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Tag: family trips

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Challenges to Memories

My friend Mike Hinton is a fighter and a survivor. A retired career uniform police officer, a loving husband and father of three, and in recent years a jovial grandfather, Mike has faced many challenges in his life, each making him stronger and more resilient. A man of deep faith, with a great love of family, friends and travel, Mike knows the value of shared experiences with people you care deeply about. Currently battling an aggressive cancer, Mike has accepted the challenge and like every other occasion in his life, has endeavored to navigate it with faith, courage and resolve. An avid motorcyclist since his teen years, Mike has chronicled some amazing adventures in his life, and I’ve been privileged to share some of those with him. In his own words, “As young men, we seek out challenges in our lives then savor the victory of the conquered challenge. As we get older, we may still seek out challenges that fit our age and health, but the memories that we look back on and those that we still are creating are now more important than the challenges and their victories.”

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Libby Accidentally

Our plan was grand: my cousin and riding buddy Dave “White Girl” Wensveen and I would tour Yellowstone, Beartooth Pass and Glacier National Park in one giant sweep, gathering them all like kids plucking pastel eggs from the green grass on Easter morning.  We crammed White Girl’s Dodge diesel pickup camper full of provisions, stowed our twin VFR800s in the trailer and pointed the Dodge’s hood east.  Things went wrong as soon as we left the driveway.

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The Zombie Ninja, Pt. 2

Joining our squad of swift, veteran riders was my 16-year old son Matt, who earned his driver’s license and motorcycle endorsement simultaneously little more than a month before.  A motorcycle I nicknamed the Zombie Ninja was his mount, a Kawasaki Ninja 500R that absorbed parts and money like a giant, sucking black hole of bottomless misery until it roared to life just days before departure.  Before us lay the 30 miles of Canada’s 31A, technical tarmac where beauty reigns, crashes are frequent and speed is a punishable commodity.

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The Zombie Ninja, Pt. 1

Motorcycle parked in my driveway, I walked up the stairs to my front door as a dead man walking, dead man walking, I was a dead man walking. A 3-day, 900-mile tour of Canada complete, I was returning home without my 16 year old son. I had no idea where he was. Inside waited my wife whose blissful world was about to be ripped apart by the news, and I would deliver the blow that would drop her to her knees.

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