The Reunion Ride



After a long work week I was really looking forward to the family reunion. I was equally looking forward to the Ride (any excuse will do) to get to the family reunion. Saturday morning we woke early to hit the road. On these types of rides, where it’s for pure enjoyment, (not the commute) I do my very best to follow the two lanes. I’m not very fond of big highways or interstates as I get my fill of them during the work week. We set out on a little two lane road to connect to Highway 49 in the foothills of California. We traveled south to Jackson,

(Front left- Sheryl H on her 2014 Softail Deluxe Low CVO, Back left- Kenny H on his 2014 Ultra Limited CVO, Front right- Andy W on his 2015 Road Glide Ultra CVO, Back right- Bell 2018 Road Glide Ultra)

California to have breakfast at Mel’s diner and to meet up with two more riders. My sister and brother-in-law were already there sitting at a big booth waiting for us, as per usual. I’m going to be late to my own funeral and as our marriage agreement states it will be my husbands fault for my tardiness.

Whenever arranging meet ups I always put an “ish” on the time frame. Probably, an indicator I suck at arriving on time. For this meetup the time was 8:30-ish to arrive for breakfast, we arrived 8:40 sharp.

Luckily for me my sister knows I suck at arriving on time and she is very forgiving. After a magnificent breakfast served by a waitress who looked just like Kimberly Paisley, you know Brad Paisley’s wife. In my astonishment she didn’t know who Kimberly Paisley was but said she would Google it and seemed to be flattered.

We continued south on Highway 49 and just south of Jackson near Mokelumne River we were stopped for an incident at the river. When the highway was opened, as we passed I was saddened to see the search and rescue vehicles, but really felt like crying when I saw the recovery vehicle. It kind of stuck with me for the rest of the ride, thinking of someone losing their family member in the river. In our area we usually lose three or four teenagers at the end of the school year to one of the local rivers. That was weighing on me, some poor family lost a child. Then my husband said he thought it was the motorcycle journalist who had gone missing a couple weeks before. Then a different type of sadness hit me, a fellow community member was lost. Usually, when we lose a community member it’s due to a motorcycle accident, this appears to be an accidental drowning. https://jalopnik.com/large-scale-search-ends-for-davey-g-johnson-missing-c-1835594756

I Tried to push the thoughts of one of our community members death to the back of my mind.

We continue south on Highway 49 riding through cute historic towns like Calaveras and Jamestown. Bypassing Sonora on a little side road. We hit Highway 108 and headed west to catch Lagrange Road. Lagrange Rd takes us to our destination, Snelling, California. We hung a left at Merced Falls Road to head to Henderson Park on the outskirts of Snelling.

I moved to Snelling when I was in the third grade and lived there until I was in the eighth grade, before moving to Mariposa. Snelling is another historic town, formed during the gold rush times with rock pilings left in the wake of the gold rush. Back when I lived there the town had a population of 125. The 40 years since living there, Snelling experienced a big population boom, now the population is 210.

When we arrived at Henderson Park several of the family members were already at the reunion. I felt like a famous movie star when they swarmed our bikes to say there hello’s.

We spent the next few hours getting caught up, visiting and sharing stories. We have a very large family, unfortunately we are spread out all over the United States. This reunion was relatively small in comparison to pass reunions. Most of the elders are no longer with us, Mama and daddy, uncles and aunts are watching over us, most likely shaking their heads. Those who are still with us are either too old to travel or just too far away. We did have a couple of my favorite aunts, Aunt Dorothy and Aunt Ellen. My cousin Michael had his guitar and he and my other cousins picked and sang good ole’country songs. We also had our traditional horseshoe games going on and a whole lot of beer drinking.

My sister and brother-in-law headed out to get home to babysit their grand-baby. Andy and I went into town to see if there had been any changes, much to my surprise with the population boom there hadn’t been any.

We ended up taking the same way home as we traveled on to get to the reunion. Highway 49, the difference traffic had thinned out and it was a lot more fun. The twists and turns on the new pavement was a lot of fun, gearing down going into a turn and feeling the torque twisting up on the grip.

We stopped in Jackson again. This time at a Starbucks to cool off and to rehydrate. While we were there sitting outside enjoying the shade and a nice breeze, my niece and great niece happened to pull, to pick up a pizza from the neighboring pizza joint. What a pleasant surprise it was to see our cute little Aubrey. I had a long chat with four-year-old Princess Aubrey. Although, I didn’t quite understand all the words she was saying, I managed to catch how she thinks her oldest brother Logan gets his way all the time and how Thomas is in school now.

Andy and I continued on up Highway 49 and stopped in Placerville for a In and Out keto burger. Well, keto burgers really aren’t on the menu I just get it tomato wrap/protein style.

Back at WishRanch and entirely pooped with the bikes put away, relaxing in The Grudge Lounge in front the outdoor cooler, I reflected about the ride. The sadness I felt for the lost community member, Davey G Johnson, the journalist for Car and Driver crept back into my thoughts. Those of us who ride, love riding and we have wrapped our brains around the possibilities of losing our life during our dangerous hobby of riding. What I haven’t wrapped my brain around, A man like this, experienced in the outdoors, riding, chasing dreams and writing about them loses his life by getting too close to a raging river.

I do however, take solace in knowing the good Lord has a plan and at this time our community member, Davey G Johnson must of been needed at Heaven’s gate.

Until next time

Enjoy the Ride

Bell

BellsRidesMoto

Here are a couple pieces of work to enjoy by the late Davey G Johnson.

R.I.P Davey G Johnson 1975-2019

https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/king-dick-tools/

https://jalopnik.com/fifty-years-of-kerouacs-on-the-road-298327

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