Looks like I’ve been to 18 states now on a motorcycle now.
I appear to have made it home alive. I belive the total mileage was somewhere in the 4300 mile range. I seemed to have filled up the entire capacity of the memory card on my camera. Maybe theres actually a decent pic or two to post.
Just outside of Knoxville, TN (home of the 1982 Worlds Fair). Only about 2.5 hours from my parents place, and could of already been there if we had kept riding. But it seemed like a good time to stop. Plus, I wanted to stop and tighten up the chain on my bike. Probabaly would of been fine, but I got paranoid.
My thought that the wind would die down as we got into TN and KY proved to be incorrect. More wind.
Almost home. Taking it pretty easy the last couple days.
“I talk to the wind
I tell it to shut up.
The wind does not hear.
The wind cannot hear.”
In Mount Vernon, Illinois tonight. A touch over 400 miles today. Still lots of wind, though hopefully we are mostly out of it now.
Went and saw my dads plane at the Combat Air Museum. It was back in the repair/clean up portion of the Museum, which was interestingly still open to the public. Talked a while with the curator, gave him some photos we had. Got plenty of pics and some video.
Some interesting planes in the collection, including an F-14, a F-4, a F-105, and a sky crane. And a cross sectioned Wasp Major. Thats a big engine.
Ride was mostly uneventful. Should cross Kentucky and most of Tennessee tomorrow.
I’m still in Kansas. Carrying on, like a wayward son in the wind. This time in Topeka.
There is a museum here at the airport (The Combat Air Museum) that has a plan in it’s collection that was my dads plane in Vietnam (he was the crew chief for it). We got here are 4pm, a little late to find out the museum closes at 3:30pm unlike the 5pm the website claims.
So we decided to stick around and go tomorrow morning. It was kind of a rough day anyway, even though we only did ~200 miles. It was very windy out and that makes riding really annoying. Without the wind, could of probably done 400 or more miles on these roads. But having to fight the bike the whole time to keep it in it’s lane gets tiring. The wind can stop now. You win. I don’t plan on coming back to the Midwest if I can help it.
We went over 100 miles today without seeing a working gas station. The gas stations around here also carry an interesting variety of fuels. No regular/mid grade/premium, but unleaded/unleaded plus/super unleaded. “super unleaded” is 10% ethanol or E10. No idea what “unleaded plus” is. Most gas stations also carry diesel and “off road diesel”, which if I understand correctly, is the same as regular diesel, but not dyed the correct colors and not taxed the same.
Also, Pizza Hut seems willing to put restaurants in places where even Walmart and McDonald’s fear to go.
Overheard quotes of the day:
“Would you like a sack for that?”
“if you don’t start behavin, moms gonna open a can of whoop-hiney on you”
In Salina, KS. About 400 miles today. Again mostly along deserted two highways. Lots of wind again. At one point went 97 miles between gas stations. With only about ~150 miles range on the bike if I’m doing 70mph, that means making a lot of gas stops “just to be safe”.
Fairly boring ride today. A little bit of rain.
Sitting in a hotel room in Valentine, NE. Southwest South Dakota gives me a new understanding of rural. We got off the interstate, since I was getting a bit tired of the 40mph cross winds + semis + endless chain of RVs and bike trailers. Took highway 43 though the area. At one point we went just shy of 40 miles between stops. We saw two cars on the road. None of the local gas stations (all three of them we saw in about 70 miles of highway driving) sell premium. Middle. Of. Nowhere.
The badlands however were pretty awesome. Totally worth the 10 dollar park admission fee. Probably not worth the royal hassle the Park Rangers were giving to a lot of the bikes coming though. Apparently they were searching alot of the bikes that came though. I pulled into a visitor center and what I thought was the motorcycle parking (pretty much everything in the area has dedicated motorcycle parking for the week or so). It wasn’t motorcycle parking however, but the impound lot where they were searching bikes. I’d estimated 50 bikes were in there.
At the one gas station in the middle of nowhere mentioned above, we got talking to a local who happened to work at the Badlands National Park. He seemed to indicate the rangers target bikes and the Rangers went out of there way to hassle motorcycles. Lovely.
Me and my dad split from the rest of the group today. Kind of glad. Trying to make anytime with 7 bikes in a group is a bit of a pain. “smoke breaks” start taking an hour. Etc.
Off to Kansas tomorrow. Hopefully the wind wont be quite as bad in NE as it was in SD. Man, that just about wore me out. The little Bonneville was getting tossed all over the place. First time I ever thought “man, it would be nice to have a 1000 pound Harley about now”.