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Old 02-22-2012, 07:06 AM   #91
superdutyGS OP
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wildwood. I think if I was going to skip any part of the trip it would be the bus ride into Denali. I think it is beautiful, but you are right. Having to ride the bus sucked. The mountain is 90 some miles back in there. you can drive the first 17 then you have to turn back. There is a lot of wildlife though and the trip back to half way or so was not to expensive. I think about 40 bucks each. I am glad we did it though since I don't know when I will get up there again. My wish is to retire to Alaska so you never know. Would be spectacular ride if they'd let us take our bikes back in there.
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Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:25 AM   #92
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11th day

Wayne and I both observed over breakfast this morning that it sure didn't seem possible that we had been gone 11 days now and were pretty much half way done with the trip. I envy and admire those guys that take a one year ride. Maybe someday when my boys are on their own, good Lord willing if my health stays good, I can do something like that. We would head south today where we have a reservation at the Millenium Hotel in Anchorage. Ironic coincidence really worked out well for us. Wayne's daughter Kim is and Architect in Chicago.....married to another architect. Her father in law is named Art. Art is a hotel manager that has managed some of the premier hotels in the world. Europe, Asia..and of course many in the US including Las Vegas. He is semi retired now but still does some consulting for hotels that are looking to grow. The millenium has contracted Art for the summer to make recommendations for an upgrade and renovation. So he was running the place and got us a good rate for a room that night and even offered to buy our dinner. Great guy. I had never met Art but by the time we left I felt like we were old friends. Art lives in the Chesapeake area and loves to fish, so we had a lot to talk about.
Remember my buddy Scott that started the trip with us? Well his sister Kim has lived in the Anchorage area for 25 years and his brother Sean had moved up here a year or so ago. They agreed to join us for dinner at the Millenium.
Was great to see Sean again as I knew him from Monroe before he moved. Met Kim for the first time. We had a wonderful meal and a couple Alaska ambers. Man is that a great beer. Wayne had ordered a new rear tire on line before we left and since shipping was free anywhere he had it shipped to Kim so he would not have to pack it. She
brought that with her and we put it in the storage room at the hotel for when we would be back in about 3 days.
Wayne did an oil change on the Yamaha and I caught up on laundry, not that there was a lot to do.
We had a couple drinks after dinner, made our calls home and got to bed reasonably early for a change. No pictures for some reason from today. Nicest place we stayed the whole trip. I should have got a picture of the room you know. Nice. Tomorrow we head down the Seward highway. Can't wait. (Bart Scott of the Jets).....CANT WAIT!!!
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Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"

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Old 02-22-2012, 07:28 AM   #93
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Superduty, nice report. I have tried to do that trip for years now...everyone always backs out. Last year was going to be the year for me, but something came up. This year the wife and I are going for sure! Our plan is to do the "dalton" and the "dempster"....weather and time permitting. We only have three weeks. Thanks for the info and pictures, it all helps to fuel the fire.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:10 AM   #94
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Day 12....Seward and Exit Glacier.

There is a show on now called Alaska State Troopers. I watch anything I can about Alaska. I love Alaska and think it is heaven on earth. Even on that show, where these troopers are dealering with drug addicts and domestic violence morons....the lanscape is beautiful. The Seward Highway is often called the prettiest drive in Alaska on this show, but due to the beauty drivers often get distracted. I believe it.. I sure can't think of anything prettier. All of Alaska is stunning, but this is off the charts. We made our way south twards Seward where we had a room for the night. On the way over course is Exit Glacier. There are Hundreds of Glaciers in Alaska, but you can actually hike up to this one. It is a really pretty drive back to the visitor center as well. Several places there was shallow wwater over the road which I liked. Stopping for pictures we met a young Navy couple with 4 or 5 kids. Nice looking family. She was very pretty, and he was a really nice young man. They said they had been trying to get stationed in Alaska for 4 years and finally got it. he had been Halibut fishing and they were both on leave. Beautiful kids, was just a nice experince meeting them.
So on the way down to Seward we saw just beautiful spots one after another.
Look at how this Glacier winds down the mountain side. One of my favorite pics of the trip.

