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SR Day 8. Wednesday, May 24th

Another beautiful crisp morning.  Lynne Fouraker-Craft (“First Nav”) gave the talk on why she rides, which tied in with the Silverdale Confederate Cemetery, which is directly behind the Harley dealership.  Lynne & Edwin (“Wookie”) were instrumental around 2009 in raising funds to repair the rundown cemetery, and each year, we continue to take a collection here at the meeting to give to the organization. There are 155 soldiers buried here. Most of them are considered MIA because their identities are unknown.  Only 39 have been identified throughout the recent years.  The cemetery is peaceful and serene—yet there is a somberness in the air when you stand there & think of those confederate soldiers.    

Our first fuel stop is one that we always look forward to— it’s a stop where we have donuts and homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwiches made by the “Divas” girls!   Unfortunately, there were no donuts, but the TA travel center furnished sausage biscuits and chicken sandwiches.  Best of all, the Divas were there with their sandwiches.  It was a bright sunny morning—and all was well!

The next gas stop was quick & uneventful —so on to lunch at Bristol HD Dealership.  On the way, the Virginia state police picked us up and escorted us into Bristol.  They’ve done it for many years—AND WE LOVE IT.   A great lunch was served, and I saw a few people sneak down to a river flowing behind the dealership—-with their lunch!  Ahhh…a well kept secret!  It was lush, quiet and so relaxing.  

When coming into Wytheville, VA, to the city park, we actually ride up into the park on its walking path, and all of us park on the sidewalk that circles it.  This is one of the riders’ favorite places.  Many of the townsfolk are out to greet us. We had a brief welcoming ceremony, and then we were off to check into the rooms and then head to the Moose Lodge for our dinner.  Steak and chicken and fancy cakes awaited us!  Afterwards, an auction for prizes went fast and crazy.  “Juice,” one of our road guards, did  a great job on the auctioneering.  And we had fabulous raffle prizes and silent auction items.  

A quick but important note—many riders and supporters do not realize how crucial our Fuel and Staging teams are to the efficiency of the run—regardless of route.  They are truly unsung heroes of RFTW.   There is NO WAY we could fuel up & move hundreds of bikes like we do without their leadership.   People don’t believe us when we tell them that we can fuel up to 300 bikes in under 20 minutes—until they actually see it done.   My hat is off to you fuelers & stagers.   I did those duties way back in the infancy stages of the “Advance Team”. (Early 2000’s), and it has progressed to a well-oiled machine.   Thank you, guys & gals who get us through each day.

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