Blue skies across Iowa

The Holiday Inn Express at Galesburg appears to be almost brand new.  Everything in the place is clean and doesn’t look used up.  We got up early and hit the fitness center around 6:30. We were the only ones in there and it felt good to get my 30 minutes on the elliptical out of the way.  I always weigh the options of hotel workouts because it forces me to deal with sweaty clothes mixed in to the limited space I have on the bike (now trike).  For once, the “lay them on the air conditioner” trick actually work and the workout clothes were good enough to pack in with the tool kit.  (They are still banished from being in with the clean clothes in the luggage.)

We headed out about 9:30 under still gray skies. We stopped for gas then a train and left Galesburg.  The plan for the day was to “stair step” our way north and west to Mankato, Minnesota.  There wasn’t a lot to report about as we made our way through Illinois.  By the time we hit the Iowa state line (about noon) we started seeing patches of blue and when we stopped for lunch at Vinton, IA the clouds were totally gone.   Lunch at the “Vinton Family Restaurant” was made better by our funny server (Danielle) who we teased and she gave as good as she got.

Even the cornfields of Iowa look better under bright blue skies and we cruised through the state on too many different roads to keep track of.  I remember Highway 218. It was almost an interstate – 4 lanes, divided then you would come across a driveway to someones barn.   I can’t imagine pulling out of that driveway on a tractor with crazy bikers going by at 70 mph.

We crossed into Minnesota and followed 61 around Albert Lea then hit 13 and finally 14 to get to Mankota.  It’s another Holiday Inn Express and more importantly there was an Applebee’s within walking distance.  The food was normal Applebee’s fare and we were hungry.

I have to admit that I have forgotten to pack the USB cord for the camera. As a result there is no way for me to include pictures in the blog.  There wasn’t   much to take pictures of today anyway.  All we did was put miles on the trike – about 375.

That puts us over 700 miles for two day’s riding.  The trike is getting about 35 MPG no matter what the riding style is  Its not the mileage I’m used to getting on the bike so I’ll have to pay close attention to gas stops tomorrow.  I expect several stations to be closed for the holiday.  We’ll finish off Minnesota and get half way across South Dakota on US-14.  I’ve been out here multiple times but haven’t been across this way.  It means we will bypass the famous World’s Only Corn Palace, Wall Drug, and even Sturgis but we’ll be seeing new sites.  With any luck I’ll find the right cord and be able to share some of what we see.

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