Sunday, July 08, 2012

Mackinaw City, Michigan 2012

Mackinaw City at O’Reilly’s pub and I definitely need this beer after a long day of riding, first how’bout I finish the details of last night in Ottawa? I thought it might be an early night since I finally had dinner around 10:00 and finished my story for the night, but just about the time you figure it’ll be an early night, bar time sneaks up on you. After I finished getting my pictures of Mary, Louis, Emily and Kevin at the Keg, I took my laptop back to the hostel so I could party the night away without carrying it around and worrying about losing it. I did contemplate calling it a night after the beers and drinks I did have at the Keg, but I figured I better see what the other bars had to offer and again as in years past, a pretty busy place. Some of the bars weren’t as full as they normally are and I guess they tell me it was because of the blues fest which was in town. One of these days when I go through Ottawa I’ll have to check what they have going on for the weekend so I might be able to join the party. Well, I guess I had to start a party of my own, or at least introduce myself to a group partying it up at the local brew house that I did have a good time before moving on to the next bar and seeing what I could scare up. I figured I’d hit some of the bars on the way back to the hostel that I visited a number of them one of them the Irish pub I’ve been to a number of times and I think I may have taught the bartender a new drink. I order a Black and Blue and he had no idea what it was until I told him it was Guinness and Labatt’s Blue. Well according to him, the Canadians refer to that as a half and half. I did move upstairs for the live band and no cover that I partied it up there before they kicked us out. Again, the thoughts about an early night definitely slipped away quickly so we’ll have to see what kind of early start I get because I know it’ll be a long ride.
The night was different in a room of 4 beds with 3 other guys, but no different than the nights I was normally in a room of 6 and I did forget to get the story about what happens in the coed rooms. I did ask on my way to bed, but whatever it is, they weren’t talking at the front desk. Because I was the last to get in, or at least was only there for a night compared to the others in the room who had already been there, I got a top bunk which is really easy for me to get in and out. It was a good thing I made it before heading out for the night cuz otherwise I would’ve just slept been sleeping on a mattress without much other comfort and after a day of riding a good night of sleep always helps. This morning didn’t turn out to be an early start either. It’s one of those things when you wake up in the morning and know that it’s earlier than you’d otherwise get up and have to use the bathroom, but am on the top bunk in a room of guys that you don’t know and have a tough time getting in and out of the bunk that I just laid there for a bit until the guy under me got up that I figured it was a good time for me to crawl out. I did check the time and it was only 7 that I figured I could sleep for another hour and still get a good start. Well, guess you really fell asleep and didn’t get up an hour later, you got it, it was more like an hour and a half that I still had some packing to do and showering before hitting the road. 
I eventually got going about 10:00 and needed gas as soon as I could find a place since my travels to the hostel warned me that I’m almost out of gas only to find that Ottawa is no different than other large towns that gas close to downtown is really hard to find. By the time I got out of town and took an exit that showed it had gas, it’s surprising how far you still have to drive before you find the gas. I guess I didn’t have to worry because that early wasn’t the time for me to run out of gas and I can’t say that I should’ve learned my lesson so many other times not to run out, but I do have a story about that after all. 
I did manage a donut and Mt Dew for a little something for the long ride ahead and thanks to the phone map it let me know I have about a 12 hour ride ahead of me. Now it being me and I like getting places fast, I figured I better hit it hard, but it turns out to be so hard to do on these Canadian Transcontinental highways because they are just the 2 lane versions and not interstates like the states. There is nothing worse than having to deal with speeds up and down and waiting for the passing last to make a move, but I guess I really don’t have much of a choice. It is a beautiful ride, but I’d still rather have 4 lanes instead of 2. It started out a bit cool that I needed the light jacket for the morning part of the ride and that should’ve meant I’ll take it off for the next gas stop since things are heating up, but I didn’t quite make the gas stop. I forgot about some of these long wilderness stretches and my luck was I was on one when I noticed the gas getting low. The only problem is you can’t go back that all I could do is trek on and hope for the best, but ended up on hill short. Yep, outta gas on the side of the road and all I can do is hope some one will stop and stop soon. Fortunately for me, there was a couple on a bike that I had passed awhile back coming by that they stopped to see if I was ok to find out that I was out of gas. Well, they told me to hold on and they’d be right back with some gas since they had to stop for some themselves that I just sat and waited. I was very fortunate Jacque and his wife stopped and he was back with a couple of liters of gas to get me to the gas station and it was only another hill away of being able coast in when I ran out. Jacque wouldn’t take any money for the gas and he said he’s had American’s be so friendly and help him out that he said you can tell your friends how friendly and helpful the Canadians are and if you’ve read any of my other travel stories, you know I have many about the friendly helpful Canadians, Aye?
