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May 16, 2024 – Day 2 To DC – Williams, AZ to Gallup, NM

May 16, 2024 – Day 2 To DC – Williams, AZ to Gallup, NM

Today was another beautiful day. 45 when we got up but 55 by the time we left.

Forgot to add this from last night. These are some of the boy scouts that were working dinner last night. Helping clean up, running to get drinks and handing out buttons. Thanks to the scout masters and parents for teaching their kids. These kids are our future.


Driving from the hotel this morning, I saw this on a billboard..  Pretty cool
We lined up on the street today. Williams does not have any traffic lights but several stop signs.  Pretty small town.  We take up most of the town when we stage.
We all have worn several hats.  This morning is no different.  I was trying to get a pic from Doug so Ron helped out with part of staging.  New jobs next year Ron?
Doug gave me this pic.  He is riding on the back of his wife’s spyder so she can ride in the Run.  She was afraid she could not make it so Doug said I will ride with you, and we can switch if needed.  I image this RFTW family really gave him some grief on this. Good luck Pat. Hope you go all the way.
Every day before the morning meeting, there is team working to help raise money for the kids at Rainelle.  This is a knitted quilt that we will raffle.  I had to show you this. It took 700 hours to complete.  It is magnificent.  It will be raffled later in the week. We also have a 50/50 and auction items.

One of the items for auction, is to carry a brick cross country.  We bid and pay to carry for 1 day. So, there will be 9 people able to do this.  The group that is doing this I believe has a GPS tracker in it so they can follow from home.  Sorry I did all the information, but I will update and post tomorrow. Pretty cool item to watch where it goes.

Kim was a little cold, so she put on a hat and then her RFTW cap.  Pretty funny but she was warm.
Kim is Nick’s wife, they live in m Hawaii and this weather is freezing to her.
Hahaha. It was about 45.

Ok time to start the mandatory morning meeting.  Every day will start with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.  We recognize gold and blue star families, veterans, active duty,…  Nick will give an update on the days ride. And this is the place for any business that is needed to let everyone know.

Nick will always read a bio of an MIA person. This bio is then carried cross country and placed at the Vietnam wall. The rider will pray for that person to be found and for the family. Please add these to your prayer list.

 Here is the bio.


William had kind of cool idea.  If we wanted to write a post card to friends and families, they would mail it to them.  I love the idea and sent a few to my grandkids.
Steven and I got a kick out of this.  A little fun before the real fun begins.
Now for the platoon meetings.  We go over a lot of the same things every day.  The reasons are because we are always getting new people in the platoon, and to make sure it stays fresh in everyone mind. Remember this is a 10-day journey, and a lot of people can only do a few days.

Josh is our Chaplain for the trip.  He will come and pray with us and make sure we are all doing ok.  Remember this is a healing mission.

Hand signals are critical while riding.  Many riders do not have CB or GMRS radios.  This one is if you break down and need help, you better be doing jumping jacks so chase vehicles know that or they will pass you by.  Way to go William.

There are always 3 things to remember: throttle control, throttle control, and throttle control. You can control speed with the throttle as opposed to the breaks. Applying the brakes all the time set off a lot of rubber banding.
Bernadette has this little guy on the back of her bag.  She is getting pictures of as many people as she can to send back home.  I will have to get a little more detail on this too.  WOW….. sounds like I have homework for tomorrow.

OK Saddle up and let’s ride!!!!   Check out these little girls. They came out early to see us off.  Way to go parents.  


The pine trees smell so good as we go down the road.



There are currently 6 platoons with 2 wheels and 4 or 5 for trikes and bikes with trailers. The 2 wheel bikes rotate positions in the pack.  We were first yesterday and today we are 6.  

Yesterday: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Today: 2,3,4,5,6,1

This makes for some good pics for the day.  Here is the first one.  NICE.  Check out all the trees.


Check out the mountains and the sky.  Love it.

Just that quick the terrain changes. Back to flat, flat, flat.

Get into Winslow AZ for a fuel stop. We parade thru town.
As we head to a gas stop just before Winslow, there is a 9-11 Memorial.  It has 2 pieces from the Twin Towers.  

