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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, day two, but very quick report as I am in a hardware store using their demo wireless internet service (which is quite good actually, lol.)

Remind me to post my Des Moines trip, that is a lot more exciting than this report. I am in Bellevue, Iowa, just south of Dubuque, heading down to Hannibal, Missouri today. It is friggen cold!!! I don't think it has hit 60 degrees yet, and the high should only be about 65. What happened to August??

Uneventful trip so far, which is good. Very good scenery south of Lansing into McGregor. Best yet anyway. Wish the sun was out as it would be a lot better.

Will try to post more later!
Jill
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am in Hannibal, Missouri this morning, home of Mark Twain. The day yesterday finally warmed up a bit, I think it was 64 degrees when I pulled into the B&B. At least it was warm enough where I did not need my heavy winter gloves (those really are a pain to ride with!)
After I left the hardware store yesterday, I stopped in Clinton, IA at a small coffee shop in order to warm up. Into my second cup of hot chocolate, this guy walks up to me, and asks if I am Jill... FREAKED me out!!! I asked three times who he was before he told me, and what list he was on. He finally replied his name was Ivan and he had been following along on my website. For some reason, I completely blanked out that people in the general public might come across my site, and not just people I gave the link to. After the initial freak-out period we had a nice conversation before we parted ways. (Tip for you... if you see me, and want to say hello, tell me who the heck you are first!! I would greatly appreciate it!!)

Got a few pictures taken, of course I can't really remember where. I tried to take a pic of any signs in the area to use as a reference point, lol. Passed a couple of "State Penitentiary Farms" along the way. What the heck is that?? The one I got a glimpse of looked no bigger than a large house.

Just before I got into Hannibal, my "headlamp" light went on. I have lost my highbeam. Of course this is the one thing I did not prepare for, lol, so today I am off to see if I can't find a bulb somewhere and fix it. At least my low beam still works, so that is good.

I'll keep you all updated! Today should be another shorter day, about 4 hours by car they say.
Jill
 

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Hey, Jill, Glad to hear you are enjoying yourself. Interesting note on your encounter. I often wondered about that when people post so much personal information about themselves or family on a web site. Not to worry you, but be careful out there, and if you see this guy again, call the police..before you find out why he is there. You just never know about some people. You should not have had to ask him more than once before he explained himself.

Keep the trip reports coming.. :)

RB

SweetSausage said:
... snip.. this guy walks up to me, and asks if I am Jill... FREAKED me out!!! I asked three times who he was before he told me, and what list he was on. He finally replied his name was Ivan and he had been following along on my website. For some reason, I completely blanked out that people in the general public might come across my site, ...snip)

Got a few pictures taken, of course I can't really remember where. I tried to take a pic of any signs in the area to use as a reference point, lol. Passed a couple of "State Penitentiary Farms" along the way. What the heck is that?? The one I got a glimpse of looked no bigger than a large house.

Just before I got into Hannibal, my "headlamp" light went on. I have lost my highbeam. Of course this is the one thing I did not prepare for, lol, so today I am off to see if I can't find a bulb somewhere and fix it. At least my low beam still works, so that is good.

I'll keep you all updated! Today should be another shorter day, about 4 hours by car they say.
Jill
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
>>and if you see this guy again, call the police<<

Thanks for the concern. It was on my mind. Thankfully he got into his car and left before I was even on the bike. Even so, I watched my mirrors for quite awhile. If I had seen anything, I would have pulled over into a well populated place.

Yesterday I was in Cape Girardeau. Very nice little town. Right on the river, and very scenic. Today I had a change in plans and am in Woodstock, IL today rather than tomorrow as planned. Very long day, clocked in 460 miles. Left at 8am, and pulled in about 5:30pm, so I made great time, but I am beat!

Not sure of my plans tomorrow yet, if I will head for home, or have a pit stop. Will let you know when I return home safe and sound!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, here we go... my ride report for my trip along the Mississippi River this past week. It got really long!!!

Last Saturday night, the friend I was going to stop and see in Des Moines before starting out on my trip on Monday, called and said that their schedule had changed, and would be needing to leave town on Monday afternoon, instead of Tuesday. Could I come down on Sunday instead of the planned Monday? Sure, why not, it's my vacation afterall, right?

