The people who organized the Wharf Rat Rally have had some challenges to face to say the least.

Their show guide proves it.

Certain builders, entertainers and celebrities who were supposed to appear here are not here - although they are still listed in the guide -  reportedly these attendances have been cancelled due to budget constraints on the rally's end of things and there are a lot of signs around town asking people to donate to the rally to see it continue. I have not had the chance to find out the rationale behind the signs or what has happened - but it appears the economy is playing havoc with yet another great event.

Volunteer-ism is down as many volunteers are burnt out. Reportedly many volunteers did not show up for their shifts - hence why I could not get out of my booth yesterday to be a reporter - hopefully after the radio interviews I am doing today I can get out and do some glad handing.

I found it interesting that the stand up comedian who was supposed to be in Digby for 5 days will only be here for one and now with Earl the Hurricane moving in no one is sure how the comedy show will turn out on Saturday - it is only slated to be the one comedian for an hour.

The other "VIP" who was supposed to attend the event that no one has seen or heard from is Mike Cole from the Winter Ride for Diabetes - reportedly he won't be here due to the fact that his bike is down. I guess we will know by the end of the weekend if there is any truth to the "reports" of who is attending and who is not and why...

Shipping stuff here is challenging to say the least. DHL lost 2 of 13 small boxes of the Travel Alberta and Grande Prairie Regional Tourism promotional materials I was to hand out. Originally I was lead to believe that 4 had been lost but apparently the 2 boxes were at rally headquarters the whole time - even though the rally head quarters are huge, one gal working there was not happy that my stock was taking up the space that it was - I hate feeling like I am an imposition - and trying to get in touch with DHL, and Greyhound to locate the missing parcels - well - that was a whole different set of challenges that I could have done with out.

Oh well - there is NOTHING one can do from here about the shipping issues and I know that if I come back again it will not be as a vendor but strictly as a reporter.  The job of running a booth is huge and tiring add to that the writing, photography, building the newspaper along with all of the other hassles that have been mixed in and it really made the whole booth thing not worth it for me. If you can't truck and tailer your stuff here - it is so expensive and frustrating to ship here that it is hardly worth the effort.

The bands have been shall we say - um, interesting...yes that would be a kind and diplomatic word. The one head banger group in the afternoon on Thursday - well, my cat - if you step on his tail - he could sing as well as the lead singer of that band did. The country band was OK - I didn't stick around to hear any more as I am staying in Yarmouth - an hour away so I wanted to be on the road before it got too dark.

And Earl - the hurricane has played havoc with the event - tons of room cancellations and only 4 or 500 bikes so far where normally 20,000 + come in. I am sure there will still be many more people come in but never knows what will happen.

Organizers are hoping that Earl bypasses Digby but the weather people and news have been making Earl into a huge deal on the news and changing their forecasts and the storms path so often that no one is sure what is happening and many are not taking any chances opting to stay home.

Between the storm - Earl, the volunteer issues and the regular challenges of running a show of this size well the people in the office look and act like people under siege. How many coordinators have to find alternative places to park people's bikes because of a hurricane? The high school will reportedly be the home for many a motorcycle if Earl's winds prove to be as destructive as it appears they could be.

One thing we all know - mother Nature is FEMALE!

There are highs to this event too - the volunteers that this event does have - are amazing - generous, warm hearted and hard working people.Terry - Vicky and so many others - you all have been stellar people to work with. The show is hosted on the water front which is a back drop that provides amazing photo opportunities. I intend to take advantage of some of those opportunities today because one never knows what is going to happen on Saturday and on Sunday I will be staying in my room to build the last newspaper before my official two week "summer" riding vacation!

I am grateful for the help that the locals have provided me - bringing me coffee and water, giving me the opportunity to get to the bathroom before disaster struck - yes - the locals - the non volunteers - have been fantastic - Sweet T you and your gals - thank you for helping me make the goodie bags and getting them handed out. Dave Balderson and your crew from the River Rat Rally in Gananonque - THANK YOU for the sandwich and water not to mention the company!

My brothers from the CAV have been dropping by in rather large numbers and I should have had a hug meter going cause holy they have been fantastic! Trapper my friend - Love you brother.

I ate supper at a little restaurant on the Wharf called O'Neil's Royal Fundy Seafood Restaurant - OMG - the food was spectacular and service was impeccable!

I had a Cherry scallop salad with the scallop sampler and butterscotch pie - MMM is all I can say.
It was a splurge I am glad I made - I mean who can come to the scallop Capital of Canada and NOT have scallops.

In spite of the frustrations and disappointments I have faced to get here - I am grateful to be here - for the kindness and love of the people of Digby and Yarmouth - I am blessed and really do ride with angels.

You riders - YOU are the reason I am here and I am so grateful to you all for making me feel so welcome and loved. 
F.I.R.R.E. needs you!

In the news today:
If you are looking for a get away at the end of September that will take you somewhere warm with your motorcycle - Las Vegas is waiting.

Hawkeye football offensive-lineman Josh Koeppel was hit while riding his motorcycle Monday in Iowa - although his helmet came off and he was only wearing shorts - the very lucky man walked away. Watch the Video - click here

In Windsor ON a motorcycle racer has suffered brain damage...

In Ladysmith BC a Poker Run is being held by the Veterans MC on the 4th

In Southern AB STARS Air Ambulance says it has responded to DOUBLE the number of motorcycle accidents so far this year.

Kamloops BC is reminding everyone of their upcoming Toy Run

Earl - the hurricane is causing anxiety and yet many outdoor events are NOT being cancelled...

Like every day - I welcome your feed back.

I hope and pray that if you are riding today you will Ride defensively, ride your own ride - do NOT let peer pressure get the best of you...Ride like everyone around you is BLIND, has an UNSAFE load and IS out to get you and please - ride Proud not Loud - invest in a 140 DB Air horn instead!

Belt Drive Betty
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