Sunday, September 5th, 2010

“Alright… in 249 miles…. turn left…  Make sure I don’t miss it?”

This was Jerry’s response to Greg’s comment about where our next turn off was.  This is what we did today:  Ride, Ride, and Ride.  630 miles across Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas.

This day will go down in the record books for one of the most amazing rides.  Do any of you know what it feels like to meditate on one’s thoughts for 10 hours straight?  Circumstances were ideal; the whistle of the wind as it whisks around the helmet creating a constant white noise, the humdrum of the motor vibrating at a constant rate, and the long roads disappearing into the distance made it so easy to disappear internally.  Lost in one’s thoughts allows time and miles to fly by and allows for a much needed mental cleansing.   Utterly peaceful.

Bliss.

Bliss.

After the first 5 hours, we made a stop in St. Louis to check out the Gateway Arch (aka St. Louis Arch) which was patiently awaiting our arrival.  We found an unpopulated park across the river (and actually in Illinois still) and climbed the tower to get an amazing view of the arch (we were proud of ourselves for finding this spot):

The arch posing for a pic with us

The arch posing for a pic with us

Next, we made our way to the park on the other side of the river (now in Missouri) to make ourselves a bagel sandwich.  While there, we took some more pictures, and here are a few we like:

Gateway Arch

Gateway Arch

Gateway Arch - A little Closer

Gateway Arch - A little Closer

Gateway Arch - As close as you can get.

Gateway Arch - As close as you can get.

Originally we were going to call it a day in St. Louis and continue on in the morning.   We have 1200 miles to get to our next destination of Lakewood, Colorado where we are meeting up with Greg’s oldest college buddy, Adam.  We were going to split it into 3 days… but it being such an amazing day, we decided we should try to make it in two days and perhaps we can have a day in Lakewood to tune-up our bikes, relax, and find an opportunity to help out.  So wish us luck with the search!

We continued on and enjoyed another 330 miles of bliss (with only minor back and putt pain ;)).  The sun only blinded us for a short while before the clouds filled in and pleasured us with a beautiful panoramic view of the beautiful world before our eyes (as well as a nice sunset view of a Kansas City silhouette as we drove through).

Riding through Kansas City

Riding through Kansas City

When riding, we check-in with each other using our headsets every hour or two.  But when Jerry signaled to connect, the first words out of Greg’s mouth were, “What do you want and why are you interrupting my peace?!?”… We didn’t chat for very long that time.

We finished up in the darkness of night and checked into an extremely shady hotel with cigarette holes in the blankets, a dirty shower, no shampoo or alarm clock, and signs everywhere saying “Secure everything!” and “Deadbolt room when inside!” etc.  Despite all this, this Motel 6 is very proud of the free coffee they have in the morning!  Perhaps we’ll be back next year!

Another long day tomorrow, hopefully it’s as great as today!

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Riding into the sunset, photos:

Doesn't get much better than this.

Doesn't get much better than this.

Nice eh?

Nice eh?