Day five dawned bright and sunny with much less humidity, whew. We wandered down to the wooded area where the trials competition would begin. All the rain had turned the woods sections to a greasy, slippery mud-a-thon. Some of the riders would have mud build up under their front fenders and actually stop the wheel from turning, at the most inopportune moment, causing more than one rider to go down. After watching the competition for a couple hours, we slithered our way up out of the woods and ended up on the backside of the roadrace track. Since it was about noon we had a slice of pizza and a four-dollar soda and made one more loop through the swap meet area to check for any last day bargains. Finding none, we made our way back to the campsite and proceeded to pack up for the trip home. We pulled out of Mid-Ohio at about 1:30 local time and headed west on Ohio State Road 30. Our first rest stop was in Indianna, somewhere at a gas station/convenience store. The closer we got to Chicago, the heavier the traffic was. As an added bonus there were numerous areas of road construction to deal with as well. In an effort to avoid the toll roads, we consulted our map and decided to take I-94 north through Chicago, hoping for a faster way through. It was not to be. Sunday night rush hour was in full swing and it was stop and go for at least an hour. We made the decicion to bite the bullet and get back on the tollway in an effort to make a little more time. After a quick supper at a tollway plaza, we got back on the bikes only to have dark storm clouds bearing down on us. Rainsuits were hastily put on and we headed back into the fray just as the heavy rain started in. The toll road turned out to be no picnic either as it was under construction and down to a single lane for miles on end. After about an hour of this, my brother had had enough and pulled off to find a room in a Holiday Inn. We would continue our trip in the morning, after a real shower and a good nights rest in a real bed.
The next morning, Monday, was another bright and sunny day and we got going after a continental breakfast in the hotel lobby. After riding about a half hour we were off of the toll road and back onto good ol’ I94. We stopped in the Dells area for a brief rest and met up with a Harley rider who was sitting at a convenience store with a severely flat rear tire. Seems that he ran over a piece of metal the evening before that gashed his tire badly. Two cans of fix-a-flat did nothing but ooze out of the cut so he got a hotel room for the night and called his boss to tell him he would be late for work on Monday morning. He was still waiting for a ride when we left and so we wished him luck and hit the highway once again. Our last stop was just a few miles before the I94-I90 split east of Tomah and so we took another brief respite and shared a quick photo before parting ways. I continued onward towards home and stopped in Winona for a late lunch at the KFC there before making the last push for home, arriving about 3:30pm. Whew. Fifteen hundred miles behind us and no equipment failures, even the trailer performed flawlessly. What more could you ask for a fortieth aniversary of riding ride?