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keithbob

Memorial Stone Placement For Rich Merrill

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Hi all-

I just got word from Judi, Rich Merrill's long-time girlfriend, that she has a memorial stone ready and would like all of Rich's VFRD friends to join her in placing it. I understand that it is a simple engraved rock that she wants to place where he came to rest. Any of you are welcome, even if you never got the chance to meet Rich.

Judi asks that we meet on Mary's Peak, which is located on Hwy 34 just west of Philomath, OR, between 1 and 2 pm on Sunday, August 31. I would suggest we meet at the turnoff from Hwy 34 at the base of the road going up to the peak at 12:30 pm.

If folks would like to have lunch beforehand, we can meet at the CD&J cafe in Philomath at 11 am. Rich and I liked that place and we often met there before our rides.

Hoping to see many of you - Judi will appreciate having you there.

Keith

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Ride forever Rich

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I will see you at the cafe at for lunch.

Portlanders, we should probably leave around 9:15 if we want to get there in time for lunch at 11:00.

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Keithbob,

On the date you mentioned for the ceremony is August 31st. This is a Sunday not Saturday. Is the memorial on Saturday the 30th or Sunday the 31st of August? I never meet Rich, but will try and attend.

Thanks,

RingO

Hi all-

I just got word from Judi, Rich Merrill's long-time girlfriend, that she has a memorial stone ready and would like anyone from VFRD who knew Rich to join her in placing it. I understand that it is a simple engraved rock that she wants to place where he came to rest.

Judi asks that we meet on Mary's Peak, which is located on Hwy 34 just west of Philomath, OR, between 1 and 2 pm on Saturday, August 31. I would suggest we meet at the turnoff from Hwy 34 at the base of the road going up to the peak at 12:30 pm.

If folks would like to have lunch beforehand, we can meet at the CD&J cafe in Philomath at 11 am. Rich and I liked that place and we often met there before our rides.

Hoping to see many of you - Judi will appreciate having you there.

Keith

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I will see you at the cafe at for lunch.

Portlanders, we should probably leave around 9:15 if we want to get there in time for lunch at 11:00.

Sounds goood Tim.

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I'll be there in spirit, if not physically.

Ditto.

Very cool.

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Thanks Keith... I won't be able to make it up... but I'll be thinking of my RC brother Rich none the less...

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On the date you mentioned for the ceremony is August 31st. This is a Sunday not Saturday. Is the memorial on Saturday the 30th or Sunday the 31st of August? I never meet Rich, but will try and attend.

Oops! My mistake. It is SUNDAY, August 31. I have edited the original post to the correct date. Thanks, and I look forward to seeing you.

And thank you to all who will be there in spirit. I suggest a nice ride that day, wherever you are.

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Thanks for the notice and my thoughts will be with you. Of course, you never know if a crazy Canadian will just hop on the bike and go????

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Sarah and I will meet you in Philomath. In Rich's honor, yes, we will have to tear highway 34 a new one... wink.gif

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Awesome thing folks, I would love to attend just to honor a fellow member/rider even though I've never met any West Coast members. Maybe some day a local member can take me to the spot if I ever get to tour the West on the VFR.

I will be there in my thoughts and hope you have a perfect day and great turnout! :rolleyes:

In 2004 we did something similar for TexasMac(Brian) who was the first VFRD member lost.

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Topic pinned!

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Just a bump for those that may not have seen this and want to come. All are welcome!

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I lost blkrabbbits number or I would call him. I have 2 friends coming from up north to attend

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how long of a ride from Seattle is it and what is the best route to take?

Philomath, OR is 95 miles from the WA/OR border I-5. Mary's Peak is another 20 miles past Philomath.

If you're trying to make good time, I'd suggest slabbing it down I-5 from Seattle.

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Will be thinking of you guys on Sunday. Ride safe!

