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Border to Border to Border - 2009


Border to Border to Border (unofficial until approved by the IBA) It was not until I was home for several days that I looked back on the trip, I will tell below, to find it was much more then just the completion of an IBA ride, it was my life laid forth for all to see. Upon my return the memories of people saying, as they always do, alone, you are all alone hit me not as they might hit others in the form of sadness, but instead elation; yes alone. But alone is a relative word, it can mean many things to many people and for me on this kind of ride it means self-confidence, ability and drive. Riding alone means I am comfortable enough to risk it all without someone to welcome me home, worry about me or follow me. It was the first time that I truly turned off all my cell phones and refused to even text message anyone until I was done.I was determined to truly accomplish this alone, whatever might lie ahead would be up to me to handle. I was not so much afraid as I was truly determined to prove to myself one more time that I could do anything I set my mind to. Because I had heard the question so many times while on the road and off from both non-riders and riders alike the “all alone” question no longer causes me pause; what I was not ready for was another question I have heard just as many times but one I really had no perfect answer to; the “why” question. It was when one of the Service Riders at Eastside asking the “why” question, that I realized there was no way to explain the elation, or high if you are so inclined, to someone who did not share the passion. I do suspect however that those who have experienced a love of something so strong it is almost worth more then life itself they would understand, though the object or experience of the passion may be different. I paused when he asked me if I did not get bored while on the road just riding mile after mile after mile; my response was I could not imagine any thing else being more joyous. After months of being stuck on local roads I have ridden on for years and years the idea of traveling on roads I am less familiar with for hours to places I may or may not have been, to encounter challenges and experiences that only a long distance rider can is only more fuel for my passion. I dream for months and months of what I will see, might see, how the ride will go, who I might meet, whether or not I will be able to do it. It takes me months of preparation both physical and mental to ready for such a ride. I map and re-map my route, researching options on the internet, picking peoples brains for information, sometimes I even wonder if the preparation is not more joyous then the riding itself, but this is only a fleeting thought one quickly pushed aside once I hit the road alone. I have had many ask me what if I could have a partner. This question has stopped me dead in my tracks for an appropriate answer, often the “asker” is one who is interested in joining me but has never ridden a distance ride before, so my choice of words must be careful I do not wish to insult or belittle their desire, simply to correct their thoughts which most likely stem from movies of pairs riding together for miles in perfect harmony, unfortunately we all know a movie is just that a movie not real life. The easiest most correct answer is it would not work for me, or many other long distance riders truly out for the sport, there are too many variables to take into account. When setting out to do a ride that requires planning, timing and a little luck you can’t be burdened by another human who may or may not need to eat, sleep or pee when you do. You can not be hampered by another rider’s bike that may or may not need gas when yours does. And finally the all important if you are a caring loving person you will worry too much about your partner to truly be able to concentrate on the ride thereby potentially endangering not only yourself but your partner. I have encountered people who have accomplished long distance rides together and not only survived but enjoyed it. I know in my heart the private challenge of the road and me alone is more a driver then having a partner who I will be constantly worrying about. As such the alone question and the why question are becoming easier and easier for me to handle, thereby the more people ask the more often they will see in return a smiling happy woman enjoying what she does without the need to fulfill a stereotype. They will see a woman who is not afraid to do what even some men would never dream of doing, that she is pleased to follow in the footsteps of all the women riders who came before her, doing the unthinkable, stepping out of the norm, walking that fine line that all who challenge the “system” do, she wishes only to continue to fulfill her dream and make it a little easier for others to fulfill theirs. Where to start? Well back in May I tried against all odds to complete a Border to Border to Border (see www.ironbutt.com for detailed information), or in lay terms to ride from Canada to Mexico and back to Canada, unfortunately the powers that be didn’t think it was my time, now I am happy to say they were. I was determined not to tell people what I was up to, but I also knew I had to tell at least one person just in case something happened, I delegated my brother-in-law said person. I knew he would respect my decision not to broadcast my ride and to appreciate what I was about to do. What I was surprised to find was many people wanted to know where I was going and what I was up to, but I was determined to keep it quiet