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Old 08-08-2011, 10:50 AM   #4
MeanStreaker OP
KLR > Pee-wee's Bike
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Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Dayton, OH
Oddometer: 511
Day 0 - July 25, 2011 - Dayton, OH to St Ignace, MI

How to get there?

DryFire and I debated the merits back and forth whether to suck up full 500 mile days straight up and straight back riding the bikes Interstate 75 from our homes in Cincinnati and Dayton (respectively)... or take our time over two days for a more enjoyable route. As working slobs, it was eventually decided a leisurely jaunt to and fro was out of the question if we wanted any chance of finishing the Loop.

So that left slab. And a lot of it.

I-75 is some of the most monotonous stuff out there. At least West Virginia interstate has some climbs, curves, and nice scenery every now and then.

As the weeks passed, we got a little smarter, decided to maximize vacation time and trailer the bikes up. Definitely the right decision!

Tim arrived in my driveway at 9:00AM on the dot with his KLR loaded in the bed, and we made short work of attaching my KLR and trailer for the trek north.

The 8 hr drive seemed to go faster than expected, but we were still happy to see the Mackinac Bridge when we did.

We crossed the Straits in the midst of a rain squall and didn’t see anything worse than a few drops the rest of the week circling the UP. I still can’t believe how lucky we got with the weather.

After The Bridge and a few short miles up the I-75 Business loop, we arrived at the Pines Motel in St. Ignace. Because I completely butchered about every pronunciation up there, my public service for this ride report is, it’s “Saint IGG-niss”. Not “Saint Ig-NASE.” Get ready for a lot more of those lessons as we go, as I struggled all week for some reason.

These nice folks had no problem with us parking the truck and trailer in the back and keeping an eye on it. They come recommended from Cannonshot and now have the MeanStreaker seal of approval!

We unloaded the bikes and rode to fresh fish for dinner. I still can’t shake how weird it was to ride through a somewhat touristy beachfront town next to a huge body of water, see some small waves, eat fresh fish, but not smell any salt in the air. It kind of bugged me. I’ve been on Erie a lot and never got that feeling.

Anyway, dinner:

Stomachs full, we returned to the Pines and prepared to enjoy what little daylight remained.

Next door is a small general store and I was confronted with my first important decision of the trip. I walked in and had a feeling this was my kind of place when I saw tall, narrow, brown paper bags near the cash register. Sure enough, a cooler in the back chilled some fine 40 oz offerings that this Adventurer desperately needed after a hard 500 mile day of riding through rain.... in an air conditioned truck cab’s plush, powered seats.

After the initial disappointment of not seeing any OE, Colt45, nor Magnum, I searched for the lowest price tag.

There sat Busch at $2.39. I selected the lucky winner from her friends, closed the door, and took two steps towards the check out.

Then, I turned. And stopped.

It hit me.

I’m on vacation.

I retreated, opened the cooler, returned the Busch, and grabbed a Budweiser, totally rationalizing the extra $0.10.

I walked back to the motel porch and watched DryFire make a pass over his bike checking chain tension and the like. He even did a walk around mine, found a loose bolt holding my HT Nerf bar, got out his tool kit, and tightened it for me.

I silently thanked him from a distance while attending to more important matters.

We talked of the good times to come, packed our saddle bags, and took a last look at our unladen steeds that would (hopefully) carry us the next 1200 miles.

Alarm set for 0630.

We were anxious to roll.
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MeanStreaker screwed with this post 08-08-2011 at 01:31 PM
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