07 NE, IA Run

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North America » United States » Missouri
October 30th 2007
Published: October 31st 2007
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I had been wanting to make a run up to NE and IA this year. For the last couple years I have made a triangle, leaving KC heading up I-35 to IA cutting across IA on some of their highways to I-29 (NE) and coming back home. On the way I usually run by John Wayne’s birthplace in Winterset IA, this is located in the middle of all the bridges that were made famous by the movie ‘Covered Bridges of Madison County’. There is also an ‘I’ county (Iron I think), I counties are not found too easily so usually I use this one for my ABC’s. Anyway this year I am a little late with my run and because I am becoming less eager to ride in the cold I shortened that route so I could leave after the sun had been up and the day had started to warm up. I get a chill so easily anymore. Any temp below 80F and I need to have a jacket on when I ride. We are having temps that are about 10 degrees above average so I decided I had better make my trip now if I was going to do it. Last night I plotted a route looking for both ABC points that I am lacking and any Road Kill Safari towns that might be in the area. I wanted to be back by dark and as I said I didn’t want to travel in the early morning so it needed to be a pretty short route. I decided on a route that took me straight up I-29 until I could cut over to Rulo NE which is right on the NE/MO state line. Then up to the IA state line, back into MO and heading east to get Ravenwood (RKS) and King City (ABC’s of Touring) then just back to KC. This route would give me time to stop for pictures and discover some the cool things in the area.

It was still a little nimpy when I was getting ready at 10AM, so I put the muffs on my hand controls so my hands would stay warm. I can put those muffs on and turn my heated hand grips down low and my hands will be toasty warm in there even if it is around freezing out side of them. These muffs I made, my first set
Corn Ready for HarvestCorn Ready for HarvestCorn Ready for Harvest

Field after field all day, looked this good. There was some tall corn in these fields too.
I bought at an indy, but they let way too much air in. As I added more crap to my handlebars it got even worse so last winter one of my projects was to make my own custom set, I’m glad I did these work better. Anyway on went the muffs and they will stay on until probably April. I suspended the satellite radio service last month for 5 months as I was not using it enough to justify the $15 a month for the service, I will save that money over the next 4 months and invest that in a something cool next year. I was only going to use one GPS for the ride today so decided to go ahead and pull off the electronics console that normally holds the radio and a GPS. So with the bike ready, I just needed to download the route into the GPS I was taking and I would be ready to go. I knew the chances of me getting cold would be high so I wore sweat pants under my blue jeans. I had 2 t-shirts on (one long sleeve, one short) and hoody and my winter coat that is always
Have FaithHave FaithHave Faith

Message carved into the pumpkins outside this church.
with the bike. Off I headed. I was very comfortable all day. The route I wanted to take was I-70W to I-435N to I-29N, but the GPS always wants me to go I-635N to I-29N. The GPS route takes me through a lot more traffic and up by the airport, I like the 435 route better because many times there will not be another vehicle for half a mile if that. Its longer but less stressful. So as I am using my route which isn’t the way the GPS chose, it keeps telling how to turn around and go the other way, at one point I am way up on 435 and its still telling me to turn around. At that point I know it is having troubles because turning around and going back to I-635 would be way longer than proceeding the way I am going. Normally it would reach that point where it is just as fast to continue than to go back so it will change its route to match what I am doing, but it still hasn’t done that. So I pull up another info window and find that it is routing me back to the house. Its kind of humorous you know they make these things so smart, but they are so stupid at that same time. My route as I downloaded it started at my house and ended at my house. At one of the recalculations the GPS decided I was headed back home and just missed a turn. So I pulled back up the route and had it calculate it starting from my current location, problem solved, for a while anyway. My first stop was for gas at St Joe. Again the GPS wanted to route me back home. This section of interstate would was on the route home, so it had skipped the rest of the trip when it recalculated the route when I pulled in for gas. Once on the interstate I pulled up the route again from memory and had it recalculate it from my current location. This was the last issue I had with the GPS. The next stop was Rulo NE. Now I am out of little highways and it is great. At the edge of town they have the big welcome to Nebraska sign and a couple historical markers, kind of a extra bonus. One HM told about Lewis and Clarks stay in the area. They camped not far from a prehistoric Oto village and cemetery, mistaking it for more recent activity. They also held a court martial for a soldier that had fallen asleep while on guard duty. Found guilty he was sentenced to “one hundred lashes on his bear back, at four different times in equal propation.” Ouch. The other HM was about the MO river that divides NE and MO and NE and IA. It was less interesting than the Lewis and Clark marker.

