Ride for the Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House 2010!
Diane and I will be riding to a McD's meeting in Boise, Idaho. Our route will carry us from Chattanooga through KY, IN, IL, MO, IA, NE, SD and into MT as we make our way to ID. We will visit the Lewis and Clark sites in NE and SD, the Badlands, Black Hills and Mount Rushmore in SD, into Galcier National Park in Montana before going to ID from the west side of Glacier.We will ride over 2900 miles on the way to Boise.
Meetings in Boise and Sun Valley will take 4 days and then through the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone on our way home. After 2-3 days roaming Wyoming we will return home to our family. Our return ride will be approx 2600 miles.
It costs $55 a night per family to provide the services of the Ronald House.With your help we would like to fund the expense of housing a family for 100 nights! Our goal is to reach $5500 in donations.
Please give what you can, knowing that the money will help families with sick or injured children realize their dreams for their loved ones.
Thank you for your support and please forward this to your freinds,
Art & Diane Holekamp
Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts.
Day 1 We left the Ronald House at 4pm on Friday, June 4, 2010 in a light drizzle.I-24 to Nashville was uneventful and traffic was light.Crossing into KY we were greeted by fields of corn and straw for hay. Into Paducah, KY at 7:30 pm to stay the night at the FoxBriar Inn, a restored building on the Paducah riverfront.Great day 285 miles
Day 2 The day began on the riverfront in Paducah watching antique cars pull in and setup for a show. The cars were cool, the riverfront was calm and the day was pleasant.I-24W to I-57N to I-64W took us across the Miss. River into St. Louis. We made a stop to visit my Dad's grave and pay our respects and then back onto I-70. At Boonville, MO we turned north on MO41 and stopped at Arrow Rock State Historical Site. It's an old town that was a port city in the days of Lewis and Clark.The Lewis and Clark Trail west on US24 took us to Kansas City.The fields of corn and hay straw were abundant, orderly and growing to end up as ethanol fuel. 95 degrees, 495 miles.
Day 3 Kansas City, MO to Niobrara, NE.Beautiful day following the Lewis & Clark Trail out of MO to Omaha, NE on I-29.US75 to NE12 was a great ride. Rolling hills, 1st cattle ranches of the trip,lots of corn and hay fields.The area is thick with history, old toll bridges over the Missouri River, Lewis & Clark sights and even a ride on NE12 "Outlaw Trail" Relatively cool day, 85, low humidity.A pleasant change from the last 2 days! The Hilltop Lodge and Motel was a great place to spend the night, the steaks at "Oles Cafe" were great! 390 miles
Day 4 Out of NE into SD over the MO River on SD Hwy 37. North to SD 50 and then west on SD44.Rolling fields of corn, hay, soybeans and wide open cattle ranches. Indian Reservations with Casinos, wide expanses and open prairie grasslands on both sides of long, straight, rolling highways complete with full ponds, lakes and streams indicate a wet winter and spring. We entered the Badlands National Park to view the magnificient sites. Amazing landscape, flowers, prairie dogs, redwing blackbirds, doves are everywhere. We spent 2-3 hours in the park viewing all of the unique sites. After a short ride to Wall, SD and a quick visit to Wall Drugs, we went to dinner and bed at the Sunshine Inn A great day with cool temps with a little rain. 325 miles.Blackhills tomorrow!
Day 5 Wall, SD to Broadus, MT Wildlife was everywhere today.From ducks,deer, antelope, buffalo, birds and bugs we saw it all. Riding on I-90 towards Rapid City we got up close and personal with a mallard duck. It bounced off the top of the windshield, off my helmet, over Diane's shoulder to a quick death on the I-90. No damage to bike or us, only a dead duck. Into Mt. Rushmore on US 16 and what a site! The monument to the presidents is much more impressive than I remember from seeing it at 16 years old. We left Mt. Rushmore and traveled through Custer State Park & then north via "Needles Highway" The views of the mts., pondersoa pine and hemlock were amazing. Then north on US385 through Spearfish Canyon and on to Spearfish, SD. Winding roads, great views, amazing landscapes for an adventure of a lifetime! West out of Spearfish into the NE corner of WY and then into MT on US212 .We stopped for the night at the Broadus Motel. 340 miles
Day 6 Broadus to Great Falls, MT. US12 led us to Little Big Horn and Reno-Benteen Battlefields. Custer's last stand area is rich with the history of the Indian west. The terrain on US12 was open prairie with natural grasses, flowers and climbs up ridges that were posted with ice chain install/removal areas.Custer National Forest is full of big, tall ponderosa pine, cottonwood and aspen. Deer, turkeys, cows and horses are easily seen. I90 takes us to Billings.MT3 leads us to the mtns.The change in altitude up to 8000' yields different trees and flowers, Fir, spruce and aspen add to the list of tree species.Wheat fields are abundant along with snowmelt swollen creeks, rivers and ponds/lakes.The sites are beautiful even as rain appears for about an hour. As we climb out of White Sulphur Springs to above 9000' on US 89 we ride between snow covered mtns and forests. Again, beautiful sites and amazing adventures Great Falls greets us for another restful night. 425 miles.
