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2006 Wing Ding Motorcycle Rally Blog - Day 4

This year I'm publishing highlights of the 2006 Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) Wing Ding rally, day by day in a blog. Wing Ding was scheduled for July 3-6 this year. The blog will also include my preparation in getting ready to take the ride to Nashville, TN and my observations while there.

The trip today was about 270 miles. It was 84 degrees at 10:30 a.m. That meant we were going to see mid-afternoon temperatures in the 90s. We stopped for lunch at a drive-in. We parked the bikes and placed our orders at special stations next to our bikes. It was so hot, we all got in the shade at some tables. I ordered a milkshake and the waitress spilled it on the ground just as she served us. She ran to get another shake.

We saw a couple of wrecks on the road, both involving trucks. One wreck backed up traffic for awhile as the temperature hovered near 96 degrees. That caused the two women riders, including Jane, to get overheated. We had to stop soon after that to cool off and hydrate. Jane got out her cool vest and iced it down. The other rider got a man's T-shirt and soaked it down with water. After that we continued on to Nashville where we tried to check-in at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. This is a big place.

Apparently there was a huge crush of people trying to register. It was more than the hotel could handle. We got there fairly late and were told that we'd have to wait maybe an hour or more to get a room assigned. It actually took almost two hours before we got into the room. Again, the room was very far from where we registered and required a lot of walking. Also the bikes had to be brought to the curbside baggage area where we unloaded them and got a ticket to present to the bell service when our room was ready. Along the way, we realized that we had slipped into the Central time zone so our clocks went back an hour. That gave us a bit more time to cleanup for our buffet supper later.

Some people didn't even ride to Wing Ding. They flew in. Others towed their bikes and some came by car. We rode but it was strenuous. Some of us have arthritis and other afflictions that make it difficult to ride for long stretches of time. Some even have trouble doing all the walking required once you park the bikes.

When we finally got to our room on the fifth floor, we found that we had a great view of the courtyard. The picture shows a boat that passes along an indoor stream that goes by under our room's patio. The boat has a table in the center, purportedly for couples to have a romantic dinner. Right now there is a live show across the way with acrobats and dancers.

Tomorrow we will be starting at 7:30 a.m. We have to be at the Convention Center at that time in our flag shirts and carrying our F-Troop bugles. We haven't even had a chance to get our registration papers yet but I guess that will come soon after the opening ceremonies.

I have no idea what we will be doing after registration tomorrow. That will be the subject of tomorrow's blog post.

Photos © 2006 Walter Kern

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