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Low Road Tour - 2009

This article contains the stories of the Sandies "in their own words" of their time on the Sandollar Motorcycle Club's annual Low Road Tour into Louisiana from the Florida panhandle:


First of all , if anyone ever has the chance to go on the Low Road Tour never ever pass it up. Everyone is guaranteed a great time, ride great roads, stay at a great place hosted by great folks Doc Pat and Brenda, and hang with greatest bunch of nuts around. Leaving early in the morn head west to fun. I do notice that when we approach Mobile area..we somehow miss going through the tunnels. I'm thinking George avoided them on purpose knowing how the Sandies love making loud noises on purpose in long echo chambers. I do like the fact of missing thick traffic. We make to our destination in good time and still daylight. We are all shown our cabins completely decorated since we had last been there. Oh my gawd...all the cabins had a themed decor! the Swamp, The Harley, and the Love Shack...a la flash backing 60's!!!!!!

All were decorated to the tiniest detail...the more you looked the more items were seen...the Harley room had a clutch lever for a door knob...the Swamp had swampy things and the LOVE lights and posters and dayglo paintings!!!! Even the sheets!!! Tiny toy dayglo painted VW bus on the shelf...even the shelf itself glowed in the dark. Turn out the lights and look up...the ceiling fan was painted in dayglo!..I loved it! Oh yeah..guess which one we stayed in. There was a lot of work put into all of them. Of course we all migrate to the eating room and gorged ourselves till we could explode. Steve and a bunch more folks retire early. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day. Our fearless leader / cat herder has been communicating with an online friend to find just exactly where the last scene on Easy Rider was filmed. George worked very long and hard to get the exact area .We all take off in the early morn to head out to the last scene...the Sandie way of course. Eat breakfast at a cute country style place and join up with some more bikers. We ride some of the nicest scenic curvy roads along the bayous and levees. We see the real Louisiana. Just made me want to start calling everyone Thibedeoux Louisiannian. Some of the roads were at level with the water just waiting for a surprise gator to slide out in front of us.

We do stop at the Cajun Village. Some ate..again..and I went shopping. Ride some more flat land twisties and go on a ferry across the Mississippi. Onward we all make it to the final scene!!!!!

Was fun and definitely a banner photo op!!!! We even ride over the Hewey P Long bridge. Lots of history with great roads.. the real deal. Time to go back to Pat and Brenda's eat again of course. movie night , complete with popcorn and other snacks. two films that night..outside was playing on the big screen..Transformers 2 ... and on the inside...Easy Rider!!!!! And yes..there was THE scene...WE were THERE!!!!!!!! That's what is so much fun about riding with the Sandies. Riding the Sandie way to get to the strangest goals. Such a blast!!!!!! Next day ..early morn we all head eat breakfast...and say our goodbyes to our Louisiana friends. So much fun!!! We will be back!!!!!!

Da Skwirrel


The Low Road

What an "AMAZING" trip! I haven't been on a Low Road trip before and I didn't know what to expect. I had come down the Flu the week before and tried and tried to shake it loose so I could go. It took me all week to get over the Flu and Friday morning I was ready to go. The Weather was just perfect for riding and we rolled down some very nice roads. For lunch our mighty road captain found a very nice restaurant featuring Catfish and Steak. I heard we were going to eat good when we got to Doc Pat and Brenda's house so, I refrained from eating too big of a meal and just ordered a hamburger and fries which hit the spot and Pam (aka PK) shared some of her fried pickles with everyone. We then hit the roads again and the miles rolled by and by and by. Going over to Doc Pat and Brenda's house was a long but very pleasant trip. When we arrived, we were welcomed with a big warm welcome from everyone there and shown what progress was made on the cabins since the Sandies were last there. The first cabin was dedicated to Sharon (aka Squirrel) and was dubbed the Love Shack all decorated with a hippie dippy theme including black lights. The Second cabin was the Harley Shack and was decorated with a lot of Harley items and is where David & Tina stayed. The third shack was the Swamp Shack and was decorated in Spanish moss, alligator, tree limb in the ceiling with glow in the dark stars. The first night we were there, we ate a huge feast prepared and waiting for us. Then after some nice conversation and some sitting on the front porch, we headed to bed because we had an early start planned.

