Wednesday, May 18, 2016

2016 Spring Shoot 'Em Up - I Finally Get There!

I left Idaho Falls fairly early and it was a bit chilly.  Unfortunately, my heat controller died so my heated jacket and pants were not working.  Darn!  So, I bundled up with my LD Comfort top and bottom, a BMW T-Shirt and my heavy fleece jacket and then my Klim riding gear.  Good thing I've lost a few pounds because otherwise I never would have gotten the jacket zipped up!  Oh well, my heated grips worked :-)

More of a slog on the I-15 this morning.  I made a stop at Lima, ID to warm up.  This is a very nice rest stop!

I didn't linger and was back on the interstate.  The wind was blowing and it was cold.....brrrrrrr.....  My poor little bike had a heck of a time keeping speed when pulling a long hill with strong headwinds.  I'd start out at 83 mph or so with the throttle pegged and watch the speed get slower and slower and slower.  Even down shifting didn't give much result.  So, I was resigned to slow climbs on the hills.

I wish I had something exciting to tell you but I just slogged along.  Traffic was light and only one person tried to run me off the road.  I bet they just about peed their pants when I honked my horn and then they saw me.  YIKES!!!!  Situational awareness!  I knew they would try to move into my lane and didn't see me.  Gosh, ya just gotta keep an eye out for those losers!

I finally turned off I-15 to I-90 West until Missoula where I got on Highway 93 for a short distance and then Montana Highway 200.  Oh man, that was such a treat.  The sun was out, no traffic and beautiful scenery along with some nice sweepers.  Oh yes!  It got even better when I turned onto MT Highway 56 which then turned into Highway 2.

About 20 miles outside of Bonner's Ferry, at the junction of Highway 2 and Highway 95, I took another rest stop.  Again, very nice and clean.

The scenery is certainly different from my current neck of the woods!  I love the mountains and evergreen trees.  Some small puffy clouds in a beautiful blue sky.

Just before arriving at the Log Inn in Bonner's Ferry (the host motel), I stopped at a nearby gas station/mini mart.  I had just parked the bike and was removing my helmet when another LD rider pulled up and gave me a big hello!  Well, hello right back at ya, Adam!  Then, I felt arms around me!  hahaha, it was Tyler and Sherry Zimmerman!  Good stuff.  I made a few purchases at the mini mart and headed to the hotel.  Here it is!
Hey, someone else is here too!  Actually there were already several bikes at the motel.
I was hoping to be the first as there was a prize for the first to arrive.  However, I found out I was hours and hours after the first rider.  Adam Keeling was the first to reach Bonner's Ferry.  I guess he rolled in about noon.  Congrats Adam!  He got a cool bag of goodies at the banquet for being the first to arrive :-)

So, I wasn't the first, second, third or fourth but I also wasn't the last!  Here's a shot of my room.  We stayed here last year for the Shoot Em Up event and really enjoyed it.  Lovely room, clean, tidy, lots of room.  So much nicer than the big box and chain motels.  I had lucky 13.

No long after I arrived, Bob and Sylvie Torter show up on their BMW.  I'm guessing it was too cold to be on a naked Harley ;-)

Now, here was a bike I didn't recognize.  Hmmmmm.....I found out later that it belongs to Shirley and this was her first long distance, overnight, solo ride.  She rides plenty just not solo long distances.  So this was a big deal for her.  We all helped her celebrate.  She fit right in!
That's Shirley in the middle with a Tyler on each side :-)
This is a photo of the elder of the two Zimmerman children, Shaelyn.  She has grown into such a mature young lady and she has her driver's license and a car to go with it!  Shaelyn chauffeured me and some others to the shooting range and the banquet.  She is very accomplished, confident, fun and a very good driver.  Thanks Shaelyn!  Oh, she also works at Zip's, the drive-in owned by Michael Boge where we all had lunch on Saturday.  But, I'm getting a head of myself.
This young man is Skyeler Zimmerman, now 11 but acting much more mature!  He is a very cool guy and a lot of fun to hang out with.
Admiring Dwight's Super Tenere along with Shirley.

Adam was getting the afternoon off to a good start with a beer.  Our BBQ this night was within walking distance (or chauffeured by Shaelyn or Sherry Z) so adult beverages were definitely on the agenda.

