Carpe Every Chance to Ride

Carpe Every Chance to Ride

Most everyone likes to light fuses and blow things up, but this July 4th, I was just going to dog-sit for my good friends in Iowa while they rode down to the Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri.

Now I do get to ride more than most and less than some, but I never get tired of it. So when they found an alternative sitter, I was ready to roll.

Looking for adventure.

Four bikes, four riders and about 300 miles on both interstate and back roads turned into the perfect overnight trip. Six hours, two gas stops and an ice cream break was all it took to get to our hosts’ lake home.

When we were invited to spend the night at the lake, none of us thought it would be this nice.
When we were invited to spend the night at the lake, none of us thought it would be this nice.

Typical scene on the lake.
Typical scene on the lake.

Dockside view.
Dockside view.

People I meet in my travels that I thought were sisters.
People I meet in my travels that I thought were sisters.

People I meet in my travels.
People I meet in my travels.

A late barbecue ensued that prepped us for the multiple fireworks shows over the lake of various magnitudes.

What would the 4th of July be without BBQ.
What would the 4th of July be without BBQ.

Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri just a few hours before the fireworks.
Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri just a few hours before the fireworks.

With a new day dawning, we hit the road north where we rode together for a half hour, and I veered off separating from them to meet up with an old friend that needed some mechanical assistance on her bike. After parting ways in Jefferson City, Mo., with my Iowa friends, I rendezvoused with Rebecca and we rode together to St. Louis.

After parting ways in Jefferson City, Mo., with my Iowa friends, I rendezvoused with Rebecca and we rode together to St. Louis

It was only about 130 miles to St. Louis where I have family and access to tools and a small garage. I wanted to take the back roads but knew that the highway would be quicker giving us more time to repair the busted-up exhaust mount before I had to be back to Iowa for a business meeting.

The highway had different plans for us and before long we were stopped dead in our tracks due to an hour long traffic jam. Never knowing just how long you’re going to be sitting on the highway, I’ve found it best to make the most of it without getting disgruntled.

No trip is without issues and this one was no different. An hour long traffic backup provided us with plenty of time to get goofy and #BrianTheBobblehead helped.
No trip is without issues and this one was no different. An hour long traffic backup provided us with plenty of time to get goofy and #BrianTheBobblehead helped.

With 100-degree heat and egg frying asphalt temperatures, it didn’t take long for me to break out my 30-ounce water bottle with a pin-hole top and start squirting us both down. Next came out my umbrella for a little shade, my portable stereo for entertainment and some snacks that I carry just for emergencies like this.

What seemed like a catastrophe to the car drivers was actually a fun time for us.

Fixing the exhaust problem went smoother than expected so we had the whole next day to explore the big city. My plans were to ascend the Gateway Arch, experience the City Museum (this is not your grandpa’s type of museum) and have a nice dinner out with my sister.

Gateway to the West.
Gateway to the West.

In the heart of downtown St. Louis
In the heart of downtown St. Louis.

Five-person elevator capsule that travels up and down the arch's legs.
Five-person elevator capsule that travels up and down the arch’s legs.

Art on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis.
Art on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis.

Hammer time.
Hammer time.

Known as the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis and is famous in part to the Dred Scott Decision.
Known as the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis and is famous in part to the Dred Scott Decision.

Inside the Old Courthouse that stands in the shadows of the Gateway Arch.
Inside the Old Courthouse that stands in the shadows of the Gateway Arch.

Domes-eye view from inside St. Louis' Old Courthouse.
Domes-eye view from inside St. Louis’ Old Courthouse.

Live to ride, ride to eat.
Live to ride, ride to eat.

I’ve learned a long time ago that you can make all the plans you want but you don’t have to follow them…Seize The Moment. We never made it up to the top of the Arch or the Museum but that didn’t matter; we had fun nonetheless.

America's heartland.
America’s heartland.

Ladies of the highway.
Ladies of the highway.

Ladies of the highway.
Ladies of the highway.

Rolling south along Iowa's bottom land.
Rolling south along Iowa’s bottom land.

Two lane treasures in middle America.
Two lane treasures in middle America.

The 4th of July weekend trip was a great unexpected diversion, but it's back to Iowa to tie up a few loose ends.
The 4th of July weekend trip was a great unexpected diversion, but it’s back to Iowa to tie up a few loose ends.

If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to follow along with all of Joe Sparrow’s adventures on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at #WanderingSparrow and right here on the blog.

By |2015-08-12T08:34:06+00:00July 15th, 2015|Categories: Editorial/Commentary Articles, News/Events Articles|Comments Off on Carpe Every Chance to Ride

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