Author Topic: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals  (Read 1756 times)

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Offline Gumby

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Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« on: June 22, 2017, 04:12:31 pm »
Disclaimer: This is my recollection of the events as they happened, I am sure my wife will tell a completely different story.

Like any other day I plan my trip the night before or that morning. I usually have a good idea of how far and where, but it can change in the spur of a moment. The morning we left The Lodge of Four Seasons after the 2017 National rally I wanted to get to North Central Nebraska, I was thinking Valentine, NE. I did not want to go home across I-80 because Jami and I had been blown around enough coming to the Nationals across I-70 in Kansas. As I was traveling up I-29 in Missouri my mind was wandering, I wondered to myself why Missouri feels the need to waste money and put markers every two-tenths of a mile. After Googling it I found the markers are for emergency responders, Missouri feels it is beneficial for people that call 911 to know exactly where they are so ER can locate them. Anyways I pulled a rookie move that day and didn’t check the weather where we were going because I assumed it was just going to be nice the whole way home, WRONG. I was taking U.S. Route 275 towards Norfolk, NE when we stopped in Scribner, NE to get gas. A nice little old lady pulled in and told me the tornado sirens are going off fifteen miles north of us in West Point, NE and I should find some cover. I could see the clouds where it turned dark to the north of us, but it looked like I could run west and steer clear. I looked at the map and asked her what if I jump on 91 west and try to get around it. She said that might work and I’m pretty sure she rolled her eyes as she walked back to her car.
   
When I turned onto 91 west there was an eighteen wheeler in front of me so I did what any motorcyclist would do and promptly passed him. As we were running down 91, I continuously looked north (dark as night) and glanced south (blue skies), we came up onto some construction and 50 mph speed limit signs. I slowed and glanced in my mirror and saw the eighteen wheeler was still back there and as I slowed he did not, he moved to the left lane like he was going to pass me, I thought “this guy is crazy” and sped up so I could stay in front of him. Shortly thereafter we came upon the flagger that had a line of cars stopped. NOT GOOD, I will never get around the storm. Here comes the eighteen wheeler again stops behind, sets his air brake, and jumps out walking at a fast pace towards me. The only thing I could think is, “angry trucker is going to come knock us over.” I saw a mean look on his face so I put it in gear and jumped a couple cars ahead.  The trucker turned around and went back to his truck, probably rolling his eyes and shaking his head.
   
After we got through the construction zone this billboard was out in one of the fields.



I looked north again and thought to myself “here’s your sign”, I said a prayer and throttled on. There was a fire engine blocking the next county road going north, then an ambulance blocking the next one. Another mile after that it was dark, somebody hit the light switch, and the wind and rain started. I kept going just to keep from getting blown over. The gusts were getting worse, but I could still keep the bike in my lane. I think if I leaned anymore I would have been scraping a peg on a dead straight road. I started looking for open outbuildings around the houses we passed. I saw an open hangar, but it looked like I would have to ride through a field to get to it, I continued on. The wind and rain picked up, the gusts were getting harder to keep the bike upright. Suddenly they were strong enough to blow me into the other lane and I saw good size tree limbs going across the road in front of me. I was ducked down gritting my teeth not even realizing I had somebody clinging to my back for dear life. Jami is an excellent passenger and quite the trooper, but when we started going in the other lane I heard her yelling “you need to pullover, get off this road.” Luckily I had just passed a driveway and the wind died down for a split second, long enough for me to safely get the bike turned around so I could head up the driveway. The garage was closed at their house so I put the bike as close to the house as possible in between the blown over basketball hoop and some downed limbs.



Jami immediately went to the door to see if somebody was home, I on the other hand was looking for somewhere to take cover. Jami ran back and told me nobody was home or they are hiding in the basement. There was a barn about 100 yards from the house with a tractor in a covered stall. I ran up there to see if I could get the bike in. I could have probably got the bike in the stall, but it would have been extremely difficult to get it out. We sat in the stall for a bit watching the lightning and wind blow trying to take in what we had just rode through. I was smiling for some odd reason and thought, “you have some serious problems you need to work out with yourself Tom.” I saw there was a door on the back of the garage, so I ran down to check and see if I could in. YES, I opened up the garage and rolled my trusty steed to safety.



