Monday, September 27, 2010

It's been one week since you looked at me, cocked your head to the side and said...

The room i had last night was a hell of a lot better than the room i have now... more on that later.
Even though it was a great room, i slept like crap. i didn't sleep enough.

i look like i feel.  the beard is coming along nicely, albeit a bit too grey for my liking.  it's not past the itchy phase though.
The room was freezing when i got up.  I checked outside and wouldn't you know it. rain. I went out to bike to get the rain gear out and poor Simeon was soaked. better him than me.  It was at this time i noticed that i didn't lock either of the side cases on the bike. hah. no harm, no foul.

 I figured I'd need a ton of energy today to deal with the wet and the cold. Luckily breakfast was included with the room. In addition to the usual continental, they offered eggs, sausage and cereals. You could also make your own waffles. nice.

I ate some eggs sausage and a little biscuit... smothered in gravy.

delicious. coffee wasn't half bad.  (that means it wasn't half good)

 The rain was just a drizzle at most, but it was still very cold.  I opted to leave the liner in the jacket, no liner in the pants, but put the rain pants on to cut the wind.  It worked out quite well. 
I rode into St Louis and was almost immediately pissed off.  Stupid construction and one ways. detour after detour. I finally made it to the Arch, the reason for going into St Louis. I knew it was big, but when you're at the steps in front of it by the waterfront, it's huge. massive. real big.
the camera is pointing almost straight up.  best shot i could take
waterfront in front of the arch.
I decided to not go looking intently for route 66, but instead search for a Starbucks.  damn it's hard to find one down here.  I'm so used to having a Tim Horton's in every town that has more than 2000 people that i find it hard to believe it should be hard to find good coffee in a city that has a population of almost 3 million people.  St Louis is the 15th largest city in the USA. unreal. no coffee.  WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE.  I think Tim Horton's should start thinking global.

Not a fan of baseball (or the cardinals) but what the hell, i was at a stoplight.
It's quite an interesting city, one which i'd love to explore one day.  I rode around looking for a Starbucks, and took a few shots while i kept looking for different locations.  Every single one i went to, didn't exist.  i guess i should have bought the new maps for the GPS.
A neat park with a jumbo TV, of which a camera is pointing at passing people. neato.  the park was filled with sculptures of all sorts.  didn't want to waste time as i needed coffee bad.
i know it doesn't make sense, but i was reminded of Ghostbusters. go figure.
I kept riding to different locations that the GPS said there was to be a Starbucks. I finally found one, and lo and behold, it was on Route 66. Funny how when you aren't looking for something, you keep finding it.  This keeps happening to me in life.  I guess you could say I'm lucky... but you need to remember there is good and bad luck.  I have both.

example of luck today.  Driving down I44 to pick up route 66, a truck about 100 yards in front of me looses a little bit of rubber.  then a lot of smoke.  i hit the brakes hard...  The tire proceeded to lose large chunks of rubber as the tire disintergrated in front of my eyes. I kept weaving around all the chunks of rubber for fear of getting a puncture from the steel belt.  I finally passed the truck (which kept driving along)  and was hoping a piece wouldn't come flying at me.  non did, luckily.

I followed Route 66 and found this:
In the town Pacific, the bluffs behind me were pictured in an old postcard that was popular back in the '50s.

I hit the Meramec caves, which you can do a tour of the cave or zip line across a river. This is where Jesse James hid out and was under siege at one point.  He got away that time.

I entered and went right to the gift shop.  I knew that they would have some form of stickers for the bike.  heh. jackpot.  picked up some route 66 and Missouri state stickers.
I walked over to the cave entrance to see if i could take a quick tour.  $20 bucks takes you on an hour and a half tour of the caves.  I would have loved to do it, but i couldn't afford the time. if you're in the area, i suggest you go check it out.
Meramec also has a campground, motel and full restaurant (fast food).  also nearby is the jesse james wax museum and an antique Toy museum. I wanted to see the toy museum, but it was closed. sundays suck

Again, route 66 was boring as hell, so i just kept popping on the interstate.
Cuba, MO has many murals such as this.  This is the part of route 66 that didn't suck.

Worlds largest rocking chair in Fanning, MO
That part of the 66 was short, but a good ride. I got off the interstate and decided to check out this 'Steak and Shake' place i kept seeing all over.

It reminds me of a 50's burger joint without bing cheesy.  Short menu, smallish portions, but it was dirt cheap.

I got the double cheese burger platter and a coffee.
The only reason it cost so much ($5.90) is because of the $1.50 coffee. heh. cheap and tasty.

I stayed on the interstate, heading towards Springfield.  This is where i almost died.  seriously.
The winds had been picking up, with more gusts, but still not a real issue.

I was being buffeted very badly by a truck in front of me and decided to pass it.  Right as i was passing it, the bike became very unstable and started a high speed wobble and it was intensifying.  This is the scariest thing to happen as you have NO control over the wobble.  I have no clue if you can stop a high speed wobble.
I did the only thing that came to mind, throttle completely off, then open the throttle wide open. the wobble finially died down and my nerves were shot.

I couldn't find a starbucks in town (Lebanon, MO) so i hit up a McDicks for their crap coffee and free Wif.
The sky was getting darker by the minute and didn't like the looks of it.

I bolted and needed to start searching for a home for the night.  I found a place on probably the busiest intersections in town. hah.  in total, $41/ night.
it's not much to write home about, but it's cheap, comfortable and has wifi.

It even  came with a friend

Tomorrow... maybe find a laundromat... something died in my bags...

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