Why Nova Scotia?

Why not Nova Scotia might be the better question. It's one of those exotic sounding places that I've never been to and that's reason enough for me. I plan on leaving around the 8th of May and spending several weeks on the ride. Along the way I'll be camping out, visiting unsuspecting friends , and maybe getting to ride along with them for awhile. Let me know if you're up to either!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jun 24 - Missouri back roads to Knoxville, Iowa

Last night was almost too exciting for David, Noah, and I. David and I were standing in his kitchen talking and I noticed what I thought were lightning flashes going off. I mentioned it to him but he thought I was probably seeing lightning bugs which made sense at the time. A few minutes later he saw the flashes too and we stepped out onto his front porch for a look. It had started raining so hard it was difficult to see, huge torrents falling nearly straight down on his car. The lightning was distant at the moment but we could see it getting brighter. This was a little before 10:00pm and since our day had been a long one we decided to cave in and go to bed.
David was letting me use his bedroom on the main floor and he was bunking with Noah downstairs. As I lay in bed I began to count the seconds between lightning flashes and they averaged around 2 seconds. Think about it, the lightning flashes, not the thunder. They seemed to be getting closer and more violent by the minute and before long they were hitting not far away. Just about the time I thought I might close the drapes to the patio a huge bolt hit one of the poplar trees in the backyard peeling the bark off of it from the top to the bottom. This was a substantial tree, not some little wussy thing and I was looking directly at it when it happened. Sparks of lightning went everywhere accompanied with flying bark and a small fire struggled to ignite part of it. The heavy rain prevented any real fire from starting but it was pretty scary to see.
Both David and Noah came running upstairs to see what had happened so we all gathered at the patio door to look. The storm continued and since the tree looked like it wasn’t going to come down we went back to bed. I lay there listening and watching for awhile longer, then closed the drapes and called it a day again. Within an hour or so the storm had moved on without further damage.
This morning David and I had breakfast at The Corner Café near his home and afterwards we said our goodbyes and I headed north towards Iowa. The sun was out and it was a gorgeous day for riding. My route took me through more back roads and small villages, avoiding the big freeways as much as possible. When I spotted something interesting or unusual I stopped for photos and I’ve posted a few of them above. The camels really caught my eye and after doing a double take I U-turned and headed back for a shot of them. It was very strange to be riding along in the northern end of Missouri and see a barnyard with camels in it.
Lunch was at Betsy’s Café in a small town where I had their special, fried chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, corn & biscuits. It all tasted great going down but my gut was on fire a couple of hours later, too much chicken fat I think. Coffee with free refills was a mere $.61. Can you believe that?
I continued on a zigzag pattern of small country roads for the balance of the afternoon and when I reached Knoxville, Iowa I gave it up and checked into the local Super-8 motel. It was hot as heck out and their air conditioning works like a champ so I was done for the day. Tomorrow I’ll be at Mac & Lisa’s in Robins, IA for a reunion visit. We’ve been talking a little about another ride north on our sidecars next year so who knows, maybe we’ll figure something out.
Dinner? A Big Mac of course...


  1. Great having you here and welcome back anytime.
    Your photos hide my well developed "6 pack abs" but that's ok at this age.
    After swim practice Noah said, "I enjoyed having Larry here and miss him."
    You seem to have made the cut.
    Happy and safe trails the rest of your trip and come back if you want.

  2. By the way, if you have time in the morning, the Knoxville Speedway Sprint Car Museum is well worth the trip. Quite an interesing place with lots of history and old cars for old guys.

  3. Hi David,

    I spotted the museum on the way to my motel last night, hopped off the bike for a quick drooling session through the window. Someone was on the track running practice sessions and making great noises. I'm heading back there this morning to see if I can get in for the tour, it looks fab.

    Tell Noah I said hi and good luck with his races this week, hope he wins again. And thanks one more time for your generous hospitality, maybe we'll get something going for August if I can get clear of my Portland property issues.