Day 12 – Drowning not waving

The hotel is fine and the room spacious with the same facilities, but the internet doesn’t work…. I can connect to the wifi network no problem but I can’t get onto the internet.  I go down to the reception area and it works ok there but when I get back to my room it still isn’t working.  I’m too tired to go back and complain again so decide to leave it until the morning.

It still isn’t working this morning so I’m pretty fed up really, one of the things I always look for in accommodation is internet access, preferably free.

They also have a laundry room so I take my washing down to save looking for a launderette…. they have two machines and both are not working.  😤

I pack up quite quickly… am getting used to it now… and ride next door to the dealership.  It is enormous, but nothing I want really.  I do get the dealer pin and a scarf… I lost one off the bike the other day; forgot to mention it.

They have their very own diner set up in the car/bike park; my first american diner and the food is delicious…. thanks guys!

Right, Chicago or bust and no stopping.

Except for Kalamazoo of course, it just so happens that I have to fill up so detour off slightly to take a little look at the place with such a fantastic name and of course the song by Glen Miller I think.


It is just 2 minutes after I take this photo that it just buckets down and I have to pull into Walgreens car park to cover everything up.  I am soaked by the time the bags are done and have to put my rain gear over my wet clothes ugh!

Back onto the I94 to Chicago with about 140 miles to go.  The visibility is minimal and as usual the cages overtake and pull in front of me causing huge deluges each time from the spray… I am getting soaked even through the rain gear!

Just before the exit for a place called Brigman the tank bag flies off the bike… it has my passport, money and bike documents etc etc in it..😱😱😱. I see it land in the central reservation, which means it is out of the traffic so probably won’t get run over.  What can I do??  I pull off at the exit and my first thought is that I had better contact the police to get them to retrieve the bag.  So, I am sitting on the bike, in the pouring rain wondering how the hell I am going to get hold of the police…

I turn the bike around, get back on the I94 towards Detroit, come off at the next exit, re-enter the I94 towards Chicago and ride back to where the bag flew off. I remember noticing is was just before Mile 30 so at Mile 32 I pull over onto the central reservation and ride slowly with my warning flashers on.  It is littered with bits of exploded tyre, wood, rocks and other rubbish so I have to dodge around quite a bit. I am riding for some time and start to think I have missed it with the poor visibility and amount of debris. Just as I am thinking I’ll have to go around again… there it is.  I pull up, park the bike and retrieve it.  I make sure it is solidly attached to the tank and then rejoin the carriageway leaving at the exit and pulling up where I stopped before to tie the bag onto the back of the bike before I continue to Chicago.

I must admit, I was unbelievably calm about it… 😎 and whilst I know it was extremely dangerous, it seemed to me I had no other choice, but I will be making absolutely sure it doesn’t happen again, and just in case it does, I will be keeping my passport etc somewhere else!

Back on the road and the rain is getting worse, the interstate is actually flooding… It’s too dangerous to proceed so I pull off at Sawyer, just 80 miles from Chicago, to look for a motel. There is only one… A Super 8… Well it will have to do, if they have a vacancy that is.🙏 They do… I notice that it is much, much nicer/cleaner/fragrant than the one in Williamsburg, however it is also twice the price. The woman on reception is very helpful and allows me to park the bike right outside the door beneath the portico to unpack, how thoughtful. They also have a laundry and I ask her if all the machines work? They do and that means I can get all my wet stuff washed and dried, hurrah!

After I unpack the bike she tells me I can leave it parked there overnight out of the rain.  Just lovely. I order a pizza for delivery as there’s no way I’m going out in that rain again tonight.

Am really behind schedule now so will have to ride hard the next two days because I must be in Springfield Missouri by late afternoon on the 17th as I have booked accommodation. Depending on the weather and what time I can leave in the morning I will make a final decision about whether to start Route 66 from the sign post in Chicago which is the traditional starting point or to take a more direct route to Bloomington, St Louis or even Springfield and join the route there. I have to say I will be very, very disappointed if that is the case, but let’s wait and see.

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One thought on “Day 12 – Drowning not waving

  1. Hi Pogs, Well your trip hasn’t been short of thrills and spills! Where does all that rain come from? I remember the thing that struck me most about America were the extreme weather conditions. Every day there was some kind of dreadful weather emergency alert on the news. Let’s hope you have drier weather when you get to the Windy City. Wiltingly hot and humid here in Gibraltar but a small plus is that the sea is very warm. I heard on the news this morning that Western Beach has had tons of sea weed coming in and clogging up the beach. It’s being removed daily by the ton but in spite of that the authorities may have to close the beach. It’s been announced that Picardo has remortgaged the council housing here in Gib for millions, and also that rent arrears and utility bills unpaid amounts to further millions…… In spite of all the downsides it’s still our favourite place in the whole world. Keep on riding! Love J&J Sent from my iPad


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