Back on the road with more of the speed variance waiting for a passing lane and now I have the damn cruise control on my bike not working...sometimes. It seems once these bikes get a few miles on em, they just seem to fall apart, but then again, cruise control on a bike isn’t normal. Once I do get it engage at the speed I’ve been trying to run it’s back on the brakes for the slower traffic and that wished it was sooner passing lane. Ok, I know if I’m going to make this kind of trip I don’t get to bitch, but I don’t have a passenger for this trip who’d be doing that for me. The one thing I did forget to do today was get something to eat other than the donut, but I had places to be and wanted to get hear as quick as I could. The rest of the trip was uneventful, no more running out of gas, thank God, that I did make the border only to have to wait in line for over an hour before making the gate and it was much easier for me getting back into the states than what Canada almost turned out to be the night before. Once I did make it across, I ran into the Canadian chicks in the car in front of me and they asked me why the guys on bikes in front of them went individually instead of together, only for me to tell’em that’s how you do it. Nothing more than a little chit chat, but you know what I’ve always said about those Canadian women...willing...ok, you go the picture. 
Once across the border and it’s a quick trip to Mackinaw City that I really need a shower, food and beer and not necessarily in that order and oh can someone throw in a back rub? Ok, maybe I’ll have to find that myself. Well the dive motel I normal stay at is closed this year and up for sale that I had to find another motel and found the Econolodge to be much more of a pit which made the other hotel seem world class in comparison and for $75 to boot. I guess now that I’ve had my shower, which made me feel like a new man, dinner next door which was just what I was looking for, fried chicken a beer in front of me and more partying to do tonight, it might not be too bad so stay tune and I’ll fill you in when this adventure comes to an end tomorrow. Oh yeah, and that I met this chick Heather at the bar on the way through. She thought it’d be a good addition to my story even though she’s the married bartender helping me with drinks tonight, and right now I could still use that back rub. The other thing about Heather is she set me straight on what a half and half were. Remember my night in Ottawa and the bartender telling me that a Guinness and Labatt’s was a half and half, well, since Heather has worked in many Irish pubs, according to her that is a black and blue and a Guinness and Smithwick’s is the half and half. I guess there is a difference in name when it comes to what you call a mix with Guinness no matter whether from 
Canada or the States. All I know is they are pretty good drinks in my book.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Ottawa Ontario 2012

Ottawa Canada Ay on my way back home from a great week in New Hampshire and right now sitting at the Keg, my normal stop on the way through, more on that later. I had a great week in New Hampshire and was able to relax every day with little to actually no riding and it was always noon somewhere that the beer drinking normally started early. We had a great time playing games, a new one this year that was home made, but with all the drinking I was talking about, there were some pretty late night festivities. The best of those on the night Eric turned 40 once we reach midnight, the guys decided to play frisbee golf. Kind of tough seeing what you are throwing at, but we had the frisbees all figured out with glow sticks tape to the frisbee, which believe it or not work quite well. After that, and yes well after midnight it was time to setup some lights to be able to play a late night of the new game. You can’t stop partying when someone turns 40 and I do think he may have felt his age a little the next day.
This year I was fortunate to be there when the family party was on which was Wednesday when all of the uncles, aunts, cousins and friends show up for some fun. Ok, maybe their not my uncles, aunts or cousins, but they sure make me feel like part of the family since they remember me every year. I do have to say, before I get too far into family day how great it was when I drove up the driveway Monday when I arrived. I really wish my camera was working so I could’ve gotten the picture, but everyone ran to the driveway to wave me in and as Adam told me later, he heard kids who hadn’t met me yet yelling that Dale’s here on his motorcycle. I couldn’t have asked for a better welcome than that and therefore with that, feel very lucky feeling like part of the fmaily every time I come out. 
