I’ve missed one National MOA Rally in 35 years, so I’ve got hundreds of National Rally stories and I’ve made hundreds of MOA friends because of it. The first story coming to mind is not at the Midland Michigan Rally, but on Sunday after leaving the Midland Rally in 2000.
The weekend following the MOA National was the Colorado BMW Club’s Top of the Rockies Rally in Paonia, Colorado, and it was our habit (and still is!) to follow up the National with a trip to Paonia for one of the all-time great local rallies.
As I might have done 20 years ago, I drank a few beers at the beer garden on Saturday night in order to be fresh and ready for the 1,500-plus-mile ride from Midland to Paonia. I was packed up and ready at post-coffee time to meet the six other riders who were going to do the same thing I was doing.
The first stop west was 200 miles later, for gas. Got my gas and went in to pay. Reached for my wallet and it was gone!
Oh, crap! I’ve lost my wallet! And it’s 200 miles back to Midland – and these six friends are sitting here waiting for me to do something. Somebody let me borrow $10 to pay for gas, but what about the wallet?
One of the gang suggested calling back to the rally site to see if anyone had turned in the missing wallet.
Not knowing who to call, it occurred to me – “Ah,the old Anonymous Book!” I called the first number in Midland and the member’s wife answered. “No he’s not here,” she said. “But he’s at the rally site cleaning up from the crowd who left this morning. I’ll call him and see if he can find your wallet.”
An hour goes by and the gang has that look on their faces like, “Luster,you dork!” Then the phone rings and the lady says she’s contacted her husband and he’s on the search for the lost treasure. I’m so relieved that I don’t have to backtrack to Midland on Sunday afternoon that I slap my pant leg with joy – and there’s my wallet!
I was wearing cargo pants. Pants with a pocket in the back – where normal people keep their wallet – and pockets on the leg where somehow my wallet ended up. Could it have been the fault of the Saturday night beers? I’ll never know.
Now it’s 20 years later, and for the past few months I have been planning (with most of those same guys) a trip after the National in Great Falls, Montana, to Paonia.
It’s strange, but every time we leave the National, one of those characters asks, “Hey Luster – you got your wallet?”
Clark is an MOA Ambassador and plans to see you at the rally in June! It’s time to start building your rally memories and telling your rally stories. Send them to us, along with a photo or two, to submissi[email protected]. Register now for the Saddle Up & Ride Rally!