2012 South Dakota motorcycle trip

Day 2

June 15

The alarm clock rang at 8:10 and I would have loved to slept a little longer. The bed was super comfortable. Donna had already been up for a bit and mentioned it was cloudy outside. Good. I like clouds. We were meeting everyone at 9am so we cleaned and packed up. This is another situation where Donna tickles me. I walk out of the bathroom and she has the bed made and the room picked up. I blink my eyes and she has the bathroom stuff packed and organized...a tornado of efficiency. She's so precious. Here she has already put pop in the cooler.

John had found two MotorTrike dealers. One appeared to be out of business. The other was near Davenport. He had left a message but hadn't heard anything.

There was a Hardees across the road from Hucks so that is where we had breakfast.

Here is the crew enjoying vacation. The picture is funny because I stitched two pictures together. Mike's right arm appears ghost-like, and it's even funnier because he appears to notice it.

A couple different people talked to us about our motorcycles. It's interesting how motorcycles start conversations. People who used to ride. People who want to ride. The stories are numerous and enjoyable.

As we were shuffling back to the parking lot a lady drove up in this van. She said it was a perfect match for my bike, and it was. Why don't they make more cars with more colors like this?? I'd buy one.

When we got back to the bikes I happened to look down and got a sickening feeling. On my left engine cover was oil. That's not good. Not good at all! There's no explainable reason there would be oil there. I rubbed it with my finger...and it wasn't oil. It was a discoloration in the plastic cover. My guess is when the gasoline ran over last night it discolored the plastic. Wheeeeewww! I felt soooo much better. That's the second bike worry in two days. Luckily both were trivial.

John was also able to contact the MotorTrike dealer. He told him to come to the shop and he'd check out the bike. He sounded like a good guy.

We made a course deviation to Preemption, IL.

78 miles later we were in Preemption. Not much more than a crossroads but it is the home of Hammer's Cycle Works. The first thing I noticed was a lot of bikes there and they were a mixed breed...Harley's...Goldwings...a nice variety.

Dave, the owner, immediately came out and surveyed the situation.

Step One: Get the trike on a lift and give it an examination.

While Dave and John inspected the bike Debby was on the phone with the insurance agent. The rest of us milled around and enjoyed hanging out. It was hot in the sun but nice inside with a cool breeze. People/bikes were coming and going. There was bike work going on on the other two lifts. The guy in the flourescent green jacket rode in on a new 2012 Goldwing. On the passenger seat was a cute little dog.

This is the kind of house I need...house over garage.

The damage tally was both aquashields and their driving lights, wiring harness, the lower fairing, and the right exhaust cover was bent slightly. The aquashields were removed so the trike could be ridden safely. It was thoroughly checked out. Dave even installed a newer version of the driveshaft just because he had one. The plan (hopefully) was for new parts to be delivered in time for reinstallation on the way back. Dave even checked the tire pressures and imparted lots of trike knowledge on John. I enjoyed the whole Preemption experience.

Sans aquashields, but checked out and trailer reattached...ready for travel.

We rode out of Preemption at 13:22 and headed north on US67. This highway leads straight into the Davenport/Quad Cities area. As I approached I-74 my GPS said to take the right lane. I did, and was rewarded with going south when I wanted to go north. Sigh. I made a loop several miles back to Moline and we decided to stop at an IHOP we passed earlier.

By now it was in the 90s and the air conditioning felt good. We enjoyed our drinks while we waited for the food. I was happily surprised they served more than breakfast food. I believe I got a turkey club. We decided to abandon the trip to the Iowa capitol building due to time constraints.

Side note: I have seat beads that I use occasionally. I also have a set for the rear seat. When we were packing for the trip Donna said she didn't like the seat beads and not to take the ones for the rear seat. When we came out of the IHOP her seat was hot so I offered her the seat beads. She kept them the entire trip. Ha!

Stomachs full the next destination was Antique Archeology a.k.a. The American Pickers in LeClaire, IA. I had driven through there last fall on my Minnesota trip. At the time I had no clue about the American Pickers show. I remember it being a nice, clean town along the Mississippi River with a railroad running next to the road.

We went where the GPS told us to go. We didn't see anything that stood out, so we parked next to the police station.

When we got off the bikes Donna saw it. It's the blue building at the upper left.

Antique Archeology a.k.a. the American Pickers shop.

I had only started watching the show when we had decided to visit it. Until then I had seen the previews and thought it was a silly show about junk. But I'll admit I really enjoy the show, especially the history and facts and the people they meet. I saw several things in the store that they 'picked' on the show. We bought some T-shirts and enjoyed the air conditioning. One of the girls working said Mike was in Nashville at their other store, and Frank was home with his family.

While we were wandering around outside taking pictures a guy told us Danielle has her own store next door. Really? I had never heard of it. Even better...he said she was there. We walked next door to her store...4 miles 2 Memphis.

