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Carol Youorski
aka “SKERT”

Atlanta, GA USA
Iron Butt Association
SS1K, SS5K, BB1500, BBG,
ButtLite II, IronButt 2001—finisher and done!
AMA #328269
BMWMOA #64389
MOM #1

Pink Ribbon Rides
Website Provided by:

www.LawBike.com
and
Atlanta Motorcycle Schools

Skert’s Pink Ribbon Rides

Butt Lite II

August 26th

I pulled into the parking lot of the Lenox Inn. This was what I had been anticipating for a year now. I was riding on that great big GS. The vision I had a year ago had finally come true. I had a message to women and men, You can do it. Could I though? Could I actually ride consecutive thousand mile days? Could I keep from falling asleep? Will my feet really reach the ground when I stop in front of all these guys? People turned to watch me every time I pulled in or drove out of the parking lot. I know they were shaking heads finding it hard to believe this 5'3" little old lady was riding the tall GS1150. I know this because once they got to know me, they told me. They eventually treated me like one of the guys. I passed the feet on the ground test. I had one of the spectators actually tell me seeing me on that GS was obscene. I can't imagine that thought. I was at home on that bike by the time I rode it back from New York a mere 3 weeks before.

My first chore I had to attend to was get my Motolights on my bike. Mike Sachs had them wired up, but we had not mounted them because of the proper band to hold them on. The first band Rob sent would have fit except I had the big Piia's on and the Motolights and Piia's collided. Mike told me to check with Ahmet because he had a GS also. We ended up using duct tape to make the fork big enough to hold the Motolights straps down low. A bit wobbly, but they worked. I firmly believe the single most important alteration I have done to my bikes in the name of safety is using Motolights at all times. Ahmet soon became a great source of comfort to me. He was friendly, happy to help out a friend of Mike's and a fellow rider on the GS. I was scared. I was still scared my feet suddenly would not reach the ground when really necessary.

The next person I met was Pauline. She introduced herself as the "other" woman. We were the only two ladies entered in the ButtLiteII. We became fast friends and decided to go shopping at the Walmart together. We hook up with one the Terry's and all walked over to shop for those last minute batteries, shower caps, and film. Pauline and I congratulated each other on our advancing ages and the fact that we would soon get our AARP cards. I was actually envious of Pauline because she already had hers and had gotten a discount at one of the campgrounds. We went our separate ways in the store and miraculously met at the check out lines and walked back to the motel together. It was bonding that I needed.

I only knew one other person, Eddie James, and he was not available for pep talks on this ride, he was one of the Rally Masters. Not only that, he teased me unmercifully, just like he did every one else, except Bubba, who he verbally abused in retaliation to Bubba's abuse toward him. They actually had us all in stitches on numerous occasions. We became quite fond of those two guys antics.

On Saturday evening Eddie, Adam, and Kevin were inviting us all to ride out to Eddie's favorite BBQ place. I guess it was one bonus too many because he didn't have it on any of his bonus sheets. He had all his other favorite eating joints all over the country for us to bring him back food and goodies. I jumped in the back of the truck with Kevin and from then on reminded him that I had spent the evening in bed with him. The riders that followed made an incredible parade of lights behind us. Mark being the first one and hot-rodding his VFR constantly. It was like a magic ride for me. Kevin even commented on the motorcycle light show trailing behind the pick-up. Mark reminded me of the fellows I ride with in the North Georgia Mountains. Lots of spunk. Little did I know of his spunk and stamina. The BBQ was awesome, the company entertaining. It was a great way to become one of the group.

August 27th

Sunday, my 49th birthday was uneventful. I called my kids wished myself happy birthday. Called my S/O, Donnie. I didn't feel 49. I didn't feel old. I did feel scared. We had several meetings that day, the last being dinner and the first of three route sheets to be handed out. I took my bonus pack up to my room, pulled out my maps and looked stunned at them. Oh my God!! They are all going to find out I didn't have a clue how to map anything. I had never even read a map 8 years ago. I had never driven anywhere by myself until 8 years ago. Suddenly I have to not only read these maps, but I had to find this little hole in the road by someone else's directions that a lot of times where wrong.

