By Angela Conner – Black Leather, Braids and a Bandana
Traveling through the Joshua Tree Forest at 80 miles an hour when a mass of dark specks filled the space in front of our motorcycle and instantly we were inundated with thousands of yellow and black striped pellets. “What the…….BEES!” We had just ridden through a swarm of honeybees in the middle of the desert with nowhere to pull off. We slowed down to a moderate 65 as I flicked insect corpses from my jacket and made sure none had flown down my shirt. It was only after we pulled into the gas station at Wickenburg miles later that I could fully take in the magnitude of our situation. The fairing on the bike had been honey washed and the headlight was decorated with bits and pieces of our pollinating pals. Amazingly enough, neither one of us had suffered from a single stinger. So in true biker fashion my husband solidified the idea for his next tattoo- an angry bee and I just sat there all sticky and laughing.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. The honey bee episode actually occurred on the way home from Laughlin River Run this year.
Our adventure began by waking early and loading the bike with the essentials for a quick 2 night stay at The River Palms. We headed out Friday morning only to encounter a lengthy detour near Thomas Rd. and the 101. In an attempt at sensitivity I will only tell you that I don’t think the guy actually jumped from the bridge but he did cause quite the commotion and many news station were present.
We arrived in Laughlin, helmets on heads, with the party already in full swing. After unloading and grabbing a bite to eat we met up with some friends and enjoyed the Laughlin festivities.
Saturday turned out to be somewhat of a scavenger hunt for me as I visited various locations in pursuit of some photos.
We headed back across the river toward Arizona Performance Cycle and met Suzie and her crew. This motorcycle shop was filled with loyal customers, a phone that rang nonstop and a bashful mechanic who did not want to be in any of my photos- see front and center.
Next it was off to the vendor tents for a visit with Uniq Cycle Sounds. Their crew had a line of bikes waiting for sound system installs and I had a hard time getting them to break away for a group shot. I was greeted by Charlie Brechtel who filled us in on the work they do and also turned us on to “Bikers Inner Circle” featuring live 24/7 Biker Radio rally coverage, music and biker bands. This show can be found at www.bicradio.net.
I made it to the Colorado Belle just in time to see the trophies presented at the custom bike show and watch Perry and Pastor Z toss QT t-shirts to the smiling crowd. Since I’m still an “AZ Prospect” I thought it best to let Perry and Pastor Z share the stage with the winning bike builders as I took the pictures.
Luckily the tattoo show was on the ground floor of our hotel at The River Palms so we popped in on our way back to freshen up my husband’s flask. As we walked through the dimly lit event center, I could hear the constant buzzing of the tattoo guns and a variety of music playing from the many tattoo stations. The artists were very friendly and let me take as many pictures as I wanted while they focused on their skin creations.
We headed over to the Tropicana by way of the Golden Nugget and stopped to listen to The Garage Boys at the outdoor stage. The band had no trouble getting people on their feet and out to the dance floor.
The Tropicana was hosting a pig roast that smelled delicious when we walked by to get a last minute picture of the Southern California Harley Davidson Dealer’s Association. They had a large tent set up outside of the Tropicana with several semi-trailers full of new models to test ride. We arrived just as they were starting to load up but this group was kind enough to assemble for some great group photos.
I hunted down the Law Tiger for a quick picture and he immediately planted a whiskery smooch smack dab on my lips. I was shocked, stunned and a little flattered. Fortunately my husband is not the jealous type.
With almost everything marked off of my scavenger hunt list, we decided to head over to Hogs and Heifers in the parking lot of the Edgewater to celebrate a job well done. Michelle had brought her A team from Las Vegas and New York to entertain a packed crowd for the long weekend. The Fireball was flowing as emcee Jack Schit brought the excitement to a fevered pitch. I wandered the crowd taking pictures of smiling strangers, sexy stickers and seductive servers.
Before I knew it my 2 days were over and I hadn’t even hit half of what Laughlin had to offer. We packed up the bike and made a “beeline” back toward Phoenix. Which brings me full circle to where my story began. BEES!