By Perry and Traci Nelson
After another one of our hectic, event filled Decembers, we figured, why not spend the first weekend in January riding and chilling on the beach in Rocky Point Mexico for some much-needed, as Bugs Bunny put it, “West and wewaxation at wast.”
We decided to get on our Dyna and head down to Puerto Penasco, Mexico. Nothing like starting the new year with a long peaceful ride to clear the head. We’ve been coming for the Rocky Point Rally (RPR) for years but last year was our first King’s Day Toy Run (KDTR). It’s not as big or wild as the RPR in November but there are plenty of fellow bikers and motorcycles at this event. It is such a heartwarming experience by making the lives of children a little brighter with a “King’s Day.” This KDTR is filled with tables full of candy, toys, and of course motorcycles and a bunch of smiling bikers!
Last year we learned that “King’s Day” is a very special day for Mexico. Some know it as “epiphany” or “Little Christmas.” This is the day that the Mexican people celebrate when the three kings came to visit baby Jesus in the manger bringing gifts. The King’s Day Toy Run takes place on the first Saturday in January.
We rode in on Friday and checked into our room at the Playa Bonita on the beach. The owner Oscar Palacio and his family were there when we arrived greeting us. The KDTR begins Saturday at 11am at the Malecon by the “old fisherman” statue in Old Port. This is where the bikers meet to line up for the ride and drop off their toys. It’s the same location as the main area for the bike show and band stage during the RPR on the Malecon. Old Port also has many unique shops and restaurants along the shore.
Oscar, Shandra “Sammy” Keesecker, and the local Rocky Point Riders MC help organize and put on this event. We were told that this year there were twice as many toy donations collected during the Rocky Point Rally at the registration booth, than last year.
Saturday kickstands were up at noon leaving the Malecon which took us through town with a police escort and the Rocky Point Riders’ chase truck with all the gifts, following behind the bikes. We were welcomed by 400 excited children with their families when we rolled in at the San Miguel Church (St. Michael’s Church). This neighborhood of Colonia Nueva Esperanza is located near the Rocky Point Rehabilitation Center. Many of the folks at this event can not afford the luxury of buying toys and candy for their children. The volunteers set up boy and girl tables full with toys for the kids to choose from.
I had fun handing out candy to the kids waiting in line. I was handing out candy that we brought just to keep the kids occupied in line till they got the large quantities of goodies (candy, food, toys…) at the main tables. In order to keep a couple hundred kids in line it took the help of Oscar, Laura (Oscar’s daughter), Sammy, Selena (Sammy’s mom), Matt Farris, Jeff Farris, Max Fu, and The Rocky Point Riders Motorcycle Club to keep these kids from scattering like a bunch of cats!
After the kids got their toys and candy there was the grand prize drawing, and like a dream come true one of the young boys, that was close to the prize bike, looked at his ticket and his eyes lit up, moments later, Oscar sat him on his new bike.
After the drawing, some of the kids took off with their toys and treats, others stayed to sit on bikes and a group of kids with Selena sang songs in the church. As we sat listening to the music Traci told me about how blessed we were and how grateful we were to share in this experience.
Of course I had to ride the dunes next to the church and kick up some dirt with the Dyna… On our way to pick up some prescription glasses for Traci we decided to get ourselves lost, as we do every year. After we finally found where we were and we got our prescription in we wandered across the street and found some cool hats and a guitar I really liked, I never find a guitar that I can play and hey it’s only 60 bucks, “Traci C’mon man?”….well didn’t happen…we had no way of getting it home on the bike.
Back at the Playa Bonita, Sammy, Oscar, Matt Farris and company helped sort the remaining toys, by age group, that were left over from the Kings Day Run– and there was a lot to be distributed to other local charities. Big boxes of toys were sent to: Esperanza Orphanage, Amores de Penasco Childrens Shelter, Penasco Homework Clubs, AIM Penasco AC, and to sixty children in the families of the local firefighters.
Traci and I were honored with a plaque along with a few others who had helped with the Kings Day Run..It’s hard to put into words the gratitude Traci and I have for being allowed to participate in this giving event and much love and respect from Quick Throttle Magazine for allowing us to be a part of this event.
We stayed an extra day to relax on the beach. Our first day in Rocky Point was a little chilly. Like the locals say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a day.”…Well we did, and it was beautiful… We met with Max Fu and had fresh seafood at Mary’s, one of our favorite spots where you can watch fish being caught in the port while you eat. It doesn’t get any fresher than that!