Boondocking the Nation: 17 Days, 8300mi, 1 Motel
DAY 1 (Sept 3, 2010) Found him! Lunch at a gas station consisted of cold leftover trout and rice.
I awoke this morning still sleepy from my five hours of rest. I wish I could say I was too excited to sleep but I could have stayed in bed awaiting the sunrise. I made a breakfast and packed all the remaining perishable food items in the house (I think ;) into the spare space in my cases. I geared up in my boots, stich and Arai helmet only to realize I forgot to descend into the crawlspace to turn off the main water valve to my home in case of a leak. Helmet and Gloves off then down I go. Once complete, I regear then drop off the last small plastic bag of trash in a dumpster nearby. I stopped at the gas station, fueled up, checked tire pressure, reset the trip odometer and set forth into the still darkness of pre-dawn.
On the interstate, the temps continued to fall. I left home wearing mesh gloves at 68F and I was soon cresting the gaps into WV in the 50’s. No worries, my trusty wool sweater is keeping my core warm. The sky is dark as I roll south at 5:30. Soon I see some light above the eastern ridges playing on the clouds with slivers of light blue and orange. My new day of discovery, turning on familiar I64, I slide past the sights I’ve seen before paying them little attention now…too close to home. I am soon in Beckley, WV and stop for fuel at only 180mi. My fuel receipt calculation yields a depressing 40mpg! Perhaps my gear weight or the 70+mph speeds are causing such poor mileage. I keep the speed lower and average 46 out of my next tank. I thought there may have been something wrong with Critter II. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that turning toward home crossed my mind once or twice. Fortunately, I kept on. The WV line faded after the gold capitol dome and the obese town of Huntington with its cornucopia of warm colored fast food signs poking on high poles over the grease pits below.
A cruiser rider is stopped on the side of the road. I stop to help but he has a tow-truck on the way to pick him up and take care of his flat. See ya cruiser dude.
Into Kentucky now yet the hills and trees still look the same. Not much to say about KY other than I dislike horses, nothing evil, just not my bag. Louisville had some neat bridged and Muhammad Ali is their “George Washington”, his face posted on huge building side murals.
Onward, I crossed into Indiana and begin to feel the distance. A new state, both mentally and physically, the corn and food crops are expansive. I notice almost every farm has a small marsh or pond for hunting, water scarcity protection or a birding protection area tax write off? I saw my first Oil Derrick Pump Jacks and smiled with wide-eyed delight as I naively rolled past. Illinois was more of the same. I drive directly into a large storm but it only lasts a few minutes and I am soon dry again.
Missouri is where I rest now. I got a little turned around in St. Louis but the sight of the Gateway Arch and riding over the mighty Mississippi River, albeit on a traffic jam of a bridge, solidified my westward intention. How strange it will feel to be in California and think of the many miles left to turn and go home.
Getting turned around in downtown with tall buildings stretching around me.
Riding down the interstate I spot a food sign. Woah! A White Castle! With college memories of Harold and Kumar :stoned I exit and try my first "slider"
Unimpressed, I put on my helmet and get back on the road.
I ride on Historic Rt. 66 for a bit and turned toward Steelville and the Mark Twain N.F. for camping.
Lunch at a gas station consisted of cold leftover trout and rice.
This hot homemade job rolled past. The son in the passenger seat checked out my bike as he rode past. Now that is what I call a "woody"
Not willing to pay, I spotted a powerline cut off on Rt.8 and rode the grassy easement behind some trees and parked out of sight of the road. It is here that I write this entry, hanging from the trees in my Hennessey A-Sym Hammock, beans in my belly and Kansas on my mind. Colorado tomorrow??? Perhaps ;)
Stats for the day: