Friday, September 19, 2008

Eureka Springs Reunion

The WiFi at the Iron Horse reported by Lucky Al was, like Mark Twain's demise, greatly exaggerated. It turns out that he was connecting to an access point in a building across the street. If we sat out at the end of the motel, we could connect sporadically but this wasn't very blog friendly.

First thing this morning, Sherm headed out to Springdale to see if the Honda dealer there could do anything with his FI (fuel injection) warning light. Sandy and I had breakfast at the Silver Spoke Grill on site and then did a turn from 9:00 until 11:00 AM at the registration table.

About the time we were finishing up our registration shift, Sherm got back from Springdale with the word that it would take hours to diagnose the problem, which would have been cost prohibitive even if the shop had time to address it. They did state that, if the bike was running OK, the problem was likely in the heater and not the sensor and would not pose a problem.

Taking advantage of a window with nothing scheduled, Sherm and I headed into Berryville in search of the public library and a WiFi access point. We found it and the librarian, who was having a birthday, welcomed us. These are usually good places to get on line if you're on the road. I did get some bad news. Biker sent an Email telling me the Steelworkers Hall in Sudbury was on fire. This is (or was) a major local landmark.

Sherm blogs in the Berryville Library

Completing our business, we headed on back to the IHS where Sandy joined us for lunch at the Silver Spoke. We were under orders not to eat anything until we collected her. My bacon cheeseburger had a real beef patty and was excellent. Sandy and Sherm had toasted BLT's.

After lunch, we relaxed in the room for a while. Flamekiller, Rem and Lucky Al were working on a token of appreciation for Moon, who was winding up three years of organizing the ES Reunion. One feature was getting the attendees to sign the VROC banner.

Sherm gets rousted out of the shower to sign the banner as Rem looks on

The banquet at the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks began at 6:00, but the group photo was scheduled for 5:30. We arrived about 5:00 just to be safe and found many there already. Because the photo was going to be used by Kawasaki PR, we moved the Tupperware off to a separate location.

GoldWings and a Weedeater sit off by themselves during the group photo

Before the meal began, Lucky Al and I commandeered the podium to pay tribute to Moon. After briefly (remember, supper was waiting) recounting ES history and Moon's contribution, Al asked people to sign the banner and Flamekiller presented her with a plaque. In her words afterwards, Moon acknowledged that she might only be 'mostly' retired.

Supper was great. There were many salads and veggies, southern fried chicken, pork and roast beef followed by a variety of desserts. The staff at the Best Western are very competent and cheerful, which added to the experience. Teri Conrad of Riders of Kawasaki, sponsoring the banquet, sat at our table.

The travelers' table

Our table was interesting. We were a crew of close friends and, other than Sandy and I, nobody was from the same jurisdiction. In the photo, we have Slammer (North Carolina), Coyote (Texas), Wrong Turn (West (By God) Virginia), Cheap Bastard (Alabama), CC Rider (Mississippi), Sherm (Oregon) and Sandy (Ontario). Missing is Teri (California).

After dinner, we started into the draws. We do need a way to streamline this because it cut into our party time. On the other hand, one of the reasons it went on was because there were so many things to give away.

Sherm keeps an eye on his tickets of many colours

My winnings

Sherm, for all the tickets he had laid out there, only won one can of Kawasaki Wipe Down Cleaner. My haul looks good and I did win the Kuryakyn ISO grips, a very nice prize, but I was given the Wipe Down and the Cherry Power washing soap by the raffle officials. I think they are trying to tell me something. Sandy won a Kawasaki Buff, similar to what they wear on the TV show Survivor.

After the drawing was over, we headed back to IHS in the dark. There, people mingled and talked while Karaoke was committed up on the deck. Eventually, people wandered off with CC Rider, Shelby and I hanging on until the bitter end, just before 3:00 AM. Still, this was awfully early compared to the good old days.

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