Sometimes it surprises people to learn that in all my trekking across the U.S. I hadn't ridden more than 400 miles in a day – I just don't really want to if I don't have to. I know other GTS riders who have, and a few riders have even suggested the Iron Butt challenges. I do count mileage, but I do it in the same way I track all sorts of things, like places I've slept and food I've eaten.
That being said, it was only a matter of time until I tipped the 400 mile mark. From Saint Louis, MO to Madison, WI, I just didn't feel like stopping for an overnight.
But that doesn't mean I took the most direct route. I immediately hopped state lines to follow the Great River Road, on the empty side of the Mississippi.
|Alton Brown mentions the town of Alton in his show, Feasting on Asphalt.|
I like to think of my ride as the slower, less-informed version.
|The Goldenrod is an old showboat moored near Pearl, IL.|
|Sam has arrived early to pump water out of the hull and keep the boat afloat.|
He tells me about the boat's ownership dilemma, and working in towns all up and down the Illinois.
Generally, geography has taken a comfortable backseat for me. I simple roll with the scenery – when it's nice, it's lovely; when it's boring, I set my cruise assist and blast music. For instance, following the river was nice (though cold when overcast!), then boring, then the region surrounding New Glarus became sweeping curves, low hills, and golden light nice again. Perhaps this is what people mean by the rhythm of the road.
Besides, I could happily exhaust myself eating up miles, because I knew I had a spot on the futon at my sister's and her boyfriend's place in Madison, WI! It was like coming home, but this time to the home my sister is making with Ben. I liked seeing how they settled the place since I helped her move in July of last year.
We set out for a full moon paddle on the lake with Moni's university friends, and discussed topics such as when someone could finally defend their thesis. Ah, I went to art school...
|Eventually, we paddled all the boats in a lump together and just chatted and floated.|
It was like a disfunctional academic Waterworld of Monona Bay.
|This is my sister. We spend a lot of time just eating all the things.|
Banchan FTW. Sujeo Asian fusion.
|Back to food. Chez Nanou is one of my sister's favorites.|
|Or ice cream. It seems like it's always a good time for ice cream around here.|
Damn, I'm really at a disadvantage in this town.
|Also, I caught these adventure riders by chance at Blue Moon on Tuesday night!|
In spite of the silly photo above, no one that evening ever told me what bike to ride, or that mine was too small or slow or wrong. It was refreshing to share adventure stories with the Cruds!
Travel fatigue has been setting in sooner, and increasingly I found myself procrastinating on the blog – not because I don't want to write, but because reliving so many rich memories to put them into words...can hurt so good. I feel full to the brim with stories and experiences, but there's a huge queue for processing them.
Perhaps having so many experiences has also contributed to being more at peace with letting things go; I considered taking off a day earlier to take the SS Badger steamboat across Lake Michigan, but was relishing resting too much (also, the ticket was a bit more than I thought). I'll take the boat another day, perhaps. This time, I just want to hang out with my sister.
Buuut I think my sister must be getting tired of me living on her couch and being the third wheel on her and Ben's dates... So it's a good thing work was worked, rest was rested, and I have a date with a rally around the corner. Next stop: Amerivespa 2015!