Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Morning Driving... Felt good before the 100 degree weather hit.

Morning Driving... Felt good before the 100 degree weather hit.

What a great and exhausting day!  We were able to get in seven hours of riding through Connecticut, New Jersey (because we took a wrong turn), and arrived in York, Pennsylvania by 2pm.  Upon arriving, we were greeted by two lovely young ladies, Pam and Christina, who allowed us to help with their church remodeling.  How we arrived at this church in the middle of York, is quite a sequence, hence, this story needs a little background information before we get started.  So let’s back up a little bit:

On Day 14 we spent time at Niagara Falls, and we actually met another biker right after we talked with the Amish family.  This guy parked right next to us and was admiring Greg’s Suzuki when we arrived (we learned this fact afterwards, and Greg now likes to tease his father about it).  We got to talking for about 15 minutes and we said our goodbyes and continued on with our day.  Upon departing Greg and Jerry were talking about how nice the guy was and it’s unfortunate we didn’t exchange information.

It is because of this stranger, who we now like to call John, our friend, who brought this opportunity our way.  Upon arriving back at our motorcycles, we found a note telling us to contact him and send him our website address and to ride safe.  We emailed each other a few times, and he invited us down to his place if we wanted to visit York, Pennsylvania and see the Harley Davidson Factory Tour!  Soon after, he went above and beyond.  He contacted friends and contacts and looked for an opportunity for us to help someone.

Jerry hard at work.  Missed a spot.

Jerry hard at work. Missed a spot.

After we talked about the opportunity, he thought we might be doing ‘construction work or something’.  It initially sounded great until the heat picked up to 95 degrees.  Thankfully, we were spoiled and put inside with air conditioning.  We destroyed a desk, replaced it with a better one they had, and then we got to play with paintbrushes!  We had a lot of fun and it never feels like work when you get to help someone out and do it with such wonderful people.  We really didn’t get to do too much, but they fed us pizza anyways!  Pam said that we came at the perfect time and we were happy about that, but still wish we could have finished more.  We didn’t get to finish the job, so instead, we signed the wall and took off:

We like to leave a mark wherever we go.

We like to leave a mark wherever we go.

To get this gig, John contacted many people, but it wasn’t until he contacted a woman named Beth, who then contacted her father, Dave, who does a lot of charity/volunteer work… and Dave then contacted Pam (the church’s youth coordinator) who needed some help.  Long chain right?  Let me simplify:

Niagara Falls Stranger (John) –> Beth –> Dave (Beth’s Father) –> Pam (Youth Coordinator)

John, Greg, Pam, Christina, Jerry

John, Greg, Pam, Christina, Jerry

Today was going great.  We had 7 hours of riding under our belt, helped at a church, and now it was time to relax and get to know John and his family.  But recently, Greg’s rack on the back of his bike broke and was vibrating as he rode.  This came up in conversation and we jokingly asked… “You wouldn’t happen to know someone who can weld do ya?”

As it turns out, he has several neighbors that could do the job and before we knew it, he was on the phone!  Shortly after, we were unpacking the bike and driving it over to the neighbors, and this shirtless man with a big smile comes walking up.  He didn’t know why we were there (because his wife offered his services), but he couldn’t be more joyful to help.  Cliff was on the job!  (Or ‘Cliffy’ as John’s wife, Jill,  likes to call him)

"Cliffy" working on Greg's rack.

"Cliffy" working on Greg's rack.

Dismantling.  It was a pain in the butt getting this back on.

Dismantling. It was a pain in the butt getting this back on.

We had a great time, and after about two hours BSing, a lot of laughter, and fixing the bike, it was already dark.  We went back to John’s place and met his wonderful wife (Jill) and daughter (Molly) and chatted for hours on end while drinking about a gallon of their juices and teas.  We needed to hydrate!  We also tried a new food for us called stromboli!  Yum!

A SURPRISE photo of the Family (one is missing).

A SURPRISE photo of the Family (one is missing).

After a night of great conversation we went to bed around midnight and slept soundly feeling good about our day.

Tomorrow… Harley-Davidson Factory, Gettysburg, and off to Maryland!