As we continue thru the changes from the seventies into the 80s, a lot of shit comes flooding back into my mind. A trip that stands out was actually one of my longest in miles but not in time and included “Bob”.
Those of you from the southeast may remember “Bob” it was a hurricane that hit Beaufort SC on July 25th, 1985. In hindsight, I was certainly an uninformed dumb ass for a lot of years.We left on vacation on the morning of the 20th heading North East towards Detroit where we crossed into Canada to run over to Niagara Falls that evening. A couple of big changes between now and back then, first we didn’t need fucking passports. Carried a gun the whole way with no problem at all.
Christ in the Seventies and Eighties we just rode across the fucking border without a problem. I gotta tell you that shit changed for bikers in the Nineties, we couldn’t look at the border in Canada by the end of the Nineties without having a microscope shoved up your ass. Second, this was one of the first trips I ever made two up and straight. Wow what a difference.
So anyway we camp out south of Buffalo thinking yea we got this going on. The next morning I call my buddy, (on a pay phone remember those) who is stationed at Paris Island SC and was supposed to be going with us on vacation and find out I had the wrong weekend. So I tell him we will be there before morning. 900 miles and 16 hours later I roll into Beaufort SC.
My old lady is cool about the run but now we are two days into his five days off and his old lady isn’t really happy with this shit. The next day we run up to Fort Sumter/Charleston area and do the tourist thing. That night we look at the weather and notice the storms in Florida are becoming a Hurricane and heading our way. Being not too bright, I decide we can run through and head towards Tampa the next morning. I think I pissed off “Bob” cause he sure became a dick about it an hour later. I learned that what outer bands of a Hurricanes real quick about that time.
We ran to Tampa that night and camped out and did the tourist thing the following day. As the rain started to head our way, we decided Tennessee was looking good so we headed that way to get away from the rain. This is where things turned into a long fucking run, up to now we had been gone 6 days and had just over 2600 miles. Not bad, but that morning sitting on a picnic table I say “We got another whole week off so where to?” My wife says “Yellowstone would be nice”. That night we set up our tent in a little campground just North of Denver. Let me tell you 1400 miles in twenty hours we were fucking beat.
Remember, we had left to go south on vacation. I don’t know how many of you realize it but it can get cold as fuck at any elevation as you go North and West of Denver, towards Yellowstone, even in the end of July, trust me, we had to stop and buy fucking long underwear and gloves and all that shit. Anyway, we headed up to West Yellowstone after the shopping spree and had a great two days of running around Yellowstone and all that shit.
Now we are thinking “Hey let’s head to Sturgis, its kind of right on the way”. We roll into Sturgis a week before the “Rally” and drive right up to the hotel and get a room. Here is another huge difference over the years, back in 85, only about 50,000 people total showed up for the Sturgis Rally, maybe 35,000 bikes and almost no one was there a week beforehand. In fact it was damn near a ghost town. Like I said in an earlier article back in the Seventies, the first time I had gone there I think the numbers were seriously around 3000 total.
Anyway, the next afternoon we headed back east and south through what turned into a day and a half of nonstop rain. Yup, “Bob” had worked his way all the way back up towards us and he finally got thru with us twenty miles from home. 14 days, 6500 miles and about 800 of them running thru fucking rain and storms from “Bob”. No windshield “Used to call them fag shields back then” no saddlebags, no dope, no booze, a great woman, got laid every night for two straight weeks and still remember getting a blowjob in a turn out in Yellowstone. Only one car drove by.
Now we ride Baggers and have a stereo, cruise control, heated jackets and blue tooth helmets. The Sturgis Rally has like a million people at it and the local Harley Dealer bike night gets like 3000 people at it. When we get a flat tire now we call fucking Triple-A and most of the people on bikes can barely check their own oil much less change it. Now we have women riding their own bikes and their old man following along to pick their ass up when they tip over instead of bitches riding behind their old man to pick him up and get him to bed after the party.
I still have the woman, got a newer bike and have seen a shit ton of changes in bikes, bikers and the whole MC world.
Looking back, yea I do miss the “good old days”. Some of it anyway.
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