So for family day, the big thing other than all the food that was around was the homemade water slide down the hill. I large plastic sheet that took quite a few people engineering to get it to work just right. It was great fun for all of those who attempted to go down, but me, I hung low and used my excuse this year which kept me out of a number of events that I had a bad knee. I really do and there were some events, such as football that I probably would’ve just made it worse which is how I hurt it in the first place last year thinking I could play with the 30-somethings on Thanksgiving day. I do know the day was a success with about 60 people total there and plenty of stories to be told. I wish I could share all of them with you, but I don’t think I have enough time or could do each justice. 
Part of my relaxation as I had said was no riding, but that’s because after having a number of drinks that always seemed to start earlier every day, Thursday was my day of no drinking since I knew I was going for a bike ride later...the ride, out for that awesome Maine lobster which I have to have while I’m out here. Sure I could be having that tonight with everyone else, but then I definitely have to take Monday off from work because I’d have a very tough time trying to drive back in 2 days. Besides that I don’t think it’d be very safe riding a bike into the late nights with deer or even moose as they have in New Hampshire roaming the mountains. I can say, a pound and a quarter of steamers with corn on the cob and 2 pound and a half lobsters, yes 2 for under 30 bucks is a great deal...and yes, the lobster was awesome. 
There are just too many more stories that could be told for the week that I’m starting to get hungry so should probably order my prime rib before it’s to late that how about the tails of today’s ride. Well, I did get up earlier than any of the other mornings this week and I don’t know if it had to do with an earlier than normal night the night before. Some of the party animals, I mean friends ended up leaving Thursday which is a whole other story that I shouldn’t get into because I don’t want to offend anyone, but the older crowd, and no that didn’t include Eric who just turned 40 were in bed early Thursday night that the rest of us party animals, or friends just didn’t have the same giddy-up that we use to that Tracy, Christy and Niki gave up on the puzzle, which they do a puzzle a day and there were only 3 of us still up till about 2:30 was all. I guess I might still be on Central time that it didn’t seem that bad. Well, with an early night there were more up earlier and yes, that was all the older people and to help clarify, almost everyone over 50 since I was one of the few elderly’s partying like an animal.
Ok, back to the early start that my usual stop is Dunkin Donuts on my way North that I had a family member, ok, not my family but since they make me feel like a family member. Emily was working the drive-thru that I had to stop for a donut and somethign to drink. The only problem was I couldn’t get a Mt Dew that I so desperately need in the morning which is a whole other story about the week that I won’t even start to get into, that all it was for this stop was a donut and Gatorade to help get back some of what my body lost with all the drinking this week...did I say how relaxing and fun the week was? Well from there it was time to head West on the Kankamangus trail that once I took the lead which meant getting a little aggressive at times I would likely make good time to here....remember Ottawa. With my handy phone map I haven’t had to pull out my HOG atlas because I can zoom in on any area I want and figure out a better route that I could probably get from the paper map. It was a pretty comfortable ride except for the heat and unlike other trips, now that I’ve done it a number of times, I took my time and even stopped for a burger. There was a little ice cream and burger stand that I thought they’d probably have pretty good burgers pretty quick and I guess I might’ve been wrong on both counts. The burger did take longer than I expected, but when you get all of these overweight people stopping by for ice cream well, you better feed them before getting me my burger. The burger wasn’t half bad and would fill the void before my prime rib which should be coming soon.