We sat in the garage watching the storm,  branches flying everywhere, then we saw the fire engine go flying down the road and wondered if they went looking for a motorcycle in the ditch. I am kicking myself daily that I did not get the address to this house so I could find the people and call or email them a proper thank you. And I really wished I would of taken a screenshot of my phone when we were the little blue dot surrounded by red on the Weather apps radar map. I have ridden in some bad weather before, but nothing like what we experienced on June 16th, 2017 in Humphrey, NE.
   
We got back on the bike, both of our waterproof gear soaking wet, and limped our way to Norfolk, NE where we stayed for the night. I saw another one of the billboards going up 81 and said “thank you.”

As we were heading north I was thinking back to the angry trucker. I suspect the mean face I saw when he jumped out of the truck was my imagination and when he tried to pass me he was going to stop me, this gentlemen was trying to warn me about the severe weather I was heading for.

National Weather Service for Omaha Valley, NE on June 16th, 2017

A line of intense supercell thunderstorms developed over northeast Nebraska during the afternoon hours of Friday, June 16. These storms progressed toward the south and east through the evening, progressively morphing into a sweeping line of storms with embedded areas of both supercells and intense bow echoes. While the entire line produced widespread reports of wind damage and hail across a large portion of southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska, the most intense activity produced hurricane-force winds of 80-110 mph, hail larger than golf balls, and several tornadoes. Damage was reported in several counties across southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska, with significant damage to homes impacted by tornadoes and widespread, substantial tree and crop damage.

I could write about riding through the Black Hills, and travelling for eleven or twelve hours a day for the next three days, but after Nebraska that all seems kind of boring.

I will tell this story for years,
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 12:59:27 pm by Gumby »

Offline WANDRNG

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Re: My Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2017, 04:33:52 pm »
And I will look forward to hearing this story again, the live version. With the extra elements and facial expressions and harsher language.

Glad you both came out of it safe, in one piece.

Nice scary adventure story. It's interesting how you can look back fondly on an experience that wasn't so "fun" while you were experiencing it.

I like the mad trucker,  that's mad cause you won't let him save you from yourselves  ;D

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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2017, 04:57:56 pm »
Gumby, did you post your location on Spotwalla?
If yes, you have the co-ordinates.
Maybe you can use the Co-ordinates, and look up the address or see the house on MapQuest/other?

Glad you made it home safe and also sound..

Ride safe, Ted

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Offline Gumby

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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2017, 05:21:13 pm »
Gumby, did you post your location on Spotwalla?
If yes, you have the co-ordinates.
Maybe you can use the Co-ordinates, and look up the address or see the house on MapQuest/other?

Glad you made it home safe and also sound..

Ride safe, Ted

PS: Prayer helps!

Yes, I spent an hour or so finding it on Google maps and tried to zoom in on the mailbox, but I didn't see any numbers.


Jerry Layman lives about an hour from this place and I asked him if he was ever up that way to swing by and get their digits for me. I will find them somehow some way and say thank you one of these days. I just hope they don't prosecute me for trespassing. :truce: I didn't break and enter since the door was unlocked.  ;D

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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2017, 06:10:31 pm »
I'm not a computer guru like you, but I know another way to find the address..
  Look at the next door neighbors /etc address, and calculate from there...

Ride safe, Ted
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Offline Swampcat

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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2017, 06:31:11 pm »
If you can zoom in enough from Google Maps to see the outline of the building (map mode is easier), right click over the building and select "What's Here?" (third option). In many cases it will give you a street address.
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Offline Sailor_chic

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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2017, 07:48:37 pm »
Tom, that is quite a story. Glad that you and your wife found a safe place to hide. i would imagine that those folks that own the house, would have invited you in if they were home. So I wouldnt figure that they would be upset for "hiding out" there while waiting on Mother Nature. Seeing that billboard had to be reassuring :)
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Offline Pilgrim

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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2017, 10:02:40 pm »

Great story with a good ending.  The way we like it.     :great:

I did check the Spotwalla during your ride home, and it made me chuckle.   The motorcycle icon doesn't spin around and face left when you're heading west, so it looks like you're driving backwards.   ;D

 :beerchug:

Offline Bob

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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2017, 10:10:04 pm »
Gumby
That's the way we welcome people to Nebraska! That same storm sprouted two tornadoes (f-1 and f-2)  around Omaha and missed my house by about three miles. Did a lot of damage to residential neighborhoods and also hit Offut air force base.
Glad you survived.

