I've Been Everywhere Tour

Ride Number 2

In which we ride 950 miles, pickup eight locations and get soaking wet.


If you don't know what the I've Been Everywhere Tour is all about, go here to check it out.


Will Outlaw, ring leader extraordinaire, decided that it was time for another IBET run, so he sent out an Email to several persons, including myself, suggesting a run down into Iowa for collection of 13 possible locations.

My ever-wonderful wife consented to my taking off for a couple of days and so away we went. The plan was to meet at Leo's South in Lakeville by 1800 on Friday, June 9th for an 1815 departure. If you weren't there by 1815, forget about it. I got to Leo's at about 1755 to see Will, Gus Breiland and Aaron Neal waiting. Supposedly, Sev Pearman was going to be joining us, but he never showed up. Where were you Sev?

We all stood around and gabbed until 1815 showed up and Sev didn't. So we saddled up and headed to Iowa. (I had borrowed a digital camera, but forgot to take a starting photo. Sorry.)

I-35 sucks. There is nothing that I enjoy more than blasting down the interstate, getting blown around by large semi-trucks. NOT! Oh well, it was the easiest way to get where we were going, I guess.

We headed into Iowa and stopped for gas in (?). While the others were filling up, I just noodled around. (I have Eddie James' old bike that holds 11.5 gallons. It's pretty cool to have a cruising range of 500+ miles on a bike…) We stood around and gabbed (not making great time here, oh well.) I decided that I was feeling a bit peckish and grabbed a taco at the Taco Johns in the filling station. This has to be the slowest fast food restaurant I have ever been in. Sheesh. I scarfed down the taco and we hit it again.


Police Station, Parkersburg, IA. At night.

That's my bike on the sidewalk. The others are off to the right providing the illumination.

(Click the image for a larger version.)

Parkersburg, IA.

Smalltown USA indeed. The police department is half of a two-room building and was closed when we got there at about 2200. Nobody seemed to care at all that we had my motorcycle parked on the sidewalk in front of the building and were shining the lights of the other bikes on it. Many locals drove past repeatedly on their bikes and the local cop even cruised past twice, but only one guy stopped to see if we needed any help. Strange.

We messed about taking pictures for at least 20 minutes. After we all got an acceptable photo, off we go. Will lead us a merry chase through Cedar Falls and into Waterloo. We thought he was lost (maybe he was,) but we finally found a motel across the street from a bar (our main criteria.)

We checked in at about 2330 and crossed the road for a drink or two. After a few beers, we went across the street to Perkins for a bite to eat. (They wouldn't open the kitchen at the bar for us.)

We decide that we should leave at about 0730 tomorrow, so we head off to bed. In bed at 0100. Set the alarm for 0600 for a shower and a bite to eat. Wake up about 0215 and can't figure out where in the hell I am. The I remember and go back to sleep.

0600 rolls around way too early, as usual. Up, shower, and discover Gus watching European Semi-Truck racing on the tube. What a hoot. Gus and I go over to Perkies for a bite to eat and are soon joined by Will and Aaron.

We actually manage to hit the road pretty close to 0730 and away we go.

Here we are preparing to depart from the hotel.

That's my blue bike on the left with Gus behind it and Will on the right with his GS.

(Click on the image...)


Post Office, Waterloo, IA. Early morning.
(Polaroid)

Will's bike, Aaron's bike, my bike, Gus' bike.
(Who let that cage get into the picture?)

(Click for big.)

Same as above, better picture.

That's Gus in the red.

(Click 'em if ya got 'em)

Waterloo, IA

Will lead us a merry chase into Waterloo to find the Post Office. This included Will riding down the wrong side of the street and getting yelled at by a pedestrian, (he says he thought it was a one-way street,) and then turning the wrong way down the one-way street in front of the Post Office.

Good thing it was early in the morning with almost no traffic.


City Limits sign, Toronto, IA.

That's Gus on the left in red and Aaron in the center. My bike on the left and Will's on the right.

(You know.)

Toronto, IA

And I thought Parkersburg was small. We head into Toronto and see no city limits sign. So down the main street we go. I see what looks like it used to be the post office, a building with gilt lettering on the window that says "Toronto, IA" but Will says that it won't do. Aaron asks some locals who tell him there is no post office and they don't think that there is a city limits sign either.

We are heading out of town when one of us notices a city limits sign! Hot damn. The sign is old and rusty, but still legible. In addition to that, there are two pieces of duck tape on the post -- spaced about an IBET towel apart! Wonder who was here before us...

Toronto, IA City Limits. Better Picture.

Gus in the Red, Will in the gray.

This park is named "Walnut Grove".

I just had to take a picture for Eddie.

We all take pictures and generally mess about. I'm sure the locals thought we were crazy.

Across the road, there is a park named "Walnut Grove". I wonder if Eddie James knows about this?

To get to Toronto, we headed into a town named Wheatland and then turned up a county road that lead to Toronto. I don't know if any of the others noticed it, but the road was named "Toronto St." I thought it was amusing anyway.

The map in my StreetPilot GPS seems to be a little off. While we were in Toronto, it was indicating that we were about 6.5 miles due West of there. Maybe they moved the town?

The solid triangle is where the GPS thinks we are. The white pointer is where the GPS thinks Toronto is. In the upper left, it indicates 6.3 miles to Toronto.

 

Toronto, IA

Will managed to break the key off in one of his bags. (Don't ask me how.) We spend a little while trying to figure out how to get it open again.

Guess it's not such a bad idea to carry spare keys along, eh Will?

 


Davenport, IA.
(Polaroid)

Will's bike, my bike, Aaron's mirror.

Better picture.

