It talks about survival, camping, learning to talk to strangers, and having the power of
her own convictions. One hundred short fun-filled and action-packed stories and one poem
guide the reader to real people (whose last names have been omitted to protect their privacy),
real animals whose names remain the same, and real life situations. This lady motorcyclist
was well into her adulthood when she decided to ride bikes, but a lot younger than she is now.
Her route of travel changed in 1981 after joining a motorcycle organization.
Following a life-changing spiritual experience in 1982, she traveled thousands of miles each
year on two wheels sharing the joy she found.
Hilda E. Hatter is a member of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, Gold Wing Road Riders Association and Texas Motorcycle Roadriders Association (TMRA). In 1992, she started writing the Outdoor Roundup editorial for Daimler’s Folly, a monthly publication of TMRA, and articles for various motorcycle organizations. She has three children and six grandchildren.
Excerpts from 3 of 100 stories found in “Bananas and Balloons”
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: …
a time to weep and a time to laugh. -Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)
Giant of a Bear
…Since we had experienced high temperatures the week before leaving, we agreed to spend the night at the park rather than ride home tired. Once we picked out a campsite and erected our tents, Bill took on the task of cooking dinner while Ray helped me tie a hammock between two trees. He suggested I bring it so he could help me master the skill of resting it in. After demonstrating my skill of falling out, I stepped aside to watch his spectacle performance of turning over on his side and staying in the contraption. He succeeded where I had failed and, without hesitation, I relinquished ownership to him that evening.
As we headed for our tents, we each anticipated getting a good night’s sleep. However, sometime in the middle of the night I heard loud noises outside my tent. Startled, I sat straight up and screamed at the top of my lungs.
I saw the shadow of a huge bear shaking my tent and screamed louder. When the shaking stopped I calmed down and a voice said, “Hilda, it’s me – Ray. Stop screaming. You’re busting our eardrums. What’s wrong?” I was shaking so much it was difficult telling him what I had heard.
Armed with ammunition (flashlights) the guys braved the darkness and checked the area to see what could have awakened me. No chance of finding any prowlers; even the owls were long gone. When they returned they were laughing so hard they had difficulty telling me what happened. A raccoon or some clawed animal had scratched the lid off the metal trashcan several yards away from my tent. My screams invaded its thought of concentration and it projected itself into the next county without returning for our leftovers.
Dear Lord, thank you for friends, beautiful rainbows and clouds of color. And for calming our fears when we are frightened by the circumstances around us. Amen
Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are;
help us to spend them as we should. -Psalm 90:12 (TLB)
Wanna go for a ride? Call a few friends, grab a camera and …. The sun is our navigator on this trip.
We’ll start from Dallas, Texas, heading east on Interstate 20 to Terrell then north on Highway 34. There’s a bunch of great roads out there and I found something that might interest you enough to take pictures because folks back home won’t believe your story.
Has everyone got a full tank of gas and an empty bladder? Okay, let’s head ‘em up and move ‘em out.
Did you bring your camera? If not, maybe someone else will take pictures and make a copy for you.
As we leave Yantis, going south on 154, make note of the setting on your speedometer because you’re in for a special treat seven miles south of town. No speeding now, 55 mph is even too fast because you don’t want to miss the cowboy who’s riding high in the wind. He’s waiting to blaze a trail to fame and fortune and has set himself firm in the saddle, heels planted in the stallion’s hindquarters. The horse has muscles like you wouldn’t believe; he’s built like a hunk of iron and has readied himself to lurch forward when the buzzer sounds and the gate opens. Can ‘Carly Cowboy’ hang on through a test of brawn versus brain; stallion versus man?
The show’s about to begin. Ready-aim-shoot! Not the gun, but the camera. This stallion is as black as night, as huge as an elephant, and Carly is sitting topside. The Texas oil rig rests on the side of the road for all to see, and from the opposite side you’ll have a full view of Carly getting ready for the ride of his life.
Have you planned an adventure only to be lost in the shadows of time? Let God be your Guide, your Pilot. Lean on Him for direction because He knows what is best for you and will never take you down the wrong road.
Dear Lord, thank you that when we ride tall in the saddle You are always with us. No matter where we are, help us to be more alert to the direction You have planned for us. Amen.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.
-Psalm 28:7 (NIV)
Mirror to Mirror
Early in 2001, I received GWRRA’s magazine and my eyes were drawn to a full-page announcement. The “Second Annual World Championship Motorcycle Drill Team Competition” was being held in Springfield, Missouri over the Labor Day weekend. The moment I read it I went to God in prayer letting him know my desire to attend the rally. I also stated I’d like another rider to travel with me, one who would complement my character and tolerate my differences. One week later, in the quiet of my home I heard “Nancy” and knew we were compatible. We had known each other since 1981 and had ridden together on many occasions.
Nancy and I patiently waited for the Lord’s answer about a third rider in our group. A month later I heard the name “Melinda” – ….
While packing for the trip, I suddenly saw “The Three Musketeers” on motorcycles. I chuckled to myself then thought of the 1929 movie with the same title. Though our group had several characteristics of the original three, others weren’t. …
Daytime travel was great, however, our nighttime ride was of a different nature. West of Fort Smith, Arkansas we entered a very rough trail of bumps, lumps and humps. To add to the dangerous route of travel, the construction zone was poorly lit with lots of twists in the road. Even the moon hid its face from us. Had I known what we were facing, I would gladly have relinquished the responsibility of being the leader of our group. Before we arrived in Fort Smith I wondered if this was a pre-requisite for being accepted on a drill team.
By the time we arrived at the end of the test we all felt like wet noodles. I had to look down at my body to make sure all of me was attached in the right places before entering the motel.
When we face uncertain times in our lives, God will be our Guide if we trust in Him.
Dear Lord, thank you for answered prayers and for guiding us to safety. Continue giving us direction in our time of need. Amen.