Wednesday, May 19, 2010

CIW 2010 - Day 4

This morning the alarm went off at 6:30 but I was already awake so it didn't much matter. This had to be the loudest motel I've stayed at while on the road. I think I know what it's like to sleep under an overpass now. Needless to say, I won't be returning to this motel again.

We skipped the free continental breakfast and went next door to the Waffle House. Service was fast and the food was predictable. We finished breakfast and left the motel 10 minutes before 8. We didn't know what to expect with St. Louis traffic so we wanted to allow for plenty of time to get over to the arch. Traffic was a breeze and we arrived at the arch by 8:15.

We walked over to the north entrance and waited with 3 twenty-somethings that had gotten there before us. We made small talk and got to know one another as we passed the time and when the doors opened we ended up riding up to the top of the arch together. Afterwards, Reagan and I wandered around until 10:30 so we could watch the Louis and Clark Expedition movie before we left. It was very informative.

Once we'd seen everything there was to see, we returned to the bikes and left. Getting on I-70 this time was much easier since I now understood how the traffic flows in the area. We headed west on I-70 out of town until we got to hwy 79 and turned north. We followed this road up past Clarkville. We stopped in Louisianna, Mo for a snack by the river then we continued on Hwy 79 until we came to our first adventure of the day near Ashburn.

There was a sign saying the road was closed. The general detour was to take us over to Hwy 61 via Rte B and far away from the river. Luckily while we were taking a picture of the road closed sign, the mail lady pulled up and started talking to Reagan. She told her of the local detour which entailed a gravel road around the block. After last year's adventure on the Dalton Hwy of course I was game for a gravel road if Reagan was up for it. So we took the gravel road and found some fantastic scenery along the way. And we were rewarded on the other side with the best twisties of the entire trip. Hwy 79 north of Ashburn is definitely worth the ride.

When we got to Hanibal we picked up Hwy 61 and followed it north through Alexandria where we crossed over to Illinois and took hwy 96 north. I remembered this section of roadway from last year's trip and knew it would knock Reagan's socks off. And it did. We were riding right next to the river, in several places a wrong turn could have easily put the Spyder into Ol' Miss.

When we got to Dallas City, Il we encountered our second major road detour. This time I was content to follow the "through Truck" route until we determined we must have missed a sign. So we ended up on another gravel road for several miles, only this time the scenery wasn't as pretty and we were gettting tired. When we got back to Il 96 we took a break for a little bit and then continued on to Burlington, Ia where we made the final gas stop for the day.

After Burlington we followed Hwy 99 north until it met up with Hwy 61 again. From that point it was just a matter of riding until we got to Davenport and our motel. We were tired and we were away from the river so the scenery was just that of farm land. At that point it was just mileage that needed to be completed. So that's what we did.

We rolled into the motel parking lot around 7:15 and checked into the room without much hassle. Then it was time to change clothes and go in search of something to eat. We decided a little walking would do us good and there were lots of restaurants about a mile away so we headed off in that direction. Our first choice was a Japanese Steakhouse where they cooked hibachi style. It was a little pricey but I was getting tired and hungry so we decided to give it a try. After they seated us however they seemed to ignore us and never came to get our drink orders so we left. There were 2 mexican restaurants across the street so we dined at the closest one and had a nice meal.

From the time we left the motel in St. Louis until we reached our Davenport motel was 11 hours 28 minutes. During that time we traveled 356 miles with a few miles being on gravel. We found some great twisites and only had one mechanical issue. Reagan lost one of her highway pegs, ooops! The day was long, and I'm glad to be getting ready for bed, but it was a fun day for sure.

Tomorrow we have about 220 miles to get to the factory tour in Milwaukee between 1 and 3pm. We are taking the Interstate so we can be sure to get there by 1 and be able to run a leisurely pace along the way.

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