The Trip! Part 1
Hey again! My last post ended with me making a complete fool out of myself while high on anesthesia and trying to crutch my way to the shop only minutes out of surgery. I will never claim to be bright!
I got through that night and felt much better the next day and returned to work with a medical boot on my already atrophied left leg. I knew I needed to get that thing off quickly if I was going to fly to Minnesota in 2 days and ride a motorcycle back to Colorado. Yep, that was the plan and I was sticking to it. I took the boot off later that day and tested the waters of ambulatory life without crutches. It went well actually. I was able to get around OK without needing the gnarly pain pills. I was ready!
Friday morning came early and with a perceptible look of disdain, my amazingly understanding wife dropped me off at the airport. All I had with me was a helmet, riding jacket, a tank bag, a map, and some underwear. The plan was to fly to St. Cloud, have an employee of the dealership pick me up and drive me to the shop, buy the bike, and then start my ride back that day. And everything went perfectly. No kidding at all! The flights were on time, the dude from the dealership picked me up, the bike was all they said it was and I was off. I don’t know about your level of comfort in new situations but I LOVE them. I have talked about that in earlier posts and this adventure was right up my alley. I was in a town I’d never visited, on a bike I didn’t know heading out on a trip I’d never taken. It wasn’t some crazy thing that you would read about in National Geographic or some travel magazine but it was AWESOME! (I guess you are reading about it on a computer, phone or tablet so that’s kinda cool.)
I situated the map into the clear pocket on top of my tank bag and scanned the route. My plan was to travel the entire length of S. Dakota on small roads and end up in the black hills to see Mt. Rushmore for the first time in my life. It was about 3pm and I had no idea where I would get that first night but it looked like I should be able to make it to a little town called Aberdeen out in the middle of the southern most Dakota. After a quick stop for fuel and a drink I made my way onto a small state highway and wicked the throttle. I was on my way!
I can say that western Minnesota is absolutely beautiful. Rolling, green hills and tons of water. I crossed rivers, bent around lakes and sailed through the fertile plains of our country. It was amazing and I was having a blast. Enter S. Dakota! It’s not that S. Dakota is horrible but it is flat, very, VERY flat. And that makes the roads very, VERY straight. The highway was largely empty so I figured it was a good time to see how fast my new steed would run. Turns out that a 1000cc V-Twin is quick but not all that comfortable when you hit the ton (old school saying for over 100mph) so I backed it down and cruised at a lower (but still slightly illegal) speed.
After a few hours on the road I checked the map and figured that Aberdeen would indeed be a good place to stop, even if it was a one horse town. As I neared this little hamlet I realized quickly that it wasn’t some tiny dot on the map, it was a real town and bustling with activity. As I rolled in, it became clear that this was a happening little town that just happened to be situated in the geographic center of nowhere. I hadn’t made any hotel reservations so I rode up to a big (6 stories at least) Best Western and walked inside. The concierge proceeded to tell me that they were full but that I should try the Hampton Inn next door. HUH?? Full? How on earth could this place be full in this town? I walked next door and was informed that they had ONE room left, so I took it. These hotels looked very new and my room was excellent.
In need of some food, I asked the front desk where to go and they told me that the restaurant attached to the hotel was great. I didn’t have the energy to search so I wandered down to the place and it was jammed! Filled to the brim with young, vibrant folks, having a great time. Again I was pleasantly surprised and grabbed a seat at the bar. As I ordered and ate I struck up a conversation with the bar keep and questioned him on how in the heck was this place like THIS?? I mean, we are out in the middle of S. Dakota and this place is hopping! With a deserved look of, “who are you to judge,” he told me that Aberdeen was home to 2 colleges that were big baseball schools and that their economy was thriving because of oil and gas. That explains it! I had a great night and a great dinner and headed for bed to get rested up for my trip through the black hills the next day!
Thanks for reading along! I hope you are still enjoying the journey as much as I am. I would love to hear from you guys about what you like, what you don’t or just how you are doing. I read and respond to every email and message so feel free to reach out. You can hit me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on FB messenger.
Today I am grateful for actual spring time, my silly animals, and computers that help me do my thing!
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