Don's 4-Corner Birthday Ride
On The Road E-Mail & Message Page
I hopped on the K11 today since the GS has been getting the daily commuting call due to the heat and rode about 300 miles to Savannah.
The purpose-to meet up with Don Graling and his crew on their first leg of his Four Corners Ride.
I guess I was excited to see Don because I made my best time to Savannah (just over 4 hours) and arrived quite early. After a couple of hours and a call or two to the MOA 800 number to assure I was at the right place, I heard the familiar whine of a K75 and a horn honking wildly as a group of 5 riders barreled into the Cracker Barrel.
Don is so pumped up about this ride, finally realizing it after nearly a year in the planning stages, he could hardly contain himself.
Accompanying him were Dave Keuch (sp?), two other riders I had never met and my mushy mind after a 600 mile HOT ride cannot recall their names at present,(one on an 11RT and the other on a V-Max) and a mystery rider in the person of Richard Bernecker!
We promptly got seated in a very air-conditioned room and ate heartily. After about an hour, I could sense Don's 'itchiness' to hit the road for Daytona so we headed for the parking lot. After a visit to fuel up, we rode to the freeway, the group taking I-95 south and I turned northbound for I-16 and home.
It was good to see them on the first leg, with plenty of enthusiasm and energy left. Today is the longest leg for them, around 700+ miles, and I wish them well and safe journey.
Don will be leaving updates on the 800 MOA number twice a day, midday and evening in case you would like to leave him a message or lend some encouragement.
PS--While I was waiting for them to arrive under a shade tree, a couple of HD riders pulled up in a spot next to my bike. As they dismounted. we exchanged nods and began to talk. They asked me where I was from:
"Way up north?", one said.
"Yep", I replied.
"How long did it take you to ride here" , one asked.
"Uhh, a hair over 4 hours. Thanks to the Olympics in Atlanta, most of the State Troopers are jammed up there", I smiled.
"Where you gonna stay tonite?, the elder of them asked. (They were loaded with camping gear).
"I just rode down to have lunch with some friends that are coming in from the DC area". They left this morning and we are meeting here for lunch".
I was then met with two gaping mouths.
"You mean you just rode 300 miles to eat lunch and then go home?" one asked incredulously.
"Yep. Our group does it all the time. A bunch of us met in Chattanooga last year, and half the riders who left after lunch to go home did more than a thousand miles in a day.
"Just to eat lunch?"
"Yep", i replied.
They both smiled at me, shook their heads and one stated "You Beemer guys blow me away. You guys are NUTS!!"
I smiled, nodded, and agreed with him. "Yeah, I guess we are". :-)
06:00 EST Hours, August 05, 1996
"Entering Alligator Alley, will be in Alabama this evening."
21:43 EST Hours, August 05, 1996
"Spending the night in Reid's Landing Alabama, then swimming, eating shrimp and getting ready for dinner. We'll be in San Antonio tomorrow night."
Graling (K75) and group, which has been whittled down to three riders total, cannot remember names but they're riding R100RT and R1100RT, arrived Miami about noon Sunday. Joined them for lunch at Holiday Isle Resort in the Keys. They did the mandatory gas receipt, find the telephone number at..., and took the photo for the Ironbutt certification and then headed back to Miami on Sunday night.
They were on the road again at 6am Monday, meeting Weiser (?) for company for the first 300 miles to Tampa. They are scheduled to be in Pensacola Monday night -- more than 650 for the day. Everyone was in good spirits and cheerful.
They slept with Dali Meeow and The Captain (my two felines) and the most notorious upside-down cats in the universe. We wish them well on the rest of the trip.
Stephen (Dali Meeow) Miami R1100RS
11:10 EST Hours, August 06, 1996
"Right now we are in Covington La, on I-12 hoping to be in TX for lunch."
From: Don "1000 in 1" Graling
Subject: BMW: Don's Four Corners Ride Update
Don's Four Corners Birthday ride group is making a visit to the Mayor of Reed's Landing (Corky himself) who officially welcomed our group to his pad. We were presented a key to the city as well as 10 lbs. of Gulf Shrimp with the heads on, fryed Lisa fish, hush puppies, broccoli (because we're also Rolling Broccoli Riders), plus plenty of Corona beer with lime to wash it all down. This was after a nice swim in the creek surrounding Reed's landing. We're having a great time, wish you could be here.
