June 18 part deux

Remember these days?

On the way back to Bismarck from the Twin Buttes Powwow, I drove through Golden Valley, North Dakota.  A remarkable family tradition of a different kind is enshrined just off  Main street. There the Lindemann’s have invested themselves in restoring and maintaining a bit of history.  This Standard Oil gas station is actually the entrance to a private Harley-Davidson Museum.  Neatly displayed inside the museum is at least one Harley-Davidson from every year of production — and each one runs, ready to be rolled out on the street of John chooses.

John Lindemann inherited his father’s love of meticulous restoration.  His father, Bill restores old Model As and Model Ts to running and operating perfection.  It wasn’t too long ago that the pair would be seen putting down some back road to a car show or motorcycle show in Canada or the West Coast to display their work and take home accolades.  Their attention to detail is evident with the effort put in to just the front door entrance to their private museum.  The gas pumps that I can barely remember from my pre-driving days.  How far back does your memory of these corner icons go?

June 7

deer by farm

I’m telling you, it is green green green out here.

Check out this deer by a farm near Washburn.  She pauses long enough to check me out as I slow down to check her out.  (Kinda like a meet or meat market bar encounter, huh?)  She had run across the road ahead of me. I marked the spot where she crossed and looked up the hill. My slowdown at that point was concern enough for her to turn to look at me before she took off.

I have that impression on people, too. Take these two riders for example. They were headed north past Wilton when I pulled over on Highway 83, a divided highway to catch their images.  They looked at me, then kept going.

And again, notice the green.  Is it this green where you are this spring?

June 4

Red Bull Energy drink anyone?  I dare ya. I dadgum dare ya to try your hand at this kind of energy drink. I don’t think you’d make it.

This red bull was not my intent nor my purpose for stopping where I did to photograph late afternoon images.  And neither  was this red fox.  I first spotted the fox trotting past the sleeping bulls on the ranch on the west side of the Missouri River west of Washburn.  I watched the fox for a while until it disappeared in the trees.  They’re not nearly as pretty as in the cartoons, but they do cut a striking image in the right natural setting.

A few minutes later when I was getting set to take the shots I had come for, I spied the fox again — well, I assume it was the same fox.  I don’t know.  This time it was on the other side of me.  I caught it just before it disappeared in the unmown grass along the edge of  Highway 200.

At about the same time, I caught the images I came for.  I shoot for a website called Kickstands Up.  It’s a biker information site for those who are riding in North Dakota.  One of the features of the website as it’s being developed is to show what various popular highways are like for bikers. 

Highway 200 is a popular highway, especially west river, as it begins or ends at the Missouri River in Washburn.  It’s a good highway and close enough to populated towns that it attracts a lot of riders. This pair coming from the west high Highway 83 at Washburn and then turned south, apparently to Bismarck.  

Other riders came from the opposite direction, headed west. That’s usually the direction I take 200, to Hazen, Beulah and Killdeer.

It’s a pleasant and very scenic highway.  I recommend it.  If you’ve ridden Highway 200 west river, how does it compare to other roads you know about?  Got tips?

May 31

Dedicated to those who are still prisoners of war or are missing in action

This year, a new twist, a dedication to the Prisoners of War and the Missing in action. The table with the flag, the vase, the lemon, the place setting, and all are part of a ceremony to remember the POW and MIA. It was part of the dedication of the Freewheelers mc clubhouse.

The annual Memorial Day ride collects bikers from all the clubs who share a common passion for the United States of America. I feel honored to ride this annual ride with other patriots, with veterans and those who love these United States.  It’s an annual ride to honor those who have served and died.

For those who are combat vets from Vietnam and other military actions, this is a day of fellowship for them, a day of closeness.  Often during the day I saw evidence of a brotherhood, a bonding between vets.

Saluting at Taps

After the ride left The Shop in Bismarck, we rode out to Veterans Cemetery for the annual service.  There, patriotism and respect was thick, shared not only by an off-duty soldier but also the young man who stopped at every grave marker to salute the dead.  The young man was very careful not to step on the gravesite of any of the dead whom he saluted.  Through the entire ceremony he worked his way through the markers, stopping at each one.

A young man's salute

Flagpoles ring the center courtyard of the cemetery, and bikers manned their station to raise the flags to full mast, then lower them to half-mast to honor the war dead.  In the last two or three years, bikers have contributed time and money to honor those who are currently serving and those who have served in the past. It’s not a new thing, but it has become recognized as an essential part of military and veteran services.  So, they are invited to ceremonies such as this, and take an active role in the ceremony.

Meanwhile, families gather to remember those whom they love and have died.  Their private grief at is off to the side of the ceremony where they can enter in to their own memories.

I get very immersed in the story of the day, paying attention to the activities, but also the atmosphere of the  setting.  I hope these photos give you a sense of the deep gratitude which we share for those who have served in the military. Without them, we’d not be who we are.

Remembering alone

May 30 deux

A dusty start

I found a new summertime entertainment — motocross.  I’ve always wanted to go to a race, and on this day decided to give it a look-see.