Boy oh Boy, did 5am come quick. We got up and got cleaned up had some much needed coffee to shock our bodies awake. We departed at 7:30 am sharp and headed out to breakfast. I admit I was pretty much still in a morning fog until the food came. Then we ate a very hardy breakfast and hit I think almost half of the back roads in Louisiana. The roads, folks, was what was truly amazing about this trip. We saw a lot of stuff along the way including, old farm equipment, real alligators, very old homes, and building that it seems time has forgotten and then rode a ferry across the Mississippi River. We rode and rode and then rode some more. George made a tribute to resisting the law by pulling a BIG U-TURN right next to a NO U-TURN sign. I wish I had a picture of us doing that U-Turn in front of that sign. We stopped at a diner and I decided that all I wanted for lunch as a Banana split. I was sitting across from George and he almost swallowed his tongue and started to twitch when I ordered it. He and I were amazed when it came to the table.

The Banana split had chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla ice cream, with pineapple, walnut, strawberry, chocolate toppings, then topped with whipped cream and cherries. Hence the smile and goofy look on my face. After the meal we rode out to the final scene location in the movie "Easy Rider" and took a picture on the spot where the motorcycle burned by the side of the road. Then we packed it back up and headed down the road and ride we did, across some amazing bridges and down some very fun roads. The mood of this trip was great. Bob Lawrence, my partner in crime, unfortunately lost power to his CB on the trip. Later that night when we pulled in, with a little supplies thanks to Doc Pat and the skillful hands of our club president Steve we located the problem (a broken hot wire to the battery) and fixed it. I ate some chili, hot doggies, chips, pop corn, and some great pineapple upside down cake baked by none other than our famous David (aka Munchkin). We watched movies out back on a screen that must have been 70 feet long. I had so much fun on this trip and really I would say this was the best Trip of the Year. The roads reminded me of the smoky mountains but, without all the hills. I feel so good to be in such a great club and have such a great road captain as George. I am always amazed how much he knows about the roads and the places we go.

Sandie John


Scooter and Da Prince

The annual Low Road Tour, always a fantastic ride. Everything was wonderful, weather, roads, riders, and of course our hosts Brenda and Pat. George kept us off the super slabs as much as possible, which we really appreciate. Louisiana is so much different than riding in most areas. It appears all of their state highways go through every small town on the map. I’ve never taken so many neighborhood streets on a ride. And you have to love the town names. What can compare to “Tickfaw”. That’s cooler than living on Country Club Avenue. As we were heading in on Friday night we passed a small corner store. I noted the sign, “Groceries, Cold Beer, Cigarettes, Liquor”. I thought to myself, “If they had ammo, bait and contraceptives, nobody would ever have to go to the big city”. I mentioned this to one of our hosts and was told that yes they have all those necessities, as well as an adult section in the back. Just not enough room on the marquee to list them all. What a great place! Again I chose to tent camp in the front yard. Glad to see all the wild creatures, and neighbors dogs are still happy and healthy. The retarded rooster who crows all night is still alive as well. I’m surprised somebody hasn’t eaten him by now. Scooter again was able to refrain from marking my tent. I was a little concerned until I saw Jerry’s BMW parked near. As we know from last year, Scooter prefers high class on his targets. BMW vs Coleman, you do the math. The food was again wonderful. Brenda outdone herself again this year. Thanks a ton, which is what I weigh after this weekend. Munchkin’s upside down pineapple cake was his best ever. Pat’s outdoor accommodations have to be the envy of the neighborhood. The new deck and outdoor kitchen is great. What a nice set up to entertain friends and family.

The riding was awesome. George had some nice roads laid out again. The trip to Easy Rider famed road was cool. Now I can say I’ve been there, got the picture to prove it. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Low Road Tour. It has to be one of our best annual events. Thanks again to Pat and Brenda for all the hospitality.



