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Here's a little trip report.......I'm amazed at how you guys compose such great reports. I wish I had the where-with-all to write like some of you guys. And photos..my goodness, a photographer I'm not. All this being said I'm going to post up this little RR about our brief venture above the Mason-Dixon line.

SDVET and I have ridden together for many many miles. We've been pretty good pals all through our lives though I'm several years his senior. On top of that we just happen to be first cousins and shared a mentor in his Dad, Bucky. So often in our travels we mention the fact that we wished his Dad was with us, or not, and many times one of us will quote Bucky or come up with something that Bucky would say in a particular situation. He taught us lots of really good things and some not so good things too, but it just seems he's always along with us, watching us enjoy the ride, or maybe following along on some old Goldwing with a Winston hanging out of his mouth. Or maybe he's on that OSSA Pioneer, always bringing up the rear yanking on that noisy compression release.

I don't know why I put all that in this report except for the fact that to us, its always like there's three of us along for the ride.

This trip is rather lack-luster and will not go down as one of our best...but then...we're on the bikes,even a bad day becomes good when we're on the bikes.

Me:



Saying "see ya later" to MrsPhideaux:




This is SDVET coming out of his wife's store after sayin bye. And a shameless plug for her little shop.....lots of neat stuff at THE ATTIC DOOR.





Left out of our little north Georgia town late afternoon Tuesday in about 95 degree heat and traffic building as we reached Chattanooga, TN.
We made Dayton, Ohio the first night and moved on up into Michigan on Wednesday.

Wednesday morning






Heading due north on I-75 and then on 23 north thru Michigan. Stopped briefly in Ypsplanti to look up some family history, but SDVET threatened me with constant torment if I didn't get back on the road RIGHT NOW.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll have something to torment HIM about before this trip is over!





Stay tuned for some more poor photography and boring drivel.

Fido
 

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Well just like you said any day on bike makes it better. Same with trip reports and photos. Looking toward to the updates!:popcorn:
 

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I'd say you have a pretty good start on your trip report so far. Enjoy, and I'll be following along on your journey. :yes1:
 

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i have to say that your trip report is very interesting !!! :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
After a hot and very brief tour of the historic district of Ypsplanti we moved north and west and jumped on the upper east coast of Lake Michigan at Charlavoix and followed the coast north thru Harbor Springs and up to Bliss. There is a section of 119 out of Harbor Springs called the Tunnel of Trees that was pretty sweet. This was one of the times on this trip I wished I had been on my GS.

How we got back to I-75 from Bliss I'm really not sure, just picking our way thru some great countryside.

We got on up to Mackinaw City and got our first views of the big bridge.









It wasn't long until Land....an inmate and friend from SC posts this up on the DOGs thread>>>> " "I'm in a motel in LaPorte, Indiana, with a two-dollah ho -- okay, only ABuck99
-- on our way to replicate that photo of phideaux and his imaginary friend at the Mack-a-whatchamacallit Bridge. We left the ATL this morning.


It was a great day of mostly blue-highway riding.


Chris"

And later posts THIS up!



Imitation is the greatest form of flattery! And having two great guys like this doing it, makes it all the more better!

Thanks Chris!

We decided to press on across the Big Mack and into the UP even though storm clouds were brewing and the wind was getting up pretty strong. It was late in the day too, by our internal clocks, but the daylight lasts forever up here.

GPS shot while crossing:






And of course we now entered the UP!




I guess I need to comment here about the heat. It has been so dang hot on this trip, I was expecting much cooler temps this far north. Well crossing that bridge was like entering another weather pattern. It cooled off quick and we were now above the jet stream. Temps became delightful, but at times a little cool for these GA boys. Glad I brought a Gerbing liner with me.

SDVET was now on a mission to find a place where he had once stayed while competing in some enduro bike race way in the past. Found his haunt, got a couple pics. Hmmmmm....skeeters!






On to Paradise, Michigan for the night in a rather newish hotel and some whitefish for supper.

It's been a pretty good romp on Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday, about 1000 miles. That's the way we roll.

See y'all.