Warchild arrives with his beautiful bride, Annie and gave us all the welcome salute!
Warchild is good that way, he likes to salute everyone :-)  Here he is with Tyler Risk and Matt Watkins.  Matt had a pretty bad crash with a sheep last year and is still mending but he did manage to ride his Husky to Bonner's Ferry.
More and more folks arrive, shoot the bull, drink a beverage or two.

Several people asked me about the cookies but I hadn't looked.  I wasn't going to look.  I didn't want to spoil my good time by thinking about cookie crumbs.  I'd find out the same time as everyone else whether or not they survived the beating on I-15.

Then, it was time to BBQ.  Here is a photo of the merchants who helped sponsor the 2016 Spring Shoot 'Em Up event.  Thank you to each and every one of them!
Snacks before dinner.

Getting the feast set out before we dig in.

I love this picture - Sylvie Torter and Anavel Boge.
Michael Boge and Bob Torter looking much too serious.  Better drink some of whatever is in that red solo cup.
Skyeler Zimmerman and Laura Boge.  I KNOW this will embarrass Skyeler and probably Laura too, but Skyeler has had a crush on Laura for at least two years now.  Well who wouldn't?  Laura is very accomplished.  She wins downhill ski races and flat track motorcycle races!

Look at the plate of goodness Shirley is holding.  Oh my deviled eggs..... Sherry Zimmerman is looking awesome in pink!  I do believe Sherry, Tyler, Shaelyn and Skyeler all helped to make this a bountiful feast.  It was awesome!

I stepped outside for a smoke and saw this machine.  Look, look, look at that suicide shifter!

This is who rode it.  Not part of our group, but just checking things out.  I visited with him for a bit and checked out his ride.

Look at that mirror!!!!
More feasting.

Following the BBQ and BS sessions, we all retired for the night.  I fell asleep immediately!  Saturday promised to be a fun filled day.  I woke up in time to catch a ride to Zip's drive-in for brekkie/lunch.  Shaelyn took our orders and delivered a fantastic bacon cheeseburger and tater tots to my table.  Yummy!  We pretty much filled all the tables at Zip's.  Michael Boge is donating all the proceeds from the Spring Shoot 'Em Up riders to the Iron Butt Association.  Thanks Michael!

Tyler Z and Jeff Jones lining up to get their orders in.

Mario Winkleman (Mr. LD Comfort) was contemplating just what delicacy he was going to order.
Surprise!!!!!  Doug Chapman showed up with his lovely bride.  Wow!  I haven't seen Doug in a while, so glad they could make it.
Chowing down.

Oh Sweet Loretta!  Yup, that cutie with the blond hair is Matt Watkins' honey.  George Barnes and Mario kept Matt and Loretta company for lunch.

Some random and not very well done pics of the Zip's parking lot and LD bikes.

Now, this was really cool.  The electronic reader sign welcomed the Spring Shoot 'Em Up riders to Zip's.  Awesome, dude!

Following lunch, it was off to the shooting range.  After all, the event IS Spring Shoot 'Em Up!

We started at the outdoor range.  There were big guns, little guns, and unusual guns!

Aw, Dale giving me that salute again!
A small sampling of the fire power.

Trotting down the range to collect targets and see if anyone managed to hit one ;-)

Tyler Risk was shooting with a camera!

Some of the bikes lined up outside the gun range.


I don't know much about guns but this bad boy was awesome!  I was standing about 8 feet behind and could feel the "whoosh" from the back end of the gun when he shot.  I then stood off to the side and could see FIRE coming out the barrel.  Oh my heck!!!  Apparently, it is a competition handgun that has a rifle barrel cut down.  Oh my heck!!!

Zombie Targets!  Yeah, that's the kind of group this is. (Photo courtesy of Tyler Risk)
 Sylvie Torter's first time shooting.  I think she looks like a pro!  (Photo courtesy of Tyler Risk)
 Me and Shirley - kindred spirits for sure.   (Photo courtesy of Tyler Risk)

Adam looking very intense.   (Photo courtesy of Tyler Risk)
 Just a small fraction of the metal.   (Photo courtesy of Tyler Risk)
After getting warmed up and correcting the aim, the shooting party moved inside to the indoor range where there were several competitions.

