Sunday, May 22. I never thought it would ever get here. The first bike ride. I had stopped by BFE earlier and our destination seemed to be Psycho Silo near Kewanee. It's some biker hangout with bands and crap like that. OK, so it wasn't my cup of tea but Carrie was going with Tim and we had another one of Tim's friends, Diane, to tag along. I know when to shut up and just go along so even with a questionable destination, I was still excited to get back on the bike.
As luck would have it, Carrie changed her mind about going so the day opened up as far as where we were going. The Silo wouldn't have been all that bad but I tend to go the opposite direction where everyone else is going. A place where there are a "ton of bikes" doesn't interest me at all. Perhaps some other time we can go over to the Silo and check it out, but it won't happen today.
We gassed up in Alexis and decided to go to Lock and Dam 17 down at Gladstone. The morning coolness made for jackets and gloves, but it warmed up pretty fast. Over to Route 17, down to the Bald Bluff road a mile north of Little York and over to the Keithsburg-Oquawka road. From there to Oquawka and our first break - a nice little bar where we discovered a Sunday special on Bloody Mary's.
From there down south to the Lock and Dam, where a barge was going through. It is a slow process, almost imperceptible, and we discussed our future route. I wanted to drive around Gulfport and suggested also Snake Alley in Burlington. Tim then suggested a trip up 61 to Muscatine.
Gulfport was pretty sad - I remember what it used to be like in the 70's and 80's. Then across the bridge and we found Snake Alley. Frankly I wasn't too keen on doing it on bikes, but Tim and then Diane took off and I crossed the point of no return. We all safely made it down and then we had a beer at the Sombrero Tap, in a beer garden that was a lot like that Twilight Zone where these characters were in a container and couldn't look out. Concrete on three sides and a hot sun.
On up to Muscatine and to the Lighthouse on the river about 5 or 6 miles outside of town. This nice '64 Pontiac Gran Prix was in the parking lot and in flawless condition.
Great view at the Lighthouse. Had a bite to eat and then back to Muscatine and across the bridge. The plan was to go to Reynolds to Geronimo's but it was closed. Risky's was closed, too. OK, Then we decided to go to Matherville for a beer but it was closed, too. After that we went to City Limits in Viola and finally a place that was open.
Diane and Tim went on to Rio and I headed home. A fairly uneventful trip and nice riding. Great company, a sturdy bike and lots of time to think and ponder about life. Can't beat that for a first bike ride of the season.