The Final Day on the River

What a beautiful day to ride along the great Mississippi. Unfortunately this will be our last day enjoying the gentle curves and rolling hills of the Great River Road. Last night some storms moved through the area of Dubuque, Iowa where we stopped for the night. By 5:00 AM the storms were gone and only some humidity remained. The temperature was in the low 70’s. So we were looking forward to a good riding start to the day. We were warned that storms were everywhere along our route. But the weather appeared to be clearing pretty quickly.

As usual, the first order of business is to find something for breakfast. Also as usual, it was nice to put a few miles under our belts before stopping. Mason has been doing all of the heavy lifting of the trip plan. That lets me sit back and enjoy the ride. The spot he had planned for breakfast was right on the river. Richman’s Cafe was great – I would be proud to sit at the Liar’s Club table in this place but it appeared that there was a long waiting list to sit at the big table. (One small disservice to Liar’s Clubs everywhere, the big table here is square. I think by declaration they are supposed to be round.) It appeared to me that Romeo was the president of this chapter. At least his shirt said he was ROMEO.

We sat as close to them as we could so we could soak up any wisdom that might be thrown around.

Across the street from the cafe was a nice green space created by the town of Bellevue, IA. It was so inviting. There was a gentle breeze blowing in from the river. I felt a strong urge to sit on someone’s unused porch chairs and watch the world go by for a while.

We tore ourselves away from the city park and hit the Great River Road for the last time on our trip. The road led us to Le Claire, IA. When we stopped for gas, there was a familiar looking business right next door to the station.

We had no room for any items that may have been for sale so we passed up a chance to walk through the collection.

Soon it was time to turn away from the river and head more south-east toward Indiana. I had several reminders today of why I try to avoid big cities (or not so big cities) any time I can. There were no repeats of Mason’s orange barrel incident from the other day but there were some interesting things. I’ll just leave it there.

I’m not sure how or why we didn’t get wet today. We rode a leisurely pace until it was clear we need to get to the hotel before the rain really moved in. We jumped onto I-74 then I-55 for the final few miles into Bloomington, IL.

The barely visible green line is our route.

Tomorrow, Mason and I will travel together for a good part of the day until we each take our separate way to our homes and loved ones. The trip has been a great experience for me. Mason planned the routes after day 5 and made all of the hotel reservations. The weather was incredible. Who would have thought we could go 9 days without hitting any rain in the upper midwest. The motorcycles worked perfectly. The headsets —– well, there is still some learning to do. Mason has been posting a lot of photos and his thoughts about the trip on FaceBook. I plan to see what video I might have captured once I get home so there may be some additions to this blog or maybe even a YouTube vid.

As usual, there won’t be a blog entry tomorrow. Very few pictures will be taken as we cover very familiar territory. Thanks once again for reading my ramblings. Happy Father’s Day weekend to all.

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