Henderson Memorial Run

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You can ride on motorcycle runs that are considered fun, or you can ride on the Steve Henderson Memorial Run which is a BLAST! This ride by far has been the best run I have participated in for 2007. Not saying that the trip to Yosemite Ca., the several poker runs, or all the rides my wife and I have done this year weren’t good, just that this one is the topper for me! Not sure why, but maybe once you read further you might understand why I feel the way I do.

Here’s how it went. We all met at the Lacey Fire Department at 8:00 a.m. sharp. When I reached the station I saw a group of guys, 26 to be exact, (sorry, Hendy run is stag only) hanging out around the front of the station. All you see out side are motorcycles when the call comes out for chow. A huge breakfast was cooked up by the firefighter’s wives, with fresh homemade biscuits & gravy, hash browns to die for, best scrambled eggs you can ever eat, shredded cheddar cheese, 2 types of sausages, juices, coffee, milk, oh man! the works. The only sounds heard were lip smacking, and some serious munching going on scarfing up this fine food!

After breakfast we rode out of town west to I-5 then up Hwy 101 along the beautiful Hood Canal up to Port Townsend where we fill our tanks, and lined up to catch the ferry. One of the riders was having problems getting the ole beast fired up but not a problem when you have a few dozen firefighters on hand.

He gets a push for the hog till it fires up and he is on his way.

All 26 bikes got onto the Keystone Ferry. After crossing, we roared off and headed to Whidbey Island. We made a left and headed up Eagle Road to Hwy 20, followed this to scenic Deception Pass, and toward the end of the island. We saw our National Bird soaring high over head. One even perched on the roof of a summer home on the bay. We stayed on Hwy 20 crossing the North Cascade Hwy. What a beautiful ride as we stop to top off the tanks in Marble mount and head east through the mountains. For it being the third week in July there were huge snow banks still in the shady parts of the North Cascade Hwy.

We’re now heading to a little western mountain town named Winthrop located in central WA. Here we find lots of friendly local folk with hundreds of Blues fans because there is a Blues Festival going on during the same weekend.

So we pulled into the KOA campground, checked in and were taken over to our camp site for the night. Everyone set up their own tents and once that was all done a few guys started to get ready for dinner.

Yes, the fire fighters are a resourceful bunch, especially when they bring everything needed to put on one hell of a dinner: steaks, salads, and all kinds of beers.My complements to Mike & Ron for a job well done. These guys somehow ended up grilling all the 20 oz steaks without any tongs, improvising a way to “getter done” and neither of them are firefighters!

Well we ate, talked, drank our beers and still got up at O’dark thirty getting ready to head out for the next leg of our ride. As we packed our bikes there were several colorful hot air balloons puffing up into the clear blue skies. We headed over to the Red Barn, ate a hearty breakfast and climbed on the bikes to take a final pass thru Winthrop,waving at all of those blues festers who don’t ride.

We headed out Hwy 20 going to Hwy 97, turning our bikes south at Pateros along the rushing Columbia River, stopped for the group photo, then continued south to Wenatchee, turning west to cruise along Hwy 97 over the beautiful Blewett Pass.

Once we arrived in Ellensburg we headed for the establishment called the TAV where we ate lunch. Jumping onto I-90 we headed east for a short hop to The Old Hwy 821 running along the Yakima River. Hwy 821 is an outstanding motorcycle road with plenty of curves to run. Out of this canyon, we got back on South I-82 and continued south to Hwy 97 heading for Goldendale running on fumes. After gassing up we cut our way down the Klickitat Canyon down to Lyle, WA. We ran the west side on Hwy 14 to White Salmon enjoying the spectacular water and mountain views, crossed over the Columbia River into Oregon where we stopped for more food in the form of pizza and vital liquids. What goes better with pizza than Coke. ah ha, got ya! From here part of the group now 22 strong, made their way back to their hotels in Hood River, Oregon. The rest were heading West on I-84 to Portland. Once in Portland we shook hands with the ones heading to Oly town and I turned my bike for home.

It was a great time to spend with a bunch of Lacey Firefighters. There were also others who came from other walks of life. All in all it was a great group of bikers. The cost for this ride was 60 bucks and it covered the ferry boat crossing, (2) breakfasts and a kick ass bbq dinner, camping fees, the bridge crossing fee, and to top it all off, a ride T-Shirt which fits and doesn’t shrink when you wash it!

This ride is very well organized all of the plans were carefully thought out. So my congratulations to the 5 who started this ride in memory of Comrade Lieutenant Steven Henderson, Firefighter from Lacey, WA station. You can read below more on why and how this ride was started, I know I will be making it for many years to come. Group photo below is this year’s group July 21, 2007.

Little History on Steve Henderson and how the Hendy Ride came about:

Steve Henderson was a Firefighter and then a Lieutenant at Lacey FD since 1979. In his time at Lacey he was most notability know for starting up the program known to Lacey as the Hendy Bear Program.

This program involved fire departments and police departments to carry stuffed animals on the emergency vehicle for children involved in accidents to calm them down during such a stressful event. This is now done nationwide with all fire and police departments.

Governor Booth Gardner, at the time, dedicated April 10th, 1987 as Steve Henderson Day officially, for starting such a great program. Steve was with Lacey FD up until he passed away in October of 1999 due to complications of Hepatitis C, which he probably contracted during his normal duties of providing Emergency Medical Services to the Lacey community.

In 1999 Steve bought a 99 Sportster, which he had wanted for a long time. Steve used to live in California when he was younger and rode and worked on Harleys all the time, so he kind of missed the thrill of riding and owning a Harley. Steve was so excited about finally getting a motorcycle that he and Jerry, (a Paramedic at Lacey) wanted to get together all of the guys at Lacey that had a motorcycle and go on a weekend trip. That year there were 5 of us; Steve, Jerry, Don, Terry, and Dan. So it rained, it snowed on us, and then it was gorgeous of course, in Central Washington. It was planned to spend the night in Winthrop, but we didn’t know that the Blues Festival was going on over the weekend. Later that year, in October, Lt. Steve Henderson passed away at the age of 50.

As far as the Hendy Run goes we have planned a ride on the third weekend of July every year since 1999 as a memorial ride for Steve. Every year it has got a little bigger and better, and those of us that have been going for a while now, know that Steve would really appreciate everyone that goes on the ride whether they knew him or not, but just as long as everyone has a fun and safe trip.

The charter group with Lieutenant Steve Henderson on their group ride July 17, 1999, now called the Hendy Memorial Ride in the photo from left to right, Terry, Steve Henderson, Don, Jerry and Dan.

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