Happy Independence Day! I would like to take this time to honor all of our current
Military and Veterans for their service. Thank You! I made a short video
from the Hearts To Heroes event this year. It consists of a few short words from Ryan Kenner and Tommy O'Neil and
then the live singing of God Bless The USA with the soldiers on the stage. I hope you enjoy. Click Here To View.
If you did not see last week's letter about dehydration, Click Here to View.
For all of you that are spending your first summer in Phoenix, Welcome to the
desert! Bet you didn't think it could get this hot and things could still live did you? I can still remember our first summer in Arizona 27 years ago. It was one of those record
setting times of something like 15 days in a row over 110 degrees. But the really bad news was we were driving
an old TR-6 brought from Kansas with no air conditioning! But we survived and are still here. Still beats
6 months of frozen feet and shoveling snow in the Midwest.
With all of this heat it is a good time to head to the higher country or to the coast which is what we did a couple of weeks ago for our long trip of the year. This year it ended up being 8 full days of riding with just a short 240 mile ride in on the morning of day 9 for a total of 2776 miles.
It is kind of interesting the thought process I go through the days leading up to a ride and particularly the night before. Usually I have every day all planned out, routes in the GPS, research done on what I want to see and do, etc. For some reason, this year we decided to totally wing it and see what is was like for once to just invite what the next day would bring us and see what it was like to not put expectations on ourselves like we have to contend with every day in the real world. Maybe get a quick peak at what retirement would look like. I have always said that one of these days I just want to take off for a couple of months on the bike and make a big loop around and through the United States and not have a schedule. Well, this trip was as close as we have had to something like that. In fact, we exercised that privilege right out of the gate. I will get to that later.
Usually I am ready to go a couple of days prior to our departure, but I must have carried our relaxed attitude right into the getting the bike ready stage as at 9pm the night before we were leaving I was cleaning out the saddlebags and getting all of our travel items arranged like the tire repair kit, air pump, gas siphon, bungees, etc. while Mrs. C. was putting my minimalist stack of clothes along with hers into the T-Bag. For those of you that are new to this packing thing for trips let me just give you a quick tip. Less is more.
Once you realize that you are on a week long motorcycle trip, and not a weekend in Vegas, your packing will become easier. Understanding that you are not trying to make a fashion statement everywhere you go, but just enjoying the road, the elements and the outdoors, will get your thought process back on track and shed a few pounds from the bag. You don't need 2 changes of clothes per day. In fact, it is the opposite. Instead of 2 changes a day, it is a change every 2 days. As long as you are going to cooler climates, you can easily wear things more than once. In addition to what I was wearing, my part of the T-Bag looked like this: 2 pair of jeans, 4 long sleeved shirts, 1 short sleeve shirt, 3 pair of socks and 8 pair of underwear (some things you just need to change every day) and a swim suit. I was good to go for the week. It can be hard to get out of our normal packing routine for a typical vacation, but when you see how much space you don't have, it becomes necessary and it works. (One packing tip that works well. Tightly roll all of your clothes and put a rubber band around them.)
Continuing with our "No Plan Ride 2008" we knew that we were heading to California and our first stop was going to be the Reagan Library at 40 Presidential Dr. in Simi Valley, CA. To keep from becoming a human Road Glide Shish-Ke-Bob, we left home at 5:40am Sunday morning to try and miss the intense heat through Palm Springs. We had made it our first 264 miles through the wind energy windmills and the West side of Palm Springs in 4 hours including a breakfast stop and only saw 102 degrees for a high. Not bad considering what it would be later in the day. From there on it was smooth sailing as our next destination was to be the Reagan library in beautiful Simi Valley, CA. We hoofed it on in and was at Reagan's doorstep at High Noon. A total of 418 miles door to door in 5 1/2 hours of riding time. 6 1/2 hours total. (GPS Stats) We decided to just take I-10 straight across to get through the heat. It was a good idea and a good ride.
Ronald Reagan was easily my favorite President of all time. And compared to what we have had since him, he is looking smarter every day. And when I heard that they had his Air Force One plane on permanent display with tours, this stop quickly went to the top of my list of things to do. The Reagan Presidential Library and Museum is Perched on a mountaintop with sweeping views of mountains, valleys, and the Pacific Ocean, this 100-acre site, 45 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, offers memorable experiences for people of all ages. You enter Presidential Dr. and take a winding road to the top of the hill while viewing banners of all of the former Presidents on the light poles as you wind your way up. At the top you are greeted with the library and a 270 degree view of the Simi Valley. A beautiful setting for the library and final resting place of Ronald Reagan.
