Day One – Home to Murdo SD
Miles: 1109
Elapsed Time: 19:31

We met at 3:30 to begin our trek of over 1,000 miles. It’s probably not completely necessary to start that early but I don’t think any of us were going to sleep that much in anticipation of the ride, and it is far better to have the hour or two in the evening as opposed to the extra time in the morning. We met at the BP in Miamitown but it was not yet open and therefore no one to witness our start, so we went on over to Harrison and stopped at a gas station off the exit and found a witness there. We rode at a fairly good clip and exited at Oakwood IL for gas. As we pulled in and began our conversation we learned Steve’s phone had become dislodged from his holder and had presumably fallen to the road during a major encounter with a pothole. He wasn’t sure what he was going to do when he miraculously discovered as the phone fell from the holder the right side pocket cover/flap had raised up simultaneously and the phone had fallen into the storage compartment and was on the bike all along. Unbelievable! He went from an extreme low to an extreme high in a matter of seconds. Everyone, feeling like a bullet was dodged rode on to Le Claire IA and home to the American Pickers where we gassed up, had some snacks and continued on. It was 10:00 local so we felt pretty good on timing. Next gas stop was Webster City IA where again our target timing was met as we pulled into the gas station; it was 13:00 local. Not long after gassing up and moving west on US20 we hit our first detour. We had to exit the four-lane highway and move on backroads until we got back on US20. As we were weaving around on the detour near Schaller IA we stopped at a nearby cemetery to drink some water and cool down as it had gotten hot. We were in Sioux City before long and after a wrong turn we got back on track and stopped for gas before we started west on The Outlaw Trail. Riding on the trail, also known as NE12 was nice, and certainly much better than an interstate. The speed limit alternated between 55 and 65 but we never really rode much above 80mph. At 18:00 we hit our first real rest stop to speak of, where we rode to the North side of the Missouri River over the Standing Bear Memorial Bridge to a spot on the bluffs overlooking the river. Headed back west we stopped at a one pump gas station in Butte NE. We had planned to continue on NE12 to Valentine, but instead we headed north on US183 taking a more direct route to Murdo. We stopped just short of Winner SD for sandwiches Jim had packed. We had been running a little faster since the bridge stop and by the time we reached Winner it was 19:45, but still with plenty of light as we were fairly close the western edge of the Central time zone. At 21:45 we hit the interstate for the last 35 miles. We reached our motel at 21:18 and it was actually still twilight and we enjoyed a few beers as we cleaned up our bikes and talked about the first day's ride. Once again I feel we turned what would have been a pretty unremarkable and long day into one that, looking back was fairly enjoyable.