Fido
 

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I'm enjoying the narrative and pics. If his post is in real time as it appears to be, I can't wait for the next update. It's 12 above in Paradise MI this a.m. But he's got his Gerbings and the forecast is for lower 50's today, lower 60's for next week. 'Course that's mid-day. The fall colors are starting. Pics should be pretty awesome. Enjoy the ride guys. I'm looking forward to your reports. I'll be passing through ATL later this week . . . in my cage. :-(
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry Mike, this is a post trip, trip report.....we made this run earlier this summer. I'm just now getting around to writing a report.

Fido
 

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So we're up to Thursday morning at Paradise, Michigan. That above is a pic from our hotel balcony of Lake Superior late yesterday afternoon.

As we are having an early breakfast we ran into a guy and his SO in the lobby who had lived right in our hometown down in Ga several years ago. It was at this point that we reminded ourselves to talk more about our wives when we meet people on the road and in hotels. We wouldn't want anyone gettin' the wrong idea, ya know..........


It was our plan on this trip to go to the Whitefish Point Shipwreck Museum and start a circle tour of Lake Superior, counter clockwise, from there.

We were disappointed to find out the museum did not open until 10 am. We had a little time to burn so we rode down 123 to the Tahquamenon Falls. Being the tightwads that we are, the fee at the gate for the falls was too much so we poked around and slowly made our way up to the museum.







Poked around so much that we stopped at the 'harbor/landing/fish camp' and goofed off some.







Could this be signs of an RT that went down in the sand???



The Shipwreck Museum was a good choice. As we waited for opening, I realized how it really was pretty cold. No complaints from me, and SDVET seemed to be ok with it too.





The place is actually the lighthouse station for Whitefish Point, but the focus is a Maritime and Shipwreck Museum with an even sharper focus on The Edmond Fitzgerald story. Gordon Lightfoot brought that into the national spotlight with his song in the mid-seventies.










The story of the Edmond Fitzgerald is a sad one, but still so real to the people up here.





So now our counter-clockwise circle tour of Lake Superior begins. It is around 11:30 on Thursday morning.

More to come....



Fido
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Leaving the Whitefish Point and riding east along the coast was a good rural road with a few tiny communities. A light house every now and then along the way.



^^ This is the Point Iroquois Light Station

Appropriately named the Lake Superior Shoreline Rd (duh) it was a good run over to I-75 and then north to:

Sault Ste Marie.








^^^^Here I found something to 'prop' me up and watched them lock a boat thru .

THEN headed over the bridge to cross into Canada.





This was not our first trip into Canada, but it has been 7 or 8 years since our last crossing.



Ushered around back after a brief interrogation at the booth the search began. SDVET went first and then the nice man told me to pull around back with my buddy; that they would like to do an ID check on me too. When I pulled around I saw every bag, nook and cranny opened up on the RT and the sweet guard man dilligently doing his duty to find whatever contraband they thought we were smuggling. So I prepared for the same kind of search. Of course they found nothing, however if he had searched the Goldwing as closely as the BMW he just might have found a swiss army knife or something.


Well, in the words of Rooster Cogburn..."That didn't pan out too well!" REJECTED! WTH? REJECTED?
It turns out that one of us had a 28 year old DUI. (1983)! A stupid college mistake in a different era. But, that counts as a felony in Canuckistan and they don't want no felons running around in their country.



We were told we might could get in if we went to Detroit and talked to the Canadian Consulate and proved re-habilitation and paid a fee. Well, the earlier mentioned Bucky had "re-habilitated" the violator about three days after the DUI occured back in 1983!


Someone once told me that 'the adventure begins when things stop going as planned'. This was one of those moments. A very brief conversation between us......"Guess we'll head back west."

We did.



Fido:cool:
 

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I've heard that DUI story many times over the years, silly Canucks. Several of my fishing buddies even share speeding ticket history stories but have been able to "pay" their way out of it ......
 

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Thursday afternoon.

Rejected and dejected we headed back west. Got on up to the south coast of Lake Superior at Grand Marias.






On the way there we asked several locals about H58. We had read some ride report that said it 'might' be paved by now. The locals confirmed that yes it 'might' be finished. Well, H58 turned out to be one of the best (most fun) roads of our entire trip. A really good surface with some nice bends in a beautiful setting. Well timed too, to sort of help us blow off some steam from the day's events.

We called it quits Thursday in Marquette, Mich.



We got a lowclass hotel there and spent some time licking our wounds from the rejection, drowning our sorrows with a little Knob Creek
and planning our next day.



