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Old 10-26-2010, 08:36 PM   #1
tommo2 OP
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Mick Hill Memorial Ride Oct 2010

The ride started at the motobarn in Shelby, MI on Oct. 22, 2010. Mike Hill died on Oct. 18, 2010 as a result of an accident which occurred in August. I hadn't seen him in about 35 years after we'd become quite good friends in the early 1970s around the enjoyment of motorcycling.

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Old 10-26-2010, 08:49 PM   #2
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so it begins

As I said, I took off on Friday Oct. 22, 2010 headed for Mike's funeral in Jacksonville, FL. The trip was 1300 miles and I wanted to be there by Saturday night. This was going to be a boogey down through Michigan into Indiana and across to I-75 in Ohio. After Cincinnati I hook east at Knoxville, TN for Asheville, NC. The weather was absolutely perfect. The full moon is up over the SE, the direction of my destination and Mike's final resting place.
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:09 PM   #3
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through the canyon

I'm headed down the TN I-40 route mountain night, moonlit, on Fri. Oct 22, 2010. I'd been riding since just before noon from west Michigan. The road wound tightly and the r1100rt wandered a bit in it's line around the curves. With a dry road though I broke through to Hendersonville, NC and laid down in the woods on my thermorest in a sleeping bag for a few hrs. sleep at about 1 a.m.

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Old 10-26-2010, 09:28 PM   #4
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meeting McGitt and Ed Walsh

I met my old wrestling team colleagues in Jacksonville and they were good enough to put me up at their hotel for the weekend. We proceeded over to the Hills for a get together which for me was a reunion of sorts as I'd not seen any of Mick's family in 35 years! It was good and we watched the slide show one of Mike's nieces put together as a pictorial tribute to her uncle. A truly remarkable man, an engineer, a father, and a citizen of these great states. Mike Hill will be truly missed by his friends and family. Pic below is of Ed Walsh in foreground, McGitt in back. They were at a concert in the Poconos in early 70s.



This one of me wrestling for RBC in 69 or 70.

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Old 11-01-2010, 06:04 PM   #5
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the history

40 years ago Mike Hill went to Europe and bought a motorcycle. When he came back somehow we'd been in touch by letter and I came to visit him from my home in Michigan. We road the back roads of central New Jersey such as they were then. I'd brought my bike on the back bumper of my cage, a 1963 Belair Chevy.

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Old 11-01-2010, 07:24 PM   #6
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after the funeral

I went out on my bike and camped in the area of Wakulla Springs just south of Tallahassee. Did some swimming and diving and just took a break by myself for a while. When I dove I was especially conscious of what Ed Walsh had just told me about protecting my head and neck by not over-rotating the dive so I'd land straight. That first dive was a real rush. The platform is sixteen feet off the water. As I struck it twisted my body violently so I felt my back lurch and spasm slightly. After getting up on the platform I was sure I wouldn't do it again from that height but after a while I went off again and again. It felt like my old tired skin was being ripped off in shreds. In the pic below you'll see one is from the platform pointing down at the spring bottom. I dove out under the buoy line and down to the edge of the spring hole. The edge was out there a bit and down at about 30 feet of depth. I glimpsed the bottom of the cave about a hundred feet below. Four foot long gar just floated there in the strong current, motionless but for the occasional flick of tail to hold position. There mastodon bones lie entangled on the bottom, witnessing still an older age of glaciers that covered the whole northern half of a continent. Wakulla Springs flows at a rate of 300 million gallons a day. Weather reports I got from the internet on my phone told me that weather north of me was bad so I killed a couple days in Florida panhandle near the Gulf. I kayaked the St. Mark's River and wandered toward Mobile, AL for a while. Lovely region, especially the waters. Springs are sources of life and healing which is ancient.







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Old 11-01-2010, 07:29 PM   #7
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Kayaking the St. Marks





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Old 11-01-2010, 07:35 PM   #8
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Me, Brian Hill, Terry Hill, and Mike Hill early 1970s

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Old 11-01-2010, 07:42 PM   #9
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Mike's Triumph in the foreground, his brother's and dad's bikes behind

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Old 11-01-2010, 07:51 PM   #10
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St. Marks

Mike's plan for retirement was to ride the winds of the Caribe. A strong flow surged north this October day.

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Old 11-01-2010, 07:53 PM   #11
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back at the barn, Shelby, MI on Sunday



3,000 miles over 8 days.
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:01 PM   #12
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Mike



November 1952 -- October 18, 2010
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:02 AM   #13
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Glad you got to make the trip.

Great sending off for a great friend. Enjoyed the pics and read.

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Old 11-06-2010, 02:47 PM   #14
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Mick Hill

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Old 11-06-2010, 03:41 PM   #15
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A great tribute to your friend. I really enjoyed the old pics. RIP Mick.
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