Thank goodness I didn't know that at the time.

I found all of the places on the map, then routed out what I thought was doable or what I thought was interesting, the hell with points. I wanted to go to Hot Coffee, Mississippi no matter what. I called Donnie and distressed him with my depression. I don't have much confidence in my mapping ability although I have ridden over 120,000 miles on my bike and never gotten hopelessly lost, ever. I finally put away my maps, got the bike ready. I had nothing else to do but sleep. The phone rings and it is my buddy from Canada, Nose. Wow, what a surprise and what a boost to my failing confidence. Nose is always so supportive of my endurance riding. Thank you Nose. He said he would see me in Fargo.

August 28

The next morning I went for my last breakfast and barely made it to the 6:55 meeting. I got another 2 sets of bonus points. Oh my, now I have to do this all over again and it took me 2 hours last night. I only have 5 minutes before we need to leave. Thank goodness I checked out last night. I sat in my totally clean room and read through the new bonuses. The EAST coast is really where I wanted to go. I knew the roads, I knew where to go without a map, I was more confident with this route even though I had mapped out the other last night carefully.

Off I go the opposite way of the rush hour traffic. I head East and South and immediately get into the fog and cold. I stopped on the side of the road, the first of many side of the road stops, to put on my Gerbings. I fumbled to plug in the cords in the dark and quickly fried the Controller by plugging in the two cords coming from it together. I was panicked. What am I going to do when it really gets cold. I couldn't worry about it now;I had to go.

The first bonus was looming ahead, I was going to bypass it. I really didn't understand what to do, even though Eddie explained it at the rider meeting in depth. Suddenly 3 riders are passing me, I wave, there is the exit for the bonus, they get off and I follow. I said to myself, Self? You follow them and see how they do it. Don't hold them up, but learn, if they don't mind. When we got to the part where you had to write down your miles and time I did what they did. Then off we went for the ride of my life, and theirs too. Highway 555. One of Eddie's favorite and now mine. I can follow the guys and I did. I made a name for myself on that ride. When we got to the end they all looked at me and said such sweet words, "You can ride with us anytime". You have to understand I hadn't a clue who my ridding friends where. It turned out to be the bad boy, Bubba Kolb, Eddie's arch enemy. If you had told me before the rally that I would ride with that tobacco chewing, smoke stack, Kentucky boy I would have been appalled. We rode like we had known each other for years. Suddenly nothing else mattered. We were brother and sister riding partners immediately. I knew I could only ride to the next gas stop. I would never hold anyone else up because of my limited gas capacity. I wouldn't even suggest it. I did ride with them until I needed gas. I blew them all a kiss and headed for fuel.

I called Donnie while I was pumping gas, told him about the fried controller and asked him to call Gerbing. He was in surgery at the time as I read off the 800 number from the sticker I had on my bike. I hadn't a clue what could be done.

When it was just about time to stop for gas again, I was plagued by a normal size gas tank and miserable, 5.2 usable gallons, I saw ahead some bikes on the side of the road. Low and behold it was my twisty ridding friends with a flat. That tire caused Don Sills many hours of anxiety and time. I quickly got gas and met them on the expressway. We rode to Mt. Airy, NC got a hair cut and a good bonus. Bubba and I stopped for gas, a stop everyone needed, not just me and immediately lost sight of Donald. We waited, rode a ways and waited some more, never to see him until Baton Rouge.

Bubba and I honed our team riding skills through Charlotte, NC and on down to Savannah, GA. The trip out to Tybee Island was long, dark and maybe a mistake. It took us an hour longer than we thought. We were still looking for Donald. We got our bonus and second guessed ourselves as to the true meaning of Eddies' directions. Finally we were on our way to Jacksonville, Fla. and a right turn toward LA.

