|I stayed up late to finish off book 11 in the Dresden Files series. In this installment Harry’s nemesis, Morgan, shows up battered, bleeding, and on the run from the Wardens, accused of killing one of the White Council. Butcher takes a slightly different tack with this book, and you can definitely see his evolution as a writer. I’m not going to give away anything, but he’s opened a few new doors and I’m really interested to see what’s behind them. The ending was a surprise, I was guessing pretty close to the end, not quite, but pretty close. Now it’s back to waiting for the next installment.|
|I got a start on this one during the road trip, but didn’t finish it off completely so it was at the top of the stack, and true to what I’d already got through, it was a fast, enjoyable read. The story centers around Black Jack Geary, a legendary hero thought dead who is found alive in an escape pod about 100 years later. He’s faced with a difficult situation, trying to get the remains of a fleet back after a lopsided battle and deal with his own legend status and the changes 100 years have made. Lots of fun and I’m going to be picking up more books in the series once I get the stack down a little more.|
Last day of the trip. I packed the bike up, ate some breakfast and hit the road, heading south on I-540 past Fort Smith, continuing on US-71 to Y City where I got on US-270 and got in to Mena in time for lunch. After a great meal of Mexican food I got back on the road and got on the Talimena Parkway for the highlight of the homeward bound leg. The parkway is great, the scenery is amazing, and it’s definitely a fun ride. I didn’t take too many pictures because I was too busy enjoying the twisties. I got back on US-271 in Talihina and took it over to US-70, heading west. My advice, stay off of it. There’s a lot of construction and it was down to one lane in places and 45 MPH for long stretches due to loose gravel. I picked up US-75 in Durant, OK and beat feet for home. Finally pulling in at around 5:20 PM.
Mileage for the day: 414
Total miles: 1824
All good things must come to an end, and today was it for the party. After taking down the tent and packing the bike up, I pointed it south on I-55, heading for Fayetteville, AR. The ride was smooth, the sun was out, and no significant issues. When I got to Springfield, MO I hopped off the Interstate on to US-160, then to US-60, then to MO-37. I picked up US-62 at Gateway and rode it over to I-540 and in to the hotel. After getting the bike unpacked and myself cleaned up I got a cab over to the Hog Haus for some really good brews.
Mileage for the day: 388
Another short hop, just running back from Peoria to the farm. The weather held for the most part, but just outside of Springfield it monsooned again, but the rain gear held and it was dry the rest of the way in. I spent the rest of the day catching up with friends and enjoying some most excellent pork tenderloin for dinner.
Mileage for the day: 122
Today’s leg of the trip was a bit shorter, but just as much fun. I headed out from the farm to UI-Springfield to get my student ID and meet my advisor for a promised tour of campus. After the obligatory DMV like experience and the campus tour, I grabbed a quick lunch and got back on the road to Peoria. It was good to see Reese, he liked the Lego set I brought up. We went out to Chili’s for dinner, then played some Uno, where he beat me soundly more often than not.
Mileage for the day: 154
It was an interesting morning… I got a late start due to having to wait for the cops to show up at the convenience store I was filling up at. There was a disturbed individual giving the clerk a really hard time. Once statements were taken I got back on the road, heading to Dorchester, IL.
The ride was good, the bike continued to perform wonderfully, and the rain held off until I was about 15 miles from the farm. Rain gear donned, I rode past the corn fields and farms to today’s (and the weekend’s) destination.
Tomorrow I’m heading up to Springfield to meet my graduate advisor and get an I’d card, and then on to Peoria to spend some time with my son.
Mileage for the day: 275
I pulled out at about 9:00 AM and headed north on I-35 for Oklahoma City. The RT really wanted to stretsh its legs but me being cheap, I kept the speed down. The first gas stop was in Norman, and it looks like I’m getting around 48 mpg. After lunch and fuel, I continued north and picked up I-44 in Oklahoma City and headed east toward my destination, Springfield, MO. The ride was good and went fast thanks to the 75 mph limit on the Oklahoma turnpikes. The bike really ate up the miles! One more gas stop in Joplin, MO (have I mentioned how much I love the fuel capacity?) and I was on the home stretch. I pulled in to Springfield at around 5:20, got a room, and unpacked the bike.
The Bill Mayer saddle is amazing. My jacked up back gave up before my backside did. I couldn’t have done 230 miles on the stock saddle, but it was no big deal. Definitely 2 cheeks up!
Mileage for the day: 471
Today’s installment could also be titled “Why years of accumulated kitty litter dust is bad”. The Rug Doctor did its stuff, after a little aggravation and annoyance with the unit due to me being impatient and expecting miracles. It was amazing to see just how nasty the stuff in the waste water tank was! But the carpets look good! I put a couple dings in the wall due to my clumsiness turning the Rug Doctor, but they’ll be spackled during round two (once the carpet is dry). The upstairs looks like more of a disaster area than it was. Even more incentive to get this stuff done sooner rather than later…
The holes in the walls have now been spackled, with two exceptions, both of which are large-ish areas (quarter sized) that are going to need some special attention. That’s another trip to Home Depot, but it’s a trip for later on because I’m beat and have made enough progress today to be happy about where I am. Tomorrow’s going to be the Rug Doctor day…