Tuesday, May 18, 2010

CIW 2010 - Day 3

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Reagan, Happy Birthday to you!

Today was Reagan's birthday, that's why we stayed in the Peabody last night. I have to say for a high end luxury hotel this place was great. Besides the normal taxes and fees there weren't any other unexpected charges on the bill. Even the internet was free, that's uncommon in more expensive hotels. I wish we had more time to enjoy the hotel and the Memphis area but it was only a stop over for the night. So we packed up and headed out. We managed to get on the bikes and get rolling by 8:45 which surprised me since we got a late start and had the hassle of getting over to the bikes.

We left town along the river front which took us right up onto I-40. Then we took Hwy 300 north onto Hwy 51. Just as the day before, the plan was to get out of town and find a nice little country cafe for breakfast. Well after an hour of riding the best we could find was a place called Breakfast Cove which seemed like a Tennessee version of Waffle House. Service was marginal, the food was ok, and the prices were a little expensive.

After breakfast we adjusted our riding gear for the cooler temps and continued north on 51. In Dyersburgs we headed west on I-155 to get over to Missouri and take I-55 north for a few miles. When we stopped for gas, we decided to just head up I-55 and skip our ride along the river so we could get to the Gateway Arch in time to take the Tram ride to the top.

About 30 minutes south of St. Louis we stopped at Cracker Barrel for a late lunch as we planned to skip dinner tonight. According to the GPS, before the stop we were to arrive at the Arch by 2:30. After the stop however, the GPS showed our arrival to be just after 4pm. Ooops! I knew we were in trouble when we had to break out the Sprint Wifi hotspot so Reagan could take care of a client.

We did make it to the Arch just after 4 and parked in the parking garage at $6 per bike. We walked over to the arch and entered. When I went to the ticket counter I discovered that they had already sold out all the remaining rides on the Tram for the day. Oooops! So we bought tickets to see the movie on how the arch was built and we'll return tomorrow to ride the tram and maybe catch the other movie about Louis and Clarke.

After seeing today's movie, we got back on the bikes and headed to the northwest side of St. Louis by the airport where our motel was. I had booked the room on this side of town as we are continuing the route leaving St. Louis from this area. Oh well, best laid plans and such...  Last year when I stayed in St. Louis I wasn't very pleased with the Super 8 because it wasn't close to any restaraunts and it was in a questionable part of town. But the rooms were clean and the property reasonably new. So this year I found another Super 8 on the same side of town. Well... this one is closer to a few restaurants and it's not in the hood, but the propery isn't in such great shape. The 2nd floor is missing carpet in the hallways. But the new carpet is rolled up in the lobby awaiting installation this week. So they are improving the place. I might give this place one more try the next time I come through town.

Today we traveled 326 miles over 9 hours 52 minutes. That included the 1 and a half hour stop at Cracker Barrel plus the visit to the Arch. With temperatures in the 60s and 70s all day long it was an easy ride. I wish I could bottle up these days and save them for rides in July and August when you are happy if  it's 80 degrees when you start at the butt-crack of dawn.

Tomorrow we are back tracking to the Arch and it doesn't open until 9 so we definitely won't be getting a really early start. But we will be at the Arch before 9 to get the first Tram ride and to save $2/bike on parking with the early bird special. Look out Davenport, IA we are coming to your town tomorrow night.

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