The library is full of artifacts from Reagan's life and presidency. Artifacts from President Reaganís childhood and professional career provide physical evidence of his extraordinary life. Step through a model of the Dixon Arch in Illinois to experience Reaganís youth, while his Eureka College letter sweater recalls his student years. A recreated studio booth highlights his early radio broadcasting career, which led to an acting contract with Warner Bros. Film clips. Original costumes and movie posters trace his days in the movies, the Screen Actors Guild, and on television, as host of GE Theater and Death Valley Days. Glimpse into Ronald and Nancy Reaganís devoted marriage, a love story straight out of a Hollywood script. Learn about Reaganís growing involvement in politics. Witness his presidency, from reviving the economy, reducing the size of the federal government, and ending the threat of nuclear war. See a piece of the Berlin Wall, immerse yourself in Camp David and Rancho del Cielo.
As of October 2005 and the completion of the Air Force One Pavilion you can now walk onboard and tour Air Force One, tail number 27000 that Reagan used and put more miles on than any other president. He always wanted the public to be able to see what is widely known as the "Flying White House". So when Air Force One 27000 was replaced with the 747 that is now used for Air Force One, the Reagan Foundation built the Air Force One Pavilion that will permanently house this plane forever for the public to view. You get to walk through the entire plane, every cabin and even see the communications center and the famed briefcase that holds the nuclear bomb codes. The plane is set on 3 pillars hoisted several feet in the air at a 2 degree pitch as if it could take off through 2 story window facing out to the Simi Valley. It really is a site to see for anyone. Also displayed in the Pavilion are the Marine One helicopter, his Presidential Limo and secret service detail, many photos of historic places that he flew and other memorabilia. A definite must see.
Right now there is a huge display devoted to Nancy Reagan, her service to our country and her marriage to Ronald. One piece of trivia that I didn't
know is that Reagan was one of only four U.S. Presidents that kept a hand written daily diary. You are able
to read some of those diary entries in his own handwriting at the library. If you are creative with a camera, you
can even get of shot of yourself shaking hands with Ronnie
or posing for a picture. Ahhh, the shameless
things tourist will do. Ronald Reagan is also buried on the property. You can visit his gravesite on the back side
of the complex.
We ended up spending a little over 4 hours at the Reagan Library, but you could easily spend much more if you were to consume everything there was to do there. We still had to make another 70 miles to Santa Barbara by way of Ojai Rd. A really nice ride if you are going to Santa Barbara. A good twisty road through some low level mountains, small towns and drops you off on Hwy. 101. I would recommend this route if you are heading that way.
I have always had the utmost respect and admiration for Ronald Reagan and what he did for our country the 8 years he was President. It was an honor and a privilege to visit his Library and Museum to pay homage to his contributions to this nation. I would make the Ronald Reagan Library and Air Force One Pavilion a "Must See" on your next trip to California. It is an easy ride there at only 413 miles from the NW Valley. You could even make a big loop out of it and come back by way of San Diego. We made it extremely simple and fast by taking I-10 to Hwy. 57 to I-210 to 118 to Simi Valley.
Here for Photos of the Day - Over 100 great photos of the Reagan
Library and Air Force One Pavilion.
Click Here for Map
Hours, Cost and Directions
Ronald Reagan Library and Museum
Air Force One Pavilion
This Week's Bike Night Events
Chester's Harley-Davidson Bike Night at Dos Gringos Mesa. Ride by the New Dos Gringos Mesa located on the northwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline in Mesa. Dos is sure to make an impact and add some flare to the east valley. Enormous patio, complete with its own outdoor bar and separate dining areas on each side. Dos is a casual neighborhood hangout with great food and cold cervezas. Feel free to dine at one of our four tops, relax at one of the booths lining the edge or just belly up to the bar. Click Here to View. There will be drink and food specials and Raffles and Fun from Chester's Harley-Davidson. Ride with Chester's from the dealership at 5:30pm every Thursday located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa. 480-894-0404.
Thursday Bike Night. LIVE MUSIC with Dok & Gal every other Thursday. June
5th and June 19th this month. But you can still take a beautiful ride out to Estrella Mountain to E's Grill every
Thursday night for food and drink. Enjoy their huge outdoor patio and
entertainment area complete with stage and 3 large screen TV's. Equipped with one of the best mist systems you
will find. Band plays outside. Enjoy E's Great Food and drink. Bike night specials include 1/2 off Appetizers
and Happy Hour All Night Long. If you haven't been to E's, it is worth your ride out on Bike Night to enjoy Live
Music, Great Food and a Good Time every other Thursday with Dok & Gal. And don't forget the Weekend Brunch
to get your ride started. E's is located 8 miles South of 1-10 on Estrella Mountain Parkway. Turn right at
the first stop sign in Estrella to 17750 West Elliot Road in Goodyear. You will have to take Dysart or Cotton
Ln. South of 1-10 right now as Estrella Exit is closed.
Vito & Nick's II Thursday Bike Night. A NEW Bike Night for the SOUTHEAST VALLEY.