We met up with Howie at the gas station in Jacksonville. How does that happen? I was glad to see him. I felt I knew him better than most because of the BBQ dinner several nights before. I was glad to see a friend.

Off we go again with the thought that when we get to Tallahassee we will stop for a sleep bonus. When we finally did stop I had a bit of worry that we would not make Baton Rouge before we were time barred. I fell asleep despite those worries. The phone woke us with no problems. Off we go again.

29 August: Baton Rouge, LA 1100-1300 Hebert Cycles.

As soon as we took off for Baton Rouge I began to have visions of disappointing people that were expecting me be in LA on time. I was sure we would be time barred. I still didn't know how to use my GPS for anything more than my speedometer. I remembered that Mike Sachs had shown me how to judge distances to cities as the crow flies. I figured I had nothing else to do but try. I put Baton Rouge on the GPS and could finally calculate the miles to there and how long it would take. We would be close. Real close. Maybe we could pull it off. That is if I didn't need to stop for gas. We are riding hard and suddenly we get behind a State Patrol going 55, period. For about an eternity we ride behind this guy. It is rush hour traffic in some little city, NOT Atlanta. He has in complete control of us. Bubba can't stand it so pulls off. I get gas, but wonder why he stopped. I could still go another 70 miles. Now it meant another stop and possibly being late. Howie had been keeping up with us, but went on. I felt frustrated, but probably no more than Bubba every time I had to stop and he still could go for 100 miles.

We rode some incredible miles from that point on and into Baton Rouge. I knew this road well. I had ridden it many times to my friend and 1st riding partner, Cindy's house in Lafayette for dancing and eating. We pulled into the first check point with 2 minutes to spare. We MADE it. I made it in time. I am euphoric. I jumped off my bike, feet reaching the ground :-) Kevin is hustling me in to let Eddie and Adam know I am there. Oh my god! What is my number? Oh yeah, 265. SKERT, SKERT I am here. So is Bubba. I walk out to my bike and I know all those people around my bike, Cindy and Jerry, Lyle Grimms, Shane Smith, Mary Cumbus, people I know well but can't remember their names even now. They were there to wish me well. I put them all to work.

Jerry, I gave my flashlights to. None of them worked in Savannah, even though I checked them before I left. Cindy brought us food and drink while Bubba and I did paper work. I didn't know what to do, but followed his directions to the Tee. While all this is going on, Lyle Grimms and another fellow I know were fixing my controller for my Gerbing. After my call to Donnie, while he is putting someone to sleep, he calls Gerbing and had them send another controller overnight to Hebert's Cycles in Baton Rouge. It is there. They guys kindly take my was record breaking temperatures in Baton Rouge and Texas and these guys were making sure my heat suit was going to work. Later on I was thanking them in my helmet for their efforts. Mary Cumbas, was there also. Mary was Miia's cousin and grew up with her in LA. For those of you who don't know or recall, this endurance ride was dedicated in memory of Miia Trahan who died from breast cancer at the age of 35. Mary was not a motorcyclist. She was there to meet one more person who had been touched by Miia's incredible happiness and exuberant personality.

Soon the standings were up. Donald Sills was in first, Bubba 10th and I was 11th. Wow! Wow! I couldn't believe it, but could I keep on doing that?

I asked Bubba and Donald if I could be a part of their planning. I still felt little confidence in my ability to pick a sensible route. I would not hold them up by begging them to let me go with them. We all gassed up together so I got to ride with them through Houston. I blew them a kiss, once again, and got off for gas.

Now I am riding solo. I have to really make some decisions about where I was going and what bonuses I was going after. Donald and Bubba's route was good. I try it. While looking over the bonuses though I finally had time to read through the directions. The first bonus was one I really wanted to go to. The eu natural resort. Did those guys know that they were leaving Skert behind and heading there without the one single woman on this rally? It was 7:30 pm. I had to have been there by 8:00pm. I was disappointed. I headed for Dallas.

