Monday, August 8, 2011

Road to Sturgis
Day Three

We left Ottawa IL at 8:05 and set out sites West. With advice from a fellow New England Rider we have diverted to 80 from route 90 to avoid the Chicago area, which tends to be very congested. The roadside continues to grace us with farmland, although the corn sometimes changes to another crop, which I am not familiar with. The vegetation is low and a very deep green. As the miles slip beneath us, another “crop” pops into view; miles and miles of wind turbines. While people are divided on both sides of the wind power issue, I do not find the turbines a blight to the landscape at all. In fact, to me they are like a well choreographed dance, each turning in smooth rotation, synchronized in a delicate tribute while offering up to the energy hungry people of the US a food they consume like candy; electrical power.

Andy needs fuel so we pull off the highway and make a three mile trip into the nearest town, Anita. Well, here is my sister again, yesterday with the old Buick and today, her name plastered all over town, with banners waiving from power polls, and one big welcome sign saying “Anita, A Whale of a Town.” Well, it was a little whale; the main street was empty except for a few cars, and the place is very quite. On the way back to the highway, the slower pace along country road lets me watch the wind turbines in their graceful dance and feel awed by their majesty so up close and personal.

So far we have only met a few motorcyclist, which I find odd. At a rest stop we discover the possible reason why. We are along 680 heading toward 29 North to route 90. A few folks at the rest area tell us of all the flooding. Flooding? Then I remember all the news stories of the rapid snow melt to the north that has flooded great sections of the states south. We are fortunate as 29 North is open, but for those heading south it is still closed for many miles. We see the great destruction along this route with giant swaths carved right through the corn fields. The Missouri has spread wide beyond her banks, and local roads are still under water. Our route is often squeezed down to 2 lanes, one north bound and one southbound. Many of the bridges are newly reconstructed. We watch miles and miles of water covered landscape slip by us. It won’t be until October, from what we are made to understand, that this water will recede.

We pull off for the night in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, at the Red Roof Inn. The rates are great, the room comfortable, and the place is biker friendly. I forgot to reset the trip meter on the GPS, but you can subtract yesterday’s and see that we rode 555 miles. We enjoy beer and nachos for dinner. Not exactly what you would think would hit the spot, but yesterday we ate a regular sit down and it seemed too much. Also, I think the salty chips may be something our bodies need as despite drinking lots of water, we still tend to feel parched.

(Can't figure out how to rotate this?)

Monday we will leave later, ride leisurely and pull off within striking distance of Sturgis. Our reservations are not until Tuesday at the Black Hills State University. We hope to arrive and spend some of the day in Sturgis on Tuesday before heading to Spearfish and checking in for 3:00 pm and meeting up with Lee and Deb.


Kate said...

Having been out that way in the not too distant past, I can really feel where you are and what you are seeing! Keep it happy, keep it safe :)
As far as the eating goes, I always find that I eat very lightly while on the road, and yes...a sit down meal is often far too heavy for what my body wants, which sometimes is salty or sometimes sweet. So nachos or ice cream would do the trick in those cases.
Glad you are following your long time wish to ride to Sturgis!

Unknown said...


They're beans. In the Midwest we have corn and (soy)beans, they alternate. There are two different kinds of corn (and subdivisions within the groups) Sweet corn (corn on the cob) and field corn. Field corn is used for animal feed and such. You can tell them apart by the tassels - the yellow/gold piece on the very top. Sweet corn splays out farther and is a lighter yellow/gold. You'll think you see it a whole bunch, then when you do, it's impossible to miss. That's the stuff you want to eat - not much better that farm fresh corn on the cob.

You pretty much drove past my house - we're living on 29 north right now, but about 75 miles north of the intersection of the i-90 intersection. Crazy. The flooding here is terrible - not at our place - but in the area. In Sioux City IA there are interstate exits closed from water. The entire town of Mynot further north has been clobbered. Acres of farmland have been lost underwater and will take years to recover - if at all.

On a more positive note, you're probably approaching the rally about now. I'm sure it'll be pure carnage - but probably of the kind you'll enjoy. The area we stayed on our way back to South Dakota was already full of hogs a week ago.

Enjoy the Rally!

Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life