The store is mostly clothing and some antiquey stuff. I got Donna a shirt. The house is air conditioned and people kept leaving the front door open, so Danielle kept walking over and shutting it. She is cute on the show, but in person she is HOT. The camera doesn't do her justice. Mike got a picture and we chatted with her for a bit.

Eventually it was time to move on and we returned to the bikes. I'm glad we did. Both Mike and my bikes' kickstands were sinking in the soft, hot asphalt. Advantage trike. The temperature display in the background says it is hot. We sat on the pretty hillside overlooking the Mississippi River and pondered our situation. It was after 4pm and we still had 320 miles to ride to our hotel in Omaha. It was hot and we needed fuel. Can we stay here with Danielle?

Davenport, IA. 16:32, mileage 57,650 - From LeClaire it was a short hop to I-80 and then a fuel stop at Davenport. The gas station was especially crowded with people parking and driving everywhere. The gas stations seemed busier this trip. Soon we headed west to put down some miles.

West of Iowa City a UFO was spotted. Wait...is that Mike passing and taking the lead?? He was soon followed by John and I was now the sweeper. It was a nice diversion to follow and keep up with the others.

Mike and John took turns leading while I brought up the rear..sometimes from a distance.

When I'm following on the open road I like to play with the cruise control. I try to set it so it keeps up with the others. Sometimes they speed ahead to make a pass so I readjust it so it will eventually catch them. It's these little mind games that ease the monotony of the interstate.

Williamsburg, IA. 18:08, mileage 57,728 - We've been getting ~125 miles between stops towing the trailers, but a restroom request brought this fuel stop. John & Debby took the opportunity to return some insurance calls. The clouds had lowered the temperature and the wind felt good, but what we didn't like to see were the darker clouds to our west. That's where we are headed. I no longer have weather radar on my GPS. I now use my phone. Not as convenient, but cheaper. There were storms to our west between us and Des Moines. Maybe they would move off before we got there, maybe not.

"Maybe not" came just west of Grinnell. We pulled under an overpass to don our raingear. Since I was still following, and in the back, my bike barely fit. Actually a storm drain from above was depositing rainwater on Donna's seat. That added to the excitement. We hurriedly changed into raingear and headed down the road. It was what I'd call a normal rain.

Over the years my bikes and rain gear have improved to the point where riding in the rain doesn't really bother me. The best piece of my rain gear is the five-point face shield. This keeps the rain out of your eyes and glasses. You can easily wipe the shield off with a hand swipe. My Frogg Togg jacket is the other. I rarely put the rain pants on. Seat beads also keep the water underneath you.

Des Moines, IA. 19:57, mileage 57,808 - True to the weather radar the rain subsided just before Des Moines. We glided into the Flying J truckstop on wet roads.

Besides fuel we had supper at the attached Max's Diner. The food and sweet tea hit the spot.

We left at 21:19. It was dark and cloudy with spots of rain showing on the radar. John led and his GPS took us down US6 through the heart of Des Moines. I think his GPS is set to calculate 'shortest distance' whereas mine does 'shortest time'. Mine would have taken us on I-80 around Des Moines, but his route was more interesting. The trip through the city was kind of pretty with all the lights reflecting off the wet roads. Being in back I got caught by a couple stoplights but was able to catch the others quickly. That's part of the fun of following. Sometimes it is like hide and seek.

Eventually the city drifted away behind us as we rode into the darkness. There were patches of fog. Some sprinkles here and there. Mostly just the hum of the motor as I followed John and Mike's lights. Always one eye on the lookout for the green-eyed road monsters. At one point we passed a windmill farm. There were hundreds of them but all you could see were their beacons flashing in sync. It was a strange sight in the dark. Somewhere along the ride Donna fell asleep. She doesn't remember any of this.

We made a pitstop in Lorah to stretch our legs and refresh our drinks. John called the hotel to let them know we were still gonna be there. Donna woke up here and thought (hoped) we were at our hotel. Sorry Sweetie...we still have ~70 miles to go. At a minute past eleven we headed for our destination in Council Bluffs (even though I keep saying Omaha).

An hour later we crossed the Missouri River and found lots of traffic. What? It's past midnight. Turns out they were having the College Baseball World Series in Council Bluffs and the final game of the day was just letting out. The main route was jam packed so John led us on an alternate route. It still involved police on horseback doing traffic control. What a mess. There were cars and people and impatience everywhere.

At 12:18 we pulled into the same Holiday Inn Express we stayed at in 2009. We got a couple luggage carts, offloaded our stuff, checked in, and went to bed. It felt so good after a long day of traveling. Tomorrow is our long day.

Good night, Sweetheart.

453 miles.

Click here for our next day's adventure.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6
Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12
Day 13 Day 14 Day 15 Day 16 Day 17 Day 18

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