NomadGal's Year on the Road

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by NomadGal, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. Crash-n-Skid

    Crash-n-Skid WileeeCoyote

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    33
    Location:
    Alabama
    Glad I found this report. Nice pics. Jealous. You have a great spirit .. and a nice KLR.
    #21
  2. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Just the pictures for now, later my ride report.
    I did go over Kebler Pass and found a perfect camping spot.
    I did get a visit in the morning by this handsome cowboy, chasing the cows.
    Just like in the movies he said, "Mornin Ma'am!"
    He didn't mind I took his picture

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I am getting a tad more daring! Yay!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #22
  3. JonS

    JonS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    On the Western Slope of CO
    Yes, a tad more daring sums it up well! :D I look forward to the next episode.
    #23
  4. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    On my way to westfest in a few, so here are some more pics, with text to follow later happy1
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    toward my campsite

    [​IMG]
    Yep, getting more comfortable on dirt roads

    [​IMG]
    Worth the ride

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #24
  5. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Well, I guess I'm not getting to the write part of the report again, but here are some more pics.
    Laurie and I went for a "tame" ride while the guys did the hard stuff, and we had a blast.
    Found a really cool trail.

    [​IMG]
    Little did we know that while we were having fun, Marty had broken his leg (in 2 places!)

    [​IMG]
    Taking backward pic while riding, Laurie and Jeannie

    I totally spaced taking other westfest pics, but I was happy to hit the road again.
    Here I decided to take the part dirt and part pavement road from Grant to George Town over Guanella pass. I have to say, that if you can only ride one road in Colorado, this is the one!
    Absolutely mind-blowingly gorgeous.
    I could not really take any pictures cause it was raining.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Snuck in a couple though. Ass I was nearing George Town I saw this picturesque little Victorian town nestled in the Canyon. Wow! I could live there!!
    Stopped at a gas station to get a cup of hot chocolate.

    [​IMG]
    Amazing what they had to add to your drink!
    Had to add an immune shot, (Echinacia) and an Alert shot

    Kept riding in the rain cause there was no way I wanted to pitch a tent in the rain, so riding was preferable.
    Ended up taking a dirt road past Fraser called cottonwood trail road, and after riding on a very bumpy and washed out road I finally called it quits and camped in between the cow turds. It had gotten dark, but he rain had stopped and the moon was out.
    Sometimes when you park in the night without seeing where exactly you are, waking up in the morning can be a surprise.
    Well...... not so much this time! Could not see a thing!

    [​IMG]

    But after the sun showed its face a bit more was visible

    [​IMG]

    Vision is a strange thing!! I rode this trail in near darkness, but truthfully, had I seen what it looked like, I might not have.
    Knowing that I had already done it gave me the confidence to get out over the bumpy grasslands where I had parked and down the dirt to the main road.

    [​IMG]

    Then I rode to Rocky Mountain National Park, which was really beautiful, but not nearly as gorgeous as Guanella Pass

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In Estes now, and the sky looks pitch-black again!
    Oh well, heading to Kansas now.
    Being Dorothy for a little while :)
    #25
  6. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    It is Wednesday morning August first! Wow, how time flies when you are having fun! I am sitting comfortable in a soft couch in Jeff's and Leslie's house. Jeff is an ADV rider I met at Westfest and he invited me to stay at his place.
    After I left Estes (where I parked in a fee parking lot, oops, did not see that!) I headed toward Nebraska. The hills slowly got lower and lower and all of a sudden there is nothing but flatlands. Amazing how it can change so fast.
    I rode through Loveland and Greeley, toward Fort Morgan. The sky behind me looked black and I was hoping to outride it. Well, so much for that idea cause once I got to Fort Morgan it caught up with me. Out of nowhere the wind showed up and buffeted me across the road. I had to fight to stay somewhere between the lines. A few times the wind hit so hard I felt the bike swoop from under me and had to counter lean to stay up. Scary as hell! The rain came down so hard it was hard to see. I made it to a small town called BRush where I saw a sign Empire Motel. Phew! I made it. Decided to splurge for a night cause there was no way I wanted to continue riding in this. It was $50 for a night which was worth it.

    [​IMG]
    Couldn't help but take a picture of the art in my motel room. For once a nice picture! Most of the time the stuff on the wall is just awful!

