Wednesday, July 4, 2018

July 4, 2018 - the last day on the road

this is it.  I am home after a 3 1/2 hr. ride from Wythville, VA.  I left at 6:40 and 75 degrees, a great morning to ride.  I have covered 5825 miles over the past month and it has been great.  Seen family, friends, too close a visit with deer and many states.  I loved traveling the states but it could have been cooler.  I guess this was my warm-up for my next road trip.  Coming soon!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

July 3, 2018 another long day

I left Ferdinand, Indiana at 7 sharp.  This would be a long day getting to Bristol, TN.  Good news, my GPS has quit saying “EXTREME HEAT WARNING”.  It was now just saying “Heat Warning”.  A much better situation.  I had many flashbacks of Robin when I passed through Frankfort, KY where He lived for 25 years at the Stewart Home School.  That was a wonderful place for him.  I rounded Lexington and connected with I-75 heading south.  As I approached TN I got on 25E and passed through the Cumberland Gap.  It was a beautiful road, winding through the mountains.  It was a bit cooler on this road and I connected with Rt. 421.  I had a 20 mile stretch of twisties that reminded me of the Back of the Dragon.  This road has been named by VA as the “Crooked Road” it links many varied music venues together.
I was considering pushing on and maybe trying to get home but 50 miles past Bristol I knew that I was crashing.  I guess 500 miles in this heat was enough!  And there was my savior again...Comfort Inn.  I am in and tonight is the last night of unpacking and repacking in the morning.
Tomorrow will be the last installment on this trip.  It will be an early 3 hour ride home.  I hope people have enjoyed this.

July 2, 2018 - Heading home

I said my goodbyes to the Sisson’s around 8:00 and set off to deal with St. Louis.  Marsha and Tom suggested that I go south down to Jefferson City and pick up Rt. 50 which would get me out of the maddening car rush to St. Louis.  My goal was to get to St. Louis after rush hour and the Rt. 50 route did just that, it brought me in just below the city.  It was a beautiful country ride with only one hiccup.  I bought high Test gas at a small farm store and the bike let me know that it was unhappy right away.  I should have known that there would be little demand for it there and my guess is it was somewhat stale.  It ran but wasn’t the smooth running machine that I had been riding.  It sputtered to life when I hit the starter and ran ok but not good.
The roads around St. Louis look like a pile of spaghetti so I was a bit apprehensive going in.  I think I did 5 interstate changes within 5 miles and finally crossed the Mississippi River.  Hooray I am back east!
My goal for today was to get to Louisville, KY.  While I made good time at 75 mph the distance was ambitious and to make matters worse clouds were building.  It was forecast to be wan’t.  I was now on wet pavement and there were big puddles.  I kept passing hotels trying to get to my goal but then it started to rain.  A sign appeared on the horizon”Comfort Inn”, I was saved!  I barely made it to the hotel when it started.  When I got into the lobby the clerk told me that the only rooms available were $175.  Now remember, I am cheap.  I gave him the sad tired biker look and he asked if I was a veteran.  Boom, a home run.  The rate just changed to $91.  Too top it off there was a Chinese restaurant with a line across the street.  Sometimes things come together, not often, but this time luck was with me.  I got a great nights sleep.  I was just 60 miles short of my goal for the day.

Monday, July 2, 2018

July 1, 2018 More touring

I must have been tired because I slept until 7:00.  We set off for brunch at a small local place and I felt right at home with a slice of country ham and eggs, this place is ok.  Tom and Marsha were great tour guides!  The Missouri River is very impressive.

We then went to a nearby river town where the Katy Trail runs South to Louisiana along the Missouri River.  We walked the trail a but and were all suffering from the heat.
We the drove by the home of the Budweiser Clydesdales breeding grounds.  We couldn’t go in because a reservation is required.

We wrapped up our day with a walking tour of the campus and a wonderful BBQ rib dinner, prepared by Tom on the grill and Marsha in the kitchen.  

It was a full day and it was fun reliving our army days and catching up on the years since.  It is a shame we haven’t seen more of each other over the years.  We all agreed that we were very lucky to have had the life experiences that we had and we have had a very full life!

These people go to bed early around here.  Guess I better do the same. I am heading to Louisville, KY in the morning.

June 30, 2018 - Tulsa to Columbia, MO

I guess I wore out my welcome when I went through the toll booth on I-44 at Tulsa.  The road was a mess with all the pavement ground off and rough.  When I pulled into the toll plaza I raised my visor and told the lady “you know, on the east coast we build the road First then charge tolls for people riding on it!”  She just smiled.  That road recalled sucked!  It was a breeze getting around Tulsa at 4:30 am.  I picked up the toll road again on the other side of Tulsa and it was in better shape.  I doubt I will ever ride in OK again.  It doesn’t have scenic beautiful and the roads are awful!

Around 9:00 I crossed into Missouri and the whole ride changed.  My prior experience in MO was AIT at Ft. Leonard Wood so not a visit under the nicest of circumstances. I was pleasantly surprised when I turned to head north toward Columbia and it became hilly and the terrain was beautiful.  I had forgotten that Lake of the Ozarkd was here and I drove through it.  I arrived at Tom and Marsha’s house around 11:30 and I was shocked at how little they had changed.  They also had a tour all lined up to show me the place that they are so proud of.

We traveled through much of the U of MO and it felt a lot like Chapel Hill, NC.  Our travels took us to Fulton where the National Churchill Museum is at the Westminster College.  It is also under the Church of St. Mary, a Christopher Wren designed building.

This is in Fulton because after the war Churchill gave a speech in 1946 and predicted that an iron curtain would cross Europe.  It proved to be very true.  The Church was bombed out in London and was to be destroyed but the people in MO had it shipped here and rebuilt it.  It was stunning.  

Standing next to the church is the largest piece of the Berlin Wall in the US.

It was quite a shock seeing all this European History standing in Missouri. 

After dinner at Shakespear Pizza, a very good place , we headed home and retired early.