GypsyCat

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I'd love to go for a ride with some new folks, but I have a question... just how quick a bunch are y'all? I'm just getting back to riding after a three year hiatus. I was never the quickest riding in the bunch anyway and I'm even slower now. I'd hate to hold everyone up.

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I'd love to go for a ride with some new folks, but I have a question... just how quick a bunch are y'all? I'm just getting back to riding after a three year hiatus. I was never the quickest riding in the bunch anyway and I'm even slower now. I'd hate to hold everyone up.

It's not too far (maybe 15 miles) from the cafe in Philomath to the top of Mary's Peak. We'd welcome you being there. No worries about how fast or slow anyone is, this will be a fun ride that each can do at their own pace. Several of us will be two-up, not that that slows us much...

Please come and join us!

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OK anybody that wants to ride down with us from portland speak up so we can all meet up

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Wow - looks great guys... well done - and a great tribute to a great guy.

I wish i could have been there. Thanks for posting up the pictures George :fing02:

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Today was a thoughtful kind of day. I took a walk up into the woods above the house (it's deer season here), lovely morning, and saw a lot of nothing. But while walking back, I thought it would be a great day for a ride into the Coast Range to see how Rich's stone is getting on.

I've had his coffee cup in my cupboard for three years now since Rich died, rarely use it, and it occurred to me that I should just take it up and set it by his stone in the woods. Rich LOVED coffee, and used to razz me about my preference of tea. For those of you reading this anew, my best riding buddy Rich had his last ride on the road that runs up Mary's Peak in western Oregon. His beloved Judi placed a stone at the spot where we found him.

I put the cup by the shoes and hung out with him awhile. I don't know where the shoes came from, other friends and family members tend to stop by and leave things, too. The little wooden cross we began with is still lying there, and I noticed some words we'd scrawled on it still legible. In August, Didit and Jfviffer came up to visit with me, which meant something to Tony as he had met and ridden with Rich at the '06 PNW meet, just two weeks before we lost him.

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Rich's stone

I go back every now and again, and it always amazes me how much things change at that spot in the trees. Two years ago, the massive spruce just below snapped in the wind and crashed down just missing the site. It's now a great thing to stand on and listen to the silence and watch the colors change as the light pours through the trees. Though it was sunny, the winding road up the mountainside was well-lubed with wet pine needles and green moss.

I rode my late father-in-law's GoldWing up to the mountain. Darrel loved that bike, almost as much as his BMW GS that he rode everywhere. He died last April quite suddenly. He was preparing for his second ride to Alaska on the Beemer. Jalene and I inherited the Wing, along with the camp-trailer that it pulls. What a ride it is when you want to cruise in comfort and see the sights. Darrel and Rich would have gotten on brilliantly - both equally quirky and absolutely nuts about motorcycles. Both of them were taken from us without warning, and both of them I miss terribly.

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Still life - GoldWing with coffee cup

I always have nice conversations with Rich about the ride up there. When I told him I rode the GoldWing up to see him, I heard some crap about how old I'm getting. I let him know that Colorado was a great trip, and about some other things going on in life. He wants me to bring him something to put in the cup next time I'm up there. I guess that was a little rude of me.

So now rides to Mary's Peak will include a thermos of hot coffee. Doesn't have to be good, Rich seemed to like any kind of gut-burning swill.

And while reviewing this thread while writing, I found where Baileyrock expressed a desire to come see the place. Well, Kevin, you get yourself healed up and make it to Oregon and we'll go for a little ride. BTW, buddy, though I didn't get to say it in CO, the words you and all the others posted when I was laid up a year ago were worth millions, and I know we all think of you every day right now, especially when we're on the bike. Heal well!

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Forest view, memorial stone at lower left

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The lost of a Rich was a chill... then stupor... and finally letting go... I'll never forget our rides

together nor the partying...

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Never met Rich, but I was talking to Big Timmy at the Summit meet as to how I "felt" I knew him.

This pic is burned into my consciousness for some unknown reason:

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Ride On Rich! :beer:

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