    I relaxed for the evening and laid all my stuff out to dry, including my tent cover that never dried that morning.
    Right next door was a supermarket where I bought some nibbles for the night, and rented Underworld Awakening. (Have the first 3 DVDs on my laptop). I must say that this sequel left much to be desired. I guess the next one will have to make up for it.
    I slept great even though occasionally I'd wake up when a train thundered by, and was up and about early. Left Brush at 9 and decided to make it to Lincoln that day.
    Talk about a sore butt!! I did it though!

    [​IMG]
    Entering Nebraska! Yay, another state, now I need to find another cool sticker for on my Pelicans
    Took a couple of breaks along the way and had something to eat.

    [​IMG]
    Yep........... picture says it all!

    [​IMG]
    Missed the perfect shot where you can see that both FedEx and UPS take the same train! I wonder why one is more expensive in shipping then the other?

    [​IMG]

    As it got later the moon rose, almost full! Ahoooooooooo!!!

    [​IMG]
    Took this picture aiming the camera backward, pretty good I think!

    I got to Jeff's house at 9:30 a bit later than I had planned, but that's cause I got lost just a tad. :D

    Jeff and Leslie live in a gorgeous part of Lincoln and they have this amazing house!
    Leslie made me a salad with some of her homegrown veggies, Yum!

    [​IMG]

    Slept like a baby!
    Tonight is bike night, so we'll see what that is like
    #26
  7. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Lincoln is quite a town! I actually managed not to get lost there, the road numbers are sequential, that helps* :Hap1:
    I found a sporting goods store and bought two 1 liter Nalgrene bottles and also four a mosquito net! Yay, now I can sleep in my hammock and those pesky little buggers won't ruin my beauty sleep! :nana I also stopped at Home Depot to get PVC caps and some weird plastic piping and bracket wiring.
    When I got back to Jeff's house I worked on getting the water bottle holders on the back of my Pelican cases.

    [​IMG]

    Now I can camp in the middle of nowhere for one more day!

    A turkey came to visit in Jeff's yard, it did not want to strike a pose though
    [​IMG]

    Euro bike night in Lincoln was fun. There were a lot of BMWs but also Ducati's Triumphs, Vespa's (scooters) and one very old BSA. Of course a few off-roaders too. I met a couple of Jeff's friends, David and.....? Oy! I am terrible with names.* :(
    We had dinner together at a restaurant on the bike street and hung out for a while.
    Jeff and I swung by a health food store to purchase some ready-made food for on the road (Tasty Bite Indian food) Absolutely delicious, just put one push in muffler side pannier, and when you get to where you are camping dinner is ready* :laugh:

    I left late the next morning, Leslie wasn't feeling very well, and I took my time packing and re-arranging.

    At around noon I left for Kansas to visit my friend Mike in Hutchinson near Wichita.
    It was a hot ride and the Kansas scenery was very similar to Nebraska

    [​IMG]

