Wisconsin Dells, Wis. to Peoria, Ill.
After a long, hard sleep to recover from our adventurous day in The Dells, it finally was time for the last leg of our journey — time to go home.
The sun greeted us as we loaded up the bike once more, and we hoped the clear conditions would hold out.
We rolled onto Interstate 90/94 just outside town, both of us agreeing that a more direct, higher speed ride was in order. The week had been amazing, but our days in the rain were wearing on us, and the day’s forecast wasn’t promising.
The Interstate miles oozed away as we made our way south. Just outside Beloit, we realized we hadn’t yet acquired any Wisconsin cheese on our journey, and that situation was NOT acceptable. Not surprisingly, we spotted a cheese shop sign almost as soon as we made up our minds to look for one. Ten minutes later, we were back on the road with three beautiful blocks of smoked Gouda in our trunk.
Not long after that, it was time to stop for some food, fuel, and a radar check. The sky wasn’t looking too friendly, and we still had a couple hours to go.
As I munched my McMuffin in the McD’s parking lot, I evaluated our options, finally determining that we needed to veer east instead of continuing south. It seemed we could possibly slip between storms if we wiggled our way cross country, which is exactly what we did. Well, until we got to Dixon, that is.
The dark clouds had converged upon us, and there was no outrunning the impending downpour. Thankfully, we happened upon the Red Apple Family Restaurant, where we were welcomed with warm coffee and a place to wait out the worst of the weather. About 45 minutes and a second breakfast later, we thanked the staff for their hospitality and continued on.
Light sprinkles teased us the rest of the way, but my spirits lifted as I recognized our surroundings. Our destination was so close, and I was so ready to be there. As I scanned the horizon to gauge our distance from home, I once again noticed large, ominous clouds building around us — not again!
I anxiously watched as the front marched west, continuously calculating our chances of beating it to the garage. I smiled wide as we rolled through the first intersection on the edge of town. We had done it. We were home!
I was so happy as we pulled into the garage, I barely remember taking off my helmet. My mind raced in awe of everything we had seen, everything we had accomplished, and everything we had experienced — together, every step of the way.