OK Heidi is waiting for her airport Limo and I’m packed for the cruise home.
I was on the road by around 2:00PM, weather beautiful. I planned on getting some serious miles in my first night, just cruising the freeways. I15 north to I70 east.
Almost made it to Colorado before dark, great scenery! Around 2:00 AM I could feel the air start to cool and figured I was starting to climb into the Colorado mountains. Not wanting to miss the scenery I took the first exit with a ‘Camping’ sign. Super spot with this rushing stream 10 feet from my tent.
..... Next morning got on the road by about 9:30 and cruised. I like to stop often but not for long, just long enough to shake off the kinks and muscle stings. I get this stinging in my Trapezoid and middle back muscles that make me need to stop, but just a short stop and I’m ready to go.
I’m getting close to Denver where I was planning on taking I76 east to I80 to De Moines. I was in clear sky’s but a huge wall of clouds line the east just past Denver. The cloud directly in my line of travel has a huge anvil shape head that’s probably reaching 20,000 feet. My sailboat cruising experience says this is Not Good. This is big sky country and I could see that to the north looks clear. I changed my planes, go north into Cheyenne than play it by ear from there. That morning I went 8 miles on back roads to go from my camp site to the freeway. Once on the freeway I went to put my feet up on the highway pegs and NO left highway peg. Crap, the bolt sheered clean off. So any way I pulled into a Harley shop just off the freeway in Fort Collins to get a new highway peg. One nice thing about Sportsters is there’s Harley shops all over and if you have the money they have the part. Flip, $160 later I have new highway pegs and I did an oil change. An hour later back on the road. I didn’t even get to the end of the service road and noticed that my clear route north to Cheyenne has been closed shut, huge black cloud racing in from the north west. The big wall cloud to the east was starting to break up so I’m back to trying to head east, Hwy. 14 east from Fort Collins. All was good for a while but then it turned noticeably colder with a huge wind from the North. Then every once and a while the road would be wet, then spots of snow or pilled up hail an inch thick, the patches were only a 100 yards wide at most but this is weird. I hit the freeway I76, I pulled into the first rest stop in Nebraska. The sigh said it had weather information. Sweet, just what I need. I walked up to the main building and two people were standing there talking. I asked if they were drivers and they said, “Yes” and showed me their rigs. The guy told me a stories of a something knuckle head he had and one winter he had a fight with his wife. He drove the bike right through the trailer home front door and down the road in -40 Deg weather. Said he was fine coz the hard snow at that temperature but ran into trouble the first intersection where there was black ice (northern people know what I’m talking about here) His bike slid out into the intersection and the front wheel got munched. He still has the bike and hopes to someday restore it. The Female trucker also had a story but not as good. Anyway I asked them if they know what the weather is doing from here to Omaha. “Bad” The guy said “And the hail got so bad I tucked under an underpass and then a tornado passed by”. wow. The rest stop had a monitor set up that flashed a map with the counties that had flood warnings, ones that had tornado warnings and ones that had thunderstorm warnings, plus they showed the current radar, unreal! I could see for sure I wasn’t going to continue east on I80. They all suggested to get the first motel, I said “What fun would that be?” I studied the radar for a while and decided heading north again would be the best option. It just turned dark so I wasn’t going to travel far. Got to Ogallala and took Hwy. 61 north. About 10 mile up I saw a Miller sigh and pulled in, I knew there was a state camp site near. The place just got a liquor license so I ordered a Jack on the rocks and directions to the camp site. I had four people around me with maps to show me the site that was literally just across the street, Sweet! Camped on the shores of lake McConaughy, $4 per night. Next morning I continued north to SD, then east on I90.
Once in Minnesota I head north on 169 toward Minneapolis (That was last night). Around St Peter about 70 miles from Minneapolis I started hitting wet roads and the sky looked dark. It was just starting to turn dark and I didn’t want to quit now so I downed a hot chocolate and put on my rain gear for the first time this trip and headed out. By now the sky is started to break up and the roads were all dried. With the rain suit on I was nice and warm. Drove it straight down to my local biker bar “The Joint” to have a shot of tequila and a glass of beer. Sweet, I’m home. Good cruise!