"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

long, long weekend

I had a frustrating start to the week last week. My printer has not been working for several weeks and they can't seem to be able to ship me a new one because they are all on back order. Monday my work cell phone took a dump. I made the necessary calls to get a new one and was told it would be sent to me overnight and should be here Tuesday. Well Tuesday arrived and I got an email that the phone was delayed (surprise, surprise!!) and would not be here until Thursday. I already had Thursday and Friday off so I called my boss and took Wednesday off as well since I really couldn't do much and my equipment was falling apart around me.

Our plan was to ride the bike to Des Moines Iowa to attend Wing Ding which is the national GWRRA rally. We were traveling with 2 other bikes and our plan was to leave Wednesday afternoon. We met up with Fishers and Runions at the Mc Donalds parking lot here in Crawfordsville about 2pm and were on our way. The weather was great and the traffic was light. We had a nice ride to Peoria Illinois where we had reservations at the Paradice Casino Hotel. We checked in around 6:00 pm and immediately headed for the casino to eat dinner in the buffet. The food was just OK but we had a nice time sitting at the table swapping lies.
We all went into the casino and tried our luck. I did OK and Rudee and I came out $10 ahead.

Thursday morning we headed out onto the interstate again. The weather cooperated again and we had sunshine and comfortable temperatures. The Harley did great on the highway and we were very comfortable riding the longer distances and were pulling into our motel in Des Moines before we were really ready to stop.
We stayed at a very nice Holiday Inn that was about 4 miles from the convention center where the rally was taking place. As soon as we got checked in and unpacked we rode downtown and found the rally. Even though it was late afternoon we decided to go ahead and register and start walking through the rows and rows of vendors.
This rally is the biggest of all the GWRRA rallies and there were over 100 vendors here all set up in an air conditioned building.
We only shopped for about an hour but I bought a new open face helmet. Rudee wants to stick with the current flip face helmets we have or I would have gotten her one too. The flip face helmets are heavy and get hot in the warmer months. Since we got a helmet headset when we bought the Harley I put it in the new helmet so now I have a choice of flip face or the lighter open face.
Friday was our official "rally day". We arrived at 9am when the doors opened and didn't leave until they were almost ready to close. I made a few small purchases and as we were about to leave found a small booth that was selling prescription sunglasses. I stopped and talked to them awhile and ended up ordering a pair. They used a measuring device on my current glasses to get the prescription and they will order the lenses and put them in the frames I picked out then ship them to me. I will finally be able to wear some decent sunglasses and actually read my gauges and the GPS!
Friday evening we went to a local high school where they had several motorcycle drill teams competing. They were all very talented riders and it was fun to watch.
The high School was next to a park where they had a carnival set up for the locals to celebrate the 4th of July. We took the time to walk through the midway and Rudee and I shared an ice cream cone while we watched all the families enjoying the start to their holiday week end.
Saturday morning we checked out of the motel and started our trip home with Rob and Jany Runion (Fishers had to leave Friday to get back home). Since we didn't have to be home until Monday evening we decided to take stay off the interstates and take a more leisurely route.
Our first stop was in Knoxville Iowa at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum on the grounds of the Knoxville Speedway. We were their first customers of the day and if you are a race fan like I am the $6.00 admission was well worth it.
They have several cars and lots of memorabilia on display and we enjoyed spending time looking everything over. They invited us to stay for the races that were being held that evening but we had already made a reservation in Quincy Illinois for the night and decided we should keep on riding.
On the way to Quincy our route just happened to go by another river boat casino and of course we stopped in to play a little. We spent about an hour playing the slots but our good luck from earlier in the week had worn off :-( and we didn't win anything.
Rob called his Dad who used to work around Quincy and he recommended a restaurant to us that overlooked the river. We arrived at the Pier Restaurant and got a nice table overlooking the Mississippi right as the sun was starting to set. We all enjoyed our various dinners. Rudee and I had a seafood casserole that was quite good and Jany had a steak that look yummy. Rob decided to have a shrimp appetizer dish for his meal.
Back at the motel we all spent some time in their hot tub before turning in for the night.
Sunday morning we were all going to meet up in the lobby for breakfast but Jany called and told us that Rob had been sick all night. I guess the shrimp he had for supper didn't stick around with him too long.
We ended up spending most of the morning hanging around the motel letting Rob get some rest. He emerged from their room around 11:00 and said he was feeling better so we hit the road again.
Our next stop was just a short ride to Springfield Illinois. We had reservations at a Hilton Hotel which ended up being an extremely nice 26 story hotel in the heart of downtown. We were on the 15th floor and had a great view out of our window where we enjoyed watching fireworks later that night.
Rob was not feeling well again so we left him to rest in their room and Rudee and I went to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library. The museum was interesting and had some neat memorabilia from the Lincoln's time in the white house. We spent about an hour and a half there before we got a call from Jany that Rob was up and ready to go again so we met up with them and went to the Lincoln home site.
The entire neighborhood where the Lincoln's lived is a National Historic Site and has been restored to look like it did back in the 1850's. There is a visitors center that was just closing when we got there but that didn't stop us from enjoying a walk through the streets checking out the houses.
We also took a short ride checking out the streets of Springfield before heading back to the hotel for the night.
Monday Rob was back to his old self but he was in no hurry to eat shrimp again :-).
We followed US 36 east all the way back into Indiana arriving home about 3pm.
We both enjoyed our short trip and were glad that we and our friends all got home safe.
No big plans this week except to try and catch up with work that we missed by being off. I'm sure we'll squeeze in a ride or two though. I'll keep you posted.

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