Finally the grand finale was a Alabama watermelon that had been chilled in the cooler of the local 7-11?
The trip's been great so far. We've visited with lots of Presidents - Pat Roddy in Savannah (750 mile day for lunch?), Stephen in Florida City, Bill Weiser and Warren in Daytona Beach. We even had Dan Lowery stop by to visit Reed's Landing, he's got a beautiful R1100RT from the local area.
The days have been long, early mornings, late nights, but we seem to be holding up pretty well. Tommorrow is a long shot to San Antonio, Texas. Look forward to staying with Butch on Thursday night and the blow out on Friday night sponsored by Jodi. Look forward to seeing you "Left Coasters".
Don "1000 in 1" Graling
Subject: BMW: Grayling gang
At 08:00 CDT the Grayling Gang pulled onto I10 at Loxley, Al. heading for a San Antonio rose. Everything seems to be in fine shape, both human and machines.
It sure was great to have them stop overnight.We're sort of isolated down here from many other Presidents, and it's real neat to have someone in person to B.S. with about our dual interests of Beemers and the net, and as I expected all three of them are super good guys and a fine time was had by all.
Y'all take care now,
P.S. Butch, don't you believe it when Don tells you he fried those fish and hush puppies--lies, all lies :-}}
20:08 CDT, August 06, 1996
"We're in San Antonio, TX tonight..Ran through bad thunderstorms in Lafayette LA, bikes ran great, no problems..will be trying to make Arizona tomorrow night."
09:15 CDT, August 07, 1996
"We're in Senora TX making great time...hope to be in Tuscon tonight."
Subject: Go Don Go!!!
You know about the send off at Don's. Needless to say you would never have lived it down had you not arrived!
We're doing pretty good but by the end of the day the heat has us pretty beat. We fall into our beds wherever they are and sleep comes quickly.
Don and Bob are snoring as I write this..
Sat. was a long day with little sleep the night before (thanks Larry!!) and the limited range of the VMAX Richard was riding. But we made our meeting with Pat R. in Savanna and had a great time at the Cracker Barrel. Pat bought Don's dinner to which he replied he should have ordered the steak.
From there we went to the Super 8 in Daytona Beach where we met up with Wild Bill and his Friend Warren (sp?) We sat around talking till around 11pm I was laying around as had ice on my back to help with the pain.. Next morning we headed out at 6am with Will Bill in tow. Less than 10 miles later Bill motioned us over as he wasn't sure of his rear tire and making the trip without incident. We agreed that it wouldn't be smart and a couple miles later we split. Bill heading for home and a new rear tire Don, Bob and I for Key West..
At Florida City we stoped for gas and called our host for the evening Stephen ? ( Sorry Stephen I'm real tired and can't remember your last name) Steve met us at the station and took us to his place to drop off our bags. He then lead us down to the Keys where we stoped at Islemorda (sp?) for Lunch. Was great place !! After lunch we split and he headed home we went to Key West. After a little tour of the city we took our needed pictures and found the secret #'s and mailed the first of 4 envelopes for the 4 corners.
Coming back up the Keys I lead the way and we made great time passing many cars and campers in quick shots... One of these found us trying to extend hust a couple more cars before pulling in. Unfortunately the car coming the other way was a state trooper that was looking at us like we were crazy... Couldn't think of anything else to do so I just waved at him like he was a long lost friend...The look on his face was one of disbelief. For what ever reason he didn't turn around nor call ahead.
Steve ahad given us a short cut home up Card Sound road (somenthing like that - did I say I was tired) which we took. Great road no traffic and we flew.. At one point we come up on 3 guys riding harley's taking their time. We were patient but then decided to pass. they gave us a look of what do you think you're doing?" and one of them tried to race with us we managed to get by him only minutes later on a straight stretch to have two of the three fly by us. Well not wanting to be out done we took off and were right behind them when we hit the main land. they smiled and waved and turned around (I guess they had to go back and find their friend)
Steve and Edith (his girlfriend) made a good meal for us and the next morning and led us on a hair raising ride to the east side of Alligator alley where we parted company. They're real good people and made us feel at home. (Steve, Don still has your key and wll mail it to you)
We were to meet Wild Bill at the East side of the Alley but after 30 mins figured something had happen so took off. We were making our way to the Sky bridge in Tampa. Fl. Just before we get to the bridge we see a guy jump on a K bike and follow.. Wild Bill found us and lead us thru Tampa taking numerous photo's of the gang in route.