Sunday morning, I spend time finishing getting the bike ready. Got the oil changed, tires pumped up, gear oil checked, etc. etc. etc. By early afternoon I am on the road. It's a bit cloudy, but nothing I haven't ridden in before. Plus, I've got my rain gear, it won't rain. (Ha!)

Typically it takes about an hour and a half to get to the Iowa border. Well, thanks to wonderful road construction, it took me an hour to get through 8 miles down by Owatonna. People can be such imbiciles when it comes to merging!! Finally got through that mess, and into Iowa. About an hour later, the dark clouds got darker, and it began to rain. Okay, fine. I can do this, I've ridden in rain before, no biggie. Pull over and put on the rain gear. Back on the road, and it gets darker and darker. Visibility is getting poorer, but frankly, I feel safer moving on the road, and decide not to pull over (plus, there is no where to pull over, except the shoulder, and that did not feel safe to me!) Then I start passing all sorts of cars lined up on the side of the road.. wtf?? Ahh... hail... what fun. Okay, fine, I'll look for a bridge to go sit under. Well, by the time I found one (there are SO many in Iowa, heh), the hail and stopped, and visibility was clearing. But frankly, with all of my leather on, the hail didn't feel any different than the rain.

Blue skies are in sight... just not appearing above me soon enough, but I keep plugging away, what else can go wrong?? Heh. How about running out of gas?!? Yep. Hit reserve with a sign for gas in sight, however, no gas station in sight. I decided to take my chances and wait for the next exit. Afterall, I am getting closer to the city, there must be more populated exits ahead. Well, I am down to 50mph with my flashers on at this point, trying to conserve what gas is left. It has been so long since I have used my reserve that it must have had old gas with water in it, because I sure was chugging along. I'm not a religious person, but believe me, I was calling on the higher powers that be to get me through this! As I plug along to the top of an exit ramp, the bike dies. Dead. Thank goodnesss there is a gas station at the bottom of the "hill" and I am able to coast right to the gas pump.
The remaining hour was smooth sailing, as I finally hit the blue skies. Yes, I hear you asking.... seeing my friend was worth the fiascos of the afternoon, lol. Uneventful ride home on Monday, thank goodness!

Oh, I have to interject here... My bike has never had a name. When I first got her, the name Adeline came to me, but for one reason or another I kept dismissing it... side note...my grandmother passed away the winter after I got my bike. There have been many times when I have felt her presence while I've been riding, and something goes awry (some one pulls in front of me, I take a turn too fast, etc... many times I have thanked her for watching over me.) Tuesday soon after I left, the bike practically screamed at me "get over it, my name is Adeline" (did I ever tell you I hear voices too? lol.) Well, duh. My grandmother's middle name was Adeline. It makes sense to me now, just took awhile, lol.

Heading out for Dubuque. Cold!!! Brr!! This is August! What happened to warmth?? I piled on the clothes, and stuck it out anyway. I didn't see any other bikes along the way until I hit southern Minnesota. Guess everyone decided it was too cold to ride. On this days ride, I have to say between Lansing and Bettendorf (I think??) was the prettiest. I meant to stop at Pike's Peak, but missed the turn for it. And frankly, I was ready to warm up in Dubuque. The B&B I chose to stay at is called the Richard's House and on their website, they say to ignore the exterior of the house as it is under construction. I'm glad they said so, because frankly, it felt like I was riding up to the Adam's Family house. The inside was much better, lol.

Wednesday morning, another cold one. I stopped in Clinton Iowa, about an hour into the day just to warm up my hands. I was so cold!! Found a small cafe right on 67, and had a cup of hot chocolate. While I was sitting there, a man walked in and said "You must be Jill!" Umm... maybe, LOL. I asked who he was, and it took three times before he finally told me. Kinda freaked me out. Apparently, he just happened to come across my website, as he says he is not on any list. We talked for a bit before I headed out again. (He did drive off in his car before I even got on the bike, and I did make sure he was not following me, cause frankly, he gave me the willies!)
Lots of little towns, lots of twisties, lots of good scenery. For awhile I kept seeing signs for "Louisiana" so many miles ahead... Hmmm... Now, I know geography never was a strong subject of mine, but really, I though Louisiana was a lot further away.... Which, yes, the state is, lol. Apparently there is a town named Louisiana, Missouri.

