We went from 65 degrees yesterday to 95 today. It was hot. As a result, we took several breaks for fluids and took exactly zero pictures. We had a pretty simple route today – US30 across Iowa and Nebraska then NE – 2 to our nights destination, Broken Bow, NE. BB may seem like a small out of the way town but they have a great hotel here. The Arrow hotel is really a gem. The rooms are actually fully equipped apartments. They have a small number of rooms but they have a great restaurant and bar on the ground floor. Part of the reason for pushing hard to get here was to have a nice dinner at the hotel restaurant. We made it at 7:30 with the kitchen scheduled to shut down at 8:00. This hotel is an old downtown hotel and for an extra few dollars you can rent a garage. It is really a relief to not have the bike parked on a downtown street all night. So after dinner, we agreed on a morning departure plan, said goodnight to our friends and closed the door. Showers were taken and now we’re unwinding with TV (me) and book (Jana). The sights along the route today were pretty common for us Midwesterners. (If you want pictures of corn – see yesterday’s post.) It’s been hard for me to get in vacation mode on this trip. You know the feeling where everything you worry about on a daily basis is buried in your head deep enough that you relax and enjoy the journey. That started for me today. We’re now over 1,000 miles from home. The GPS said we rolled 372 today. Tomorrow is slightly more but the speed limits get higher and distances are easier to cover. The weather looks promising (if you believe the forecasters) with highs in the mid 80’s and some clouds. Two wheeling will be great. There will be pictures tomorrow I promise.
I almost forgot to mention the trains. There are a lot of them. These are huge long trains full of coal and other stuff (mostly coal). In the afternoon, Jana and I counted 32 trains (funny what you do to keep you mind occupied). I love the things that keep this country running. Things that people don’t think about very often. These trains run 7 days a week and the coal they deliver keeps many factories and power plants operating. Hard working people make this country go. Anyway the train tracks run very close to the highways. As we approached a train, I would lay on the horn of the Harley and Jana would wave to the engineer. More often than not we would get a quick toot-toot from the engineer in response. I’m not sure whether it was the horn from the bike or the wave and smile from the pretty girl on the back seat but we were getting an acknowledgement that our paths were crossing. It reminded me that in the midwest, it’s just being friendly and very normal if you wave or say a quick “good morning” to people you pass. Even if the people you are passing are pulling millions of tons of coal.