From there it was my usual ride around the lakes of New York and my only problem along the way was whether I was going to get into Canada or not. Apparently the border patrol chick didn’t like my answer of the last time I’ve been in front of a judge being within the last 5 years that I wasn’t quick enough what the last time was really for. I said I thought it might’ve been a driving offense that she sent me to the second check area where I had more questions to ask. Ok, I know they are pretty strict on those with a DUI that like I told the guy, yes I did have one, but it was over some 30 years ago that I haven’t had one since, knowing they won’t let anyone in with one. I also told him that the last time I was in front of a judge was for a small claims court where I sued the guy the pulled in front of me causing me to total my awesome car, the 4 wheel steer Prelude and yes, I still miss that car. He did ask if I’ve ever been denied entry into Canada and I told him no, that he had to go and do a little checking on me to see whether he should let me in or not. The one thing it did for me since I was getting a little tired on my ride that I got to get a little shuteye while he checked on my status. The good thing is he came back, handed me my passport and wished me safe travels which is all I wanted to here. From there it was a quick trip to Ottawa and this year I’m sharing a 4 bed room with 3 other guys which maybe I should’ve thought twice about because I did have a pick of a coed room with 7 other people. I’ll have to find out in the morning, but that might’ve been the room to be in tonight. Anyway, this 4 bed room is suppose to have air conditioning, but for as hot as it is and me climbing 9 flights of stairs, yes the 9th floor I was plenty hot and need to cool off somehow. The only way I could figure was a cool shower which made a difference for awhile and finally I can report that I am cool and comfortable and tonight, without Shannon here, under the care and service of Emily, who was here last year and the newbie, Mary who’s taking Shannon’s place this year. Ok, time to sign off and tonight it’s not from the alcohol, but the food which should be here shortly. Happy reading.

Tamworth NH 2012

I’m home, at least for the week. I made it to Tamworth without incident and just in time since the rain and what appears to be a thunderstorm coming in over the mountains while the kids are putting on a show in the other room. It’s a houseful this week and plans on getting busier, more on that later. As for the ride today it started hot like all of the other days I’ve traveled, but today I thought I’d start with a little bike repair. I headed to the local Harley shop just after opening and you wouldn’t believe who I saw there, yep the  bikers from the bar last night. Ok, it’s not like me for not getting pictures and names but I guess I haven’t been doing as much of that as I did while I was traveling the country before. I probably should since I always meet some great people along the way, but not everyone is happy about having their picture taken.
Anyway, those bikers from Syracuse Indiana got their Tshirts and were heading to the Andirondacs for the day that me, I better head east since according to this map on my phone which won’t let me get lost was telling me I had over 7 hours ahead of me. Well, that won’t be a problem since I rarely do the speed limit, but I do plan on taking the back roads once off the speedway so I better book. First back to the bike repair which was a running light and blinker for the front which also needed a cover. I must’ve had the cover pop off when I hit those tracks the other day, Saturday in Toledo, I mean Oregon. Can you believe it, it didn’t cost me the normal Hundred Dollars (HD), but came in less than $10 that I couldn’t use a credit card. I did ask service if they just had a cover laying around, but no luck cuz once they crack they toss them whereas me, I think I still have a couple at home that I could still make work. Once that was out of the way it was to the local Walgreens or in this state the Rite Aid for what you’ll never guess, some Carmex and only sugar mama from a few years ago would know what I’m talking about. Apparently I can’t even spell it correctly.
Ok, now I can hit the road which will mean NYs speedway East on the 90 Thruway. I do think they should rename it, but it was plenty fast today and again, hot. I did depend on my phone a few times to get me to where I wanted to turn, but still had to find the back roads myself. I can say it is easier reading a map on the phone than the printed version though since I can blow it up as large as I need it to see it so it works for a reason. Once off the thruway, I means speedway it was time to take my time East through Vermont into New Hampshire and I can say the mountains do get pretty chilly on what started out to be a hot summer day. There were a few times I thought about pulling over to put a jacket on, but just about that time I’d be heading downhill into the heat again that I would’ve been back and forth which isn’t the way I ride. I normally like riding and not stopping if I don’t have to, especially through the mountains when I get to lead the pack. As in years past, I’ll hit it to pass the slower vehicles cuz there’s no reason for a bike to go slow around some of these mountain corners. 
