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“And we have lift-off…”

Road warriors.  I-35, near Albert Lea, MN.I’d planned for this adventure for more than five years. Departing the Twin Cities shortly after 8:00 AM, I could not believe that I was actually “in the trip”.  I had an immediate flashback to Long Way Round, when Ewan expressed much the same about being “in the moment, I’m in the trip, I’m here”.

It was the first time that I had pulled a trailer/bike. As my Acura MDX does not have a hitch, I traded vehicles the previous day with my father-in-law.  More often than not, we travel by automobile to Steamboat. We typically follow I-80 all the way west to Laramie, WY – including the 455 miles across Nebraska – then cut southwest on WY-230/CO-125 to CO-14, then take US-40 across Rabbit Ears Pass and into Steamboat. The same held true for this trip.


Caught in a single-cell, insane thunderstorm on I-80.  Traffic came to a stop right on I-80.  Inches of ice from the accompanying hailstorm.  Ogallala, NE.I made a couple of family-related “inside joke” stops, the first being Boogaarts Food Store in Kearney, NE.  While just outside of Ogallala, NE, a freak thunderstorm cell arrived out of nowhere.  It dumped water and hail, so much so that vehicles traveling on all 4 lanes of I-80 came to a literal halt, every single vehicle parked on the interstate.  I was concerned that the storm’s wind gusts would catch the trailer, and flip it and the bike.  After the cell passed and traffic started moving again, I stopped at the next gas station and checked for damage – there was none, to either SUV or bike, and the sun shone brightly from the west.

The second “inside joke” stop was at Buford, WY.  Buford – elevation 8,000 feet, population 1 – was sold in April 2012 via auction.

From Laramie, I made it through the pitch-black darkness, arriving in Steamboat a little after midnight.  Even in the dark, the descent into Steamboat always feels like coming home.

The Day : Weather

SunnyThunderstormsSunny Location State High (F) Low (F) Precipitation (in) Max Wind (mph)
Minneapolis MN 75° 42° 0.00 10
Des Moines IA 78° 49° 0.00 23
Kearney NE 79° 45° 0.00 27
Laramie WY 77° 34° 0.00 29
Steamboat Springs CO 78° 35° 0.00 25

The Day : Images

The Day : GPS

Total Time 18:01:43
Moving Time 15:24:16
Distance 1,067.5 mi
Avg Speed 59.2 mph
Moving Speed 69.3 mph
Elevation Max 9,594 ft
Elevation Min 686 ft
Elevation Gain 43,145 ft
Elevation Loss 36,742 ft