2007 July 9
This day starts in Richmond, Indiana -- on the far east side of Indiana right near the Ohio border on I70. It will be another day of riding the Interstates to make the miles getting me closer to the Pacific Northwest.
The scenery of the day will be cornfields. ...and more cornfields. This one has a crop sprayer buzzing overhead.
After so many miles and miles of cornfields, I welcomed the variety offered by this tree.
I take the north bypass around Indianapolis and connect to I74 continuing northwest. I cross the state line into Illinois and continue through Champaign. Between Champaign and Bloomington, everyone is detoured off the freeway onto state and US highways for about 20 miles due to a hazmat accident.
A trucker lost his life when his fuel tanker crashed into an overpass support column two days before. The word was it may be a week before the cleanup was complete and the bridge's integrity checked and/or repaired.
This detour took us through Heyworth, Illinois, a small farming community with one good-sized corner convenient store. The detour had given them so much more business than usual, they had to call in extra help and order an additional fuel delivery to meet the demand.
At this fuel stop, I meet a Norge rider on his way to Iowa City from his home in Indiana. Iowa City has the closest Moto Guzzi dealership and his Norge is due a servicing. We visit awhile then ride together about 150 miles until I take my exit for my only side trip of the day. While gearing up to get on the road, a reporter for a local radio station walked over asking if he could interview us. He was doing a report on the detour and how it was affecting the travelers. My comment was that I was happy to be off the Interstate for awhile since I preferred the smaller roads...I just prefer not to share them with all the freeway traffic.
We get back on the I74 in time to catch the loop around Bloomington then on through Peoria and up to Davenport and the Quad City area where we catch I80 that will take me all the way across Iowa and more cornfields.
Norge Rider on my right flank as we pass though the bridges of Peoria and then the Quad Cities.We make another fuel stop together at IOWA 80, the World's Largest Truckstop. I wave goodbye to Norge Rider as I take my exit in search of a stamp.
I find my stamp at the Herbert Hoover NHS visitor center in West Branch, Iowa.I pass a few more cornfields on my way to Des Moines.
In Des Noines, I make a fuel stop and met Shelly. She just graduated from college in Massachusetts and is driving west from her home in Minnesota to live in San Francisco . When we finish filling up our rides, she accepts my invitation to join me for supper at the Daytona Cafe next door. Using the "pass it forword" concept...I've passed a meal forward as a thank you to Aunt Celia for feeding me the night before.
I stop for the night in Clive, IA - a suburb west of Des Moines.
Tomorrow will be more miles...on the way to South Dakota.