Leaving Sioux Falls, South Dakota under sunny skies and a gorgeous 72 degree temperature reading, our enthusiastic and growing group cruised North on Interstate 29 through South Dakota and North Dakota into Manitoba. We posed for a group picture at the Manitoba welcome centre.
Mike Tuccelli at Manitoba
Here is the entire group as we entered Canada ... all Hondas!
The interstate was so deserted that we went up to 15 minutes at a time without seeing a car. Majestic rolling hills with amber grains of wheat, vibrant yellow fields of flax, and architectural wonders of grain silos greeted us at every dip and hill crest.
Good thing we carry spare gas ... Jerry ran out of gas ...
Speaking of gas ... one biker (Chuck Claybaugh) has a very clever idea .. using the passenger floorboards to hold a gas can!
I am having "growing pains" ... it was one thing to have just one biker (Patrick Henry) or maybe five or six but with such a large group ... I am already planning changes for next year. What I plan to do is to have Triple A help me with making group reservations of ten hotel rooms and to limit each room to two people and an optional third person using a sleeping bag. Most of the time, the rooms are quite spacious and we can fit four in a room but sometimes it is a tight squeeze. One night, I was curled up under a sink! Good thing no one had a camera handy!
Anyway, the temperature the entire day never rose about 82 degrees and as we entered gorgeous Manitoba, it cooled down to 65 degrees. Ahhhh ... invigorating, especially when we saw on the weather report that our friends down South were sweating in 90+ degree heat and high humidity!
We met Chuck Claybaugh and Lee Geronime at the hotel. Our group met them with enthusiasm and I am sure everyone feels like they belong. When they talk to me, they make good eye contact and enunciate their words clearly ... especially David Stufflebeam! Lou is learning some signs and can sign "Thank you" quite well!
We will be picking up a few more bikers tomorrow in Sasketchewan.
Our group stopped every hour and a half for a variety of reasons ... the major being gas and restroom breaks. One group wanted to zip east to touch Minnesota. One planned five minute detour to Best Buy for specialized batteries stretched to thirty eight minutes.
I am seeing the light for next year (in fact, starting tomorrow) to split up the group into three or four smaller groups to cut down on the delays. Trying to keep nine bikers together is quite a chore!
As for "designated laundry days" I found out that this hotel has only one (count that ... ONE) washing machine and dryer! Hopefully, with AAA travel planners, we will get diamond rated hotels for better accommodations in 2009 and future years.