2021 Illinois motorcycle trip

Day 1

For the last several years Donna and I have normally went on a fall motorcycle trip. This fall will be no exception. We pondered where to go. We could go to Western Ohio. We missed some antique stores on our trip this summer due to the trailer incident. We could explore southern Illinois. There are a lot of antique stores in the area and it is not too far away from Lambert's Cafe. Donna even pondered riding around the lower penisula of Michigan, but it was too many miles for a 5-day trip. Donna said she'd like to stay in Owensboro again so we decided to do southern Illinois.

We sent out feelers to the normal people. The Potters were going to visit their daughter Ashton in Florida. Mike Kurdziolek had to travel for work. My brother had to work. Mike Padgett couldn't go. It would be Donna and I. Donna looked at her schedule and we decided the trip would be September 16-21.

Speaking of Donna's schedule...that has changed drastically. Donna is an ambulance dispatcher. All the IU Health ambulance services are moving under the Lifeline umbrella. In August the dispatchers were given a sizeable raise and told their jobs were secure. Then, in a September 1st meeting, the low-life, sh!t-eating IU Health management told them their jobs would end October 1st. Donna told them she quit and walked out of the meeting. I plan to retire in July 2022 and it was understood that Donna could retire with me. Now she has a ten month head start.

If you read about our summer trip you know our trailer snapped a leaf spring. I'm happy to report the trailer is fixed. I replaced the leaf springs, axle, and wheels & tires. I left the axle the stock width for a wider track. The old, worn out skull mudflaps went into the trash and were replaced by some classic Yosemite Sam flaps.

I did my normal antique store research and decided we would stay in Marion, IL. We'll spend the first night in Owensboro, KY, and eat at the Don Pablo restaurant we like. I got a room with a river view balcony.

September 16

Back in 2018 I had some inner ear problems that lasted a few weeks. My right ear would feel clogged then it would start ringing badly. Sometimes this was accompanied by dizziness and nausea and even vomiting. It hadn't happened since then and I was hoping it was gone. Nope. Back in May it started again. An MRI and a doctor visit have revealed nothing. It hasn't bothered me for a couple weeks but for the last couple of days my ear has felt clogged. I'm hoping it passes.


Vacation day is finally here! Since Donna is now retired we decided to leave a few hours earlier than normal and stop at an antique store along the way. Donna's daughter, Kenya, is coming by later to pick up Buford. We'll miss the little fart but he will have his own adventures while we are gone.


Bedford, IN. 13:24, initial mileage 107,557 - Our first stop on every trip is Revere's. I filled the tank with some 93 octane while Donna grabbed some drinks for the cooler. Water and tea this trip. We're cutting down on pop. Pulling out of Revere's is the symbolic start of the trip.


Westbound and down on US50. The weather forecast is gorgeous for the next few days. Afterwards we might see some rain.


These tracks are located between Huron and Shoals. Back in the day it was the B&O mainline between St. Louis and Cincinnati. There was a long passing siding here and cars were interchanged. There is also a long spur that serves a gypsum plant. CSX still runs a weekly local train from Cincinnati to Washington and still serves the gypsum plant. The interchanging and passing siding and long trains have been lost to history. A few years ago the tracks were refurbished which is always nice to see. Too many tracks have been removed over the years.


These water towers on US231 are about halfway between Loogootee and Jasper. I find this road to be a peaceful riding road.


The clock tower on this church in Jasper is getting some updating. I can't imagine setting up all that scaffolding or working way up there. It might not be so bad on a beautiful day like today.

Jasper reminds me of one of my co-workers, Dean Hammack. He retired several years ago and moved to Florida. We used to go four wheeling together back in the late 80's. A lot of the guys I've worked with for 30+ years have retired. Next July I plan to join them.


The Norfolk Southern mainline still runs through Huntingburg but the spur that used to serve the grain mill has disappeared.


Casey's in Huntingburg is a normal pitstop for us when we head south. The guy in the white truck helped the lady with the burgundy SUV put air in her tires.


The way Donna had braided her hair was pinching her ears between her sunglasses and helmet so she redid them. Look at that pretty messy hair. Donna's granddaughter, Kynleigh, is a big camera cheese and I think I know where she gets it.


Headed south on US231. Soon it will cross I64 and become four-lane.

When we travel I love to talk to Donna on the intercom and listen to her singing to the radio. Because my ear is stopped up the intercom is muted most of the time today. The bursts of wind noise feel like a bass drum beating against my head. I hate it. Listening to Donna is my pleasure.


The power plant means Kentucky is near.


Crosssing the Ohio River on the William Natcher bridge.


On the other side of the bridge we passed this tire carcass...commonly referred to as a 'road gator'. About a half mile later we passed the boat trailer that had donated it.


It was nice to get to our first antique store of the trip. It was advertised as the "biggest antique store in Owensboro". It was more like a flea market. Lots of Hot Wheels cars, NASCAR stuff, Star Wars crap...if that's what you're into. Not many antiques. When you pass booth after booth with the same 'antiques' you know something isn't right. They must all shop at "antiquestore.com".


These scooters had nice paint...but not worth $1295 for Chinese junk. I'd probably buy an ebike instead. Orange, then green, are my favorite colors.


The Hampton Inn was only a few miles away. Donna had packed a night bag so we didn't have to carry as much stuff inside.


The nice view from our balcony at Room 515. Donna brought a chair out here to her smoker's lounge. It was a nice place to hang out.


After a little lounging we decided to walk to Don Pablos. It was only a couple blocks away. Owensboro is a nice, clean little town. I like visiting here.


Don Pablos. We arrived ~5:30'ish and the place was fairly empty.


I had a combination plate...ummmmmm good. The thing with the tomato on it is a chalupa. It wasn't bad but I think I like a Taco Bell chalupa better. All this had on it was beans.


My sweetheart in Don Pablos.


We walked back to the hotel via the river walk. It was a nice walk and the weather was perfect. The had a squirting fountain that reminded me of the Bellagio in Las Vegas.



We watched a barge head upriver and other river traffic.


The bike was put to bed for the night. The repaired trailer had towed wonderfully. We spent the rest of the night lounging in the room and on the balcony. It was fun watching the river traffic and the people below. Ahhhhhhh...vacation.


I awoke in the middle of the night and noticed the bridge was putting on a light show.



105 miles.

Click here for the next day's adventure.




Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6
Epilogue





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