I've been trying to find time to post, but it's been a busy couple of days. Last time I posted was Sunday morning, having just had an awesome couch surfing experience. I'm glad to report that while it might not be possible to top that experience, it is at least possible to match it.
But before that, I headed out of KC up towards Omaha. Well, even before that, I had breakfast at a restaurant called Succotash in KC, which included a crab-meat benedict and cucumber/celery/lime/other stuff juice. It was really good, even if it was a little off-putting having to see the giant picture of a woman drinking what could be either tomato soup or blood while making a creepy face.
So I headed up to Omaha, and found a campsite that was actually just over in Iowa. On the way to it, though, I had to take a detour and ended up going by this:
I turned around and came back, and there were a couple more in the driveway too, and a bunch of burly bikers with gravelly voices sitting in the garage smoking and playing cards. I asked if I could take pictures, and they said sure, and after a while a few of them came out to talk to me about them - they'd built all of these themselves. Some of them, they'd even fabricated the parts themselves - mufflers and frames and everything. After taking a few pictures and talking to them for a bit, I headed out and went and camped. (You can see more pictures of their bikes here.)
I woke up and packed up camp in the morning, and then headed down into Omaha. I checked out the slides in the park downtown, and then grabbed a beer and lunch at Upstream Brewery before heading towards Des Moines.
I noticed as I left though that despite having charged my phone for more than an hour the night before, it had almost no charge. And sure enough, it died on the way to Des Moines - hence my meandering route, if you look at where I actually went here. I got it charged up enough at a Panera outside Des Moines to get downtown and meet my Iowan couch surfing host - Alex Versackas. The name hadn't rung any bells previously, but it turns out he plays ultimate. With Iowa. Who just got 3rd in the national championship. (In fact, if you watch this youtube video he's in a highlight.)
So I ended up hanging out with him and his girlfriend. We went to El Bait Shop with 99 beers on tap, and I got a flight (six 3.5oz glasses) called "You put what in my beer?" that included chocolate, hazelnut, cream, orange, and chipotle flavored beers. Then we went to an Iowa Cubs game (for free, since a guy outside had extra tickets) and heckled the other team, as well as some of the other fans. Afterwards we went back and just chilled at his place and watched old episodes of Friends. It ended up being a pretty awesome night, and I followed it by sleeping for 12 hours (as did they).
Once I finally got out of bed, I headed up towards Minneapolis. The weather was ridiculous today - not only record highs for some places (like Minneapolis), but the winds on the way up had to be close to 40 mph. Fortunately they were going almost due north, so most of the time the only effect was that it didn't feel as windy as normal at 70mph. But the few times I had to turn and go east or west were horrible - I had to angle the bike just to keep it going straight, and it was gusting enough that I had to make sure I was in the center of the lane in case one blew me pretty far. It was not pleasant, and I was glad when the road would turn back north.
After arriving at Laura and Luke's tonight, we went down to Minnehaha falls and took a few pictures, and then went over to The 5-8 club for their Juicy Lucy, as featured on the food network. After that we headed downtown to see the skyline and some of the bridges, and I got to show off how good my camera is at low-light pictures.
And I think that catches us up... no big revelations, just a "first I did, then I did" this time.