My take on the Low Road. Good friends, good food, great roads, good God when can we do it again? It worked for Joe-Joe maybe it will work for me. I'm not a writer but this Low Road was the best ever. Thanks to Doc Pat, Brenda , Mary & Clinton for a great time. If anyone there did not have fun it was their own fault.




Starting out on one of these Sand Dollar trips is easy. Just pack your stuff, show up on time and off you go! Now the fun starts. A chilly morning yes, but was it chilly enough to stop a bunch of Sandies from heading west for Louisiana? Obviously not! A dozen bikes showed up and were off to the heralded Low Road. (Ask George why it’s called that) Along the way we picked up the Monroeville Sandies.

They joined in at Mobile and were ready to roll. No problems along the way, a bit chilly but nothing seasoned travelers can’t handle. Seeing the sights as we go along is part of the fun of motorcycle travel. George pointing out interesting houses, Sam commenting on some and the others pointing and looking at various interesting sights. A nice lunch at the Catfish house on the way, the same place we stopped last year, yielded a wonderful lunch for a reasonable price. Hot food, sunshine and good company. What else is there?

Suddenly we were within a few minutes of our destination when George and others spotted antelope. Yes, antelope. And Gazelle’s and Reindeer! No Santa though we did spot some Llama’s. I kept looking for the Polar Bears and Grizzlies but no luck. It was a place called the Global Wildlife something or other. It’s near Livingston, La. if you want to find it. Nice collection of wildlife that was totally unexpected in that part of the world. Arriving at Pat and Brenda’s we were warmly greeted and shown our quarters. The cabins have been finished and remodeled. There was the “Swamp Cabin”, the Harley Cabin, and the “Love Shack”. Guess which one Skwirrel and I stayed in? Yuppers, the Love Shack. Not complaining but it was a bit hard to sleep, Skwirrel kept having flash backs. Or maybe it was some of the Captain Morgan keeping her up late. Whatever, we enjoyed the cabin and the others enjoyed theirs also. Friday evening was a food fest with more than we could eat! Just a normal evening on the Low Road at Pat and Brenda’s. Saturday we headed out on a multiple stop adventure. First, off to breakfast, with some excellent food and companionship. The Christian motorcyclist group joined us for the first part of the ride. They personally blessed every bike and rider. It was very nice of them. Some of us need all the help we can get. Myself included and at the top of that list! They stayed with us ‘till we got to the Ferry crossing the Mississippi. A nice one dollar boat ride and off we went again. We found our route up highway 77 and finally headed back north. Now keep in mind that we were repeatedly told that this highway was a straight, town studded, stoplight filled stretch. We soon find it’s really just the opposite. Not a straight line more than fifty yards I swear! Lots of curves, lots of scenery, lots of NO TRAFFIC. No stoplights to speak of and rarely a town. We had a ball cutting the curves and pointing at stuff that was nothing like at home. Stuff like a river (bayou out there in La talk) running along the road with houses and trailers right on the bank everywhere. Now if you are a fisherman like I am, that sparks some jealousy in you. Being able to sit on the back porch or in some cases, the front porch, and slide a line into the water is like the ultimate heaven. Of course all that is tempered by the fact that now and then the bayou overflows the banks and you end up under water. Hitting the northern end of our route north we headed west on highway 190. Our ultimate goal was coming into reach. But along the way George spots a Diner that looked interesting. It was staffed by local gals who were more than happy to see us come in. Skwirrel spotted a dessert called the “Magic Cookie Parfait” and immediately informed me that I want it. I wasn’t sure I really did, but she said I did so I must have. It was delicious.