I've been running some heat in my grips and in my Gerbing for most of the day. I assumed SDVET had been as well.

Forcast for tomorrow is drizzle and a morning low in the high 30's.


Friday morning:

Sure 'nough, overcast, drizzle and 38 degrees as we put Marquette in our rearview mirrors. Our goal for the day was Duluth, MN and maybe the Aerostich warehouse via Copper Harbor.


Now before we left GA, SDVET asked me was I taking any 'lectric clothes. I replied that I always do when going on a trip like this. "Don't you remember that cold snow in Glacier a few years ago?". SO, he grabbed HIS vest and put it in the top case of his RT.

I'm riding along in upper Michigan in a cold, off and on, drizzle, warm as toast. I imagine he is too.


While we're on the U.P. of course we had to get the obligatory picture at Gay, Michigan.



What beautiful country up here. We proceded on up to Copper Harbor and the very top end of Highway 41. This highway (US 41) runs right thrrough our little town and we both have business addresses on Hwy 41. So this was kinda cool.
Have I mentioned skeeters anywhere in this report? Notice we don't take our helmets off for pics up here.







We spent some time up there looping back on 41 and 26 and a side road called Brockway Mountain Drive that took us up for a bueno vista of Lake Superior.





Now it was "destination Duluth",and in a hurry, thinking the Aerostich store may close at 5 . The sun will play tricks on southern boys in June in the north.......it stays daylight until way late. Made it hard for this guy to judge the time of day. AND we are now in a new time zone.

Well we got to the Aerostich store before 5 after a pretty brisk trip, only to find out they close at 8pm. We do a little shopping....I bought one of those 'I RODE THERE' t-shirts that can only be purchased at that store.

My buddy started looking at wires and connectors and stuff
, and then looked at some heated clothing.
I wondered what that was all about and there he confessed that he had no connector for his Gerbing and was freezin his tail off the whole time.
Well we spent a few dollars on a piece of wire and two connectors and put THAT problem to bed!

I won't go into how some rude SOB hotel manager in Duluth chased us off, or how we got hopelessly lost and ticked off in that town. But we did stay in Duluth, ate some good vittles and rested well.





So we're thru with Friday. Another note about our Canada thing....on Thursday, the day it happened we talked alot about the incident. Alot of joking, some complaining and a bunch of 'what I shoulda told him was...' and stuff like that. but it was mentioned several times how glad ol' Bucky wasn't in that gaurd house with us on Thursday morning. And then come Friday I don't think the subject was even mentioned until suppertime.

See yall on Saturday morning as we go explore Mini Soda.



Fido
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Saturday dawns cool and clear and that stiff breeze that's been with us much of the way has subsided.

Next on our agenda was to go find the headwaters of the Mississippi River. We contemplated trying the Canadian border again and doing the loop clockwise, but decided against it. Moving west and north we rode the 'edge of the wilderness road' up to Effie.



Minnesota, now I know why it is dubbed the land of lakes. Beautiful country you have up there in early June. I can't begin to imagine what it would be like in deep winter. I'll take it just this way though.

We made it on over towards Lake Itasca (where they claim Big Muddy starts). Upon leaving Bemidji we got our first taste of The Great River Road......hmmmm interesting.




And our first crossing of the Mississippi for this trip.



Putting things into prospective; the only visuals we have of the Mighty Mississip' are the many times we've crossed it at places downstream and in the delta areas. So, when one comes across his first crossing of the river and it's not much more than a creek....well lets just say we thought it was picture-worthy.

The Lake Itasca area was interesting and we got some pics of the very beginning of the river. And the required photo of crossing the Mississippi River on a log.





 

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Saturday afternoon at Lake Itasca S.P., MN.



It was somewhere along in here that SDVET suggested that maybe we should ride this Great River Road on down to Memphis so we could have a complete ride of the river.

A year and half ago we rode from New Orleans up to Memphis.

If you're interested in THAT ride report it can be found right here>>>>>>> http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=566759 "ISO the Blues...On the Delta with Jefferson Davis, Marcel Ledbetter and Buford Pusser "




It turned out that, as usual, SDVET's idea sort of turned into a challenge. We left the parking lot of Lake Itasca park anticipating a couple of slow days down the river.

Slow it was, not quite what we are used to, but a great ride. We crossed several times and enjoyed the little river towns along the way.