so it was not until I was on my way up to Canada that the message went out to a select few what my route would be. With both cell phones turned off to avoid long distance and roaming charges, as well as the hassle of living in a connected world, I could not believe how disconcerting it would be. I found myself longing to make a call, to say hi, to share a story, but I could not. I know cell phones are new technology, and that it was not long ago that we could not connect whenever/wherever we wanted. Gosh I even remember not having a phone answering machine, what I can’t remember is how we made plans, cancelled plans, or even stayed in touch, perhaps because we didn’t? We must have as I know I dated, went to sleepovers, met my girlfriends, etc without a computer or cell phone or even an answering machine, though I don’t know how we finagled it; perhaps we had more time as we were not burdened by all the technology? Sorry I digress, back to the story. It didn’t take long for me to get up to Canada and check into my hotel room. I made sure this time to stay within walking distance of the Safeway so I could pick up dinner and water for the ride. I asked a woman at the counter and a customer at the hotel to sign me out, they were very helpful and kind. I quickly put all my stuff in my room, changed and headed out for a quick walk and Safeway. On my way out the door I ran into a little boy who was ogling the bike, I asked if he wanted to sit on her he smiled nervously and said no, the men sitting on the bench in front of the hotel laughed, I simply told the boy I would be back soon if he changed his mind. After picking up dinner, I was back in the room and starting to get sleepy. I took one last shower and washed my hair, I didn’t know when I would be able to take another. I decided that I would allow my internal slightly damaged circadian clock to determine my ride time, so I was asleep at 4:30 pm. Sure enough this meant I was awake about 11:30 pm, as such my very first gas receipt time stamp was 12:48 am, actually it says 00:48 am on September 9, 2006, so it starts. I wind my way to the first required border crossing, fingers crossed that I will make all crossings without too much hassle. This morning a nice US Guard lets me pass with a smile. The temps are cool but not unbearable and the skies are clear, I am not optimistic though as I checked the weather closely the last few days and I know there will be rain further south. Sure enough I start to notice the clouds, then the drizzle and just as I had predicted the rain starts outside of Everett. I had taken the time to gear up this morning with extra gortex pants and baggies on my feet. By the time I reach North Seattle it is pouring and I wonder how long it will last. I will on this ride push the gas stops a bit more then I like so my first stop is not until Sea-Tac, bad choice I realize too late the gas is open but the bathroom is not. This trip will not allow for mistakes like this, unfortunately this will not be the only error on my part. So be it, I will need to hold it until Castle Rock, over 100 miles south. My luck increases as I head south the rain stops and the full moon I was looking forward to appears. Riding with a full moon, or close to it means that I will get a little more light during the morning hours when it is dark. I am enjoying open roads, without too much traffic but I am surprised how many people are out and about this early on a Saturday morning. I reach Castle Rock in good time, use the time to stop for a quick snack, and bathroom break, before heading out again. On the road I am contemplating the time and my next stop, I have each stop planned down to the gas station. I am not sure I will stay on track but I know what needs to get done to complete this ride and errors use up time I don’t have to waste so I have two map packs one holding a very detailed map with each stop marked and an Excel list of all my stops including times, miles and exits. I will actually find myself looking at the Excel sheet more then the maps, I have been this stretch of freeway enough that I know it very well, so I don’t really need the map. As I near Portland I notice a sign something about delays due to bridge lift. I don’t really know what that means but I find out quick enough, I had forgotten the bridge into Oregon was a draw bridge, so the warning lift signs were just that the bridge was up; too funny no matter how much you plan you always have to leave wiggle room and have tons of patience as you just never know when you will encounter stuff like this! It is not too long of delay and I cheer as I cross over into Oregon, one state down. I dream of Rose’s Deli, and Moonstruck chocolates, finally coming to rest on Tillamook Factory dark chocolate fudge, no stopping this trip though so I will just dream. My next stop is Albany, here I take a little time to change out my music and my shield it is still too cold to gear down, that will come later. The sun is not out but I know it will soon be up and I don’t want to ride without a tinted shield for long. By the time I reach Roseburg the sun is out and the temperatures are rising. To gear down or not, I decide not to yet as I know riding up through the pass will be cold and I can see clouds up ahead I am not sure if they are indicative of more rain or if they are just low lying clouds stuck on the mountains. I notice a sign noting Harry and David Factory tours in Medford, placing this information in my bank of places to come back and try, I love Harry and David what fun to do a tour! Now for some good riding, I love the ride up Grants Pass and down into Ashland. As I ride into