This was the first time in the rally that I started craving sleep. I had planned to ride through Dallas and up to Oklahoma City that night. Not! My body needed sleep. I was doing my first sleep bonus by myself. I stopped at 4 different exits and there were no vacancies. I tried to sleep on the side of the road, but was too scared. I just plodded along until I was 40 miles South of Dallas and at last found a room. I asked for a 4:30am wake up call. Sweet sleep at last.

I shall be arriving in Dallas around 6:00am. That should be about right for the rush hour traffic. I missed my turn, then circled around downtown a bit, all the while traffic volume building. I miraculously find the right expressway, but lo and behold the exit is across 5 lanes of heavy traffic. I miss it again. I had enough. I see a familiar sign. Waffle House. I decided to eat my bonus. I had a most pleasant meal with young people who had just been hired. They were college kids fresh out of sororities and fraternities. What a difference from the usual waitresses and waiters at Waffle House. The cook was the only veteran and he keep helping them learn how to call orders. I had a very pleasant meal and rest. I didn't care at all that I missed that bonus. Unfortunately I missed the next one too. I then had to assess my true feelings about hunting for bonuses. I just didn't care anymore. It wasn't fun to be trying to find obscure places by myself. I didn't have enough confidence in my ability to read these directions. It was more fun to be riding straight and quickly for definite destinations.

I did pick up the Cadillac ranch bonus. It wasn't where Eddie said it would be, but I owed my daughter a picture of them from our trip out West 5 years ago. I must have stopped and asked 4 different people.

Finally one guy told me they moved them. Now I needed to find someone to take my picture. I begged a couple with kids, luckily I didn't frighten them and they agreed. While he is taking my picture a dust storm blows up all around us. My coat was blown off my bike, it looked like I was in the middle of a tornado of dust. Spooky. Where is Toto?

I am headed for Santa Fe and Ira Agins. I was focused on getting there and talking Iron Butt, happiness with my ride, and bonus hunting. I needed a veteran Iron Butt rider's pep talk. I wasn't having fun riding by myself.

Driving into Santa Fe was beautiful. I remembered riding into there 5 years ago with my daughter, Maggie, two up on the K-75. My friend Theresa LaVallo was leading us. I had no clue how she knew where to go. I didn't know how she read those maps so well. Riding into that town by myself, full of confidence in my own ability now to find my way around a map filled me with such joy and happiness at my growth in just a few days, and years. I was treated to a double rainbow just before turning off to go to Ira's.

I was the second rider to make it to veteran Iron Butt rider Ira Agins. The fellow ahead of me had been riding by himself the whole time and his whole being didn't seem very happy. I could relate, but I decided I would try to find happiness in Eddie James favorite roads.

I looked over the bonuses and talked out loud to Ira about what I thought I would do. Suddenly I realized that even if I went to these cool roads in Colorado I wouldn't be able to collect any points because of time constraints. I figured this out by myself. I was proud of myself. Ira just looked on.

Two more riders rode up, one I knew, Dick Fish. Dick had offered to help me when I finally get a fuel cell. Very meticulous and disciplined man and I enjoyed his outlook on life.

Next came two very familiar riders, Bubba and Donald. I was happy to see them again. We had become close while riding West on I-10. One of the worst interstate roads I have ever been on. To make matters worse it was all torn up and the trucks were still driving 70 mph with no thoughts to small motorcycles. We were a team slicing and dicing between small windows of massive 18 wheelers.

Bubba and Donald asked me where I was going next. I pointed out my quest for twisty roads and no bonus points. They then excitedly encouraged me to go with them to the 4 corners, the Little Grand Canyon and to Salt Lake City. I reminded them of the size of my gas tank and that I just couldn't stand to ride away from them again. They assured me that Donald ways stopping as much as me to put air in his tire and not to worry. We checked our route and drew Ira into the excitement. He listened with envy and told us he wished he was riding with us too.

