Tuesday

Day 6 - Iron Butt 4810


Iron Butt 4810 - Day 6

We finished Indiana and knocked out Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. We have visited 34 states in 6 days and less than 144 hours. We knocked off another 730 miles. We have 14 big ones to go. Failure is not an option. I told RD when we left Oklahoma that we would be different people when we came home. He gave me the “you are the weirdest woman on the planet look.” But I stand by my word. Here’s why:

- Both of us no longer fit into our pants. They’re too loose.

- We no longer drink coffee. Swapped it out for bananas, yogurt, some kind of muffin thing and orange juice. Lots of orange juice.

- We no longer socialize with anyone that does not hang out in gas stations (or travel malls).

- We don’t carry anything that cannot fit into a pocket somewhere in some piece of our outerwear.

I’d say that’s different. I was excited about the prospects of all that I would learn on the road. Would I be the next Jack Kerouac? Or the next Ripley’s Believe It Or Not? My vote is for Ripley. I’ve learned all kinds of stuff I didn’t know 6 days ago.

I can take a kerchief out of my breast pocket, fold it into a triangle and tie it around my neck going 70 mph on a motorcycle. Laugh. Go ahead. Now you do it.

I can sit on my hands for 12 miles. Especially when my tailbone hurts.

I can stand up on the motorcycle behind RD with no hands. Angela, catch your grandmother. And convince her that I did not really do that today. Good girl.

North/South roads are odd numbered. East/West roads are even numbered.

There are 20 posts between each mile marker counting the mile marker.

Today we made it safely past Chicago. After the Bronx and Atlanta, we were more than a little worried. We drove from one end to the other in 37 minutes. I took a picture of a cop car as he came screaming by us.

From then on it was rolling hills and fantastic road. I thought that maybe I should put all the technical stuff in this series, like how many RPM’s do we hit when we slip into 5th on a straightaway. Or what kind of spark plugs do we use. Or even first take this highway, then this one, then that one. But by all means do not go over there. Over there is dangerous and has bad animal signs.

But I decided against the techno stuff. Why? Because it’s all documented and I can do it as a follow up when I get home. Right now we’re on the road. And the road deserves attention. It deserves explanation. I want to stay in the moments. Each and every one before I have to return to the monotony of being an adult again.

Today a little boy was standing in his front yard raking. When he saw us he started waving like no tomorrow. I got so excited I waved back with just as much enthusiasm and nearly ripped my arm off at the elbow when the wind hit it. Note to self: wave small.

RD was flirting today. Not easy to do on the Mistress. But my “remember the positive stuff” was wearing off on him. Sometimes when we ride he reaches down and grabs my thigh and squeezes it like a hug. It makes me smile. It makes me think that maybe after all these years he’s not bored, or unhappy or sorry that he married me. So when he “thigh hugged” me today, I went all sappy inside. Then a huge yellow bug committed suicide on my helmet visor.

We killed a bird today. He flew into The Mistress and she won. I felt so bad. But then RD almost swallowed a full-grown pheasant. It flew up out of the grass and right into us. Wings fully extended. I yelled, forgetting my microphone worked excellently. RD nearly jumped out of his stitch. He swerved, the pheasant veered left and everyone went home to their family tonight.

I saw a herd deer running today in a pasture. And jumping. Just for fun. It was amazing to see them in the wild. RD was happy to see them running away from the road.

RD finally helped me identify the small brown fat animals that stood up when we passed them in New York and Massachusetts – groundhogs.

Do you know in Indiana they have signs that light up when an animal is on the road ahead of you? Did you know that they never tell you what kind of animal is on the road, making the sign light up? Shortly after seeing the blinking neon, warning us about an animal at midnight last night, RD saw a huge dark beast running on the road beside us. THE BIG ANIMAL!!! AAAHHHH!!!!! Then he realized it was our shadow cast on the ditch from the car lights behind us. We pulled into the next hotel.

I think we need more warning signs on the road. I think we should add sparrows, pheasant, groundhogs and people on cell phones.

See you on the road,

Donna


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