One contest was to shoot 20 rounds within 2 minutes with the winner being the fastest.  Those with magazines had a much easier time than those with revolvers!   (Photo courtesy of Tyler Risk)
  (Photo courtesy of Tyler Risk)
 Not bad!   (Photo courtesy of Tyler Risk)
 Mario and George checking their targets.  See how big George's target is compared to Mario's?  Well, Mario won the target shoot last year so they gave him a tiny target this year to even the field a bit.   Hahahahaha.  He didn't win, but he did shoot awesome.   (Photo courtesy of Tyler Risk)
  (Photo courtesy of Tyler Risk)
 Hanging outside at the range.  George and Mario had me in stitches with their stories.  Oh, yes, we had fun!   (Photo courtesy of Tyler Risk)
  (Photo courtesy of Tyler Risk)
Okay, we wrapped up the shooting and back to the motel for a cocktail or two before our big banquet.  I still hadn't checked the cookies.  Several people asked me if I had looked but nope - wasn't going to do it.  Once we all got settled I opened the cookie box and much to my surprise and delight, only a few were broken and even then, just a little crack on the gun barrel.  Hooray!  I brought 30 cookies and handed out 29 plus one for me.  I had just enough :-)

All eyes and attention were riveted on Sherry and Tyler Zimmerman to find out who won the prizes.

Adam Keeling won the first to arrive, but then, I already told you that.  He got a big bag of schwag!

Some of the prize bags.
Jeff Jones won a bag but, sorry, I forgot what for.  I think the shooting competition.  He has experience because he is a retired LEO.
And.........I WON THE LONG DISTANCE RIDER!!!!!!!!  Yup, I rode 1,014.4 miles to attend the Spring Shoot 'Em Up.  In all honesty, that's not so far for a Long Distance Iron Butt rider but I just happened to ride the farthest.
I received an awesome schwag bag.  Yippee!!!  Cool stuff :-)
There were also raffles for additional prize bags and everyone had fun waiting for the ticket numbers to be called and see if they were the lucky one.  Jeff Fisher is hoping they call his number!

All too soon, the banquet was over and we all retired back to the motel.
Sunday morning I got up and took my time getting ready to leave.  I debated on a ride-a-bout but the weather was not cooperating.  It was cloudy, cool and windy with a promise of some kind of wet soon.  So I just decided to retrace my route for the return home.  With that said, I didn't take many photos on the way home.

Hey, I was the LAST to leave, lol.  I'm always surprised if I'm not the last.  I did spy Jan Mondale and her hubby Tom Daniels getting ready to leave.  We visited for a bit and I bade them farewell.  Then it was just me and my bike.  Packed and ready to hit the highway.

Now, on the trip up to Bonner's Ferry, the only animal I saw was a fat turkey.  Not so lucky on the return trip.  I saw another big fat turkey and then a herd of about 10  Rocky Mountain Sheep alongside the road so that I had to slow way down for them.  Not too long after that I began seeing the deer......uck!  Fortunately, they all behaved and stayed out of the road and out of my way!

Well, I knew I was going to reach a milestone on this trip.  My little 2011 BMW F650GS Twin turned 100,000 miles of smiles.  I knew it was going to happen and kept my eye on the odo and sure enough, I caught it just perfect.  There was a great pull out on the side of the road and I stopped and snapped my pics!

Wow!  That's a lot of miles :-)

I made a stop in Missoula, MT for gas and food and spotted the Torter's gassing up.  They left before me and headed east.  I was heading south.  By the time I ate, filled up the tanks and was ready to go the weather turned rather nasty with sleet.  I was concerned I'd find snow on the passes.  Oh well....This time I had added another layer, a long sleeve sweater to my gear.  I was so bundled up I could hardly move.  I mounted up and hopped on I-90 east to I-15 south with my goal being Idaho Falls, ID, where I had stayed on my trip up.  That wasn't going to happen.  Around 4:30 or so I was frozen and tired.  I stopped in Dillon, MT and found a lovely Best Western where I snagged a room for the night.  It wasn't anywhere close to Idaho Falls :-(

I warmed up, turned in and had a good night sleep.  The next morning, I again bundled up and got on the Interstate.  Yup, it's kind of a drone......on and on and on.......This was the second incident of a cage trying to run me off the road.  But, again, situational awareness!  It was a young gal in a small sedan - didn't even look much less see me.  She just changed lanes, no signal.  I hit the brakes and slid in behind her.  Humph.....As I passed her I looked at her and she didn't even budge or look at me.  Stupid Bit**.  You just cannot be alert enough.  She had no idea I was there when she made her move or even when I passed her.  Oh my.....

