Road trips

Harley-Davidson stories: Cross-country trips; the real rumble seat

2013-08-26T06:37:00Z 2013-12-11T13:02:38Z Harley-Davidson stories: Cross-country trips; the real rumble seatCompiled by Journal Times staff Journal Times
August 26, 2013 6:37 am  • 

I have been riding and owned my own Harley for eight years now.

I have always loved to ride, but eight years ago I decided to get the motorcycle endorsement on my driver’s license and buy my own. That way I could ride when I wanted to, where I wanted to without relying on anyone else!

My first bike was a 2000 Road King, which was traded in on a brand-new 2011 purple (my favorite color) Heritage Softail two years ago.

I have been on two two-week cross-country trips out West to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks to name a few stops on those trips, and a one-month trip to British Columbia, Canada; down to Phoenix, Ariz.; back up through Albuquerque, N. M.; and home.

I have since journeyed to Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, on my own, to buy a T-shirt at the Harley dealership up there, as I told people along the way!

I honestly prefer to travel alone. My GPS is a paper map and my brain, and my radio is me singing to myself (the song that pops up the most is “Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road”). Strangers are extremely friendly and interested in the chick on the Harley traveling alone! I am approached by people quite frequently on my travels, wondering where I’m going and where I’m from!

As my ex-husband used to say, “Strangers are friends you haven’t met yet.” How true that has turned out to be! I LOVE MY HARLEY!!!!

— Brenda Booker, 53, Racine, sample shop lab technician at Modine Manufacturing.

Riding in the ’50s

This is a “real” Harley cycle with the real rumble and the big buddy seat where you could hug your guy, be able to talk to each other and give a love squeeze once in a while. Chrome crash bars, big leather saddle bags, with all the trimming, and some chrome engine parts.

Two of us couples would “scoop the loop” on some nights. When turning onto another street, we would lean and the guys would scrape the heel of their leather boot, which had a large cleat on it, and sparks would fly — always trying to make a good show. Those were really fun times, the early ’50s.

— Jan (Zurawski) Caretta, Mount Pleasant


WHAT: Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary Celebration

WHEN: Thursday through Saturday

WHERE: Milwaukee’s Summerfest Grounds (Henry W. Maier Festival

Park), 200 N. Harbor Drive, and the Harley-Davidson Museum, 400 S.

Canal St., Milwaukee

TICKETS: Two-day tickets are $79; three-day tickets are $95. Tickets for Marcus Amphitheater performances are sold separately: Toby Keith, starting at $20; Aerosmith and Kid Rock, starting at $24.50 each. Tickets for the UFC 164 H-D Hometown Throwdown are also sold separately, starting at $60 each. To buy tickets, visit

MORE INFO: For more information about all 110th anniversary events, visit

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