I watched them make it right after making a spectacular Banana Split for Sandie John. While we waited, the waitress handed us water and sodas and straws. No one told them about Sandies and straws and soon the paper wrappers were flying! Thither and Yon they flew. Until one landed on the waitress. Apologies were made but the waitress just laughed and continued working. A great time was had and the staff made some nice tips. Hitting 190 west again we came across a big ol bridge. Up one side, down the other and then a turn north on highway 105. We were approaching our final goal. Two and a half miles up 105 we saw what we were seeking. A white farmhouse in the distance, a bayou on the left and a levee on the right with an access trail. We unbiked (it’s my story I get to make up words if I want to) and took a short hike a little ways up the highway. Five dashed center lines to the north and we were there! Taking pictures with the Sandies and the banner we completed our quest. We were (so far as we can find out) the first club to visit the place since 1969. We had found and visited the final scene of Easy Rider. The spot where Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda were done in by local good ol boys. Now we have pictures to prove we were there. Even the locals don’t remember much about the movie that was shot there so we definitely had to do some research. A guy George met via the internet researched it and went to find it in person. George spent hours on Google Earth viewing sites and trying to nail down the final resting place of the Captain America bike. Success was sweet. George’s buddy, Steve, did a lot of the actual work and some research but George did a bunch also. Ain’t it grand when a plan comes together? Saturday night at Pat and Brenda’s is always fun! This one was no exception. Outside at the walk in theater Transformers two played while we dined on hot dogs, chili and popcorn. Along with some other goodies. Including a Pineapple Upsidedown cake made by our own Munchkin! Delicious, all of it! Indoors, the Captain Morgan was flowing freely. George sat down for parts of Easy Rider on the little screen and enjoyed himself. I cannot confirm this but—George was heard humming the song “Born to be Wild” to himself during the evening. Now I know he really hates that song but once it’s in your head, you know how it is. Sunday we are all up and about at the appointed time for departure and off we go-to breakfast of course. Same place as last year. But this year there was a difference. This year the waitress didn’t walk out on her job while we were ordering! Yes fellow Sandies, we seem to have overwhelmed the poor lady. This year, new management and the nicest waitress we could have asked for. I’m sure she was properly rewarded. Saying goodbye to Pat and Brenda we made a quick stop for gas and off to the interstate we went. Yes, you heard correctly, we traveled most of the return trip on the Interstate. The Eisenhower Interstate Transportation System was the quickest way home. Six of us departed the group at the exit to Gulf Port while George and the remainder headed to his brothers place just south. The Quick Six (as I like to refer to us—again I remind you, it’s my story and I can make up what I want to call us.) headed out for home. The reason we were in a hurry is a lady named IDA headed north from Mexico across the Gulf. Now we are told it won’t be here ‘till Tuesday but we also figured the rain may get here that evening. So off we went. Hardly an incident on the way home. Jerry “the Comb” G led part way and I led the rest of the way to Navarre where Skwirrel and myself parted company with the Quick Six. Using the Sandie Salute, we bid our companions farewell. Turning onto our street we noticed we have new neighbors. Haven’t met them yet but they looked pretty human from here. Coming into the house we discovered all the pets alive and reasonably well. The Dog still loves us and the birds greeted us noisily. The cat never knew we were gone. The trip was great, if you didn’t make the Low Road, you really need to. But there is no place like home—even the Love Shack.



This was my first and hopefully not my last “Low Road Tour”. It was more than I could have ever imagined!! I had lots of firsts and FUN on this adventure with my fellow Sandies.

I hadn’t gone riding westward yet (until I joined the Sandies). I felt like “Thelma and Louise” riding westward through four states. Course, we did not go over a cliff, however, we did hit a street that did not go thru (I saw the sign that told us road ends)….we just kept following like the good little group we are….excuse me….not everyone followed. It just gave us another excuse to do our U-Turn which I knew was coming. I’m just glad that we didn’t take the movie to its end like Thelma and Louise did…..???hmmmm…. I wonder if we would??? Follow our Road Captain that far? Nahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

We arrived at our destination at Pat and Brenda’s humble abode. A Log Cabin Home. Plus, three cabins (which the Sandies help build) and two RV’s. I was fortunate enough to be able to stay in one of the RV’s and it was a wonderful accommodation. Not only were we supplied with a place to rest, they also made fantastic food for all – I could not believe how they took care of us, the entire weekend. It was nice to meet them and also their family.

Well, that wasn’t all they did. Friday night, they had made lots of good food. We all sat around and talked and harassed each other as we do. It was fun. Saturday morning, besides starting with Coffee (yum..yum..I luv coffee), we had breakfast in a local town. We were escorted on a great ride through Louisiana. One the visual pleasures of the ride was along Rte. 22, a two-lane roadway along a bed of water which included house boats– awesome scenery….and through tree covered roads which the sun shined through along the routes – beautiful!! After the escorted ride, we (another first for me) put our bikes on a ferry and crossed the Mississippi River.

