Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fallingwater Through the Trees


Dave, Mark and I rode 65 miles out to Fallingwater on a gorgeous Sunday.

Welcome to Fallingwater


Dave GQ's it at Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural achievement, Fallingwater.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Day 22: Pittsburgh



Total Miles: 0
Total Mojitos Enjoyed: 17

We spent our second day in Pittsburgh taking care of business. Kevin fixed his bike issues with a couple replacement parts. We had a fabulous dance party that kept us up late and our sleep schedule is now even more skewed than before. No complaints there.

Dance Party at Mark's


Mark and Ann dance to celebrate the Steelers win.

Motolindy Boys


The Motolindy boys are back in town.

Mark's Sippy Cup


Mark spilled his drink when cheering for the Steelers so we gave him a towel and a sippy cup.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Day 21: Columbus, OH to Pittsburgh, PA



Total Miles: 185
Total Breakdowns: 3

With only 185 miles left until Pittsburgh, we left expecting a relatively short ride and an early arrival at our friend Mark Palatucci's house. We rode about 25 miles before we stopped at Pickerington, home of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. Dave and Kevin spent a couple of hours at the museum while Zena went for a run.

We got on our way again, but Kevin's bike acted up after a rain shower, resulting in the first of three breakdowns. Kevin figured out a temporary fix and we all made it safely to Mark's house. We're all ecstatic to have left the corn fields and returned to civilization. Finally.

Rainstorm Number One


Amazingly enough, this was our first real encounter with rain on our trip. Dave and Zena have to strip off our riding suit to put on our waterproof liners. We also gear up for some colder than usual riding weather. I like any excuse to wear my ninja mask.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Burger Me This...

Zena wolfs down her $1.95 hamburger at a restaurant in Cambridge City, Indiana . Actually, she got the deluxe version with veggies so make that $2.30. It's really easy to get used to these midwest prices. We are dreading the NYC economy.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Day 19: St. Louis, MO to Marshall, IL



Total Miles: 210
Total Times Crossing the Mississippi: 1
Current Rating of the Midwest on a Scale of 1-10: 2

We spent the good part of the day visiting the Arch in St. Louis and got off to a later-than-usual start (around 5 pm). But, we blitzed along 70 for awhile, so we still covered a fair number of miles.

Stopping in Greenville for gas, we couldn't pass up eating at Lu-Bob's family restaurant. Yup, we were definitely still in the Midwest. Unfortunately, the food fell far short of making up for the dreary weather and endless corn fields that had started to grate on our nerves. We wrapped up the day with a tv marathon in a comfy hotel, which helped lift our spirits, if not or current opinion of the Midwest. Two days before we arrive, and we're ready for Pittsburgh.

Arch de Saint-Louis








Zena and Dave Kaleidoscope

Gateway to the Midwest

Little did I know that one could ride to the top of the arch and peer out the tiny windows. Little did I know that it symbolizes the expansion into the west during the 1800's.

Arch Pods


Tram pods sat five people and transported us to the top of the arch through a combination of railroad, roller coaster and elevator technology. Fortunately, we had showered recently.

Dan and Cheryl from St. Louis


Dan and Cheryl, two dancers from St. Louis, were our very hospitable hosts Sunday night. Dan welcomed us into his new house after having met us through voicemail only hours before.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Day 18: Alton, IL to St. Louis, MO to Maryland Heights, MO


Total Miles: 45
Total Number of Times a Clausterphobe Would Have Freaked: 35
Total Times Crossing the Mississippi: 1

We crossed the Mississippi (again) to arrive at the City Museum of Saint Louis, where we crawled and climbed through structures of wood, stone, wire and plastic that formed tunnels and crawl spaces, three-story slides and a host of other potential adventures. Zena crawls out of a tight tunnel, though not the tightest of those we made it through.

We enjoyed some live blues music and overpriced food at the Big Muddy Blues Festival, then made our way to Dan's house for a house party. Dave and Kevin got their first lesson in "washers," a St. Louis game akin to horseshoes.

LIfe as a Hamster

Dave gets a fresh perspective on hamster life. He's about 150 feet off the ground in a steel tunnel. Next time he plans to wear knee pads. Posted by Picasa

Dave and Kevin's Balancing Act


Dave and Kevin practice their highwire routine at the City Museum. Notice the staff woman in red is watching with a smile on her face. We were never chastised for being creative in how we entertained ourselves.