Ashland, I think about how much I love it here if only it didn’t snow and get so cold, yes I think that every time. I can not believe the construction, seems others have decided it is glorious here and are building huge mansions, well castles is really what they look like, amazing. Now up and over the Siskiyou Pass, though I am looking for other bikers there are very few. I can’t imagine that on such a gorgeous Saturday no one would be riding, ah yes it is only 10 am. Finally, I cross over into California, yippee one more state down, the sun is out and I know the temps will be rising quickly, so in Redding I stop to gear down, while taking my usual break. I have been tracking my time off the bike carefully and am keeping it well below the mandated 10 minutes (anything over 10 minutes has to be logged). Ah California, I can’t remember how long the state is but I know this will be a long long ride. Getting through this state is not an easy ride, between long stretches of boring flat freeway, horrible drivers and extreme heat it will take it’s toll on me and the bike, this is where I failed the last time, I was determined for it not to happen again. As I neared Yreka, I noticed again the incredible Dragon/Horse sculpture, pausing to contemplate ever so briefly how nice it would be to stop and take a picture of not only that one but the cow just a little further south, not this trip. One great thing about California is they do know how to set speed limits, I don’t know what Oregon is thinking but 55 mph to 65 mph is just foolish! The scariest part of the California freeway is the driver, it seems that they just don’t understand the concept of one speed. I was traveling at my usual speed, staying within a mph or two as I am not one to manhandle the throttle, it is really bad on gas mileage. I was, however, encountering folks who would come up on me at 90 mph+ then jam on their brakes, I would move over a lane to let them pass and they would slow way down. Probably the fourth time this happened I started to wonder if it was me, maybe there was something coming off the bike, or hanging from my pack, so at the next stop I diligently checked everything over nothing realizing that what they might be seeing is my radar detector and thinking I had pulled over because of it, how silly is that I just didn’t want a ticket and at 90mph+ I would be lucky if that is all I got. I don’t believe in the speeding to accomplish my goal, I was told by one IBA rider long ago that it was not the speed but the stay power, and I have managed to complete every ride doing just that. I made my way south, stopping for gas when necessary. At one point I stopped in a town I was so frightened by I didn’t want to get off the bike. There were several cars with young men lounging around yelling at each other, this frightened me but I needed gas and I needed a bathroom. I decided I would not allow my fear to prevent me from doing what I came to do so I continued. It was not until I rode away that I realized I had judged, something I should not have done. I judged these men without knowing anything about them, I remember in High School pulling into gas stations meeting up with others I knew and joking around yelling and pointing just as these men were doing, who was I to determine without provocation that they posed me any danger. In my mind I apologized for judging and hoped that others were more open. It was not far from my quick stop that I noticed in the distance a Harley rider pulled over under an under pass. I moved over to the right lane not sure whether or not he needed help. I took quick inventory of the situation and decided I should pull up and see if he was ok. I know what you are thinking I was thinking the same thing, what about my ride, but more than my ride were the memories of experiences I have had when I broke down along the freeway and not one person stopped, to me it was much more important to stop and check in then ride by. I pulled up behind him and he quickly smiled and nodded he was ok. In the few seconds it took for me to pull over, safely, he knew and I knew he was not alone, and though it may have made no difference to him, I know for me in prior situations it would have meant the world. I would travel further before deciding it was time to rest. I pulled into one hotel parking lot only to find that those there already did not give me a sense of comfort, again I found myself judging, however with some justification this time. There were 3 men on the outside walkway drinking beer and yelling, and several below them on Harley’s gunning the engines, this was not a hotel I would find rest at, so though I was tired I continued on. Down the road just a bit I found a nice quiet place to rest, in Bakersfield. The kind desk attendant asked where I was going and I said to Mexico. I explained I would only be stopping for a few hours and he relayed to me I should stay until morning otherwise the bugs would be really bad. He told me other riders complained of being hit with them; all I could think about was the fools not riding with proper equipment being hit in the face by the huge moths and other insects I was encountering; how gross! I slept for only about 2 hours before I was on the road again but that was all I needed before I crossed the Mexican border, I wanted to make sure I was clean and awake when crossing as I did not know what I would encounter. It was Sunday morning and I was about to learn too much. First, there is no coffee in Southern California between Los Angeles and Mexico at 2 am, and there are no bathrooms. Gas now-a-days 24/7 is not a problem, most pumps are on for credit card