It turned out to be a great ride through the mountains of NY, VT and NH with a few sprinkles which like Alaska, you never know what the weather will be like in the mountains because it can change in no time at all. Now to Tamworth and my usual stop before heading to the cabin, I mean mountain home which I have the pictures to prove. It’s the local bbq pit and since I had bbq last night I figured chicken would be good tonight which it was. I could’ve skipped that stop since they had a huge Mexican dinner planned here, but I never know what to expect that stopping and eating before I start another night of drinking is always a good idea. As I was pulling in everyone ran to the road to wave me in and apparently even some of the kids who were’t sure who I was knew that it was Dale showing up on his bike. Ok, for the festivities this week, it sounds like the big family party which I unfortunately missed last year since I had to leave by Friday will be Wednesday which, remember what I was saying before, is going to be a house full. At least for the night I might get the basement to myself and if you haven’t read my other visits to Tamworh, remember I’m always sent to the cellar. More fun to come on my way home, now it’s time to relax...and drink.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Syracuse New York

I’ve made it as far as Syracuse NY today sitting in Tully’s bar and grill with a bunch of bikers from Syracuse and not NY, go’s Indiana. Today was another scorther, but nice to ride when there’s no threat of rain, not that I don’t mind riding in the rain and it’d give me the chance to try out my new rain gear, more on that and today’s trip after I cover last nights adventures. 
As you might’ve gathered from my writings last night, I was drunk. The great thing about Yehaa’s is they had Pabst beers for a buck and a half, you bet, $1.50 a can so I definitely had my share and didn’t mind the tab either. Remember I did have a Jacuzzi in my room so I definitely needed to throw a party in it which is just what I did, the only problem is it was a party of one, me and me only. Something from the Boom fest would’ve been ok, but the only chick I really talked to was Sherri and she already had her kids to get home. The jacuzzi did get more of a workout since I figured I’d use it one more time before heading out today.
I actually was up early and it turned out to be a beautiful ride along Highway 2 to Cleveland which was only 2 hours away. A big difference from my other travels when having gone around Chicago that this ferry gig just might be the ticket. The only problem as I do believe I pointed out yesterday was the sweat in the belly of the ferry trying to strap the bikes down...sweaty and dirty. Today’s featured band at the Rock and Roll hall of fame was none other than the Grateful Dead which had me trying to remember all day who my friend was who happens to be a big Grateful Dead fan and even now, I don’t remember. If you’re the one, send me a text or something so I can show you the pics. I did take a different way to the fame other than I normally do and that was only because I exited earlier than I needed to. For some reason many of these towns I’ve been riding through I’ve seen the slum or low income part of town and thank God am still around to talk about it. Maybe nothing like South Chicago you don’t want to take a wrong turn at, but I’m sure some spots I shouldn’t be stopping if I don’t have to. 
While I was at the fame I decided to call Bill the father of a curler Zac I happened to play when his dad was in town. He did tell me that if I’m ever in the area, since I did tell him I always make a trip thru Buffalo to look him up and he’d be more than happy to put me up for a night if I needed it. Well, if I’m in Syracuse that means I didn’t need it, but thought I’d at least let him know I was gonna be in town for my usually trip to the Anchor bar. If you don’t remember that place, than you obviously don’t read my blogs...the original Buffalo wing place. Well he wasn’t going to be able to join, but I did have a good talk with him and got a little info on where I should travel to while thru NY, the Anderandecs which apparently the other riders next to me, remember the ones from Syracuse plan on traveling tomorrow. I still haven’t figured that out with my handy phone map how to make the trip work, but I have to make a stop at the Harley shop tomorrow which is suppose to be one  of the largest in New York and maybe they can help me out. Now that I’ve seen Chris’ new bike and the problems I’m having with mine, I think I’ll buy a new one when I get home and no, there won’t be any trade in cuz I know I won’t get much for this one. The problems today were the normal lately with the cruise not always catching the switch on the radio which yes I do need to have the radio replace, but I think I may have broke something in the front and that was because of a hard hit I took yesterday which I forgot to mention. 
