Starting the Season Big – OBX Part 1

We didn’t get much chance to shake the dust off and get our motorcycle legs back before going on a five day motorcycle trip. Diana and I took the cold winter months off from riding this past year rather than riding with our HOG Chapter at least once a month as we have done in recent years.  On St Patrick’s Day Diana got her motorcycle out for the first time this year to participate in the MAV St Patty’s Day Poker Run. My motorcycle made a visit to Turner Tech for a new rear tire and rear brake pads the following weekend. We spent the next weekend doing our own maintenace and getting the motorcycles ready for spring. Diana’s spring break was approaching fast and we had plans for a 5 day road trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina aka OBX. Spring Break came quickly and Diana and I didn’t have any other opportunities to ride and give the motorcycles a shake down to make sure our maintenance was done correctly. We took the bikes out for a short local bop around White Clay Creek the day before our big trip. I was apprehensive about this, but that is normal for me.

Three years ago from yesterday we embarked on a trip to Kill Devil Hills, NC during Outer Banks Bike Week with our HOG Chapter. We planned the trip with Karen and Ed. On the way down there was a terrible accident and Karen was killed by a driver under the influence.  We never made it to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel. We have since crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel on our motorcycles and visited the accident site every April. We have also participated in Cheriton Day in honor of the fire fighters and EMT’s who came to our side that tragic day. So we have been back to the area of the accident a number of times but we never made the trip to the outer banks on our motorcycles. We decided it was time to make the trip in honor of Karen this April and to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel in honor of Vic. Vic was a Harley-Davidson enthusiast from Pennsylvania who had cancer and passed on November 25th, 2011. He loved riding across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel on his motorcycle.

Shortly after the accident my brother’s inlaws moved into the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge  just a few miles down the road from where Karen was killed. We have visited several times so our ties to the area are strong but with a dark undertone. Katie and Alan’s house inside the wildlife refuge is exactly halfway to Cape Hatteras (our destination for this journey).

As if my apprehension about the trip wasn’t bad enough and the dark ominous undertones of traveling down Rt 13 were cause for emotional disturbance we received news that a couple who belong to our HOG Chapter had a bad accident the day before our trip and we had lost another friend to the unforgiving road.

On Easter Sunday Diana and I rolled the motorcycles out for a five day road trip. I said a prayer out loud before we left thanking God for this magnificent country he blessed us with and that beckens to be explored and appreciated. I asked him to watch over us and protect us and as we try our best to cast our fears aside and venture forth to live our lives with the spirit of adventure and freedom that all motorcyclists thrive on. And with that being said we shifted into gear and hit the road to visit Alan on Virginia’s Eastern Shore at the very bottom tippity tip of the Delmarva Peninsula. Hopefully this would be fun trip to the beach, a well earned vacation and a safe adventure. The story continues in 2 days.

Jay getting ready to leave for OBX

Diana getting ready to leave for OBX

We miss you Karen and we still think of you often.

In memory of karen fortner

Karen Baine Fortner was killed 4-24-09 by a driver under the influence of drugs. Karen was an inspiration, an orignal and lots of fun to be with. She was and will always be our friend.