Day Five: Valentine, NE to Ames, IA

Because of today, I will always associate the following with Nebraska--WIND!!! I got whipped all over the road today, but at least it was light out and I could see where I was going. On Iowa, it has some of the worst roads so far. My midwestern friends made me think all I would see through Nebraska and Iowa is corn and wheat fields. I thought it was going to be boring, but it wasn't. I really enjoyed the scenery today. Lots to see and the roads were full of rolling hills. It was nice to be at a lower elevation too. It wasn't cold as long in the morning and by mid-day, it warms up enough to be comfortable. Today, I saw quite a few cows, pigs, horses and other farm animals. Also lots of dead animals about every 30 feet or so. Mostly they were just small patches of fur that indicated there used to be an animal there. Lots of racoons and a few skunks. I also met some really neat people at the various gas stops along the route. Speaking of gas, this has to be some of the cheapest gas I have encountered in a long time. I think I paid $2.30/gallon at the most. In Oregon, gas has been as high as $3.05/gallon, and I paid $3.69/gallon in Wyoming, just outside of Grand Tetons!!

I got a late start this morning, so I was really behind to begin with. I made it into Ames, IA around 9:30 p.m. and it was dark. I actually almost ran out of gas just outside of Ames, so I pulled off the side of the highway and filled up using my extra tanks. Then, I got back on Hwy. 30, which was 65 mph and tried to not obstruct traffic too much. I finally decided to get off the highway a few stops before I was supposed to because I felt I was becoming a road hazard. I got off at the college exit and found 16th Street, which is one of the cross streets for the hotel we are staying at. I followed it until all of a sudden it turned into a gravel road! Not a lot of fun at 40 mph!! I finally found the hotel, checked in and then went to the parking lot to see what was going on. Ashrat had her gas tank out and was looking at her oil reserve tank. I checked with her to see what was going on and if there was anything I could do to help. She said she needed a new oil reserve tank. I told her it was her lucky day because I don't use mine and she was welcome to have it. So, we took my seat off and got my gas tank out, disconnected the oil reserve tank, pulled it out and she put it in her scooter. It was kind of fun having two of the women wrenching on their own bikes! Overall, a great day!