Day 5 - 7/6/07: Chicago, IL to Bloomington, MN

Day 5 - Chicago to Bloomington

Wow did I sleep last night. Eric, Synthia, and Brian got up early and went walking. Brian had to call my name several times to get me up. I got up and got ready. My runny nose had not yet gone away, but I felt great other than that. Just after 9:00 I made my way upstairs, but found that Synthia had already left, she had been waiting to say goodbye.

 Eric, Brian, and I loaded up the Dodge and drove towards the shop. We stopped at Subway to have breakfast. Once at the shop I got to work packing the bike. I got rid of a few more items, including my maps. Eric pointed out that I have both my GPS and Streets and Trips. I felt real good about my saddle bags, but had trouble packing the U-Pac again. Not quite as much as before, but it was still heavy, although it was easier to zip up. Brian loaned me a pair of his combat boots as the Vasque I had were not cutting it.

 Brian and I mounted up and started the Chicago – Bloomington, MN leg at about 1:45pm or so. Our first stop was the gas station 5 miles or so from the shop. We got on the tollway and traffic was good. Where we were supposed to get off though, traffic was all backed up. Brian pulled a last minute bail on the exit. I asked him to please warn me before he does this again. We made it out of town and took 90 towards Rockford. We passed Elgin, right close to Danny’s house. We also passed Belvedere where I lived for 2 summers with the Bowley’s for PR. I saw Cherry Vale mall, and this time we stayed on 90 to head towards Madison. We rode though Loves Park and Machesney. I really wanted to take a pic of the Loves Park water tower, but passed on the opportunity. Many memories played though my mind as we drove though Rockford. Ahhhh, memories.

 We stopped just over the WI border in Beloit for lunch at Culvers. It was delicious. When we came back to the bikes my GPS got stuck in a boot – reboot cycle and would never come up to the map. I was really worried that my GPS was toast. I tried several things while riding but could not get it to work. We stopped for gas in Mauston and after filling up I started the GPS while holding down different button combos. I finally got it to reset, then everything worked great. Of course I probably erased all of my trip computer settings. Oh well, at least the GPS works now.

After filling up Brian and I went to the Pilot truck stop across the street to look for a different mount for the on bike camera mount. We looked at several antenna mounts but could not find one suitable enough. So we got some water instead and hung out for a few minutes. Then back on the bikes. We rode until dark, around 9:30pm, and stopped in Eau Claire to change Brian’s tinted visor and my sunglasses. While there we spoke with a dad in a minivan about our trip. He was fascinated. He asked lots of questions and kept showing his young daughter our bikes, although it was obviously for his benefit. He wished us well and then it was back to the road. I called Patty on Brian’s phone as my Verizon did not have service. Can you hear me now? No. She said it was dark in Nashville. It’s rather amazing, we are not too far north, but the sky was still light even thought the sun had just set.

The sky finally got dark around 10:15 or so. When we aimed my headlight at BMW it was on an unloaded bike. We also adjusted my front suspension this morning. All of this added up to my headlight acting more like my brights. I will have to re-aim them soon. We pulled into the Candlewood suites around 10:45, just before they lock the doors and you have to do a late check in. We had Papa John’s for dinner. Brian blew up my air mattress as I only brought a car adapter pump, and there is only one small queen bed in the room. That boy has some lungs! We then fell asleep watching Nacho Libre.

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