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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hello Wisconsin!

June 30th

I got up early enough to have some continental breakfast. coffee and fruit loops. heh. it helps getting something in the gut early in the morning.

I got to the chamberlin visitor info center. they had a bunch of lewis and clark displays. I snagged a map of south dakota as well. i've been trying to collect maps, because the next trip i take in the US, i'll be mapping places where i want to go and routes to get there. not exactly planning the route, but laying out different routes.

I took this picture because what i thought were deer on the side of the road in the last few days were actually antelope! i knew they looked a bit different but the horns give it away. cool. i saw deer and antelope.

see that rabbit in the picture? i saw lots. usually roadkill though. damn big rabbits.
The fossil (replica i assume) is from a mosasaur, a 45 foot long fish. it was found on top of a ridge near here on the lewis and clark expedition.
a view of the train bridge over the missouri river. I couldn't get a picture of the car bridge with all the trees in the way.
Yup. i look pretty rough eh? i felt it. the winds were back, but not with a vengeance yet.I felt like garbage, so i ordered a garbage omelette with a side of bacon. the cheddar hash browns were good.

The menu said it had everything in it except the kitchen sink. it had lots. it was very very good. very filling.

This was in the restaurant/gas station. heh. neato.
I wasn't kidding. it's called the garbage omelete. I had forgotten where i had eaten... Well it was at Ditty's in kimball. heh.I was riding when i saw the tips of horns over the crest on the side of the road. I pulled over in the emergency lane and took a picture. heh. only stop in emergencies they say. it's in emergency i say.
Odd. fascinating. no clue why it's there. it was big. real big. that's also a pretty big hammer.

The whole scene
I'd love this on my front lawn. well, if i had a lawn.
the winds were getting worse and my neck and shoulders were starting to kill me. I needed gas so i stopped in Sioux falls for gas. From past experience if there's a town called something falls, then there's usually a waterfall nearby. Also, it's usually in a park called Falls Park.
GPS had a falls park in there so i went to where the gps told me to go.

Bingo, visitor info center at the park. That's the tower to look at the falls.
Looks like a restaurant on the other side of the river.

The falls. i'm such a sucker for waterfalls. dunno why. i'm such a girly man.

The park had many statues like this. actually, the whole town had statues all over it. it looks like an interesting city to visit. too bad i'm out of time... i'd like to spend a few days here i think.
Here's a little view of the park.
I left sioux falls and fought with the wind. there was a lot of traffic and a lot of road work, so it was an... adventure. see the picture below? it's pretty much all i saw of minnesota. I stayed on the interstate and didn't do much except fight the wind.
the picture is crooked because the wind kept pushing me around like a rag doll. i didn't want to risk any other pictures.
I needed another break... only 50 miles after the last break. that wind was a killer. I stopped off at a rest area and chatted with a couple from michigan. they were on a police harley riding 2-up. I didn't take a picture, but this is when i first met Rhonda and Pat. They thought my ride was cool. i showed them what were some neat places they should go. they were coming back from california on their first long trip. the wind was throwing the big harley around and Rhonda's neck was taking a beating too as the touring windshield didn't protect her at all.

I took off and it started getting colder by the minute and i didn't have my liners inside my mesh gear to keep me warm and dry. the clouds were looking darker to the east and it looked like rain. crap. I pulled over to a gas station and put on my jacket liner. if it was going to rain, i'd pull over and put on my other rain gear.
I heard a bike behind me and it was Rhonda and Pat again. neato. they went on a country road to try to avoid the winds, but it didn't help. they almost ran out of gas, and would have if it weren't for some farmer giving them some lawnmower gas. heh. got them out of trouble.
people in the country are nicer than people in cities. this trip has more than proved it. i'm not saying city people are nasty... but sometimes they just are.

Pat suggested we ride together, and i took him up on it. When i first met them they had t-shirts and bandana's but now they had the helmets, gloves and jackets out. heh. they got cold.

I rode with them for an hour or so at the speed limit. funny how you feel safer when riding with someone else. another thing to note is that the wind totally died down for the majority of our ride... odd.
I needed to pee and my hands were freezing. i didn't change out my gloves like i should have earlier. I passed them at one point and gave them a wave. I might be seeing them later on as we are both heading the same way. I opened the throttle up to 85-90 and blasted down the interstate. i couldn't care if i got a speeding ticket... i needed coffee and to pee.

I stopped off in saint charles and gassed up and got a coffee. I heard some clopping and saw a horse and buggy go down the road. cute. There were a bunch of kids at the gas station and one of them yelled something to the effect "peace out Amish"
hah! The amish are in town. neato. never seen that before. Then another buggy went by.

I heard some more clopping so i got my camera out. it was far away and moving but i got a picture finally. i had seen some Amish in Alberta growing up, but only on the side of the highway out of town, never down the main street. heh.

It started to rain lightly while i was at the gas station, so i suited back up and kept going. i wanted to at least hit the border of wisconsin before nightfall and maybe go further in and get some miles in. it was a light drizzle, but i made good time.
Emma come first. Den I come. Den two asses come together. I come once-a-more! Two asses, they come together again. I come again and pee twice. Then I come one lasta time

the above is better said by an old italian man with bad english.
yay! i crossed the mississippi river! it's pretty damn wide.

It was getting dark faster than i had hoped and i decided to stop at La Crosse, Wisconsin for the night. It's on the river bank.
I looked at some of the motels nearby, but nothing with the doors facing out, so i started looking at the outskirts a bit more. GPS said the Affordable Inn was near, so i rode over. It looked kinda sketchy and not in the best of hoods, but i took a chance. an ok room, two double beds and free wifi. sign me up.

unloaded the bike and went out for some food. only thing open it seemed (besides all the fast food joints) was Perkins. ate and headed back for blog and bed.
gps says 1047 miles left to get home. I almost feel like trying for an Iron Butt Associate ride (1000 miles in under 24 hours) but i think at this stage it would be too dangerous to try. i'm exhausted, the bike is not the in the best of shape and all it would take is one mistake and i'm toast.

Btw, happy canada day! woot. i wanted to be in canada on the 1st, but i guess that won't be happening.

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