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How I met Julie

Whenever one strikes up a conversation with a strange couple, undoubtedly the question arises, "How did you guys meet?"  Though the storysí level of interest may vary from "cool" to "drool," I've found that most times the stories tend to be pretty interesting.   More times then not, keeping an older couple's concentration on the details of their convergence will often keep them off their colonoscopy results or that lower back pain that's been aching them all that week.  We all know how exciting that can be.

Though I'm probably slightly biased, I would have to say that, in the scale of things, the story of how Julie and I met is pretty unique, if not interesting.  It all started in a land far, far away...

Okay...actually it started here in Albuquerque.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm an avid biker and have been for years.  Annually I probably log double the miles on 2 wheels then on 4.  I don't really belong to the "Starbucks biker" set, but more or less fit into the blue-collar biker demographic...ya know...not rich, but not a criminal, either.  I ride for the pure pleasure of riding - a dying art... This basically means that, though I do own a leather jacket, it is indeed faded and worn, and is only worn on those occasions when I happen to be riding on two wheels, and not in four.  The reason I'm telling you this is because this information is important to the story.

I met Julie in August of 2003 at the Sturgis, South Dakota biker rally.  We met quite by accident.  I was impressed that Julie rode her own bike down to the rally.  I tried not to hold it against her that her chosen mode of transportation was a ricer...<:^)

Julie was born and raised in Crookston, Minnesota but was living in Bloomington, Minnesota when we met.  I have to admit I was attracted to her thick, Midwest accent.  Of course Julie is easy on the eyes, and that certainly didn't hurt.

For those not in-the-know, every August a biker rally is held in Sturgis, S. Dakota.  It starts the first full week of the month and lasts for exactly 1 week.  Attendance for this gala event grows every year.  I go about every 3 years or so.  I usually know I'm going to go about 2 or 3 weeks before I do, so I try to hook up with biker buddies that are either going to be riding up from Albuquerque on the day(s) I'm riding up, or I try to meet them there if they're leaving on an earlier/later date, or perhaps are from another state, etc.  The 2003 rally was no exception.  I put a couple feelers out and sure enough my friend Drew and his wife took the bait.  They were leaving the day before I could leave, so the plan was to meet in Sturgis at the Day's End campground.

August 3rd, 2003 I packed Carley (my Harley) so that I could be ready to leave the following morning.  I have a friend in the Denver area, John Bevins, that I usually stay with on the way up and on the way back from Sturgis.  Denver is just about halfway between Albuquerque and Sturgis so it's a perfect place for me to spend the night.   After hangin' out with John and riding in his Amphicar, it was time to hit the hay for the next day's ride.

The next day I said my goodbyes and I headed up to Sturgis, South Dakota.  The ride was nice - uneventful.  Carley ran like a champ the entire way.  It was about 6:30 PM when I finally arrived at the Day's End campground.  After making some inquiries at the front office it was apparent that Drew and Debbie hadn't arrived yet...hmmmm.  I decided to take a little trip around the campgrounds just in case Drew checked in with somebody else, possibly under the other person's name.  After cruising around for 1/2 hour or so, I gave up.   No biggie.  I'm used to camping alone.  I figured I'd camp for the night and look for Drew and Debbie the next day.

Walking into the front office was much like any other campground.  Who knew of the horrible shock that lay ahead of me.  I made inquiries as to rates and availability.  Seems there was plenty of room...good.  Then I made the lethal mistake of inquiring about their rates.  I don't remember much after that other than waking up on the office floor.  It seems someone had quoted me a price of like $25.00 a day with 5 day deposit.  I didn't go to college or anything, but that was starting to sound like $125.00!!! camp?!?!  Screw that.  My old standby, Hog Heaven was right across the highway.  I dusted myself off and headed over there.  Rates had gone up to like $12.00 a day - pay as ya go.   That's more my speed.

Upon arrival I noticed a group of bikers camped under a tree with a space available next to the tree.  I happened to remember which direction the morning Sun would be shining in from, so I knew that that open space was a choice one.  The space that was available was perfect for staying in the shade during the morning hours.  I fired up a conversation and invited myself into their little area.  They graciously accepted me into their clan, so I set up my tent and got ready to take a shower. 

After my shower I was heading back to my tent when I noticed this foxy chick pulling up on a blue Suzuki Intruder.

My first thought was, "I used to have one of those" (Intruder).  My second thought was, "Nice tits!"  Anyone who's ever been to Sturgis knows that your chances of finding an available female are on par with those of an Aircraft Carrier.  Seeing this beautiful girl by herself certainly didn't mean she was alone.   I expected that her boyfriend/husband was probably off lurking in the shadows or perhaps paying the camping fee or taking a shower or something.  I minded my own business and attempted to walk by when I heard this voice ask, "Do you think it's okay to camp here?"   Immediately my mind recognized the bogus question as an attempt to make contact.   If men were as bad as women are at picking up the opposite sex, nobody would ever get laid.  The human race would become extinct.

