I began the month of July with a great Independence Day weekend with Linda's family on the Oregon Coast where we celebrated her Birthday.
Great way to start the month off and it was a fantastic 1,600 mile round trip. What a ride.
It was warm and along the way threatening clouds appeared on the horizon but nary a drop of rain developed.
The ride to Newport on the fabled Highway 101 was perfect.
I did an overnight at the KOA campgrounds at Cascade Locks, OR and spent a good evening visiting with neighboring campers.
The next morning I got an early start and a few hours later pulled into the Guest House where the party was already underway. The house located right on the Pacific shore was large and had room for everyone.
Her children and their families had come from Alaska, Florida and Montana to help their Mom celebrate the big event. It was a great time.
The ride back to Montana was uneventful and very pleasant.
The very next weekend I was scheduled into the Authors Showcase at the Sidney Montana Sunrise Festival, so another long ride was looming just ahead.
The 550 mile ride to Sidney was great with rain clouds on the horizon but no rain to dampen the ride. This was Interstate riding at it's best with long straight stretches of highway punctuated with the hills and curves of the Hysham Hills area. Traffic was light and there was lots of time to contemplate the coming event and all of the Eastern Montana relatives I would get to visit with.
I had called ahead and offered a free program at The Lodge assisted Living Center in Sidney, so that was my first stop on arriving in town.
With banjo, guitar and a full complement of travel stories we had a fun program for the residents and the many relatives who came to join the fun.
Saturday morning July 9th was the main event.
The Sidney Montana Sunrise Festival is an event sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the MonDak Heritage Center and Museum. The Authors Showcase provides an opportunity for Montana writers to come together to visit and showcase their latest books. A fun time and some very interesting people to visit with. This event is always well attended and the writers appreciate the chance to present their latest projects to people who enjoy a good read and like to turn pages of a real book.
Writers from 9 years old to 81 years old showed off their latest efforts.
I had the tent camper set up and with a table and awning had a cool place to visit with the many people who came to the event.
I had the banjo with me so when the event organizer told us one of the entertainers who had been scheduled to appear, had cancelled out at the last minute I was able to fill in with a couple of songs and stories about the books I had for sale.
All in all, a fun weekend, a nice ride and good folks to visit with.
It was a long day at the market and I took the easy way out with a motel instead of a campground.
After a good nights sleep it felt good to get back on the road and the early morning start was cool and comfortable. Still, it was a long ride home with a a stop over in Billings for a visit with Lois' nephew George and his wife Jean.
Good folks who had a fried chicken lunch on the table when I pulled in the driveway.
Then it was back on the highway with 250 miles to go.
Half way there I made the obligatory stop at Wheat Montana Farms Deli in Three Forks, Montana for one of their great deli sandwiches and coffee. Great place to stop and always filled with tourists traveling the Interstate.
The following weekend I had a different kind of ride waiting for me. I drove a golf cart to carry disabled and elderly people from the parking lot at Carroll College in Helena, to the field where the annual Symphony Under The Stars is held.
The field was full and since it is a long walk from the parking lot, AARP Montana has a fleet of golf carts and drivers ready to assist those who have difficulty with long walks.
Thousands of people attend this annual event in which organizers bring in well known singers to join the symphony in presenting the show. This years event featured Broadway Show tunes and was well received by the throng.
The following Saturday it was back
to work as I took my motorcycle/sidecar, trailer and banjo to the Helena Farmers Market. This Saturday morning event is fun and gives me an opportunity to sell books, play the banjo and raise money for the next trip to a Senior Center.
I present the programs free to any senior resident facility that wants one, and raise money to pay for the trips by presenting a show at the market. A fun way to earn a little extra gas money.
Planning for our big ride of the year has been underway for weeks now and as the big day approaches many hours are spent planning and getting ready.
The Iron Butt Association calls it, "The 48x10."
To complete the ride and earn your patch and certificate you must get a gas receipt from every one of the lower 48 states in 10 days or less, and send them into the association.
Now, after weeks of preparation, the departure date is here.
At 12 Noon on Sunday, August 7th, my 60 year old daughter Linda and I will leave for what will be a 9,000 mile ride. We call it the Adventure America Ride.
For details of the ride click on the internet link below.
The 48x10 page will also have a link to a Spotwalla Map which will allow anyone interested to follow the hour by hour progress of our ride.
Look for us, we will be in the Right Lane America.
Del "Lonnie" Lonnquist