    I think I must have blinked, because I missed the Welcome to Kansas sign.
    Spirit unfortunately did not like the fast pace and hot temperature and she stalled a few times, vapor lock I hear it's called.
    I also messed up by not checking her oil, she was very low* :( I feel terrible!
    Made it to Hutchinson by 5:30, just in time to ride to a thumper meeting with Mike, and give a talk about my trip.
    Then Jack passed the hat around, and everyone put in a few buck for gas for me! How sweet! I was very thankful but it felt weird just having people I didn't know give me gas money for my trip. I got $83! Wow!!
    Thanks all you guys! (never got everyone's name)
    Today I will put something between petcock and engine, and figure out a way to lift my saddle bags so the air can flow through the vents.
    I will be in hot climates from now on I think, so got to keep her cool somehow.
    #27
  8. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Well............
    Where to start??? ?;>]--
    Was in Oklahoma near a place called Nash, when an officer told me to take a detour on a dirt road due to an accident. He said, it's just a little bit of loose gravel.
    So I'm thinking I can:D handle that no problem!
    Well, he must not have been from the neighborhood, because ofter a tad of gravel I hit a dirt road with 6-10 worth of deep loose sand. Very dusty. I kinda freaked but then talked myself through it. Stood up, gripped the bike with my knees, very loosely haled the handlebars and let spirit do her thing. All went del for about 1/4 mile when the ruts started getting deeper and deeper. Then I made the mistake of trying to get to the left side of the road where it wasn't so deep. The middle part was about a foot deep and before I know it front wheel flipped sideways and I found myself airborne! Over the handlebars (maybe might have gone too fast???) and into the dirt. I had a soft landing so I didn't really think anything was wrong. My side felt a bit sore but that was it. There were a few trucks behind me and the guys in it helped me pull Spirit up. The third truck had a gal who was also a biker. She said just ride over the field, it was cut down wheat. I did and it was easier, then unto dirt again, but this time solid. Got back on the road and started riding when I noticed my rib popping and creaking. Not sure what was going on....
    Rode to Enid and called my doctor friend in East Hampton. He said to just wait and see if the pain would get worse. He said there is nothing to be done about a broken rib anyway. It doesn't hurt to bad and I can breath normally, just not deeply.
    It feels awfully weird though very loose and crackely! Oh well, On my way to Sparky's in near Muskogee :ricky
    #28
  9. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Spent the night at a motel in Perry OK. Did not sleep too well unfortunately, but I was glad to have slept at least some.
    Really sore and stiff this morning and my rib is not feeling too good.
    The good thing is I can still move, albeit slowly, and I can sit, so I can ride :p3rry
    Got some pics from yesterday. Too bad I didn't think of taking a picture of my bike in the sand. I was worried about the people behind me and didn't want to hold up traffic. I don't think they would have minded, I think I was a bit of a treat. single gall on a packed bike crashed in the sand. Something to talk about at home I suppose LOL :D

    [​IMG]Almost in Oklahoma

    [​IMG]
    The factory in the background really does not add much to the welcome sign

    [​IMG]
    It has been really dry here as well!

    After visiting with Spanky I will head North again, just too friggin hot down here!!
    Neither Spirit nor I seem to care fort much. Missing the pine trees and mountains.
    Wonder what the Ozarks look like.
    #29
  10. Ladybug0048

    Ladybug0048 Bug Sister

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    12,426
    Location:
    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    Too bad about the get off. I hope those ribs heal for you quickly.

    Enjoy the Ozarks, they are wonderful.
    #30
  11. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    106,144
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    Happy travels, NomadGal. :D
    #31
  12. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Spanky and I went for a sightseeing ride yesterday. :ricky:
    It was around 100 degrees, maybe more, and humid, so we didn't make it a very long one.
    At the moment I am sitting at McDonalds waiting for GoalZero's Webinar to start! I hope I get the job, and I hope it's what I imagine it to be like.
    Anyways, here are some pics from the ride.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Following Spanky

    [​IMG]
    Who said Oklahoma was flat???

    [​IMG]
    Spanky in front of dam

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Fort Gibson State Park

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Spanky taking pic of me as I was taking one of him.
    [​IMG]
    #32
  13. Pablo83

    Pablo83 Sleep, Wrench, Ride

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,861
    Location:
    Woodland Park, CO
    :lurk
    #33
  14. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Hey Pablo! Looks like you got home safe and sound!
    #34
  15. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    It is starting to look like McDonalds is the new Starbucks! LOL! :Hap1:
    They have wifi, good coffee frappes, and delicious fruit smoothies. Oy!, and that for someone who is against McDonalds and a vegetarian to boot! Being a hypocrite here! :(
    I left Spanky's around 9 am and headed to the library to download the personal info and 1099 documents and faxed them to GoalZero.
    If all is all right I should be receiving a list of training locations. Keeping my fingers crossed!
    Then it was off to Arkansas. As i was nearing the Arkansas border it was noticeable getting greener, but not much cooler. The temp read 105!
    I almost missed the sign again!

    [​IMG]

    Right after crossing the border I noticed the sky getting darker and darker, sure enough it smelled like rain. I pulled under a deserted gas station roof and not a moment too soon too!! It started pouring with a capital P. Glad I found a roof!
    I hung for a while and hit the road as soon as it slaked somewhat "safe".
    The "plan" was to get to the Ozarks. The ride was gorgeous and chilly as well, I actually had to put in my jacket liners; it's amazing how much the rain will cool things down.
    Sometimes the road would be totally covered by trees, some with vines.
    Didn't snap a pic of those though, road was too curvy to ride with one hand.