While riding around yesterday in Toledo trying to find myself a motel for the night I hit a pair and it was more like three rails worth of tracks faster than I should have that all I could do is hold on for dear life and make sure to keep things running straight because for the hits and bumps any turn of balance would have sent me to the pavement. Well, in the whole thing I did lose a turn signal cover, but definitely bottom out on something that this bike may be in disarray. As Chris has already let me know, last year in fact is my shocks are shot which causes my rough ride which I haven’t been happy with for quite sometime. I knew I broke something in the summer of 2006 on my big bike trip, but the shop keeps telling me my shocks are fine.
Ok, I know, enough whining. So how about the rest of todays travels. From Cleveland my next stop was going to be Buffalo for the famous buffalo wings a the Anchor bar that I only have a 3 hour trip to make. I did think I’d ride along the lake shore a bit more and stay off the freeway, which was my 3 hour route that I soon found out, I’m better off on the freeway than this crazy road. 45 mph top speed and that was only between towns, once in a town, which there are many it was down to 23 mph. That didn’t last long so I eventually made my way back to the freeway for a fast ride to Buffalo and I don’t know why, but I swear every time I’ve traveled I90, it’s always under construction. The wings and Birch beer were awesome as usual and with not only an early start to the day, but an early start from the Anchor bar I have a lot more riding I can do.
For some reason Buffalo didn’t want to let me go today. I asked the bartender for directions and as he pointed out, just take North street straight North until I hit I90. Well, I don’t know if I missed something on the turnabout, but I definitely didn’t see any I90, only 190...see the difference? I or 1? I did stop at a gas station and thanks to a couple from the area they put me on the right track. Once I finally figured out that 190 south would get me to I90 East I was set, the only problem is I needed gas before getting on the toll road that had I thought about it while stopping for directions I would’ve filled up than. Off the freeway to a gas stop and once again, no easy way back on to I90 East. After a couple of stops for directions and I mean a couple I was finally back on the road  I needed only to notice I’d already been this way, nothing like a full circle going back to Go...and that’s how I’ve ended up in Syracuse NY and have a place to stay and have already been fed. 
I did stop and talk the bikers which were just here, but left on my way in looking for a cheap hotel and they were just checking into the Hampton that when they told me it was  over $100 with an AARP card I figured I can find cheaper, which I did at the Quality Inn, just next door. Not much cheaper, but I’m also not a AARP card carrying member, that I’ wasn’t too disappointed with the price. Much better than last night, price wise, but the front desk also helped me out with a place to eat. The Dinosaur downtown was definitely the biker place for bbq and it wasn’t bad at all. I did make some friends, but know jacuzzi to share tonight that oh, well, just me and me alone. Ok, now that the biker friends have left and I have another beer on order, time to sign off and more drinking to do.

Oregon, Ohio

You got it, I’m in Oregon on my way to New Hampshire. You might be asking how can that be since Oregon is West and far West, but there’s actually a suburb of Toledo with the same name. Right now I’m at Ye Ha’s after a full night of adventure, more on that in a bit as I try to piece together the last couple of days heading East. 
Friday, yesterday was the start of my adventure and pretty uneventful except for the new bar which use to be our normal Wausau bonspiel stop. It’s no longer the Silver Spur with a bartender/owner light on the eyes, but the Kurtis Korner and they didn’t even get Curtiss right.  I also caught my parents at, nothing going on that I may have walked in on, but always nice to see them. Today was a whole other story since I had a milestone to reach, my bike turned 9 today even though it’s only a 2006. If you’ve been following along as this bike keeps turning digits, you’d realize what I’m talking about is reaching 99,999 miles in 6 years. Actually forget the 99,999 because before the day was done it was 100,456 and in my book, that’s a lot of miles.
Ok, tonight is no different than all of those other nights I’m sitting in a bar with all the fun going on around me while I’m telling a story. but tonight, it could be even more of a story since I scored on a room with a jacuzzi, another more on that later which I hope to have a story for you tomorrow.
For my Saturday I didn’t get as much sleep as I would have hoped for, but that’s also why I don’t like making too many plans for these kind of trips. The problem is I have to get from Colby to Milwaukee in time to catch a 12:30 ferry across Lake Michigan that when I woke up early I dreamt that I missed it. That meant very little sleep before my alarm went off, but that’s a whole other story. Normally my travels are whenever I get up I go and depending on where I end up is a mystery, even to me, but for some reason they always work out and tonight is no different.
