Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Five Days On the Road - Part 2

Breakfast at the Coulmbus, MO,  La Quinta was, to say the least, a major disappointment.  Brad got the last cup of coffee in the air-pot, and I was bit disappointed to be left out.  Then, after he took a sip, I saw the look on Brad's face and realized that he had taken a breakfast bullet for me. Apparently, the coffee-like liquid which came out of the pot was unfit for human consumption.  Couple that with the fact that the waffle-maker was out of batter, and I was done.

I told the desk clerk that the La Quinta breakfast experience was less than satisfactory, and we went back to the room to get our stuff.  As we rolled the bikes through the lobby, the desk clerk made some comment to me, which neither Brad nor I could make out.  I wasn't sure it was friendly, though.  I thought that I might just be overly sensitive.

Then, when we got out to the truck, Brad said to me, "Clerk-boy didn't seem too happy with you."  So,maybe I wasn't being paranoid.

Once again, we headed out in search of the big green pin on the Starbuck's locator app.  After a breakfast sandwich and some real coffee, we headed east, once again.

The miles melted beneath our tires like a crying child's ice cream on a July sidewalk, and it didn't seem to take long to reach the outskirts of  St. Louis.  After a bit of aggression from a St. Lunatic in a Chevy pickup truck, we rolled across the Missouri River.

"Get on your phone  and find the exit for Donelson Cycles," I said.  Brad picked up the iPhone and started tippy-tapping.  Eventually, he found the directions and told me the exit number.

A few miles down the road, I drove past the exit, then took the next one and backtracked.  This was an unrecognized omen, when it came to my driving on this trip, but we didn't know it, at the time.

Shortly, thereafter, we reached Donelson's.  I hadn't told Brad why we were going, so he was bit surprised to walk into a Triumph dealer and see this:

Donelson Cycles has a pretty nice motorcycle museum in the store.

This bike has a vintage example of a tool bag, very similar to the one I installed on the Scrambler.

The admission to the museum is free of charge, so we bought a couple of t-shirts while we were there.  Then, we headed out for the Interstate, again.

Once in the car, we crossed the Mississippi River, and sailed down I-70 toward the land of the rising sun.  After a while, we stopped at a Subway store, and had lunch.  I had a chicken salad sandwich, and asked for spicy chipotle sauce on it.

"Really?" asked the girl behind the counter.  "Are you sure?"

"I'm reasonably positive, that's what I want."

Then, once again, back into the truck, and headed east.

We drove along for about an hour and a half, creeped through a couple of construction zones and eventually drifted into that too-many-miles-in-too-few-days torpor and fell into an easy silence.  After a bit, though, I grew uneasy.  Something didn't seem right, and I wasn't sure what.

Eventually, it dawned on me that the sun was coming in the window, from the right, and making the inside of the truck hot.  If you stop and think about it, if you are actually heading east, the sun should either shine into the windshield or the rear window.

"Brad, I hate to say this, but I don't think we're on I-70,"  I said, breaking the silence.

"What?!  Nooo!"

Just then, we passed a sign:  I55 North.

What the...?  How the...?

Neither of us has yet figured out what happened, but we were almost as far north as the Champagne-Urbana exit, so we took it when we got there.  Brad got onto the good-ol' iPhone and mapped us out a route, and we started our scenic tour of central Illinois.

The unintentional detour cost us a couple of hours, or more, but I have to say I wasn't too upset.  We drove some two-lane, and saw parts of the countryside we would otherwise have missed.  So, it wasn't a total loss.

Eventually, we made it back to I-70 and then to the turn-off to Bloomington, Indiana.  Once we were off the interstate, I called Michael Johnson up and told him that we were heading south, but running late.  We were still an hour and a half away from Bloomington, and it was already past the time we had expected to roll in.

Michael assured me that everything was cool, and we motored on.  Along the way, we passed more mowed, groomed, acreage than either of us had ever seen.  People in Indiana, apparently, feel the need to mow anything that isn't heavily wooded.

We got to the Johnson home, and knocked on the door, a little apprehensive about showing up late.  Michael answered the door, and all apprehension melted away.  Michael and Sarah welcomed the two of us into their home as if we were long-lost relatives.

Despite a healthy dose of the "Jon and Brad Show", Sarah was the most gracious hostess (and librarian) I have ever met, and Michael matched her in friendliness.

We all went to a local pub (I think it was The Crazy Horse), and I annoyed a waitress while she flirted with Brad.  I ordered my burger with jalapenos, pepper-jack cheese, and buffalo sauce.

"Really?", asked the waitress, Abbey, as though I had ordered a bit of horse poop on it.

"Yeah, really," I said.  Apparently, I choose odd condiments for my sandwiches.

After dinner, we repaired to the Johnson castle, and arranged our sleeping quarters.  I wrote my daily story, and then lay down on the bed.

I switched off the light, and I was asleep before the last photon from the bulb dissipated.



At 9:48 AM , Blogger Big Oak said...

For whatever reason, hot, spicy stuff around here is not real popular, although I like it. But hot around here is much milder than the "mild" in Texas, where I almost melted the front of my face off!

At 1:25 PM , Blogger katina said...

weirdo - all ordering spicy stuff. You're in the wrong part of the country.

my cousin once was driving his family to Miller, South Dakota and they missed the exit, but no one realized it until 4 hours later...

At 10:00 PM , Anonymous Scott Loveless said...

I knew Mike had some other bike bloggers come through, and I knew you were headed east, but it wasn't until reading your last two installments did I manage to put 2 and 2 together. My brain hasn't been working lately.

Anyway, if you make it back to Columbia, MO, GO TO FLATBRANCH! It's a brewpub on 5th. Get the Flatbranch burger with mashers and one of their own beers. You can thank me later.

At 3:55 PM , Blogger Mini Me said...

I felt like I was with you on the trip, thanks for sharing it all! And as for La Quinta, I've had the worst experience with them, will never go to one again. The last La Quinta I stayed at, I got to the door and went to swipe the card I noticed there was no door handle, all gone. I called them, they came up and put a rag in the hole "for privacy." That was it, no attempts to fix. Let's just say I didn't stay there that night.


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