|Day 24; Monday, June 21st, 1999
Start: Bismarck, North Dakota
End: Hudson, Wisconsin
I sleep very, very well in the motel.
In the morning I make a phone call and arrange a business meeting for Tuesday morning in St. Paul; then I eat breakfast and take off.
It's hot again, but not nearly as bad as yesterday. Plus: I'm well rested, so maybe I'm able to stand it much better.
Eastbound on I-94, the scenery is becoming less and less interesting to me, more and more like home. It's a gradual process, with the land slowly getting greener, more trees appearing, the buildings gradually getting closer and closer together, traffic becoming more dense and aggressive.
There's a change in people, too. It seems to me that as I head east the people themselves are a bit more serious, more frantic, a bit more "business-like", and a bit less friendly. I've often wondered whether there's a relationship between population density and people's attitude. I've never come up with an answer, but I wonder every time I transition from east to west, or from city to country.
The day is relatively uneventful as I ride east, racking up miles and just watching the changes roll by.
A very late lunch at a truck stop in western Minnesota, as it begins to rain steadily and lightning strikes now and then nearby. It's good to be inside eating while it rains. Someone in the truck stop asks me if the rain is scary on the bike, I reply "Not really, but the lightning makes me kind of nervous...."
After supper I gas up, get into my rubber overboots, and continue east. The lightning stops, while the rain continues. A full dress Harley and I pass and re-pass each other in the rain. I'm wearing my Aerostich and rubber overboots, he loses time on the side of the road getting into rain gear, then gets on the gas and passes me. Then I see him stopped for fuel.... and so it goes. The fable of the tortoise and the hare comes to mind. No hurry, I'll get there. And after about an hour or so in the rain, it stops.
I eventually arrive in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, ride on through, and check into a motel on the Wisconsin side of the St. Croix River in Hudson, just across from St. Paul. I have a late meal of Chinese "to-go" food from a place within walking distance, while washing and drying my clothes and watching TV.
Though the scenery may not be so interesting to me now, I'm excited at the thought of being home sometime in the next two or three days, I'm figuring on being home Thursday.... Wow!! I'm looking forward to slipping back into a normal life, a normal routine, seeing friends and family again. I didn't think it was possible to feel this way, but enough traveling; I'm ready to be back home now.
Laundry done and everything neatly repacked, I fall asleep watching something on cable, enjoying my vacation for just a bit longer, as we don't have cable (gasp!) at home.