I immediately put on my electric's and goretex liner so I would be ready for night riding. I would not take the chance of holding them up for anything except gas. A quick nap and off we go into the night. We were waved through a sobriety check, the elite in the eyes of the police. If those people can hold up those big bikes, they must be sober. Or maybe they were brothers.

31 August: Salt Lake City, UT 1900-2100 Perry Motorsports

We rode through the Santa Fe National Forest on an incredible twisty road in the pitch black. I am sure the views were beautiful, but we couldn't see it. We did see some very large deer in the road and along side it. This was open range and we scared ourselves with black cows occasionally. Other than that we couldn't see much. What I was thrilled with was the look of our bikes slicing through the darkness, cutting it with our lights. A team of riders in the night. We were ethereal.

The guys stopped on the side of the road. They asked me if I was cold, no, I have my electric's and going full blast. They needed to pull out their vest and figure out where their plugs were. I felt quite smug, warm in my suit. Thank you Gerbing, Donnie and Lyle. Not holding anyone up.

Every once in a while I would turn on all of my lights. Motolights, Piia's and high beams. I lite up the night like a freight train. I would light up the bike whenever no one was close by and show the way. Another memory that will always be in my mind. Probably burned into Bubba's' eyes through his rear view mirror.

Soon I noticed Bubba slowing up. Then he misjudged a curve. Sleepy. I knew the signs well. We all pulled off onto a little piece of pavement that led up to a dirt road. Let's just lay down and sleep. We had only one hour to sleep, we needed to be at the 4 corners at 7 am sharp.

At first I lay on my bike with my electric's on, when that became so uncomfortable, I didn't care about the cold, I wanted to lay down. When I awoke I was shaking from head to foot. I immediately got out my Gerbing gloves, plugged every thing in and just sat there while the guys figured out their electric's better. I light up our little camp area with all my lights on and the heater full blast. Later we all talked about how dumb we were not to huddle together like a pack of puppies with our bikes for heat around us. Protocol was stronger than warmth in our minds. I would have been in the middle of that pack too. I know that would have been warm.;-)

We made it to the 4 corners just before they opened the gate. A quick picture and off we went for Moab Utah and the Canyon land National Park.

Donald was still plagued with tire problems. He couldn't make it into the Canyon lands so he shooed us on, he was going to limp into Salt Lake City and get a new tire.

Bubba and I twisted in and out and all the way to the Grand View. Breath taking, but we were running out of time again. We hightailed it down the canyon road, a quick stop for gas and suddenly, Bubba is pulling off to the side of the road. His speedometer cable broke. He could no longer collect any points. I lost all desire for points and wanted to be at Salt Lake City.

We had an awesome ride, but one laced with disaster because of the broken cable. We rolled into Salt Lake City with several hours to spare. I made a mistake of not taking a couple hours of sleep right then and there.

I had my oil changed. Touring Sport in Greenville, SC had sent oil and filter ahead. The mechanic very nicely shaved off a bit of my handle bar so my Throttle Meister would work again. He also fixed my turn signals. The bulbs had vibrated out of their sockets. Typical of an R bike with Run N Lites. I felt pampered.

Paul and Trisha Taylor showed up out of the blue. It was so nice to see them so far from home, even though Paul pointed out he wasn't there to see me because he didn't even know I was there or that the ButtLite was going on. Paul is the person responsible for my first look at Iron Butt.com I tried to resist the pull from the endurance riding community, but I caught the fever and it has never gone away. Thanks Paul Taylor.

Airyn Darling was there to help with the scoring. She gave me a big hug and made me feel right at home. We had only conversed over the internet, I finally had a face for the women with words that said it like it is. She has long been one of my Hero Women Riders.

The standings were posted and the rally packs about to be handed out. Eddie James made a comment like "You never know what will happen anytime on a rally", and proceeded to tell us that Pauline Ralston had been involved in a fatal hit and run accident. I will never forget how stunned I felt, the sight of the crowd, like when JFK was killed. All I wanted to do was ride and feel my sorrow. I still had to plan my next leg of the route. Bubba and I had the wind knocked out of our sails. He was just as shook up as I was about Pauline and the fact that he lost so many points with his broken speedometer cable made him loose his drive to win. I am speculating. All I wanted to do was finish.

