Rain Rain go away
Left Ravenna after having breakfast with my cousin. This is the start of the trip back west. The first stop was in Akron, which is only 15 miles from Ravenna. There is an old founders home in Akron I wanted to see. After completing the tour of the house, I hit the interstate. The trip was going well when the clouds started going black. The darkest areas were off to my right, so I was quiet comfortable I would just miss the storm. Once again I was mistaken – within 5 minutes, the sky opened up with torrents of rain and the winds were so strong I could not control the bike. For a moment I felt that luck was with me, a bridge was ahead and it was over the interstate. I pulled under the bridge and stopped, putting on my flashers. At this point both trucks and cars were also pulling over because of the lack of visibility from the rain. Then I discovered the bridge I was under was under construction and did not have a solid bottom, when I looked up I could see the sky. With the wind driving the rain at a 45 degree angle, all I could do was sit on the bike and take the beating from the storm. After 5 – 10 minutes the winds stopped and the rain diminished so I moved off. Five miles up the highway, everything was bone dry and a toasty 90 degrees. At least that helped dry my clothes as I road.
My next adventure was the drive through Chicago. What a nightmare – the trip across the city took well over an hour. Almost every road I was on was under construction, and much of the construction had detours that my GPS did not understand. (the detours were created after the GPS software was created) At one point the GPS instructed me to exit the interstate to the city streets to connect with another highway. The minute I left the interstate it was apparent it was a mistake. Not from a routing perspective, but from a personal safety perspective. All I could see were police vehicles, emergency vehicles and a plethora of people who appeared to be regular customers of the judicial system. My though was I needed to keep the bike moving and get the heck out of there. (which I did) This was really scary. Aside from the issue, the GPS was a major tool I getting me through Chicago, without it I might still be cruising those road.
What was great was the view of the city from the Skyway Bridge. Chicago really has a beautiful skyline.
Now the next issue is the toll roads. Currently I am located at Elgin, Illinois, about 20 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. Since entering the greater Chicago area there have been four toll booths. Three were staffed and one had an electronic basket where the coins were to be thrown in. I was lucky enough to have the correct change. Don’t know what the option is if a person does not have the correct change. It is my understanding there are three more toll booths before I will be out of the greater Chicago area. Yikes – on a motorcycle, stopping, taking the gloves off, getting the toll ticket, retrieving the money and then reversing the process so I can move off is more than an irritation.
Next, it is dark so I get a motel in Elgin. After getting to the room, the desk person called me and suggested that I move the motorcycle under the motel’s canopy. She was concerned that is might not be safe to leave it in the parking lot. Hmmm – I thought I was in the suburbs and this would not be an issue. Hope it is there in the morning.
All in all, a good day because everything worked out for the best and I have three great stories (storm – toll booths – folks on the streets)
Tomorrow I am continued my path towards Rapid City, SD to see Mount Rushmore.
Thanks for read the blog...Allen