Saturday, August 21, 2010


Iowa was long... mostly just cornfields, but rolling and pretty. Got hit with a serious rainstorm going through Des Moines in commuter traffic. Grooves cut in the concrete roadway didn;t help my bike's stability.

Half an hour west of town it cleared up a little and I took a chance and pulled off the raingear. Riding in the rain plain sucks.. but you can make it a heap more tolerable by having a good rainsuit, gloves, and Totes overshoe things. My old Suzuki rainsuit isn;t the best.... I WILL get wet if I'm out there long enough. But it's generally good enough and kept me from being miserable.

Western Iowa got bigger and more scenic. Huge wind farms dotted the horizon, shining white propellers spinning in huge, lazy arcs against the blue sky.

I crossed the Missouri River near Omaha at a town called Blair, (presumably all the local people there wander around talking about the virtues of Martin Scorcese). Nebraska... I took a smaller road that was marked as scenic and rode up through the Indian nations of Omo HO.. (Omaha).. and yes, Winnebago. A nice road on a lovely afternoon... and by then I knew I was in the West.

Pulled through Sioux City around sunset, and after discussing the options with a couple of gas station kids, decided to push forward to Sioux Falls South Dakota, another 80 or 90 miles north. This turned out to be a good move, except for a Perfect Storm of large bugs crashing into me relentlessly, I pulled off an exit into deep cornfields to put on my leather... and was swarmed. Had to walk in circles quickly to keep the bugs behind me while I buttoned up all flaps. The moon was coming up brightly over the immense sea of corn next to me.

I pulled into Sioux Falls around 9:30 and managed to find a Rodeway Inn for $49 bucks... not TOO bad, but if you stay in the smaller burbs out west you can find $39 and sometimes even 29.

Parked my keyster and was suggested by front desk guy to go to the Gateway down the street... turned out to be a great pub with video poker gambling... everyone I met was very nice... and this ISN'T Jersey City. Had a steak dinner for $11.99 (fresh beef out here!), a few beers, and lost ten buck on the stupid poker game. A local guy back at the hotel later told me video poker is a scourge ion the state.

Many sportbikes in Sioux Falls... don;t know why yet... all I've seen since Pennsylvannia have been Harleys on the road. Maybe will find out today as I'm headed to a bike shop to get my oil changed. Bike is running well... slightly rattly, especially when cold, and the chain is going to need replacement at some point as it makes a little vibration.

I'm pounding the keys desperately here at the Rodeway... sorry I can;t be more descriptive on some things... I'm always tired at night or running to get out oif the hotels in the AM.

South Dakota east to west today.... about five hours I'm told. After oild change, heading for Rapid City on the other end the state... maybe go through Sturgis... which had the rally a week ago.. funny because the last time I was out this way on a bike ten years ago I passed through Sturgis... one week after the rally.

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