Pauline and I were kindred spirits for all kinds of reasons. One, we were the only ladies entered in the BLII. We both were quite short on some big ass bikes and we were both about to get our AARP cards. Pauline was 50, I am 49. We talked about our children. We were sisters. I miss her terribly. We weren't in competition, we were together in our quest to ride consecutive 1K mile days and to finish. I was in tears when I heard the news in Salt Lake City. I was tired, and all I wanted to do was to ride and think about the tragedy of Pauline and her family. I wanted to feel my feelings of deep sadness and loss, obviously nothing compared to those closest to her. I miss this person I hardly knew.

I have told my children and shown her picture to them. My son held me for a long time. He understands the loss more than I can ever know.

Two days before the rally started, Pauline and I walked over to the Walmart to pick up those last minute batteries and discussed our excitement of becoming older ladies doing wild and adventurous things. It was a neat bonding experience and we wished each other well. Every time I saw Pauline she had a hug and encouragement for me.

I hope to imitate her attitude and love for anyone I come in contact with.

She is missed...

We went to the first bonus, Hires Big H. Lo and behold here comes Eddie and Adam. They wanted to look at us frantic folks not enjoying those awesome hamburgers and sauce. Don't forget your sauce boys. I ran out to the parking lot with Ahmets because he had left his on the table. To some of us that sauce came back to haunt us, Mark?

We took off with Donald, but it became apparent to me that I was not and did not want to ride the pace Donald was riding. I was not going to impose myself on either him or Bubba. When I almost ran out of gas on a secluded road a half mile behind them, I knew I needed to strike off on my own, no matter where my route would take me. I owed it to Eddie, Adam, Kevin, and all the folks entered in this rally, those that volunteered in it, and not to mention Michael Kneebone and Bob Higdon that I must finish this race in one piece.

Donald realized that he was in contention for top honors. At this time he chose to plot a course for victory. Bubba and I being in the middle of the standings chose to ride at a pace that we felt would ensure our completion of the competition.

It soon became apparent that I was in desperate need of sleep. Bubba and I stopped at a gas station and discussed the need. He asked me if I thought I could go another 40 or 50 miles. I thought I could. I was wrong. I soon missed a few miles. I have no clue how many. All I knew was that I woke up and I was heading off the road. I immediately stopped, with thoughts of Pauline, Fran, and my best friend Cindy, pulled to the side of the road. Bubba pulls off with me and I lay my head down on my tank bag, not able to move another inch. He says I'll give you 10 minutes. I sleep and he proceeds to take pictures of me asleep on the the side of I-15 heading North. We finally get to a motel and I sleep the sleep of angels. This was one of the spots that I dropped that GS. Bubba knew the sound and came back to help SKERT pick up her bike. I am sure I could do it by myself, but why? I hurt my right hand and knee, after the fall. The hand to plague me still.

We were both in need a good breakfast. It is amazing what a good food and rest will do for you. The day was brighter, and I felt totally refreshed. I felt like I could ride forever. Little did I know that's what it would feel like by the next day.

We were heading for the Snake River and Evil Knevils great jump. We missed a turn and had to back track about 10 miles. This is when I saw one of my favorite sites. We passed a paddock full of cows with their heads stuck out of the fences eating some great looking green hay. It took me a few seconds before I realized they were manufacturing manure. In the next field over was a bull dozier happily scooping up the 100% pure cow manure and loading it into waiting trucks. They just move the fences, cows and start scooping. The place was called something like Black Magic. I can't believe that wasn't one of our bonuses. Right down Eddie's ally.

Next we were off to the Idaho hills and Craters of the Moon. Hwy. 93, 26 and 20. This is where I had a nice cry for Pauline and maybe myself too.