That's Aaron on the left and Will on the right. Aaron's bike is doing the burger pod thing.

Davenport, IA

What can I say about Davenport. We didn't feel like driving into town to find a Post Office or Police department, so we stopped here and took our pictures.


Columbus Junction, IA

Not an IBET location, but a good place to stop for lunch. Right on the main street there is a Mexican grocery store/cafe named La Reyna that has some of the best homemade salsa and really good, big burritos!

Also, we saw this silly car.

This is a Shriner Circus car. Pretty Silly.

This is the Washington, IA Post Office. The lettering is really, really tiny. I hope the rally masters can read it.

Washington, IA

The sign on the Post Office in Washington, IA has about one inch lettering. I think we all took two photos and I don't know if the Rally Masters are going to be able to read mine.

Oh well. The ride is the thing, right?


 

Unknown, IA

Here is Aaron doing his impression of a Yuppie BMW Biker.

He's holding a Starbuck's Frappachino.

What a yupster.

 


Pittsburgh, IA

This building and the Cemetery were the only ones with any type of sign.

Pittsburgh, IA - BUST

There is a town here, just no city limits sign, no Post Office and no Police Department.

There is this nice old general store (closed) and a well marked Cemetery. There were a few houses, with people. But as an IBET location, it's a bust.


Charleston, IA
(Polaroid)

Will's bike, Gus's bike.
(Don't know if you can see it, but I am saluting the Rally Masters.)

Better picture.

Gus in red, Aaron in T-shirt.

Charleston, IA

We thought this one was a bust. We got to Charleston and there was no sign on the road we came in on. We buzzed up and down the road, no sign. We drove through the town and around. No sign. We asked a local, "Nope, we got a water tower, but no sign."

Well, we learned our lesson about asking the locals in Toronto. Will buzzed down a different road and found a sign! Just goes to show, even the locals don't know what's what.

These kids thought it was pretty cool that we were sitting on the road by their house on motorcycles.

Mom inside didn't seem so sure though.


Monterey, IA - BUST

What's the quote? "There's no there, there." That about sums up Monterey, IA. Will led us down a bunch of gravel road to the middle of nowhere. It felt as if we were in the middle of someone's farm.

Well, we putzed about and then headed on our way. I'm sure the locals thought we were crazy.

"Are you sure this is Monterey?" The only thing close to a city limits sign we could find.

Oskaloosa, IA
(Polaroid)

Gus holds my sign behind Will's GS.

In the ditch in true TeamStrange fashion.

Oskaloosa, IA
(Better Picture)

Arron on the left, Will in the center, Gus on the right.

 

Osakaloosa, IA

At Oskaloosa, Will drove his GS into the ditch next to the sign in true TeamStrange fashion. Then we had to find something to put under the kickstand to keep it from sinking into the soggy mud...


Knoxville, IA
(Polaroid)

Gus is attaching his flag to the door of the Post Office.

Knoxville, IA
(Better Picture)

Gus on the left, Arron in the middle and Will on the right.

Knoxville, IA

What's to say? We found the Post Office and took our photos. Then we had a discussion about dinner, gas, etc. We decided that we would stop at the next place that looked good. I was elected to lead and not three blocks later, I stopped at the Main Street Cafe.

The Main Street Cafe in beautiful Knoxville, IA.

Good food (really!) and very friendly people.

We ate a very good meal. The people were very friendly and we talked about bikes with them for quite a while. By the time we were done, it was almost 2100 hours. Getting kind of late and we have many miles to go. So we hit it.

Next stop, Des Moines.

We stop for gas in Des Moines and generally noodle around. We are all pretty fatigued and getting slap happy. We finally hit the road again and head for home.

I am enjoying leading and watching the amazing lightning storm that is miles ahead of us, but not really looking forward to what will happen when we run into it.

Which of course we do.

It was pretty amazing. We were driving along the road, no rain at all, watching the approaching storm when all of a sudden someone started dumping buckets of water on my head. We went from no rain to frog-strangler in about 10 feet.

Of course all the cagers in front of us immediately start slowing way down. So we end up driving about 30 MPH in an absolute downpour. Lots of pretty close lightning is starting to make me pretty nervous, so I'm happy when we finally reach an overpass we can stop in.

It's really dark. It's really raining. Lots of lightning. We all climb up the embankment under the road and sit and wait for the storm to slow down.

There is one stroke of lightning that feels like it's right here. Everyone is happy that we stopped.

After a while, it slows down enough that we feel we should push on. I take the lead again and away we go. It seems as if we are riding into the storm again as we hit another patch of downpour. I am riding with my faceshield cracked open to avoid fogging when all of a sudden mist coats my glasses and I can't see very well at all.

I manage to lead us off the freeway to a gas station. Everyone wonders why we stopped again. I explain and we stand around waiting for the rain to let up a little more.

It turns out that we had stopped at Boondocks, USA. A perennial TeamStrange bonus location. I had never been there before, but now I can say I have.

There was a guy there on a Harley with a small windshield and an open-face helmet waiting out the storm. We chatted for a while, and I think we all felt sorry for him.

After a little while, we hit it again. After about 5 miles, the rain stopped and on we went. We stopped in Albert Lea for gas and again at the rest stop about 60 miles out of the cities because I had to pee.

Finally pulled into my driveway at about 0400 Sunday morning. Sheesh.

Final Tally.

950 Miles. 24 hours, 48 minutes.

Not including the sleeping time at Waterloo, we only spent about half of our time moving.

Gonna have to do better than that in the Minnesota 2000!


Copyright 2000 - Timothy W. Foreman - timf@anansi-web.com

last updated: 17 June, 2000
URL: http://www.anansi-web.com/~timf/cycles/ibet2.html