Updated: Jul 21, 2020
My friend, Saint James, called me to “meet in the middle” to see the Women’s Freedom Ride tour come through. This ride starts in South Carolina, travels the USA, then back to South Carolina every year to support US veterans organizations. The 2 organizations this year are 22KILL and Infinite Warrior Foundation.
So, I left home on Monday evening on my 2015 Yamaha R3 and headed 2 hours away to Decatur, TX. At the hotel, we met some of the riders and had supper. We were going to stay the night there and go home the next day. Their route went right past my house, so I was going to ride with the group only that far. However, I heard Saint James originally planned to join them all the way to Tucumcari, NM, but another friend that was supposed to go and ride back with her backed out. She was so bummed – she had even bought a helmet just for the ride and had never been to New Mexico. I decided to ride with her. It turned out to be such a great time!
We left Tuesday morning after breakfast, a briefing, and a prayer. At the first gas stop I called my husband to tell him we were about to pass near home. He rode to the highway to catch us passing. It was a great boost to see him supporting us.
As we neared Amarillo, the wind really picked up. My little 350lb sportbike was really getting beat up. You have all been there – leaning right to go straight. Well, the wind was bad enough, then here came the gusts. It was brutal! A tumbleweed blew across the highway 2 feet over my head! I was so glad when we pulled into Tripp’s Harley Davidson in Amarillo. They had hamburgers ready for us for lunch. It was a much-needed break. They confirmed the wind was a steady 40mph with gusts at 60-70mph!
All good things must end, so we had to get back out in the wind and continue to Tucumcari, NM. About a half hour from Tucumcari, the wind finally relented. We made it to our hotel by 5pm, checked in, and got ready to eat. A restaurant in town offered a shuttle from the hotel and back, so we jumped on that. Supper was not great. I want to think that the unexpected crowd made for slow service and small portions. I’d be glad to return under different circumstances.
The best thing about supper was the company. I met these badass ladies of Femme Fatales WMC. They were hilarious and all heart. Saint James already knew them online and I'm so glad she introduced us so we could both get to know them all better. I guess it was a good thing they put all us rowdy bikers in the back room.
The next morning, we said goodbye to all the wonderful ladies who were continuing with the ride. We thought we would eat at Denny’s next door to the hotel before heading out, but due to Covid-19, they were closed for dining in. We asked a local for a recommendation and were not disappointed. We ate at the neatest Route 66 diner.
After breakfast, we were headed for the border. It’s not a border crossing if you didn’t get a state sign picture, right, so we pulled over to get our pictures.
We rolled into Amarillo and pulled over so I could point out Cadillac Ranch.
A few hours later, and a much calmer ride through Amarillo, I was home and Saint James had a couple more hours to go but made it home safely. While I didn’t plan on going, I’m sure glad I did. 830 miles on the R3 was the longest I’ve done on that bike. Both bikes and riders did great! I made it home just in time to prepare for and welcome my 2 sidecar friends to town for my next adventure.