Memorial Day Bikers Rally in Olympia, Washington
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As I walked down Capital Way in Olympia, Washington, goose bumps prickled along my arms and I felt slightly uneasy. Something had created a large clot of traffic ahead, something that sounded like a monstrous swarm of bumblebees.
The ominous rumble turned out to be a group of bikers – hundreds of bikers – crossing beneath an overpass on their way to the state capitol. Intrigued, I followed this procession of motorcycles and watched as all the steel and wheels was arranged into orderly rows.
The state troopers on patrol that day seemed delighted by the change of scenery. All that leather and attitude was a far cry from the suit-clad politicians they usually keep an eye on.
I kept my distance at first, but it was a friendly crowd, and soon I was chatting away with several bikers. One of them, a guy named Hank (who, I might add, wore a jacket emblazoned with the label, “Society’s Deviants”) told me that this yearly rally was organized by a group of veterans. That bit of information helped explain the mellowness of the event. Despite a band playing 60′s rock, I felt a somber tone to the gathering, as bikers quietly chatted in groups and wandered amongst the monuments honoring veterans from various wars.
Another fellow saw me taking photos and asked if I’d snap a few of him and his dog. If there’s ever a Top Model show for canines, someone needs to get this pooch an agent, because as you can see in the photo, he really knows how to pose.
I hadn’t heard a thing about the Memorial Day Bikers Rally prior to the event. I was simply headed out for a walk. I am, however, in the habit of carrying a camera in my purse, and it sure paid off that day. If you ever find yourself in Olympia, Washington on a sunny day, the beautifully landscaped grounds around the state capital make a great picnic spot, and, as you can see from the photos I’ve shared, you never know who might join you.
Photo credit: Tui Cameron