“Abundant sunshine, with a high of 59 degrees…”
Sweet. I was hoping for a road trip to spend my birthday weekend, but was happy to at least have one day. The plan was our favorite: none. Head out and see where we end up. I was looking forward to this all week and when the sunlight beamed in our bedroom window on Sunday, I was ready to go. I prepared a crockpot of chili ready to simmer for that evening’s dinner, we suited up for the brisk morning ride and we were off.
Even cooler was the announcement in our church bulletin that morning that a small group is forming for “bikers”. A meeting is planned for May 16th and it will be interesting to find out just how many in our congregation ride, and what the upcoming season holds for this newly forming group.
From church we took our normal route out of the “city” as we know it: 275 south to 94 west to 23 south to US 12 west. We figured we’d take this familiar path and branch out from there. Soon we were heading west into the Irish Hills area and what I call rural awesomeness, our day just beginning.
We passed through Saline, Clinton, and stopped in Moscow at the Old Highway Market for bottled water, which would become my first annoyance of the day. I have a chrome beverage holder clamped to my handlebar, and soon found that stuffing a too tall water bottle causes it to flop over. I cruised along, continually moving it back into place as it kept falling over and hitting the volume dial for my speaker system.. Argh!! Our next stop was Saucy Dogs in Jonesville, one of our favorite haunts. I checked in on Foursquare and Facebook, only to find that some friends had just checked in at Artesian Wells in Cement City, another popular spot we’d just passed, several miles earlier. Kind of funny, since I’d recently written two guest blog posts on staying connected via social media on the road, one for the Yaffe Tidbits blog and one for Verizon Wireless Midwest.
Lunch at Saucy Dogs was fabulous, as usual, and Bill and I shared laughs and we were back out into the day, which was becoming cloudy. Bill mentioned perhaps trying the “Snyder Method”, aka riding helmetless. He ended up deciding against it, however, and we continued on down the road.
With less than 90 days to our annual South Dakota trip, our thoughts are there just about all the time. But, seeing four buffalo in a field could not have been more of a surprise. We parked the bikes at Trophy Amish Cabins and walked down the shoulder to the pasture of buffalo. There were four bulls, and they stayed far from the road. I knew there was a reason I’d brought my 70-200mm zoom lens.
Returning to the bikes, we took a look at the model cabins, and found one to be left open for visitors to check out. Our dream home is a log cabin, and with 80 acres in South Dakota, we’ve often thought of a small pre-fab to start with.
We continued through Allen and Quincy, passing a horse drawn wagon carrying an Amish family, waiting to turn out onto US12. Bill nodded to them, and a little boy in the wagon nodded back, his very large, wide brimmed hat emphasizing his nod. Too cool..
Our last stop of the day was Sturgis, out past Coldwater. We were ready to go further, but it was 5pm on a Sunday, and we were 130 miles from home. Again, I was grateful for my heated gear, but the temps were dropping and my DH had not yet made the investment in electrics. After this shot, we headed back the way we came.
My second annoyance of the day was the difference in temperature from my heated jacket liner and glove liners. Plugged into the sleeves of the jacket, the gloves got hot enough to burn my knuckles when I dialed it up enough so that the jacket was just warm enough. I continually turned it up and down as the gloves got too warm. I have another set of wires and a dual controller, so on my next jaunt, I’ll be plugging in separately. Although, hopefully this is last time I need heated gear for a while.
The sun set behind us heading east on 94, on this now abundantly CLOUDY day, but it was yet another ride and another day of memories made. We pulled into our driveway and my odometer clocked exactly 260 miles. Note to self: 12 hours on low is WAY too long for chili!