use but trying to find an actual station that was open, became a challenge. On and off the freeway at least four times before I found a place with coffee. I didn’t need much just a jolt to keep me on my toes, but I did not realize how much time I would have to waste doing it, and I can tell you some of the neighborhoods I popped in and out of were not the best. Prior to reaching the LA area I saw something at first I could not comprehend, it was a glow along a hillside in the San Fernando Valley, for just a brief second I thought to myself “I don’t remember a city there,” then the realization hit me it was fire! Fire on the mountain! I had only recently in daylight hours seen a fire not too big outside of Wenatchee and that was frightening enough, but this was an entire hillside and to my untrained eyes looked like acres and acres of flame highlighted against the pre-dawn dark sky. It was beautiful in a surreal scary way, and I could imagine the hundreds of fire fighters battling it night and day, to them I sent a silent prayer. When I returned home I would learn they eventually shut down areas of I-5 where I had ridden to try to contain the flames, as I mentioned often the successful completion of a ride takes a little luck. I would like to take note now that as I passed through LA I did take see where my adventure ended in May, and I will say I do not know how the officer that saved my life (Rudy) and I actually stayed alive after the event. There is no true breakdown lane, only a small area and a wall. I only know that the powers that be must have decided that Rudy and I were not finished with what we were sent to do. Rudy I thank you again for helping me. It was about 4 am when I arrived at the Mexican border. Crossing the border I was prepared, I had read as much as I could from prior travelers on line about crossing into Tijuana, received from a kind friend a copy of the ride I was on translated in Spanish, and my gumption to guide me toward what I did not know for sure. Simply said nothing could have prepared me for what I found. First, my bike did not weigh enough to trigger the red and green light, which according to what I read determined whether or not you would be searched, so I took my chances and drove forward slowly. There were two guards sitting reading, neither looked up, but I didn’t want to get in trouble so I stopped and gestured should I go on or not? Both looked at me like I was a fool and just waved me through, they did not ask for my passport or any id just waved me through! Oh my gosh I had made it. Now I just needed a receipt and a witness form, neither from what I had read and heard would be easy. I pulled up along side a car at a stop light and asked if they knew where I could find gas, they seemed confused and tried to point me in the direction of a station but I wasn’t too sure they understood what I needed. I noticed quite a few cabs heading in a certain direction and figured wherever they were going there must be people so I followed, big mistake. I ended up in an area that would make the Red Zone in Boston look like a county fair. Not only were men and women all over the place drunk, screaming and fighting there appeared to be a police lock down occurring and I found myself in its midst. Now what, I was lost in Tijuana in a neighborhood filled with more police then I had ever seen in my life, gathering people, arresting people and trying to move traffic along. I had no choice but to pull up to one of the officers and explain I was lost and I needed gas. He started to yell at me that I needed to keep going, I am not sure if it was my pleading or my sorrowful eyes poking through my helmet that got him, but he took just long enough to point me in the direction of a gas station. Phew, a gas station filled with cabbies, I figured one must speak some English, or at least enough to take a few minutes to read my Spanish description. I pulled in and realized this is what foreigners must experience when they enter the US, complete and utter anxiety (note to self take time to help those who don’t speak the language and be patient). Simply explaining to the gas attendant that I needed gas, not much as I didn’t know what I would be putting into my Ducati, but enough to get a receipt. Finally, a cabbie pulled up and told me he spoke English, yeah! He explained to the attendant what I needed, gas, receipt and a witness form. Finally with both in hand, my relief made me realize I needed to go to the bathroom and bad. I am my mother’s daughter and fear foreign unclean bathrooms but in my need and knowing that crossing back into the states would not be as smooth as crossing into Mexico I knew I would have to go. Horror of horrors I can not describe the bathroom, other then I disinfected everything with bleach and Purel when I got home. The stench was so bad I could smell it hours later, as if it had embedded itself in my nasal passages. Witness form, receipt and potty taken care of now to find the border. No one at the station seemed to know which way I needed to go, so I attempted to head back the way I came, no such luck the signs saying San Diego lead me much to far East, so I turned around and found there were signs in the western direction identical to those I was following East! I am not sure how I found the border but I did; I think I was too afraid of being lost for long in Tijuana to realize how scary my situation was, but looking back I will say this I have been to Mexico and have absolutely no desire to return. The US border was packed; it is just before 5 am on a Sunday and there is at least an hour wait! I am inching forward in traffic when