Day 3: Champaign, IL –> Sioux Falls, SD (707 miles)


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Date: Sunday, August 28, 2009
Route: Champaign, IL –> Sioux Falls, SD
Odometer: 11332 –> 12040

Perfect weather for riding today.  Spent a little time taking pictures in Urbana in the morning, the palce was pretty dead in the morning, the semester hasn’t started yet.  Headed out on I-80, then onto I-380 through Cedar Rapids.  Cut across on the really tiny state road 20, stopping for lunch in tiny Wellsburg, IA which is deep farm country and I got a couple of surprised looks from people who’d likely never seen Connecticut plates, and probably never on a bike.  Met a guy on his way from Des Moines to Chicago on a Kawasaki Vulcan III, complete with speakers blasting hard rock.

Hit I-90 in the late afternoon and rode into Minnesota with a view of lakes everywhere, lived up to the state’s nickname.  I had to stop at the Tail Fins malt shop which advertised classic shakes and malts, and they were excellent, even if the decor was a bit over the top.  I guess everyone needs a gimmick nowadays.

Pressed on to Sioux Falls getting there just as the last rays of light set and I could check into the Motel 6.  Stepped into town to eat the “world famous” barbecue at Farmer Dave’s which was welcome relief from the strip mall hell that most of Sioux Falls is.  As I rode back to the motel I was passed by a couple of Ford Probes with noisy pipes and kids on 600s tearing up the streets.  Ah, to spend a warm, late summer evening cruising around Sioux Falls with friends before everyone heads off to wherever they’re going in September.

The Great American Ride (Preparation)


I’m planning a cross country road trip, it’s something I’ve been thinking about for many years. I initially thought I would do this on a bicycle, but I’m going to leave that for next year 🙂

The trip is planned around visits to Glacier and Redwood National Parks (both of which I’ve been dreaming about visiting for many years now). It’s my birthday present to myself.

My trusty Katana 600 will be the steed for this jaunt through wide open spaces.

Here’s the itinerary. It might change a bit, weather is the big unknown and the times are a little tight. But I get 8 days in Glacier and 5 in Redwood. A total of 11 full days traveling with the little bit on Friday, Aug 26 to kick it off.

  • Aug 26: Greenwich, CT –> Snow Shoe, PA (268 mi)
  • Aug 27: Snow Shoe, PA –> Champaign, IL (630 mi)
  • Aug 28: Champaign, IL –> Sioux Falls, SD (630 mi)
  • Aug 29: Sioux Falls, SD –> Buffalo, WY (556 mi)
  • Aug 30: Buffalo, WY –> Browning, MT (509 mi)
  • Aug 31 – Sep 7: Glacier, NP
  • Sep 7: celebrate birthday biggrin
  • Sep 8: Columbia Falls, MT –> Seattle, WA (537 mi)
  • Sep 9: Seattle WA
  • Sep 10: Seattle, WA –> Crescent City, CA (499 mi)
  • Sep 11 – Sep 14: Redwood NP
  • Sep 15: Eureka, CA –> Elko, NV (725 mi)
  • Sep 16: Elko, NV –> Cheyenne, WY (666 mi)
  • Sep 17: Cheyenne, WY –> Des Moines, IA (628 mi)
  • Sep 18: Des Moines, IA –> Cleveland, OH (662 mi)
  • Sep 19: Cleveland, OH –> Greenwich, CT (495 mi)
  • Sep 20: Order a Red Busa (external link)

Total distance: 6,700 miles (give or take a few). Things to take:

  1. Open Mind and Pleasant Attitude.
  2. Riding Gear
    • Helmet
    • Touring Jacket, Gloves and Pants
    • Armor
    • Boots
    • E-Z Pass
    • Pack of ear-plugs
    • registration/insurance
  3. Luggage
    • Tank Bag
    • Rear seat Bag
  4. Clothes
    • T-shirts
    • socks
    • boxers
    • Jeans
    • Cotton pants
    • Sandals
    • Bathing suit
    • Sunglasses
    • Contacts and solution
    • Neck warmer
    • Winter gloves
  5. Other
    • iPod
    • GPS
    • Paper and writing pad
    • Iyengar’s “Light on Yoga”
    • Camera and charger
    • Cell phone and charger
    • Water bottle
    • Granola bars
    • Maps (including Starmap)
    • Binoculars
    • Flashlight
    • First Aid Kit
    • Tire gauge
    • Chain Cleaner
    • Chain Lube
    • Brake Fluid
    • Knife

Things to ship ahead (to GNP and RNP for backcountry camping):

  • Expedition Backpack
  • Technical pants, t-shirt, jacket and socks
  • Boots
  • Tent
  • Head lamp and Flashlight
  • Spare batteries
  • Maps and book
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Therma Rest
  • Water Bottles
  • Stove
  • Matches/lighter
  • Cup, spoons
  • Pot
  • More granola bars
  • Food: Miso, Dried fish, instant rice, protein shake?, cheese,
  • Water purification
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunblock and Hat
  • Purell
  • Starchart
  • Ice axe
  • Walking Poles
  • Bear bag/container
  • Knife, Swiss Army knife+altimeter/compass

Schedule a service in Crescent City to cover:

  • Engine Oil and Filter
  • Air filter
  • Rear tire replacement (if required)