Sunday, November 2, 2008

800 Miles

I spent my Labor day weekend doing a lot of riding which suites me just fine. August 29th was my aunts 75th birthday so I started my long weekend early.  DSC00681Riding to Cedar Rapids wasn't all that exiting since it was on the super slab. But it sure was nice to get to see a lot of my family that I haven't seen in a long time. A good time was had by all with plenty of food, ice cream and cake.

After everyone left Robert, Molly his girl friend, and I went out on the town. First up was a biker bar with live music which would have suited me fine if it wasn't country music. After about hour of this I had all I could take so off we went. This time to a little place by the river that was open for the first night after the major flooding CR had this summer. This place was clear under water and it took them this long to get it open again. They did a great job with it, it even still smelled new.

My cousin Rob is such a dork. He found this beat up little scooter that he DSC00664has turned into a, well a moving... hell I don't know what to call it. You tell me what it is. He's got a whole $3.75 in the thing. Not sure I would be caught dead riding that thing though. I mean a guy does have his pride if he doesn't have anything else right?

Saturday it was time to continue my adventure. I thought I knew where I was going. Since I'm a dummy and didn't download the web site for off line viewing I tried to go from memory. Old age must be catching up with me. I had planned on going to Davenport for an antique motorcycle swap meet and races, which is suppose to be one of the largest in the country. But what I planned and how it ended up are two different thing. Off on back county highways I head for... Dubuque! 

While riding along I happen to run across a little tractor pull going on in the middle of nowhere. So I stop peal off the hot leathers and enjoy a smoke watching these local guys test their machines. DSC00686 It had been a while since I was in the area and I was kind of lost. Walking up to the gate I look at the guy behind the table taking money and I'll be if I don't know him. We had went to high school together. I don't think it hit him who I was though. He was a tough little guy in school and still looks the same, short and stocky. After getting directions and how to get where I was headed I took off. I figured I would hit the swap meet at about six in the evening. Needless to say there was no swap meet or races.

Sitting at a gas station, bought a map trying to make something out of nothing. I decide to ride along the Mississippi river. This would have been great had not I lost all the light of day. I'm heading for a state park I see on the map so I can roll out the sleeping bag for the night. Pulling into Bellevue and discover that they have a street party going on raising funds for the volunteer fire department. It was cheap enough to get in at only five bucks. The bonus came when I asked the ladies selling beer tickets if they had a motel or the like a person could stay in. Luck would have it the bar across the street had rooms above it for rent for cheap too. Perfect, cheap room, cheap beer and homemade pizza to boot.

Sunday I wander on down the river road to the interstate to Iowa City.DSC00688 Stopping for fuel and food I see a Steak an Shakes. I don't see what all the hubbub is about this place. The burger wasn't any better then any other fast food joint. Plus it was anything but fast not to mention over eight bucks for a burger, fries and a Coke is a bit much.

Then it was back to two lane back roads I grew up on to my home town of North English. After visiting my mothers grave I wandered around town a little bit. Not a lot has changes in that place. It was as dead as any Sunday I remember living there. So back on the road I headed back home.

Not really planning to do anything on my Monday off I was looking at the map and seen lake Rathbun. Seeing how I hadn't been there in years I decided it was time to check it out again. Sitting at the spill way I could have reached out and caught fish. I've never seen so many fish trolling the top of the water for food. They were in schools of eight or ten fish. A guy could have just tossed a line in the water and would of had supper in minutes.

So that is how you ride 800 miles in four days and never leave the state.


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