someone starts to beep and yell at me; fear prevents me at first from looking over but his instance makes it necessary. He is yelling that all bikes can just ride forward to the front of the line. I doubt and question him, I had not read anything about that nor had anyone from the States told me this, but another man says the same thing. Now my polite side comes in and I am nervous, thinking to myself that it would be rude, but knowing too with my lost time looking for coffee, and getting lost in Tijuana any extra time I can make up for now is possibly worth the rudeness. I slowly inch forward, no easy task, cars are every where pushing forward trying to find their way into the fastest lane. Finally I reach a position about 4 cars from the front and decide that I have come far enough to not be too rude or disrespectful and stop to wait my turn. I am called forward, questioned as always what am I doing, where am I going. I ask if he would like me to take off my helmet and the response is no which fascinates me how does he know it is me? But my interest is more peaked by the three different drug sniffing dogs they walk around my bike then. By the third dog I am laughing to myself and smile up at the handsome guard leading the dog even saying hi, simply said they would be hard pressed to find anyone less likely to have drugs on them then me! In no time I am back on the road heading north. The relief is so great I am on cloud nine, I realize if nothing else I have done a Border to Border in under 36 hours, one more border would be icing on the cake but at this point it is not a requirement. The knowledge that I have finished one leg does not slow me down, instead it drives me on, knowing that I could be home very soon. The knowledge too that I will be riding in Monday traffic pushes me to ride hard all day, with little thought of what I see other then the passing miles. I do recall gearing down early, knowing only too well that the heat was to hit the 90’s in Northern California. I remember only too well outside of Redding realizing that the temperatures were closer to 100 then 90 and I made an extra stop to wet my head and soak my shirt only to find both were dry in less then a half hour. I did not contemplate the heat or the soreness that I was experiencing you can not when you ride like this, no pain no gain. It was not until I reached Ashland, Oregon that my sense of relief allowed me to sense though I wanted to continued I should not, that rest was mandatory. I pulled into the parking lot at the Best Western next to a young boy/man and what I figured was his dad on Harley’s, how cool is that taking a vacation with your son on his bike and you on yours, too bad gear was not present. Entering the hotel, I asked the desk attendant if she had any rooms for the night, sure. Off with the helmet I knew I looked horrific but no matter. The woman explained the room would cost $89 and was that ok. I looked at her and laughed saying “you could have told me $500 and I would have said ok. I just rode up from Mexico.” This comment caught not only her attention but the other women guests in the lobby. We proceeded to exchange niceties and I doled out my card for them to check out my website if they were so inclined. What I didn’t get into was that I had traveled some 250 miles before crossing the Mexico border and turning around to come all the way back. A shower and food were a must, I realized I had not been eating nearly enough due to the nausea I always experience on rides like this. I managed to down some beef jerky before my shower and then tried to fall asleep, no such luck. Finally pulling out my meditation tape to assist me I dosed for just under two hours before giving up. I was on the road again before midnight in hopes of avoiding the traffic in Portland and maybe some further north in Washington. I was making good time through Grants Pass. The moon was out and the mountains were silhouetted against the dark sky. There were many truckers on the road and a few cars, I was shocked how many people would be on the road at this hour. I was moving along keeping my eyes on and off in my rearview mirror, fear of a drunk driver hitting me from behind ever present in my mind, when out of nowhere a Statie was behind me! Oh man I thought caught, though I don’t ride fast if he was not in a forgiving mood he had every right to ticket me, luckily he realized I was not driving recklessly or that much over the limit, not to mention the guy who had flown by me just a second or two earlier was more to his liking I am sure he drove on by without so much as a second glance, phew. It had been a long hard ride so far and my body decided it had had enough outside of Albany. Though I hated thought of wasted time, I knew the feelings only too well I needed rest and I needed it now; too many long distance riders fail to heed their bodies calls I am not one, though I may not set records I am always safe. I pulled into a gas station stopping the bike near the air pump, rested my head in helmet on my tank bag and was out in a matter of minutes. I needed just the 10 minutes rest to refresh myself, when I woke it was like I had slept for hours. What I was not expecting to find upon my waking is the gas station attendant, in Oregon they are still by law required to pump gas for everyone, and his friend pointing and laughing at the girl asleep on her motorcycle with helmet still on her head. I am sure I was twitching like we all do in sleep; I can only hope I was not snoring. I have learned that pride and appearance are of no concern on rides like this; you learn quickly that neither is worth the time and effort, so