Wednesday, September 5, 2012

West Coast Adventure - Day 22

Has it really only been three weeks since I left home? Seems like I've been gone for a long time and seen a whole lot of these great United States.

The past 4 days on I-80 have gone by pretty fast...sometimes literally. Now that I'm back in the eastern half of the country, things will probably slow down just a little bit. I don't think the speed limit tops 70 between here and home...I'll miss you 75.

I rode 555 miles today, according to my odometer, and took no pictures. If you want to see what I saw, just scroll back to days 4 and 5. Replace any wheat you see with corn. You get the idea. I wanted to take one of the welcome to Iowa sign, but it's in the middle of a bridge over I-80, not the greatest place for me to play tourist.

Even though it was a long day of riding, there were plenty of positives:
  • The sun shone all day.
  • Gas is cheaper in Nebraska.
  • I met an old friend, from high school, for dinner.
  • I'm only 530 miles from home.
There were a few negatives, too:
  • The wind was brutal through most of Nebraska, especially for the first couple hours. It was blowing hard out of the north or north west. This was the worst day for wind I've had on the entire ride. I didn't expect that to happen in Nebraska.
  • My fuel usage has seen a sharp increase. I had one tank of gas today where I only got 30MPG. I'm guessing I've lost any and all benefit from heading "downhill" and/or having a westerly tailwind. Four straight days of running hard and fast while getting 37 to 40MPG's was fun, but the fun appears to be over. Now that I'm "back east" and will have to slow down, it should creep back up into the mid 30's while on the highway.
  • I got sprayed with cow pee. I have long wondered what happens when a cow pees while being transported in a cattle carrier on the highway. I wonder no more. There was a construction zone about 200 miles into the ride. A westbound rig had a load of bovine in the back. I saw the mist shooting out the side of the truck just a mere second before we passed each other. I didn't get drenched, just "misted" quite nicely. I stopped for gas in Grand Island and tried washing much as I'm ready to hit the hay tonight, I'm even more ready to take a shower. I'm trying to decide if getting sprayed with cow pee ranks higher or lower than seeing a naked man walking through San Francisco. I can wash cow pee off, I can't erase what I saw there.
Tomorrow is likely my last day on the road for this adventure. I'm too close to home to want to try and break the last 530 miles up into more than 1 day. Going 555 today let's me know I should be able to make it home quite easily, even with plenty of stops for gas and water.

Tomorrow is another day and another road (and hopefully a lot less cow pee.) :)

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Chad Cole