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May 17, 2024 – Day 3 To DC – Gallup, NM to Eagle Nest, NM

May 17, 2024 – Day 3 To DC – Gallup, NM to Eagle Nest, NM

Yet another great and sunny day in Gallup. You all must be working overtime on those prayers. Keep it going please.

Nick starts the day with prayer and the pledge against a beautiful mountain.

He also has a patch that he reads every day.  Please keep this in mind as you start YOUR day.

Our bio for the day is for Ronald Wayne Dodge.  Thanks for carrying this to the wall.


Walrus has been on the Run for 25 years.  He was presented with a plaque.  Amazing. Thanks Walrus.
You will see him in the next few days on the exit ramps.
Let’s roll.  This is Jasper Walker a Vietnam vet.  He drove down from Arizona to see us off and thank us for doing what we are doing. We all thanked him for his service.
We love the sun!!   Several years ago, we left with snow on the ground.
There were several people that came out for us even in the morning even in the cold.

The platoons rotate the order.  Yesterday we were first and today we are 6th. Gives me a chance to get some good pics of the back of the pack.

Remember we have the highway to ourselves all the way across New Mexico.  Soo nice.
They even pulled over semis if they were ahead of the pack.


What a greeting??  I love the kids.
Heading into our first stop at Route 66 Casino.  Remember I mentioned someone gave me an ice cream earlier in the week.  Here is Rick, my ice cream buddy.  Hey where is mine today?

When I went into the store, Bones is trying to do the splits with Piper!!!

Bones be careful you may hurt yourself.

Here are the officers.  It is so cool to watch them work, and they are fast!!!
But we only got 5 over.

There are many breakouts during the Run.  Some of the riders go to different memorials and support the local towns.  Today we are going to Bernalillo to a Vietnam Veteran Memorial KIA.

Heading thru Albuquerque…. Wow this looks like spaghetti… but I guess it works.

This is Gomez.  Wolfman owns the bike and is willing it to Gomez when he passes.  He knows Gomez will not sell it.  I talked to Gomez, and he would like to visit other towns to continue to keep the awareness of the veterans. Then his plan is to ride it to DC and leave it at the wall.

The next 2 pics are dedicated to 2 guys that were POWs.  The first one was there for 4 years.  At one point, for a duration of 1 year, the only time he saw the light of day was when they gave him food.   I did not get any details on the second one.

The day the eagle cried.  There is a tear under the eye.

There are 2 eagles with chains on them. They tried to fly but could not.

This represents the 2 POWs on the bike.
It is absolutely an amazing dedication to these veterans.

Remember them. Say their name. (or put them on a bike)


Kirk presents Wolfman with a certificate.

Yeah lunch time.  Check out the sign!!!  Pretty nice.

  Check this out.  Ramp is shut down as we come thru.

Check out the ramp.
It is a school bus with kids standing and waving. REALLY?  out of school for this.  Here is the background:
The bus is from the kids of Cochiti.  Several years ago, the school was trying to get the kids more energized about learning.  So there was an incentive idea.  If you have perfect attendance, get good grades and have good behavior, you could ride the bus to stand on the bridge to see RFTW go thru.   They also have to rent the bus to get there.  To do that, the kids would have bake sales and other events to raise the money.  Great lessons.  

Boots on the ground on the highway is never a good thing.

In the hottest part of the day, there is a stopped traffic from construction.  We are roasting but so is Jenny’s Spyder.  It had over heated. She was picked up by our chase vehicle and back on the road from the next stop. Seeing this I thought of the song by James Taylor “Traffic Jam”
“…hurts my motor to go so slow”.

Good thing we have the NM escort.  They cleared the way…

AGAIN:  adapt and overcome!!!

WOW…. look at the flag….

I wonder how long these guys stood on the bridge.  We were so off our schedule because of the traffic.  Our advanced teams do not have an escort.  And some of them were off by an hour.
The Run leaves on time and most of the time arrive within 5 minutes of the time on the schedule.

By the time we stopped from the construction and all the stopping and starting, I saw lots of the riders trying to get the cramps out of their hands.

 One of the guys said ‘please dear God, let my left hand be like my right’.

Back on the road.  Hope you are not getting too bored with the pics of this beautiful country.
I sit on the bike just in awe of it.  Enjoy.



One aspect of the Run I have not covered is the missing man.  It is an honor and privilege to ride this position in honor of someone lost. The escort “Rides for those who can’t.”   

The person’s name is put in the Missing Man position.  Every leg on the Run is covered. 

Missing Man


Route Coordinator                    State Coordinator

Escort                                        Missing Man (space)                      

Missing Man Coordinator        Head Chaplin  

Here is how it looks on the road.

On the last leg of the day, Judy Wormmeester and her 2 kids, Heather and William, will all ride it together.   Judy will be in the escort position, and the kids will replace the missing man coordinator and the head chaplain.  WOW this is so …. (cannot find the right word).

His name is Sgt. Joseph A. Matejov, USAF, 205073 Laos.


We are now heading up the mountain to Angel Fire Vietnam Veteran Memorial.
Enjoy the ride, the pics do not begin to show the beauty and vastness.

As we arrive into the town.

Angel Fire Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Victor David was a 1st Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps (B CO, 1st BN, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Div) and was killed in Viet Nam in a battle/ ambush near Con Thien. Fifteen other soldiers lost their lives in this battle.
Following the death of their son, U.S. Marine Corps First Lieutenant Victor David Westphall III, Jeanne and Dr. Victor Westphall began construction of the Vietnam Veterans Peace and Brotherhood Chapel to honor the memory of their son and the sixteen men that died with him near Con Thien, South Vietnam on May 22, 1968.
Bricks are laid every year on Labor Day for all veterans.  
Prior to the ceremony, Scooter honored a gentleman as he was the pilot
of the Heuy that is on the grounds of Angel Fire.  Scooter, one of our road guards, flew in this Huey and his name is on the inside.  He was also able to be in it when it was decommissioned. 
Ceremonies for placing a brick for Sgt. Joseph Matejov at Angel Fire.
(there are a lot of us with allergies at this point)
Nick asks for a moment of silence for all of us to remember Joseph.
Judy and her family are given the brick.

If you look at the dates on this brick, there is no end date. The one below shows dates of service.  Since Sgt. Matejob is MIA, it will remain like this.

Kim then plays “Amazing Grace”.

It was a very long day for everyone and a very special for all of the riders.  Angel Fire is amazing place.  If you ever get a chance to go on Labor weekend, you will not regret it.  There are so many families that come and support all. We have gone several years and embraced the honor of the brick laying.
The day concludes in town… this is the town. Population 300…
so, when RFTW comes to town, we double that.

Every year, this lady makes this cake.

Thought for the day…. say their name and they will not be forgotten.

Temps: 43-70

Route: I-40E, I-25N, US599, US84/285,68,585,64


Quote of the day:

All gave some, some gave all

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