Another pretty one eh........

Here is Exit Glacier.....Not that pretty compared to the others....

I think the hike up to it was about 3/4 of a mile. but you could get right too it. It is much smaller now than even 5 years ago they say.

I enjoyed getting a little exercise.
In Seward we checked in to our Hotel and walked over to the business district. We bought a couple souvenir T shirts that said....."A great Highway is a terrible thing to waste in a car"
How true. This is where they have what it called the "Small Boat Harbor" Not sure what the threshold is but I think we were told under 200 feet long is a small boat. Uhhmm Okay. That sounds big to a Missourian.
We had lunch at a nice bar overlooking the Harbor. I love Halibut. Could eat it every day.
We then took some pictures of the boats, and made a dinner cruise reservation. We would take a charter boat out of the Harbor to Fox Island for a prime rib buffet. 77.00 for everything. We wanted to get on the water one time while we were up here so this worked out well for us. Would also give us a chance to view Seward from the water.
I fell in love with Seward and decided pretty much this would be where I wanted to live if I ever get a chance to move up here. Here are a couple pictures from the harbor.


The crew on this boat was cleaning the hardware, handles and trim and such with tooth brushes. Spotless.

Then something awesome happened. Wayne spotted a Coast Guard Cutter. Wayne's son Scott is a graduate of the coast guard academy in Connecticut. Now an animator for Disney or a subsidiary of Disney. Very talented and bright young man that obviously took after his mother.
We went over to get a couple pictures of the cutter....and there were a couple guys boarding and leaving the ship. I got to visiting with a young man there, and turned out he was the XO of the ship in street clothes. I told him about Wayne's son being a grad of the academy and he invited us on the MUSTANG for a tour. I couldn't believe our luck.
My oldest brother is retired Navy and I loved the idea of a tour and so did Wayne.
The XO is Ned Burgwyn of the CGC Mustang. This young man is 25 years old, a graduate of Virginia Tech and
originally from the Atlanta area. I was immeasurably impressed with him. The coast guard has the highest percentage of enlistees and officers that choose to make a career of it. I can see why. Ned gave us a tour of the ship. twin 3500 horsepower diesel engines power this 115 foot vessel. On the deck is a 30mm gun that is all business. Here is one of the engines......

Here is the XO Ltj.G Ned Burgwyn

Very bright young man with a limitless future in my opinion.
a view the bow......the gun is covered

A view from up top the Mustang........

Neat huh. Thanks Ned, you positively made our day. This was one of the highlights of the trip no doubt.
The dinner cruise was pleasant. Nice meal and I am sure I ate too much. why does a person feel obligated to overeat and try to get their money's worth at a buffet? Great meal. The captain sought us out after dinner and said, "You are obviously up here on bikes....what do you ride?" He was from the Va Beach area in the off season and had a harley road king. Nice visit and he was impressed by a couple guys riding up form Missouri. I enjoyed meeting him.
Our dinner ride................

Some pics from the cruise out to Fox island.

and another........I get uglier every day

pretty country

pretty country isnt it


more from the harbor ....creates a whole different perspecitve.

To our delight we got to see a whale..........."no I don't mean me after the buffet either"

Coming back in...a view of the mouth of the harbor, check out the rock formation opening on the left.....cool

That's all my pictures from Seward. After dinner we walked back to the room and got some sleep.
Well.........Wayne slept. I still have not picked up ear plugs......
as Forrest Gump would say.........."I am not a smart man". Good night.....tomorrow we head over to Homer.
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When I'm dead, I sure don't want people thinking I never really lived. Hell with that.

Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"

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Old 02-22-2012, 08:12 AM   #95
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Irondog, thanks for reading it.......hope you get to chase it down this year. It will be the best vacation ever I truly believe. I am trying to figure out when I can go back already.
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When I'm dead, I sure don't want people thinking I never really lived. Hell with that.

Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:11 AM   #96
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Day 13 : to homer go we

After breakfast at a very good diner, we headed north on the Seward highway. the scenery is remarkable, so much so we rode right past our turnout to take us west toward Homer. I figured it out about 15-20 miles beyond. Normally that would really drive me nuts, but not today. This stretch is so pretty i was glad we did it again. Back to our cut off towards Homer. We would ride through Cooper landing through Soldotna and took a little ride north to see Kenai itself. Got some neat pictures at a bluff overlooking the port entering the Kenai harbor. kenai itself is honestly
worth skipping. No offense to anyone there.
On the road over there....

the bluff in Kenai.......

harbor again. The tide here is the biggest in North America. I think they told me 12 foot change. is that
right?

more from the harbor entrance at kenai. Love these big ships

I don't remember where this was exactly....but beautiful eh.

we continued on to Homer. Got to be really careful on this stretch. There is a lot of moose traffic here and they cause many accidents. We saw them in the middle of the afternoon even. Better be on your toes.
We got to homer and checked in. We had made reservations a day before. Was probably the most expensive place we stayed too. We checked with the Driftwood and the Heritage and went with the Heritage which was cheaper.
Wish we had stayed at the Driftwood. we went to check in there by accident....forgot which one we booked. It was much nicer and the sisters that ran it were very friendly and welcoming. We figured out we were supposed to be at the heritage. Not friendly at all. I don't recommend it. They acted like they were doing us a giant favor taking our money. maybe just a bad day for the person checking us in.
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When I'm dead, I sure don't want people thinking I never really lived. Hell with that.

Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"

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Old 02-22-2012, 09:51 AM   #97
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Thumb Amazing!

This is great! I'm planning my trip there for this June and this is all really great help! Looks like you had a really enjoyable time. I also appreciate the feedback on the places you stayed. Helps in the decision making process.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:00 PM   #98
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homer continued

Of course after checking in we had to ride the Homer spit. I had planned to camp here originally but am glad I did not. Wasn't near as nice of campground as I had hoped. We stopped at the salty dog, which is a prerequisit of visiting the spit I am sure. They have dollar bills tacked on the walls and ceiling and the story is every so often they take them all down an give to a charity. I dont know really. There were bills 8 years old up there.

the service was pretty bad. They were kind of busy I suppose but it was hard to get waited on at the bar.
We sat at a table with a couple from Texas that came every year fishing for a week. there was this blow hard at the bar hitting on these three girls. he was from new York and was a real bag of wind. He was bragging about some crap and i started laughing out loud. he didn't like it much but nothing came of it. He was wasted and I think he realized that he was getting under about everybody's skin. Takes all kinds. We had a walk along the shoreline and watched some people fishing and saw a couple fish caught. I think it would be awesome to fish a few days up here for Halibut and stream fish for some Salmon. I love fishing and go to Ontario every June for a week. But the fishing in Alaska would probably ruin a guy.

Facing north on the spit....here is Wayne

We had dinner at a bar across from the Driftwood inn where we had tried to check in accidentally. Same family owned it and they had a singer named Hobo Jack who is the official folk singer of Alaska. he was entertaining and
the food was outstanding. The sisters that own both places father also offers a fishing charter business. I think if I ever go back I would stay there, and go fishing a couple days. Nice people and a very pretty place.
We walked the 4-5 blocks back to our hotel and hit they rack for the night. we will return to Anchorage tomorrow
where we will stay at the Millenium again and treat Art to dinner. New tires going on both bikes at Alaska
Leather from Barb tomorrow if all goes as planned. Beautiful day and the drive down the west side of the Kenai Penn. to Homer is world class. there are lots of isolated mountains rather than a cluster or range of mountains. These individual snow capped mountains are unique to anything else we have seen, I have no idea wh I have no pictures of them. duh. Day 13 is DONE>
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When I'm dead, I sure don't want people thinking I never really lived. Hell with that.

Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:31 PM   #99
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Day 14

Had a delicious breakfast at the diner right next to our hotel. Had to wait for them to open at 7am. We have plans to get back to Anchorage and check into the Millenium. Art heard me talking about Wayne's smoring and being a member of their family it is something he heard of before. he offered us each single rooms at a great price for such a nice Hotel. I agreed and we have seperate rooms waiting. After breakfast we call alaska Leather to make sure
they were expecting us. Glich on my rear tire. I had ordered it before I left Missouri. Then called again about 4 days ago. They had forgotten to order it but had the notes on my call. It happens. The tire was not in. They didn't know where it was. I had ordered another bridgstone and they had none but told me not to worry they would make it right with me and have a tire there that would work. So we took our time getting to Anchorage and stopped a couple times and watched some salmon fisherman in the creeks we would cross. North on the Seward Highway again. Beautiful road, I just love it. Got to Anchorage about lunch time and stopped at a Subway. There was a local guy
in on his Harley Bagger and he offered to show us where Alaska Leather is. Turns out it was right up the street from the hotel. Easy as pie. So we checked in and visited with Art. he made reservations for dinner downtown at a well reviewed restaruant that was the new talk of the town. After unpacking off to Alaska Leather we went. They mount the tires on the rims but you have to take the wheel of and remount it yourself. They will loan you blocking or whatever you need. I loved this store and everyone was extremely helpful. If you arent' pleased doing business with Barb, you have something wrong with you. She apologized for the mess up on my tire order, called herself a bad name and sold me an Anakee for cost. heck of a deal int it!!!! here is my fat girl getting new shoes.......aint she sexy.

And Wayne readying the road star. I helped him a little as his does not have a center stand. We got her though!!!

One more of the star of the show..............

Barb told me had a 95 GS as well that was stolen. She has ridden the TAT, europe....well lots of great places. her riding resume' makes mine look pretty weak. I was just starting to like her too.....what a shame.

Back to the hotel and we took Art out for supper. Don't recall the name of the place but it was nice. I had a cod, Shrimp and Reindeer sausage combo paltter and Wayne did the same. I am hooked on this kind of food. Crab legs for Art. I liked mine better really. It was a nice night, but a sort of a melancholy feeling for Wayne and I. Tomorrow morning we would leave Anchorage, and start south on the Alcan Highway. We planned three consecutive long days thinking we would maybe be able to reach the lower 48 with a little good fortune by the end of the 3rd day. We need to average better than 800 miles per day. Still hoping to visit Yellowstone and Bear tooth pass and get home by the 23rd night. We will see. I slept tonight like a king. No snoring. At first I tried to figure out what that sound is in my room. Oh,........ silence......now I remember what that is!!! Day 14 complete....
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When I'm dead, I sure don't want people thinking I never really lived. Hell with that.

Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:46 PM   #100
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Nice work matey!!! Can't wait to get up there!!!
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:09 PM   #101
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SUPERDUTYGS good report, I don't live far away so I might drop in on you and
exchange Alaska storys. My son and I rode up to Deadhorse this last August .
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:44 PM   #102
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gostrider and highriver, thanks for reading along on the report. I appreciate it and am flattered you took the time.
eemsreno: hope you will stop by. I'd love to hear your story and I will invite Wayne over as he would love it too.
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When I'm dead, I sure don't want people thinking I never really lived. Hell with that.

Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:13 AM   #103
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Really enjoying your report and pictures. You sense of humor in your writing cracks me up.

Thanks for taking the time to share your trip.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:44 PM   #104
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Superduty,

Great ride report. I am enjoying it a great deal. I had similar picture questions after my first long ride in 2010. Some days I didn't take pictures of some of the best senery, but I think I just forgot to take the time and I didn't realize until I got back and started looking at the pics again and comparing to my memories, how much I would wish that I had made the efforts to take the pics. Anyway, I've been practicing for that next long ride and I'll just have to keep taking long rides until I get it right.

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Old 02-24-2012, 06:40 AM   #105
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Leaving Anchorage.

Earlier risers today. We have a long day ahead of us as we start our return trip to the lower 48. I have sent my milepost and map to those guys in Ohio so I do not have a road map of Alasak available as I write this.. However I do know we
took the TOK cutoff north of Anchorage. Wish I could remember the actual highway name. This was again remarkable scenery. In Alaska it always is. This stretch seemed to run consistently at a higher elevation.
We were literally looking parallel to the rain clouds. This was probably the hardest rain we had of the trip. It rained on us more days than not, but it meant business today. Seemed like we were behind slow traffic more than usual also. The views were terrific, and again different than anything so far becasue of the elevation. We would ride
into the Yukon and I think we stayed at the Kluane River this night.. This little vietnamese family ran the place.
Here is a pic from that Tok cutoff stretch.

