Friday, September 11, 2015

Road Trip (Wing Ding)

A lot of folks were out and about for the Labor Day weekend....   I'm sure campgrounds were jamb packed...  But my motorhome sat at home...   Forlorn...  And no I didn't go to the lake of the Ozarks either...  Although the kids and grand kids did...

I am a member of the Goldwing Road Riders Assn and they have an annual convention, they call Wing Ding...  It was moved to Labor Day this year from the fourth of July...  So I convinced Al to go with me to Huntsville, Alabama...  Its 675 miles from us here in KC.....   Road Trip....!

We left here on Tuesday before the big weekend...  It was really early in the morning, before daylight, so we watched the sun come up as we were riding on the Missouri side of our state line here South of KC.  By mid morning we were gassing up in Springfield, Mo.

As the day progressed we were in Mountain Grove on highway 60 at a McDonalds for lunch.  But only rested and got coffee..  Onward as it became afternoon we arrived in West Plains, Mo in the South Eastern part of Missouri...  There we stopped at a Wendy's (of course) and did get lunch...

It was starting to get hotter, as it was now above 90 in the afternoon sun...  Next it was the twisties of the Northern Arkansas, Eastern Ozarks... We were still pumped up because it was our first day out so we raced thru the Arkansas Hills....  Al lot of it is 30 and 40 mph corners, but we didn't slow up much from the speed limit and traffic didn't cause much trouble either..

By about 4 PM we stopped at a Super 8 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, that I had made a reservation for on  Place was a dump...  We had ridden 378 miles...   The first room didn't have a working air conditioner, and we really needed that after the hot ride...  But the second room was on the North side of the building and did have a better AC...  We had a nice evening meal in a family restaurant next door and crashed for the night...

Wednesday....    We were off after a quick breakfast in the hotel's breakfast room at about 8:30 AM and rode straight for Memphis...  The road becomes 4 lane interstate once 63 merges with I 55 North of Memphis and we rode right thru the town on the perimeter bypass highways...  I 55 is jammed with traffic mostly trucks, so we were glad to have Memphis in our rear view mirrors...

The rest of the day we rode across Mississippi and Alabama... The traffic was fairly light and tolerable,  That is until we arrived at Decatur, Alabama...  There we ran into a traffic jam...   You cross the Tennessee river there, and it was solid construction zone on the South side of the bridge..  Traffic was at a standstill...   We had to take off our riding jackets because of the heat from the stopped vehicles..  It took about 45 minutes to get about 2 miles to and over the bridge...  Enduring  riding a motorcycle in the summer requires you to keep moving to allow the wind to cool you off, so getting trapped like that isn't fun...

Once in Huntsville, we found our way across town and back out a small highway to the South where I had reservations in a Hampton Inn... It was in a valley between two of the mountain ridges.  Everything was lush green and it was much cooler up in the mountains above town.. It was as nice, and the previous nights room was bad...  Think warm chocolate chip cookies on check in!   We made an additional 300 miles on Wednesday....

More in the next post....

Retired Rod


  1. Happy to hear you had a nice beautiful room waiting for you after sitting in traffic in the heat. You are covering the miles.

  2. I'm just too cheap to stay at a Hampton Inn, but found out on my last cross country that the small independently owned motels are often fantastic! They seem to have upgraded their rooms, maybe to compete with all the chains. My one exception to chains in Motel 6. Again, they have upgraded nearly all their properties, and are always priced lower than Super 8. But after the day you had with the traffic situation, I'm sure you enjoyed the Hampton Inn and amenities. Have a great time in Huntsville!

  3. Tennessee!!! You are in my home state -- and you didn't even stop by!!

    1. Uh, Jenny I think Memphis is a long way from Johnson County...... Isn't it?

    2. Yep -- Just a short drive ---- 544 miles - but what's a few miles between friends!!

  4. Good to see you back, I was starting to think that motorcycle had broken down and you were having to walk back, it is so long since we heard from ya.

  5. Have a terrific trip !!! The Wing Ding sounds like fun !!! After the good time, safe trip home !!!

  6. I second JB's comment--glad you are out and about!


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