Walkabout days 16 – 17: weird vehicles and weather-dodging

Sun­day was a day to see fam­i­ly, and take care of an errand. Got up at a rea­son­able hour and sailed up I-35 to Des Moines. First stop, the T-mobile store in West Val­ley Mall to get a replace­ment for my dead Cliq XT, and give them back their oh-so-styl­ish lime green Motoro­la loan­er phone. A few min­utes wait­ing for an ‘asso­ciate’ and I start into my spiel: bro­ken phone, cust. Svc agreed to sell me a stop­gap phone at full dis­count, notes are in the account, but Austin couldn’t do it due to an area-wide pol­i­cy: no price over­rides. Peri­od. I believe the Austin-area sales man­ag­er for T-mobile is an idjit. Any­way, twen­ty min­utes of quizzi­cal looks from ‘Sta­cy’ and I had my new phone. Pow­ered it up, and gave a half-heart­ed try to get though the sil­ly Moto­blur set­up. It didn’t work, and I resolved to take care of it after I got to Emmy’s place out in Panora.
Short ride to the west, and I arrive. Out of the rid­ing gear, take a few pics, and try to get the phone work­ing. Oh Crap: no t-mobile out here. After some vis­it­ing with var­i­ous fam­i­ly, and a nice din­ner, I got back on the bike and rode 30 miles back towards Des Moines, got on the T-mobile net, and got the phone work­ing. Sheesh. A non-bypass­able exter­nal depen­den­cy to get a phone work­ing is a real­ly crap­py user expe­ri­ence. Oh well.
While hang­ing around in Pano­ra, I got a look at my broth­er Shawn’s lat­est project:

It’s a ’55 cad­dy hearse chas­sis with a cus­tom camper built on the back. It’s been sit­ting in a pas­ture for the last 20 years. Shawn bought it cheap and plans on putting it back in run­ning and camp­ing shape. Includ­ing restor­ing and redo­ing the flame paint job. Awesome!

Start­ed look­ing at weath­er for­casts for Mon­day: hmm­mm, whad­dya mean tor­na­do watch­es through most of cen­tral Kansas, Nebras­ka, and the Dako­tas?!. Guess I’ll get up ear­ly and make tracks west before the atmos­phere get’s all hot and bothered.
So Mon­day dawns clear and warm in Des Moines. H head west on 44, tak­ing 44 and 30 all the way to Grand Island. Warm and humid, with the unre­lent­ing south wind, but no rain or thun­der­storms. Some clas­sic rur­al scenery on the way west:

I pro­ceed on west to North Plat­te, NE with­out too much inci­dent. By the time I get to a North Plat­te hotel, the wind is blow­ing 35mph and gust­ing high­er. One of the desk clerks looks and me and asks “how’d you get here on a motor­cy­cle, today?” “ at a 40-degree angle”, I mime. We all laugh. But I’m beat, sore arms and hands and low­er back.
So I’m sit­ting here in a hotel room, watch­ing thun­der­heads grow out­side, and clouds race by at 50mph. get­ting’ nas­ti­er by the minute. Hope­ful­ly all this blows over tonight and I don’t have to ride through too much more of it tomor­row. Anoth­er evening of excit­ing Weath­er Chan­nel TV!

Be good, y’all!
blackdog