I ignored them and noted that they would have a great story to tell today. Through Portland in no time, thinking again about fudge and chocolate and great corned beef, among other things; it is about this time on most of my rides that I start to dream of real food, not beef jerky, melted Balance bars and stale chocolate, but dream is all I can do. Heading north I am working out miles and times in my head, where I should stop for gas, how bad traffic might be, etc. I was not really ready for what would actually lay ahead. I will to this day never understand why every time Public Transportation comes to the ballot it is shot down, and Monday was no exception. The traffic started outside of Olympia and continued on and off up through Tacoma all the way to the I-5/405 interchange. I had no idea which would be better to try to get through Seattle on I-5 or hit the I-405 HOV lane the longer route of the two. I don’t know if I made the right choice but I was not pleased when I hit the HOV lane on I-405 to find it not much faster then the regular traffic lane. I do not understand how people can do this every day, the signs were saying over an hour from Tukwila to Bellevue, that is an hour to go 15 miles! There was no accident just Monday traffic. Through Bellevue north was pretty much open road as the south bound traffic is more the norm. But when I turned onto I-5 again north of Bothell I could not believe what I was seeing heading south on I-5, traffic dead stopped all 4 lanes including the HOV lane. It as surreal, I have not seen anything like it since I got stuck in the fatality accident traffic in DC back in 2001. Traffic was backed up the exit ramps, people were backing up to try to find other routes, and it was scary. Now my brain was rushing, what to do? I was on my way to Canada but when I got there I wanted to come home, I was tired of being on the road, really didn’t want to spend money on a hotel room and knew that my body would hurt tomorrow so it was best for me to get home, but how? I had miles to decide that when I got north I would make a long distance call to my buddy and see if he knew what was up with the traffic or I would utilize my phone to access the traffic maps, if neither worked I would just head out the back roads, a much longer route but at least they would be moving. As I neared the border I noticed another bike up ahead, he slowed and pulled in along side me. Nice bike, good gear, he nodded I nodded and we rode together for several miles before he turned off in Blaine and I continued on to the border crossing. Just before the border there was a police office holding back all the traffic, uh oh. Ah, no need to worry a totally cool event was happening before my eyes a tribute to those fallen for 9/11! How incredible, tons of bikers in parade formation, along with fire trucks and other emergency vehicles were making a circle around the Peace Arch Park, I cared not for one second on time wasted this was time well spent. Upon completion the officer motioned us forward. I pulled up to the crossing a young woman started to ask the typical questions, where are you going, where do you live, how long will you be here. My answers to her questions caused her to ask “when are you going to Mexico” I responded I had already been, she said when did you leave, “Saturday,” stunned look and dropped jaw was her immediate response, then she asked where I would be staying tonight and I responded I would not be I wanted to get home, further causing her pause, but she just waved me through. One more gas receipt, one more witness form, then I would be done. Just up the road to the gas station near the truckers crossing, I figured would offer more options for witnesses, sure enough a kindly gentleman was more then pleased to help me out. I have to say every time I come into Canada I meet the nicest people. I was done, finished, completed I had done it. My heart was pounding I was feeling no pain, I had done what not too many before me had done and no one on a Monster! A quick call to my buddy only to get his voicemail, I tried another friend who had no idea about the traffic, and I could not get my phone to pick up the internet so I was off to the back roads. One more time at the US border, thinking ok it is now or never if I will be stopped. A small woman was at the station, she asked me again the questions I had just answered and then started to ask about my bike. She said she wanted to ride but was too small, and so we quickly talked bikes before she let me pass and I was on my way home all 120 miles or so that I needed to ride before I would truly be done. I once again learned a lot about myself on this ride. I learned that I truly need to continue to work out as I do, even now as I type this I am not overly sore but my short workout yesterday and again today mean that it will take weeks to recover from what I just put myself through. Already people are asking me what next, goodness I appreciate the interest, but I need a little rest first, not to mention this is all out of pocket and my pockets are not deep. Thank you to all those who helped me get ready, Arai, Rukka, Ventura and Eastsidemotorposrts, as well as all my family and friends for their concern and love. Thank you too, to all those who took a chance on a small woman asking them to sign her witness forms. Take care may you all live your dreams. Two quotes I will share before I end. “Life is brief and fragile. Do that which makes you happy.” “Living requires us to step off the edge of the world each day, daring to greet the sun. Life is a leap of faith.”


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