Up I-75 to I-10 west. It takes forever to get out of Florida and this day was noo exception. We were so happy to see the Alabama state line cause we knew Corky and his dinner were waiting.
I'm really beginning to fade and the guy's snoring is making me jealous so I'll pickup my next post with arriving at Corky's.
To those that have sent us notes and messages on the 800--moa # thanks we get a kick out of them and it adds to the adventure. Tomorrow we've extended our day to give us more time in Ca. We're going to hit Tucson, AZ probably real late. Hope to write more soon!!
OLSON'S OBSERVATION: IT'S TOUGH TO JUGGLE IN THE MIDDLE OF AN AVALANCHE
21:45 CDT, August 07, 1996
"We're in Tuscon AZ tonight, and did 860 miles...The weather is hot and sunny, should be in San Diego for lunch tomorrow."
Subject: BMW: Don's 4 corner Update #2
After a couple wrong turns... we finally made it to Corkys place. Once I walked around back and saw the dock and sailboat I knew why Pink slept on the dock. A great place..After introductions Corky pulled out the shrimp and beers. We jumpedout of our riding suits and into our bathing suits. An hour of jumping of the dock swimming and drinking and we were ready for the main event. I was busy downing beers and shrimp whileDon and Corky did the fish and hush puppies... add a salad and more beer and and great company and you've got a perfect evening. Corky wasn't quite done and said he had to go get another surprise for Don. They drove off and Bob and I did KP. 2o minutes later and they returned with a huge chilled watermelon that we cut up and ate till we could eat no more!
Dinner and desert were followed by more beer and a couple Salty Dogs for Corky and I.
We finally got to bed around mid nite and the morning came way to early. Especially for Don, he was hurting from the "3" beers he said he had.. Yeah right..
A half hour later and we were once again flying down back roads in a semiconscious state. Corky led us to the I10 interchange where we waved good-bye and sped onto the on ramp. In no time we were speeding down I-10 and leaving Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana and heading into Texas Crossing the Mississippi we saw a couple paddle wheelers heading up the river and a number of barges coming down. The next thing we knew we were into San Antonio and getting our room at the Motel 6. After a long ride in that heat and humidity sleep came quickly to Bob and Don.
Up at 6am and we were off again. This time for Tucson Az. We had decided we wanted to have more free time with Butch H. so we opted to extend our ride from Demings NM. to Tucson. a total run of 865 miles via my Automap.
The day started out hot and humid at 6am and got better when Don missed the ramp for the I-10 turn off and we got an unplanned tour of Ft. Kelly. A couple u turns and we were back on track and into our cruising zone as we call it. Texas east of San Antonio is pretty dull in my mind at least on I-10 but west of the city the scenery is quite pretty and the vistas are out of this world. One thing to watch thou is the distance between fillups. At one point I managed to put 5.6 gals into my 5.7 tank. I had heard that the stations were far apart for Terry Evans but this was making it interesting. Once Don almost decided to pass on a fillup opting for the next station. Even with our extra carried fuel we would have been short a bunch of miles had we not stopped.
The day went by rather fast as did the miles under our tires. It does that when you do between 80-95 mph. At one point Don made a move to the left lane to pass a truck then swung back to the right.. I didn't and was looking at a pile of retreads all over the road in front of me. Luckily I managed to miss all the debris and got my heart out of my throat a few minutes later. The next interesting event was near Tucson. A truck up the road was smoking like a K-bike that's been left on it's side stand. Only this was so thick you couldn't see thru it. We put our 4 way flashers on and slowly worked our way into the smoke and around the truck. Didn't see anyone behind us for sometime after that!! The rest of the day was just dealing with the heat, anywhere from 102-107 degrees. Every stop we filled our camelbacks with ice and drink and had bottles of water to pour over us when our shirts dried out from the heat. By the end of the day we had made great time but were exhausted from the heat.
