Carl & Patty’s 5th Annual Run With the Leaves
| There is no place prettier to ride than the Missouri Ozarks in the fall. The summer has officially ended and as the fall colors begin to make their appearance, it is time to get ready once again for Carl & Patty’s 5th Annual Run with the Leaves. If you are a loyal reader you will remember my report from last year’s ride. This event, started by Carl Busse and Patty Hart, benefits the TLC Work Center of Benton County and the American Bikers Relief Fund—both very worthy causes. One hell of a good time and hospitality unrivaled in any of our travels awaited us, and we were more than ready to go. As a sponsor of this event, the Cycle Connections family holds this ride near and dear to our hearts. Just like last year, we decided to head south on Friday for the Saturday, October 15 event.
Stephanie and I loaded our T-Bag, double-checked the scooter, made sure I had all the necessary tools for travel and headed out to hook up with Cycle Connections Head Cheese Mike Schweder and good friend John Osowski. We got to Mike’s house and were treated to the pleasure of meeting Jim and Barb Hall who would be accompanying us on our trip.
Everybody saddled up and we were on our way. It didn’t take long for me to be glad I had my tools with me (as I always do). Barb’s bike developed a case of loose mirror syndrome, and I was happy to have the tool required to remedy the situation. Back on the road I was enjoying the warmth of this year as opposed to last. This year’s temperatures were a full 20 degrees higher than last year, a treat for my lovely wife after I froze her up last year. I was brought back to reality as the bikes in front of me pulled to the side of the road. Barb’s bike had developed an electrical problem. Once again my tool kit was pressed into service. After a short time, Jim found the loose connection and repaired it with a length of electrical tape. This should serve as a reminder to anybody heading out to ride, the proper tools and few choice items can be the difference between sitting on the side of the road broken down and getting back to riding.
Jim got us off the slab and led us along scenic back roads that were enjoyed by all. We made our way to the Bunkhouse Lodge between Lincoln and Warsaw. Jim and Barb had reservations here, and as past guests of the Lodge, we assured them they had made a good choice. After making plans to meet for dinner later, we left Jim and Barb to check in and unpack as the rest of our group continued on to our lodgings. After all the fun we had last year at The Old Oar House, we had decided this year to stay in one of the cabins that Bernie, owner of the establishment, offers for rent.
Mike and J.O. left us to head to their lodging, so we unpacked the scooter, washed off the road grime and decided to head for supper. We chose the BB Bar and Restaurant just a short ride up the road to meet for dinner. Luckily Stephanie and I had made it in time for some excellent fried chicken. Our fearless leader, on the other hand, missed out due to tardiness. (I’ll bet Mike isn’t late next year.) After supper we made our way back to The Old Oar House to enjoy a few refreshments and shoot the breeze. Time to get some sleep sneaked up on us much too quickly. Knowing we had a long day ahead, we called it a night.
Saturday morning we awoke to the sunshine and warm morning that had been forecasted, and after a big breakfast, we headed to the Orschlen parking lot in Warsaw where registration was well under way. After getting registered, Stephanie and I mingled through the riders greeting old friends and making new ones. The Khrome Cowgirls arrived in their witch costumes adding a holiday touch to the day. Once again, Carl led a gorgeous, trouble-free ride through the scenic Ozark back roads. As we made our way stop-to-stop, the dice once again refused to smile on me. The last stop of the ride was again The Old Oar House.
Festivities were in full swing as we arrived. A mechanical bull out front challenged the cowboy skills in many of the riders. Inside, tickets for the mini chopper being raffled by the American Bikers Relief Fund were going like hotcakes. I tried my hand on the bull, and though I thought I had skills, Stephanie informed me I wasn’t on nearly as long as I thought I was. Bull riding can make you mighty hungry, so the hog roast buffet was the next order of business. Everybody seemed to get their fill, and I saw more than one belt loosened a hole or two. The Curly Joe Harper Band provided the musical entertainment, and Patty provided the laughs with her marshmallow guns. The charity auction and the drawing for the mini chopper ended the official festivities, and the party was on. What happens in Warsaw stays in Warsaw, so if you are curious as to what followed, make plans to join us next year. You will not be sorry.
Stupid photo captions by Mike Schweder