Vito & Nick's II is putting their great outdoor patio to good use on Thursday nights with an all new bike night. This is a brand new location that features an outdoor patio, a comfortable dining area and bar. Bike night specials include $1.00 Off All Beer, $2.00 Off All Appetizers, $2.00 Off All Shots, $2.00 Off All Large Pizzas, Raffle Prizes. Get your raffle ticket when you ride in. Plenty of outside seating and dining inside. Stop by this Thursday for some Great Food and Fun! Vito & Nick's is located at 3321 E. Queen Creek Rd. (SE Corner of Queen Creek and Higley Rd.) 480-279-4482. Click Here to see Vito & Nicks.
Hooter's Thursday Bike at Peoria location. The parking lot will be blocked off and it will be a night for MOTORCYCLES. Ride by Hooters in Peoria every Thursday night for Prizes, Giveaways every 1/2 Hour, Specials and of course great service by the Hooter's Girls. Enjoy $2.00 Bud and Bud Light Pints and $5.00 Bombers as well as those tasty Hooter's Wings. Sit on the huge outdoor patio and watch your favorite sporting event or inside with TV's every where you look. Enjoy this perfect riding weather with a ride to Hooter's this Thursday. Plan to check out the first night. 16550 N. 83rd Ave. just South of Bell Rd. 623-776-0123.
Fuzzy's Southwest Sports Grill Bike Night. Riders on the far west side in the Surprise area finally have a Bike Night. The brand new Fuzzy's Southwest will be hosting a bike night on Thursday Nights. Fuzzy's features an outdoor patio, 17 HD TV's, Pool Table, Large Horseshoe Bar and all glass front to see the bikes roll in. Enjoy Great Food, Pool, and Your Favorite Sporting Events all on new Flat Screens every Thursday Night at The Newest Bike Night In the Far West Valley. Bike Night Specials Include: 2.25 Corona's, Corona Light, Dos XX, Dos XX Amber, Pacifico, Tecate. $3.00 Jalapeno Poppers. $4.00 Super Spuds. $5.00 Chicken Tenders. $6.00 Baby Burgers. From 6-9pm. Fuzzy's is located 18795 N. Reems Rd. in Surprise at the corner of Reems and Grand Ave.
The Bike Night At The Billet Bar. Voted "BEST BIKER BAR IN PHOENIX" by New Times. There is no better place to watch all the Bikes ride down Scottsdale road than from The Billet Bar Patio. The Billet is ALWAYS packed with bikes Every Day. Stop by and take a look at the New Flamed Booths on the Paradise Patio. The new bars front and rear provide spacious seating, fresh air atmosphere, perfect temperature and courteous staff. The food is amazing and always the latest in cold libations await. You can sit at the back bar and watch your favorite TV on any of the seven big inch televisions. Play pool, listen to the latest music and socialize. The front patio seats over 75 people and is perfect for people watching on Scottsdale Rd. The Billet Bar is located on 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd. Check it out this Thursday night and all weekend long. Info: at 480-941-1876. Click Here for the New Billet Bar Page with pictures.
Friday, July 4th
Rock Out 4th of July with Red White & Brew. 4th of July party at the Red White and Brew Restaurant located on Gilbert Rd and Chandler Heights Rd. There will be a live band as well as a bikini bike wash, Raffles and a view of the local fireworks shows. These guys are known for their great tasting food and are extremely biker friendly. Extending an extra 40,000 sq. ft. in party space. No cover charge, fun for the whole family.They have asked us the Choir Boys to be their non-profit organization. That means money for fallen officerís families. Weíve upped our death benefit to $2500 per loss and our goal is reach 5k. Event location is 4850 S. Gilbert Rd. in Chandler, AZ.
Thursday, July 10th
Monthly Bike Night at K O'Donnell's. One Night Per Month Only! Ride by K O'Donnells located at 14850 N. Northsight Blvd. in Scottsdale for Bike Night from 5-10pm Featuring Bikes on Display from Hacienda Harley-Davidson, Ducati, BMW, Arizona Victory and Sucker Punch Sally's. Door Prizes, Live Music, Lots of Giveaways, Promos and Freebies. Blocked off Bike Parking and Drink Specials. NW corner of Raintree and Northsight just off the Loop 101. For more information call 480-922-7200.
Saturday, July 12th
Chester's Harley-Davidson Ladies Night Party. Attention ALL Lady Riders! Stop by Chester's HD on Saturday, July 12th from 4pm - 7pm for you very own Ladies Night Party. There will be a DJ spinning your favorite disco hits, Fondue, Snacks, Beverages, A "Bling" Belt Buckle Raffle and more. Escape the heat and stop by for a little Saturday Night Fever. Enjoy some Food, Fun and Party time with fellow Women riders. Chester's HD is located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ. 480-894-0404.
Ahhh! To be young again and have some good clean fun with your buddies in the back yard when your parents are out of town. This is pretty good. Click Here to View.
Let's hope our border security isn't like this. Click Here to View.
I hope I never have any passengers like this. Click Here to View.
Ok, this is so silly it is funny. In fact, the laughing of the young girl holding the camera is infectious. I'm guessing you will watch this more than once. Click Here to View.