Don and Bob are once again sleeping and snoring while I write this with and occasional burst of chatter from Don.. he talks in his sleep. Mumbling something about being sorry he thought he was in the way of somebody... who knows.. we certainly weren't today.
Tomorrow we'll head for San Ysidro do the requirements for the 4 Corners Tour and head to Butch's place. The up real early on Friday to ride to CalBMW where we'll have the oil changed and new tread put on. Later.
OLSON'S OBSERVATION: IT'S TOUGH TO JUGGLE IN THE MIDDLE OF AN AVALANCHE
19:50 CDT, August 08, 1996
"We're at Butch's house in San Diego, we arrived about 1:30 pm today. Early morning shot to SF, should be there by 3:00pm."
Just arrived home after a very pleasant evening at Sir Butch's place. The Graling crowd was in fine, very fine, spirits. Even had a call from Clemens while we were there.
All of them are looking forward with GREAT anticipation to the happenings tomorrow night in S.F.
Butch and I are tied up at our respective salt mines tomorrow or we'd be there!
Make us honorary spiritual attendees, would ya'?
Y'all have a good and safe time tomorrow night. Dan, would this qualify as an oxymoron?
Mick (jealous) in san diego
Subject: BMW: Grayling's Gang in San Diego
Having been on both sides of the host/hosted deal recently, I can't say which is more fun. Being hosted certainly has it's advantages; more like home for one. There's always someone there interested in you and your story(s). Cold beer, food, a bed or thick carpet to curl up on. A washing machine & dryer :^) Yes life can be good at times .. especially after a hard day's ride.
I sure appreciated the folks I stopped to see riding to/fm the national.
And being the host is GREAT fun too!! Fussing around with a dinner menu, a shopping list, last minute runs for more ice & beer, the anticipation of like-minded people showing up on BMW morotcycles. Supportive local friends showing up with all the accouterments for a perfect evening. Thanks Mick & Lani and Fulton & Susan!! I wish we could do it all over again this evening, and tomorrow ... My soul is on the road with a gang of bikers tooling up to San Francisco as I sit here typing these words. Don Graling, Dave Keuch, Bob Ryan and Richard Bernecker .. I sure am glad you took the time to stop by. It was great fun.
I met Don & Dave (and Carol) at the national, but for me, no matter how I try, I can't get to know someone well at a rally with 150 other presidents around competing for your time ... like you can when someone comes to your house for a visit. After a brief stop in San Ysidro for their obligatory "2nd corner" stop and photo; the three of them rode in here about 4:00 yesterday afternoon. As they're backing into the official parking area reserved for "INTERNET BMW Riders", blocked off with sawhorses & signs, Don stumbles over to the lawn mumbling something about 'green & lush' and sprawles facedown in a heap in the front yard. Victorious eyes flashing out of his full-faced helmet ... he'd made another leg of his journey!! Dave Keuch takes his helmet off, revealing a huge smile and a contagious laugh from something Bob musta said or the comical pile of Don in helmet & *stitch* stretched out on the grass. Don pops his helmet off and it rolls down the slope to the sidewalk before Dave can catch it. I think he would have laid right there the rest of the day. That is .... if Bernecker hadn't walked out of the house.
Richard left Graling's group Saturday afternoon near Jacksonville south of I-10 with some lame excuse about, ... needing to get back ... or ... well whatever. You'll have to get that one from Richard. Then unbeknowst to Don, he sets out on a quest for the 50cc ... destination, Eagle Ridge Drive in San Diego! But that's a long story, I wouldn't do it justice, and besides Richard's already written 15 pages. =:-0 So stand by for a "50cc Report (L O N G)." HEY, he's a big guy OK!! Big GUy = BIG RePOrT ... :^)
We had a couple of extra days with Richard, and learned to enjoy his "intense" (Brian Curry's words), personality. Bernecker is a B I G name and goes well with Richard, a rather huge fellow himself, which made it hard for me to understand how Dave Keuch, another H U G E fellow only gets a one syllable last name?? Graling's OK, cause it sorta slides out in one breath ... fitting for his size and everything, but Dave's due for a name change for sure ... needs to borrow something like Derbiltenguutdenstorfen or something similar in scale. Bob Ryan's name works fine, in my book, and it was very evident early on that he's the most intelligent rider in the group. His was the red R1100RT with a Russell Day-Long Saddle :^))....
