Editor's Note: The following story is a look at the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge through the eyes of competitor, Dale Galbraith - # 35.
You against the road for more than 7,000 miles. Challengers will be counted among the most elite riders to ever straddle a steel horse! Half a Million Dollars in Alaskan Gold to the winner. One race – One time in history!
Only a true warrior will have what it takes to ride from Key West Florida to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska” Meaning--It’s a good day to die. Hoka Hey” was the roar of every warrior that rode into battle with Crazy Horse. – We will follow these warriors with their ride into history.
Sunday, June 13, 2010 6:14 p.m.
Had a great day today. Started my morning at church of the Highlands and then rode to my parent’s house in Thomasville. My family had lunch made for my buddies and me. Not much though, just 12 slabs of ribs, 15 pounds of boiled shrimp, turnips, black eyed peas, string beans, hash brown casserole, corn and rice casserole, cornbread, yeast rolls, watermelon, cantaloupe, homemade chocolate pie, homemade pecan pie, & Hershey bar cake. I don’t think anyone left hungry. Anyhow, we had a great ride and a great day. Thanks to all for making it a memorable send-off. Hoka Hey in six days!
Wed., June 16, 2010 8:57 p.m.
Very interesting day. Left Bradenton Florida, headed toward Key West.
Bike ran good. Started to stop in Naples and pick up a crank sensor. Decided against it. Going to take the route through the Everglades. The road kill in Florida is different. It has fins on its tail; I’ve never seen a possum like that! Oh wait, that’s a Florida gator. Yes, I saw five Florida gators on the side of the road that had been run over by cars.
Headed on into Miami, will pick up the sensor there. But wait… my bike won’t run…it’s the fuel line, the petcock problem. Pull into South Miami Harley, tell them what’s going on, they check the inventory, but don’t have a fuel line. So I have to drive 60 miles back north one way to the North Miami Peterson’s Harley-Davidson for the fuel line.
Fuel line and crankshaft position sensor unit installed in less than 2 hours and $50, thanks to extended warranty. Ok…. time to head south to Key West.
CETCOM, CETCOM-Ghostrider is lost! Signs say Orlando 80 miles, but no, I’m heading north but should be headed south.
After talking with Florida Highway patrol, concerning my going 80 in a 65 mph area, and a stern warning, he said, “Go south young man, go south.” He gave me permission to do a u-ey on the Florida turnpike. Signs read, Miami 86 miles, only 172 miles out of my way. This could be conditioning me for the very near future, getting the bugs out before the real trip. And 6 hours later, I’m pulling into Key West.
Blistering hot day but all is good. Ghostrider is ready for Homer.
Friday, June 18, 2010 11:55 a.m.
Check in this morning, I’m the 35th bike in line – 35th person to register.
Rip and I got to sit in on a Lakota adoption ceremony performed by Red Cloud, Arlin Whirlwindhorse, and Elijah Whirlwindhorse. Red Cloud performed the ceremony, which was a prayer to God. He spoke in Lakota, and it was a very moving experience. Tonight is the reception from 6 to midnight. Tomorrow is more registration and the riders meeting, 3 to 6. Sounds like we will be pulling out “when the morning star touches the sun,” which is around 6 a.m. Sunday morning.”
Sunday, June 20, 2010 1:52 a.m.
I’m first on the line. Our first check point destination-Daytona-616 miles.
Sunday, 5:26 a.m.
Heading north behind Elijah Whirlwindhorse and Chris Carr. Got to lead the pack at one point. We’re rolling on to Daytona.
Sunday, 10:50 a.m.
300 miles into it and 5 bikes are down.
Sunday 5:12 p.m.
620 miles later and one rain cloud that we went through six times…same rain cloud…but it’s all still good. Me, Gunny, Rip, and Bodybag all riding together, headed toward Georgia, now from Daytona and cutting across, going down Mt. Olive road by my house, cutting over to Highway 78 then to Jasper on Highway 5. Will catch Highway 69 headed north toward Memphis. Next check point will be at Southern Thunder Harley-Davidson in Southaven Mississippi. This leg is 905 miles.
Tues. June 22, 2010 6:02 a.m.
Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge. Hoka Hey Humiliation, definitely. Never have been so frustrated with myself and the people I am riding with because we keep taking the wrong dadgum turns! It’s not just me doing it either! ROAD SIGNS IN ALABAMA SUCK!
Just about to the second check point. Rode until 12:30 last night, running on an hour or so sleep in the past 48 hours, so we pulled over and got a good 3-½ hour nap. Back up at 5 this morning. Actually headed in the right direction for a change. The way it’s going, Gunny will do over 7,000 miles and not get out of Mississippi. But all is still good!
Have seen a lot of the Southeast from different angles, because we keep passing the same point! Anyway, changing name from “Hoka Hey Ghostrider to Hoka Hey Lost-rider” Headed to Homer—sometime this year-Ha! Ha!”
Tues. 7:04 a.m.
Made the second check point. Third leg – major undertaking-OUCH!
Leaving Southern Harley-Davidson in Southaven Mississippi, headed to Flaming Gorge Harley-Davidson, Rock Springs, WY. This leg is 2,753 miles. Don’t think I’ll be there before nightfall.
We will go from Mississippi thru Arkansas, all the way across Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, back up through Utah into Wyoming. It’s all US Highways- no interstates. We’re not the only ones getting lost; everybody is talking about being lost. Estimation of about 50 bikes have been through.
Tues. 5:21 p.m.
Bodybag dropped out. Nobody but me and Gunny now. We waited for Rip to catch up with us last night on Hwy. 43 & 118 in Winfield, rode through the night with him, then pulled over about 2 a.m. to sleep, then he took off on his own. Bodybag’s ATM card messed up, and he was out of funds. He tried to get that fixed but to no avail, so he just said to heck with it. .
Kirk missed a road last night, and that got him DQ’d, but both of them are still going to Alaska. Gunny and I have been like two sharks on the hunt through the Ozark Mountains. Halfway across the state now, fixing to go tear up the other side. Still a lot of riding time left. .
To be continued….
Below is a list of charities the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge plans to contribute to:
- Warrior Weekend
- Disabled American Veterans
- Vietnam Veterans
- American Gold Star mothers
- American Indian College Fund
- Red Cloud Humanitarian Fund
- Muscular Dystrophy Association
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Learn more about the ride at www.hokaheychallenge.com.
Story by Lynn Reynolds and
Leigh Lilly as told by participant Dale Galbraith.
Photos by Dale Galbraith - Keep the chrome side up & ride safe dude!