Travels with Harley 110th Anniversary Trip Part Three

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Jim and I stayed at the Iron Horse Hotel for the Harley 110th Anniversary and had a blast. The owner had set up a package that included planned rides, but we skipped them this time. Because it was our first time experiencing an anniversary, much less a Harley 110th Anniversary on our Travels with Harley, we decided to just cruise around and bask in the glory of all things Harley. The next time we stay at the Iron Horse Hotel, we will definitely ride along with the owner.

The hotel is located right in the middle of the Harley 110th Anniversary festivities and is an extremely popular spot for riders and enthusiasts to meet and just hang out.

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The Harley 110th Anniversary celebration began on Thursday around noon for the HOG members and was open to the public at 5:00. Jim and I felt like we were kids again when we got to enjoy the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.

Later on, we rode out to the Harley Davidson factory to check out the 2014 Harley Davidson bikes. Jim and I test drove a new Road King and really liked some of the new features.

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On our way back to the hotel, the sole of my right boot had started to break off, and because we rushed to get out of town, I didn’t pack another pair of shoes. Luckily for me, the staff at the Iron Horse came to the rescue with the front desk finding a cobbler that was able to repair my boot the same day. When walked down to the shop we discovered to older gentlemen working away in a little shop that had a strong smell of glue. One of the guys made me check my other boot in order to avoid a second break before the fixed my broken boot. Fixed by four in the afternoon the repair only cost us $15.00 and we were good to go.

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While waiting outside I did a search for a good place to eat supper and found a Mexican restaurant within a couple miles. What a find! This was probably the best Mexican food we’ve had years, ranking right up there with meals we’ve had in New Mexico and Arizona. Guanajuato Mexican was a perfect ending to an amazing day.

There wasn’t a Harley Davidson location in the Milwaukee area that didn’t have hundreds of bikes. The local dealership had a huge party going on with bands and entertainment. The museum had vendors, entertainment, and music and the Summerfest grounds had so much going on you had a really hard time covering it all.

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There were free tattoos, haircuts, & shaves, although you needed to have signed up the first day to be able to get in to any of these. At the free boot shine, we met some people from the St Louis area that shopped at our local dealer, Bourbeuse Valley Harley Davidson. We met riders from Australia, Mexico, Italy, St Petersburg Russia, Taiwan, and Japan, literally from all over the world.

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We ended our time at the Summerfest grounds reliving our youth while listening to ZZ Top.

The next morning it was a run home just beating out the rain. After we got back to the house, we started talking about next year’s Harley Davidson Anniversary as we defiantly plan to make it an annual event in, “Travels with Harley.”

The Big 110th Anniversary Harley Davidson Parade

I left you last week hopefully wanting to know about our, “Travels with Harley,” when we attended the 110th Harley Davidson Anniversary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and now it’s time to share more of our adventures.

After breakfast at Zak’s, Jim and I rode our Road King out to the Harley offices just to make sure that we were signed up for the Harley Davidson parade. The anniversary organizers handed us a ribbon to add to our Chapter flag and we were good to go. On the way out, we ran into a Harley Davidson dealer who also hailed from Missouri. He had two stores, one at the Lake of the Ozarks, and the other in Lebanon, which is close to Salem. He told us that he had ridden up with a fairly good-sized group and I asked if he was riding in the parade. He said no as he only had a couple of passes. I could tell he was disappointed, and since our tickets included parade passes, and as we also had a pass because we were representing our chapter, we gave him a couple of ours. He was really happy as there were a couple of members in his group that really wanted to ride, and Harley Davidson parade passes were as rare as hen’s teeth.

The Harley Davidson parade was awesome, incredible actually. Before the trip, Jim kept going on about how he didn’t think riding in the parade would be much, and probably more hassle than it was worth. If you have ever ridden a bike before, you know that slow riding where you are always stopping and going isn’t much fun. Boy was he wrong. He had so much fun creating a memory of a lifetime…Jim rarely gets emotional, but the parade really brought tears to his eyes. People lined the streets with homemade signs saying, “Welcome home riders.” Everyone was cheering and applauding. Kids and older folks alike were holding up their hands ready to give and receive, “High fives.” Jim and I had always heard about the, “Family,” of riders in Milwaukee, but we really had no idea just how much we are loved in the home of Harley Davidson.

I did promise you three parts in this fantastic, “Travels with Harley,” adventures so next week I will share our accommodation, the food and of course, the entertainment.

Travels with Harley Part One Harley Davidson Anniversary Ride

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If you have been following our blog, you will know that Jim has been riding for years, and although I am not a seasoned vet, I have had my fair share of, “Travels with Harley,” since Jim and I first got together. With that being said, this past Labor Day weekend was our first opportunity to ride to a Harley Davidson Anniversary event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As you know, we were really excited, and then when we were asked to carry our chapter’s flag in the parade we were downright honored.

