Day 33 (It was the best of days and it was the worst of days)

Miles traveled: 433                                                                                                                            Total miles: 6,568                                                                                                                             Location: Somewhere in Nebraska

Least we forget:  Some times it is hard to understand the frustration that drives women coming out of prison. I though that maybe this exercise would help in an experiential way. Close your eyes and visualize that you have just done two years in prison and are on the bus coming to your hometown. No one in your family has sent you any canteen money so you have not been able to get envelops and stamps to write home. No one would accept any collect calls from the prison. In theory, you classification officer has called the number you gave him and notified them that you are getting out and how you would be arriving. So, the bus pull into the bus stop and you get out with a little bag of all your belongings. You are dressed in Salvation Army donated clothing and no one is there to meet you. The one thing you don’t want is to run into any of the old crowd you hung out with prior to going to prison. You have a $100 gate money in your pocket and there are two things you must do within 48 hours. The first is to register with the sheriff as a convicted felon and the second is to report to Parole and Probation. However, equally important is where are you going to put your head down on a pillow that night and for the following nights? Now visualize how you would do all those things needed for your own survival. If you like, make a few phone calls to see who will help you. However, you have to deduct the phone calls from your $100 gate money. One last point, you have spent a $1.25 to call your parents and they said: you have made your bed and now sleep in it.

Americana: I saw this as I was packing the bike in the motel where I stayed last night. Absolutely genuine Americana. For the life of me can not figure how they moved to to South Dakota from where ever it was made and also how anyone’s feet could reach down to work the pedals. That is nothing compared to how on earth a person gets to the seat to work the peddles in the first place.

A Real Deal:  Normally, I like to ride till it starts getting dark as that is coolest part of the day. However, in doing a blog everyday, I ride until about 1800 which gives me time to eat dinner, clean-up and then spend a couple of hours writing. So, I rode till 1800 and then found the first place I could. The town was Murdo, South Dakota. Saw this rather nice but lonely motel out in the country by itself and thought I would try it. Asked for the price of the room and he said $34 and I said sold. After some chit chat, he said there was an indoor heated pool open till midnight. I said: that’s nice but I am on a motorcycle and don’t have a set of trunks. He said no sweat, just go to the dining room and there is a drawer with clean men’s swim trunks. Well, tonight, I ended up in a dump for $43 and I mean a dump and this is about what we pay for a KOA camp site. Go figure.

Corn, corn and more corn: If there was a one word summary of today, it was corn. I have never seen so much corn and did not know they could grow so much corn. It goes as far as the eye can see and that is a long way here. I know that all of this corn will ripen and have to be harvested at the same time. There are  over 300 million Americans that use it for everything from food to fuel for their cars.

The Missouri River is flooding it’s banks: Is hard to believe that the US government would build bridges on interstate highways that are so low that when a river floods they and flooded too. Not only did it drive me crazy trying to follow the poorest laid out set of detours but my TomTom was on the verge of a break down. It was a TomTom that I had just picked up because my last one gave up the ghost.

Bragging Rights:  There are two sturgis’s.  The first is a set of rides and attractions that would take ten years of one week a year rally’s to see and experience it all just once.  That park of the state is loaded with historical and natural attractions that are apart from the rally of bike week. They serve lone wolf’s, couples and families. There is camping, cabins, and motel rooms. All is available through private vendors and the National Park Service. Then there is the daily parade of bikes on Lazalle Street. A parade where all the men have attitude and the girls are bodacious. Logos of all size are stamped, sewed or tattooed  on everyone in the parade. It should not have but it did surprise me was the number of women with their sewing machines in tents on the curb side, sewing patches on shirts and leather jackets. Yep, they will wear them everywhere advertising they were at Sturgis 2011. If you were to ask: the first group lives life in the journey and the second is about bragging rights.

A TomTom is not a TomTom: Don’t know what we did prior to the arrival of the TomTom. Yes, there were the Trip Tickets issued by the AAA. I have gone through two GPS in the last 6,000 miles. Without a doubt the TomTom is among the most rugged. The Garmin computer wise is the best of the programs. However, it is a wimp and did not last ten days prior to going out of kilter. Had to take two hours out of the middle of my ride today to find something. Was on the verge of getting a Zumo and having it shipped to Dr. James Austin’s house in Columbus. In the end, settled for a TomTom with a one year  from Cost Plus, When it is all said and done, today was the best of days and it was the worst of days.

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