Another Travels with Harley Labor Day Adventure


Jim and I usually try to schedule a Travels with Harley the last weekend of summer, and this Labor Day wasn’t any different.


If you have read my previous blogs on Travels with Harley, you will remember that Jim and I are members of the Bourbeuse Valley Harley Owners Group. In fact, we were stoked that we were asked to carry the flag in the 110th Harley Anniversary parade.


Anyway, our chapter always has an end of month ride, and this year it happened to fall on Saturday the 30th of August and coincided with Labor Day. There was also another ride scheduled for the next day. Jim and I have been so busy lately with our stores, that we really needed to get away for some much needed rest and relaxation, and of course, another Travels with Harley.


When we arrived at 11:00 AM in Washington, MO, we were met by fourteen other riders who obviously needed as much R & R as we did.


We pretty much left on schedule. During the ride, we crossed the Missouri River on Highway 47. Known as the Mississippi River Bridge it was built in 1932 with a main span of 474.6 feet. The total length of the bridge is 2,561.3 feet with a deck width of 6.7 meters, or 22 feet.


Once we crossed the bridge, we headed off on highway 94, or the Lewis and Clark trail towards St. Charles. I had been on the ride before, but never grow tired of it. I don’t think Jim does either. There are some great little restaurants in the area, but we continued on the Super Bridge crossing the Mississippi River at Alton, Illinois.


The weather held up during our ride as we followed the River Road on to Grafton. We were having fun, but accidents do happen as we just happened to pass a boat that was on fire.

HawgPit Grafton, IL

Once we stopped in Grafton, we were pretty hungry and made our way to the scheduled stop for a bite at the Hawg Pit. This is famous among riders and is definitely a place that we will feature in an up and coming Travels with Harley episode. In fact, the 5th annual poker run takes place this coming Saturday the 6th.


Voted the best BBQ Hot Wings Biker Bar, the Hawg Pit has some of the best BBQ that I have ever had, and believe me, I’ve indulged in quite a few over the years. Oh and just as an aside, Grafton is where the bald eagles nest during the winter at the Pere Marquette State Park.


After our meal, we headed into Hardin Ill, which is located between the Illinois and the Mississippi Rivers. We waited for the lift bridge so that a little tugboat could pass under before heading to the Golden Eagle Ferry in order to cross the mighty Mississippi before heading back to St. Charles.

Mike Maniaci and his daughter Demi


It really was a great ride full of great people and a great time! Can’t wait to do it again!