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June 18th 2019
Published: June 19th 2019
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I’m BACK.........On the road again!!!!

I fell behind on my last night in NOLA because I had forgotten how early I had scheduled my flight to Spokane on the 13th. Good friends of ours “the Wheelers” invited us to their son’s wedding in Couer D’ Alene Idaho. The wedding fell right in the middle of my ride so I scheduled it into the ride. My flight took off at 6:00 AM and I changed planes in Dallas in route to Spokane. My wife, Son, Daughter, my Daughter-in-Law and my daughters boyfriend all flew from Milwaukee and met me in Spokane. While it sounds like a simple thing - making the arrangements during a bike ride to leave your bike and fly elsewhere takes some coordination. I had to make sure my bike was secure until I returned 4 days later. I had to make hotel arrangements for my return to NOLA and check out of my room, I also had to decide what to keep on my bike, what to check at the hotel, what to bring with me, and what to ask my wife to bring from home. The alarm went off at 3:30 AM and the cab picked me up at 4:15. I got in to Spokane about 2 1/2 hours before Karen and kids so I picked up our rental car and headed in to Spokane for breakfast at Dolly’s - a little but wonderful breakfast place in Spokane.

We stayed at the famous Couer D’ Alene Resort on lake Couer D’ Alene in Idaho. The weather was absolutely outstanding the entire 4 days we were there. The wedding setting on the lake outside is hard to beat for a more beautiful sight to exchange vows. I've included a number of pics in the extra pictures section if your interested in seeing the beauty of CDA. Sunday morning we all crammed back into the SUV and headed back to Spokane Airport after a fantastic stay in CDA and a visit to our Friend Ron and Heidi Stanley's place on Hayden Lake. I was supposed to fly from Spokane to Salt Lake City then on to NOLA. But I missed my connection due to the late arrival of the plane out of Spokane so I ended up flying to LAX from Salt Lake City then from LAX to NOLA- I didn't get into New Orleans until 11:30 PM on Sunday.

If I hadn't had a commitment in St. Louis I would have stayed another night in NOLA but since I needed to be in St. Louis by Tuesday afternoon I hit the dusty trail around 10:00 from NOLA. (My apologies to the couple from London and Phoenix that I met in NOLA - I ran out of time and wasn't able to update my blog). The guys at the Marriott Courtyard did a great job of taking care of my bike for me so I was ready to go Monday morning. The first hour of so out of NOLA the weather was overcast but dry. I once again was to stubborn to put on my heavy rain gear and went with my light gear - the rain I hit on my way to Memphis was anything but light. Unlike other days the temp didn't heat up enough for the sun come out to dry me off. By the time I reached the downtown Memphis Courtyard I was downright soggy! The last time I was in Memphis on my bike I stayed on Beal Street so I decided to stay downtown and try out other parts of town. I settled on a visit to the Celtic Crossing Irish pub for dinner and a Guinness test. Nice place with a solid 9.0 Guinness and excellent scotch eggs.

The next morning I hit the road about 10:15 hoping to not repeat yesterday's bath. First 70 miles were overcast but once again I had to decide on whether to don my light rain gear or my heavy gear.... and once I again .... I chose poorly... Some of you may be wondering why I'm so stubborn about not putting on the heavy gear. It requires me to take off my boots to put on the jump suit that makes up my heavy rain gear and when it stops raining it gets very hot in the heavy vinyl jumpsuit. It is also very difficult to get on and off so once you put it on - you generally leave it on. After about an hour of fairly heavy rain and a good soaking in my light gear the sun came out for the second half and I actually was dry by the time I pulled into the Courtyard St. Louis. Had dinner with some friends at the Bristol Seafood restaurant - which was excellent. This is my third St. Louis stop on my bike so I'm not sure if I'll extend my stay a day here or continue my trek North tomorrow. I passed a little nostalgia about 25 miles south of St. Louis when I saw the exit for Farmington, MO. Farmington is where I picked up my first touring bike in 2009 (BMW K1200 LT), I picked it up around noon and road it home to Wisconsin that same day. I'm at about 2,750 miles for the trip thus far and with the addition of the side trip out West and the plane rides I've added the states of Washington, Idaho, Utah, and California to the other 17 I've driven in so far. Depending on my route home I may have only one state left to add IL. but that would be 22 of the 48 contiguous states hit on this trip. (more pictures below).

Additional photos below
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