About 5 minutes into our little conversation Julie asked, "Do you wanna get a beer and listen to the band?"  Was this girl asking ME out?  I quickly accepted.  I went back to my tent to finish getting dressed.  Night was falling and it was starting to get chilly.

The rest of the night was nice.   We hung out, talked, listened, and had a couple beers.  Julie bought the first round.  I was impressed.  Through our conversation I learned that Julie had ridden into Sturgis from Minnesota...impressive.  She rode in with an elderly friend of hers and had planned to meet up with him sometime during the rally to do some riding.  This was a real biker chick!  Eventually it got late and we said our goodbyes.  Julie left me with a nice kiss.

The next day I was awakened to the chant of a female voice, "I brought you some coffee."  I poked my head out of my cacoon and there was Julie with 2 cups of coffee in her hand.  What a doll.  I crawled out of my tent, had coffee with Julie and we planned our day.  I gathered from the morning conversation that Julie and I were going to spend the day together.  That way okay by me.  I love my friend, Drew, like a brother, but screw it!   This chick was hot!  And this was STURGIS!!

After getting ready we decided to head into town.  What a blast we had.   I jokingly suggested that I should ride "bitch" on the back of Julie's bike.   She thought it would be fun, too.   What the hell...downtown was only a mile away.   What could go wrong in a mile?   I got on the back and rode into Sturgis as Julie's beotch.  Maybe it was my imagination, but we seemed to gather a lot of attention.

After a while I suggested we go to Devil's Tower.   Julie had never been there and I hadn't been there in a few years and had the itch to ride.   We took Carley this time.

Due to an impending gig my time in Sturgis was limited.  I had to get back to Albuquerque to work.  When it came time to leave we begrudgingly let go of each other, leaving each other with contact information and a promise to stay in touch.  I highly expected the number Julie gave me to be a bogus number.  I figured I was a "Sturgis fling" and nothing more.

The ride home was, again, uneventful, but nice.  I stayed with my buddy, John Bevins, in Denver and then took off back to Albuquerque the next day.

Upon arrival home the first thing I did was call the number Julie had given me.  I was willing to bet money it was a fake number.  An answering machine picked up after a couple rings and a female voice prompted me to leave a message.  Hmmmm...the voice certainly sounded like Julie, but I couldn't be sure.  I left a message and went on with my unpacking.

The next day I decided I would call the number agian.  Again the same voice prompted me to leave a message.  I left a message and told myself that that was it.  I would leave 2 messages.  If Julie truly wanted to get a hold of me, she could call me.

To my amazement Julie called the next day.  During our conversation Julie told me about some residual flight benefits that had been left over from her previous job at Northwest Airlines.  Since she flew for free and had some time off from work, she offered to fly out to visit me.  Wow...I was blown away.  "Sure!  C'mon out!"

A couple days later I picked Julie up from the airport.  I can't remember exactly what we did, but we had phun doing it.  A couple days later I took her back to the airport.  That night we talked on the phone and Julie invited me up to visit her.  Like her, I had some time off so what the hell...I planned a ride up to Minnesota to visit Julie.

About a week went by before I was riding my Harley up to Minnesota to visit Julie.  The best part of the trip was getting to stay at Tim and Elaine's along with their dogs and cats in Topeka, Kansas.  They have an attack cat that I love playing with.  I play "Ninja Warrior" with him and he reciprocates by attacking my feet from a hidden cubby hole when I'm walking by.  It's a lot of fun.

When I finally got to Julie's house I was dog tired.  Julie fed me a great meal and we had a lot of phun swimming in her pool.  Her house was very small (600 sq. ft.) with a good sized garage (400 sq. ft.)  As you can see from the picture, her house was very nice.

She fed me fresh corn from her garden!

All-in-all my visit with Julie was a very good one.  Eventually it was time for me to head home back to Albuquerque.  To make a long story short, Julie flew down to visit me a couple more times and eventually we decided to live together.  I borrowed a truck and trailer and drove up there to get her and her stuff and bring down to Albuquerque.  Julie has been with me ever since.

Getting a Harley for Julie

Eventually I made a believer out of Julie so she gave me the go-ahead to find a Harley for her.  After much searching I found a Low-Mileage 2000 Dyna Daytona in Phoenix, Arizona via eBay.  We rode my Harley up there to pick up the newish Dyna with plans of riding both bikes back.  While up there we stayed with Scott and Patti Colbath (that's Scott on the other bike in the picture).  Nice folks, those two.  On a wild hair we rode up to Las Vegas, Nevada to visit with Allen and Cindi McIvor.  Again another pair of nice folks.

Eventually I will expand this section to show pictures of our trip and of our refurbishing project on Julie's Dyna.

Here's a picture of Julie on her first ride with her new Dyna.

We have done many modifications since this picture was taken.  Click on the picture to see work we've done to Julie's bike.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please e'mail me.

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All pictures & material Copyright © 2005 Donnie Frank