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Each journey begins with a single step... Two kiwis escaping from the island to explore strange new worlds and boldly go where thousands have gone before... . .

Hannibal to Chicago

USA | Thursday, 12 June 2014 | Views [679]

Our friends from New Zealand, two other Kiwi couples, joined us on Sunday evening in Hannibal and the next morning we headed north to Debuque (pronounced Da-buke) where we stayed the night. Next day was the Debuque Museum a fascinating exploration of the history of the Mississippi River including live fish, turtles and a crocodile. East now to Milwaukee with the weather getting colder and threatening rain. In Milwaukee we were directed to a hotel in Waukesha by a woman at a gas station who correctly recognised our accents as being from New Zealand as her sister lives there. We talk to lots of people everywhere we stop for any reason, we have met some lovely people and a few real characters.

We woke next morning to rain which was a problem to us with our jerry style open helmets. Luckily Ngaire came to our rescue and lent Kent her full hace and used his so he could at least see the way to the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee city. The Stell Toecap tour had been booked out but 3 of us went on a Back Roads Tour of the Harley archives and the other 3 went through the museum. The museum was great and full of interesting exhibits, apparently the archive tour was great too, HD has saved a model per year since it's inception in 1903. When we came out of the museum the rain was easing, we headed toward Chicago as the temperature dropped, now I'm not talking freezing here but it went down to around 54 farenheit which is about 12 celcius. We went over some fairly bumpy highways but generally the roads here are really great, no stones or holes and no bugs in the daytime.

Coming into Chicargo outskirts the trafiic got pretty congested and at times we were crawling and even stopping as freeways flowed in and out of each other. Quite daunting riding surrounded by such traffic, we ride at between 70 - 80 miles an hour with trucks and cars close on either side. One of the couples is doing the trip for the 5th time and so they know the way and we just follow them, oh the relief!!!

So we are now at the hotel from whence we will start our Route 66 adventure on Saturday morning. There are already about 20 bikes here of the 70 or so that will go on the trip. Lots of them are 'repeat offenders' and come from all over the USA. Foreigners are Canadians and us :)  Everyone is very happy and talkative, we have had two evening meals with the growing group and the talk is lively and interesting.

Talking of eating - eating out here is a lot cheaper than in NZ, even including taxes and tip. We had a lovely meal at Dennys - drink, soup, main and desert for two for $35 all up. And talking of spending money we went to a Harley shop near here today and got Kent a full face helmet and a great pair of riding boots, then to Walmart for a couple of teeshirts and another pair of jeans. Next shop is for me, just need some more jeans too.

The first day of the ride, which is Saturday, the group rides from Chicago to Springfield Illinois then the next day rides on to St Louis however we will ride all the way to St Louis on the first day and stay with my nephew Aaron and his wife Kristen there and get to visit with them and other family members. We are really looking forward to that and I'll write more from there about how the beginning of the ride went.


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