Got up today, dressed in all the gear I've got but for the liner in my Tour Master Cortech jacket (I would regret this about 20 miles down the road - I got cold) and headed up interstate 29 from Council Bluffs to Sioux City, Iowa, specifically Stone State Park on the northwest side of town.
The 'bitterpart' of the bittersweet was that it was cool and overcast. In fact, by the time I'd gotten to Sioux City and dinked around the park for about a half hour, I was so chilled and stiff I decided to forgo a winding backroads return through the Loess Hills and hit the slab home. Of course later today it turned quite warm with plenty of sunshine. Go figgur.
The flip side of all this is I've discovered motorcycles photograph much more nicely without direct sunlight hitting them. The glare of the sun's rays blurs detail that doesn't come out until you snap a new pics on a cloudy morning and realize what you've been missing. Sure, the soft evening glow of the reddening sun will always be the moto-mags' money shot, but for me nothing much quite beats shooting in the sort of light I did today.
Slab speed? Sustained high 80s on the way up, sustained high 90s (to a few miles at an even 100 miles per hour) coming home. After leaving Sioux City with a full tank of gas, the first 4.0 gallons of fuel burned before the low fuel light comes on were gone in -get this-
98 miles! That's only 25 mpg!
Some pics are in order.
A shot against a near vertical earthen wall right before the entrance to the park.
A pic of the entrance to the park itself. Very cool stone wall with inset sign at the gates.
This is one of the park's overlooks. It's said you can see three states from here on a clear day (Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota). Unfortunately, the gloom and overcast skies prevented that this morning. About a third of the leaves have fallen. I suspect the rest will be down in no time, maybe in as little as another week. Too bad. Such a beautiful (and very temporary) time of year.
Two photos of interest further into the park. Some of the twisting, undulating pavement reminded me of Deals Gap [hey, I can dream, right?]. It was pretty fun to ride, although I kept the pace to very pedestrian levels despite the fact I seemed to be the only one there. It is
a state park after all, and I didn't want or need a ranger hearing my Yosh equipped machine and seeking me out.
This first shot looks downhill.
And this one uphill (a totally different stretch of road, btw).
So that was my abbreviated trip today. About 220 miles in around three hours (a half hour of which was puttering through the park). Do the math on that and tell me I don't need to look into a more sedate machine, lol!
Somebody please talk me into something slow, something mature. Something with only two cylinders. V-Strom anyone? I know a prematurely aging shutterbug in need of a slower ride.