An Iron Butt and Indy 500 all in the same 5 days!
Naturally the night before vacation I am always scrambling to get things done. This trip was like no other, and that I started taking apart the bike at 10 PM working on the rattle that was coming from the exhaust. After that was all said and done it was nearing midnight and I still needed to pack. And of course create a new playlist for the ride!
After putting the laundry in the dryer, digging out my motorcycle luggage, and starting the process, next thing you know it was 3:30AM and I was finally getting ready to wind down and head to bed. I set the alarm clock for 4:45 AM and fell asleep shortly after setting it. A meer hour and 15 minutes later I woke up feeling more energized and I expected and ready to get this trip on the road! I had the bike all packed, all I needed to do was organize a few things around the house, pull the car in the garage, and meet the girls at the holiday gas station stop not too far away. The plan was to meet at five 5:45 AM, get all of our stuff prepared get situated, find a witness for mileage, and then gas up to get ready to go. We all arrived shortly after 6 AM got situated, and went inside to get a witness for our mileage. Turns out as the guy at the checkout was signing the first mileage sheet, my bestie recognized him, and asked if he graduated high school with us. Turns out he did!
20 years later who thought we’d run into him at this point in time, and having him sign our witness form for an iron butt award. Such a small world! After we got all of our forms signed we gassed up, got a receipt, took pictures, and that set our starting time. 6:35 AM.
We now had 24 hours to complete 1000 miles. We headed south on 35 towards Iowa, and into Missouri. Our plan was to swing through Oklahoma, then Arkansas and into Tennessee, where would hit 1000 miles near or around Union City, TN. But first, Iowa.
A few trips back, in the midst of sleet/rain/freezing cold riding, we stopped at the Missouri Welcome Center to warm up and dry out. We were soaked to the core, frozen, and miserable. On our way to Texas. While there, the gal working took pity on us - gave us hot chocolate, free prizes, kept up company, and we ended bs'ing for over an hour. Now, everytime we travel that path by the Welcome Center, we have to stop in and say hi to our newfound 'travel friend' - this trip, even though we are on major time crunch, was no different!!
We say hello to Carrie, grab a cool beverage to calm the heat down, and carry on. As soon as we get onto the freeway, I look back and see no Shelly. We pulled to the side of the road to wait, thinking she forgot something, she needed to adjust something.. or maybe her cell phone went flying off the bike (notorious!). We waited and waited, for what seemed like a long time.. but only because it makes me nervous when someone just disappears - and then we never know if we should turn back, or wait longer. Several trips ago we learned that if we turn back, we then do hot laps passing one another in opposite lanes. So now, we wait 5 mins and then turn back. Soon, amidst semi trucks and vehicles whizzing past us on the hot summer day, we see Shelly's bike. Her saddle bag flew open and stuff flew out. She pulled over to tuck it all back in, only to have it happen immediately once she picked up speed. this time she was on the freeway when it happened and her jacket flew out. She was so sweet - concerned about our time constraints, she was willing to leave her jacket in the road and continue on. She parked the bike on the side of the freeway and started to walk/jog down the road to see if she could spot it. She had no luck in the blazing hot sun, but she came back to report that she did find a gun in the ditch. (She did NOT touch it!) She said it had a rusty barrel. All we thought is that nothing good happened with a gun on the side of the road just past a wayside rest area... anyways, She loves that jacket and it matches her bike, custom, so I had the girls go ahead to the weigh station adn I zipped around to go find her jacket. I did an illegal U Turn, and as I picked up speed on this Memorial Day weekend, I noticed her jacket in the opposite traffic lanes - getting bounced and blown around by passing traffic. I memorize the location and keep going to find a turnaround spot. Well, I had to go several miles and once turned around, began scouring the roadway for the jacket with my eyes. I spot it up ahead and pull my bike off on the shoulder as far over as possible - traffic was picking up and whizzing by, shaking my bike with every passing big rig. I see the jacket on the opposite shoulder, near the median. As I stand waiting for traffic to pass, I can see it tossing around in the wind, but never being run over. I dart across the freeway, cautiously, yet quickly scooping up the jacket as I was mid stride. Then, traffic picked up again so I stood way in the median waiting until I could safely cross back to the bike. Knowing that traffic would see my bike on one side of the freeway and likely move lanes to the median side, I stood WAY in the median grasses, just in case. I get back to the bike and meet the girls a mile up the road at the weight station, taking note of the mile marker in which I too saw the gun laying. As I rolled into the weight station, I had no idea where to drive, so I ended up going over the scales. My bike, gear, and myself weighed #920... but anyways - we continued on our way! All gear in tow :)
We got just short of the Arkansas state border and noted the GINORMOUS thundering black clouds ahead. We pulled up the radar and realize that we are riding right into a huge storm that was spinning off of the same storm that Florida was getting hurricane warnings from. We decided to reroute because we did not want to spend the next 12 hours riding through the pouring rain since we didn’t HAVE to go that route. Taking a look at the map, we spun back around and headed north back up towards Kansas City, and then east from there toward St. Louis. We ended the trip at 1036 miles in Cape Girardeau Missouri at around 1am. We found a hotel online, made our final gas stop for our ending receipt, and had the gal who is working at the gas station sign our witness forms. She could not believe we had just done 1000 miles and left Minnesota this morning. It’s hard for a lot of people to understand I guess! We are exhausted, our eyes bloodshot red, our bodies ready for sleep, and our ‘old Lady’ legs ready to be elevated. We showered and passed out after successful Iron but run.