City Museum Craziness


The City Museum of Saint Louis was the greatest indoor playground we'd ever been to (and the main reason we went to St. Louis in the first place). Here's a photo of the outside structures as seen from the parking lot. If you look closely, you can see the arched wire tunnels we crawled through. Yay!

City Museum Teeth


Zena was eaten by a stone dinosaur.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Day 17 Bloomfield, IA to Alton, IL







Miles Ridden: 254
Number of Times we Crossed the Mississippi: 1

It was a leisurely day on back roads with a long breakfast where we met a retired couple who each have ridden over 800,000 life miles on various motos. We did a short side trip and visited their home moto museum full of various motorcycle memorabilia.

We traveled a very scenic road along the Mississippi river where this panoramic shot is from. We got lots of deer warnings and deer collision stories so we are sufficiently scared to ever ride at night through deer country.

Z's Biker Gang


The neighborhood kids at our camp site wowed us with their skidouts.

Dave's Daily Ritual



Ever since Dave committed to going all the way with the Lemon, he's made the changing of his spark plugs into a daily ritual. He has the whole set up: a wire brush, sand paper, carb cleaner and 10 spark plugs of two different varieties. Obsessive maybe, but hey, it's working!

I Got Bugged


This is what riding through the Midwest at twilight does to you.

KEEEEEEVINNN Wake Up



I want to go to St. Louis.

We rolled into a campsite after our late night blog fest. Kevin plopped down in his aerostitch, using his sleeping bag as a pillow, and slept through the night.

Red Skies Over the Mississippi


Southern Illinois

Friday, September 01, 2006

Day 16 Lincoln, NE to Bloomfield, IA



Total Miles: 255
Price per Gallon of Unleaded: $2.35
Touristy Things Done: 0
Bee Stings: 1 (Kevin, 2 total)

Once again we had dreamt of getting up by 8:00 and being on the road by 9:00. In reality we got on the road by 10:30, drove a little and stopped for over an hour for brunch. Only to restart our ride around 1:45. We fell short of our goal of riding 300 miles today. Well once again, we are living up to the spirit of motoSLOW.
Today we saw corn. Just like the last two days and we'll probably see more corn tomorrow.
The weather is not as hot or dry as it was from Colorado westward. The day's high is about 85 and the air is starting to get sticky.
It is currently 11:30 as I write this. We are blogging in the lobby of a hotel that we are not staying at. They are so kind. Yeah wi-fi. We have not set up camp yet, one mile down the road, but will soon. Tomorrow we land in St. Louis!

Genetically Modified Seeds


From the eastern part of Colorado through all of Nebraska and Iowa, we have been motoring between fields and fields of corn. Here a farmer tests different strains of corn seeds to see which genetically modified seeds give him/her a desired result. For example, on almost all fields the ear of the corn grows within a specific height range on the plant. This makes the corn ears easier to harvest.

Cheap Gas


No only is gas cheap out here in the midwest, particularly Nebraska, but Supreme Unleaded at 89 Octane is cheaper than Regular Unleaded at 87 Octane.

Aguas Frescas



We decided to go for Mexican food in Bloomfield, Iowa. The menu at this restaurant did not have one of Kevin and Dave's favorite drink, agua fresca. So we asked if they could make us one each. To our surprise, they provided us each with a pitcher. Que sabrosa!

Amish Country


Well, while traveling along Highway 2 in Iowa, we didn't see any horse-drawn buggies, but we did she a teenager girl in traditional Amish dress operating a big gasoline-powered lawn mower. I have so much to learn about religions.

Bee Sting #2

Why me? Kevin inspects his sensitive nipple just after being stung by a bee while riding. Is it the red riding suit? Does he look like a huge flower? While cruising at 15mph through the streets of Lincoln, Nebraska, Kevin drove into the bee or the bee flew into his supersuit (jellybean) and attacked. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUCH!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Day 15 McCook, Nebraska to Lincoln, Nebraska

Miles Riden: 270
Number of Deep Fried Twinkies Eaten by Zena: 1

We made it to Lincoln, Nebraska (state capitol) and home of the famous Nebraska State Fair (started in 1868), Check it out at http://statefair.org/. We pitched our tents in the fair campground around 4pm and then walked over the the fair. Here's a quick rundown of our fair activities:

