St Louis by the river front
I slept well last night and decided to get up a little later giving myself an extra 30 minutes this morning. Todays destination was Morehead, KY. I decided to pass on the free breakfast and get on the road. While checking out, I met a guy from Georgia. He was riding a Goldwing and was on his way back from Sturgis as well. He inquired as to what type bike I was riding (I told you thats always a question). I told him and he seemed surprised. He just said, well I may see you out there. Considering he was on a long hauler, it would be awhile between gas stops for him. I figured it was unlikely that we would see each other again. He took off about 5-7 minutes before I did and I briefly thought I may catch him (NOT).
St Louis river front
What a perfect day for riding. It was in the 70's all day and there was no rain for the first time in 8 days. I gassed up the night before so I knew I could hit the road and go long. My first stop for gas was somewhere in Missouri. When I went to remove my tank bag to open the gas cap, the zipper was open and when I tilted the bag a few of the contents fell out. I tried to play it off like I meant to do that and started pumping gas. This nice guy came over to help me pick my stuff up. This was considered a Gas & Go but was about four minutes long because of the incident. Nothing interesting happened until I arrived in St. Louis. The ride was going so well when I glanced down at the computer it read 17 miles to empty.
The famous Arch
Oh crap, I better get gas asap. I found a shell station next to the interstate. I pulled in and it looked like total confusion. People were everywhere. I briefly thought about finding another station but who knows how far up the road it would be. Once I finally got to an open pump after two attempts. I pumped my gas fast. I was rushing so much, I almost forgot to record my gallons and price. After getting gas I started looking for the St Louis Arch. I always wanted to see it in person. I finally got there and cruised a little around the riverfront. I also had an opportunity to practice my off road skills as there were cobblestones on some of the roads by the riverfront requiring me to stand on my foot pegs to better negotitate the terrain.
Cobble stone roads
I left the riverfront and crossed over the bridge into Illinois. There I picked up I-64. It was getting close to lunch time so I kinda started looking. I-64 briefly turns into I-55 before returning to I-64. On I-55 there were all sorts of eating places. I even saw a Fazolis and thought how nice it would be to have some of their spaghetti and bread sticks. I said I would wait until I return back to I-64. MISTAKE! I rode for 40+ miles and didn't see one food sign. I was getting desperate and asked the GPS for help. I saw a Ray Joe's restaurant off of the highway. I took the exit and went the required mile to the restaurant. What restaurant? There was no Ray Joe's that I could see.
Where I took my leg stretch after not finding Ray Joes
If it was there, it was in someones house. The gas station close to where the restaurant was supposed to be had signs on the tanks that said "no gas" I was not about to stop and ask where was Ray Joe's. I turned around and went back towards the interstate and stopped at an abandon building to stretch my legs. Lucky for me I carry life savers in my tank bag to snack on as I ride. Well I was snacking for real now. I returned to I-64 and went about two miles. Then I saw one of those familiar blue signs (Food, Lodging, Gas). The food sign said Chuck Wagon Charles. I thought - Chuck Wagon Charles it is. Like I really had a chose. I stopped at Chuck Wagon Charles for a leisurely lunch.
Fine dining at its best
I was making good time so there was no need to hurry. I even took my map in to see if I could push further than my original destination of Morehead, KY. Looking at the map, Huntington, WV was about another 110 miles further. I decided when I'm riding 500-600 miles a day, whats a 100 more miles. I figured I would get to Morehead, KY and refresh with a McDonalds sweet tea to tackle the last 110 miles. I had been jonesin for sweet tea since I started seeing McDonalds signs two days ago. While I was gearing up after that fabulous lunch (not), I was approached by a fella and his two daughters. Where ya from? Virginia I said
. What part? Woodbridge
I went to see Santa to tell him my kids have been good
Thats a long way. No shit
(my thoughts) yeah, you're right. Then a female truck driver approach. She must have been in her 60's. She was driving a big rig carrying heavy equipment. Is the food that good in there, she asked
. No, not really, I had a burger and fries, I figure they can't mess that up. Where ya going I asked. I'm going to drop my load (on the truck you guys) then heading back to Jessup
. (Jessup where, Maryland, Oklahoma, where?) Ok, drive safe. You too
. I hit I-64 and stopped again for gas along the way. This was a Gas & Go in under two minutes. I'm getting good now. I didn't stop anymore until I reach Morehead, KY. I stopped for that sweet tea I'd been jonesin for and enjoyed the cold a/c. Then Greg Roberts approaches. He is the manager of McDonalds. What kinda BMW ya riding?
RT1200. I used to ride one in Germany, its a half dirt bike
. (I'm thinking thats called a Enduro dude) but said yeah, I'm thoroughly enjoying mine. I used to ride it on the autobahn, I forgot what model but you can ride it on the dirt or the street
(its the GS model, don't you know anything - my thoughts) I didn't tell him the model. I didn't want to seem like a know it all and he was so excited telling me his story. As I mentioned before. When you are on a bike, people always want to talk. When I first pulled up to the McDonalds, I spotted a Redbox. I thought I would get a movie or catch a movie at the theater in WV. I grabbed Fast & Furious out of the Redbox just in case. I love Redbox because I can return it in VA. I got on my bike and gassed up. This way, in the morning I can hit the road and be good for at least 150 miles. I made it to Huntington safely and checked into a Days Inn this time. Now the Days Inn is a step up from Super 8 and Motel 6, they have an iron and ironing board in the room. I haven't ironed in 8 days and those who know me, know this was driving me crazy. I decided the movie theater was 6 miles up the road too far and looking at the company in dese here parts, I think I will stay in my room and enjoy Fast & Furious. Today ended with 701 miles and 11 hours in the saddle. I will rest well, get up when my body tells me and eat a good breakfast. I'm less than 500 miles from home now, so tomorrow will be a relatively short day.