What a week!!! I'm sitting here listening to a little Captain and Tennille. Yes that's what I wrote, stop laughing. They are ICONS! :)~
Ok...so what a week...Thanks for the comments on last nights entry B.B. & Ann. I'm glad I blogged what I was thinking because I didn't think about it for the rest of the night! That guy was a jackass though...WOW!
Last Sunday Dan and I stained the deck at like 6 am and then hit the road on a 230 mile journey. I've gotten to the point this year where I ask where we are going because there have been a couple recent adventures that have turned into long distance rides and I've been sitting on the back freezing like an ice cube because of poor planning or lack of communication. A few weeks ago I had to finally gesture at the road sign to exit at Story City so that I could put on my leather coat. When I got off the bike Dan was like..."What's up?" Steph..."I'm freezing!" Dan..."And you call yourself a biker chick!" Steph...Arm punch..."Yep I still do!!" LOL It was funny...guess ya had to be there, huh?
Ok...Captain and Tennille...while a great duo...not really inspirational blogging music. Need to find something else. LOL Alright...I'm going with a little Poison...Bret Michaels is a biker...this will be good! :) Hey D-Day...how was the show? Bret rocks...
Back to the trip...so we get on the road and head over to Hwy 330. Great back roads on the way over and 330 is a nice road with not a lot of traffic even though it's 4 lane. We are headed over to Parkersburg to see the tornado damage. I get into my head and think a lot when we are riding...I'm mentally preparing myself for what lies ahead in Parkersburg while still trying to enjoy the ride. I have mixed feelings about this Parkersburg trip. I've never seen the destruction that a tornado has caused first hand.
We've had so much rain in Iowa that the fields are flooded and many rivers are out of their banks. We come up on the 30/330 bypass and there is a sign telling us that we will need to exit and go through Marshalltown because 330 is under water at Albion. We cruise into M-town and stop off at a Kum and Go for gas. Here is a pix of Zippy Pickle at the pump and the current price of gas as of last Sunday.(3.75 was for the cheap stuff)
Back on the road we head through NE Iowa on Hwy 14. We get to Grundy Center and my stomach starts to get butterflies...I'm bracing myself for what I'm about to see. We head past the new Grundy County truck stop, off of 14 and Hwy 20, and are now getting closer to Parkersburg. We blow by the road closed signs and I'm actually hoping at this point that we won't be able to get too close. I see the P-burg water tower and a lump forms in my throat...the closer we get I can hear myself saying Oh My God out loud. Everything that greeted you to this town when you enter it on Hwy 14 is now gone. Debris is everywhere. The tears begin to fall from my eyes. Dan pulls off the road and we both sit there and just look...silent. It's the worst thing I've ever seen. Peoples lives torn apart by nature, strune all over the country side. After about 10 minutes Dan starts up ZP and says that he's going to see if we can ride through. I don't want to...I want to turn around and go back. I'm feeling guilty for being there because I'm not volunteering to help...I'm just another gawker. The ISP lets us through and then we are stopped again by some volunteer firefighters up from Norwalk. One of the guys doesn't want to let us in and I really don't blame him. I'm feeling like shit at this point, thinking that we should have gone back. The looks on peoples faces were so sad. There was no laughter, no smiles. We got past the firefighters and venture into P-burg. As you ride through town it's amazing to see houses that weren't affected at all. It's unbelievable how mother nature picked and chose that day whose lives she was going to change. We ride up by the high school and it's destroyed. National Guard trucks line the parking lot at the school. I finally asked Dan if we could head out. My heart couldn't take anymore...we had to get on down the road, so we did. I didn't take any pictures, it just didn't seem right...if you want to see footage go back to an earlier post and watch the videos. http://iowaharleygirl.blogspot.com/2008/05/deadly-tornado-parkersburg-ia.html
Back on the road I reflect on life, reflect on what I just saw, said a prayer for the people of Parkersburg and then moved it out of my head. We stopped in Iowa Falls and had lunch/dinner at DQ. Then we cruised on over to Ames and stopped off for a cup of coffee at Burgie's Espresso Cafe. Fueled up ZP and were back on the road headed back to Johnston. This was a bittersweet journey. I still feel guilty for gawking but I'm glad I went up there to see it first hand. Seeing that kind of destruction really makes you think about the things that are most important and it's obvious that they aren't material belongings. My thoughts continue to be with the people of Parkersburg.
Have a great weekend and hug the ones you love!!