Cape Girardeau, Missouri, June 18-23
By guest author Jerry James, Moto Adrenaline Tours
This year’s MSTA national STAR rally headed to the shore of the Mississippi river in Cape Girardeau. Due to hot weather in the forecast, Jeff Dolence and I trailered the 460 miles to the event on Friday, June 17. On the way we encountered wind and thunderstorms in Kentucky so the truck and trailer were a good choice.
There were already many folks hanging out in the lobby. It looked like old home week as riders were smiling, laughing and hugging it out! It resembled a family reunion.
Our hosts, Drury Hotel and Conference Center offered some unique benefits for food and drink. The large breakfast area off the lobby had a full hot breakfast buffet that included pancakes, waffles, bacon, sausage, biscuits & gravy, scrambled eggs, potatoes- just about anything you could want.
For dinner there was a nice bar/restaurant, but most of the attendees were quite happy with “Kickbacks.” From 5:30-7 PM in the breakfast area, Kickbacks is a free buffet including pork BBQ sliders, baked potatoes, salad, nachos & chips, soup, hot dogs, soft drinks etc. In addition, each guest gets a card that entitles them to three free drinks per day, including draft beer, wine, and mixed drinks. I enjoyed Margaritas and Bloody Marys each day, and it was a great opportunity for everyone to relax and socialize. I am told that this is a standard feature of Drury hotels nationwide.
On Saturday evening we took a shuttle bus to the old downtown by the river with some of the STAR faithful. We ate at the Minglewood Brewery on the patio, while a slight breeze kept everyone very comfortable. We enjoyed our pizza and conversation and got to see the beautiful murals painted on the walls by the banks of the Mississippi.
Due to the predicted hot sunny days, we adopted the format of riding early, leaving at 7AM Sunday morning to do the Elephant Rocks route. It was a 260 mile spirited ride west into the forests and rolling countryside, but we still made it back to the hotel before noon just as the temperature reached about 90.
The humidity stayed low and our early ride format worked again Monday on the 300 mile Bixby route. Roads were in good shape and traffic was light. There were some twisties along with lots of sweepers.
Getting back by noon had it benefits- plenty of time to get a shower, change clothes and rest. Later in the afternoon there was plenty of time to catch up with friends, kick tires and tell stories. That’s the reason we come to MSTA rallies- the people. If you have not attended a STAR, Regional or Just- for-Fun event, you are missing out!
Evenings were filled with welcome ceremonies, members meetings, and seminars from Klim and other event vendors.
Tuesday is traditionally “Lunch Ride” day, and this year’s lunch stop was the famous Lambert’s Cafe in Sikeston, Missouri, “Home of Throwed Rolls.” It’s a huge place that seats over six hundred diners. Most entrees include two sides, plus there are servers circulating with free “shareables-” apple butter, macaroni & tomatoes, fried potatoes & onions, black-eyed peas and fried okra. If you want a hot fresh dinner roll, just hold up your hand and one of the servers will throw one across the room to you. Fun atmosphere and plenty of good food!
By the time we left Lambert’s, the sun was hot, but we only had about forty miles to run up the interstate to get back to the hotel. Wednesday was another hot day, but we left early and got in a 150 mile route, beating the heat once again.
Wednesday before the closing banquet was the group picture. It was quick, and everyone made it back inside to get a drink and hang out some more before the banquet started.
The closing banquet is the highlight of every STAR. The food was top notch and everyone truly enjoyed spending time together. There are awards given and more stories shared.
It is always a little sad when everyone leaves after the banquet. Tomorrow everyone will be loaded up and head back home, with lifelong memories from this years event. Thanks everyone for a great experience!
Jerry James operates Moto Adrenaline Tours of Bella Vista, AR
“We have been planning awesome motorcycle journeys for over 15 years. Our goal is to organize affordable two-wheeled journeys that create wonderful memories and friendships that last a lifetime. We take care of all of the details. All you have to do is show up and enjoy the ride. Our tours are limited to 8-10 bikes. This allows for a fun and safe riding experience. What are you waiting on? Let’s Ride!” Check them out at motoadrenalinetours.com
Connect with local Ohio MSTA riders at these monthly breakfasts:
Southwest Ohio Breakfast, 9AM August 20
Village Family Restaurant
144 S. Main St.
Waynesville, OH 45068
Central Ohio Breakfast Meet – Sunday September 4. Arrive at 8 am to eat, 9 to ride if weather permits.
6515 S High St
Lockbourne, OH 43137