Heading North East

 I've been learning a lot about the different States  and their geography, woking out my route as I go along, sometimes choosing a route which might take me through a state I haven't been to before. Several states seem to have pan-handles (a bit that juts out), I don't think we use that word in England or at least not in geographical terms.

Songs were running through my head, place names from the road signs in them...Albuquerque, Amarillo, Wichita are just a few of them. I'm still more or less navigating from my extremely small road atlas of America, it gives other people a chuckle when they see me looking at it. One bloke at a garage even offered me his spare large size road atlas, but I pointed out I didn't have the space to carry it- we are talking an extra-large size.

My knowledge of American culture is increasing all the time, whilst rifling through a fridge at the petrol station for a sandwich I found one that said it was a Hoagie sandwich, I had hopes it might prove to be suitable for me, but the staff looked at me incredulously and said it was meat-although apparently it is the bread that refers to the hoagie part and not the filling...never mind.

I'm enjoying all the billboards by the side of the road, they've enlivened what could be a boring ride- imagine British motorways with this kind of entertainment- big signs proclaiming " Drive for Jesus", Route 66 memorabilia, lots of food adverts and signs for the weirdest sounding places including the Biggest Catholic Supermarket in Texas- I actually took the junction off the highway to go and get a look, but couldn't seem to find it (Amarillo if you're interested).

 For those who may be a bit concerned about my lack of proper sight-seeing activities, I am managing to fit in a few things, mainly through the efforts of others. In Iowa, I stayed with Ryan and Robin along with their menagerie of cats and dog. They took me out into the countryside and we went to see the Bridges of Madison County- real bridges, they're just down the road from the birthplace of John Wayne. Somehow, I'd imagined him as coming from a more rugged-looking area.

Glad to see you back on the

Glad to see you back on the move . YES ! Our American billboarding is hideous at best . Glad you are entertained by them . I wish they would all dry up and blow away . lol


Be safe and fruitful .




 Hello Tiffany - We met briefly at BMW Motorcycles of Countryside as you were attempting to stuff and shut one of your panniers.  I was just coming off a 3K tour of my own, getting to all of the capital cities of southern U.S. states, on my '79 R65. Not sure how long you are staying in the Chicagoland area, but noticed that it appears you have only been in the suburbs.  I encourage you to see the city and/or parts north before heading out.  I live in Evanston, just north of the city and boarded by Lake Michigan.  While the best riding roads are definitely away from the city, there are some sites to see along the lake.

Cheers and safe travels!



Hi Randy

Thank you for getting in touch and sorry to say that I am out of the city already, in fact, me kneeling on my panniers was the final act of packing before loading up Thelma and hitting the road towards Iowa. Hopefully I'll get back to Chicago again at some point and maybe we can talk some more then, in the meantime enjoy the blogs.

best wishes and ride safe