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Sunday, October 24, 2010

10-24-2010 Mt. Baker HOG Park Road Cleanup

Wednesday the weatherman’s forecast was for rain and high winds for Sunday morning and early afternoon. Thursday the forecast was the same. Dave Lahr who was organizing the Park Road cleanup said it was rain or shine so everyone should bring their raingear.

Larry picked up the vests, hats, garbage bags, and disposable gloves on Wednesday and Mike Gilbert arranged for some special prizes donated by Mt. Baker HOG to be won by those helping with the cleanup.

Sunday morning was a typical early fall morning in western Washington, grey, cloudy, with a strong chance of rain. We poured a cup of coffee to go and headed down the freeway towards Alger, passed Cain Lake, and onto the old Scooters Stuff store. When Larry and I arrived we found Pam and Pat taking cover under the small overhang to the store front. They said Dave and Brenda had gone up the road to drop off prizes and we told them we would return after putting out the safety signs.

The six of us stood huddled together the overhang laughing and trying to stay dry from the rain that was now a full downpour. As we laughed and talked waiting to see who would show up, Pat leaned back against the door to the store and it popped open. Whoa…. Well we took shelter inside and Pat and Pam called their friend who has the listing to let them know about the unlocked door and after the clean up and before we departed they had instructions on how to lock up the store. Meanwhile a group of HOG members had arrived and the rain was letting up. Dave L. gave quick instructions about what not to pick up, described the Jack-In-The-Box antenna balls that were scattered along the roadway that when found entitled you to a prize (8 in all). We were ready to go.

One group started at the store working their way uphill and the rest of us hitched a ride to the top of the road, about 4 miles from the start, and we began searching for trash to fill our bags. A few more members showed up and were dropped off at the midpoint and worked their way uphill. About an hour later and the road was clean…we hope…there were a lot of leaves covering the road and we did the best we could. Everyone was picked up and dropped back at the store.

Dave L. had called ahead to the Blue Mountain Grill and they were expecting our group for lunch. We were all looking forward to hot coffee, hot food, and a warm building to take the chill off. Just as we sat down and started combing over the menus to make our selections, the lights went out. The generator kicked in, then the power sort of came on and off again, and then the generator came back on. No matter how well you plan something, you can’t control the little things that happen in life. Judy, our waitress, had a pot of coffee and everyone who wanted coffee got a cup half full, all that is except Mike G. who somehow managed to get a full cup. A little checking and the staff said they could serve some breakfast items and some grill items, including French fries. We had choices and in a matter of minutes we placed our orders and sat back to visit with friends. We could hear Judy singing “You Light Up My Life” as she helped the staff get our orders ready while trying to conjure the lights on. We weren’t expecting to be serenaded. As Judy served up our meals she said this day should be called “The day the lights went out in Wickersham." (Remember the song, The night the lights went out in Georgia?)

Judy gave Nicole a quarter for the gumball machine as a Halloween treat leaving Lynn feeling a little left out so Judy brought him his own quarter and Nichole showed him where the candy machines were. Lynn skipped back to the table with a big smile on his face and a handful of jelly beans…it doesn’t take a lot to make Harley riders happy.

Judy referred to herself as “the little waitress that could” swinging her hips as she walked away.

Next time you see Monty be sure and ask him who won the Tinkerbell card game he was going to play with Nicole when they got home.

It was a good day. Together, Mt. Baker HOG members worked to improve our community by cleaning trash off the roadways. Judy at Blue Mountain Grill thanked us for helping out and I am sure everyone who travels up and down Park Road appreciates seeing the beauty of the road.

Photos by Dave Lahr

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