The next morning we set an alarm, got packed, and headed out. We are overzealous and that we had planned on riding a little bit of the fun roads in southern Missouri, but didn’t realize just how far we had ahead of us to get to the Indy 500 area.
Gotta love random REDNECK finds!!!! We made a pit stop at Walmart because it was Daisy Dukes Saturday and none of us had brought the right attire, and we had so much fun at Walmart checking out the different things that Missouri has to offer that we spent almost 2 hours there. We hopped on the bikes, and in the blazing hot sun and 98°, headed east towards Indianapolis. Nothing eventful on the adventure to Indy, just a lot of boring freeway riding.
We arrived at the campground around 9 PM, and as were driving down the side streets looking for the gates to our campground, Coke lot C, we spied our friends waving their arms high in the air and yelling our names. But, we were still kind of out of it- so we bypassed them, turned around and then entered our campground area. We were
Greeted by a few friends who had been at the Indy Campground 1C since yesterday... meaning they had a solid beer lead ahead of us. We were beat up from Two days of hot and heavy riding and also very sober... so while the greeting excitement was great, it was a little overwhelming at first! I mean, we had our cat hats on and MERICA glasses, but sometimes, that's just not quite enough!!
We got “Escorted“ to our camping site by one of the girls who literally ran in front of us the entire way to show us where to go. Unfortunately she was so fast that we lost sight of her briefly and another friend took over and he let us in to the wrong row. So at 9:30 PM having ridden several hundreds of miles in the last two days we are now riding over bumpy terrain, between grass and gravel, and dive-balling people who were drunk and trying to high five us or invite us to play their yard games. It was a little bit of a stressful six blocks into our camping site but once we saw the site, it was awesome!!
We finally got to park the bikes, and the tent was surprisingly already set up for us. So all we had to do was unload our gear and throw in the tent- then we were set for the night. Time for a cold beer. Or a few!!
The campground is huge and people are very much alive and partying. There were bags games, ring toss, beer pong, and a variety of other drinking games going on around us. There was music from every angle, and people laughing joking, and making new friends everywhere we turned. The campground itself went on and on and on and connected to other campground so the people were sprawled out across many acres and it was a lot of fun to be a part of. Bestie and I partied well into the night and ended our night by whooping some Chicago PD Blackhawk fans in bags... it was great!
Saturday it was Daisy Dukes day. We had made a Walmart run prior so we are ready for our ugly Daisy Dukes. We woke up hung out with the crew, showered in the RV, and got on with her day. Nothing like cracking a beer at noon screams a good time. We hung around on the campground, talking to her friends, and enjoying the sunshine. A few of us decided to go for a walk, and walk towards the grandstand area. Two of the girls had to Pee so off they went to go find a bathroom while the rest of us stood on the sidewalk near the grandstands. As I was standing there a guy and a few other folks walked up and offered me free tickets to the Sam Hunt concert. I politely declined thinking it was a scam, or that he was trying to scalp them. He offered again and the girl with him reiterated that they were free. So I accepted the tickets and as the girls are walking out from the bathroom- I held the four tickets and for VIP wristbands up in the air for them to see. We were beyond ecstatic!
We made our way into the concert grounds through the speedway area, then started to bullnose our way from the back of the crowd to the front. When we got all the way to the front we realize there were still people ahead of us behind a gate, and looked at each other thinking that these were with the wristbands must be for. So we made our way out to the side and then into the pit area which wasn’t deed right in front of the stage. It was epic!
After the concert we started walking back towards the campground and stopped off at a local VFW. We made friends with the beer vendor outside who is on his first day on the job and had lots of free stuff to give us. Then we went inside to get out of the heat for a little bit and eat some real food. We ordered pizzas grab a couple of drinks and next thing you know people are piling in soaking wet from the outside. It had started raining and storming quite badly. We ordered another drink eat our pizza and waited a little while before heading out. The VFW went from 10 people to what seemed like 100 people who are soaking wet from the core.
When we left it was still slightly raining but we made the best of it by puddle jumping our way across the parking lot towards the liquor store. From there we headed back to the campground With alcohol in tow. We got back and continued our celebration with the rest of the crew making our way up on top of the RV to check out the entire scope of the campground.
We walked around met new people, and watch checked out the damage that it happened when the storm rolled through the campground. There were straight-line winds and many tents were mangled- poles bent, tents sideways Or upside down, canvases ripped apart at the seams. It was surreal as we had no idea how bad the storms were because we were inside the vfw as they rolled thru. We continued the evening of wandering through the campgrounds, making new friends, and checking out the shenanigans... well into the 4am hour!
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