“Let’s take off – we’ll fight ’em in the air”

Phil - Ready to roll

Phil – Ready to roll

Patriotic in Piqua

Patriotic in Piqua

Steve's Dakota Grill - across the Lowe's parking lot

Steve’s Dakota Grill – across the Lowe’s parking lot

Eyeing our chicken dinner

Eyeing our chicken dinner

The girls are in our hearts.

The girls are in our hearts.

“Iron Eagle” was a movie from the mid-80’s.  During one intense scene the jet fighters were sitting on the ground as the enemy was swooping in to destroy the runway.  One of the characters (Lou Gossett?) said the only line I remember from the movie “Let’s take off – we’ll fight ’em in the air”.  Jana and I had some last minute stuff to take care of at home.  We did all those little chores with one eye on the weather radar.  The big debate was to wait it out at home or hit the road to try to get ahead of the rain that was undoubtedly going to fall.  The weather at home was already bad  – a heavy mist with an occasional shower to make it all complete.  The temperature was hovering around 65 degrees.  Lovely weather for motorcycling (not).

It got to be time for lunch and we agreed to make a decision right after we ate.  The real rain was gaining ground as it was soaking Indy.  It was going to be a long wait for the situation to improve.

Patience is not one of my real strengths and both of us were getting anxious.  I considered calling it a day and cancelling the hotel for tonight.  That would put us in for a long day on Saturday but that’s preferable to wearing the infamous rubber suit.  How bad could it get?  “Let’s hit it.”

The scramble was on and the last minute stuff was thrown onto the bike including Phil our mascot.  We took the obligatory selfies and fired up the bike.  Off we went.  Who knows what essential items were left behind in the haste to “fight ’em from the air”.

The first day’s travels were over very familiar roads – US 36 east to Ohio 4 then north to Marion, Ohio.  Not a great distance (160 miles or so).  I had laid out the entire trip to start on Saturday then figured out we could leave on Friday so I split the distance and reserved a motel in the middle of Ohio.

Rain was all around us most of the day and some of the rain clouds made strafing runs as we were moving.  Just like in the movie the bad guys (weather) were no match for a Harley running somewhat beyond the speed limit.  I got so confident that we stopped at Piqua, Ohio to get some coffee at Tim Horton’s.  The storm also appeared to be exceeding the 55 MPH limit.  We sat for about 45 minutes and finally noticed that the rain was really getting close.  Back on the bike we went.

There was a gap in the clouds that held some promise if we could just get to it.  Somehow we ended up timing it perfectly when we turned north on 4.  We ran between the trailing edge of one shower and the leading edge of the next one.  The gap between them was 15 to 20 miles according to the radar.

We did get damp but I was afraid to stop for the rain suits.  I was really relieved when we pulled in to the hotel lot with dry clothes.  The hotel location caught me by surprise – you literally have to drive through the Lowe’s parking lot to get to the place.

Lunch had been eaten at home and dinner was across the Lowe’s parking lot to Steve’s Dakota Grill.  Food was ok – so was the service – neither was great.  By the time we walked back across to the hotel two other bikes had parked near ours.  We tried to engage in conversation but the two guys weren’t really interested in talking (they are from Chicago).  They did say they were here for Vintage Motorcycle days which is going on near Columbus this weekend.  That might be fun but we’re headed east not south.

I’m trying not to watch the 7 day forecast on TV -it doesn’t look promising.  Tomorrow looks like it is going to be sunny and 80.  I choose not to look beyond that.

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