My ride East took me through Wausau so I texted my friend Chris to see if he wanted to ride along. Ok, the initial intension maybe was’t to ride along as much as finding out when the Harley shop opened since I had a running light that needs to be replaced, but he was actually up for a ride. I met him just off the freeway and although I was excited about my milestone I was hoping to reach soon, he had me thinking about a new bike. Wouldn’t you know it, he showed up on a new 2012 Ultra and told me about all of the features he’s already added. I may have been a bit jealous and that’s because a year ago when I was getting my bike fixed at St Croix Harley they were trying to sell me a new bike. Now when I look back and all I’ve done with this bike I wished I would have, but hey, how often do you hit 100,000 on a bike, and not only that any vehicle? Ok, maybe the cruise isn’t working the best since I have to hit the brake switch a few times before it engages or that I have to switch the radio back to FM every time it jumps to Aux, but hey, who needs tunes to ride to...besides me?
Now for the ferry ride instead of going around Chicago which has always been the case.  First off, I’m that much further East about 155 miles to be exact and instead of dealing with the Chicago traffic, I got to relax for 2 and 1/2 hours even if it was with a bunch of people from Chicago. I had no problems making it to the ferry since I made sure to hit it hard and average just under 80 mph, but keep that between us. The toughest part riding a ferry is strapping the bike down, especially when every one else around you is trying to do the same. They want you to park as close to the others that you can and then put 2 straps down on the front and 2 on the back. Well, that causes a lot of tripping over each other and when you’re in the bowels of the ferry, it hotter than all hell. Well, I got away with 3 straps and it’s a good thing I brought some straps to wrap around the handlebars with me.
The ferry ride was just like any others I’ve been on, but nice to relax for a change. Once off the ferry I had to don a helmet and I wished I would’ntve. I saw a number of riders  without a helmet and just found out that Michigan changed the law a couple of weeks ago, thanks to Sherri who you’ll eventually meet. A 69 almost got in my way today and that’s only because it’s a lot like a haven’ heard of that one...look it up. Well I knew I needed 96 to 23 before heading south, but saw a sign for the interstate heading east and since I wasn’t paying attention took 69 instead of staying on 96. You can see the confusion, but once I hit 217 which I had remembered from a previous mapquest I was back on track. As far as I thought and I should’ve stuck to my own directions instead of depending on the new technology which won't let you get lost I was on the right track, but did take the time to pull over to make sure.
From there, that‘s part of the reason I’ve ended up in Oregon Ohio. The other is looking for a cheap motel and my mistake was taking the trip downtown Toledo to see it since I’ve never been here before. Well the downtown hotel wanted $175 that I figured I could to a lot better in the burbs, well so much for that. Thanks to the guys downtown Toledo they got me headed in the right direction, but not much of hotel help. I ended up driving around this area for awhile before finally coming upon the Holiday Inn Express, but all they had available was a jacuzzi room, sure a great deal, but that’s because all of the Jehovah witnesses in town didn’t want to spend the money.
Ok, so a few days are getting long, but the other story is the chick I met at the Boom fest which, would’nt you know it, placing and timing are everything. Well Oregon has the Boom fest going on and the bar next to the hotel I scored has a free shuttle to and from and I’m in. I did have a Pabst at the bar before heading to the fest, but the free ride is worth it. The fest was pretty cool since they had the lead singer from Journey on stage and it was some pretty good music to listen to. Well, as part of the fireworks after the band I happened to befriend that chick next to me, remember Sherri who let me know about the helmet law. Well, she should know since she’s a cop in downtown Detroit. Ya, we had a bit of a talk, but for what she has to deal with, I don’t know why you’d consider it. I did try to relate to those deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan, but apparently she’d rather be in the Detroit turmoil instead of with the boyz overseas. I have to give her a lot of credit for fighting for a downtown USA though and doing it all without smiling much.
Ok, I’ve had a few and get to stubble back to the hotel that there’s always more to the story, all you have to do is ask.