Monday, June 11, 2012

The Freedom Rock motorcycle ride, part 2, day 1, Friday June 8.

So anyway, like I said, we left an hour late.  SNAFU solved.  Off we go, like a dirty shirt.  64 miles to Albert Lea Kwik Trip; we like them because they have decent food, a good rebate policy, and dependable restrooms.  Plus the credit card bill is paid automatically online, we're green like that.  Gas, breakfast sandwich, restroom, adjust gear, deviate from directions.  We were going to zoom on down the interstate to highway 13 west to take us to either 65 or 69, I don't remember which.  Probably 69.  We did not set a land speed record on the interstate, I find that the gas mileage diminishes so rapidly that it isn't really worth it.  I figgered once and likely will again (in July) that going faster will cost us time in the long run because we'll have to make more gas stops than if we went a more sedate, leisurely (greeny) pace.

On really good days, my bike will get 42/43 mpg.  Val's will do a little better...it's smaller, lighter, she's lighter, etc.  This is going approx 65 mph, or less.  If/when I increase speed to 75, mpg will decrease to ~30, or less...the faster I go, the less mpg I will have.  My tank is 5.3 gallons and it starts to look empty when 3.5 gallons are gone.  150 miles between gas stops is good, you can really get somewhere, so long as the bladder cooperates.  105 miles per tank...you can see that it won't be very long at all....2 fills at the slower speed before there's an extra fill at the higher speed.  And when the day is 600+ miles.....

You're thinking....big deal...how long does it take to get gas?  In July, there's going to be about 15 of us, which can totally take over a gas station.  Takes a few minutes to fill, takes a few minutes to hit the restroom, takes a few minutes to BS with everyone, eat a snack, drink a pop/water/coffee; it's very easy to spend 30 minutes at a gas stop with a big group.  It's easy with just 2 of us, as we soon found out.

Sometimes, the bladder cooperates, but the colon does not.  That can make for a crappy day.

Hope you enjoyed that brief sojourn into my rambling thoughts.  We set off for Crystal Lake to see the worlds largest bullhead.  What a nice little town.  What a nice little lake.
Yep, I have a yellow shirt.  Actually, I have 2 yellow shirts, they came from the same thrift store.  I'd linky to that bloggy episode, but I don't know which one it is.  There were a couple of grumpy old men fishing, some little kids screaming and splashing just behind us to the west, which is to the left, as you're looking at the fish.  It was about 11, and well above 80*.    Across the street is a retired train car, the windows are painted to look like people are in there, there are flowers all around it...but no train tracks.  No pics, we didn't go look at it. Check in with the bladder, get a drink, put on coat?  Put on vest?  Gloves?  Yeah, vest today.  You can see that I sit on a piece of dead sheep, it keeps my butt from sweating.  Really.

Time for some unfinished biz.  Last episode I mentioned that I was a little sad, and a little glad that no one came with us.  I was a little sad because I invited our friends, some said they were coming but didn't.  Some said they wanted to but couldn't.  I put a lot of time and energy into this thing, and I was a little sad that no one else put it onto their calendar...they had 4 months notice.  Oh well, it was nice to get away with my princess and really nice to have lunch with a couple of high school friends....people I had not seen for 25 years or more, except for facebook.

Time to go south and west, west and south, to Britt...where there is a Hobo museum.  We decided to not go in, we were still running late and this is where we made up some time.  Apparently there is a large convention for hobo type people, they converge upon the town for a weekend of panhandling and train riding.

Yes, they converted the theater into the museum.  I don't know where they see a show.

Here's a partial list of some of the things we saw:  tractors, hay, dead coons, corn fields, trees, green grass, a creek, bridges, dead opossum,  red wing black birds, semis, fish, boats, barns, towns, brown grass, rivers, crows, vultures, cows, churches, Pocahontas.

Pocahontas?  You bet.

Look, a princess with the princess.  We had lunch in Pocahontas.  At Pizza Farm, not in the statue.  We're not termites, for christs sake.   We got to the ranch at about 1:15, they told us:  "buffet ended at 1, we won't be putting anything else on it, but you're welcome to eat it..."  So we did.  Paid full price for half a buffet.  It was ok.  We got gas there, too.  No, not at Pizza farm, at Cenex or Sinclair.  If I recall, 3.25 gallons for me, 3 for Pocahontas.  Er, I mean, Val.  Mostly straightly south to Pomeroy.

Pomeroy, home of the Kaleidoscope factory and the college of Leonard.

 Leonard is a great guy, lots of fun, and funnier than me on my best day.  I got the opportunity to feel smart, however, because I answered his question correctly:  when you look in the mirror in the morning, is the image looking back at you: 1. larger? 2. smaller? 3. the same size?

We took the sunlight tour, he showed us all the different types of 'scopes, told stories, asked questions, we looked at his wood shop, Val looked thru the fused glass bits and bought one.  To conclude the tour, we went to Byron's bar for a drink, nice place.  It'd help a lot to be a deadhead if you lived in Pomeroy.

Holy crap, this is getting long...oh well...you asked for it.  Off we went to Storm Lake to see......what do you suppose we saw there?  You guess it!  A

lighthouse.  It's not in the middle of a cornfield, but it's close.  It's at the junction of Hwy 7 and Hwy 71.  From there, we had to decide if we wanted to go to Ida Grove to see all the castles, but chose to just head to Sac City....it was hot, we were tired of cross winds and we were ready to rest.

The world's largest popcorn ball is in a little barn with a barn quilt on it.  Sac County has what might be the world's nicest veteran's memorial, not that there is a competition for things like that...it's very very nice, and I think every county should have one.  Stay tuned for pics from Iowa Falls memorial...and speaking of competitions....the Sac County Cattlewhateverthenameis won "best burger" 2010, so we went there for dinner.
Cash or check only, no cards.  Fancy joint too.  I actually had a steak; I almost NEVER order a steak at a restaurant...I can do it at home much cheaper.  Ribeye was very good, I didn't regret it a bit.  The patron behind me read each patch on my vest out loud, using his outside voice.  I don't know if he wanted me to talk to him, he didn't bother to talk to us.  Small town people are different, huh?  Different is good, though.

After dinner, we went to check what time the cafe opened, get some ice, snap some pics, went back to the motel and we were in bed at 9.  I maybe should have taken pics...the room had the world's smallest toilet and world's greenest shower.  (The tile were green, it was clean.)  Pretty nice place...I'd stay there again.
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