Day 7 began in Great Falls. Nice weather, a bit overcast but a great day for riding on US 89N towards East Glacier.Immediately to the west we see the snow covered peaks of the Rockies! The closer we got the more dynamic they become. Rolling foothills, open range livestock, Indian Reservations and new sites are around every sweeping turn. In a light drizzle we pull into Many Glaciers Hotel. 200 miles today with many adventures ahead!
Day 8 BEAUTIFUL!Weather great, scenery great, company great, all day GREAT! Eagles, bear, deer, mtn goats, unique birds, trees, flowers, streams, riviers, views, glaciers, and people. Riding the partially opened "Going to the Sun Hwy" was an amazing 26 miles.This is truly an incredible place and is hard to describe with words.185 miles of riding took over 10 hours to complete!
Day 9 It seems a shame to leave a place so beautiful, but today we ride to West Glacier. US 89 south takes us to East Glacier where a breakfast in the "Mystic Cafe" of baked oatmeal(a 1st for me) was great. Nice scenery as we get on US 2. Towering mtns, tall trees, sweeping railroad tracks and bridges on a beautiful day leads us to the west side at Apgar Village. We spot a mature bald eagle in flight, see a pair of grizzlies, many deer, a moose and a black bear.Sailing on Lake McDonald caps a perfect day.Buffalo steaks and then sleep.West Glacier is beautiful, but East Glacier remains our favorite. 200 miles.
Day 10 We leave Glacier National today on our way to Boise. Back onto US2 towards US 93S Traffic is sparse but unwelcome as the day turns warmer.Through Missolla the traffic thins as we head into scenic canyons and forests with the snow capped Rockies in the background. As we climb out of MT and into Idaho we circle down into the Salmon River Canyon on US93. What a site. Fast clear water, tall fir, spruce, cedar and BIG! ponderosa pine. The ride to Salmon, ID was tremendous.We spend the night at the Sacajwea Inn. 345 miles.
Day 11 Into Boise via US 93, ID 75 and ID 21. The climb out of Salmon takes us through more of the Salmon River Canyon and into Challis National Forest and Sawtooth Wildlife Refuge. The canyon is as impressive as any place we have seen. Cold, fast waters, tall trees, magnificient mtn peaks, and a beatiful day. As we get closer to Boise on ID 21 we round a curve to see a mature bald eagle in a tree, stalking the river for his meal! Into Boise for dinner and mtg with McD's friends! 265 miles today
Day 12 Boise to Caldwell to Sun Valley, ID today. I-84W to the Simplot potato plant where 3 million lbs of potatoes are processes each day into McD's fries and hashbrowns. A very impressive operational tour! East on I84 to US 20, north on ID75 took us to Sun Valley.We checked into the Simplot Lodge for a walk around town, dinner and a good nights sleep in a very nice facility.Great day 230 miles
Day 13&14 SunValley has unique people, scenery and feel. 2 days of relaxing and sightseeing with friends in the Rockies! Time to strecth our legs and rest
Day 15 SunValley to the Tetons today.We rode out of town with 2 antelopes in front of us.ID75 and US20 to Jackson Hole,WY with a view of the Tetons on the horizon.As we pulled into the Tetons we saw buffalo, elk, antelope and deer along with the peaks of the mtns, clear mtn streams and lakes.Dinner and the night at Lake Jackson Lodge was nice 240 miles
Day 16 Jackson Lake, Yellowstone and to Cody, WY.Beautiful sites, views of geysers, mtn valleys, streams, lakes and nice weather made the ride enjoyable.We spent a comfortable night in Cody due to the hospitality of Darryl and Judy Wilson 310 miles
Day 17 Cody to Caldwell,NE.WY120 takes us through Thermoplis with hotsprings, buffalo and another car show.US20and I-25 out of Caspaer carries us into NE. Rolling farmland, corn, alfalfa, long cargo trains heavy winds, dark clouds greet us as we entered NE. Historic Fort Robinson State Park gave us a pleasant meal and night's rest 430 miles
Day 18 Caldwell to Nebraska City via NE2 and I80 takes us past flooded farmland, rivers and streams.6 1/2" of rain the day before makes us thankful for the extra day in SunValley!470 miles
Day 19 NE2 to I-29S to US36E takes us to Hannibal, MO for a quick stop to see the town of Mark Twains childhood.We cross the Miss River then south on IL96 for a great dinner in Atlas, IL then onto to Nashville, IL for the night 99 degrees 470 miles
Day 20 I-64 to I-57 to I-24 HOME! 415 miles 95 degrees Hot! Great to be in Chattanooga!
6020 miles of adventure and great times!