    [​IMG]

    As I neared the top of another hill I got a view of a different Arkansas, Wow!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    That's the jungle I rode out of!

    I rode till about 7 and found this little gem of a camping spot
    [​IMG]
    Spanky told me to keep it to myself, but how could I? It's a wonderful little campground with only 8 spots.
    And here is the camping fee

    [​IMG]
    That ought to break anyone's bank! LOL

    The place was very peaceful, and after I pitched up the tent and ate, I rested in the hammock and looked at the leaves above me and the night sky. This is living I thought! The sound of crickets filled the night air, and an occasional snapping of twigs as well. The deer were checking me out .

    When I woke in the morning and wished Spirit good morning I noticed to my dismay that I had a flat tire. ?;>]--
    Well, so much for kicking back today and relaxing.

    [​IMG]
    Now doesn't this look familiar?

    Taking of the wheel....No prob!!
    Taking of the tire.......No way! I could not for the life of me break the bead!
    Having a broken rib did not help much, any kind of real pressure hurt like hell and I just couldn't do it.
    So what's a gal to do???
    put rim on a strap, sling it over the shoulder, and stand on the road with my thumb out!
    The first car that rode by stopped, two hillbillies heading to work.
    We talked about stuff a while, and of course they asked where I was from, and I replied Hawaii.
    Then the older guy said, " Well, I know something that we have here in Arkansas that you don't have in Hawaii! Big tits!"
    Uhm..... what do you say to that? So I just said I wouldn't know, I just got to Arkansas yesterday. I guess if he was comparing my lack of "rack" to Arkansas, I have to admit that he was probably right, LOL :ImaPoser:
    They dropped me off at a tire place, and wished me luck.
    The first guy told me, "nope, can't help you," but then changed his mind and said hold on. The boss came, and turns out he used to ride, and he went and took the tube out and patched it for me. When I asked him how much, he said $5! I gave him $10, seeing as it was all the cash I had left. Needed to find an ATM.
    I slung the strap back over my shoulder and walked to the Hwy 21 intersection. I had just gotten there when a lady stopped and gave me a ride halfway to Ozone, she was a nurse and had just gotten off work.
    I had just planted my butt outside the little store when an older gent stopped and asked me where the rest of my bike was. I laughed and said at the Ozone campground. He asked if I wanted a ride as he was heading that way. Yay! Didn't even have to stick out my large thumb!
    Turns out he was fixing up his VW camper, and was planning on a road trip himself.
    I put the wheel back on no problem, and also replaced fuel filter, and cleaned air filter. I noticed that my vacuum hose clamp was loose, and the vacuum hose wiggled, so I thought maybe the vacuum hose is not airtight enough, I had that problem once with my Savage. So I put a different clamp on it.
    Once I was done with everything I went in search of the water pump which one of the hillbillies had told me was at the campground. As I neared it I noticed a whole bunch of men just lying around. Turns out they were firefighters waiting to see if a fire would break out because of the lighting from the previous day. They hung out there doing nothing and playing frisbee till late in the evening. Wow, what a job! Looks like they had been really busy for a long time though, so they enjoyed having a break for a change.
    I left camp around 10 the next morning, after a rough night. No matter which way I lie down, my rib bugs me. I also heard a really loud grumbling noise near the tent, and some animals, probably deer stampeding through the bushes.
    It felt great riding again. Off to the North, Missouri!
    Got stuck behind one of these this morning

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Which way do I go?? Decisions, decisions!

    Decided to go left to go and check out Eureka Springs. Spanky said it was a cool place.

    [​IMG]
    Hmmm, think he got tired of flying!

    It's a little after 2 and I should get going. I'm cooled down, and so is Spirit.
    Actually it is not nearly as hot here as in Oklahoma.
    #35
  16. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Thak you Klay! Same to you :D
    #36
  17. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Where did I leave off? Oh yeah, heading for Eureka Springs.
    Well, it was a neat little touristy place and I was riding through town just looking at what kind of stores and unique things it had, when I notices a big ARkansas ADV sign. Of course I had to stop there! It was a really stacked to the brim little motorcycle stuff that carried a ton of stuff. He didn't have an Arkansas ADV sticker though, but he did have one of his store, so I got that. We talked a while about the road and places to see, and I hopped back on Spirit and this time headed East and North toward Missouri.

