Many thanks to our friend Wayne, and fellow LABiker, for driving out our sidecar rig from California, and picking us up at the airport in Connecticut. We took the red eye on Sun July 3rd, and landed in CT at 5:30am. We were lucky to have breakfast followed by a 3 hour nap at Waynes’ house. Then we drove up to Springfield Massachusetts to check in for the Sister’s Centennial Ride.
We had a riders meeting and got to meet all the riders who would be going all the way to California. Some had some amazing stories to tell, and one gal had heard about it the day before and signed up! We will have many members of the Van Buren family on the ride with us, and it was emotional to hear them talk about their famous relatives. The night continued with a dinner banquet, videos, more stories, press pictures, and more. And of course we can’t forget that it is 4th of July, and we had a spectacular view of the fireworks in Springfield.
Tuesday morning, I awoke to see that it was raining outside, and had not covered the bike or put the windows on the sidecar. So I frantically went down to try to prevent more water getting on the leather seats, sidebags, and inside the sidecar. I did such a good job that it stopped raining. Note to self: we are not in California anymore, and other states do have rain. I will need to check the forecast more diligently.
Today’s events included a visit to the Springfield museums and Andover Air Force Base. We had a great time meeting more of the Van Buren family, and having the Mayor of Springfield give a proclamation. See more about the morning here on Masslive.com.
The kids and I had a fantastic time wandering through all the exhibits and museums. The kids had two favorite areas; the Milton Bradley game exhibit, and “the Scoop on Poop” exhibit in the Science Museum. Who knew poop could be so exciting? I, of course, loved looking at all the Indian Motorcycles, but I also loved all the Dr. Seuss info I learned as well as seeing the Dr. Seuss sculpture garden.
After lunch we headed out to Westover AirReserve Base, I was treated to the view of Robert Pandya of Indian Motorcycles, riding the other sidecar on this journey. He is talented enough to balance his sidecar up in the air even with a passenger in it! Pretty sure my goal is to not have that happen with my sidecar.
Once we got on base, we had more amazing stories from the Van Buren family as well as the female base Commander Karen Magnus. It is truly fascinating to hear how things have changed over the years and how inspiring so many of these women really are. I am surrounded by awesomeness today that is a fact! The them for today is how we really should keep our history alive, and keep telling stories, and just do something. Anything. 100 yrs ago women could not vote, they could not serve in the Military, and we could not wear pants without getting arrested! If you get a chance, read the story about the Van Buren sisters, that actually happened to them multiple times on their trip. So it is important for us to remember the past as we look forward. And before I forget, getting a tour of the C5 airplane was such a treat. Man those planes are huge.
Oh yeah…did I mention that I had to get new trailer tires today? So my trailer tires wore out much sooner than expected. they were both mostly bald and one had the cords starting to show, Yikes! I had to make a side trip to a tire store to get new ones. Let’s hope these get me all the way to California without any drama.
Wednesday, we head out for our first day of real travel, Pennsylvania here we come.