I'll finish up here, for now, for those of you still reading, Richard was kind enough to diagnose a problem on our Mercedes 300TD wagon while he was here, and left me a list of the part I need to get it fixed. Thanks guy, better that you got stranded than Esther :^). I'm outta here, off to get one 12v INTERSTATE car battery.
Until I die and go to Reed's Landing, I'll be,
Butch Hays in San Diego
17:50 CDT, August 09, 1996
"We're in San Francisco..left San Diego at 5am this morning...arrived in San Fransisco around 2pm...big party tonight..heading to northern California tomorrow afternoon."
14:33 CDT, August 10, 1996
"Leaving San Fransisco at noon, heading across the Golden Gate bridge to Mount Shasta to camp for the night...."
23:59 CDT, August 11, 1996
"We're spending the night in Roseburg OR, 150 miles above the CAL state line..Will be going WA for our third corner tomorrow, spending the night in Linden WA at the KOA campground."
17:08 CDT, August 11, 1996
"50 miles south of Blaine WA, camping at KOA in Linden, WA."
19:57 CDT, August 11, 1996
"We finished our third corner in Blaine, WA...spending the night in Linden, WA, Delf just arrived and he will be riding through Canada with us..."
12:30 CDT, August 12, 1996
"Crossed into Canada, currently 100 miles across the border heading to Calgary for tonight. Weather & scenery are BEAUTLIFUL."
Subject: Them Beemer types do it again. (short version)
Friday's party put on for the Grailing Gangwas most impressive. Jodi Lee had us in the upstairs of Izzy's Steak House in San Franciso. James Swager and I left Sacramento and it's 109 degree heat for The City and it coolness, both in temperture and personality.
Jodi had part of the street blocked off with signs from the S.F.P.D. reading IBMWR parting only. One of these signs was passed around and signed as Don's 40th birthday card. Dinner was excellent as was the Anchor Steam (on tap). People from all over (about 25 of us I believe) in one of the more enjoyable parties I had been in a while. A couple of hours of swaping lies and telling stories with like minds and different accents.
BTW: Jodi showed us how to get into and out of a 'stich while wearing a skirt (quite a few Idiots standing around the streets of San Franciso watching a girl get dressed.. I wonder if that's unusual for SF, prolly not).
Tom Childer's party was just north of the bay so I came in from Sacramento again, this time with my bride and my brother. Power was out so we went around the top of the bay instead of through The City and over the Golden Gate. Arrived a little late to a garage and driveway full of bikes and a house and yard full of guests. I understand the ride that Roozbeh led that morning went along some of the nicest scenery and best roads of Northern Ca. Clemmens commented that he had to keep reminding himself to look back at the road instead of just watching the hawks and trees. The BBQ was in constant use and food was plenty. We mixed and had another time that couldn't be beat.
Got to listen to Tom's project bike "Mondo" and could envision that 1000 cc scraping the S type valve covers all along the north coast. Tom's homebrew was the first keg to empty with good reason.
Bottom line... if you see one of these get togethers on the list, be there, you won't be sorry!
00:32 CDT, August 13, 1996
"We're at Calgaray, camping at KOA next to Olympic villaige...going to try to hit Winnepeg tomorrow."
12:20 CDT, August 13, 1996
"Tonight we'll be spending the night in Winnepeg at the Holiday Inn near the airport. Thursday night we'll be spending the night at Blue Sea Lake in Messines Quebec located on Route 105 south of intersection 117. We will leave a message on the outside of the main post office in Messenes with exact directions."
20:57 CDT, August 13, 1996
"We are an hour west of Winnepeg...we expect to be in the Holiday Inn by 9:30pm."
17:20 CDT, August 14, 1996
"We are 40 km west of Thunder Bay Ontario, we expext to be in Geraldton in 2 hours. We will try to call Gary Harris and Cy Young tonight to confirm directions for tomorrow."
21:55 CDT, August 14, 1996
"Arrived in Geraldtown Ontario, the last 200 km in pouring rain. We are heading
to Messines, Quebec tomorrow."
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