Bob Skinner

Offline funsize

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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2017, 10:40:10 am »
That's quite an adventure.  I'm  so glad you both made it safe back home.  It was great meeting you and Jami.

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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2017, 11:50:09 am »
Crazy man, great write up, glad to hear a happy ending to this one!  :great: :beerchug:
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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2017, 09:33:24 am »
Sorry to hear about this bad weather !! Happy you guys made it through !!
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Offline Gumby

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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2017, 12:30:42 pm »
Glad that you and your wife found a safe place to hide.
Great story with a good ending.  The way we like it.     :great:
Gumby
That's the way we welcome people to Nebraska! That same storm sprouted two tornadoes (f-1 and f-2)  around Omaha and missed my house by about three miles. Did a lot of damage to residential neighborhoods and also hit Offut air force base.
Glad you survived.

Bob Skinner
I'm  so glad you both made it safe back home.  It was great meeting you and Jami.
Irene
Crazy man, great write up, glad to hear a happy ending to this one!  :great: :beerchug:
Sorry to hear about this bad weather !! Happy you guys made it through !!
Thanks all, glad we made it home to write about it. Bob, you can keep Nebraska, I'm gonna stay in the NW and y'all can come visit anytime! :beerchug:
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 03:14:58 pm by Gumby »

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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2017, 09:55:49 pm »
 Survivors!
 Happy for you to arrive home safe!
 :welcome:

Offline TimR

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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2017, 02:49:46 pm »
It seems NW Directors have unwanted adventures coming home from Far off Nationals. I'm thinking of Charlies trailer story he had going home a few years back.
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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2017, 11:24:58 pm »
What a great story! Did this make the Conc? I also questioned why they have mile markers every 2 tenths. Then....................
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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2017, 11:31:44 pm »
What a great story! Did this make the Conc? I also questioned why they have mile markers every 2 tenths. Then....................
Sadly, it didn't. I was out of room. All I could have done to get more space is changed the inner pages of Dan's story to fill the page completely instead of having the wide gutter in the middle. It only gave back a 1/2 page, not enough to run this. Going to look at running this for next issue and combine it with two other National travel stories that I know about.

It would be great to get Jami's version, too. (hint, hint)
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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2017, 12:39:20 am »
What a great story! Did this make the Conc? I also questioned why they have mile markers every 2 tenths. Then....................
Sadly, it didn't. I was out of room. All I could have done to get more space is changed the inner pages of Dan's story to fill the page completely instead of having the wide gutter in the middle. It only gave back a 1/2 page, not enough to run this. Going to look at running this for next issue and combine it with two other National travel stories that I know about.

It would be great to get Jami's version, too. (hint, hint)
To quote a famous movie "You Bet Your A$$".  :great:
"I don't always ride street bikes, but when I do, It's a Concours. A C14 '11 silver to be precise." OTP 2017 Traveler. It was a Blast Baby.

Offline Jlo

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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2017, 03:08:03 pm »
 :sign0144: and the HINT has been heard loud and clear.  :lol_hitting:

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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2017, 04:02:41 pm »
:sign0144: and the HINT has been heard loud and clear.  :lol_hitting:
:c017: :c017: :c017: :c017: :c017: times 1000!
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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2017, 10:48:05 pm »
Does this mean  we get to find out what a bonehead Gumby was to continue on into (clearly) dangerously stupid weather?  JK Gumby. BTDT. :)
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Re: Our Trip Home from the 2017 Nationals
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2017, 08:14:04 pm »
Great story!  Glad you made it.  I hope to come to the Bun Cooler next year.  Maybe we can meet up there. Thanks for sharing.

I am glad that we chose to head across the lower part of Kansas on our way back to Utah.  We were heading for Alamosa Co for the night and that seemed like a good route to me.  The weather was great, and the scenery was better than on I-70 on the way in.  Not that we saw a lot of scenery on the way in as we were blown pretty hard to the side on I-70 heading east.  Apparently not as hard as you were on your way back.  Yawza!
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