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One of our first stops along the way for our Harley Davidson Anniversary event was at Charlie Parker’s restaurant in Springfield, Illinois, and yes, in case you were wondering, my cat is named after an eatery that was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Anyway, while we were there we ran into a group of riders from Illinois who asked us if we would like to ride with them. Of course, we jumped at the chance and really enjoyed riding with this great group of people who we hope to meet up with again, perhaps in another, “Travels with Harley.” Because they were staying just outside of Milwaukee, we split off just south of the city. Jim and I thought we would run into them sometime during the weekend, but unfortunately, no such luck.

The ride was pretty tiring and on top of that, Jim and I are used to getting up at 4:30 AM and are usually in bed by 9:00 so it is hard to turn that inner clock around. So, after we arrived at our hotel we decided to just relax crash and order room service. I also used our down time to make some rough plans for the next few days, as we had both been so busy at the store we didn’t have a chance to.

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The next morning I used Yelp to help us find the, “Best Breakfast,” and discovered a place called Zak’s, which is a café/coffee shop that was just a few blocks from our hotel. You all know how much a foodie I am and have to say that I was really impressed with the friendly service, good food, and even better prices. We chatted with a local resident who ate at Zak’s frequently. You always know it’s a great place to eat when the locals have meals there as well. Anyway, he said he’d had numerous offers to rent out his home, which he just moved into recently, but decided to enjoy the celebration as he had never been front row center for a Harley Davidson Anniversary celebration, and this was going to be a big one!

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Jim and I still have lots to share, plus a video of the Harley Davidson Anniversary parade, but you know me, I like to keep you guessing, and coming back for more, so don’t forget to check in next week for more, “Travels with Harley!”

The 110th Anniversary and Travels with Harley

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When Jim and I made plans to take part in the 110th Harley Davidson Anniversary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for a Travels with Harley road trip we had no idea what to expect, and as we look back on the Labor Day weekend of 2013, it is almost surreal. The food and drink, the atmosphere, and especially the people made the 110th Harley Davidson Anniversary an event that we will remember for the rest of our lives. It was certainly the best Travels with Harley that we have had so far.

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One of the best things about the celebration was Milwaukee itself. I remember as a kid watching Laverne and Shirley and Happy Days thinking how nice all of the people from Milwaukee seemed and that was proven to me this past Labor Day Weekend at the 110th Harley Davidson Anniversary.

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When we rolled into town, everyone was already celebrating. We drove underneath the famous overpass and it seemed like there were a million people waving Harley Davidson flags, and of course, the American flag on our Travels with Harley.

Once we parked the bike and took a walk through the streets, everyone had a smile on their face and people just wanted to welcome you into their town, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Even people that didn’t ride were anxious to get a glimpse of people from all over the world that came to celebrate the 110th Harley Davidson Anniversary.

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Jim and I cannot stop talking about the fabulous 110th Harley Davidson Anniversary parade. As I have mentioned in my previous posts, we were blessed to carry our bike chapter flag and we think we did our Bourbeuse Valley Bike Chapter proud.

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Not that I have taken part in that many parades, especially on the back of a Harley Davidson Road King, but I have to say this parade was incredible. The people of Milwaukee were lining the streets carrying homemade, “Welcome Home Riders,” signs and everybody was running out in the middle of the road giving us high fives.

Jim and I had a blast at the 110th Harley Davidson and have much more to share…Next week I’ll tell you about some of the bands we saw and the food we ate on our, Travels with Harley.

Celebrating 110 Years with Harley Davidson

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Jim and I are in the midst of the biggest celebration that Harley Davidson has had in years…We are so thrilled to be part of the 110th anniversary in Milwaukee Wisconsin. It really is incredible and we have so much to share, but because we are still relishing in the festivities, the stories will have to wait until next week.

In the meantime, I just want to say that the people here are incredible. We have met folks from all over the world, and we all have one thing in common, our love of Harley Davidson.

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When we arrived, we couldn’t believe all of the excitement and just how many people drove thousands of miles, and even flew from overseas to see the culmination of a year’s worth of celebrations.

If you have been reading our blog, you know how much Jim and I love to eat…ok Jim, as you know, is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, but I’m more refined. I like to try anything new and I have certainly done that this weekend, but I’ll tell you more about that in next week’s blog.

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The parade was awesome. Jim and I felt like the rock stars that we saw perform. We loved carrying our Bourbeuse Valley Chapter Flag. We were so proud to represent the rest of our club that couldn’t be with us celebrating 110 years with Harley Davidson. Crowds were lining the streets and it’s a really good thing that I practiced my parade wave because my hand was tired by the end of the parade route. During the parade kids, tweens, teens, adults, and seniors were holding their hands out so that we could slap them as we drove by. Honestly, it’s a good thing that Jim was driving because I don’t think I could have slapped and driven at the same time.

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It’s the last day of the celebration, but there is still much to see and do, so until next time, I’ll catch you on the other side of, “Travels with Harley,” Oh, and happy Labor Day everyone!!