The Fall 2017 Journey Begins

Finally ready to go. I spent all day yesterday getting the bike ready. I used my new Harbor Freight wheel changer to mount and balance new tires on the front and rear. After that I changed the oil and preformed checkup and general cleaning.
So finally, about 1:00 I was on my way. I decided to at least get across the Mackinac Bridge so my target was a hotel in St. Ignace.

Day 2 – Tahquamenon Falls, Pictured Rocks, Copper Harbor plus Cold Rain

378 Miles…
Got a late start today. I decided to lighten my load on the bike because I was struggling with the heavy load of luggage. They say you almost always over pack the first time on a trip like this and that was the case with me. I could barely lift my top bag let alone try to do slow maneuvers with the bike so top heavy. So I sorted through the stuff and only kept the bare essentials. I really didn’t need a phone, laptop and tablet so the tablet was removed. I packed a bunch of AAA travel books and other maps but they were very heavy and most of them were removed. I can do my research on the laptop and also go to local AAA outlets for guides/maps. All the non-essentials were boxed up and sent back home via the local UPS store. Continue reading “Day 2 – Tahquamenon Falls, Pictured Rocks, Copper Harbor plus Cold Rain”

Day 3, Onto Wisconsin

251 Miles…

An easy day, except for the rain. That’s 3 days straight of my 3 day trip. The 12% chance of rain turned into 100% for about half the trip today. The good news is that my rain gear is working well and I’m getting more confident riding in slicker road conditions. The forecast is sunny with moderate temperatures for the next few days. I’ll believe it when it comes. Good weather for the weekend is important because I plan to go to a BMW motorcycle rally in the Wisconsin Dells tomorrow and the rest of the weekend. I’ll be camping so let’s all pray for drier conditions. I’m excited because it’ll be my first rally. Continue reading “Day 3, Onto Wisconsin”

Day 4 Glorious Sun! and Lots of BMWs

198 Miles…

Finally found some sun and the temperature was a perfect 60 degrees F. It was a great 200 mile ride through the county roads of Wisconsin. These roads all have alphabetical names such as CR Z or ZZ. So the saying goes, “I took the alphabet roads today”.

Arrived at Wisconsin Dells about 3:30 and registered for the weekend rally. I found a spot back in the corner to pitch my tent so I would be in a quiet space. Of course, I was serenaded with stereo snoring in tents on either side of me. I was tired so it didn’t really bother me. Chilly night with temps in the low 40’s but the sleeping bag was warm. Note to self… don’t drink too much beer on a night like that because you’ll have to drag yourself out of the tent and into the cold to relieve yourself, twice. Continue reading “Day 4 Glorious Sun! and Lots of BMWs”

Day 6, 3 States, Herbert Hoover and Field of Dreams

September 10, 2017

424 miles…

Today I traveled in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. It was a beautiful day and a great ride. It was also a good learning experience. So what did I learn today? Let’s start with  Iowa. I’m pretty sure I’ve never been before. I was taken aback by the corn fields that go on forever on gently rolling hills. I’ve seen lots of fields but nothing like this. They went on forever with only the occasional barn or tree to interrupt the landscape. They were mesmerizing. Then, the small towns all look like they are preserved in the 40’s or 50’s. Just like in the movies. Continue reading “Day 6, 3 States, Herbert Hoover and Field of Dreams”

Day 7, Not much to see here

September 11, 2017

Sunday night, I turned on the computer and did a Google search for places to see in Minnesota. One of the attractions is the North Shore Trail along the Lake Superior shoreline. It is 140 mile run from Duluth to Grand Portage. That was just what I was looking for. It was almost 250 away from me but, what the heck, I’ve got nothing but time. Continue reading “Day 7, Not much to see here”

Day 8, A Day of Contrasts

September 12

410 miles…

Today’s route took me all the way across the Northern part of Minnesota. I started in chilly 45 degree weather and finished in a blistering 95 degrees. I also started with a glorious 70 mile trip through some really excellent twisty roads and ended with 200 miles of flat, straight and boring torture in the heat. I was planning to go over 600 miles to Minot, ND, but gave up that idea in Grand Forks as the heat and boredom took its toll. Continue reading “Day 8, A Day of Contrasts”

Day 9, Lots of Booooring Miles

September 13, 2017

579 miles…

Got an early start this morning to take advantage of the cooling temps. Glad I did as you’ll see later. I had 2 friends who were stationed in Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota during the Vietnam era and I wanted to stop in to see it just so I could talk to my friend Joe Busch about the place. Minot AFB is a huge complex that has many of our ICBM missiles in underground silos sprawled out in the countryside. Joe and Jerry told stories of the legendary cold winters with temps so cold the parking lots had AC outlets to plug in your block heater for your car while you shopped. Anyway, there wasn’t much to see but I’m glad I went. I was disappointed that I couldn’t find any silos to explore. Joe told me to look for a fenced in area out in the middle of nowhere. Everything is underground. Couldn’t find any. Continue reading “Day 9, Lots of Booooring Miles”

Day 10 – Great Day with Lots of Variety

September 14, 2017

243 miles…

3390 Total miles…

After a good nights sleep I was ready to move on. After uploading my post and pictures, I took off into central South Dakota. The rolling terrain went on forever. Take a look in today’s gallery at a couple pictures I took. So once again, the plan was to take advantage of the wide open spaces and fly through the country side. I was moving at a impressive clip when I saw an animal on the side of the road. I was able to pull over and get the camera out before he took off over the fence. It was a big antelope! I decided moving at twice the speed limit wasn’t such a good idea with deer-like creatures roaming the roads. I saw 4 more antelopes today. Continue reading “Day 10 – Great Day with Lots of Variety”

Day 11, 2 New States, Rain, Wind and a Leaky Tire

September 15, 2017

420 miles…

Took off in a heavy downpour. Got a block away from the motel and my tire pressure warning came on. Crap! It was a slow leak that I could not locate. The portable compressor I packed decided to crap out so I had to go back to town and find a gas station. All of this in heavy rain no less. So for the rest of the day, I kept an eye on the tire pressure and had to stop for air about every 100 miles. I was visiting my friend in Wyoming (picture above) and would deal with it permanently when I got there. Continue reading “Day 11, 2 New States, Rain, Wind and a Leaky Tire”