The course in Mandan is open and easy to view. For a photographer, the shots are more than plentiful with many good locations from which to shoot.  It was a lazy, hot day. The dust hung in the air. The sun was warm. It was a perfect day to hang out on the hill and watch the competition

The riders are mostly young boys, but there are a good number of young girls and some not-so-young men who run the course.  I’ve gotten to know some of the riders and their parents, and am lovin’ the fact that these are friends and neighbors, easily approachable and fun to be with.  My Sunday afternoons have a new event.

May 28

Got a gun on her tank

I love it when cool people whom I love get together to make something remarkably memorable.  Kirk, whom you met here on ND365 in April is not only just a tattoo master, but a very gifted artist. I wish I could just sketch anything similar to what he does all out!  This revolver on the gas tank belongs to another friend whom I love, Krystal Haibeck.

Judges Choice from Glendive MT bike show

She’s a fireball, a pistol in her own right, a hunter, a marksman and a hard-working construction worker.

These two collaborated to do a design on her bike that is a trophy winning design.

I wear some of Kirk’s ink, not only on my body, but on vests he has airbrushed for me.  This work on Krystal’s bike is testimony that you can trust him with your work.  I want more.  Wanna know more about Kirk? How to reach him? Leave a comment here and I’ll get back to you.

May 23

Old rest stop

There along the road is a rest stop that once was very busy back when Highway 10 or the Red Trail was the coast to coast transcontinental highway.  When I-94 came through, rest stops were upgraded and not quite as homey, nor like the park that this one is near Steele.  It’s a good place for a couple of riders to pull over and chill for a bit, even take a nap.

A friendly engineeer

But the nap is short-lived.

Highway 10 runs along the BNSF rail line that hauls coal from Wyoming and points west to power plants east of North Dakota.  The train is just noisy enough that any nap is disturbed.  But at least the engineer was friendly when I took his photo.

The train was a long one and obviously heavy. It required an extra engine at the rear to push the load up on to the prairie and to get it started. I imagine at some point the push engine was disconnected and returned to Mandan.  I don’t know if that’s the case, do you know?  Does it happen in Dilworth, the next BNSF point?

Push engine at the end of the train

May 22

ND 500

Kids these days!  All they care about is fast cars and exciting motorcycles. Sheesh. When I was a kid at least we had a drag strip outside of town.  Not any more. Now they’re in to long road races and snappy performances of little cars with big horsepower such as the ND 500.

At KTM Cycle Hutt in Mandan a gathering of tuners and jumpers attracted the crowd.  A Christian testimony was presented by the kids who jump their bikes.

up

and

over

and headed for a landing

These trick riders amaze me.  I wouldn’t have the guts to get even one wheel up in the air let alone the entire bike. Of course if you talk to this rider, he’ll tell you about his numerous broken bones.  No thanks. Not for me.

Lemme guess, you’re all about trick riding like this? Wanna?

May 15

Getting ready to ride

Yesterday it was the Patriot Guard Riders honoring returning soldiers. Today, it is the Second Brigade Motorcycle Club honoring all vets but especially those in the First Brigade, our peers who served in Vietnam and were not well received when they returned in the 60’s and 70’s. (There was no Patriot Guard Riders in those days.)  That generation is honored these days by clubs such as the Second Brigade Motorcycle Club, Vietnam Vets motorcycle club and Legacy Vets motorcycle club.

On this day, May 15, all who served were honored in the annual Armed Forces Day ride, and it would appear that there may be hope for the next generation to honor veterans as well. A young pair of boys waved and saluted as the riders started their ride.  Personally, I found it very touching.

The day was perfect for a spring ride and so more than 100 riders covered Burleigh and McLean counties on their fun run, a ride of fellowship and of fundraising.  They hit Washburn, Mercer, Wing and ended in Bismarck where they started.

Mercer

The day was not only about remembering vets and socializing, it was also to raise money for the POW/MIA monument to be erected at North Dakota’s Veterans Cemetery at Mandan.

By day’s end, nearly $3,000 was raised in the fun run, the silent auction and a large personal contribution from the owners of Lucky’s in Bismarck where the ride ended.

I don’t know if this is just a local phenomenon or if it’s happening elsewhere, but I know in the Bismarck/Mandan area veteran and military support motorcycle clubs are becoming more visible and more popular.  What do you see in your area?

May 14

Patriotism and motorcycles. They seem to go together, especially those whose ride is American-made.  But even if the ride is made in Japan, bikers seem to be a patriotic lot, and it doesn’t seem to have much to do with age. Take Bob and Susan for example. Bob, a veteran and Susan a high school student post the colors in flag lines welcoming home soldiers who have been fighting the Global War on Terror.  They’re both part of the Patriot Guard Riders, the group that was formed to shield grieving families from the evil people in that congregation in Kansas that loudly spews its hatred at military funerals.  The PGR, stands shoulder to shoulder to shield the grieving families when called upon. But at all times, they’re there to show their support for returning soldiers at the Bismarck airport or wherever the PGR is organized.

Apart from the PGR, though is a strong thread of military and veteran influence. Take these three riders, members of the Viet Nam Vets mc club and Legacy Vets mc club.  After a short cruise on this day to Wilton, these three headed south to Bismarck at sunset, riding in formation, enjoying North Dakota’s excellent highways and great motorcycle riding opportunities.