  I made it through the Salt Lake City corridor before rush hour (yay!) and stopped in Nephi, UT for a break.  It was then I realized I was really tired and I needed to just stop for the night.  I so wanted to make it home, only another 200 miles but I was toast.  Time to stop.  There is a very nice Best Western in Nephi, UT and they have very recently updated everything.  I was fortunate and got a ground floor room.  Yippee!  Now, for dinner....what to do?  I could order pizza, Chinese or Mexican food for delivery but that would be way too much for one person.  Oh, nice, the front desk had stuff you could nuke in your room.  I had a really healthy dinner of mac & cheese, Fritos and a Snickers bar.  Best part, it was only steps from my door.

The next morning I awoke, had some brekkie in the motel lobby and packed up the bike.  Two interesting events before I left.  One - a guy on a bike (with another guy on a bike) asked if I had stopped in Dillon, MT the night before.  Why, yes, yes I did.  Hahahahaha, apparently they had too and left before me and arrived in Nephi after me and he commented that I must had ridden my butt off to get to Nephi when I did.  That made me laugh.  They were on their way home to California from a week  ride-about.  Two - for the second time - a man staying at the motel started chatting with me as I loaded my bike.  He asked if I was alone - yes - duh!  Wasn't I afraid?  No - duh!  Was I carrying a gun?  No. He said I should.  He was a retired LEO from Michigan and was pretty adamant that I should be carrying.  Well, I do have a concealed carry license but I choose to not carry.  My whistle around my neck has served me well whenever I needed to dissuade someone from approaching me.  I simply told him a little white lie - I said I traveled into Canada and you can't take your firearm there.  That seemed to satisfy him and the conversation turned to other topics.

Shortly thereafter, I was back on the Interstate headed home.  I made one stop in Cedar City to fill the gas tank and motored on home.  It didn't warm up until about 40 miles from home and even then it only got to 70 something.  I will be purchasing a back up heat controller for my heated gear, you can be sure of that!

Oh, I almost forgot.  One more idiot.  Just two blocks from my house a guy in a small white pickup pulled onto the shoulder and was whipping around to make a U-Turn right in my path.  Now, I definitely had the right of way.  This guy DIDN'T EVEN LOOK for any traffic.  He didn't expect any.  It's a rural road that isn't well traveled.  Heck, I stopped.  Situational awareness again.  I anticipated his move and stopped in the middle of the road.  Then I honked.  Then he looked and stopped almost halfway in the road.  I gave him a double Warchild salute.  He motioned me to go.  Well, duh, you stupid MF, I had the right of way.  Of course, I was a bit timid to go but I did.  I watched him in my mirror and he pulled onto the street below ours.  I almost, almost, almost, turned around to confront him but decided that wouldn't do anything but piss me off and probably piss him off too.  So I just rode the last two blocks home, opened the garage door and parked my bike.

I was home, safe and sound.  I had a fantastic time.  It was an adventure :-)  I saw peeps I hadn't seen in a while, met some new peeps, had a ton of fun visiting, playing games, eating good food.  I overcame some issues and as always, learned something of value on my ride.  I missed my honey and was glad to see him when I got home.  AND, the cookies survived fairly well and they were well liked by everyone!

A giant shout out to Tyler, Sherry, Shaelyn and Skyeler Zimmerman for hosting this fantastic event!  They went far and beyond expectations and put on a super duper get together.  I'm already planning my ride for next year's Spring Shoot 'Em Up!

That's a wrap for this blog.  I have no idea what's next on the agenda for riding.  Our situation has changed a bit with Eric working full time so we don't have as much flexibility for travel.  I'm sure we'll sort something out and have some cool rides this summer.  Thanks for following along.  I do appreciate knowing that some of you are watching my Spot and reading my blog.  I know that if I need assistance, someone is only a few miles away!

Cheers and Hugs,


  1. Great story as always, Cletha...hope we can make it to that rally next year, it looks like a great time! :)

    1. Thanks Kelly. You guys would be most welcome and enjoy the fun!

  2. The competition pistol is a Thompson Center Contender, a single shot pistol with a huge following and even more caliber choices from the factory and aftermarket, from .22 to .500 caliber. Very popular for wildcat cartridges as well.

    1. Thank you for giving us the info. That was one fantastic gun! Heck, swoosh and fire? Yeah, that was awesome!

  3. Next time in Dillon, check out the Dillon motel & bar. You'll be glad you did. :)

  4. Thank you for a great read. I'm glad you had a safe and enjoyable ride.