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50 States, Day 81

Day 81, Hastings to Austin, MN   213 miles

"Be silent, or let your words be worth more than silence."

We got an early start (9) after a continental breakfast. We've learned that 'continental' means anything from omelets, hot waffles, and fresh fruit with squeezed orange juice to a dried up muffin and toast. This morning's leaned toward the latter. Our motive to leave rose in the East and the mercury rose at a steady pace. Thanks to friendly locals, we followed the Mississippi River along the blue highway, slowing at every little town, including Red Wing, famous for manufacturing shoes,, something with a color and a part of an airplane. No matter. A nice town, however. Along the river sat huge barges being loaded with grain. They wore giant plastic covers to keep the product from flying away. Aluminum tubes shot grain into the barges. Trucks and trains shuttled more of the food products.
It's amazing how the temperature, which took all morning and half the afternoon to reach ninety, can drop twenty degrees and then pour down rain. We stopped at an underpass and put on the slickers. Good timing, as the rain really cut loose, and in an anomaly to our experience with Midwest rain, it continued unabated. Time to change plans, get off the road and into a motel. And the sacrifice? No Spam Museum. Horrors! Once again we struggle with disappointment, as we must wait for HOURS to tour the museum tomorrow morning. We'll be Spam ignorant for one more day.
Watching the news, the television shows damage from baseball size hail, trees blown down, and buildings damaged from the storm. But for the most part, farmers are dancing in their fields for the wonderful rain, apparently around two inches.

Now for your reading pleasure;
What It's Like Being Passed by an Eighteen Wheeler.
As a truck and trailer pass a motorcycle the following four events take place:
1.) As the front wheels come alongside the bike, the truck's wind blows the riders toward the shoulder. Please note it isn't like a blast of wind hammers the bike and riders, but more of a gentle push.
2.) When the second and third wheels of the truck (the tractor's 'drivers') come beside the riders, the wind reverses, pulling the bike toward the truck.
3.) The section of the center of the trailer is the calm, a drafting period where there is no wind buffeting in any direction. You must get good fuel economy here.
4.) After the trailer passes there is a period of wind buffeting, with no apparent direction. This continues, depending on the bike's speed and the truck's, for up to two hundred feet. None of the wind effects are heavy, but it does change the conditions for the rider and passenger, quickly and dramatically. And in my experience, most of the truck drivers are safe and courteous. Good thing.
Tomorrow, weather permitting, (drum roll please) The Spam Museum!
Our lives will be complete.
Thanks for following.



Mel Nason said...

Seeing the photo of 'The World's Larget Ball of Twine' on your previous blog reminded me of a story of 'The World's Largest Hairball' (almost as large). I'm not sure, but I think it's near Catskill, NY. Watch for it when you're in New York state, but... STAY AWAY FROM THE CAT! I hear it loves eating Wings... and bloggers who ride them!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

YOU can talk Quilter Girl into seeing that. She's edgy about World's Largest anything. And to think we missed the World's Largest Prairie Dog in Kansas...