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May 19, 2024– Day 5 to DC – Limon, CO to Junction City, KS

May 19, 2024– Day 5 to DC – Limon, CO to Junction City, KS

Well……. today was an interesting day to say the least.

Harry and Martha ae on the Ambassador team.  They go to the bridges, and school.  Here is a story Harry told us at the opening meeting (get you tissues ready).

PRECIOUS STARS –  Harry & Martha Steelman.    Several years ago I was helping a RFTW both at a Camp Pendleton 1st Marine Division family day hosted by Shirley Scott and Carol Olmstead of the Southern Route. Shirley was handing stars cut from retired American flags to the children of the Marines and asking them to read the explanation on the back of the pouch. I thought that the kids would probably not read the text so I took a star and talked with them boy one on one. He was very focused on what I was saying and understood th meaning. Now I carry stars all the time to give to the young people I  meet.  When we stopped in Raton, I saw a group of small girls and introduced myself, asked their names and mentioned that I am a VN. Vet. Is do my routine, explaining have call the flag Old Glory and that when she becomes tattered and torn, faded and frayed, we take her down and raise a new one. We must dispose of her in a proper and fitting manner by burning. But before we burn her we cut out the stars and save them. We think of them as representing a fallen warrior or first responder and treat them with respect. I then asked if each would like a star and take care of it. The first three said yes — The fourth, a ten-year-old told me she could not accept the star!  Stunned, I said “May I ask you why?”  Her response was “Because I can’t trust myself with such a precious item”.  I was in tears now and told her that I trust her and asked her to please take it, so she did.  Martha, seeing her seriousness gave her a big hug and this her that she felt her to be a really good person and that we know she will take good care of and honor the star.  I will never forget that young girl, representing the future of our country and her honesty in loyalty.

We head out and several are out wishing us well. Cool sky, but little did I know that it would mean trouble down the road.







We head to Oakley for lunch.  As we come into town, we are met with the Buffalo Bill Monument.
Fun Fact:
A statue high in a hill that represents how Buffalo Bill got his name. 

Near the site of his hunting contest for the right to be nicknamed “Buffalo Bill,” this statue of Cody and an American bison is sixteen feet high and sculpted with 9,000 pounds of bronze.

In the spring of 1868 there were two Williams in the buffalo hunting trade around west Kansas; William Cody, who supplied the Kansas Pacific Railroad workers with buffalo meat, and William Comstock, who fed the soldiers at Fort Wallace with his catch. To settle the dispute that they had on who the rightful owner of the nickname would be, they held a contest to see who could bring back the most buffalo in a day. Cody, with his large-caliber Trapdoor Springfield rifle he named “Lucretia Borgia” and his circling technique that kept his kills in one area instead of scattered, won the contest 69 to 46. The contest took place 10 miles west of the town of Oakley, and the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center was established there in 1995. 

Whenever we parade into a town, we have 2 bikes that lead us.  They carry 3 flags: POW/MIA, USA, and the state flag.  This means that we need to have a state flag

for every state we cross.  

They have a Vietnam memorial there.

2 girls say Star Spangle and killed it.

Lunch was great but threats of rain were upon us.  We left 30 minutes early to try and beat the rain

As we get going, I go past the missing man.
You see the 1 of the 22 per day – This is the number of men and women military who take their lives
You will often see :    22-NAWAV
This means “No All Wounds Are Visible”
Say their name and never forget.  We cannot stop until all are brought home.
We are given a 21 Gun Salute as our 5 minute whistle.
WOW this does not look good.
But people still came out.  Look how many on this bridge!!!

What is this?? You guessed it. HAIL .  AND IT HURTS!!!  We rode in and out of this for over an hour.

Somone sent me this.  Some of them were the size of golf balls.
Here are a few pics of the marks they made:
Others were far worse. Some not have gloves and there hands had some huge welts.
So needless to say, no pics.  As we pull into Bunker Hill for gas, Ron and I see what looks like 2 small tornado funnels on the left and 1 on the right.  NOT GOOD.
Fuel and in staging and someone yells “Tornado, get in the building”.  There was actually one forming above us.  People scrambled.  I am not sure how many were in the building, but we had the full platoon, staggers and fuel teams. The manager of the store brought around water and Gatorade.  We were packed in there like sardine for what seemed like forever.  There were still people down the road.  Everyone was trying to call the members of their platoons to see where they were.  For our platoon, we had people 31 mile back, 10 miles back and 5 miles forward.  As far as I know all were accounted for.
This is one of the times we thought we would be able to leave
Nick and Ken get us ready to roll.  Slow and steady.  Stay together.
Take from the bike as we left.  Then rain again.
I know we are not the only ones to get bruises.
I think all of you remember Heather at the brick laying ceremony.  We her mom and brother were with us and we did not know where she was for a long time.  Found her and here is her story.  AMAZING Women;
I was sticking with the route coordinator until my engine shut off
Started doing jumping jacks on the side of the road
Figured at least try turning it on one more time
Powered back up so I started cruising again by myself until I caught up to platoon 5
Super strong wind knocked over the bike in front of me so I stopped to help them up when the wind took my windshield
Chased it down and it happened to be next to a beef calf
I used my windshield as a shield to protect myself and the calf from the hail
Hail stopped so carried calf across the highway to his screaming mom. They ran off together
Ran back to my bike and started off alone again
Stumbled upon a road guard who told me exit 180
Pulled off there but didn’t see a gas stop
Back on the highway went couple more miles then saw I was super low on gas
Stopped under a bridge next to a semi
Semi driver let me get inside and use his phone to call mom
No answer and no service so I pulled off at 184 to get gas and service
Then found other people from the run
Needless to say her bike cannot go above 2nd gear.  So the 3 of the have decided to end the Run for them. Great family and Judy you have 2 outstanding kids you have raised.  Glad you were able to be with us. Safe travels home.
Multiple times we looked at leaving but then another HUGE rainstorm rolled thru.  All in all, we were that for about 5 hours.  Need go get going as there is yet another cell coming thru.   We left about 8:00 and within 30 minutes the rains started.  After 107 miles, we arrived in Junction City about 10:00.  Very soaked and very tired!!!
I will leave you all with this pic.  I am closing now as I will need to be up soon.
We missed one of the best receptions on the Run

This picture below says it all.  It was taken here in 2022. 

One of my favorites. This is our future!!! 

Hold on tight sweetheart.  We are there for you always.

What a great way to end the day.

Temps: 47-7

Route: I-70E

Miles: 394

Quote for the Day:

Never forget.

History will remember the war

Will America remember her men?

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