Friday, May 23, 2008
We didn’t get an early start this morning, like we wanted to. We hit the road at 7:30AM, in the middle of rush hour. And we didn’t make it very far from the house before we needed to stop. Two blocks away from home Mike needed to adjust something. Then we rode about 5 miles and I needed gas before getting on the interstate. Then just two blocks later we had to pull over again, Mike’s Gerbing’s heated liner wasn’t working. He just needed to readjust the cables. Then just as we started to make some progress, 7 miles later we had to exit the interstate to put on our rain gear. There was rain in the forecast but I didn’t know it was just around the corner.
From here as far as we could see there were clouds and rain. The temperature was in the 50’s and I only had my mesh jacket on because it was going to be hot in Arkansas. The rain gear kept me dry and the Gerbing’s heated liner kept me warm. The rain kept falling but it wasn’t until we got to Lincoln, IL that it really started to come down hard. Visibility got bad, the inside of my shield started to fog up so I had to crack it open, now allowing the rain to splash on my face. In Lincoln we pulled over for gas. We were hungry already since we didn’t have any breakfast. It was 10:30AM and Arby’s was open for lunch, so we decided to eat something now and maybe while we were eating the rain would pass.
Lincoln, Illinois - check out those state trooper cruisers at the pumps, we saw them on the interstate both had cars pulled over
We hung out at Arby’s for a while. Besides gassing up and eating, Mike’s Rev’it boots were totally saturated with water, making him cold. He tried to dry the boots out a bit but he was not happy. His first pair of Rev’it boots got soaked with the first heavy rain he rode through last year. He contacted Rev’it and they sent him out another pair at no charge as long as he returned the defective pair, They were saying that they were heaving quality issues. Today was the first big rain that the second new pair of Rev’it boots were in, and those soaked through as well. He had the rain pant pulled all the way down, so the water wasn’t getting in from the top, the waterproofing just wasn’t working. Waterproof boots do exist. My Daytona Lady Star boots will be 5 years and they have approximately 80,000 miles on them but the waterproofing on them still works as if they were new.
Mike using some plastic bags as rain liners for his boots
We were watching the storm on Mike’s phone, and it was moving fast. Soon we would be out of it, but not yet, we still had some more wet riding to do. We hit the road again and just like the radar showed us earlier, just a bit before we got to St. Louis the rain was over. A few minutes past the rain it started to get very warm so we had to pull over and take off our rain gear. But not much later, we had to pullover again and remove some more layers. The temperature had climbed in to the 80’s now.
In the afternoon we pulled over at a rest stop to take a bathroom break. We parked next to one of those Harley tourer type bikes. A few minutes later the couple that was riding the bike showed up. They were from the UK. They rented this bike to ride the Historic Route 66, they didn’t seem to be in any hurry, just enjoying the sights. They were impressed with the bike as well, saying they might sell the FJR that they had back home and buy one of these for cruising.
Finally after 430 miles of riding the very busy interstate, we finally came upon our exit. It was all back roads from now on. We would not be riding the interstate until Tuesday, 4 days from now.
We took the exit on RT 17 and headed south. This was also part of the historic route 66. 17 was a nice road with many sweepers and not a lot of traffic. I could tell I was tired because no matter how I tried I felt stiff and just couldn’t get in to the grove of riding the twisties. That is what riding the interstate all day does to me.
I-44 to 17 south to Houston, then 63 to Cabool
We had no firm plans for lodging for the next 4 nights. Tomorrow night we were hoping to camp at Mt. Magazine State Park, but all the other night we were just hoping to find some campsites on the way. We did do a preliminary search on the net for camping sites along our route and I even jotted down some of the campsite names and their general locations to have with us when we needed to find a place. But I didn’t have the time to get the specifics for each camp site, like the directions on getting there from our route.
Nice sweepers on RT 17
Once we got to Houston, MO we were ready to call it a day. But no one knew of this campsite that was supposed be located near Cabool, we also couldn’t find it on the internet using the phone. So not wasting any time we got on 63 and rode to Cabool.
But even in town no one knew of this camp site. We pulled over at a gas station to ask and no one knew of it. Some guy told us there was a nice campground near a lake not too far from here and gave us directions. We found the lake and the recreational area that he described, but there was no camping here. We did pass a sign for another camp site few miles down the road so we turned around and went there. It wasn’t a great place, but we were tired and it was getting dark, at $5 per night it seemed like it would work just fine for one night.
The Country Aire Campground outside of Cabool, MO on 60
No great views at this campsite, a pond, the road and train tracks next to the road
A friendly kitty at the campsite, this place had a bunch of them running around
I started setting up the tent and Mike ran back in to town (Cabool) to grab us some dinner. There wasn’t much to choose from, so he returned with food from Sonic.
Sonic for dinner
We were told by the lady at the campsite that there was rain expected tonight. Knowing that here in Missouri it doesn’t just rain, it pours, we covered our tent with a tarp we brought along just in case of heavy rain. In the past our Eureka tent seemed to handle light rain just fine but not the heavy stuff and we didn’t have enough time to look in to waterproofing the tent better.
Our tent ready for big rain
The night was very pleasant, the temperature was perfect in the low 60’s and even though we were right next to a pond, there was no mosquitoes around. We were pretty tired too and it would have been a perfect night except for the semi trucks and trains that kept running all night. Something about the way this camp site was situated, up on a slight hill, with the road and rail road tracks below us, the sound echoed and it was so loud. When it finally got quiet and a train or semi would run by, it seemed like it was running right past out tent. Too bad I had left my ear plugs on the bike and didn’t feel like looking for them in the middle of the night, I’m sure they would have helped.
Written by Anna