    [​IMG]

    I had looked on the map and noticed all the Mark Twain National Forests, and I was hoping to be able to find a place to crash in the wild.
    Well, that day was a bit of an odd day, I ended up stopping to find some food for the road, and then again once I found out that I had gotten the wrong lithium batteries for my spot, and so spending most of the day in cities was overwhelming and draining. I was glad to be finally done with all the noise and traffic, and to hit the solitary quiet country roads again.
    The first stretch of road was actually a divided Hwy, but it had some rock formations like in Utah and Colorado. It was nice to see some rock again, Haha.

    [​IMG]

    It felt great to ride again for a longer stretch, but I had sorely misjudges the distances. It was getting dark and there was no way I would make to to the Mark Twain Forest before it got totally dark.

    [​IMG]
    The sunset was amazing however, and even though I don't like riding in the dark, the night sky was spectacular.
    Once I got to a little town called Ava, I decided to ask if there was a camping place around there. I had not seen a wild stretch of land for the last few hours, everything was farm land and therefore owned by someone.
    The lady at the gas station told me of a little camp spot in Vera Cruz so I headed there. The little country road down to Vera Cruz was deer country! I was glad I was riding slow, they were all around me. All of a sudden the road ended, and I found myself again, on a sandy road. I looked at the rocks and deep ruts in the san and said , "No way!!" My rib still hurt, and I was not ready to try again, especially not in the dark, not knowing how far the campsite was.
    I decided to turn around and just keep riding until I saw a suitable place to crash.
    It had gotten pitch-dark by now and to make things worse, I had a row of cars on my but, and no place to pull over and let them pass. Finally I saw a turn off and let everyone get by me. About half an hour later I found a camping ground near a river, and a group of people were standing around in the parking lot. One guy cam up to me, and said that he was driving the car behind me a while back, and that my tail light was out. He said the only reason was I didn't get run over was because of my shining yellow safety vest with reflective stripes on it. Wow! for once I was glad that I had bought it. I had just checked the might that morning, but some time during the day it must have popped.
    The campground store was closed already, but the owner was at a campfire in the back, and said to just camp and pay in the morning.
    I was just too buggered to make it down the gravel dirt road to the tent site, so I strung up my hammock nearby and went to sleep.
    The thing about campsites is that they don't really close, which is usually a good thing, unless a huge group drives in at 3 am and starts hollering and pounding tent stakes in the ground with a metal hammer. Oy!
    Needles to say I did not sleep much that night.
    The campground di mostly river rafting and kayaking tours, and also had a small restaurant there. I zombies on over and ordered a big cup of coffee and some oatmeal. The gal that ran the place was sweet, they normally didn't make oatmeal, but she would for me.

    [​IMG]
    Kathy at the campground cafe near Twin Bridges.

    They also served hot cinnamon buns, and the gals that worked there were really sweet and inquisitive. Unfortunately they left soon after, so I couldn't take a photo of them. Even though the night was hard, the hot shower made up for it.
    Ahhh, wonderful!
    As I was about to leave I gazed at my speedometer, shucks! I had missed my 30,000 mile mark by 5 miles

    [​IMG]

    this was a big moment for me, seeing as I had left with almost 20,000 miles on the bike.
    I spend the day very relaxed and carefree, avoiding the big cities. I had enough food, and water, and only needed some gas occasionally.
    I rode through the Mark Twain Forest, which was very quiet and very few people on the road. I say deer occasionally, and lots of birds.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After the forest the roads ran though farm lands again. I was amazed at all the perfectly cylindrical bails of hay spread out over the fields.

    [​IMG]

    Needing to gas up again, I stopped at a store and a young kid was interested in my bike and stopped to strike up a conversation. He was really sweet, and I asked him if I could take a picture of him. Yep, no problem there, he eagerly posed for a snapshot with his black and blue bike which he had painted himself.

    [​IMG]

    Somehow....... :hmmmmm......I managed to get lost again, and ended up way east.
    Instead of turning around I decided to just stay at a campground nearby.
    It was a really nice little place called Marble Creek near Arcadia.

