“DALLAS DOES HOLLISTER”


June 28th: Six adventurous Texans left their homes around 4:00AM to meet for the ride to the Western Rally in Hollister, CA. When Bo Culp, Gary Lovell, Hoyt Hubbell, Jerry Rushing, Jim “Bebo” Pharr and Reid Russell met in Decatur, it was a cool 78 degrees. They soon ran into the hot, west Texas winds as they rode through Amarillo. After fighting high winds all day they finally stopped in Gallup New Mexico around 8:00PM to KOA camp for the night. (803 miles)

June 29th: Another hot day as they rode ‘em like the stole ‘em through New Mexico and Arizona. When they stopped for gas in the Mojave it was 115 degrees, and they were glad to see even a bad motel, when they stopped for the night in Bakersfield, CA. (907 miles)

June 30th: Finally a moderate and cool day as they arrived in Tres Pinos early afternoon. After setting-up their tents at Bolado Park, they decided to ride into Hollister for a cold one at Johnny’s Bar & Grill, the Official Headquarters of the Unofficial 2006 Hollister Independence Day Rally. Lots of bikes and lots of cops looking at bikes. Then it was back to the camp site to burn some steaks and talk.

Gary called Dick Guery, retired L.A. County Fireman, and told him “I rode all the way from Texas and I’d sure like to see you”. Dick said” Well I’ll be right up” He arrived at Bolado Park about 3:00AM. Dick, being the gentleman he is, thankfully did not wake us to talk. We did that over Ken and Sharon’s coffee at the next sunrise. (104 miles)

July 1st: Everyone arrived at the Corbin Seat Factory and got their pins and patches for the WFMC Western Rally. International President John Robbins welcomed all the members and thanked Santa Cruz “Mighty 88” for hosting the Rally. Then Chapter 88 President Ron Simoni set-up the ride to California Department of Forestry Air Tanker Base. After a guided tour of the Base everyone rode over to the Cutting Horse Restaurant (of course owned by a retired Fireman) across from the mission at San Juan Bautista. It was good stories, good food and a good ride. Western Rally awards included Bo Culp winning the Long Distance and Best Bike award. (285 Miles)

July 2nd: The Texas group split up with three riders going on and three heading back to Texas. Jim had a death in the family so Jerry and Reid decided to keep him company back to Texas. Wishing them good speed and safe riding, Gary, Bo and Hoyt set out with Ken Gilbert and Ed Lake for a little ride. It was a need-a-jacket kind of day as they cruised Monterrey Bay and Santa Cruz Pier. Next was the tour of Big Basin Redwood Forest. Spectacular big, big, huge trees. Then there was a very cool ride over the Golden Gate Bridge and a great visit at SFFD Station 35, housing an Engine and two Fire Boats. After Ken and Ed delivered us from the “City” to the open road it was time to part company. Ken and Ed turned west heading home and Gary, Bo, and Hoyt turned east heading home….kinda. The Texans stopped for the night in Tracy CA. (339 miles)

July 3rd: Met JR and Carol Robbins, Mike and Mary Walker from the Central Sierra Chapter for a guided tour through Yosemite National Park. The mountains are majestic and the scenery amazing. The group stopped to pay respects at a place where two Wild Land Firefighters lost their lives to a firestorm. Mary’s bike broke down and lots of tinkering and extensive advice, JR decided to let her ride with him for now and come back for the bike tomorrow. Gary, Bo and Hoyt headed east through Tioga pass, where there still was some snow on the ground, and stopped for the night in Tonopah NV. (465 miles)

July 4th: Down the ET Highway. Gary had to park in the middle of the road for a picture while donning rain gear. (The ET Highway was clear from horizon to horizon) The guys rode to a deserted stop at Warm Springs, NV. through Area 51, finally finding a gas station in Rachael. Then it was on to Zion National Park in southern Utah, past the red rock canyons of the Colorado Plateau and curved tunnels over a mile long. Final stop on this Independence Day was North Rim, Grand Canyon, AZ. Grand Canyon Lodge was the perfect stop, overlooking a vast and beautiful national treasure. (480 miles)

July 5th: As they left the North Rim, the Texans rove through 14 miles of smoldering ash from the recent forest fires and met some Fire Apparatus along the way. It was a sobering site. They rode on, through heavy rain, to Albuquerque NM for the night. (685  miles)

July 6th: Riding home from Albuquerque, the guys ran into more black skies, lighting, and heavy rain…for about 200 miles. The whole trip had run the gamut of weather, hot, dry, high cross winds, cold, snow rain, then back to hot and dry again. From 115 degrees deserts to cool California nights, snowy mountains, spectacular waterfalls to dry rock canyons it was another great ride.         ML



Many thanks to the Santa Cruz and Central Sierra Chapters and all the Western Rally Riders. A trip well worth taking, still it was good to see the that old cattle guard at the end of my driveway. . Back at home, my odometer read 4068 miles.             GL