Women's Freedom Ride

I attended the 2016 Women's Freedom Ride, you can read all about it at this website:

I rode my Harley Davidson Freewheeler (the FLRT 'flirt'),  packing for 18 days of travel was a challenge. I brought way too much stuff, so I sent a lot of it home, along with my dirty laundry.

I pre-drew the 18 states we were to travel thru, and where I knew the route I included the roads.  Drawing and painting these was time consuming, so saved myself a bit of work while on the road.  I planned to take a ton of photos, didn't paint much, but did manage to do a daily drawing in my Moleskine. I did take time every night to write down my thoughts on the day's activities.  The book has been completed, and I'm slowly getting the pages scanned and updated

Title Page, I scanned my 'ride' patch and used Matte Gel Medium to glue it down and seal it on the inside cover page of the journal.

Page 2 - a quote and a photo of Me in the yellow helmet and Marianne Coy on the orange bike behind me.  Marianne rode behind me the entire 5,659 miles, she and I were the last 2 in line.  Her 'job' was 'Tail gunner' but she was my guardian angel and my closest companion for the entire trip.  She saved my butt so many times I can't ever thank her for it.

I had left the first 2 or 3 pages blank and got (I hope) most of the women on the ride to sign my journal, some signed on these pages, some signed on their home state pages.  These women became the sisters I never had as a child...the bond we shared on this trip is indescribable.

The ride started just around the corner from my house at the Low Country Harley Davidson Shop in North Charleston, SC.  We started the journey on June 4, 2016
Nerves got the better of me that early Saturday morning, but with my husband's help and support I took off on the adventure of a lifetime.

We traveled to Atlanta Georgia (the place I was born) for our first stop. Visited 2 Harley Shops that day, traffic was a beast in Atlanta, but the welcome from the local Hog groups was amazing.

Light cool rain all across Georgia and Alabama, traffic was a beast again in Birmingham.  We were met in Hamilton Al, by some wonderful folks who provided us pizza for lunch, and plenty of water.  Thankfully, the rain had quit by then.

Day two, we rode thru Alabama and a bit of Mississippi too.

Spent the night in South Haven Mississippi, just south of Memphis Tn.  We were joined early the next day by more riders, other riders dropped out and went home from here.

The only man on the trip was our chief protector, water boy,  mechanic,  and our traffic crossing guard, Jeffery.  I caught him working on someone's bike first thing in the morning, before we set off for the day. 

We stopped at a Honda dealership for lunch, great folks and a great lunch.  We certainly appreciated the break. A group of 20 to 30 women arriving at a motel (any motel) to check in all at the same time proved a hassle for us AND for the worker whose schedule had them working when we all arrived.  Mostly everyone was patient and civil in spite of being hot and tired.

We spent the night in Tulsa Ok.  and the best side trip onto historic Route 66, we stopped at a delightful place for fuel and rest break.  A really nice fellow in a pristine vintage Corvette stopped for fuel too and let most of the ladies take their picture with his car.  We also saw lots of motorcycles on the historic portion of the road.

Toll roads are a pain in the neck, more so when 20 + motorcycles are trying to pay the tolls as a group.  Otherwise a pleasant drive across Oklahoma to Amarillo Texas, hilly, rocky country.  Lots of windmills and scrub brush, not many trees.
 Great party at the Tripp Harley Shop, Mexican food was a welcome change from our usual hot dog and hamburger dinners.
New Mexico was our first 2 day stop, offering a chance to rest, recoup, mail home dirty clothes.  A first for me too,  I'd never ridden anyone on back of a bike or on my trike either.  Adrianne Benson wasn't feeling well so after lunch we went in search of a 'Doc in the Box' urgent care place.
It was a wild ride for her as she found out my ability to read road signs isn't that great and neither is my hearing.  I'll never forget the red light where she said to me 'This is it'.... as the light was yellow, I thought she said 'go for it'... so I accelerated and ran the red light... a block later we made a U-turn and got back on track. 

Leaving Columbia Missouri, thru Illinois and Kentucky headed to Tennessee for 4 states in one day.

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