Category - motorcycle museums

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Day 10: McCook NE to Colorado Springs CO
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Day 7: Naperville IL to Cedar Rapids IA
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Day 4: The Lemony Snicket Morning

Day 10: McCook NE to Colorado Springs CO

OK. I am just going to come out and say it. Driving through Kansas is really boring. It makes Nebraska and Texas look exciting.  The other thing I noticed is that every now and then they have these road closed signs that are similar to a railroad crossing bar. You know, the ones that are in the up position until a train is coming, then it swings down to block the road.  Well, there are a bunch of these in Kansas…and no train tracks. At first I had no idea why they would need to close the road like that. Then I realized the whole Wizard of Oz weather, Auntie Em, Auntie Em, It’s a twister! thing. I am not sure I would want to live in a state that has weather so severe that it is common to have road closed barriers at the ready. Part way through the morning I was approaching St.Francis, Kansas, and noticed a sign that said “motorcycle museum”. I don’t remember seeing this on our itinerary. But I figured I would make the turn and go check it out. When I get there, about 12 other riders are already there. This was not a planned stop but everyone else saw the sign and went to check it out, too. We come to find out that the St. Francis Motorcycle Museum had just opened at the end of May, so it was brand new, and ready for visitors. We even got to put the first City of Torrance pin on a map of the US that showed where visitors came from.  So this museum was an unexpected bonus for the day and had some wonderful bikes in varied condition. And it was in the middle of nowhere Kansas. So random, but what a great find. Today, I tried to keep up with a group so I would not be alone all day. That worked out fine until after lunch. Then I made the mistake of following them on the “shorter route” to Colorado Springs, without checking that there were not enough gas stops for me. So, in order to stay on roads that had gas stations, I had to divert north, out of the way a bit, which added more time and miles to my day. Oh, well. The only bad thing was that when I was approaching Colorado Springs there was some serious weather starting to happen. I pulled over to put on my rain gear, and in no time at all there was thunder, lightning and rain. Both the kids said “Whoa!” when the thunder happened. We don’t get that too often in California. As the highway kept curving around in different directions, it kept lining me up to go straight into the rain. The last 10 minutes of the ride it was pouring, but we made it to the hotel. Have you noticed the pattern emerging where I get caught in the rain? The kids love it! I mean we rarely see rain[…]

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Day 7: Naperville IL to Cedar Rapids IA

Today was an interesting day, and we were kinda all over the place, literally and figuratively.  We were traveling along the tollway I-88 out of the greater Chicago/Naperville area, and our directions had us stay on that for quite a while. I was tired of being on the interstate, so I thought I would just get off and take a smaller highway for a while.  I saw a sign for the Ronald Reagan Home.  OK, I was curious, plus it was about time for a break. We stopped to take a look at the boyhood home of the president who “ruled” the 80’s.  It was closed on Mondays, but we got lucky as a tour bus had arrived to have a tour, so the tour guide was nice enough to say we could tag along. Boy did that air conditioning feel good. We did not have time for the video or entire tour, but it was fun to look around at some of the pictures and quotes.  I don’t think the kids really cared that much about who he was…but I explained that he was president when I was in high school, and that he was elected to 2 terms, so we had a good discussion about how long someone can be president and other stuff like that. (Ha Ha! Snuck in something educational!) Our next planned stop was Fulton IL, to see an authentic Dutch working windmill. Lucky again, we walked in right when the docent was starting his talk. The kids really liked the windmill, and the museum across the street that had many to scale models of windmills. I learned that they actually had sails on windmills to catch the wind. We were also right along side the Mississippi River, about to cross over into Iowa. I quizzed the kids on what river we might be next to, and Makayla took a guess and was right. (See that, tricked them again into thinking and learning!) For lunch today, we went to McDonalds. Spencer has been bugging me the whole trip. I think I did pretty good, waiting this long. Only now we have two tiny stuffed animals that have been added to the weight I am pulling.  Thank you McDonalds for the useless toys in the Happy Meal. Next stop was the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa. We sure are seeing a lot of motorcycle museums. I had no idea there were so many collections of motorcycles and motorcycle memorabilia.  This place had me a bit skeptical at first because I am pretty sure it is in what used to be a grocery store.  Once inside it was soon overwhelming.  There was so much stuff, next to more stuff, on top of more stuff.  You could either describe it as motorcycle museum heaven or hell. So much to look at: bikes, art, posters, clothing, toys, pictures, display after display. It was jam packed to the gills. Tomorrow we head into Nebraska. To view more photos, click[…]

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Day 4: The Lemony Snicket Morning

So this morning started out fine, but it turned into a “Series of Unfortunate Events”. After breakfast I needed to do all my maintenance checks on the bike; check the tire pressure, oil, coolant, etc.  The bike needed oil, so I take of the oil cap, and put it on the foot plate, or so I thought. I was distracted a few times by people talking to me, and taking pictures of the bike, and I was trying to rush to get everything done. When I go to replace the cap I can’t find it. Anywhere. I look on the ground, everywhere on the bike, inside bags, inside the tool kit. Did I kick it and send it flying off into the dirt somewhere? I spent 10 min looking for that thing, and I was borderline in panic mode because now everyone but a few have already left. I finally find it resting on the big flat metal plate/bracket that holds the sidecar to the motorcycle. So relieved yet frustrated at the same time.  I finish up, go get the kids, load up the trailer with all of our stuff, get everybody ready and buttoned in…we need to go, we are late!  I can’t find my phone. GRRR!!  I look through everything. I even unpack the trailer to look in suitcase that has my laptop. Nothing.  I go into the restaurant were we had breakfast and someone had found it and turned it into the front desk. NOW we can finally get going. I follow the GPS and start heading east as it told me to…EAST? That can’t be right. Another rider pulled up next to me and I ask her…she says she is going to a motorcycle dealer and I should be going the other way. So I pull over and check. This is what happens when you are too tired to check your route the night before, so you have an idea of what you are supposed to be doing. GPS was right, I should go east. I get to the Lincoln Highway Experience Museum right when the first group is getting on their bikes to leave. Late again! the kids and I get our gear off and immediately are interviewed by a local reporter. The museum has motorcycle shaped cookies and drinks waiting for us! The morning is looking better already.  We do a quick tour of the museum, and hustle back on the road. I missed the GPS prompt for the super quick left turn, which was probably a U-turn to go west. I am now stuck on this road for 8-10 miles before I can get to another turn around or exit. UGGGGH!! I don’t need to add an extra 20 miles to my day! I finally get turned around and it starts raining. Pull over, put on rain gear, get the windows on the sidecar. I stop for gas and the kids are really hot and the rain stopped so we take the windows[…]

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