I was so impressed with this countryside. Thank you Eddie and Adam. You are like parents who tell us we have to eat that which we have never tried.. We don't want too, but we do because you told use we should. Thank you. What an awesome feast to our eyes. We rode all day, into what I thought was snow, but turned out to be hail, we heard at the next gas stop. We took a nap on the the side of the road for an hour just before dusk and soon headed for Billings, Montana and another gas receipt. Bubba made a great show of buying 10 cents worth of gas.

Finally I had been getting better gas mileage. When my light came on I figured I could push it to 25 miles more. NOT! I ran out of gas with 5 miles more to go. Bubba got gas from his fuel cell and I admitted to Eddie and Adam that I transported it in a illegal container from his bike to mine. They said not to worry, in that situation, survival of the smartest.

I was thinking I was about ready to take another hour nap. When I pulled into a rest area, Bubba pulls up beside me with his bike whining in a high pitch, telling me he had to get to a gas station. All of his idiot lights where lit on his dash. He looked like an 18 wheeler. It soon became apparent we wouldn't make it to the next stop. We pulled over to the side of the road. I tried to help him jump start the bike. We waved on another ButtLite rider and pondered his dilemma. Up comes a policeman wanting to be helpful. While Bubba is explaining to him what happened the cop pointed to my license tag that said Iron Butt on it and proceeded to tell us he was going for his SS1K next weekend. I grinned at Bubba and said, Baby, sounds like you're in good hands, I'm outa here". I shook hands with the cop and took off for a quick nap.

At the next gas stop I met up with the same fellow, James from Savannah, who had slowed down to see if we needed help. He and I decided to head for the next rest area to sleep. I felt safer with another rider there and slept for exactly one hour. The wind was whipping around and the table was hard, but I slept well.

The ride into Fargo was wet, cold and foggy. My Piia's were put to great use. I never could have had too much light. What a lonely ride that was. Bubba has been a great riding partner. We rode in such complete unison, it was like we had been riding together forever. I missed him the most on the lonely foggy road to Fargo.

About a 100 miles from Fargo, suddenly four of us in the ButtLite rally were riding together. One minute we feel like you are the only people still riding in and suddenly it is a party. The one other person I was sure of his identity was Howie, on the Buell. We commented about our feelings of being out there by ourselves. It was nice to know we weren't really alone.

About this time I started really regretting that hour nap. The 0800 time was getting close, I needed gas and there didn't seem to be any gas stations open. I had visions of sitting at a gas station waiting for it to open at 0800. Or worse, pushing my bike on the side of the road as the time slipped past me. Miraculously it all worked out. I found a gas station off the beaten path. I went in to pay and walked into the ladies living room. Quaint.

2 September: Fargo, ND 0800-1000 Ma's Cycles

I rode into Fargo with my heart pounding in my ears. The ever helpful and friendly Keith was waiting to help me off my bike and get me into tell Eddie and Adam I was there. I remembered my number well this time. I have to mention Keith again. He was a strength for me when ever I saw him. He always had an encouraging word, praise or concern for me. Thanks Keith.

Voni and Paul Glaves were at Fargo and wished me well. I reminded Voni of the time in Colorado when she tried to talk me out of riding for a second BBG on my way home. She was so convincing I figured she must know something I didn't know about long distance riding, even though I had just completed my first BBG on the way out there. The next thing I see she is high miler for the MOA club and Paul is in the Iron Butt Rally. She finally let me know that a fellow at the rally expressed his concern, and she had acted on his fear. It's funny how we let people alter our movements because of our own lack of confidence. She is certainly on of my hero's and so is Paul. I'll always listen to their advice though.

A lady I met through the internet, Charlotte a Family Practitioner who rode a Harley, was there to meet me. She knew me from a fellow in my club in GA, he had given her my email address because we were both women riders. She had fresh fruit for us and even did a bit of Doctoring on the side. It was very nice to have someone there so excited and who still had energy.

