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Old 10-16-2013, 10:49 AM   #361
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Somewhere out on I-90 we spied this gentleman out for a walk with his pet...



I'm not sure who comes up with this stuff or how they find the time to construct it, but I'm appreciative for the distraction.
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:27 AM   #362
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At this point, I've been building up the Corn Palace of Mitchell, S.D. to MIke for weeks. I've done my very best to pique his interest...to titillate...to tantalize...to paint a mental picture of all that is the Corn Palace. I've used colorful imagery and stirring words like "corn" or "maize" or "palace".

So when we saw the exit for this "Wonder of the Agricultural World", he was atwitter with expectation...fully prepared to have his mind blown. Anxiously, we weaved our way through the side streets of MItchell...eyes scanning the horizon for that first memorable glimpse...racing from red light to red light...anticipation welling up and threatening to kill us both.

And then, without warning, there it was...

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Old 10-16-2013, 11:49 AM   #363
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We parked our bikes, paid the entrance fee, and went inside to behold the wonders of the Corn Palace.

First off, it's not actually made of corn. That was huge disappointment number 1. It seems that the building is only decorated with corn; its actually constructed of brick and mortar. What a rip-off!

Then we went inside and discovered that this was no palace at all, but an auditorium of sorts with a stage and basketball courts. I was expecting a royal residence rivaling Versailles or Buckingham or Umaid Bhawan...a place worthy of the Corn King and the Corn Queen...rarified air...opulance...gothic architecture...

Instead, the place was permeated by the sounds of squeaky sneakered high school kids shooting hoops and hustling up and down the courts.

The floor of the concert hall temporarily housed a sterile gift shop of uninspired wares while a hundred weary tourists shuffled around mumbling and wondering why they paid admission to see this.



There were murals made of corn...but is that a garage door?!? What kind of palace has a garage door leading into it? How very plebian.



Retracting backboards...light up scoreboards...drop ceiling tiles...plastic seating...This, sir, is no palace.



I could feel my credibility with Mike slipping away...so much build up...so many promises of grandeur...expectations so very high...he must be crushed.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:03 PM   #364
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Fifteen minutes later...after a trip to the head and the obligatory bumper sticker...we were back on the road. At the least the sun was shining. We crossed into Minnesota at some point and I don't remember much about I-90 in that state. We stopped for lunch at some sort of chain restaurant and I put down my 10th country fried steak of the trip...brought to you by the folks who make Lipitor. Nothing noteworthy there beyond an old guy with the biggest, blackest Pompadour and side burns I've ever seen...epic in scale and sheer manliness, this guy's hair could kick your a$$...this guy was rocking it...I only wish Johnny Cash could have been there to appreciate it. I tried every angle to snap off a stealth photo of the beast residing upon his head, but to no avail. I'm almost positive that it was a rug...if you're going to go that way, go big!
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:47 PM   #365
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:38 PM   #366
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Corn is amaizeing.
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:56 PM   #367
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Excellent and right on point !
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:37 AM   #368
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Too funny!
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Old 10-17-2013, 06:31 AM   #369
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We spent the rest of the afternoon riding across southern Minnesota. My original plan was to head northeast across Wisconsin to the Upper Peninsula of MIchigan, but I couldn't fight the irresistable force that was pulling me home. Mike seemed like he was ready to pack it in and head home too, despite his consistent "up for anything" disposition. That, and a weather forecast that called for rain in New England on Sunday. We were hoping to get home on Saturday and avoid the rain all together. As I sit here looking at the map on the wall, I wish I had spent the extra day to loop Lake Michigan and then cut across southern Canada to Niagara Falls to New York. The interstate from Chicago to Buffalo, along the southern shores of Lake Erie, has nothing to offer in the ways of scenery or enjoyable riding. Maybe next year I'll try the Great Lakes Circle Tour.

We hit Wisconsin late afternoon/early evening and we were making good time...stopping for nothing other than gas and hydration. Then the sun starting sinking fast and the darkening vegetation started closing in on us from both sides of the road. We were getting dangerously close to that magical time of the day when innocent deer, completely ignorant of the inherent danger, skitter out of the brush for a relaxing stroll on the highway. I was in a defensive state of mind and scanning the areas on either side of the road, but the tall grass and dense foliage presented a significant challenge. The need for hypervigilance after a long day of riding exhausted my reserve supply of energy in short order and I was ready to call it quits. There were a ton of signs for hotels in a place called Wisconsin Dells so we jumped off at the exit and found a place with a restaurant next door. Despite the hotel being a multi-level complex, the girl at the desk was kind enough to give us a ground level room just a few feet from the parking lot. This made my 8 trips to and from the bike much less incommodious. Quick change and we were off to eat.

Hondarider screwed with this post 10-17-2013 at 10:16 AM
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:14 AM   #370
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Country fried steak...mashed potatoes...a gallon of gravy...corn submerged in a bucket of butter and salt...brownie sundae a la mode...mmmmmmmmmm. I love eating on the road. What should have been a glorious meal was spoiled by screaming children, ineffective parents, and apathetic wait staff. Unbeknownst to me, Wisconsin Dells is some sort of tourist attraction with amusement parks, water parks, boat rides, go karts, and all sorts of family fun. We were catching the unwashed masses at the end of a day filled with too much sun exposure, too much sugar laden stimulation, and not enough nap time. The place was a zoo...kids jumping from booth to booth...toddlers running for the exit...babies crying...siblings fighting...food scatttered EVERYWHERE! It looked like John Belushi had just incited a food fight. This was not the place to wind down and load up on greasy food after a long day of riding...it was utter bedlam.
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:33 AM   #371
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As we walked back to the hotel, Mike mentioned that he wanted to check out the pool and the hot tub...maybe take a dip to combat the road weariness. We walked into the indoor pool area and were greeted by a very similar scene to the restaurant...the same horrible children and the same miserable parents...just substitute pool toys scattered everywhere instead of food. The wall of sound eminating from the great hall was like a punch in the gut as you opened the door...accompanied by steamy air and the smell of chlorine. I swear to you that, at that very moment, I would have preferred storming the beach with Lt. Col. Kilgore in Apocalypse Now rather than trying to fight my way into that pool...a beachhead held by armed enemy combatants would be far less harrowing. I told Mike he was on his own and made a break for the room.

I suspect I was asleep half an hour later as I don't recall anything at all about that hotel room. Mike gave up his dream of soaking in the hot tub. Instead, he called home to get his daily dose of time in hot water.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:04 PM   #372
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Question And then??.........

Waiting, waiting............
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:08 PM   #373
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I know...I know...I'm trying to come up with a big finish to end on a high note. I'm thinking about killing off MIke in the final chapter or at least helping him to fake his own death and start a new life somewhere else before his girlfriend gets hold of him.

Hondarider screwed with this post 11-01-2013 at 07:12 PM
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:58 PM   #374
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Originally Posted by Hondarider View Post
I know...I know...I'm trying to come up with a big finish to end on a high note. I'm thinking about killing off MIke in the final chapter or at least helping him to fake his own death and start a new life somewhere else before his girlfriend gets hold of him.
Lol that bad eh?
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Old 11-02-2013, 02:13 PM   #375
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Shhhhhiiit that woman is dangerous
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