5pm - entered west entrace $6 a head
5:30pm - watched vintage tractor parade (garnered ideas for next SF City cruiser)
6:30pm - watched Giraldo Family Circus Troupe
7:00pm - Kevin ate entire Funnel Cake ($4.50)
7:15pm - Lost a combined total of $9.50 at Bingo Tent
7:45pm - Watched Zena Devour Deep Fried Twinkie ($3.00)
8:00pm - Got Nauseous in the Vortex Tunnel ($2 each)
9:00pm - Zena & Kevin bought unlimited passes to the fair rides ($10 each)
9:01pm - Dave is stuck carrying both backpacks, waterbottles, and all jackets while Z and K run around the park. As the designated "Dad" he also got to take all the pictures.
10:00pm - Kevin lies down to fight his second attack of Nausea after the rides.
10:30 - Zena buys a Pineapple Whip ($2.50), Kevin gets a super size fresh lemonade ($5) and nachos with jalepenos($4).
11:00pm - Enter Beer Gardens to enjoy live Country Music - bummed we left earplugs with the motos
11:30pm - Watched an honest-to-god, beer induced, bar fight break out & immediately broken up by the Nebraska State Troopers.

All in all, we left with an euphoric feeling of having had an authentic Mid West Experience.

Miss August 2006

Zena poses for the "Go Army" calendar as Miss August 2006. Posted by Picasa

Go Army!

The US Army Recruiters were displaying their tools of the trade at the Nebraska State Fair. This is a 1987 Hummer complete with a gun turret in the top. Kevin is left to his imagination, so he climbs in and pretends to shoot man eating bees. Posted by Picasa

Bumper Ninja

No really, if you look at the hood of the bumper car you can see that it has a name....Ninja. No other cars are even around him 'casue he's in Ninja Stealth Mode. He would only appear momentarily to perform a catastrophic BUMP on his opponents. Posted by Picasa

Funnel Cake

No fair is complete without a classic funnel cake. White dough deep fat fried layered with powdered sugar. YUMMY in the TUMMY. (feels more like a rock afterwards)

Moto Heads Unite

Dave, Zena, & Dave pose with one of the Globe of Death riders inside the globe of death. She was riding a 100cc Honda motorcross bike. Posted by Picasa

Globe of Death

It's a bit hard to see, but that's a guy on a moto inside the globe of death riding in circles. He is currently at the top of the globe.

Circus Show

Dave waits patiently in the grass for the Giraldo Troupe to begin their tight rope act, motorcycle stunts and other craziness. It was a free show sponsored by the Nebraska State Fair. Posted by Picasa

Let's get Sick

We each paid $2.00 to experience the "Vortex." It's a catwalk surrounded by a rotating tunnel of different colors and patterns. Simply walk through right? This nausea inducing 3-d effect is purely mental, but effective nonetheless.

BINGO!

At 25cents a card, why not double up each round. The Lion's Club of Lincoln Nebraska sponsored a 'straight bingo' tent. Kevin lasted three rounds, losing $1.50, but Zena and Dave persisted, but never hit bingo. They were both out $4.00. It was a wild night of gambling at the State Fair.

Freshly Fried Twinkie

Zena accepts her "freshly fried" twinkie from a young and fit employee who said, "I've already had three of these myself today." Let's just say, that this employee was not representative of the typical person at the Nebraska State Fair. Posted by Picasa

Death by Twinkie

If you think twinkies are bad for you with, how about a deep fried one. Zena whipped out her $3 as fast as she could.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Day 14 Denver, CO to McCook, Nebraska

Miles Riden: 24o
Number of Times Kevin got stung by a Bee: 1

With bags packed with fresh laundry, we headed east to begin our Midwest Conquest. After many people suggested that we bypass Kanas, we altered our route slightly to drive the Southern route of Nebraska. Thanks to Zena's forthought, we were well aware that the Nebraska State Fair was running over 10 days. We were primed to hit it.

Not counting the Bee String, we had an easy ride to McCook, Nebraska. We ate dinner and breakfast at the local 24hour family restaurant and enjoyed some incredible all-american food. Homemade apple pie and fresh cut ribeye steak. We also had the very tasty vegetable soap, but quickly learned that vegetable soup in Nebraska means beef soup with carrots, celery and potatoes.

Bee Sting #1

While driving out of Denver on route 76, a bee flew up the left arm of Kevin's red super suit. It sneaked in the space between his gloves and overlapping sleeve of the jacket. The bee immediately paniced and stabbed it's stinger into Kevin's forearm. Kevin pulled over, jumped off his bike and began stripping. This is the resultant squashed bee sans stinger, which was removed from the forearm forthwith.