LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
In July, I reported on the motorcycle trip of Chris Hutter, who traveled the Lincoln Highway this past summer to complete his following of the road all the way across the U.S. After reaching San Francisco, he rode to Seattle, then took US 2 westward. Just outside of Montana, he stopped for coffee at a road stop, and that was the start of a brief adventure that I’ll let him tell.
As I was ready to leave the rest area I spotted something on the ground about forty feet away. I rolled my bike over to find a wallet. The wallet had a drivers license, a military ID and some of the basic stuff you would find in a mans wallet. I looked for a phone number but had no luck and besides up in these hills there is little cell service. I figured it was lost or stolen and tossed since there was no money. I threw it in my pack and figured I would send it to back through the U.S. Mail with a nice note telling him where I found it. As I was riding, I kept thinking that this guy is probably going crazy looking for his lost wallet. I pulled over to see where he lived. Turned out he was from Missoula, Montana. The town of Missoula was south of US 2 and was a slight detour for me but I decided to make the delivery. It was the least I could do for a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army. So I set my GPS to the address listed on his drivers license and off I went not knowing what I would eventually find…
I made a turn onto his street which was a typical small town street. As I rolled down the street near his house a middle age woman was standing in the driveway speaking to two younger woman in an SUV. The sound of my Harley caught their attention and they were all staring. When I turned into their driveway, stopped and took off my helmet they almost became slightly alarmed.
I politely introduced my self as Chris from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and that I was there to speak to the Nathan because I had something that belonged to him. Before I could finish my sentence they started screaming and cheering and repeatedly kept asking me where I found it. Within a moment, Nathan appeared and was walking down the sidewalk asking me where I found it. He was in total disbelief. He stated that he searched and searched and was getting ready to call his credit card companies to report the cards as lost. Turns out the wallet popped out of his pocket when he was pulling the leash for his dog that was also tucked in his back pocket. The dog took off and he quickly ran after it losing his wallet in the process.
He then began to ask me what he could give me and my reply was “nothing, it is the least I could do for a member of our armed forces.” It turns out that Nathan had already served four tours in Afghanistan. A few moments later Nate’s father came outside, on his hat it said U.S. Marines, Vietnam 69-74. Again, his father asked what he could do for me and my reply was I owe more to you than you could ever give to me. I explained to them that I truly felt this way and they graciously accepted my reply. They are a family of true patriots and have given more to our country than we could ever realize. We are all indebted to them for their service.
Without a doubt this was the best part of my 18 day trip. I quit blogging after this portion because it just could not get any better.