Oh. Wow. It was amazing. We rode in Rolling Thunder this weekend. We just started riding a few months ago, and this was the first big "meeting type" ride... What a way to start!
Saturday we went over to the Pentagon - yeah we were lost, thinking that Thunder Alley was there (shopping zone for all things biker and military) Nope. But we did meet up with some great Michigan folks, who had a GPS and led us to a Harley Dealership in Maryland that was hosting the whole shebang. This was fine... then we realized that we were going on the BeltWay... Now DH has done so before and is just fine out there... lets just say the guys we were riding with asked me when we got to the site "how long you been riding with him?" they were very polite about it, but I suppose the death grip I had on the sissy bar under my seat was a dead giveaway! yikes. But going on the highway with a whole group was actually a great intro to it, after all, no moron in an SUV on his cell phone was going to actually plow into a huge bunch of bikers.. if he wanted to live, that is!
Next morning, off to the Pentagon again. The schedule was - pull out from there at noon, so we got there at 8:30... and the place was already jammed 3/4 full. We found one of the Michiganders again (the potty lines were a great gathering place!) and he said they had been there since 6:45! Met up with Vypergirl and her family.. cute kids and a neat sidecar for them - loaded with lots of Mom snacks. It was hot, but there were lots of water tents, but not NEARLY enough Port a Potties! If you waited until you HAD to... you were in big trouble. We found some shade to hunker down in.. note to selves - next year, camp chairs! Here's me.. with just a few hundred thousand of our dearest and closest friends! (It's a Yamaha V Star Silverado 1100)
Finally, at noon, the Thunder roared. We started our engine at 1:30 and pulled out a few minutes later. Guys - it was AMAZING! the sound was phenomenal, and we rode and rode, across the Memorial Bridge around Lincoln, down to Constitution, past the Memorials, past people waving and clapping. ONE obnoxious guy, with ape hanger handlebars and cored out pipes decided to position himself off our starboard side and deafened us.. At the end, we kept going and ended up somewhere out in Rosslyn! Then we went back, and found Thunder Alley, did some shopping for patches and such.. Motored home, still jazzed! We were going to go back downtown on the Metro for the Concert, but we just figured we'd declare victory and stay home.
Monday - we tried to go to Arlington - No joy there. No bags, no water bottles.. It was already hot and there were lots of folks there - so forget it. We'll go when we can actually see the stones, and don't have to stop everything because yet another VIP convoy has to disrupt EVERYONE. We saw the POTUS motorcade twice - yawn.
Went to the VietNam Memorial instead. and it did it to me again. This place - it makes me weep every time. There was a lot of emotion there today, one gentleman was sobbing uncontrollably and was alone. When he could gather himself, he looked at me and thanked me for the hand on the shoulder.. he said he couldn't handle having his family see him like that. That alone was heartbreaking! We walked around, being deafened by the whirlybird ahead of the motorcade. Then the crowds got heavier, and it got hotter, and we packed up, came home. All in all, what a way to spend the Memorial Day weekend. Remembering. and being so proud of my military family.