American Legion Multimedia Editor Steve B. Brooks will be chronicling the Legacy Run for the second straight year.
6:40 a.m. - I make the mistake of cutting through the grass during my morning run. My shoes are too wet to throw in my duffle bag, so they get thrown in a dry-cleaning bag and tossed in the back of our van. I notice the gaminess of our van during the first gas stop.
8 a.m. - The run leaves the Soaring Eagle Casino and Hotel in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.; according to the Weather Channel, it's 49 degrees at time of departure.
8:10 a.m. - No longer in control of the satellite radio, I am now listening to Motorhead's "Hellraiser."
8:34 a.m. - We notice a group of people stopped along the side of U.S. 127 North - carrying an American flag. So we double-back and stop behind them. Among them is Dave and Virginia Seiter, members of the Legion family from Clare-Farrell Post 558 in Clare, Mich. "My son (David Seiter of Plainville, Mich.,) is a rider, and we told him we'd come out and support him," Virginia says. "We are so excited he got into the Legion Riders. Obviously we're going to support him."
9:56 a.m. - The advance team prepares for the gas stop in Gaylord, Mich. Rusty Payne, a Legion Rider from Post 113 in Lebanon, Ind., is in his third year helping with gas stops. He was a part of a team that got 326 motorcycles gassed in 24 minutes on last year's run in Effingham, Ill. "The guys who have been through it before know what they're doing," he says. "And for the new ones, once they go through one stop, they get the hang of it pretty quick."
10 a.m. - Robert Buzzee of Post 42 in Floyds Knobs, Ind., says dealing with temps that dipped into the low-40s on the highway weren't that bad. "It was a little nippy at times," he says. "But it was a beautiful ride. You just have to be prepared. I don't think it will snow - but you never know."
10:50 a.m. - Also noticing the cool temps is George "Sarge" Robinson, a road captain and member of Post 178 in Augusta, Ga. "This makes you appreciate the South Carolina weather," Robinson quips. But weather will never keep Robinson away from a Run; he participated in all six. "First of all, it's the people," he says. "This is a great group of people. Secondly, it's a great opportunity to see the country. Obviously we're all doing this for the same reason - for the kids. But it's a great opportunity to see the country - and to do it without looking through a window."
12:07 p.m. - Riders begin arriving in Mackinaw City, Mich., free to spend the rest of the day however they see fit.
3:48 p.m. - Walking down the streets of Mackinac Island, we run across brothers Rollie and David Otte of Morse Bluff Post 340, Neb. The pair came across a woman on the island who gave them $20 toward the Legacy Fund. "When people find out what we're doing, they want to give," Rollie says. David says the Run does a lot more than raise money for the fund. "The Legacy Run is so visible," David says. "If we tap into the public like this, people are going to go crazy. People want to give to things like this."
3:56 p.m. - On the way to the ferry back to Mackinaw City, we run into another Run participant - Dewey Nowling of Kenneth N. Dowden Wayne American Legion Post 64 in Indianapolis, the starting point of the Run. But this year's Run hasn't been altogether smooth for Nowling. His bike malfunctioned during Sunday's gas stop in Charlotte, Mich. He was towed into Mt. Pleasant, Mich., where his bike was repaired Monday morning. He then spent the rest of the day riding to catch up with the rest of the Run in Mackinaw City. "I didn't think about that," Nowlng says when asked why he didn't just head back home. "It's just too good of a cause," says Nowling's wife, Sherry.
7 p.m. - After bringing down the house with $9.85 in winnings, I run into a couple fellow staffers and find out that from donations later last night and today, the total raised has surpassed $205,000. Not bad.Until tomorrow ...
Day 3 (Tuesday, Aug. 22) Departure is once again at 8 a.m., with a stop at UP Veterans Memorial Park hosted by American Legion Post 50 in Iron Mountain, Mich., followed by a stop at Camp American Legion in Lake Tomahawk, Wis., before settling in Minocqua, Wis.
Until tomorrow ...
For constantly updated photos of this year's Legacy Run, click here.