I don't know what's going on with the photos on the blog, but they are coming out black. I am working on it. A thousand pardons!
Day 89, Springfield to Alton, 116 Miles
"A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association
with smarter people."
We left Springfield headed for Alton, Illinois. My expectations were low. Once again, the reality far exceeded my anticipation. First, we explored the Lewis and Clark Museum and it was compelling and informative. Now those two (and their thirty-five to forty others) were adventurers. The place held a boat that could be similar to theirs, except half sectioned so one could see the storage and packing. They brought 23 tons of stuff on their two and a half year saga, searching for a water route to the West. Boy were they surprised as they thought the West reflected the East, so when they hit the Rockies, shazam! Man, them mountains are big.
Afterwards Clark did real well; married twice, had a gaggle of kids and became a governor. Lewis, however, struggled with alcohol, never really accomplished anything more and died in suspicious circumstances which looked like a suicide.
Today, we met Jack at a gas station. Filling up your ride becomes a social moment...or a lot of moments. Jack rode a Suzuki 900 Intruder and just got back from riding the Tail of the Dragon in Tennessee. What an inspiring guy. Maybe we are only as old as we feel.
We toured a tower that overlooked the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, and upon descent the friendly lady behind the desk told us about the Lock and Dam Tours. We could run and make the three o'clock tour. Look at the clock. Two forty-five. Rode like idiots and got there just in time.
These tugboat captains rock. They squeeze six hundred foot barges through the
lock with a couple feet to spare on either side. Amazing. How much does a nice new tugboat cost? $5 mil. And how much horsepower? 5,400. How much weight do they haul? Hmm. Had to leave, as they were closing. I'll leave you in suspense. Once again, the trip became less riding and more learning. At this rate, my helmet won't fit by October. And it will be '50 States in 75 Weeks.'
See the previous post for our last entry of collector bikes from the National
Motorcycle Museum. See what inspired our trip. Thanks.