Dodging the RoadkillClarksville, Tn — There’s a popular internet meme that says, “don’t look back, there’s nothing to see there.”  My understanding is that it refers to your life BEFORE motorcycles, and while that’s true, I think it’s healthy to take stock in where you’ve come from and how you will move forward.

Self improvement is a never ending process.  Learning from your mistakes is critical.  To just simply ignore the things that happen in your life as coincidence is wrong.  In my opinion, I believe that things happen for a reason, and I’ve got to recognize that.

I don’t want to be better than everybody else, I just want to be better than I was yesterday.

These last several weeks have given me a lot of time to reflect on my journey, my life, especially this past year, and to appreciate all the good things that have happened.  The amazing people I’ve met along the way, and the BEAUTIFUL places I’ve been.

I started the year on my first trip with a group of friends, to Texas.  I LOVE Texas.  I have dear friends there who introduced me to the Texas countryside and people and places that make Texas one of my favorite destinations.

The purpose of the trip was to ride the Three “Twisted” Sisters.

The Three Sisters comprise of Ranch Road 335, Ranch Road 336, and Ranch Road 337 all of them two-lane roads with some stretches of bumpy road. This route is full of twisties through Texas, so twisty that the Three Sisters are often referred to as the “Three Twisted Sisters“.

Hank Texas Motorcycle

2019 Texas Crew

I’ve been here many times.  Early in my journey, one of the first trips I took was to Texas. I have dear friends there who introduced me to some of the most amazing riding you can find.

The group that I traveled with allowed me to hang out with people I knew, but got to know better.  Spending time away from the bike allows you to connect through a common bond, the motorcycle.  It was an amazing trip.

My next journey was one I had been anticipating for the past year.  STURGIS!

Four of us took off to this legendary motorcycle rally and the two weeks I was on the road were some of the most AMAZING time’s I’ve had on a motorcycle.  I went for the riding, not the party.

Blowing through South Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas, Iowa and Colorado were memories I will never forget, and I’ve never seen so many motorcycles in my life. 

Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Devil’s Tower, Wall Drug were just a few of the places I got to see.  It’s incredible to actually be in a place that you’ve heard about all your life.  To stand there in the “wonder” of the moment. 

Then it was on to Colorado. 

The morning I left Sturgis was one of the most beautiful rides of my life.  Winding through Deadwood and the Black Hills and crossing into Wyoming was epic.  Wyoming had a certain “feel” to it.  If you want to feel what “wide open spaces” feels like, it’s Wyoming.  I want to go back.

Colorado Springs was where new friends were waiting.  A full day of riding through the Colorado mountains was amazing.  It’s just a breathtaking experience to be in the Colorado mountains. 

I went from Colorado Springs to Ouray, Colorado, and to ride the Million Dollar Highway.  If you’ve never been there, YOU. MUST. GO!  Spending time with good friends was a bonus.  Looking out my bedroom window at the Mountains that tower over me is a “postcard” moment and memory.

Hank Sturgis Motorcycle

2019 Sturgis Crew

I ended my travel season with my annual trips to the Great Smoky Mountains.  Two weekends every fall, with the man who would eventually save my life, are some of my favorite times.  This was the third year in a row we’ve made this trip.

This part of the country, in the Fall, is so beautiful, and the riding is incredible.  The Foothills, Cherohala Skyway, Tail of the Dragon and more.  It’s a trip I always look forward to and the memories I make are forever ingrained in my brain.

A quick visit to Gulf Shores Alabama to surprise a dear friend, and a trip to the Kentucky State Bar-B-Q Festival were also on my 2019 travel list.  Gulf Shores was my “flat tire” debacle. 

Then it happened.  November 10, 2019. 


Not the way I would want to close out 2019, and certainly not something I would wish on anybody.  Hitting a deer on a motorcycle was the closest I’ve ever come to dying, but I’ve managed to fully recognize the blessing that occurred as a result of it.  The outpouring of love and support during that time brings tears to my eyes.

I’m still recovering physically and mentally.  It happened, I’m healing and I’m moving forward.  If I could go back and change it, I would.  God gave me a chance to realize how precious life is and how blessed I am to be here.  My view on life in general has changed.  My life particularly.

All in all, 2019 was packed with beautiful people, beautiful places and lots of time in the saddle of my beloved Black Beauty.  She was the bike I wanted and had built for me.  When she died, it was sad. 

Please, don’t take anything for granted.  Stop and smell the roses.  Life comes at you fast, and it’s over before you know it.

So, as I look forward to 2020, with a new bike, I’m anxious to see where my journey takes me.  New places, new experiences, new friends and old.  Take stock in your life and where you’ve been and learn to appreciate where you’re going. 

I hope you’ve had an amazing year and that next year brings you joy and happiness.  Good health and good love.

Enjoy your journey and thanks for following mine.