Stayed in a B&B in Hannibal, and ate at a local Mark Twain Cafe, as Mark is quite big in Hannibal. Even saw him standing on the street corner, and we said hello in passing. Had hominy (sp??) for the first time ever. I've heard of it before, but never eaten it... Yuck! lol. Not my kind of thing, that is for sure. Realized at some point that afternoon that my headlamp was on reserve lighting, so Thursday morning I found a local Auto Zone and replaced that. The 5 minute project took an hour. I wish the people drawing the diagrams would do a better job!!! Finally got that back together, and began my trek to Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Wow! I thought the scenery was pretty good up to this point. A friend had mentioned that his favorite portion of the river was south of Hannibal. I can see why. Gorgeous views. I think I got pictures, lol. It was too much fun riding the roads than to pull over all the time to take pics. In Cape Girardeau, I stayed at Neumeyer's B&B right in town. I highly recommend this place. It is very small, but the hosts treat you like family, and Tom has a fabulous sense of humor, and used to ride years ago. Plus there is a pasta place a couple blocks away that is to die for.

A change in my plans brought me to the Woodstock, IL area on Friday. Holy moly. That was one heck of a really long day. 475 miles when all was said and done. It was the longest day I had ever done, especially alone. I took the interstate up the whole way, which was unexciting, but I made very good time. Along the way, just south of Bloomington, I was at an exit ramp to get gas, and in the jeep behind me were some college-age guys, and one had a sign in the window that read "Show us your boobs!" Heh. I had to do a double take as I was reading it in my rearview mirror. They happened to pull in behind me at the gas pump, and I had to ask if they had any takers. Unfortunately, they said they only had laughs up to that point, LOL. I wished them better luck, and went on my way again.

I played phone tag with Bulldog for awhile, and we never were able to connect. I was going to try and hook up with Matthew also, but once I made it to my cousins place, I was so utterly beat. They have 5 kids, and that kept me quite busy for the night, and following morning.

Saturday I decided to take highway 20 straight across into Iowa. All was fine until I got to Rockford. Somehow I missed the freeway exit (I think what happened, is 90/39/20 are all right there, and I was supposed to get off with them, but I instead kept going straight.) Well, I ended up on the business highway 20. Not a good thing!!! Don't recommend it! LOL. Keep in mind I have lived in the suburbs all of my life, and a rather sheltered life at that. I felt like I was driving through the hood! I kept a very conscious eye about me, and had escape routes the whole time. Though, the kicker was when I passed this house that had about 4 police cars in front of it, a small fire engine was just pulling away, every single neighbor on the block standing all around and a flippin' hearse parked right in front!! All I could think was someone was just murdered, LOL. I was so thankful for the GPS, as I could see that the interstate 20 was very close by. Glad to be out of there, that is for sure.

My plan was to go straight across to Waterloo, Iowa, then catch the back roads up to home. Well, by the time I hit Waterloo, Friday's 475 miles had really caught up with me, and I knew I could not make it home safely, so I got a room for the night. After a long hot shower, I was in bed by 9pm. I couldn't even stay awake to watch "Six Feet Under" (one of my all time favorite shows that I never get to see anymore!!). Oh well. It was worth it. I was able to get on the road this morning, and felt refreshed and ready for the last stretch.

All in all, it was a great time. Would I do it again? In a heart beat. Alone? Maybe. It would have been a lot more fun with others to share it with. Plus, since I was by myself I was VERY conservative on the turns, it would have been nice to be able to take them a bit faster ;-) But I am glad I did it. I figured the mileage, and it ended up being about 2350 miles in 8 days. Not bad.

Now... off to schedule a massage, lol.
Jill in Minnesota
VN750 "Adeline"

Eureka Springs... Here I come!! <g>
 

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Jill,

Sounds as if you had a great trip. I enjoted reading your trip reports.

Ratty
 
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