there will be more, but for me I'm heading home.

Farewell Lone Pine ~ until next time

There is a Harley-Davidson dealership in Bakersfield where I normally stop for a rest on my way back to Three Rivers.  I like this place because they usually have popcorn, donuts, coffee, and of course a wide variety of Harley Davidson motorcycles.  They also have some incredibly comfortable sofas.  In the center of the showroom is a 2017 H-D Steet Glide that is going to be given away to someone with the purchase of a $50 raffle ticket.  It is sponsored by The Wounded Heroes Fund with the proceeds helping local veterans.  A good cause, and a great motorcycles up for grabs.

2017 H-D Street Glide is up for grabs ~ Bakersfield Harley-Davidson

Yesterday before leaving Three Rivers, I wrote down these words to remember and honor some fallen veterans close to me on this Memorial Day.  Undoubtedly, there thousands more.  

 A Tear Blinded Me

Many loved ones who served our country are no longer here.
As soldiers they faced fear.
Yet they fought brave battles far and near.
Memorial Day we remember them, wiping away a tear.
Freedom is not free.

~ In memory of Valentin Moya, Sebastian C. Griego, John Lopez, Gene Christiansen, Clarence Griego, Charles Lemus, Larry Dokie Sr., Vince Roleter, and Merle H. Longnecker ~

~ Bikers' Wall ~

"It is never crowded along the extra mile" ~ Wayne Dyer.  

This post is for motorcycle enthusiasts from here and around the world to showcase their machines and trips, or just plainly what you like.

Please send me ( your name, the photographer, and the picture location.

Let's see what turns up!

My nephew, Myles Griego straddling his new H-D Road Glide.

My good friend, Dennis R. on his new 2021 Honda Goldwing GL1800.
Dennis has owned many motorcycles and is a member of the 100,000-mile club.
We both worked at and retired from Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.

Kurtis K. on his new 2019 Indian Chief Vintage - Dry Creek Road.

Charles Louis Kirby (1914 - 2005)
Riding his Indian Scout, mid to late 1920's. Photo provided by his daughter, Shirley Joiner.

My brother, Leo on his 650cc Triumph shortly after his tour in Viet Nam in about 1966-1968.
Not a lot of gear on the back of his bike for a trip from Chicago to Barstow, California.

NPS Photo.  Yellowstone National Park Rangers on motorcycles, circa 1929.

A cool looking 2008 T100 Bonneville. Custom design BMC-1951 SCRAMBLER.

Ken and Lee riding Yosemite NP and heading towards Benton and Hwy 6.

Lee on his FJR1300 and Ken on his 2006 Honda Shadow Sabre VTC1100C2 -
Olmsted Point, Yosemite NP.

My good friend, Dennis next to a handsome 2019 Indian Springfield.

Brian F. on his fantastic 2018 Triumph 800 XCA somewhere out in the Badlands of New Mexico.

Rod B. rides his 2018 Triumph 800 XCA on Colorado's Million Dollar Highway.

Darin Vargas ~ 2019 Sturgis bound.

I met Mark from Oceanside, CA at the Coachella Valley Vista.  He's riding his dreams on his cool, 2005 BMW R1200 RT.
Awesome dude!

This biker was seen cruising along Dry Creek Road and enjoying the abundant wildflowers near Three Rivers.

My friend, Larry stops by for a ride in Three Rivers.

Resting these bikes while we take an airplane ride in Gaborone, Botswana
Anthony Ziegler (Suzuki) and Robert Griego (Yamaha) - 1977.

This guy took pictures of me, so I returned the favor - Spotted Wolf View Area, Utah. 

I met these French bikers at an overlook on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.

I explained to these French bikers who were touring the United States, that I took their picture earlier as they rode past.
"Please send them to us they asked."

I met this bad-ass biker on his Indian, riding Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Obviously, some bandits heading for the badlands of New Mexico.

A cool looking Triumph at the Riverside Casino in Laughlin, Nevada.

My brother Leo's Triumph on his trip from Missoula, Montana to Barstow, California in the late sixties. 
He had just returned from Vietnam so his Army gear is strapped on his bike.  

