Friday, September 7, 2012

Where the Hell you been, Don Wood.?

It has been quite a journey. I left out for The Iowa Grand Rally in Newton, Iowa on the 21st of July. I met up with Jay Allen a few days before the Rally so we could finalize some of the details. I did truly enjoy working with The Jay Allen Road Show and all the great people at the Iowa Speedway. We had a ball and the commitments have been made for the 2nd Annual Iowa Grand Rally. 31may- 02june 2013.
My plan had been to see some friends in Iowa and Nebraska before Sturgis but as usual, plans change. Next thing I know I'm driving a tour bus with my chopper on a trailer.. It's amazing what can happen if you are willing to go with the flow.. I pulled into Sturgis a little before sundown, a week before the actual Rally was to begin. The first thing that I noticed was this. There is no Broken Spoke Saloon on the corner of Lazelle. It struck me hard. I was saddened to see the end of an era. I have had many a good times in that bar and over the years it had become the gathering place of some great people.. As the sun set that day, I pulled into what would be my new home for two weeks.. The Thunderdome.
We worked hard for four days trying to get everything just right.. A circular saw and drill driver kept me busy for a couple of days. Building signs and working on the bars, We were hoping for a stellar Rally. Many people came out to see what was going on but the crowds were just not there.. I made my rounds to all the bars and venues and I must say.. The whole rally was down in attendance. Once again, a rally has grown to the point that there is no "central Point". There were small crowds everywhere but there were no big crowds anywhere. I've seen the same thing happen in Daytona and Laconia.. As these rally's age they become decentralized. Good or bad,,, Thats the way things go.
Some things about Sturgis will never change.. The best riding is before the Rally starts and it is best done with friends.. There will always be people that you only see at Sturgis and they are part of your Sturgis every year..
One of the great memories that I took from Sturgis was helping organize a bike show for the residences at Ft. Meade Veterans Home. The faces of these hero's brought tears to my eyes. I was glad to be a part of their happy day..
That afternoon I had had all of Sturgis I could handle. My next destination was Wendover, Ut. for Speed week. I had a few extra days before I was due to meet a film crew so I decided to go to Cheyenne and see what was wrong with my chopper.. Low compression became the diagnosis and the decision to run it out was made.. By chance, a friend of mine named Denver Jesus was out riding around and we got together in Leramie. We had some great times together but we cant discuss those things for a few years. We kept pushing on towards the salt flats and at mile marker 79, my motor finally took a shit.
After a phone call and a couple of hours my chopper was in the back of Wink Ellers Truck and his lovely wife, Dee and I were rolling down the interstate with Denver Jesus bringing up the rear.. We made it to the salt and I wasn't gonna let my situation be a downer.
The next day the film crew showed up and we went about the business at hand. After filming we took the time to enjoy our surroundings.
Now here is where the trip got real interesting... What to do with my broke chopper and how do I get my ass back to Iowa to get my truck...? Wink Eller ended up taking my busted chopper to LA and the film crew took me to Salt Lake City. They were catching a flight and I was catching a train.. My first time on an Amtrac train and I've got to tell ya... It's just a small step up from a Greyhound.. The views were amazing but the bar car was charging $5.25 per beer. The ride from Salt Lake City to Oceola, Iowa took 27hrs. Thanks to facebook, I was able to get a ride from Oceola to Newton to get my truck.. Thank you Steve. Air in the tires and gas in the tank, I drove the 700miles home to Tennessee.

After a few short days at home I headed to NC. to do some more filming. I've got a few good friends over in that area and it always feels like home when I get over to that area.. My goal was to head to the coast and see some friends over on the beach but the weather man kept telling me about a Hurricane.. I decided to stay dry and headed to Oklahoma City. After a great meeting with the crew at Brass Balls Motorcycles, I headed up to Ponca City to see some family and friends.. The morning found me on a couch in a motorcycle garage asking myself, What happened.??? Them Turner boyz is dangerous. The afternoon was spent looking at radar maps and trying to figure out where to go that it wasn't raining.. Conclusion.. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 700miles later I'm in a swimming pool just outside of Chicago drinking beers and talking about motorcycles.

I spent the day at the Harley museum and had a great time. Milwaukee bike week had just started and there were lots of things going on. Harley had there 2013 models on display and AMD had a bike builder show on the grounds as well. Good times were had by all but it was time for me to roll. After a look at the weather and a phone call, I was headed to Detroit for a baseball game. Some dear friends had invited me out for a night in Detroit.. We did it all and had a great time. The only thing we missed was a homicide. I think if we had given them two homeless guys a little more room there might have been a killin.. I think Detroit gets a bad wrap from the media.. It's not as bad a place as they make it out to be. We had a great time.. Ball game. fireworks. Dinner. drinks. even took a tour of the city on the people mover. (elevated subway). Thanks for the great times, Trish and Evan.
 I had painted myself into a corner.. There are not many ways to leave the Detroit area. After looking at the radar on my phone I knew it was gonna be a wet day.. Straight south. As fast as you can go is not a good plan to beat the weather... I was riding straight towards what was left of the gulfs hurricane. I made it to just north of Dayton, Oh. and I started making phone calls and posting on facebook.. I had my doubts of finding a friendly harbor because the Easyriders Rodeo was going on in Chillicothe. As luck would have it my friends from Washington Courthouse, Oh. came threw for me again.. As a supreme judge of couches, I must say that Jason Meadows has one of the finest couches I have layed my head upon.. Breakfast with Mr. Hamilton as we watched the rain drops dance in the puddles of the Big Boy Parking lot.. Starting a days ride when it is already raining is about as bad as my life gets.. this day started with heavy rains and it didn't get better for about 200 miles. The sun never came out that day but before it was all done I was in my recliner back in Tennessee.Happy to be home with my girls and ready for some home cookin.

29 state line crossings, 7th and 8th trip across the Continental divide this year and around 7400miles in about 5 weeks. Hotels and couches. I even saw a weedeater powered sex toy in a Wyoming bar. It has been a hell of a journey. I've met some amazing people and spent some time with some old friends... I think I even made my haters hate me that much more.. It's always a good day when I'm on the road..

Until next time..


  1. I still want a sticker for my helmet!! Sorry I missed you when you were in town... next time, I PROMISE!! Shauna

  2. I'ts all about airin' out the armpits.Glad to hear fun was had by all but the haters,maybe we'll drink a few on your next trip through southern Az,Kevin B.

  3. R u shipping bed rolls out? Goin on my first cross country ride and wanna score the roll.

    1. Thanks for the email back. Just ordered the roll. Lookin forward to usin it! Maine to rhonert park Cali. Tryin for a week. We'll see.