"My favorite thing is to go where Iíve never been."
Ė Diane Arbus

TODAYíS ROUTE:
Cave City, KY to St. Louis, MO: I-65 North to Elizabethtown to US-31W towards Fort Knox to SR-1638 to SR-448 near Brandenburg, North on SR-135 to Corydon, West on SR-462 through Leavenworth to Lincoln City, West on I-64 to US-41 North to Vincennes to US-50 West to I-64 West to St. Louis. (
MAP)

THE DETAILS:
The riding is getting easier and the miles go by quickly today. 100 miles before breakfast is no big deal. A few miles past Fort Knox, I cross the Ohio River for the third time in three days. Iíve got the Matthew E. Welsh Bridge all to myself and I realize how little traffic there is once you get outside of the Northeast and away from large metropolitan areas. It really speeds things along. By noon Iím in Lincoln City, Indiana, and the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. Lincoln spent 14 years here growing up. I spent about 14 minutes.

I head across I-64 towards St. Louis, my stop for a couple of days to rest and have the bike serviced. But 180 miles on the interstate is not my idea of a fun afternoon. So I head North at exit 25 and take US-41 to Vincennes and the George Rogers Clark Memorial Historic Park. The park includes a beautiful classic memorial building located on the site of the Revolutionary War Battle of Fort Sackville. I chat for a while with Clyde, the park ranger, who looks like he hasnít seen a visitor all day.

US-50 gets me to St. Louis quickly and it is much more interesting than any interstate. And truck traffic is minimal. Iím in St. Louis by 6:00 PM and an hour later Iím settled into my hotel room, my home base for the next two days.

Itís early and I figure Iíve got an opportunity to grab a good meal, so I call the only person I know who actually lived in St. Louis. Sheíll remain nameless to you, but she went to college here at Washington University for four years. It was some years ago, but I figure sheís got to know a couple of good restaurants. Well, I figure wrong. Not only canít she give me the name and address of any restaurant, but it seems there are cities Iíve been in for 30 minutes which I know better than she knows St. Louis. I spend a frustrating hour driving the bike around in the dark looking for a good place to eat.

I do take the opportunity to visit the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and the famous Gateway Arch, our tallest national monument, beating the Statue of Liberty and The Washington Monument by a few feet. During the summer, the Memorial and Museum of Westward Expansion are open until 10 PM. I bag another stamp, my third of the day. Visitors can ride a tram up to the top of the Arch for six dollars and get a view of the city and the very flat surrounding areas. I pass on the tram ride.

THE DAILY TAKE:
Miles Today: 404.5
Total Miles: 3585
Time on Motorcycle: 7 Hours 24 Minutes
Average Speed: 54.7 MPH
States Visited today: 4 (KY IN, IL, MO)
Total States Visited: 14
National Park Service Passport Stamps: 3
NPS Stamp totals: 39 Stamps, 11 States
Weather: Sunny and warm

SEEN ON THE ROAD:
"Outer Limits Liquor-Wine-Beer, Tanning Bed Now Open" Ė near Brandenburg, KY

RANDOM PASSINGS:
Just about every day I have a close call with a motorist. Itís a factor of riding a motorcycle and one of the many compromises riders endure. But today I had one that was too close for comfort. About 50 miles out of St. Louis, on US 50 just north of Beckemeyer, I came upon the leading cause of motorcycle accidents (excluding alcohol related accidents): The Little Old Lady. Actually this one was more like the Fat Old Bag. Sheís pulling out of the Wendyís parking lot, probably still sucking on her 99 cent Freezy. And I can see her all right so she sees me, right? Iím coming down the road about 40 MPH and itís hard to miss my headlight and BRIGHT purple and red jacket. And I think she sees me, but sheís looking right through me. And then the fat bag and her hair curlers pull the LARGE BROWN PIECE OF S&*! SEDAN RIGHT INTO THE ROAD, AND THEN SHE SEES ME AND THEN SHE JUST STOPS! Sheís panicked like a frightened deer. I SLAM ON MY BRAKES AND STOP ABOUT THREE FEET FROM HER DOOR PANEL. Thank God for ABS brakes. I probably wouldnít be typing this right now without them. I would have slid down and/or crashed into her door. F#@%YOU, YOU F#@%ING IDIOT! But she probably hears that as much as she saw me. Iím shaken up as I ride off but I think to myself, "Well now I have a story to tell."  Oh, the things I do to entertain my audience.

 


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