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A Year in Review – 2020

It has been a challenging year, My heart reaches out to all of those that were impacted negatively during the past 12 months! Here’s to a better 2021!

2020 started out with so much hope. Warmer weather was right around the corner and a new chapter would be written. I love the beginning of a new year and 2020 was no exception. Thank you for supporting Jamie & I and this blog for the past 15 years. It has been a work of passion and we look forward to adding more great chapters in 2021. With that being said let’s take a quick look back at the past 12 months.

I started the year by signing up for the Big Money Rally. The funny part about this event is there is no money.. it is all about riding to designated areas, taking pictures of the landmark, with you and your trusty steed in the picture. You send in the pic and receive points. That is a quick breakdown. If you want to learn more go here. I picked up a few points in January, when the weather allowed for some riding.

Later in January Jamie and I headed off to Big D to attend the IMS (International Motorcycle Show). We love this event, not so much for the attraction, as many manufacturers have pulled out in recent years, but to catch up with old friends that we have not seen in a few months. We enjoyed the day catching up with friends and enjoying family later in the day. What we did not know is that this would be the last show for the Dallas area. It has been cancelled in 2021. You can see our pictures and report from the event here.

February arrived and I was itching to get on the bike and complete more points for the BMR. I planned a route that would take 2 days and cover almost 1000 miles. I would hit Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. The highlight of the event would be a quick stop in Shreveport to stay with friends. Becky & Jeff are awesome and opened up their home to me. We had a quick visit. On a side note we met Becky & Jeff at a Ozark Escape event. Just another reason to attend, as you can meet some great folks! You can read about the ride here.

The events start to cancel. The first of the year started off with us planning the Ozark Great Escape. The event is a just for fun event here in NW Arkansas. The location was Eureka Springs Arkansas. We had a great sign up of over 40 bikes. Unfortunately we had to cancel the event as it was scheduled in April and at that time the Virus was just starting to take hold. Everyone was ordered to stay home and be safe. We waited as long as we could before cancelling the event.

This has turned into a wonderful event. You can look back on previous events to see what you have been missing. For those of you that have come to the great state of Arkansas to kick off your riding season we thank you. Check out 2019 here! or 2018 here!

The Good news is the 2021 event is a go as of today, so take a moment to go and sign up, so that you get information concerning the event. Jamie and I look forward to seeing you all at the event! Let’s Ride!

Jamie & I dug in at camp James the best that we could. Jamie was teaching at home virtually, so this worked out for her and kept her relatively safe. As most of you know I work for a Great Big Box retailer (The Home Depot) and we were open and very busy during this time. With everyone staying home, everyone seemed to have time for their home improvement projects. The company did its best to keep all of us safe… too bad some of the customers were not on board. That is a different story and I will leave it at that.

May rolled around and since we were now allowed to get out as long as we were practicing social distancing and being safe, it was time to get on the bike. We did a couple of social distancing rides, where we had small groups and we would pack a lunch, ride to a remote area, have lunch and ride home. It was a fantastic way to get out, see friends, while being responsible and safe. These events were needed for all of our emotional well being. Check out the report from our Turner bend Sack lunch Ride.

June was our first long road trip of the year. We were planning on going to West Virginia via the STAR rally, but with the rally being cancelled and most of the areas being shutdown, we decided to do a social distancing ride to the Smokey Mountain region. We camped out and just enjoyed the area. We really had a great time on this ride. It was just the two of us and we really enjoyed an adventure with no time line or expectations. It was a wonderful and well needed trip. You can see the video series here. I really can’t explain why I did not publish a written report from this trip. I will ensure to tackle that task in the next couple of weeks. We did camp at a wonderful location. If you ever get the chance go stay at the Ironhorse Motorcycle lodge and Resort. Check out the video below.

The summer was upon us, but that did not slow down the need to ride. It was hot out, so Jamie decided not to ride the 750+ miles to Kentucky to stay for a couple of day to ride back that same 750+ miles in a single day. I however jumped at the chance. I had never attended The Red River Gorge event held in Mt Sterling KY. It was a blast and I am sure I will attend again in the near future. I started off the ride after work with Bill. He was going to the rally and then heading to NY and lands beyond. This was a great event with many plot twists, Including rain, heat, buying a new bike, a flat tire and more. You will have to read the ride report for all of the details. It was a fantastic weekend. I got to meet many new friends and look forward to crossing paths with them for many years to come.

We did a few day rides in August, but did not take on any longer journeys as the weather was hot and I was crazy busy at the store. September rolled in and Jamie and I attended the Bull Shoals Rally in Theodosia MO. This is also a MSTA event that is held here every year. This event is always fun and is right in the middle of some of the best riding in the country. Jamie and I camped, cooked out and enjoyed seeing friends from a respectable distance. This event never disappoints and the weather was fantastic. You can read about it here. If you have never attended this event, it is a can’t miss.

Jamie had to get back to school, but I had the entire week off, so what should I do? Head to Colorado of course! I left Bull Shoals and 16 hours later I was in the great state of Colorado. I met up with Yeeha Stephen and we enjoyed a Colorado camping adventure. the weather was awesome. Just a week earlier the Gunnison area had 6″ of snow. It was cold at night, but the days were made for riding a motorcycle or exploring in the jeep. We did both and had a fantastic trip. The only downside was my Versys decided to take a dirt nap and fell over in Creede Colorado. No one was hurt, just the poor Versys. It did not dampen the enjoyment of the trip. I love Colorado and thank yeeha for joining me on such short notice, Read the report here.

October rolled in and this means it was Rendezvous of the Ozarks time of year! This is a annual Overlanding event that Jamie and I have attended in the past. Rob came up from Dallas, stayed at the house and then we headed for the event. We camped out for 3 days and did some great off road trails. It is a fun event and one we will attend again in 2021. It did cost us a bunch of money this year… after the event we decided to do a few upgrades to our JK. New suspension, bumper, winch and lighting were added. We are hooked on this exploring thing! We are more than ready to tackle more tough trails. Check out the pictures and report here.

Each year the clubs from Dallas come to our neck of the woods, to do their fall colors rides. It is a great time for us to hook up with them and catch up on old and new stories. We rode over to Mountain Home Arkansas to attend the LoneStar BMW event. Yeeha was going to be there and we can never miss up a chance to see him. It was good riding, as the weather was good. This is one of the rides that always seem to close out the riding season. You can see the ride report here.

So all and all it was not a bad year for our little adventures. It was emotionally challenging as many of our friends and family were directly impacted by the events of 2020. We are looking forward to a much better 2021. Jamie and I are looking forward to more adventures, meeting more new friends and connecting with old friends. We have many events planned for the new year. Thank you for coming along on the ride that will not be soon forgotten called 2020! Have a great New Years and be safe!