DAY3 broke grey and crappy, but the storm was moving east and we were headed west. We survived the night in Motel 666 and we were up and gone before the rest of the inhabitants. Apparently human sacrifice doesn't really let up until the wee hours of the morning and the mutants need their beauty sleep. I was beyond surprised to see our bikes sitting where we left them...I guess I jacked up my motorcycle insurance before I left home for nothing.
We decided not to prolong our stay in the beautiful Adair area, and immediately hit the highway; we'd look for breakfast in Council Bluffs. An hour or two later, we pulled into a Village Inn. The skies were still bleak, but Accuweather assured me that it was clear to the west and enthusiasm was high because we would be hitting Colorado today. Spirits were lifted further by an enormous breakfast and a pleasant waitress. We pulled out of Council Bluffs, still sporting our super suits, and motored toward Nebraska.
Somewhere near Omaha, we saw the sun. I was ecstatic. It started in small cracks and holes...promises of something better...and eventually we found ourselves happily motoring at 70 mph under a big beautiful prairie sky with big puffy white cumulus clouds. I was sure that Mike had never experienced this before so I silently congratulated myself for expanding his cumulative life experience. I'm really quite a fantastic guy for sharing this experience with him...someone should build a monument to celebrate me...I'm truly friend to every man...
Somewhere around now, amidst my silent celebration of all things me inside my helmet, the winds came.
I can't tell you exactly when and where it happened...somewhere around North Platte maybe...but the wind came like nothing I've experienced on a motorcycle before. The orange wind socks in the median should have been a clue, but I never picked up on it. All of a sudden, there was a right to left crosswind that pushed me right into the left lane and a passing truck. I fought my way back to the right, but I was riding with the bike leaned way over just to go in a straight line. Mike was cursing through the headset. From this point on, we were in a wrestling match with Mother Nature and she was kicking ass. Trucks and RVs were wagging all over the road, and were struggling to maintain highway speeds. On the occasion when I'd overcome a semi, I would get a brief reprieve from the wind as I passed on the left, but just as I cleared the cab of the truck, the wind would smack me so hard I nearly landed in the median. We stopped at the very next rest stop to ditch the super suits and regain our composure. I was working hard and sweating profusely just trying to stay upright.
Despite the seemingly beautiful weather, this was the hardest riding of the entire trip.