Upon our exit from the ferry, our next destination was to the location of the last scene in the movie “Easy Rider”. Ya know this would make another first for me! We Sandies stood right on the spot with our Banner raised proudly – I could feel the hair standing up on my arms!........…, not really…but it sounded good didn’t it ?…hahahahaha. It was very cool and that’s true! I could have sworn I saw a stain on the roadway from where the bike went down – they assured me it wasn’t. The fun did not end there. On Saturday night, we watched, “Transformers III” outside on a BIG Screen that was set up with speakers and nice toasty fire pits.

Old Fashioned pop corn machine with popcorn bags, hot dogs, and Chili. Who could ask for more? What a great night! OH Yes, I almost forgot another first – are you ready??? I saw George half naked (no top on, just his pj pants). All I will say is, “I was shocked and envious”.

What a GREAT weekend! I enjoyed the entire trip and the wonderful hospitality we received from Pat, Brenda and family. You all are wonderful folks!! Thanks also to George for all your hard work on our trips and in finding the spot from Easy Rider! You are a Rocking Road Captain!

Honda Wanda


Another Sandollar Low Road Tour is in the history books. The 2009 Tour started on a cool Friday morning (November 6th) and wrapped up on the following Sunday (November 8th). I had a good time on the tour following our road captain all around the countryside between Ft Walton Beach, Florida and Doc Pat’s homestead in Louisiana. I rode, I ate, I slept and I had fun on this tour. I’d like to thank Pat and Brenda for opening up their home for our use and for feeding our motley crew. I couldn’t believe all the upgrades that were made to the place too. Each of the cabins are no longer just boxes with beds in them. They now have individual themes with all kinds of interior/exterior decorating. The new deck out back made an ideal place to get together and party along with a fine place to watch our yearly movies from. Brenda’s cookin’ filled the empty spot in our tummies during the evening.

Thanks again for the wonderful vittles and the use of your home.



Pam’s Low Roading Easy Tour

My first Low-Road and now I know why I heard if you only do 1 Sandie trip, it should be the Low Road. The ride started with everyone in high spirits, albeit a little chilly one and I believe it ended that way as well with nothing but laughs, delicious food and great riding in between. First Sandie moment came Friday when our apparently illiterate Road Captain blew right on by a huge sign that said ROAD CLOSED 4 miles ahead. Yep, first u-turn of the trip. Holy Cow, did we ride some kinda fun Saturday or what? Memories from Saturday’s ride are ones that will bring me smiles for a long time. Meeting Preacher Terry and all the riders who joined us for breakfast and riding was special and really kicked off the day.

Didn’t meet any strangers on this trip, just friends I hadn’t previously met yet. The weather was near perfect and the roads divine. After we exited the Plaquemine ferry (a first for me), we picked up Highway 77 to Krotz Springs in search of The Spot. If that stretch of 77 is not on any roads to ride lists, it should be – it was that good. To top off the day, we found The Spot where the final scene of Easy Rider was shot and took prerequisite banner pic. That night we watched the movie just so we could point and say we were there! We enjoyed lunch in a traditional silver diner car where the waitresses were fun and Moody showed why he is ummm…. Just Moody; ya know. On our way home, we crossed the very old Huey P. Long Bridge (also a scene from Easy Rider) and our apparently illiterate and near-sighted Road Captain took us into another u-turn – right around a No U-Turn sign. Yep, the day was some special kinda fun! Saying good-bye to our hosts Sunday following breakfast was filled with love and promises of future trips. The Lees – Pat and Brenda are the epitome of Southern Hospitality.