The breakout team at “the corner”


Ok time to gas up.  Day 2 and we are looking pretty good.
Gas stops are pretty cool to watch.  The Fuel team goes ahead of the pack and clears out a gas station. The pumps are set ready for the pack. There are 2 ways to pay for fuel.  Get a pre-paid sticker.  These are pretty nice, so you do not have to try and get cash out.  Or you pay cash. If you want to pay cash, you pay the nearest $5.  Any extra goes to the chase vehicle’s gas. Big insensitive to get the gas sticker.
The pumps run constantly.  You just move the hose from one bike to the next.  I have been told that we have filled 200 bikes in 20 minutes.  Remember you are only filling 2-4 gallons.  Even so, that is pretty quick.

Then the road guards direct you to the staging teams where you stage in your platoons. Runs pretty smooth.

Hydration team has trailers for drinks and snacks.  All donated!!!

We are on time schedule, and you better be ready.  There is a 5 minute whistle and you better be getting back on your bike, or you get left behind.  You can then follow the Last Man truck and rejoin the pack at the next stop.  Soooo pay attention.

John is our starter, a road guard, and also the president of RFTW.  He makes sure the platoons go out in order.

Let’s roll !!!
Now we roll into Holbrook.  We parade past every school in the town. The kids love it and are always waving flags, waving, jumping up and down.  So cool.

As we roll past the school, there is someone on the other side of the street.  The pic says it all.  Such patriotism and respect for the Run.

As we pull down the street for lunch….
The town is waiting for us….  Great food.
Before lunch a young girl sings the Star Spangled Banner.  She looked like she was maybe 12.  What a beautiful voice.  Every stood and the applause was defining.

As we leave these adorable kids, dressed in red, white and blue were dancing to the music outside.  Every year the kids play for us.  Seems to get better all the time.  Thanks all.

This little girl’s road name is Piper.  She is riding with her grandfather.  I asked her how she was able to get out of school, and she said, “This is school.”  How right she is.  What a great way to learn about our country.
Remember earlier in the report, we talked about the yellow ribbons to remember our veterans from New Mexico? The word must have gotten out because we were approached by multiple people that asked who we were riding for.  Amazing what a little thing like a ribbon can do this and keep memories of our veterans alive.
Ok load up and let’s head to Gallup.  This is known as “The Most Patriotic Small town in the USA”.

As we get closer you will see why.  People are all over with flags greeting us.

Wow what view from the back of the pack!!!

At the state line into New Mexico, we get a police escort.  This is not a normal escort.  As we travel, there will be no cars around us.  They have all ramps blocked, and shut the back door, meaning no one can come pass the Last Man vehicle.  This is great!!!!  My understanding is that these guys get on a waiting list to get this assignment.  It lasts the full 2 days we cross the state. THANKS guys!!

One of our road guards as he blocks a street when we get off the highway.
Here are a few examples.  This goes on for 10+ miles!!!

The FNGs said their hands were getting tired of honking their horns and waving BUT they loved every minute of it.

Coming into Red Rock Park the whole street is lined with flags. and people.
We go to their circle and there is a ceremony for us.  They have been chanting, singing all day, praying for our safe travels. These are the Navajo people.
It is led by this person.

Men and women engage in this.  The lady in the green insisted I come in the circle. She explained to me the song.  These were prayers going up to the heavens to keep all the riders safe on their journey to DC and home again.  This whole community prays for our journeys.

I have tons of pictures of this, but you do not get the full appreciation unless you can listen to them.  They are very proud and they very much embrace the RFTW efforts.

Awards were present to all organizations that worked to make this happen, including the police officers.

As we end the day, the lady from the circle came over to Ron and me.  She wanted to again thank us for stopping in her town and having the honor to pray for safe travels for all riders.  She is 80 years young and has been going to this ceremony for years and hopes to keep coming.

Fun Fact:

The Navajo people were very important to helping the US Marin Corps because of the Code Talkers.  Gallup’s last code talker died a few years ago.  I had the privilege of seeing him on one of my prior years.

Code Talkers are people in the 20th century who used obscure languages as a means of secret communication during wartime. The term is now usually associated with the United States soldiers during the world wars who used their knowledge of native American languages as a basis to transmit coded messages. In particular, there were approximately 400–500 Native Americans in the US Marine Corps whose primary job was the transmission of secret tactical messages. Code talkers transmitted these messages over military telephone or radio communications nets using formal or informally developed codes built upon their native languages.

Temps: 55-70

Route: I-40E

Miles: 224

Quote of the Day:

Home of the free, because of the brave

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