Day 7: 447 miles (to Rapid City, SD)
Even though it was all interstate riding, this was still an enjoyable day. I met a number of other bikers at rest stops and realized I am on the younger side of the motorcycle touring demographic.
Day 8: 518 miles (to Albert Lea, MN)
I’ve become somewhat frustrated with online hotel reservations (I’ve been using Priceline). It seems that about 1 in 5 nights, there’s a problem: no room available or wrong type of room (smoking vs non-smoking). I’ve heard similar stories from other people, especially people on road trips.
I’m not sure where the fault lies – with the hotels or the online service, probably some of both – but the uncertainty causes stress I do not need when I’m on vacation. I suspect the services are better for traditional vacations, scheduled well in advanced and with fixed destination.
For the end of this trip, I used the Motel 6 app, which worked well. In the future, I’ll probably continue to use that app or locate hotels with Google and call the front desk to schedule a room.
Day 9: 528 miles (to South Bend IN)
One unexpected bonus on my ride home was the Enterprise Rest Area. I pulled over for a quick stop, expecting basic, hopefully clean, facilities, but what I found as basically a small and beautiful park.
Day 10: 677 miles (to Abington, PA)
This was the longest ride of the entire trip – I normally try to keep riding days in the 400 to 600 mile range, but stopping 77 miles from home just didn’t make much sense. At least the second half was all PA Turnpike; I driven this road so many times, it feels like home the first time I pull into a service plaza.
It was almost midnight when I arrived home. I was exhausted it, but it was a great trip.