Thursday, August 6, 2020

Day Two
Rapid City, South Dakota

After a much needed night of sleep, I spent today riding in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Because of the light traffic before the official kickoff of the Sturgis Rally on Friday, I decided to forego Badlands National Park today.

The wildlife loop through Custer state park did not disappoint. I saw several deer and antelope in the many meadows and got an opportunity to catch a buffalo lounging along the roadway in the shade of the large pines. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Day one in the books

Like preparing for most vacations, I stayed up waaay too late Monday and Tuesday night getting work projects completed. The end result, I was a little later leaving than originally planned this morning. 

However, I think it was Divine intervention as I was able to completely avoid a couple of thunderstorms in northwestern Nebraska and the Black Hills of South Dakota. Had I left earlier, I would have definitely got wet.  

The day was absolutely perfect for riding as temperatures stayed in the 70s until well into the afternoon. After a couple of hours of temperatures in the 80s, the previously mentioned thunderstorms cooled things off, paving my way into Rapid City.  

In all, I covered 752 miles today. And after very little sleep the last two nights, I am definitely ready to turn in. Tomorrow is scheduled to include Custer State Park and possibly Badlands National Park. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The route

I finalized my route over the weekend. This image flags my planned stops along the route. I will again be riding through several National Parks and lots of mountain routes. In all I will pass through 11 states during the challenge ride.  
The adventure beginnings tomorrow morning August 5. My live tracker will show current position and instructions show how to review my route history as well.  From Topeka I will head directly to Rapid City, SD to spend a few days visiting friends camped near Mt. Rushmore and enjoy riding scenic roads around the area before resuming the route on Monday morning August 10.  During the weekend I will collect a some memorabilia at the 80th Sturgis motorcycle rally and also take a slight detour of 320 miles (one way) to visit my 100 year old Mother-in-Law in Billings, MT, given my route this year does not include venturing farther into the Northwest. 
On Monday, August 10 I will leave South Dakota and head through Wyoming into Colorado to overnight in the Denver area. Tuesday, 8/11 will be a full day of riding in the Colorado mountain to Montrose, CO.  Wednesday the route is through Utah, and Arizona via Four Corners, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon.  After an overnight stay in Flagstaff I will ride through Sedona, AZ to Phoenix for lunch with some Christian Motorcycle Association friends before making my way to Albuquerque Thursday night 8/13.  I will have a final day of mountain riding in New Mexico before dropping south through Texas and Oklahoma for my final night on the road in Liberal, KS . I will definitely make time to stop my final day for a wonderful lunch and homemade pie at the Carriage Crossing in Yoder, KS before making my way back home.  Thanks to all who have pledged in support of the Starfish fund!

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Starfish 2020 Social Distancing Ride: August 5-15, 2020

The theme for this year's Starfish Challenge Ride is 2020 Social Distancing- Harley Style.  The route is still being finalized but will be a target of approximately 5,000 miles through eight to 10 states.

Individuals can pledge an amount per mile or a fixed donation amount.  100 percent of pledged and donated funds will go toward the Starfish fund at The Woods. The Starfish fund is used to provide anonymous cash and other gifts to those in need within the Topeka community.

Pledge forms can be requested via the link on this blog or through the church office.  Individuals can can also donate directly to the church via check or the giving app by referencing 2020 Starfish Challenge Ride on the special offering memo.

Stay tuned for daily updates from the road starting August 5.

In the meantime, feel free to scroll through archived posts from past challenge adventure rides.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Day 14 Update

Tuesday was the final day on my journey back home to Topeka. Seeing rain in the forecast for central Kansas I opted for the route across highway 160 up to I-70 just east of the Colorado border.  The ride over Wolf Creek Pass on highway 160 did provide me one last opportunity to sit patiently for a road construction delay.
Wolf Creek Pass
I know many were praying for my safe journey and Tuesday as I rode across Kansas it seemed the rain clouds parted and I had a completely dry ride home. 

The 14 day journey took me to 10 states and 10 National Parks. In total I traversed 6,558  miles counting the planned route and the numerous day trips around Rapid City, SD along with some forced backtracking due to fires in California and routes through the various National Parks.  Thank you to all your prayers for a safe journey. I definitely felt covered as I traveled.  The only casualties of the ride were two small sparrows that zigged when they should have zagged. 

For those of you who pledged in support of the Starfish Initiative, or if you would like to support, you can reach out directly to Wanamaker Woods Church or click the link to the right for a pledge form.  Mark checks "Starfish Challenge" or Harley Challenge." All pledge payments are tax deductible and should be sent directly to Wanamaker Woods Church, 3501 SW Wanamaker, Topeka, KS  66614. 

Until the next adventure, this wraps the 2018 Challenge.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Day 13 Update

Zion at Dawn

Day 13 started out before 5:30 am to allow time to enjoy the ride through the parks. I wasn't disappointed. Zion at dawn was beautiful. I rode through Red Canyon to Bryce Canyon. It was spectacular with many stunning vistas. The cliffs and mesas east of Bryce Canyon were truly breathtaking. 

Bryce Canyon

Capital Reef

Highway 12 through a massive canyon and over the top of the vast mesa just before Boulder, Utah, was very impressive. Next up was Capital Reef where many formation looked like majestic castles. One formation resembled a massive ark. Next up was Arches, with many wonderful views. 

Red Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Arches National Park

The ride to Colorado and down highway 550 over Red Mountain through Silverton on the Million Dollar Highway to Durango is always exciting. 

I was able to avoid the random thunderstorms this afternoon in Colorado mountains. Tomorrow for my last leg home, I may see my first significant rain in Western Kansas. At least that's the weather forecast. Through the ride today, I now have logged 5,725 miles. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Day 12 Update

After a great time of fellowship at Tehachapi Church of the Nazarene, I had lunch with Rob and Lynn Brooks at a popular German Bakery restaurant and then headed out across the desert to Saint George, Utah. The 110+ degree temperature along interstate 15 wasn't too bad, as they say, it's a "dry heat."

I made good time riding against the heavier stop-and-go traffic headed south. Tomorrow will be an early start as I will ride through four more national parks to my destination in Durango, Colorado. I ended today just under my target mileage threshold at 4928 miles.

Rev. Rob and Lynn Brooks, Tehachapi CA