Day 5: Cold Night under the Stars, Vacuuming the Mississippi River, Heading out, but First, Hardees, Then Zen again.

The good side was that the night was breath stealing, the sky so cobalt and clear that new stars came visiting our galaxy just to check us out.
The tent was easy to set up and the Thermarest sleeping pad worked perfectly. My new sleeping bag was also plenty warm enough.
The bad side was that it was freezing, going down to 43 degrees. And having to get up a few times during the night made it rough. In addition, a loud sound in the distance carried on throughout the night. I can only describe it as sounding like someone was running a vacuum cleaner over the Mississippi and the hose kept getting clogged.
Still, I felt good in the morning, surprisingly refreshed. Took a while to break camp, dry things out, fold them up. I worked up an appetite and drove about 5 miles to Hardees on Highway 61, where I am now, trying to get fortified for the ride ahead.
Not sure where I’m going to get to tonight, my predictions haven’t been too good, but I’m heading up towards Burlington, Iowa and then heading on Hwy 34 towards Lincoln, Nebraska.
The first thing that happens when I finally get on the road in the morning is that a wave of gratitude sweeps over me; gratitude for this ride, my bike, for God, my family and friends. Prayers come next. Praying that I will be loving and kind to everyone I encounter today. Easy to forget that part. Then I slip into that Zen awareness of the road, the beauty of hurtling through the countryside taking ‘now’ with me everywhere I go. I hope you will too. Namaste.

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