Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: Day 12-14: The Long Haul, Mother Nature's Free Bike Wash, and a Return to Peoria


Day 12-14: The Long Haul, Mother Nature's Free Bike Wash, and a Return to Peoria

**This series of posts recap my two-week trip to Billings, MT and back from July 1-16, 2013. For the entire list of my featured rides, click here.**

We left Buffalo, WY a little after 5AM and powered on toward Pierre, SD with absolute minimum stops for food, stretching, and biological needs. The first stop for gas in the morning is usually the longest because of breakfast. The tchotchkes I come across in the middle of nowhere are quite amusing.

Because motorcycle?
Several of our stops for stretch/bathroom breaks were quite amusing because of their outdoor art. Like this one in Wasta, SD (mile marker 100 on I-90 eastbound).

Stopped by a teepee. Because we had to go pee pee. It's crude. It rhymed. Deal with it.
We stopped in Pierre, SD for the evening. Check-in at the Super 8 there was a bit weird because it turned out the front desk had thrown out Rebecca's hotel reservation that she did online on her phone during breakfast (which was faxed from the reservation center afterward, and seriously, how do you do fail that?) and of course, they had to put us in a 2nd floor room on the other side of the building, far from where our bikes were parked. Anyway, good, authentic Mexican food makes it all better, and Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant just happened to be next door.

Surprisingly good Mexican food in Pierre, South Dakota right next to the Super 8 we were staying at. The service here? Great. The service at the hotel? No comment. Let's just say that my co-rider was *this close* [pinching fingers really close] to dropping a biotch.
We left at 4AM the next day to get as much ground covered before the sunrise. About 35 miles into the ride, we pulled over in Reliance, SD to put on the rain gear after watching a eeringly beautiful lightning show in the distant eastern skies. We then headed right into a hefty rainstorm that blew us around for 100 miles and leaked rainwater in every possible orifice on our bodies and our bikes. After stopping in Mitchell, SD (home of The Corn Palace) for an extended break and breakfast, we continued on through the remainder of South Dakota for another couple hours and into southern Minnesota where we were able to finally shed the rain gear later that morning and let the sun naturally dry us out. It was a straight shot through Iowa and then across the Iowa-Illinois Bridge back into the Land of Lincoln.

It was another hard-riding, 700-mile day, with short stops and long distances in between fuel tanks. Considering we were both on top-end touring bikes, getting through the straightaways was comfortable but quite boring since we didn't have any radio communication between the two of us. So waving and intermittent rounds of hand puppets and rear-view mirror Rock, Paper, Scissors had to do. Perhaps I'll get a CB radio installed on my bike when I grow up, or find more friends to ride with full-time.

We parted ways after a night stay in Moline, IL in the Quad Cities area, about 120 miles from Peoria, my second-to-last destination before heading back to Cleveland. Rebecca rode into the night for the long haul to Pennsylvania and then eventually back to Massachusetts. And if I had to mention one additional thing I learned from this very spirited trip, a well-timed bottle of Corona Light is a good thing after riding hours. Until next time!

When one rides a Honda Goldwing, bugs are never an issue. Eleanor, however, eats them up like cookies and likes to share them with me. Thanks for the adventure, Rebecca!