Sleepless in Iowa

Trip Start Jun 29, 2010
Trip End Jul 18, 2010

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Where I stayed
nowhere, stayed awake all day and night

Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Saturday, July 3, 2010

Jamie--We left our Super 8 in Newton, Iowa at 3 am to take advantage of cooler temperatures.  EbyRose got overheated the previous day, and we hoped to get farther with her by riding at cooler times of the day.  Things went well at first, but at sometime around 8 in the morning EbyRose overheated once again in the middle of nowhere!!  After waiting for her to cool down a little, Ty jump-started her and we proceeded to the next more populated exit.  As we pulled into the service area, EbyRose let out her last groans and went silent for good.  We gassed up and parked all the bikes and went in for a nourishing McDonald's breakfast.  My stomach was in a knot through the whole meal and I was on the edge of tears. 
After breakfast, Joan rode on to our next destination to secure the hotel and spend time studying.  It turned out that her solo trip was itself a nightmare--I'll leave her story for her to tell later.

Ty stayed behind with me to help me with making arrangements for EbyRose.  We had hoped to get her to Cody to be worked on next Tuesday;  however, there was no way she could be ridden.  We called U-Haul to see if we could rent a truck to drive her to Cody, but they wanted too much money (close to $800) and wouldn't have a truck available for a few days.  We scrapped that idea and considered other alternatives.  My first call to AAA was not processed, so after a long waiting time I called again and got a little luckier.  They hooked me up with a AAA driver who was also working at a Suzuki dealership in Atlantic, Iowa.  The driver showed up at about 11:14 am and took me and EbyRose (with Ty following behind) to the Suzuki place.  It was the middle of nowhere!!!!
The service department was just shutting down for the long weekend and wouldn't be able to do anything until Tuesday.  Sooooo, I had to leave her and find a way to proceed. 

    Next problem solving was to find a way to get a rental car.  Nothing available where I was!!!  We finally found an Enterprise rental with cars available at the Omaha, Nebraska, airport (1 hr. away).  I got a local taxi driver to take me there.  By 4:00 pm, Ty and I were ready to move on to try to catch up with Joan in Sturgis, SD.  We ended up driving all night long, pulling up to the hotel in full morning daylight.  We were exhausted!!

Ty-- It was a very rough day for everyone! The weather where Jamie and I were in Iowa was okay but beginning to cloud up. Joan had already headed towards where the weather was coming from. I happened to call her when she was at a gas stop and she told me that SD was expecting severe thunder storms. She said the winds were very strong and she had nearly been pushed off the road by several strong gusts.

Meanwhile back in Iowa...  Jamie and I were in search of a car rental since the dinky town we were in had nothing. They said our only options would probably be Omaha, NE or Des Moines, IA. Jamie called Progressive Insurance (her bike Ins Co) to see if there were any provisions for a rental car. The woman on the phone told us that there was no rider for a rental car on the policy. She said, maybe our Travel Service people can at least help you locate a car rental agency in your area. So we sat on hold for several minutes. Then, a young fella came on the line and asked how he could assist us. We told him the situation we were in. He politely said let see what I can find for you. He asked where we were and Jamie told him. He asked us if there was a cemetary around us. We told him we didn't know, we were brought there by the AAA tow truck. He asked if there was a Super 8 near us. We told him again that we didn't know. Jamie went to ask one of the salesmen at the shop what was near by. He confirmed the Super 8 was nearby. The fella on the phone said okay. Let me see what is near you. He asked about a couple of places in Atlantic, IA. We told him that we had already contacted them and that they had nothing available until Tuesday. He asked about one place we hadn't tried and the salesman (that had now come over to where we were standing) said to the guy on the phone, "That is an auto parts store, they do not rent cars!" The guy on the phone said Oh? So we asked him to check for Enterprise Rental Agencies. He said okay and proceeded  to do a google search. He said I see an Enterprise place just down highway 6 from you. He said it is in a town called Columbia. Columbia, CT. I said excuse me??? He repeated himself. Columbia, Connecticut. I said, that is not near us! We are in Atlantic Iowa not Atlantic City. We are in the west not the east coast.  He said ma'am, according to the computer, the nearest Enterprise office to you is Columbia, CT. I couldn't stand it anymore, I said to him, Are you aware of how crazy you sound? We are in Atlantic Iowa and you are telling me that the nearest Enterprise office is on the east coast!!! Finally, we gave up on him. The salesman who used to live in Des Moines said, let me do a google search for you. He provided us with 2 Enterprise phone numbers. One for Des Moines and the other for Omaha. We decided to go forward in our travels to Omaha instead of backtracking to Des Moines. He also gave us the phone number for a local taxi that would be the most reasonable for the one hour ride to get Jamie to the Omaha airport. We waited for the 5'2, blue eyed blonde in a red dodge caravan to arrive. She got there and Jamie loaded her gear into the van. Then came over and asked me if I wanted to put my gear in there too since it was beginning to look like rain was more imminent. That was a great idea and we loaded my bag in the van and headed off to Omaha. We did hit some rain on the way but nothing terrible. As Jamie said above, we got the car and had lunch and were ready to continue the journey towards Sturgis around 4pm.

The temps were VERY HOT!!! It was beginning to get dark as we got to SD on I-90. The winds were very strong too. I think I rode through the entire trip on I-90 at a 45 degree angle pushing against the crosswinds. Then around 10pm we could see heat lightning in the clouds ahead. Jamie was talking to me on the CB and said she heard a weather report that said we were coming into a severe thunderstorm warning area with reported gust up to 70mph. We kept pushing on. The rain began and then I started getting pelted by hail. I saw an overpass a few miles ahead and stopped the bike underneath it. The rain was really coming down by now and the lightning became bolt lightning. I jumped in the car with Jamie and we waited out the storm for at least 20 minutes or more. We got back on the rode. It rained on and off but was a light rain. We stopped for fuel and potty breaks and that was it! Finally, we did pull over for a 20 minute nap. We were both exhausted and it was 4:30am. We still had 3 more hours to go. We took our nap then on the road again we went. Fortunately, the chaos pretty much ended there. We made it safely to Joan in Sturgis. We were 2 VERY TIRED girls. We got a few hours sleep and moved on into the next adventure........

Joan -- Yes, a challenging day for everyone.  I traveled to Sturgis, encouraged by Ty, so that I could get some studying done.  11 hours later... HOT and windy ride with very very few places to stop on I90 in SD. It was a struggle to keep going.  No places to get a drink or food.  Exhausting ride, especially on your own.  We had a hotel booked that we all wanted to get to and I worried about Ty riding through the night.  I arrived in Sturgis and met up with Motor Maid friends, Wendy R, Karen B, Charlotte, Brenda, Pat, and her mother at the Mexican restaurant.  It was good to see them.

I went back to the room to do some homework only to discover my computer was dead!  Uh Oh!  I couldn't get online and get my work done but did some reading while I waited for Ty and Jamie.  We called each other through the night.... I kept going outside because I didn't have a signal in the room.  I was much relieved when the got to the room early in the morning.
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Marcia on

Oh MY! This has turned out to be much more eventful than anyone could have imagined. At times like these though....isn't it nice to have good and understanding friends?

Hang in there Jamie! We're all with you in spirit! :)

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