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Sunday, August 5, 2012
But I digress.
Day One: I got away last Friday, leaving directly from work. I pushed hard, making it as far as Saint Clairesville, Ohio, before calling it a day. I hit rain between Frostburg and Morgantown, but not bad enough to slow me down. I reckon that early departure gave me about a 275 mile head-start. For reasons not worth going into, I ended up in a overpriced Econolodge which wins an award for just being crummy, but the room itself was clean, and there weren't many other options.
Day Three was just a hard push, getting to Sioux City as planned after about 550 miles of riding. Iowa was a pleasant surprise, and not nearly as flat as I'd been told. From this part of trip on, I was seeing places I'd never been before. I also learned that just because Big Blue could go longer distances, that wasn't necessarily the case for me. I was stiff, cramped, and ready to get the hell off the bike by the time I got to the hotel.
Day Four: Finally a chance to lighten up and see something besides the interstate. I left Sioux City, heading west on route 20 through Nebraska on the two-lane. The route was predictably straight, and a little boring from time to time, but a pleasant departure from dodging trucks and minivans. I realized also that I had to start getting gas when it was available, and not waiting until I was low. This was a lesson I soon forgot!
With a half tank of gas left, I turned off 83 onto SD44 heading west through the heart of the Lakota lands. 44 is arrow-straight and lightly used. For miles on end, I was the only traveller and cruised along at a steady 80mph, enjoying the rolling hills and scenery. And watching my gas gauge drift lower. Light usage doesn't make 44 a hot spot to locate a gas station, and I was wondering for the first time if I'd have to use that emergency gallon of gas I was carrying in the saddlebag.
Cowboy, August 5, 2012
Posted by Cowboy at 1:04 PM