Written by Cami:
Day 8 was refreshingly short in mileage (600 miles feels short to us now) so we decided to take a late start, which all of us appreciated. After eating a hot breakfast at the hotel, we set off on the long, flat, straight road of Iowa. We were very excited to have warm weather, enabling us to take off a couple of our (sometimes even 4) layers.
We stopped for lunch at a restaurant in South Dakota where we had good conversation about concerts in the 80s while we ate loads of popcorn. Steve just kept refilling our popcorn baskets before they were even empty and I don’t know how much of that stuff we ate! We had an impressively quick waitress also (a huge improvement from the pizza place in Chicago) so lunchtime was very enjoyable. The downside to how full we were after lunch is that it makes the driving after feel very long. We made it up to North Dakota though, where Andy took an awesome picture of the gas station worker, a spunky old man, on his motorcycle. That guy was loving it, and we told him we would recommend his gas station to anyone we knew who was coming to North Dakota.
In the evening, the sunset was beautiful to watch as we rode over to Minnesota and back down to Aberdeen South Dakota. We finally made it to our destination before doing any riding in the dark and got Steve a nice bowl of soup (just what he wanted) at the Millhouse Family Restaurant before retiring to the comfort of our beds.
Although they call them the Plain states, I was surprised to find they were not as plain as I thought they would be. Today we cruised through Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota. Each had their own beauty. A little piece of heaven can be found right on the corner of ND, SD and MN where there is a large lake there that we got to ride around. It was beautiful. Everyone really enjoys getting off the highway and onto back roads for a bit where the scenery is much better and the riding more engaging. Nonetheless, today’s ride was a lit of straight, flat backroads. But at least we got to make good time!