And another where we are above the fog and clouds. I love when that happens.

We travelled about 800 miles today despite the rain and slow traffic.

Anyway the place had a restaraunt that was still open. So we had the fish and chips special. I have a bad place in my
neck that pinches a nerve and I had been fighting it for a couple days. Ice works well with an ibuprofen. When it gets to being real bad it makes the muscle on top of my collar bone knot up and will not realease. I asked the guy for a ziplock bag of ice. He was very reluctant to give it too me, though I offered to pay for it. Maybe they were out of ice.....or close. This had happened at Beaver creek too. No ice at the store. Wierd. It's Canada, you'd think there would be a lot of ice. We got up to our room and got settled in and I could here these young kids running all over and making a heck of a ruckus. I told Wayne, "No way in hell am I going to have that, I have got to get some rest and get the shoulder and neck to calm down. So I went looking for them and the parents. Couldn't find them. There was a room straight across the hall with the door open and TV on but nobody in there. Went downstairs...everywhere... I gave up. Couldn't find them downstairs either. So I get back in the room and I say to Wayne. This is not good, I really need to get some rest. You are going to love this................. Wayne says................

"I have some really good ear plugs in my travel bag if you want some"

I am pretty sure I was speechless for the first time in years. I asked, "how long you had these ear plugs with you"
Wayne" The whole trip, ....I just forgot, was getting someithing out and saw them tonight."

Oh.

"Yes Wayne, since I have had mostly sleepness nights for two weeks, I would be delighted to try some ear plugs, if you are just 100 percent sure you don't mind."

grrrrrrrrrrrr. No it was actually funny and we both had a good laugh about it. These were the play dough type ear plugs and they were awesome. I could not believe how well they worked. Slept great and neck was much improved in the morning. This was a long day, about 800 miles and we planned on another one just like it tomorrow. We are stoked about tomorrow though as we are changing our route on the return trip to include the Cassiar highway. Will be hard to match the ride from today for beauty, but we have been saying that every night for weeks. I truly love Alaska and can't believe the good fortune we have had and great people we have met and visited with the past couple weeks. You ever notice how many more people you meet on a motorcycle. Folks who would never initiate a conversation with me in my Ford truck will come over and visit with you. They always tell you what they ride at home if they have one. I like that myself. Or they tell you about a long bike trip they took once, I like to hear that as well.

They are genuinely interested in the
journey. and other riders, regardless of brand will ask about the trip. I love long bike trips.

I forgot to tell about something that happened early in the trip. The 4 of us were still together and it was the day before we got to glacier. We had filled up and were getting our water bottles full at a C-store. Scott tells me, "that guy in the passenger seat of that station wagon would like to talk to you a minute." So I went over and the car was parked right next to my GS. The man in the passenger seat was obviously very ill. Maybe in his late 60s. There was a wheel chair folded up in the back seat. He looked to be fairly tall, but just skin an bones. He had shorts on and his legs were toothpicks. He obviously was quite ill. I introduced myself and said my buddy tells me you were interested in my bike. He told me he had ridden an older airhead when he served in the military and was stationed in Germany. We had a great visit and he said how much he would love to ride a BMW again. I said well.......hop on and take a short ride friend. I knew he wouldn't....and couldn't. He laughed and said, "I don't think I could hold that big bike up, but nice of you to humor me". He was fascinated that my intention was to ride to the arctic circle. I hope he recovered, but it didn't look to favorable. I tell you what, when you meet someone with those kind of challenges
and you are healthy and chasing your dreams it put things in perspective. I was grateful I got to meet him and have a cheerful conversation with him. I took a minute to count my own blessings that I take for granted every day. Not just my health and family, but the opportunity to work for a company like American Family that allows me the security and stability to take 3 weeks off. Not everybody can do that. I am blessed to be able to do this.
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When I'm dead, I sure don't want people thinking I never really lived. Hell with that.

Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"

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