This weekend started out on a pretty rough footing for me.

The news that yet another friend passed due to a motorcycle accident was devastating and I needed to ride.

With hubby being up and down I have had to alter my entire riding schedule and attend events that are within a days ride of home. I had planned on attending the Pig 'n' Fin, but that was not to be.

So when the opportunity presented itself to ride to High Level for their first Toy Run, I had to go.

I have never been to Manning or High Level before. The scenery was wonderful!

I headed out on Friday night at about 5pm and rolled in to Manning around 7:30 pm, and took a room at a little Motel. It seems the people running the Garden Court - a BDB partner, didn't know about the discount they were supposed to be providing so I checked out another one and took it as it was exactly half the price. I had a great Chinese meal at Sing's restaurant. Really tasty Chinese! It's a must stop if you are in the area.

During the ride up I noted mother nature's handiwork everywhere. The trees are all turning color, the geese are already teaching their babies...the muskeg and it's eerie qualities, the sweeping curves, vast prairie carved out of forested areas...the landscape I had seen so far was compelling.

As I rode I thought about all of the people I have known who have passed on or been seriously injured. Gone from us, just in my circle of "friends & acquaintances" Ray Seeley, Kathleen Purser, Duane Lowry (Natural causes not bike related, but gone just the same), Terry Kunto of Fantom Choppers - all in the last month....

Injured: Layton Park - who is doing so much better than doctors anticipated, Maureen Moores, Brad Nyuli and Kevin Cherepak and that's just a short list...

I grieved and blamed the tears on the wind, I celebrated life by feeling the majesty and variety of the scenery around me and then I finally settled in to just being...I felt like I was absorbing my surroundings and felt huge peace.

The next morning at 7:30 am I headed to High Level and the Mackenzie Highway Riders Association Toy Run. I got there at 9:30 am and was treated to a pancake, egg and sausage breakfast and HOT coffee which was much needed.
At 11 am we all headed to the Flamingo Motel for the parade line up and while there were only 17 bikes, we made an impression. The 300 KM poker run through the Mackenzie Highway Tourist Region again showed me the vast and diverse nature of the region. The Mighty Peace in all it's majesty, the beautiful carved landscape pitted against the "ordinary" flats of prairie farmland...I have to say I was very surprised - I expected solid forest and muskeg, not so!

Yes there were bugs and lots of them, evenings and mornings being the worst times but I was grateful for every bug that graced the fairing on my glide...

Yes, it was a weekend for the soul...

There will be a full report on the Toy Run and a fabulous BDB partner's review in the next edition of the Busted Knuckle Chronicles that will be coming out on Thursday...

If you are riding today, please take a walk around that iron steed, stay hydrated, use respect with that right hand and ride like everyone around you is blind and can not see you!

Belt Drive Betty

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