    [​IMG]

    The night was quiet and I was thankful for a good night's sleep.
    The next morning was cool and dreary and I was hoping that it wouldn't start pouring before I packed my tent and stuff. It didn't.
    The park ranger came by and asked if I had paid my fee, and I said Yup! He then nodded and rode off.......... How easy it would have been to camp without paying! I'm too dreadfully honest at times!
    I hit the road and aimed to go through the rest of the Mark Twain forests.
    I was really enjoying the ride that day, and getting a kick out of the rolling hills that made your stomach lurch every time you went over a hill that quickly dipped down again.

    [​IMG]

    I think I shall call Missouri the Roller-coaster-Road state. I squealed every time I went over a hill like that, it was fun, and there was no one to hear me scream.
    I had a blast that day. Ahhh, the simple pleasures of life! :<>grN
    As I was riding I noticed that I saw red barns everywhere, and I decided that this shall be a theme of mine. From now on I will find unique looking red barns and take a photo of them.

    [​IMG]

    After a while it was time to gas up again, and I stopped at a small local gas station.
    I also needed to use the rest room and inside I saw how this little town was concerned for the wellbeing of its townsfolk.

    [​IMG]

    Once outside however I noticed that this was not entirely true, there were people smoking inside and outside of the gas station! I don't get it!!
    I suppose they prefer the faster dying than the slower dying is all I could think of.

    It looked like there had been a fire in this Mark Twain forests well.
    [​IMG].
    It was a sad sight to see all the dead trees in between the green life ones.

    A little after leaving the forested areas the meadows turned into vineyards.

    [​IMG]

    I did not know that Missouri grew grapes. These are the purple grapes, not sure of it was for wine or juice.

    [​IMG]
    heading toward Macon the sky darkened but the rays of sunlight made a very picturesque horizon.

    Macon was there before I new it, which meant that Long Brach state park was nearby.
    Wel..... I guess sometimes it's hard to see what a map really says!
    It looked like the park was on 'O' road, so I turned on it and drove, and drove, and yes I was acting like a guy and not stopping for guidance.
    Finally I figured this is wrong, there is no state park on this here road! So I pulled into a driveway of a farm house. I had just barely taken my helmet off when a guy got out of the door with a big old question mark on his face.
    I hollered, "I'm lost!" Haha, those three words changed everything! In no time the wife cam out too and together they told me how to get to the camp ground.
    We talked a while about my trip, and the woman told me how brave I was to do such a thing. The husband had assumed that I had served, LOL, must be my short hairdo!
    I thanked the couple, and hopped back on my bike. Then I noticed the door opening up again and this time a young teenage girl peeked her head around the door and waved at me. It made me wonder if the parents had told her what I was doing.
    This time I found the right road, and a view of the lake.

    [​IMG]

    I arrived at the camp site a little later and noticed how tired I was. I really didn't feel like pitching my tent, but the amount of bugs swarming around the lake didn't give me much of a choice.

    [​IMG]
    I was the only one camped at the tent site, and again I had a fairly quiet night.

    The next morning I walked around the lake a bit. It really was a very pretty area!

    [​IMG]

    I decided for once to take a picture of myself, I had totally forgotten about the self timer on the camera.

    [​IMG]

    I managed to leave fairly early that day and headed toward Iowa to visit my friend Robert.
    Of course I took a little back road, and was disappointed to find out that they don't post "Welcome to Iowa" signs on little rural roads, so no picture :(
    Iowa is similar to Missouri, but very pretty as well, and plenty of red barns!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I took mostly rural roads to avoid traffic and trucks, and I was glad I had. There is something very familiar and peaceful about back country roads. It's a very relaxed way to go.

    [​IMG]

    Some lakes along the way as well

    [​IMG]

    I stopped at the corps of engineers, and the lady there told me about a free place to camp. Great! As I neared it however I saw that a long stretch of it would be on dirt, and again I decided not to yet. My rib still complained when riding over bumps, and also I had no more food or water.
    I continued riding and aimed for Red Rock state park.
    Along the road I noticed this contraption (Jim, enlighten me to what this is!) and it triggered a memory for me. This looked a lot like the ufo tower in the movie Men in Black 2. (I think it was 2) Haha,

    [​IMG]

    As I was riding I couldn't help but notice how lovely the clouds were,

    [​IMG]

    I finally got to Red Rock camping ground and found again that I was the only tent camper there.

