Day 2: Willow Hill, PA –> Champaign, IL (642 miles)


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Date: Saturday, August 27, 2005
Route: Willow Hill, PA –> Champaign, IL
Odometer: 10,690 –> 11,332

I was up and on the road by 6:45, big day today, lots of miles to cover.  It rained all morning, but traction was quite good, and the roads were washed clean of oil from the morning showers.  On the PA turnike traffic was held up as they cleared one of the tunnels of a Harley full-dresser which had skid out from under its rider.  I rode up past the traffic to the tunnel entrance and waited till they re-opened it.  Stopped for a quick coffee and to warm up and there was a couple riding matching BMWs in the lot.  We chatted for a bit.  They were on their way to Utah, some long days ahead for them as well.

I stopped in West Virginia for fueld and a little four year old girl at the gas-station with her mother kept looking at me and the bike till I waved to her. She’ll remember the red bike for a while.  Had lunch in Columbus, and as I’d expected I ran into a traffic jam on the Ohio turnpike.  I’ve never made it across Ohio without a delay of some sort.  The entire turnpike was closed and I thought I could ride around it on a country road, but a bunch of other people clearly had the same idea and it took about three hours to get back on the highway.  I was riding alongside traffic on the shaded shoulder since the heat was terrible, and this crotchety old guy in the back of a well-maintained Buick opens his window and yells at me to get back in the lane.  So I tell him to turn off his air-conditioning and stand out in the sun on the baking road before telling me what to do.  He rolled up his window and didnt’ glare anymore.  People can let their prejudices get ahead of their awareness of a situation so easily.  I should have just waited for the wreck to be cleared off the highway.

I got to Urbana around 9pm and called my high-school friend Apu once I’d checked into the motel.  The bike was parked and we rode to dinner at the Courier Cafe in his car.  Had an awesome milkshake and caught up on everything that’s happened since we left Bombay after high-school.  When I got back to the Ramada, there were a bunch of Corvettes and a Harley full-dresser in the lot.

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