Cutting a northern diagonal back toward I-29 again, the ride was through more farm country. The fields are full of corn ready for harvest. I was in Cherokee KS on Monday, my uncle down there said that almost all the farmers had their crops in down there. He had taken me and my aunt on an extensive tour of the fields and ponds he has. He said most farmers in the area had bailed hay off the fields before they put in the beans and the first crop next year would be corn. He is several years into retirement, but has 360 acres that he share crops out. Beans
My Favorite SignMy Favorite SignMy Favorite Sign

This is my favorite sing I have found in my travels.
were at $9 a bushel and he was very pleased. The last crop of the year in that area was beans, but up here it seems to be corn and I didn’t see any fields of corn that had been harvested. I did ride by a field that was being plowed, man, there is few things better than the smell of rich moist farm soil. It ranks even higher than fresh cut hay.

I made it to the IA border, got my picture there and then headed back down I-29 a few miles to Rockport to hit my highway heading east.

Tarkio MO was on the route, as I went through town I noticed a string pumpkins on the ground in front of the First Baptist Church. Each pumpkin had a letter carved into to. The pumpkins spelled out “HAVE FAITH”. There was a string of lights running through the pumpkins so they must light them up at night. The billboard for the church had a cute message so I took a picture of it too. I enjoy collecting pictures of strange signs, as I rode out of town I was grinning as this reminded me of one
The Hay EngineThe Hay EngineThe Hay Engine

This was cute. I love it when guys do stuff like this.
of my favorite signs, it was also outside a church. I found it while traveling in 2005 on fathers day weekend. “Fathers Carry Pictures Where Their Money Used To Be”. My absolute favorite sign was one outside an a little Amish store/restaurant in IL. The top line of the sign said “Eat Here Get Worms”, I about fell off the bike when I first saw the sign.

I still needed a “K” city for my ABCs so I had planned a stop at King City MO on the way home. King City ended up truly being a gem along the highway just as their sign proclaimed. A few miles before I entered town a train engine replica made of hay rolls was along side the road. I stopped for a picture, what a creative thing to do. The front had a hubcap in the middle of what would be the boiler tank, that doesn’t show in my picture. Travelers are greeted at the edge of town with a sign that proclaimed King City as a ‘Gem Of The Highway’. I rolled by it and then turned around and came back so I would be on the correct side of
The Big PumpThe Big PumpThe Big Pump

This was in King City, MO.
the road. This put me in front of the sign and an old rail station. The rail station is the tri-county museum. It was so cute I took a picture of it too. As I was pulling out again, making a u-turn so I would be again heading south I noticed some big read thing down the side road. As I proceeded with my u-turn I couldn’t make out what it was so decided to cut back and check it out. The big red thing was a 2-story building, but it was in the shape of a gas pump. I pulled over to take a picture of it. It was labeled as “The Big Pump”. It didn’t appear to be a working gas station, but it had a couple old pumps out front. It had no road leading to the pumps.

The deer are out. With all the corn that is waiting on the stalks for harvesting, the deer are all over the place. This activity is evidenced by the all the dead deer I saw today. I saw at least 15 mangled deer along side the road through out the day. The wind was gusting pretty good today.
The Big PumpThe Big PumpThe Big Pump

A close up of the front of the building. The prices are great, but I don't recognize all the grades.
I don’t ride with a windshield so I don’t usually notice it being windy until it gets pretty strong. I am just used to compensating for the wind normally. Speaking of wind and deer, I passed one of John Deere’s wind farms. All the turbines were still, I thought maybe they were locked in position because of the windy conditions. I know the old windmills couldn’t be operated in high wind without problems occurring. But 20 or 30 miles farther down my route there was another wind farm that had almost all the turbines turning. Along my route there was one farmer that was installing these big turbines. They are huge, but I could see the actual blade assembly laying on the ground and it was even bigger than I thought it was. These things are monsters. I Googled John Deere wind farms and found some interesting articles on them.

After King City I headed west toward St Joe and then back down I-29 to KC and home. It was about 11AM when I headed out this morning and it was a little after 6PM when I got home.

The ride ended up being 344 miles long, took me 6hrs 56 minutes. And it brought Effie’s odometer up to 88,832 miles. Today was so much fun I was motivated to check out the weather for the rest of the week in hopes of taking a quick trip to southern MO but the temps are going back down, so no trip south is planned.


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