Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 26.... Almost Done

I rode through 5 states today! I thought the only way I would accomplish that was to stay in New England. But, I started in Missouri, then to Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia!

It was promising to be a hot one again, as Ranger and I set out very early in search for a photo before I left St Louis.

The last time I rode through, a few years ago on the way to Eureka Springs Arkansas, I think it was pouring rain. I can't remember seeing the famous arch, so it was a must see this ride through.

(you can see it in the distance I hope)

The traffic into the city was heavy already, but it moved right along. I would not have attempted this without a resident of the area. City streets, even with a gps can be confusing. Soon, Ranger pointed to a beautiful building and told me the name, I think he said Union Square.

Gorgeous stonework on this giant building, I think it is a hotel now. And then as I looked up and around, I could see that many of the buildings had this stately stone work. St Louis is very pretty! I would love to have seen more.

(This is the standard tilted picture taken while riding photo)

In order to get a photo of the bike and the arch, there had to be distance, so we parked and got a couple of cool shots...

..then it was time for me to go.

Ranger rode the highway with me for a bit before peeling off for home. I pointed my bike eastward on 64, locked the throttle and took off. It was nice to have company on the highway for a while...breaks up the monotony of the pounding slab.

(check out my tassel whipping up on the side!)

I have an after market throttle lock on my bike, a part that cost all of $30 including shipping. This nifty little invention allows me to reach the speed I want, push a lever and lock the throttle in place. There is room for adjustments up or down in speed as I go. This is the best $30 I have ever spent on my bike! My right hand has gotten much needed rest on those long long long flat highways. If anyone rides distances, I highly recommend one.

Through a few (okay, a lot) flat corn planted miles, the land started gently rolling up and down in Kentucky, I realized that I was starting to lean my bike a bit :)

(I saw lots of these shiny metal silos... does anyone know what they hold?)

Hills began appearing, with quaint looking farms on them. Toward Lexington, I noticed an estate or two or three and that the horses in the pastures looked very different from the horses in the pastures out west. I am not a horse person, but even I could notice a huge difference, these horses were slender and tall and super shiny. Horses out west were beautiful as well, but they were built more like their workin' cousins. I kind of liked the approachable feel of the western painted horses, hanging out behind the hand hewn fences over the bright white manufactured fencing of the estates I saw this afternoon.

I set my sights on the border of Kentucky and West Virginia as a stop point today. I have gotten much better at starting the day with no set stopping point and finding a motel once I get there. The first time was a bit stressed, but a few weeks later, and I am old hat. haha :)

I stayed on route 64 all day long... and as I got into the eastern part of the state, it started to feel familiar... the hills were more compact, the highway wound its way through. The trees are different here too, pines mixed with deciduous trees, thickly growing on the hills made me think of broccoli tops, dense and dark green and rounded.

It feels good to feel the familiar landscape again. I am looking forward to being home with my family. This trip has been the most wonderful adventure, with all of its ups and downs, laughter and coughing, I am really thankful for the chance to have done it. To have taken a ride of a lifetime, totally lost track of the days has been a gift. I am excited about seeing my husband, daughter and parents again, telling stories and hearing theirs... I wonder how mad my birds are going to be with me? And after a couple of days of reentry, using the time I had off to re-energize my daily life. There are things I want to do creatively... my sewing machine will probably come out of mothballs. I need to see if it still runs, because I feel like creating with fabric again.
Out on the road... and I find my way back to my creative roots.
How these are related, I don't know!

As I entered into Huntington WV, there appeared on my right the most unbelievable industrial complex I have ever seen... I was told that it is a foundry, but it had me stumped when I saw it. It is fantastic looking, like something out of an industrial sci-fi movie. I clicked a whole bunch of pictures as I rode by, camera held high in the air, hoping to capture the wild metallic city.

Tomorrow, I head north through the eastern mountains... much smaller than the western cousins, but none less beautiful. One thing I need to do tonight, is to figure out how to wiggle my way to the eastern seacoast before parking the bike and calling this trip done in 3 days. It occurred to me yesterday, that it would be the perfect finishing touch, to put my feet into the Atlantic Ocean. Coast to coast in 30 days. :)

I'll let you know if I figure it out!

Three more days.... what a journey! It seems like just a few days ago when I was only three days into this ride. But then seems like eons ago! Funny how time works, and how quickly we get fuzzy about it. Or maybe that is just me.

I had a gourmet road food dinner of a stuffed baked potato and salad from Wendy's... simple,, it hit the spot. As you all know, once I park, I don't like to go out again on the bike. So Wendy's, being at the entrance to the motel road, won. I walked the crow flies, it is only about 500 yards. However, this motel is perched WAAAAY at the top of a high hill, it would be a quick, but painful roll down. By the time I got there and back up and around the little switchback driveway, I think I walked almost a mile!
Walking...what's that? :)

Oh and my trip meter passed 8000 miles this afternoon!
Thanks for reading, xo


  1. Kate,
    Two great posts. Why do you make me wait so long? You're doing a terrific job on your ride and your blog. You're going to have road withdrawal you know. It'll be a couple of weeks before you feel back to normal. I hope you'll do some final thoughts when you're all done, home and settled. Stay safe and thanks for taking me along.

  2. I'm enjoying reading your blog! Welcome back!

  3. Was great to have you in our home for the night Kate, best I could tell there were nine family and friends in and out a low count by normal standards here.
    I feel a little privilaged meeting you along the road twice on your ride, the happen chance meeting in Northen Washington and the long awaited ride along here in Missouri. I tried my best to keep up.:)
    Like everyone, I have followed you here on your blog living vicariously through your amazing writting ability. The one thing that imresses me is the humble behind the scene approach. Making the story, not the accomplishment the point of interest. Most men would be thumping their chest and challenging all comers to match their coast to coast riding feat. Which by the way is no big deal,,, coast to coast in thirty days, so what.
    Like I say I've been following along pretty close, and from what I see, what you will have done in the next few days is coast to coast to coast in thirty days. (notice there's an extra coast in there) Now THATS something, impresses the hell ot of me, altough I've only been riding since you were six.
    Now having been a stranger in strange lands, I know you are finding comfort in the familiar landscapes as you draw near home. Enjoy the final days of you ride knowing few could have done what you have with support, and fewer still alone.
    If I might, I would love to see a pic of you standing ankle deep in the Atlantic, would be a fitting last picture in ths awsome pictorial tale you have given to us all,,
    as once said in a small own far,far away
    Ride Kate Ride

  4. Rid Kate we are glad to see u back in our part of the country. Ranger Im leaving in the mornin on vacation. As soon as we get back I will get the package Kate and I spoke of out to u.

  5. No words of wisdow, just enjoying your trip, making me look forward to mine. If I only had 30 consecutive days. When you make it to the Atlantic and standing there ankle deep, I will be most interested in your thoughts and the thoughts you have as you are riding up to the Atlantic.

  6. Oh not to long you will be having breakfast at Mom's