07-25-2009, 09:56 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Cambridge, Ont., Canada
". . .travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living."
~ Miriam Beard ~
Day 3 – June 14
Lake View, Iowa > Gordon, Nebraska (Western Sands Motel)
Today’s mileage: 687.5 km, Trip to date: 2127.2 km
It’s kind of funny….. everyone I speak to along the way so far look at me in an odd way when they hear of my destination, Alaska. They learn of where I’m from and comment….. “aren’t you going the wrong way”? My response is always “I’m taking a short cut”!
I was up pretty early today. It was starting to rain lightly as I packed up camp. I took the time to make coffee and some instant oatmeal. It had rained pretty hard to the west of me during the night. I think the entire US mid-west had received more than its share of rain this year. Today would bring some real adventure!
From Balckhawk Lake SP I was going to do a bit of gravel riding; a short cut to get me up to Sioux City, Iowa. I missed a turn so I decided to take the next left. The road started to get narrower and narrower. I recall seeing a sign that read “gravel ends”. Where I live that’s an indication that there is pavement ahead…. wrong assumption here! I had picked up some steam as I crested a hill and before me wasn’t pavement at all but rather deep, fresh, slippery mud! Oh shit! My bike very quickly got snaky and within seconds I spun around 180 degrees and slid backwards to stop in the slop. Adventure, Yeah! I guess it happens to everyone sooner or later, and this was my very first get-off. No damage done but there was mud everywhere. It took me some time to stand my scoot back up because every attempt to right it using proper techniques resulted in me slipping on my ass to the muddy ground below. Finally I just bent over and picked the beast up. I had to wedge some rocks and wood under the kick stand to keep her up. I’m kind of lucky the bike fell the way it did because there was no going down the road the way I was headed. I detached the side cases and set them aside. While gently feathering the clutch and throttle, I walked the bike back up the hill to firmer ground. I spent the next half hour trying to clean mud from around the wheels, brakes, fenders, chain & suspension with my hands. When I eventually got back onto Route 20, I stopped at the first car wash I came to and gave both the bike and myself a good spray down!
I eventually crossed into Nebraska on Route 12, “The Outlaw Trail”. What a fantastic road in the middle of the plains! I found Nebraska to be very beautiful in a stark, desolate way. I found the sand hills to be very different; not like anything I had seen before. I quite enjoyed this route. I did start to notice little lumps on the road which turned out not to be cow dung but turtles sunning themselves. At one point I stopped and moved one off the road but he very quickly (for a turtle) went back out. That’s determination!
I had planned to camp at Cottonwood Lake State Park near Merriman, Nebraska but when I got there I found that overnight camping was no longer permitted. Shit, now what! I gassed up and continued on to Gordon, Nebraska where I decided it best to “puss” out and get a motel room due impending severe thunderstorms ahead. I stayed at the Western Sands Motel which turned out to be inexpensive, clean, had wifi and was close to all the amenities…. Well I did discover that you can’t purchase alcoholic beverages on Sundays in Gordon, Nebraska. Good thing I carried some emergency rations of spiced rum!
Adventure, hell yeah!
Tracks in the mud
We’re having fun now!
Along the Outlaw Trail
Save the turtles!
Sand hills, lush and green from rain.
A cow dog, mooching for some of my jerky
My digs for the night
Twistn'roads screwed with this post 07-25-2009 at 03:17 PM