The one thing that was disturbing in Fargo was a visitor, an Iron Butt Finisher, who made a comment to Charlotte and me. We were talking about going out in the middle of the night on "call" for an emergency to the hospital. I told her riding these long distances wasn't anything like that tired feeling you have when the phone first rings in the middle of the night. This Veteran IB person, rudely broke in and said, "Well this (meaning the ButtLite) is just a little ride". I was stunned. I had just ridden 5K miles in 5 days. That is no little ride even to Iron Butt finishers, and even if it was I couldn't believe this person would say something so discouraging to a fellow Iron Butt member. I chose to ignore that person from then on. People that come to check points should only be encouraging and helpful. If not, don't show up. I don't think that comment will ever be erased.

The next surprise was a friend I had met in Daytona. Nose. He lives in Canada and is an IBA member. I met him when one of my girl friends and I rode to Daytona together. We had all of Bulow talking and loved every minute of it. I was honored to have Nose come to see me ride in. He also is a friend of Asa McFadden. Thus giving me a chance to get to know Asa better through Nose. What a pleasant check point that became.

The big problem here was my need for sleep now. I was exhausted, my riding partner was gone and all I wanted to do was get back to Ohio where Donnie was waiting with the truck to haul my Iron Butt back home. I spoke to Steve Smith from NC about riding together for a bit. I didn't last longer than a tank of gas. I checked into a Motel 6, my favorite, and slept for 5 hours. I sat looking at bonuses and didn't care about points anymore. I had 1K miles to ride and that is all I wanted to do. I then noticed a bunch of points for attending the Buckeye Beemers club meeting just outside of Reynoldsburg. That is what I was going to ride for. I finally had a plan.

It soon became apparent that 5 hours was not enough sleep. I was not going to nod one time on anymore rides. If I was tired I would stop immediately. I had to drive 4 miles to the little motel only to find it had no vacancies. I didn't care. I pulled under a tree in the parking lot and laid my head on my bike cover. Thank you Peter from EZ Touring covers. That was my pillow more than it was my bike cover. I soon wanted to lay down. I had a pillow and it wasn't cold. Laying down in the grass was one of the best sleeps I had in days. Unfortunately the storm that had pushed me since leaving Fargo finally caught up with me. I awoke to splatters of rain. I don't think I had been asleep more than an hour ortwo.

On the road again still needing sleep.

I decided it was time to stop again when I almost drove right past a cop who was zapping people with instant on radar as he traveled in the same direction as me. I dropped way back, sufficiently awake now to make it to the next stop. Who should be stopping at the same place as I, but the cop I almost passed? The check in for the Inn was in the gasstation. Here's the dialog. "What's your tag number? Uhhh...I don'thave a tag, new bike". Clerk..." I don't think I would have said that" "You asked me first" The cop looks up and said, "Somethingtells me this lady riding on that big Beemer has all her papers in order". " Oh I do, I do" Ooooh yeah!!! Off to sleep for another 5 hours. I pulled my bike next to another ButtLite rider. I wasn't sure of his name, but talked to him when I woke up.

I managed to ride into Ohio and not needing anymore sleep, and I ran out of gas once more, but was close enough to push the bike into a gas station. I will have a fuel cell the next time I do such an event. I arrived at the Lenox Inn at 9:30 pm. Just 10 and a half hours late for the meeting and I didn't care. All I wanted to do was be in Donnie's arms and off that bike.

I had ridden 6K miles in 6 days. I was feeling pretty good. Did my butt feel sore? Not really. When you have to ride for those many hours you figure out ways move around your bike. At one point I even got my foot under me like I do in my favorite reading chair at home. I looked like a one legged biker.

Eddie and Adam tried to shame me into going for more bonus points the next morning. I had eight hours left, but when the morning dawned rainy and cold, you couldn't drag me away from Donnie's warm body. Wasn't even interested.

I had ridden well. I had achieved a goal of a life time. I didn't need to prove anything else, this year that is.

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