We got a dinner invite from inmate Barnyard, but just couldn't quite work it in. Thanks ol' boy, keep the smoker hot for next time!

I was impressed at how quickly the river got BIG. Not many miles downstream it grows real fast.



We spent Saturday night in Wabasha on the Minnesota side. The time zones meet at the river. It was still suppertime on the west side of the river, but a little late on the east side.




It's been a few days on the road, we still have our morning routine working for us. Awake at 6, eat something, clean the windscreens and hit the road. It is beginning to get hot and humid again.
 

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" REJECTED! WTH? REJECTED?
It turns out that one of us had a 28 year old DUI. (1983)! A stupid college mistake in a different era. But, that counts as a felony in Canuckistan and they don't want no felons running around in their country."

But you may be able to get in if you pay a fee?

Well, so much for the moral high ground.

Bet if you had a Koran in your luggage you would have been waved right through, no problem.
 

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OK, I'll try to make the compulsory Canadian apologia ... sorta. As the holder (still) of a Canadian passport, albeit living full-time in the USA, I have occasion to go back and forth across the border.
I've had several instances where I've gotten a bit "third-degreed" heading north ... but coming south ... well ... bit more than 3rd degree.

  • asked if I was planning to become an American and bluntly told (when I answered yes) that he didn't have to let me back into the country (ie. even though I owned a home and worked in the US, and was married to a US citizen, he could refuse me reentry for no reason whatsoever)
  • as with the above story, got the "pull over and let us tear your Goldwing apart" gambit
  • got the "pull over to the building and go in for an ID check" gambit ... with the full fingerprint, picture and paperwork play.
My wife's a born American, and she's had quite a few similar incidents. On coming back to the US, of course. Never had a problem going to Canada (or elsewhere). On one business trip, they actually pulled all the paperwork out of her briefcase and questioned her about meetings, projects and the like (not sure what the heck that has to do with Customs).

In travelling back and forth, and overseas, I've never once had an experience with another countries Customs as I have with the US's.

Sorry you had a bad experience with Canadian customs in the Soo. I can say that you're not alone ... I always avoid Port Huron and the Soo if I can. Crossing in Saskatchewan or Manitoba, I have actually (still) been waved thru instead of going through the "why are you visiting..." schtick.
 

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Sunday morning is cool and foggy along the river. One of the things I've not mentioned yet in this RR is...deer. We've seen more on this trip than on any trip before...they are EVERYWHERE (alive and dead) ! Riding along the river watching the water on one side and deer on the other.



No I've no deer pics to show you....thank goodness.

Continuing down stream and crossing occasionally. This was a 'brisk' ride between communities, but not without the slow crawl through the towns.

Harper's Ferry was one where we had to stop for the choo-choo to go right thru the middle of town.



The ride south thru Iowa was picturesque to say the least as we rolled thru the hills and Iowa farmland.

Below is a view from Pike's Peak SP on the Iowa side.




I find it interesting that at this overlook was about the first time we had any inter-action with other riders. There was a noted absence of bikes on this trip except in the towns. Once we hit Iowa that all changed. Lots of bikes, mainly slower V-twins out riding on Sunday.

We hit Missouri late Sunday afternoon, enjoying this great ride down the river. One of the great things about the electronics of the 'Wing is the variety of music and tunes available at anytime. Riding to the appropriate music always makes a difference. I've got available on the Goldwing: MP3, am/fm, I-pod, Sat radio (Mojo!), and CD. Gordon Lightfoot sang to me back up at Whitefish Point. John Hartford crooned about the river as I watched it pass downstream. Keith Green is always one of my Sunday riding choices. The list goes on..........

So we soon found ourselves down as far as Hannibal, MO. We had no option but to stop in and see Tom, Huck and Becky.








Now, up until this point I haven't been very specific about road names and numbers. a few days ago we rode that H58 up on the shore of Lake Superior in a funk because of our rejection at the Canuckistan border, and it was a good ride. Well, here comes another ride worth mentioning.

Leave Hannibal, Mo on the west side of the river and ride 79 south towards St. Louis. Do it late in the day under an overcast sky and do it in a 'spirited ' fashion. THAT my friends is a good road. Currently there is a bridge out down there but one can work his way around it easily.

We almost made it into St Louis before dark, where we took a break for the night.

