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Southern Route – Day 8 – Chattanooga, TN to Wytheville, VA

The riders’ meeting began as usual. “Santa Ed” was invited to the sound stage. He shared his experience of saluting the pack from the overpass as they rolled in.

Let me preface this by saying Santa Ed is a huge supporter of the run and has been a platoon leader and camping coordinator for years. With his declining health, due to issues from Agent Orange he hung up his platoon leader sleeves and became an Ambassador. Santa Ed is well known and well loved on the southern route.

The video is a little long but well worth watching.


Upon completion of the meeting, riders walked behind the Harley dealer to the Silverdale Cemetery. An old Confederate cemetery from the Civil War. There are 155 soldiers buried in the cemetery, 39 remains have been identified due to the donations of RFTW riders. “Wookie” and “1st Nav” have been the driving force behind the efforts.

When asked, 1st Nav explained, “There should be no ill feeling because they were confederate soldiers. They were obeying orders. Whether your government is right or wrong they served their country. We honor them as unknown dead. Let’s find out who they are.”

Wreath laying at the Silverdale Confederate Cemetery, Chattanooga, TN

Wookie & 1st Nav

The first leg out of Chattanooga took us through the beautiful hills of Tennessee. I have a feeling the lush green hillsides are due to high humidity and lead to lots of mosquitos. I am not fond of either.

On the way to Knoxville, I saw first hand why road guard “Stonewall” is named such. A car tried to go around her as she was blocking an on ramp. She put that driver right in his place, she was like a stone wall and there was no way he was getting around here. Way to go Stonewall!

We were stuck on the 81 interchange for about 30 minutes. The gauge on my bike said 110 degrees. I am calling it 200 degrees on the black top. Needless to say, it was sizzling!

Pulled into much pomp and circumstance in Wytheville. Dinner was held at the Wytheville Moose Lodge. Delicious steak and baked potato dinner.

Every year, the southern route-road guards hold a ceremony in the parking lot to present the RGITs (road guards in training) their second sleeve. This has always been touted as a rather, private, secret meeting. Well, since my husband was being awarded his second sleeve, I was invited to the meeting.

Road guard captain, “Captain” did a very nice job, presenting the new road guards with patches and sleeves. Congratulations “Doc”, “Mario”, “Recon”

It was a late night, I fell asleep before hitting the post button. Sorry about that. Each passing day, it gets more difficult to stay awake on the bike, I had to get a little more sleep.

In Closing:

“I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than an army of 100 lions led by a sheep.” Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand

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