Their home took my breath away and the Sandie lodging was top notch. The cabin for Sqwirrel and Steve was so apropos – reminiscent of 70’s psychedelic trips. And with the help of BFF Mary, Brenda fed us good with hot and spicy gumbo and Chili that had bowls going back for refills. Topped off with Munchkin’s delicious cake, if anyone left hungry, it was their own dang fault. With much Thanks to Mary and Clinton, HondaWanda and I had use of their tricked out Fifth Wheel. Oh yeah, I also learned there is no time or place constraints for coin-check among this group of vagabond and ragamuffin Sandies. Yep, I owe. It’s a good thing I could stand to lose some poundage since I will be sustaining on bread and water to pay for that expensive lesson. The ride home was a fast & windy one via interstate with a short detour for a few of us to visit with Mark and Linda Engler. I tried so hard not to laugh when Linda told me that her snaggle-toothed, cranky and snarly old lady of a dog was named Honey. It was an exercise in futility.

On the way back to the Interstate our apparently illiterate, near-sighted and directionally challenged Road Captain took us down the wrong road and another u-turn caps the day. This was the Low-Road. Generally in life, I try to travel the high road as much as possible. But if people like this are on the low-road, I may have to shake my mid-western sensibilities and change my path of travel. What a trip.



The Captain & Easy Rider

Thursday 5 Nov 0530am, on the road west bound to “Red Stick” (that’s Baton Rouge in English, the explanation of that name is available upon request). Since I saw that it would be 70-degrees that afternoon, I wasn’t dressed for the 48-degree weather and shivered until I reached “Singing River”(that’s Pascagoula, a story for that name, also) for breakfast. The rest of the ride was great to the BMW dealer in Baton Rouge where I hoped to have a malfunction taken care of. The service manager found that he knew what the problem was since this was the third time he had seen it in the last month. The bad news was that he couldn’t fix it then. So I will ride with a warning light on until the Tallahassee dealer reopens. After a short ride to our host’s home, I drove up their driveway right behind Brenda in a fully loaded, large, pickup truck packed with goodies for the arrival of the Sandies the next day. I tried to help out where I could, but it’s hard to follow two whirlwinds like them. I did perform a service that evening by checking out the chili that was prepared for the next days Sandy’s supper. Just to be sure, it took two large bowls of the chili to be absolutely sure it was perfect, it definitely was. The next day went by fast as I tried to keep up with Pat doing a bunch of chores to take care of the arriving horde.

The group arrived without incident and all seemed very surprised and pleased with their quarters. Sam and George had their permanent bedroom, PK and Wanda had a large 5th wheel trailer, JoJo had his usual bunk, and I was promoted to the 2nd floor washroom. The three cabins were shared, Tina and Dave in the Hog Room, Bob and John in the Swamp room, Squirrel and Steve in the Love Shack (a step back to the 60’s, black lights and lava lamps included). Munchkin was awarded a whole building to himself, I won’t give details but Pat’s Harley was so teed off at having to sleep outside it drained it’s own battery that night.

Next morning, a quick stop at Jack’s café for B’fast, then a quick curvy, bayou ride to the Cajun Village for an alligator, café-au-lait, Beignets and Souvenir stop before a ride down to cross the Mississippi River on the ferry boat at Plaquemine (I’ve no explanation of that name). At the ferry, we split into two groups, one that rode east of the river. The other rode into the Atchafalaya Swamp North of Krotz Spring to the spot that the last scene in the movie Easy Rider was shot. A quick ride across the big river on the old Huey P. Long Bridge (built in the 20’s) to the Saturday night feast awaiting us. After stuffing ourselves, we had an outdoor movie set up on a screen about 15ft by 40ft with out own popcorn machine and 3 fire pit’s going.

Indoors we had a showing of the Easy Rider movie to wind down after a fun, busy, exhausting day along with the Captain’s Magic Elixir. I’m glad to see that the marvelous medicinal mixture is slowly gaining favor of some of our more sophisticated members. After a blissful night, we had a breakfast stop in Hammond where, due to a mistake in delivery, one of our crew had to eat two three-egg omelets with hash browns, toast, and order of grits. Luckily, this was given to the only one of us who won’t gain weight from this. I won the “Jeffrey” award, but someone forgot to collect the money, so I guess you can’t win them all. From Hammond to home, it seems that everyone made it safely without any problems. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

Jerry “The Captain” Gilbert

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