He really traveled light by today's standards.

My Yamaha 305cc in 1968 where I worked as a Laborer in Sequoia National Park - loved that bike.

My new friends, Doug and Sarah Greer, whom I met in Lordsburg, New Mexico.  They rode some 6,200 miles from Glasgow, Kentucky out to California and back visiting National Parks along the way, including Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks where we met again in Three Rivers, California. 
Doug rides a Honda CB500X and Sarah a Ducati Scrambler.

My new friend, Scott Masters on a 9-day, 1,900-mile ride in Springerville, Arizona.  
Owns Scott's Fly Shoppe in Spanish Fork, UT, and wants to teach me fly fishing.

Scott's Fly Shoppe.

My new friend, Danny Kamphaus from Kansas City joins me for lunch at the River View in Three Rivers, California.  
Well, over 5,000 miles!

Father and son, Scott and Jonny.

Building a Suzuki DR650.  Photo by Jason Ukele.

Biker in Hatch, New Mexico on a short ride from Arizona he says.

This biker is leading me toward Deming, New Mexico.

Robert Griego's 2007 Yamaha Road Star at 135K at the Hollister motorcycle rally.

 I met thoi at the Hollister Rally, test-riding the 2017 Indian Motorcycles.

H-D 2017 Street Glide ~ Win this machine for $50 and a good cause.  Thanks, Bakersfield H-D!

Jasper, Canada.  Rider and photo by Jason Ukele.

Sunrise Road, Glacier National Park.  Photo by Jason Ukele.

A real adventurist.  Rider and photo by Jason Ukele.

Old school H-D ~ Barstow Mother Road (route 66) Museum.

Kurtis', sister on her favorite bike, an Indian Scout.  
Love the Steve McQueen poster from "The Great Escape."

My biker friend, Kurtis Krumdick on a 2017 Indian Springfield.  
His sister is another Indian herself (photo above).

Brett and his cool Honda at Cedar Grove, Kings Canyon National Park.  
Recently retired from Glacier National Park!

Selfie by Myles Griego ~ awesome!

This 18-wheeler stopped in Three Rivers en route to Sturgis.  Why?  Photo by Robert Griego.

Three Rivers, CA bound for Sturgis, SD.  Photo by Robert Griego.

Awesome painting ~ makes me want to ride!

8th Annual JPM Ride.  Photo by Bladimir's daughter.

Riding up Rocky Hill for the 8th Annual JPM Ride.  Photo by Bladimir's daughter.

These bikers from Australia rented these Indians in LA and touring California.  Bishop, CA.
Photo by Robert Griego.

This 1965 Triumph Bonneville, Custom Hard Tail along Route 66 in Barstow, CA.  
Owner, Daniel Griego.

Postcard from brother, Leo in Montana - I guess the term 'badass biker' is relative in the country.

Two Yamaha Road Stars off to Sturgis, near Pony Express Trail in Nevada.  Photo Ruben Griego.

Biker dad and daughter ~ Three Rivers, California.

Jason Ukele ~ Mount St. Helens, Washington.  Photo by Robert Griego.

Outer Banks, North Carolina.  Photo by Jason Ukele.

Motorcycle Club, Pinnacles National Monument Lodge, circa 1929.  Photo by NPS.

Oliver and his riding buddies from Germany and the Netherlands in Three Rivers California.  
Photos by Robert Griego.

Exploring the foothills near Three Rivers, California.

Friendly bikers at a rest stop in Three Rivers, California.

These bikers continue touring America.

Heading off to Sequoia National Park - Three Rivers, California.

My good friend, Warnell Roberson, Hanford, California.  
Photo by Robert Griego.

James Garcia ~ Belen, New Mexico.

Unknown biker exploring Sequoia National Park.

Vic Simpson touring Madeira Island in Portugal.  
Photos by Jane Simpson.

Vic Simpson inspects motorcycles in Madeira Island in Portugal.

Motorcyclist ~ Cusco, Peru.  Photo by Robert Griego.

Motorcycles at the Amamecer en el Sol Hotel in Cusco, Peru.  Photo by Robert Griego.