Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bonneville Excursion 9/17/07 - Auntie Em! Auntie Em!

Morning in Burlington, Colorado. Getting packed up and ready to go.

It always seems like you're in the middle of a desolate no-man's land when you've been riding late into the night. When we were getting packed up I realized that we were not in the middle of nowhere, and that there was a massive John Deere dealership across the street. Just my reminder to me that things aren't always as they seem.

We were relieved to see sun and feel warm temps as we got ready, versus yesterday's cold and rain. However, the forecast had said "windy" the night before, and once we got on the road we truly appreciated what all that one word can encompass. I estimate that we spent at least half of our ride time tilted at a 60 degree angle while trying to ride in a straight line. I will always remember Kansas as WINDY! Some chick on a broom came by and said, "Y'all are fools! Get one of these on a day like this!"

Actually, there were some older fellas at a mom n' pop restaurant that were commenting on "those bikes outside," and "can you imagine tryin' to ride on o' them on a day like today?" Sure, can, buddy. It's all WORK!

For lunch Andrew got soup, and so was provided with a large basket of approximately fifty different kinds of crackers. Right on top was the legendary Captain's Wafers. Why are they legendary? Never mind their crispiness, light salting, and fine buttery taste, note the fact that said wafer is named specifically in the song "Camel Walk" by the group Southern Culture on the Skids. I quote: "Who's in charger here? Where's my Captain's Wafers? Don't go 'round hungry now, the way you eat that oatmeal pie just makes me wanna die!" High poetry.

After lunch and more buffeting on the road, we stopped for gas at a little RV park. Nearby was a little brook with a duck crossing. I haven't seen one of those in ages. There were little ducklings tottering about, but we had to get back on the road, and I didn't have time to wait and see if they would have a mind to actually cross at their designated area.

Every time we stop for gas the face shield must be cleaned. This time a really healthy-sized moth bid its final farewell smack in the middle of mine. At least it was polite enough to do so low in the field of vision.

Funks strikes a pose in front of the RV park building. I wish they still made buildings that were one of a kind like this one. That was one of the signature joys of this trip, coming across all these different, cool old buildings that were constructed with the idea for them to look totally individual.

We ended up being on the road late today. It didn't help that we lost an hour going into Kansas. We did make our goal of reaching Columbia, Missouri, however. Tomorrow we should have a pretty short ride ahead of us. We'll try to be on the road at a decent hour, say 4 or 5pm? It would be awesome to get home and have a few hours to get a couple of things in order and then get in bed before midnight.

That will be the end of it. Tomorrow is the last day of the Great Bonneville Excursion. Tonight has already begun the first of the lasts. The last crappy dinner at a roadside fast food joint. The last night of riding late to reach a spot on the map. The last night in a hotel room. After tomorrow it's back to the real world. I'm conflicted, but the last few days have given me time to get used to the idea. Going back to work won't be the best, but then it will be nice to get up in the morning and not have to pack things up and figure out where we need to be at what time.

What an excellent time we've had! What a truly fabulous time we've had! I wouldn't trade any of it. It's an adventure that I'll never forget.

I really hope tomorrow is adventure-free, though. I nice, easy, non-windy, non-rainy, non-freezing, non-construction and accident-laden trip home tomorrow would be heaven!



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