Howdy! Grab a chair an’ a beer! Well, here in Madtown, the fields are all green, an’ the wildflowers are poppin’ up all over. Somebody once said that April showers bring May flowers, but just ask any Indian what Mayflowers brought! Pilgrims, that’s what, an’ spring is the time ta start my yearly series of pilgrimages. All winter, Reggie an’ I have been takin’ short rides when the sun’s out, but now it’s time for the real stuff.

Anyway, I just spent yesterday cleanin’ Reggie’s trike an’ my new chop so we can put ’em in Arlen’s show in San Mateo, which’ll be over by the time ya read this.

Next on the agenda is the “Vineyard Run” to Paso Robles that the Hamsters put on every twice in a while. We’ll get to see folks we don’t see nearly enough, an’ have a good time sippin’ that tantalizin’ fruit of the vine. I was hopin’ that our friends Arnie an’ LaRue Araujo would be there, but Arnie has ta work, so stop by Bob Dron H-D an’ tell him howdy. (An’ buy somethin’ this time, will ya? It’s way past time ta replace that raggedy-ass T-shirt yer wearin’.)

Next up is one of our two favorite runs of the year; the one I’ve only missed a couple of times in the last 20-something years. The Frog Jumps! For those of ya who’ve never been, the Frog Jumps have been goin’ on in Calaveras County on the third weekend in May since the 1870s when Mark Twain published his story. I learned that there’s a waitress in San Andreas that was workin’ the day ol’ Mark wrote his story, an’ she’s still slingin’ hash ta this very day! My buddy Jack tried ta date her last year, but the ol’ gal does have her standards!

On your way up, be sure ya stop at the Red Barn in Tuttletown an’ say hello ta Stan an’ Miss Becky. The beer’s always icy cold, an’ there’s campin’ space galore an’ a band ta keep ya entertained! It’s a real friendly little roadhouse, an’ you’re gonna love it!

Anyway, the weather in May is normally beautiful, an’ the ridin’ just doesn’t get any better than those back roads like Parrot’s Ferry Road between Murphys an’ Columbia. Bring yer camera!

While you’re there, don’t miss Murphys’ main street, especially on Friday an’ Saturday night. There’s a band at the Murphys Hotel, where Reggie an’ I always hang our helmets, an’ the old stone wall out front plays host ta the most famous butts in the world of motorcyclin’. You’ll definitely want yer camera here, ’cause ya might even see me! I’ll be the one tryin’ ta hide his Cap’n an’ Coke behind a week-old newspaper since yer not supposed ta bring ’em outside. The best custom bikes in the world an’ Main Street burnouts are the order of the day, so keep yer eyes peeled!

There’s also the Ironstone Winery (yeah—there I go with the wine again) where ya can enjoy some bubbly an’ a great lunch, an’ tour their gold museum where they have a huge gold nugget for ya ta drool on. Actually, I think they touch it up now an then with spray paint, ’cause its startin’ to look like a paint huffer’s sock, but I can’t prove it.

By the time ya recover from the Frog Jumps, June will be bustin’ out all over, as the ol’ song says, an’ as we all know, June is the Redwood Run! All those big ol’ redwood trees are enough ta drive any self respectin’ dog insane with urinary ecstasy, but us humans can enjoy ’em too; just don’t get caught at it.

This is one run that Reggie endures a lot of pain ta go on, but it’s worth the pain an’ effort. For us, it’s two days up, three days there, an’ two days back home, but the scenery, the company, an’ the freedom while she’s on her trike make this another favorite run of the year. Most of our friends stay at the Benbow Inn at Garberville, but they don’t have handicap-accessible rooms, so we stay about two miles away. Fortunately, there’s always plenty of helpin’ hands ta get her up the Benbow’s back steps to the bar an’ patio where we can hang out an’ swap lies with everybody after ridin’ through the Big Trees all day!


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