My Journey 4 Justice (Part 2) – The Ride Begins
When Charley Barnes asked me to go on a Journey 4 Justice ride to Topeka he told me it would be the adventure of a lifetime. Little did I know how true that would turn out to be. I had to do some serious thinking about whether I was going to go on this trip. I did what I usually do, I prayed for some kind of sign to help me make a decision. I received many signs telling me not to go but I couldn’t determine if they were signs not to go or just to let me know what obstacles I would need to overcome to make it happen.
One of the main reasons I had for not going was that I have never taken my bike for a long trip on the road. I have had it for five years but have never ridden any further than Estes Park. I wasn’t sure I was ready to travel 1200 miles over a weekend. My friend Danny Joe Mishoe II, just got his license and bike just 2 months ago and decided he wanted to go. I thought if he can do it, I can too.
We decided we would leave at 7:45 Friday morning. We were meeting at Agland on 35th in Greeley. All I needed for the trip was my paycheck so I could afford to go. I love what I do for a living but believe me, we don’t make a lot of money. I live a paycheck to paycheck existence many times and tend to run out of money right before payday sometimes. This was one of those times. I got up at 6 and went right to the bank to get out my money for the trip but to my horror the money was not there. It was now 10 minutes until we were to leave and I was prepared to tell the guys I wasn’t going to be able to go. Was this another sign not to go? We decided we would ride to the state line and if I still hadn’t gotten my money I would turn around and come home. We made it to Brush where I tried the cash machine and hit the jackpot…my money was there. Woo hoo!! I now could relax and enjoy the ride. Our next stop was in Wray to fuel up. It was there the coolest thing happened. I got off my bike and heard “Hey dad”. I looked over and saw my son Nick walking towards me. He drove over from Holyoke to give me hug, a meat stick and to tell me he was proud of me and cheered us on. That moment meant the world to me and gave me the fuel I would need to carry me through.
We headed out to find our way to highway 24 to take the back country into Topeka. Along the journey we stopped in so many little towns to fuel and grab a soda and food and were greeted by some of the most wonderful people I have ever encountered. It seemed everyone was curious about the 3 guys riding flag strapped motorcycles across the state. When we told them we were heading to the WBC in Topeka to exercise our first amendment rights we were cheered like you wouldn’t believe. We had people offer us money to help us on our trip. We told them to keep the cash but to grab a flag and join the cause some weekend. We felt like we had so many people who believed in us that we could not fail.
One of the recurring themes was the concern over weather. We were told we were driving into the storm of the century. Of all weekends to go to Kansas we pick the one that is predicted to be the worst in a hundred years. Was this another sign? We were prepared to ride through it and get to our destination. We also knew that the ride back home to Colorado was expected to be cold and possibly snowy yet we rolled on.
We had perfect weather the whole ride until we hit our last stop before Topeka. We looked in the distance and saw nothing but the blackest of black skies being lit up by huge strikes of lightening. We thought if nothing else we would hole up in a rest area for a few hours if needed until it passed. Charley pulled out his phone and checked the radar. He said, “you see this mass here and this one right here? Do you see that little gap in between them? If we go right now we might be able to slip in there.” We took off and made it in with a just a light sprinkle falling on us. Perfect.
We rode into town and rolled past the Westboro Baptist compound so they could hear we were in town to see them. We went and checked into the most disgusting motel room in history of mankind. More on that tomorrow