    [​IMG]

    I am starting to get spoiled, all those campsites to myself! Yay!
    I took a lukewarm (almost cold) shower and washed some of my clothes (cha cha cha style!) I hung them up assuming they would be dry the next morning, boy was I ever wrong! Dew kicked in as soon as the sun set, and everything was covered in a thing beaded layer of dew. The night sky was incredible! the amount of stars you could see was just awesome, even the milky way looked magical. I would have loved to lie down in the grass and stare at the sky, but didn't have anything to lie down on that could afford to get wet. Note to self, get another compact tarp for such occasions!
    Despite my rib I slept fairly well and woke refreshed.
    Took some pictures of the local vegetation, but didn't see any bunnies form the evening before.

    [​IMG]

    I took my time that day and left around noon. I didn't have far to go to Ames.
    Robert had suggested I go see Pella, seeing as it was a very Dutch community. I had to laugh, because for some reason I had marked it on my map as a place to ride through.
    Pella was indeed very Dutch, and I felt right at home!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    This was the visitor information center, and I walked in there and asked the two ladies in Dutch if they spoke Dutch. Nope, neither one did, but they did recognize that I spoke Dutch. They were very sweet and told me all about Pella's heritage and history.
    This next windmill was actually brought here from Holland, taken apart and put back together once it got here. The base however was build here by Dutch masons that they asked to come over.

    [​IMG]

    I left Pella a while later and headed toward Ames.
    Yet another red barn!

    [​IMG]

    I got to my friend Robert's house around 4 and was pleasantly surprised to find I had my own room and bathroom there. I was all ready to pitch my tent in the back yard.
    I'm spending a few days here relaxing and talking about lucid dreaming with Robert.
    #37
  18. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    Man, I should visit Pella too. I have a friend from the Netherlands, I bet he'd get a huge kick out of it! He visited me in Arizona for a few months last year.

    I was planning on visiting him, so I learned very basicl dutch, but I'm quickly losing it because I don't use it at all ever.

    Sounds like you're having a great time! I'll be on the road again soon enough myself, just need to fix up the bike some, sold the other bike today, and that was the biggest hurdle to leaving!

    Do you have a rough idea of where you are heading, or just going to roam around until the money runs out and figure it out when that happens?
    #38
  19. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Hey Fey, I am heading to GSRider's place in a couple of days for the pie-day at his house. afterward back to Iowa and going east visiting Wisconsin and Illinois, and slowly heading East over the northerly states until it starts cooling down.
    Those are just ideas, in reality it depends if I get the job at GoalZero, a company that also makes travel solar kits, and they have road shows at Costco for which they need presenters. So basically I get to travel and do a show as often as I like. It pays pretty well and I get to tell in advance at which location I wish to work. Keeping my fingers crossed.
    Did you just post another report? I'll look. Wondering which was you are heading.
    #39
  20. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    Nope! I am still grounded in Portland, have been for the last.. oh, since the Hells Canyon rally, though I've done short trips, I haven't been able to really leave and meander as I'd like because I can't leave things here long term, this isn't a "home", so I've had to sort of stay in this area until stuff sold. I'll be doing an update after I get some video footage from an awesome guy that was at the rally. I should really just write everything up so I can spam-post once I get the video instead of waiting.

    I am very familiar with Goal Zero, I use one of their solar panels, and they sent me a replacement Guide for free when the first one melted, no questions asked. I use the Guide more often than the solar panel, really, cos I can charge it via AC and then have a power boost when one of my electronics starts to die far away from wall outlet power. The solar panel is nice when I want to spend a day or two camping out and still read e-books, because physical books are huge and hard to carry on a bike. Good stuff, nice people.

    Are there any requirements for that job? I like to avoid working for companies whenever possible, and I don't need money yet, but that doesn't sound quite as horrible as other places I've worked.

    Not sure where I am heading when I leave here. I will definitely be exploring Washington state a bit more, after that I don't really have concrete plans. I have friends in Maryland and Ohio I'd like to visit, but the idea of crossing the vast expanse of corn between here and there in this dreadful heat doesn't exactly fill me with anticipation, and I have plans to be in California in September. Is the northeast still habitable for motorcyclists in October?
    #40