Next I'll tell you a little story about a broken down ferry and the unwelcome appearance of some tire chords.


Fido.
 

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FINALLY...Fido Finishes!

FINALLY...Fido Finishes!
Monday morning finds us on the upper side of St Louis. We get out a little earlier than normal this morning to beat the AM traffic going thru St Louis and to try to get on down the road before these black clouds overhead start dumping on us. Failed on both accounts. We got to do the stop and go thing thru St louis...in the rain.

Our plan for today was to make it on down the Great River Road to Memphis, make a left turn and head home. Now we have seen several little ferries on our way down and I've been interested in crossing that huge river on a tiny ferry all the way down, but we just never made it happen. Well just south of St Louis at Ste. Genevieve is one such ferry. However, after we found where the ferry was supposed to be......no boat. High waters had closed the ferry down and washed out it's landing. Failed on this one too. Head south.

As we were leaving the ferry area I noticed that little white strip on the back tire of SDVET's Beamer. Upon investigation things did not look too good.


So it's a stormy MONDAY morning 50 miles north of Cape Girardeau, MO at a broken down Mississippi River ferry with a bad (and I mean bad) tire. All the phone calls we could make found that Monday, as we already knew, was not a good day for finding motorcycle parts or service. We decided to limp on in to GRASS ROOTS at Cape Girardeau in the rain, wind and lightening. Maybe, just maybe we could find something there to help us out.



http://www.grassrootsbmw.com/Home.html


Arriving there we, of course, found the place typically closed on a Monday morning. We pulled our bikes under the storefront awning to get out of the rain and pondered our predicament.




He walked left and I walked right. I went to the Driver's License office a block up the street and asked the nice lady if she knew how we might get in touch with someone from the BMW dealer down the street. She gave me a funny look and said she didn't even know there was a bike shop down there
and that the only motorcycle store she knew of was the Harley dealer out on the interstate. I continued my quest and found a guy around the block working on a storefront who said he could get me in touch with the right guy...dialed a number on his cell and handed me the phone. The voice on the other end said "I'll see if I can find my guy and call you right back". Good news for us!

I returned to the GRASS ROOTS storefront and there was SDVET standing there with a used tire he had found on the scrap pile out back. Correct size and worn but not nearly as bad as the one currently on his GS. Surely it was good enough to get us back to GA. In about 5 minutes my cell rings and some guy says he's 30 minutes away and knows he has a tire in the store that will work but he's not exactly sure about the install. SDVET assured him that we were more than capable to install it...just get us a tire and turn us loose in the shop
.



Sure enough in 30 minutes JAMIE http://www.grassrootsbmw.com/Our_Staff.html arrives in a big honkin diesel.




He opened up the shop, got us a tire and then proceded to make a liar of himself......he knew all about the install and did most all of the work to replace the tire. He DID let SDVET and me help a little bit.






I guess you can tell by now that they let me help by holding the camera.


Well folks let me tell you....in just TWO hours from the time we stopped at the front of the closed dealership in the pouring rain we were on our way.
Jamie charged us normal rates for parts and service, of course SDVET tried to tip the guy for his time but he just would not accept it.

All these snobbish BMW guys are just impossible to get along with! NOT!

Thanks to GRASS ROOTS BMW in Cape Girardeau, Missouri


http://www.grassrootsbmw.com/Home.html

And a special thanks to Jamie






We left Cape Girardeau continuing on the Great River Road. We're no doubt back in the south with the heat and humidity. Somewhere about the Tennessee-Kentucky border we said goodbye to the Big Muddy and headed back east and south towards home. Hit Nashville at traffic time. It seems that on most every trip we wind up coming home on I-24. Mont Eagle is always a WELCOME HOME sight and the last time we get to lean the bikes before home (except for that secret short-cut just as you come into Chattanooga
).

It's at this point I have a tradition of seeking out a certain song from my collection and enjoyin' the Man in Black sharing his tale about that last great stretch of road before arriving in the Choo Choo.


So that my friends is all I've got. Arrival home was sometime before dark on Monday.

Here's the numbers according to Mr Zumo:




So late yesterday afternoon I went out to my fortress of solitude and added this trip to my map.



Thanks for riding along with us, hope you enjoyed it!

FIDO
 

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Thank you for this posting. It was very enjoyable.
 
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